All AFF tournaments are fenced using electrical apparatus and require full fencing uniform. All protective clothing and blades must meet with the standards set by the FIE.
Equipment and uniforms must be presented to weapons control officials for approval before being used in a tournament.
The FIE has set minimum standards for all competitions, based on the degree of resistance (measured in newtons) offered by the items. Equipment manufacturers submit sample items to the FIE for approval. When an item is approved, it may bear an FIE logo. The manufacturer will normally incorporate the FIE approval into their own logo, and will display it on the exterior of the items. The logo will also state the level of resistance (in newtons) offered by the item.
For AFF tournaments, the following protective equipment is required:
- FIE approved mask
- FIE approved jacket and breeches, resistant to 800 newtons. (An exception to this is the National School Individual and Team Championships, which require 350 newton resistance.)
- FIE approved underplastron, resistant to 800 newtons
- Chest Protectors
Foil and Epee Blades
The FIE also approves foil and epee blades. The FIE logo is stamped into the forte of the blade, just above the tang, so it is immediately behind the guard of an assembled weapon.
Sabre blades do not bear an FIE logo. However, they do have to display an S2000 marking on the forte of the blade, immediately behind the guard of an assembled weapon.
The "S2000" indicates that the blade passes the required standard of rigidity. If Weapons Control personnel feel that a blade has become less rigid with age, they are within their rights to apply an approved test to the blade, and to fail it if it does not pass the test.
All necessary equipment must be approved by Weapons Control at the tournament according to the AFF Weapons Control Policy. Once approved, equipment will be marked. Referees will usually check equipment for weapons control marks at the start of a fencer's first bout. Presenting to the strip with equipment that does not bear weapons control marks is a black card offence.
It is usual for Equipment Control to check the following:
- Masks for safety (and conductivity, in the case of sabre)
- Lame jackets and bibs/masks for conductivity (foil and sabre only)
- Gauntlets/gloves for conductivity (sabre only)
- Bodywires (for conductivity)