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 run 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.