Mask check question

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Purple Fencer, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. mrbiggs

    mrbiggs Podium

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    No one has said that.

    Do you drive 2 mph? That would be MUCH safer than whatever speeds you
    drive now. But you don't, because there's a tradeoff between safety and actually getting things done.

    You're just making this up.

    This doesn't mean anything.


    I don't think that any part of this statement is supported by the evidence put forth in this thread.

    Your second statement doesn't follow from the first. My blade must pass a flexibility test, but that's not tested at every tournament.

    And that is an important safety regulation...


    It's not. If they could give concrete examples of why visual inspection isn't sufficient when combined with occaisional punch tests, then I'd give up the argument. But they haven't, and I suspect are unable to. What we're arguing, which is for most fencers the difference between 3-5 and 10-15 punch tests a year, isn't really a big distinction, and it's going to be hard to come up with evidence either way. I don't think this makes them wrong, but it doesn't make me wrong either.

    And the "combined experience" argument is wrong for the reasons I stated above.


    :rolleyes:

    You can throw Smirnov around as much as you want (twice in this post, for example), but it's been well-established that at Smirnov's time, there were NO punch tests, the mesh was of much lower quality, and overall you're really comparing apples to oranges.



    I think every club should have a mask punch regardless of division standards for its fencers who do not compete, or at least for its club masks which don't go to competition.

    Really, Ron White reference? Really? You have, in all honesty, the worst ability to make personal attacks I have ever seen. It's like in bad movies when a kid is trying to fight an adult and the adult just holds the kids head at arm's length, while the kid flails wildly in the air. Words like "uncreative" or "immature" don't even begin to describe the failure you've exhibited at trying to attack others in this thread.
     
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  2. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    Let me try and clear a few misconceptions and hopefully not bring out more.

    Dan does believe in a Mask Check at every tournament, but he does not believe in a punch test for every mask at every tournament. Now he does test every non-FIE mask, but you should understand FIE mask must pass punch test that no human could perform 1,000 N with deformity of < 10 mm and with a 2 mm flat probe of 900 (+-50) N and no deformation . If a FIE mask appears with no deformities he will not punch test it, but he will mask check it. There is no standards for non-FIE, except CE. The problem there is we have a list of FIE mask and if a mask comes in from a manufacturer that is not on the list we know it is fake. We do not know if a mask that says CE actually is CE. Since he is not sure how strong a non-FIE mask is, he is prudent and punch tests it.

    I like what schlager7 said. The punch test is only one part of a mask check.

    No offense to Bill as he is a much better Armorer than me, but I disagree. If he said that he could teach anyone to do a proper mask test (not including the punch test) in 5 minutes, I would agree. There are some people who do not have the strength to do a proper punch test.

    I would disagree that any Armorer is happy to fail a mask. But I would say we would be happier to fail a mask than have their opponent to fail a mask during a bout.

    mrbiggs the operation manual does not require a flexibility test on the blade. The rule book gives the specification for the flexibility if a test is performed. While the operation manual does require a mask test. Note I did not say punch test.

    If all fencers ever decided to be serious about their own safety I would love to drop the requirements for a mask check. I think it is more likely for me to win $100,000,000, struck by lightning, hit a grand slam, and be drafted first into the NBA all on the same day.
     
  3. fencerbill

    fencerbill Podium

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    To add to what DHCjr says, I have had extensive discussions with Dan about masks. I finally did get him to give the following opinion.

    "If an FIE mask is no older than 2 years and looks good visually, it is not necessary to punch test it."

    I like the way DHCjr put it. It is necessary to check a mask every time it is used but it is not necessary to punch test an FIE mask every time.

    Part of my concern over masks is that we get so fixated on a punch test that we let slide the rest of the mask check.

    Personally, I want a quick look at every fencer's mask when I referee. At the start of a pool or for a DE. The equipment check CANNOT guarantee that a mask will remain safe throughout a tournament.

    At a NAC I have called for an armorer to recheck a mask that looked like it might have been damaged, it was fine.

    So, masks checks - every tournament; punch tests - if necessary.
     
  4. fatfencer

    fatfencer Podium

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    Ok there's something interesting

    For Dan to say that about masks less than 2 years and looking good visually is interesting.

    If he says it fine. I've held his opinion as a standard throughout. No reason to change it now. The masks are better made as a result of Smirnov's death... and Mr Biggs, someone earlier in the thread has shown that his mask was tested.

    However, it seems odd that the rulebook would call for a mask passing the punch at any sanctioned event if you aren't actually supposed to punch it.

