Transparent visor masks banned
The FIE Executive Committee has decided to suspend and forbid, until further notice, the use of the transparent visor mask in both in foil and epee, at all FIE official competitions, following an incident in which the visor of an Uhlmann brand mask was penetrated/fractured at the Junior European Championships in Odense.
Subsequent laboratory tests showed that the visor was compromised by several factors, including:
- the manufacturer did not make the visor out of the recommended material, Lexan
- lack of anti-scratch surfacing that made the visor more prone to acquiring scratches
- significant scratches that became stress points
- the manufacturing method (injection molding) created irregularities and added additional stress points at the injection points
- stresses causing by the mounting frame
- use of chemicals or PVC plastics in the mask itself or in carrying containers
The ban is temporary, apparently. The FIE will be adding more stringent manufacturing requirements in an attempt to deal with these problems. They don't explain how they intend to prevent fencers from damaging their own masks by letting them rattle around in their bags with weapons and PVC plastics, ignoring scratches, or using inappropriate cleaners.