This article is from the Fencing FAQ, by Morgan Burke with numerous contributions by others.
The best masks have FIE homologated bibs to protect the throat,
and are required in high-level competition. 1600N bibs are
standard in FIE competition as of the 1995/96 season. The CFF
requires 800N bibs as a minimum in elite competition, while the
USFA has no FIE bib requirement.
Although it was announced that the bib would become part of the
foil target in the 1995-96 season, those plans were dropped.