    Regardless, it probably should be punched at every tourney if only to provide some legal coverage. You can bet an attorney is going to ask questions like whether or not that test should be performed or whether or not it is mandated by any governing body.

    Mr Biggs, expert opinions DO NOT constitute logical fallacy. That is what make you such an idiot. Many people here bandy about quasi-Inq-isms about logical fallacies, but in cases such as these, professional armorers can weigh in about what they believe and often enough that is what sets standards.

    For example, I am extremely likely to take any armorer's opinion over yours because this is what they do and the have years of expertise in the matter.
    You, not likely having much of a reputation as an armorer, are not going have as much weight in the matter no matter how stunning you think your powers of deduction and logical prowess may be.

    Incidentally, just whats wrong with Ron White? Et Tu Brute? Nothing wrong with a little lowbrow humor. Personally I love the guy, and I care very little about what you think of me, my sense of humor, or anything else. Mr Biggs, nothing in your writing shows me anything more than the most basic literacy mixed with bravado you cannot muster anywhere else but online. I'm sure you are some genius Mensan doctor, attorney, crack fencer on the points list, hybrid superbeing incapable of anything remotely resembling fallibility.

    When reality sets in and you find that Mensa rejected your application for janitor, please call me so I can pretend to commiserate.

    Bill,

    I agree wholeheartedly that a thorough perusal of a mask is always required, a mask punch is just a part of that. I am a little nervous that Dan would say that punches aren't required for FIE masks under two years old. There have been masks that have failed though brand new. However, I'm sure that's extremely rare so thats probably his reasoning. As long as its done properly I have no problem people punch testing new masks, any masks; but its equally important to do a full visual inspection, methinks.

    Incidentally, does Dan feel that Chinese FIE masks pass muster? I mean they get the stamp but then what happens afterward to the quality? Allstar/Uhlmann are being made there now right?

    Just some thoughts,

    FF
     
  5. IvorDarcy

    IvorDarcy Rookie

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    I still say you suffer from "little man" syndrome.
     
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  6. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    This was one of the fallacies I hoped to have cleared and I did a poor job of it. The rulebook (M.25.7) uses the phrase may, if in doubt, ensure that the mesh of the mask, both at the front and at the sides, . . .

    This rule came about because of Joe Byrnes. He saw some brand new FIE masks that looked wrong to him, so he tested the sides by dropping the punch through the side mesh (no pressure).

    The key is seeing with both your eyes and your hands for any problems.

    As for the Chinese masks, one thing I did not state was references. All of the specifications come from CE European standards. Before the FIE will even accept a mask it must have a CE-2 certification. We test with a 12 kg punch. For CE certification they must pass 1,000 N (4.8.2). Can you imagine that much force. Does that mean we are not going to check very carefully these masks? NO!

    Now the 5 minutes that Bill and I stated is a little fallacy. Joe found that the manufacturer had cut corners and changed the design. He has experience that you can't teach in 5 minutes, but you don't expect just one mask of a manufacturer so an experienced Armorer would have a chance to see and know there is a problem.

    Many years ago, I got lax and no longer tested the sides of the mask. For the most part I only gave a cursory look at the sides. At one tournament one fencer failed masks on two different opponents. This fencer was noted for being a fly fisherman and luckily no one was injured, but it did change my outlook. I now look very carefully over the whole mask and if I see something that just isn't right, I will use the punch even if it is this year.
     
  7. fatfencer

    fatfencer Podium

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    Son,

    I am 215 pounds of bigness. Super giganto-sized Pillsbury dough boy. I WISH I suffered from little man syndrome!!!


    Sheesh!!

    FATfencer
     
  8. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Don...thank you for reminding me of that...I had forgotton that my first mask failed on the side...how many tests on each side would you say is sufficient? I;m thining one on each would do.
     
  9. mrbiggs

    mrbiggs Podium

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    No...but considering them to be the indisputable truth does. This is what you are doing, and it is a logical fallacy Look it up.

    They're called logical fallacies because they're fallacies, a.k.a. wrong. I'm saying that your argument is wrong.

    Hmmm...you're getting better, this at least appears to be your own work. C+


    Because clearly, that's what's required to disagree with you in an argument. I'll make sure I'm more qualified next time.


    I'm not posting in this thread anymore because I don't really disagree with anything DHCJr said, so if you want my opinion you can reread his post again. It was well-written and backed up with enough knowledge that any posts I make at this point would just be wrong or redundant.
     
  10. Matt87

    Matt87 Rookie

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    I've read through most of this, but not all of it and i'm left with the same question from the beginning, so if it has been answered already I apologize.

