Important news about bibs in foil

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Damon Scaggs, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Damon Scaggs

    Damon Scaggs DE Bracket

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    33
    Attention USA International Foil Fencers


    • The FIE has approved making the bib target in foil.
    • The proposed timetable is that the FIE will require the conductive bib in Senior competitions starting January 2009 and for Juniors starting the following season in September 2009.
    • As of yet there are no models or prototypes available. A retrofit overlay system on existing masks is being accepted.
    • Be prepared to have a saber-like mask connecting cord to run from the new conductive mask bib to the lame and to get your mask retrofitted if you intend to compete in FIE competitions.
    • The implementation date of this change for USFA has not yet been determined. The USFA will wait and see how this develops before implementing it here for our domestic events.

    Other major countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Britain and Spain have various timetables for their domestic implementation. To the best of our knowledge the following is the schedule of implementation for the following countries:


    • Great Britain - Seniors in January 2009, Juniors in September 2009),
    • Germany - Jan. 1, 2009 for seniors, post-Belfast for Junior/Cadets).
    • Italy - Jan. 1, 2009 for seniors, post-Belfast for Junior/Cadets)
    • France - September 2009 for all events
    • Spain - Yet to decide.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2008
  2. Craig

    Craig Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 1999
    Messages:
    6,436
    Likes Received:
    461
    Damon,

    Thanks for the info.

    Craig
     
  3. Soberin

    Soberin Podium

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    49
    Some observations--Regardless of the fact that the FIE may accept retrofitted masks, it will not work well, as the lame fabric that covers the bib will be inconsistent in its ability to stay put.The wiring from the retrofit covering will also be liable to fail. Also, the lame itself will probably require a sewn-on tab to connect to the head cord, unless you will be allowed to just alligator clip on the cord to the lame collar.

    In other words, sooner than later, everyone who either fences FIE events, or abides by the adoption of the rule by their national federation, will get factory-installed masks with a metallic bib, as well as lames with the proper tab if needed. Considering the entire rule is of questionable merit, it is a shame that most people's equipment will become obsolete. After fooling with retrofitted stuff, we will all have to buy new factory ready masks and lames.
     
  4. KD5MDK

    KD5MDK Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    13,299
    Likes Received:
    638
    Installing a tab on a lame will cost at most $20, I expect. It's just some conductive fabric and a bit of stitching. Easily done at home by anyone handy with a needle.
     
  5. Soberin

    Soberin Podium

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    1,229
    Likes Received:
    49
    The tab is the least of the problems I noted above.
     
  6. Warrior Princess

    Warrior Princess Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    474
    Likes Received:
    41
    Wouldn't you want to have a prototype before you set a date for when the rules will be implemented? ::puts head through desk::
     
  7. peet

    peet Podium

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    2,253
    Likes Received:
    241
    Hoo boy, am I glad I don't compete in foil any more. I can only assume the FIE thinks it's doing a good thing, because, well, everybody always *thinks* what they're doing is right, but from out here in the real world, it sure feels like they're trying to kill the weapon.

    -p
     
  8. fdad

    fdad Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,129
    Likes Received:
    215
    I was at Blue Gauntlet on Sunday. They have a Foil mask with partial mesh bib and tabs for connecting to lame hanging on the wall.
     
  9. Sean Butler

    Sean Butler Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    535
    Likes Received:
    16
    One of the things I find very annoying about this change is that any of us who fence more than one weapon (foil and sabre, for example) already must own 2 masks to compete. By changing the foil mask so that it cannot be used for Epee, we are making it more expensive than it already is for 2 and 3 weapon fencers.

    Back when I started the only individual equipment necessary for each weapon were the weapons themselves, bodycords for foil and epee, and a lame for foil. Everything else could be reused. It's disappointing that they are taking the single most expensive piece of our gear and changing it for what seem to be minor reasons.

    I would hope that the retrofit bibs will be allowed until the industry can agree on a standard X-Change system like LP has to have only one mask with a swappable bib for foil and epee. Further it would be good if the foil bib was interchangable with the saber bib.
     
  10. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Messages:
    3,554
    Likes Received:
    148
    Is a retrofit system being accepted for FIE competitions?

    Section XII of the FIE Guidelines for production of foil masks with conductive bibs (available from the FIE web site) states that individual federations may decide for themselves whether or not to allow the use of existing masks which have been modified at their domestic competitions however only FIE approved masks with a conductive bib sewn and produced by the a manufacturer will be permitted at FIE foil competitions.

    For international fencers this would appear to necessitate either a new mask or wholesale replacement of the existing bib by a manufacturer of an FIE approved mask.
     
  11. fdad

    fdad Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,129
    Likes Received:
    215
    Why can't a new foil mask be used with epee?


