Kit Recalls and BFA Kit Notices

The following brings together the BFA information on kit recalls and notices on BFA kit suspensions.

Please ensure you have suitable kit for competitions held by the region and please let us know if you have any problems via

BF Notice (


The BF Safety Committee are concerned about some near misses when fencers’ masks fell off during a bout.

Fencers must wear masks that are of the appropriate size and, with ‘traditional’ masks featuring a metal back spring, the spring must be bent so as to assist retention. The 2nd security device, the Velcro strap, must not be at risk of coming undone accidentally – i.e. all the Velcro fixings must be in good condition.

If the fencer has long hair and the hair is tied up, this strap must be placed below the hair tie, not over the top of it.

Before every bout referees should check the two fencers’ masks in the above respects and, during the bout, should ensure that each time a fencer puts his mask back on the 2nd security device, the Velcro strap, is correctly worn.

If a fencer persists in wearing his mask in a way that does not comply with the above, the referee should penalise him with a Yellow Card (‘clothing not conforming to the Rules – t.45’).

BFA Notice (


22nd May 2013

1)            Sabre Gloves

Because of a number of injuries in both Britain and abroad caused by sabre blades, unbroken as well as broken, penetrating the glove, the FIE is making a new specification glove mandatory for its competitions from 1st September 2013.  This new glove has to provide a minimum protection of 800 Newtons, using the specified testing regime, on all parts of the hand from the wrist forward except the front of the fingers and half the front of the thumb.

The BF Board, on the recommendation of the Safety Committee, has therefore approved the introduction of these gloves for fencers using full size sabres as follows:-

–       all BF competitions (senior, junior, cadet, age-group)  – from 1st September 2014.

–       Universal UK application – from 1st September 2016.

When both fencers are using size 0, 2 or 3 blades these gloves will be optional.

See BF Clothing Rules – appended to the revised BF Safety Guidelines.

The Board believes that this represents a proportionate reaction to the accident risk set against the impact on fencers, clubs, schools and activity centres of having to replace sabre gloves earlier than usual.

The Board will keep these dates under review in the light of any future incidents.

There are no plans at present to extend this requirement to foil or épée.

2)            Plastrons when fencing with size 0 –3 blades  all 3 weapons or non-electric foil blades.

Presently fencers using these weapons do not need to wear a plastron if they are wearing an 800 Newton jacket.

From 1st September 2014 this will no longer be approved and this category will be removed from the Clothing Rules.

The reason for this change is because of some reports of the under-arm seams of 800N jackets coming apart, putting at risk this vulnerable area of the body – the area that a plastron is designed to protect.

So from 1st September 2014 the minimum level approved for those fencing with size 0–3 blades or with non-electric foil blades will be:

–                either a 350 Newton jacket plus a 350 Newton plastron

–                or a 350 Newton jacket which includes an integrated 350 Newtons plastron.

BFA Notice (

7th March 2012

On 6th May 2011 British Fencing announced the suspension of Sword Price Fighters protective equipment (excluding masks, which were not suspended) after receiving information pertaining to their safety.
Sword Price Fighters have advised British Fencing that they have subsequently introduced a NEW range of clothing. This range is called their ‘Competition’ range.
Therefore, for the avoidance of any doubt, British Fencing wish to make it clear that the original suspension remains in force but the NEW ‘Competition’ range is not covered by this suspension.
This is in no way an endorsement of either the garments or of Sword Price Fighters by British Fencing, nor is it a statement suggesting the garments have met a specific safety standard.
The garments can be identified as followed:
The suspension relates only to garments identified by the sewn label on the outside of each as follows:
Jacket and breeches: ‘Sword’ in white, ‘Price’ in black, ‘Fighters’ in white ‘.com’ and ‘CE350N’ in black, all on a red background.
Plastron: ‘Sword’ in white, ‘Price’ in black, ‘Fighters” in white, ‘.com’ and ‘CE800N’ in black, all on a red background.
This suspension does not apply to the NEW Sword Price Fighters ‘Competition’ range of CE350N clothing:
On this range the label sewn onto the outside of the garments displays ‘Sword Fighters’ in black, ‘Competition’ in white, and ‘ENI 3567 Level 1 CE350N’ in
Nor does it apply to the new 800N plastron sold by Sword Price Fighters, the label sewn on the outside of which makes it clear it is manufactured by Blue Gauntlet

BFA notice (

On 7th May British Fencing announced an interim suspension in relation to Fencing Clothing supplied by SWORD PRICE FIGHTERS FENCING. This interim suspension remains in force.