    How effective is a punch test to begin with? I realize your testing only certain parameters of a mask, but a 12N test seems like it may not be truly representative of the shear trauma a 70kg person fleching at easily 3-4 m/s, concentrated down a fairly stiff weapon (Such as an stiff epee blade) (1.5 m/s is usually considered a brisk walk, with the fastest recorded around 11 m/s sprints)

    Just from my understanding of it it seems like a punch test might be able to find critical failures, but would still leave the mask open to a wide range of other failures, thus why I ask.
     
  11. fencerbill

    fencerbill Podium

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    A punch test only applies to the mesh, the bib must be checked as well.

    In my opinion, after having examined and tested thousands of masks, the prescribed punch test is a good indicator of when the mesh of even an FIE mask is worn to the point where it should be replaced for the safety of the fencer.

    The detailed tests and requirements for masks in the FIE rules result in a robust mask. If it is actually made as well as the mask which passed FIE tests, it should be safe. It turns out that most of the people who make masks want at lease some of their masks to qualify as FIE masks. It is just easier to make all of their masks the same, so the mesh of all of them are probably of FIE quality.

    I have seen masks that have deteriorated because of being hit so many times they won't pass the punch test and should be replaced. The punch test is a good indicator of when this has happened to a mask.

    The other typical failure for masks is when they rust to the point that the mesh has weakened because of this rusting. The punch test is also a good indicator of this.

    The difference between FIE masks and non-FIE masks is more likely to be evident in the bibs. That is where they must be carefully checked.

    Keep checking the mask to see that the rivets are still good, there are no tears or holes and the bib is still properly fastened to the mesh and you should be safe, even with a non-FIE mask.
     
  12. DHCJr

    DHCJr Armorer

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    I had hoped my earlier post would clear up some of these misconceptions, but it appears I did a bad job.

    There is no 12N test. It is a 12 Kg punch on a very small area, thus it is much more than 12N. The manual test from the FIE is listed in Kg, while the original test for CE-2 and FIE is in Newtons. I like the consistency.

    And as Bill reminded us the bib is part of the mask.
     
  13. Matt87

    Matt87 Rookie

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    Regardless, if you have a 70 kg fencer moving at 3.5 m/s, you would need to move a 12kg punch test at approximately 20 m/s to get the same effect. Granted, the punch test is over a smaller area, but not that much smaller (a typical tip in itself is only about a 1 cm diameter) especially if the tip hits at an angle and only a portion of it impacts.
     
  14. fencerbill

    fencerbill Podium

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    I think you would feel better if you ever watched a group of armorers who have been given permission by the mask owner to "destroy" it.

    I remember one time that I prepared to make a theatrical jump, with both feet, onto such a mask. Of course it slipped out from under my feet and I landed flat on my "dignity". All the armorers had quite a laugh, but only because they had done the same themselves.

    They aren't that easy to destroy. If you set one on the floor and took a healthy swing straight on with a sledgehammer, it might bend a little. The only way to destroy them is to flatten them from the side, and even that is not easy.

    A mask that has not rusted and that has not been nibbled to death with too many head cuts provides a lot of protection. The people who have set the standards and who oversee FIE certification have done a good job.
     
  15. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    As Oiuyt noted, you're talking about the argumentum ad verecundiam fallacy. But as FF noted---and he's right in this case, mirabile dictu!:)---citing expert opinion is fallacious only when it's an appeal to false authority, not just when it adverts to expert opinion of any sort whatsoever.

    Thus citing the Pope's opinion on a question of astrophysics would be fallacious; citing Stephen Hawking's would not be.

    Of course, you are correct about the 'indisputable truth' angle. But in the realm of praxeology we work with probabilities, not ultimate truths. An expert like Dan is likely to come closer to being correct than you or I on a question in his area of expertise...
     
  16. telkanuru

    telkanuru Podium

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    So this question was brought up before and not answered and I'm curious about it.

    If testing masks before each tournament makes fencing noticably safer, why not tests masks before every bout, which, logically, would make you even more sure of its strength?

    If you test masks before each tournament, should you also check them before each night of open fencing?

    If checking masks more frequently allows defects to be noted, why not check before each touch?

    Where is the line?

    NOWHERE HERE am I bringing the validity of the punch into question, NOR am I saying it should never be done. But to say "Not punch testing before every tournament is toying with death" is like saying "Not checking your tire pressure before each drive is a sure way to flip your car", because face it, you have no data as to how often it is reasonable to check. Neither do I. Perhaps we need some.

    Oh, and FF, I'm pretty sure the best part of you ran down your mother's leg and ended up as a brown stain on the mattress, so just hush and let the people with brains talk, mkay?
     