    From the one I've seen, only the lower few inches of the bib is conductive, so the new foil bib could not be used for sabre.
     
  12. TBean

    TBean Podium

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    137
    While I see your point, my question to you is ...how often do you fence all three weapons internationally? For that matter, how many elite level fencers compete in more then one weapon?
     
  13. Dr Epee

    Dr Epee Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    21
    People aready sometimes have a problem with sweaty masks becoming conductive. This is going to be much more of a problem when part of the mask already is conductive.

    You know, if the US congress and the people in charge of our banking institutions made ill considered and bonehead decisions the way the FIE does, we'd be in a major financial crisis by now. Oh...oops!
     
  14. Sean Butler

    Sean Butler Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    535
    Likes Received:
    16
    As far as I know the sabre mask isn't allowed in epee, I assume for reasons of conductivity. One could ground their mask by touching their weapon to it. Making the foil bib conductive should have the same issues, no?

    News to me... That makes me question their judgment even more. Such a minor change and such a large expense...

    Myself, I don't fence internationally at all right now. But don't you think that this FIE rule will eventually cause the USFA to mandate the same rule in our national tournaments.
     
  15. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Messages:
    3,554
    Likes Received:
    148
    You seem to be forgetting that the FIE rules are written for international competition. From their point of view there is no problem because no one at that level fences more than one weapon.

    Besides, it's not as if the FIE has ever let little things like additional cost to the individual fencer bother them before.

    Reading the guidelines posted on the FIE web site it doesn't appears that the FIE will accept anything less than a new bib for international foil events. The choice of whether or not to allow the use of retrofit bibs at other competitions appears to have been left to the individual national governing bodies.

    Why? The mesh of a foil mask would still be required to be insulated "internally and externally" (m.27), while the metal mesh of a saber mask would still be required to be conductive and therefore may not have any insulation (m.32) so they still wouldn't be interchangeable.

    edit: Oddly enough, there is no requirement for the mesh to be insulated in epee so a saber mask fitted with a non-conductive bib might be acceptable for epee.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  16. SJCFU#2

    SJCFU#2 Podium

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2003
    Messages:
    3,554
    Likes Received:
    148
    You are correct in that the reason for not allowing the use of a saber mask in epee is for reasons of conductivity, especially WRT the bib (which is generally more flexible than the mesh and therefore more likely to form a short between the tip to the barrel, potentially preventing a touch from registering). A conductive foil bib would presumably have the same issue.
     
  17. TBean

    TBean Podium

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    137
    Probably, but the USFA has to look that realistically this ruling effects international fencers only - 250 (total, not just the foil team) out of roughly 14,000 competing in the US - and how does it not over burden, with additional costs, the vast majority of its athletes. In the near-term the USFA might make requirement only for Div 1 and Juniors - who knows what they are going to do and it won't be effect domestically any time soon.

    Does it possibly suck for foil fencers who are not going to a World-Cup but want to compete in Div 1 or Junior events domestically - sure. Does it suck for those who fence multiple weapons at that level and who are not going to a world-cup - even more so. But in general the consensus is this ruling sucks, so this is par for the course.

    I get your point, and I hope there can be a reasonable, cost effective solution to the issue. But I honestly don't think that it will effect rank-and-file fencers for quite some time. Eventually, if this ruling sticks, it will trickle down to all levels of foil fencing - but every foil fencer in this country is not going to have run out tomorrow and buy this stuff. It will be years before that transition is complete.
     
  18. Sean Butler

    Sean Butler Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    535
    Likes Received:
    16
    I understand very well that the FIE rules are specific to international competitions. My concern is that the USFA and other NGBs will adopt these rules for national-level competitions. And they SHOULD! What point is it to fence one way at home and another way internationally? This will then make it even tougher on folks like me who want to compete in more than one weapon. And, for what? for a measily little strip of target along the edge of a mask bib? Bleh, I just find it annoying, not game changing or anything.

    Hopefully equipment manufacturers will find ways to cut costs, but ... is that really in their best interest? I suppose it could be in the long run as the cheaper solution might sell more. But in the near term, I think we can expect that the manufacturers have little incentive to be creative about the masks and have every incentive to make 1-weapon masks with no interchangable parts shared between them.
     
  19. Sabresque

    Sabresque Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Messages:
    437
    Likes Received:
    43
    Who else thinks fencing is just getting more and more ridiculous because of the rule changes of the last 5 years or so????
     
  20. Cookeit

    Cookeit Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    54
    When will this affect the USFA?
    Say I need a new mask.. should I consider the X-Change as the only option, so I don't have to retrofit/buy 2 masks?
     

Share This Page