A word from the armorer: The Leon Paul X-Change Mask

Sam Signorelli, H.O.M Fencing and our San Bernardino Division armorer, has some info to share regarding the Leon Paul X-Change Mask.

The disk that sits at the back of the head and holds the mask on your head has three velcro straps.
There are 2 horizontal velcro straps that connect to tabs in the sides of the mask frame.
There is also a vertical velcro strap on top of the disk that connects to velcro at the top of the mask frame (which is hidden by the padding).

ALL THREE of these straps are REQUIRED.  At the most recent College of the Desert tournament, three people came with new X-Change masks…and all three had NOT affixed the top strap (which was due to poorly written instructions from LP).  We were able to jury rig 2 of them, while the third was fixed by mom going home to get the strap.

Please make sure you have all three straps in place.  I will be at the Hemet tournament and can help with the setup if you have not figured it out or had someone else do it already.

Additionally, there is a new rule about the mask restraint system in response to some masks coming off during action and is primarily aimed at the X-Changes.

The rule states that there must be 2 separate restraint systems in the mask.  For every mask out there, except for the X-Change, (and the Chinese non-FIE masks that use the same plastic disk system), the metal tongue is one system, the horizontal strap is the other.

The X-Change, however, only had a single system (the disk served both as the “tongue” and the horizontal strap).  New X-Change bibs coming out have a short “belt” that connects to the underside of the bib and goes around the back of the neck.

NOTE:  This is ONLY required at FIE competitions at present…USFA has not ruled on requiring them at local events, or even NACs.  If you have it and want to use it, fine…but it is not currently required for any domestic events.

The top strap, however, IS.

See you on the piste!

Sam Signorelli







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