The health and safety of all rapier combatants, students and marshals is our first priority. The following steps are a guide for Marshals on how to conduct a no- or low-contact inspection of weapons and equipment.
This process is required in Australia while there are physical distancing requirements, and is optional in New Zealand at Alert Levels 1 and 2.
- Marshals must wear abrasion-resistant gloves to conduct all inspections of fencers.
- Physical distancing should be maintained while conducting inspections. If the Marshal needs to break distancing, they must wear a face covering.
- Ask the combatant to stand at an appropriate distance in front of you.
- Ask the combatant if they are wearing groin protection (if applicable).
- Ask the combatant to present their gloved hands, palms up. Inspect the gloves by sight looking for any rips or holes.
- Ask the combatant to turn their hands palms down and repeat the inspection.
- Ask the combatant to spread their arms to the sides. Inspect the armpits by sight, looking for sprung seams, rips or holes.
- If you are not certain about the underarm coverage, discuss it with the combatant.
- You might need to ask the combatant to press or pinch the cloth under the arm to demonstrate its coverage
- Ask the combatant (if needed) to lift their coif or mask bib to display the gorget underneath.
- Ask the combatant to turn and show the back of the gorget.
- Check that the combatant has a secondary fastening to secure their mask.
- Visually check all the armour to ensure there are no gaps showing skin. This includes checking that normal movements (such as a lunge) will not expose skin.
- Ask the combatant to show you the inside of their mask.
- Inspect by sight to assess if the padding is intact.
- If uncertain you might need to ask the combatant to press the padding to check it is still resilient.
- Ask the combatant to stand to one side and present their sword or dagger so that the blade is in front of you. They should hold the hilt.
- Wearing a fencing glove, check the blade for nicks and ensure the blunt is securely fixed to the tip.
- Use your gloved hand to check a buckler or baton for nicks, chips or splinters.
- Inspect a cloak for any rigid material.