Rules for Equipment

This is a quick guide to help you determine the equipment needed and the standards that apply for the tournaments you want to attend. We try to keep this guide as up-to-date as possible, but some errors or omissions may appear from time to time. Always check the official rules or ask the tournament organizers if you have any doubts about the eligibility of your equipment.

Provincial Tournaments - Quebec

Note: This section applies to all tournaments under the perview of the Quebec Fencing Federation (FEQ), whether it is a provincial tournament or not.

For U11

  • #2 size blades are mandatory for foil and epee.

For U17 (cadet)

  • In women's foil, the chest protector must be covered with an FIE-certified or SEMI-certified foam.

For Junior

  • In women's foil, the chest protector must be covered with an FIE-certified or SEMI-certified foam.

For Senior

  • In women's foil, the chest protector must be covered with an FIE-certified or SEMI-certified foam.

For Veteran

  • In women's foil, the chest protector must be covered with an FIE-certified or SEMI-certified foam.

For all age categories

  • The following equipment must be certified at least 350N: mask, underplastron, white jacket, pants.
  • The wearing of the underolastron is mandatory.
  • The use of FIE-certified equipment is allowed but is not required.
  • The electric bib for masks is mandatory in foil.
  • Each fencer must have two weapons and two bodywires.
  • The tolerance for the electrical resistance of sabre and foil jackets, as well as masks, is 10 Ohms. Between 10 and 15 Ohms, the equipment can be used for 1 tournament, and must be replaced for the next tournament.
  • The velcros on the cuff of the glove and on the elastic of the mask must close completely and securely.
  • No holes or tears are allowed in clothing, gloves or masks. Simple tape is not considered an adequate repair for a hole.
  • With sabre and foil, the use of bayonet plugs is permitted.
  • For Leon Paul Contour-Fit masks (which have a plastic disc on the back instead of the tongue), the use of the magnetic strap is mandatory.
  • No hole is tolerated in the hand of the glove, even a hole which would be provided for the passage of the body wire. A wrist hole provided by the manufacturer is allowed, as long as it does not extend into the palm of the hand.

National Tournaments - Canada

Note: This section applies to all tournaments under the perview of the Canadian Fencing Federation (CFF), whether it is a national tournament or not.

For U11

  • #0 size blades are mandatory for all weapons.
  • The wearing of chest protectors is mandatory for all fencers, both boys and girls, for all weapons.

For U13

  • #0 size to #3 size blades are mandatory for all weapons.
  • The wearing of chest protectors is mandatory for all fencers, both boys and girls, for all weapons.

For all age categories

  • The new FIE doubled elastic strap for masks is not required.
  • The following equipment must be certified at least 350N: mask, underplastron, white jacket, pants.
  • The wearing of the underplastron is mandatory.
  • Wearing a chest protector is compulsory for women.
  • The use of FIE-certified equipment is allowed but is not required.
  • The electric bib for masks is mandatory in foil.
  • The velcros on the cuff of the glove and on the elastic of the mask must close completely and securely.
  • No holes or tears are allowed in clothing, gloves or masks. Simple tape is not considered an adequate repair for a hole.
  • For Leon Paul Contour-Fit masks (which have a plastic disc on the back instead of the tongue), the use of the magnetic strap is mandatory.
  • With sabre and foil, the use of bayonet plugs is permitted.
  • No hole is tolerated in the hand of the glove, even a hole which would be provided for the passage of the bodywire. A wrist hole provided by the manufacturer is allowed, as long as it does not extend into the palm of the hand.

NAC (North America Cup) and other tournaments - USA

Note: This section applies to all tournaments under the perview of the USFA, whether it be a local, regional, national or NAC tournament.

For all age categories

  • The new FIE doubled elastic strap for masks is not required.
  • The following equipment must be certified at least 350N: mask, underplastron, white jacket, pants.
  • The wearing of the underplastron is mandatory.
  • Wearing a chest protector is compulsory for women.
  • The electric bib for masks is mandatory in foil.
  • The velcros on the cuff of the glove and on the elastic of the mask must close completely and securely.
  • The use of FIE-certified equipment is allowed but is not required.
  • No hole is tolerated in the hand of the glove, even a hole which would be provided for the passage of the bodywire. A wrist hole provided by the manufacturer is allowed, as long as it does not extend into the palm of the hand.
  • For Leon Paul Contour-Fit masks (which have a plastic disc on the back instead of the tongue), the use of the magnetic strap is not required according to the American rulebook. However, there are several armorers who still require it in tournaments.
  • For sabre, wearing an FIE 800N certified glove is mandatory.
  • In foil, the chest protector (compulsory for women and optional for men) must be covered with foam that bears the mark of the FIE or SEMI.
  • With sabre and foil, the use of bayonet plugs is permitted.

FIE Tournaments - Canada, USA, Europe, etc.

Note: This section applies to all tournaments under the supervision of the International Fencing Federation (FIE), whether it is a zonal championship, a world cup, a grand prix, a world championship or the Olympics.
All FIE regulations apply to the letter and in full for these tournaments.

New rules

  • (September 2020) Bodywires must have clear plugs.
  • (September 2020) Sabre blades must be made of Maraging steel.

Some reminders

  • (2018) The new FIE doubled elastic strap is compulsory for masks of all brands.
  • (2018) In foil, the chest protector (compulsory for women and optional for men) must be covered with foam that bears the FIE or SEMI mark.
  • (2016) Spiral mask cords are not allowed.
  • (2015) FIE certifications for equipment never expire. The equipment remains valid as long as it is in good condition and complies with the regulations. Its age does not affect its validity.
  • (2015) Visor masks are prohibited in sabre.
  • (2014) Two attachment systems are mandatory on the masks. For Leon Paul Contour-Fit masks (which have a plastic disc on the back instead of the tongue), the use of the original magnetic strap is compulsory.
  • (2013) In sabre, wearing an FIE 800N certified glove is compulsory.
  • (2012) Bodywires with bayonet plug are prohibited.
  • (2010) Visor masks are prohibited in foil and epee.
  • (2009) The electric bib is compulsory for foil masks.
  • (2000) The use of S2000 approved blades is compulsory.
  • (1984) Wearing FIE clothing is compulsory. The use of FIE blades is compulsory for foil and epee.
  • (1976) It is prohibited to apply adhesive tape or any other material to the epee pistol grip.

Other things of note

  • Depending on the tournament you are taking part in, some or all of the matches may be fenced with a wireless scoring machine. In this case, you will be required to have two conductive t-shirts (foil and saber only). Please check in advance if you need to purchase them.
  • In world championships and at the Olympic Games, the structural integrity of the blades is checked by Fouccault current. It is therefore possible that some of your weapons may be refused even if they are FIE-certified and appear to be in good condition.
  • In FIE tournaments, strict controls are carried out, in particular pertaining to the flexibility of the blade, the angle of the grip and the length of the grip.
  • Last-minute decisions, in particular regarding the application of new regulations, or the temporary withdrawal of a regulation, are published in the "Urgent letters" section of the FIE website. The rulebook does not always instantly reflect these last minute changes.

Other Tournaments

Other tournaments which are not explicitly listed above (for example, held in other Canadian provinces, or even the European championships) may have different rules from those you are used to. Always validate with tournament organizers, or other competent authorities, if you have questions about specific rules.