This weekend I had time with friends and I noted one of them was wearing a leather collar for lack of better terms. Please understand this is not acceptable in the LHA. Thus this is why I am only posting this on LHA boards. In fact it now appears the LHA is taking a harder line on personal safety then other organizations. The LHA still holds the line on rigid protection around the neck. If I had hit that person in the throat they would have gotten seriously hurt. Safety remains the top concern, not cost, what is popular or what looks good.
I know this might not be a popular statement, but as a fencer do not depend on Marshals (that includes me as a LHA Qualifying Marshal) to be as safe as you can. Use common sense and know the rules yourself. Even if the rule is grey, question if you would be at risk. In this case is the item you are wearing hard enough to absorb a blow? If it flexes then the answer should be it is not safe enough. Is it covering all your neck? That includes height.
Most of us are out there to have fun, if I get hurt because I do not have the proper gear my fun ends real fast. If I hurt someone because they were not wearing the proper gear my fun ends along with their fun.