16/02/2024- Member


A two-year pilot scheme for ratings, which was successfully launched for Men’s Foil in September last year, is being extended to all six weapons. The aim of the scheme is to provide incentives for fencers to compete more often at more appropriate level competitions and progress their ratings over time.

The BF ratings scheme pilot is modelled on a similar programme which has been highly successful for a number of decades in America.

The rating system will run in parallel to the existing ranking systems. There is no intention of replacing the ranking system, which will continue to be used for seeding events and international selections.

  • The ratings site can be found here at ukratings.co.uk.
  • You can view the number of fencers and ratings at each club here. Additional analysis has been added including results by club from each competition, results by category (Cadet, Junior, Senior, etc.) and entries for upcoming events.
  • Individual athletes can see their results here. New features have been added including competitions entered, performance over time, finish statistics, poule statistics, DE statistics, DE scores and which events the athlete has entered.
  • Upcoming competitions, their likely NIF (used for British Fencing ranking points) and what ratings can be won at each one can be viewed here. This will give fencers a good idea of the level of competition and if it is an appropriate level.

Leon Paul is running a competition for athletes with rankings of D and below on 2nd March 2024 for Men’s and Women’s Foil and Epee. Fencers Club London plans to run a similar D and below competition for Men and Women’s Foil in June on the same day as its open event. British Fencing also intends to run a D E U competition for Foil and Epee at the Senior National Championships later this year.

Athletes are encouraged to register on the site to receive award certificates and news of suitable upcoming competitions.

More details:  

The pilot will be for fencers aged 13 and over who can earn ratings ranging from A (the top rating) to B, C, D and E, with U being unclassified. This provides a clear progression path for fencers. It also provides an opportunity for competition organisers to put on competitions aimed at different levels. In the US, competitions are typically C and above, and D and below. There is no obligation for event organisers to use these bands, but they do work in America, and allow for organisers to offer competitions for more fencers, with fewer referees and pistes – the various competitions being staggered through the day. In addition, competition organisers have the option of using the ratings to seed their event.

The BF rating system methodology for allocating ratings will be based on the United States Fencing Association system which can be found here. The rating also includes a year, which indicates when a fencer earned or “re-earned” that rating. For example, a rating of A 2024 would mean the fencer had earned the highest letter rating in the current year. An E 2023 would mean a fencer had earned an E rating in 2023. The year is important, because competition organisers can use the rating to seed their competitions (particularly where individuals do not currently have a BF ranking) and a fencer with an E 2023 rating would be seeded above an E 2022 rating. The rating is valid for four years and then downgraded one level. If a fencer in a competition earns a rating lower than his previous rating, the previous rating remains in force.

Provisional ratings have been created using the results since 2022 of domestic individual events at the following levels: Senior, Under 23, British University & College Sports, Junior, Cadet, Under 18, Under 16, Under 15 and veterans. To launch the scheme, a few exceptions have been made for top-ranked fencers who have not competed domestically during that time.

Competition organisers who want their competition to count towards a rating will need to register their event with BF, so it becomes a BF-sanctioned event. We want to ensure that the competition is big enough with fencers good enough to warrant awarding ratings to the top finishers. You can see here how ratings can be awarded. All fencers in the competition should be BF members.

All registered open competitions will count towards ratings, but BF is also encouraging competition organisers to run separate events for those rated D and below where we believe there is the most unmet need. We are encouraging more to run these events. Please contact [email protected] for more information on how BF can help you set up and publicise your event.

The intention is to automate the ratings as much as possible. We have collaborated with Fencing Time Live and Engarde so that results are automatically recorded on the ratings page. This should reduce the burden on competition organisers, and mean ratings are quickly recorded.

Results will also be automatically taken from Sport80, once competition organisers have uploaded them and they have been verified.

BF members who have registered will be notified by e-mail of any new rating, and there will be an opportunity to download a certificate for a small fee hereFencers are encouraged to register their details into the ratings page to enable this function.  


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