Armor plays a vital part in protecting fighters in melee and on the tournament field. When referring to armor, it should be understood that this is to protect the modern fighter and keep him from getting hurt, not to simulate real armor from the 16th century. In a true duel, one was not likely to wear a mask and the like. In short, it is for our modern protection, not for historical accuracy.
Head: An approved 3-weapon mask, a 2-weapon mask with hood, or integral covering for the back of the head, should cover the head. Custom made masks with integral mesh faceplates or drilled holes may be allowed on an individually approved basis. The holes should be no more than 1/8" in diameter. (Pref. 1/16" or less) and the entire head should be covered.
Neck: Minimum is FIE approved mask bib. Better neck protection is highly encouraged.
When fighting with Shanai or with Schlager, gorget neck protection is required. The gorget should cover the entire neck and spine, and be made of at least 1/8" leather at 2" wide at the center of the throat. Metal protective gorgets are allowed. 6 layer trigger cloth gorgets are being tested. Chain mail gorgets are allowed, if backed by cloth or are 1/4" ring ID or less. Coif type headgear that hangs over the neck area is allowed.
Torso: This refers to chest, abdomen, and groin area. Minimum is 2-layer trigger cloth, or 4oz. Top grain leather. Chain mail is ok if backed by trigger or heavy cotton, single layer cloth. There should be no holes in the armor, minimal lacing excepted. If it is lace up armor, there should be a panel that extends completely under the lace area and overlaps by at least 1 inch beyond. Best armor would have a minimum 4 in overlap at the hand, shoulder and leg areas, and continue up the neck to just under the mask, doubling under the gorget. A sweatshirt by itself is normally not enough protection for the torso.
Arms: the arms should be covered in at least 1 layer of trigger cloth. In Shanai and Schlager, 4 layers is definitely recommended.
Hands: gloves are required. They should extend beyond the wrist a minimum of 1", and preferably 4 inches. They should always overlap with the sleeves of shirt or jacket being worn. Gloves should be made of leather or other heavy, puncture resistant material. Certain new synthetics are allowed. Padded cloth gloves (FIE std.) are allowed. Basically, if itís a tough work glove and it meets coverage requirements, it is allowed.
Legs: Legs should be covered to just above the knee at a minimum. Best would be to have the entire leg covered to the shoe or boot. Cloth should be minimum 1 layer trigger cloth.
Feet: Feet should be completely covered. Boots are preferred, as they give additional leg protection.
Notes on cloth and leather: Trigger cloth is a heavy woven cotton canvas type fabric. The weave is very tight, and helps keep a broken blade from penetrating. Corduroy can be used, but it needs to be heavy type.
Before making armor, please consult with an officer or the Captain Marshal to determine if the fabric you have chosen is suitable for armor.
Remember that itís ok to look stylish, but first be safe with your armor.
Also, remember that it has to be kept in good repair. This does not mean duct taping it back together to keep a sleeve on. It means that occasionally, it needs to be retested to make sure it will do its job if it has to.