On Wednesday 21st September a recall notice was issued by this company in relation to jackets, plastrons and breeches sourced from a manufacturer in China and BF published a Notice prepared by Duellist on its website. British Fencing announce that an interim suspension of all “Duellist” brand CEN Level 1 fencing jackets, plastrons and breeches of Chinese manufacture is now in place. Duellist have provided pictures of the labelling on their clothing to assist customers in identifying whether any such items are of from the Chinese source. See below.

British Fencing wish to make it clear that this interim suspension does not apply to Duellist CEN Level 1 clothing manufactured in France, nor to the Duellist FIE range.

In considering the testing results that have resulted in this decision British Fencing has also had to consider the potential risks to fencers posed by certain items of clothing sold by other suppliers.

An interim suspension is also imposed immediately with regard to the following items sold by:-

ENLIGHTEN EUROPE LTD t/a Enlighten Escrime Equipment

Enlighten Jacket 350 Newton CEN Level 1


AF Unisex Breeches 21027 CEN Level 1

Please note that these interim suspensions only apply to British Fencing run activities (eg. competitions; academy etc.).


At the British Youth Championships (BYCs), the DT made a decision not to accept protective equipment* from SWORD PRICE FIGHTERS FENCING for that specific event. The decision was made by the DT with the appropriate delegated authority to make decisions for that specific event and time only. DT made this decision with the information they had to hand and only in the interests of young fencers’ safety. The DT also organised for equipment to be borrowed for those fencers who had turned up with this equipment.

British Fencing has asked its Safety Committee urgently to seek future assurances from Sword Price Fighters that its equipment fully complies with relevant safety standards.

British Fencing has asked the Safety Committee also to provide appropriate and urgent guidance for Competition Organisers; and to recommend further steps to be taken by British Fencing, clubs, event organisers, etc, to secure safety of equipment and clothing for fencers, acknowledging appropriate legal and insurance advice.

British Fencing

*masks were allowed following a check by British Fencing Armourers

ADDENDUM (07.05.2011)

Based on further advice received after the Board’s agreement to the above statement, British Fencing has suspended the use of this protective equipment whilst further enquiries are made, by the British Fencing Safety Committee, as to its fitness for purpose.

ADDENDUM (09.05.2011)

Further  to the Board notice on the 7th May, British Fencing has received  enquiries on club level use of Sword Price Fighter Fencing (SPFF)  equipment, and the potential insurance issues. British Fencing would  like to emphasise that this is an interim measure until we receive  further information and to assist members and clubs, we have added an  addendum to this notice which can also be viewed below:

British  Fencing has direct control and accountability over competitions it runs  itself. Other fencing activities, whilst they are authorised and  formally recognised by BF, are not within its direct control and  consequently BF is not directly accountable for them.

BF  insurance is designed to protect not just BF, but also other parties  with potential risk exposures such as regions, affiliated clubs,  registered coaches and members .

The  interim suspension announced by BF on 7 May on the use of Sword Price  Fighters protective clothing relates only to BF run activities (eg.  competitions; academy etc.).

Unless  it is ever legally proven that the SPFF kit is ineffective in relation  to safety when used whilst fencing, the insurance for such additional  parties remains in place and effective and will not be prejudiced by the  use of the clothing. There is no specific condition or exclusion under  the policy which removes cover in the event of a dispute over the  suitability of the safety equipment used.

However, under the Reasonable Precautions General Condition of the Insurance policy – “The  Insured shall take all reasonable precautions to prevent accidents and  any injury, loss, destruction or damage and shall take all reasonable  steps to observe and comply with statutory or local authority laws,  obligations and requirements.” It should be noted that “Insured” includes the other above insured parties, besides BF itself.

BF  must leave it to clubs, coaches and fencers to take their own decisions  about the use of any clothing, other than in BF activities, and would  expect this to form part of regular risk assessments.