  17. fatfencer

    fatfencer Podium

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    Telkanuru

    Telk...
    Aren't you ever going to forgive me for boning your mother and putting it on Youtube?:darwin:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=8xQJEGmA4KU&feature=related

    It's not like I'm your father or anything though... or am I? Nah... my offspring couldn't be as http://youtube.com/watch?v=1Mv0KsuyiSU as you.

    The slippery slope argument is/has been dealt with. The answer to why its not necessary to test MORE than every tourney is twofold: armory expertise, and USFA guidelines.Many of the experts in the field, i.e. some armorers feel that every mask every tournament is a legitimate one, due to mask failure even though it may be brand new, and due to rough repeated use by some fencers. They do not feel that it is necessary, based on their experience to test between rounds or between touches for that matter. Perhaps its a combination of understanding FIE manufacturing standards plus their own years of experience. No, BTW we probably DON'T need a study to satisfy your desire to spend money to obtain data a $40.00 tool can answer in 5 seconds. Sometimes its just cost effective to use the tool rather than study it to death. If you Boston liberal @@@@'s would actually do something productive instead of Keynesian 'turbing' you might be able to figger that out.

    Meanwhile, the rulebooks are contradictory at best over when/how often testing is necessary. The 2006 Ops handbook, I maintain, does say, from a tournament management perspective that if a mask does not pass the 12kg punch it will be discolored and disallowed from the event/permanently. If you can tell with 100% certainty, absolute certainty that a mask WILL PASS THE PUNCH TEST without PUNCH TESTING THE MASK, then you let me know how you arrive at that. Since you cannot tell with absolute certainty you test the mask. Incidentally, Dan has said that if the FIE mask is 2 years old or less and is in good shape to the eye then a mask test is avoidable. In contradiction to the rules, but they are contradictory to themselves. Besides, I trust these armorers implicitly. Dan teaches me alot when I talk with him. What Dan says is Hoyle in my book.

    So the slippery slope argument I think has been dealt with. If you want to study the data on mask manufacture you might put your less than nimble mind at ease, Telk.

    Finally, though seemingly conflicted, the rules do require testing. To keep the attorney-wolves at bay it may just be completely advisable to do the test on a per tourney basis just for butt-coverage.

    Telk, whatever it is you do for a living, please let HR know that you need help. Don't be afraid, explaing that you are a retard will be a breath of fresh air to your boss/co-workers and will probably get you whatever accomodations you need to continue mopping out the toilets. I think I'm going to call you Charlie from now on.

    Fatfencer
     
  18. IvorDarcy

    IvorDarcy Rookie

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    I still say "little man syndrome." Oh and by the way, "little man syndrome" has nothing to do with your stature. You have nothing constructive to say and when anyone challenges you on anything the best you can come up with is childish name calling. Grow up.
     
  19. Grimaldi

    Grimaldi Rookie

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    I think you've inadvertantly stumbled upon the main crux of the discussion here. You can't argue that a punch test doesn't make fencers safer...you can argue about how much safer it makes them, or whether or not it's worth the time and effort, but punch testing masks is an additional safety check that can detect deficiencies in masks.

    On the other hand, you have the issues of reality and inconvenience. As you said...where do you draw the line? There's no absolute answer, of course, but a check at the beginning of each fencing tournament seems appropriate, especially if you have to have the rest of your equipment checked, too (weapons, lames, etc).

    It doesn't sound like the punch test takes an incredible amount of time, and it's usually best to do things in a routine, standardized manner to avoid issues, so a punch test at the beginning of the tournament seems like a reasonable compromise.

    You could reduce it to a simple mask inspection, with the armorer deciding if he/she feels a punch test is appropriate, but that vagueness in interpretation opens all sorts of potential problems: favoritism, poor judgment, etc.
     
  20. fatfencer

    fatfencer Podium

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    Ok, epee fencer, lemme break it down for ya.

    My last post follows a basic pattern. I think the insults, which, IMHO, am pretty good at, are getting in the way.

    Here goes... stay with me Ivor...

    Pattern:

    Insults

    Main text substantively dealing with topic of slippery slope

    Some more insults

    I swear to God... epee is the SHORT BUS of fencing. Ivor, give me your address. I'll buy you 'Hooked on Phonics' as a gift.

    Hell, despite your clear unworthiness, I'll even....let you hold my jock. Sniff to your heart's content.

    If insults were fencing it would be 15-ZIP on your back!! In EPEE!!!

    Loser!!!

    FF

    PS: Do I still suffer from small man syndrome if I'm laying down? Not according to your girlfriend....
     

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