Policies, Insurance and Kit

We in the WSG team decided it was about time that we documented a few things that have always been implicitly part of Waterloo Sparring, but need to be written down for the avoidance of doubt. We’ve put together some rules and guidelines on kit requirements for sparring, personal conduct on and off the piste, insurance and conditions of entry.

WSG Entry and Conduct Policy


Waterloo Sparring Group Ltd reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone.

If you have any outstanding bans from any UK Club or Tournament you will be refused entry to Waterloo Sparring.


WSG maintains public liability insurance cover, so if you accidentally injure someone other than your fencing partner while fencing you will be covered. However, we do not have personal injury cover in case of injury during a fencing bout, to either fencer. All fencing is undertaken at fencers’ own risk.

Personal Conduct

We lack the resources to maintain a full code of conduct policy and complaints procedure but here are a few guidelines.

  • Any transphobic, racist, sexist, ableist or any other discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.
  • Anyone putting themselves or their sparring partner in danger through repeated and intentionally unsafe fencing will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.
  • Anyone intentionally trying to hurt or injure their sparring partner will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.
  • Anyone intentionally striking or swinging at their sparring partner after sparring has stopped will be asked to leave and may be subject to a permanent ban.
  • During grapples both fencers are to remain on their feet. Joint locks, throws and kicks are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • If you see any of these behaviours don’t be afraid to speak up and call it out, or make an anonymous complaint to admin@waterloosparring.com
  • Please change discreetly and be mindful of who is around you
  • Discuss with your training partner, and stick to, desired intensity levels when sparring
  • Keep kit in the storage room to avoid trip hazards and save space in the hall
  • Keep off the piste when not sparring
  • Be excellent to each other!

Kit Requirements for Sparring

Note that there must be no exposed bare skin, including at the nape of the neck, the back of the shins, the palms, and the wrists.

Fencing Mask: FIE 1600N masks. Masks must not show signs of distress/damage that will impact on their use, like dents or rusting. Masks must come with an overlay.

Back of Head Protection: The back of the head needs to be covered by a solid, rigid protector, without significant gaps.

Gorget: We require a solid throat guard covering the front of the throat.

Jackets: Either a well-padded HEMA jacket, a padded sport fencing coaching jacket, or a sport fencing jacket over significant other protection (motocross padding, solid chest guards etc.). If the jacket does not have a blade catcher at the throat, a “Polish apron” or similar guard to prevent the blade sliding under the mask’s bib must be worn. For sabre and longsword, the jacket must cover the points of the hip – if not then padded fencing trousers or a SPES skirt must be worn. No gambesons with gaps allowed, including potential gaps at fastening points.

Elbows: Solid protection for longsword, sword & buckler and sabre. Recommended but not required for rapier & dagger.

Knees: Solid protection including the sides of the knee is required for all weapons.

Shins and Forearms: Solid protection is required for longsword, sword & buckler and sabre. Recommended for rapier & dagger.

Gloves: For longsword and sabre, thick fencing gloves with no or very limited gaps at the fingers – such as SPES heavy gloves, Koning gloves or Sparring Gloves. Metal gauntlets are not allowed. Unmodified Red Dragon or Lacrosse gloves are not suitable for Longsword but are allowed for sabre and sword & buckler (we suggest wearing fingertip protectors at least). For rapier, sport fencing gloves are allowed, but it is recommended to wear padded coaching type gloves or better.

Chest protector: Required for rapier & dagger. For longsword, sword & buckler and sabre tournaments required for women, recommended for men.

Groin Guard: Highly recommended