A two-year pilot BF ratings scheme is being launched for men’s foil running from September 2023 to September 2025. The aim of the scheme is to provide incentives for fencers to compete more often 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. If the men’s foil scheme is successful, the plan is to replicate it for the other weapons.
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.
You can view the ratings beta site here.
You can view the number of fencers and ratings at each club here.
View individual athletes record at competitions, as well as head to head Direct Elimination results here.
Upcoming competitions and what ratings can be won at each one can be viewed here.
Although the scheme will be formally launched in September, Fencers Club London is running the first competition with fencers with a D, E or U rating on 24th June. Fencers can also compete in the FCL Open earlier in the day. You can enter here.
Fencers are encouraged to register on the site to received award certificates and also news of suitable upcoming competitions.
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 2023 would mean the fencer had earned the highest letter rating in the current year. An E 2022 would mean a fencer had earned an E rating in 2022. 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 2022 and 2023 results 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. You can view the provisional ratings here, including individual fencer’s results at competitions and head-to-head record. You can also look at the club pages to see who at each club has earned a rating. To launch the scheme, a few exceptions have been made for top-ranked fencers who have not competed domestically during 2022 and 2023. Provisional ratings for women foilists can be found here.
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 must be BF members. Upcoming competitions and their likely rating can be viewed here and we also intend to e-mail members of suitable competitions for them.
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. Some clubs have already committed to organise such events which we will announce shortly. 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 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 will be notified by e-mail of any new rating, and there will be an opportunity to download a certificate for a small fee here. Fencers are encouraged to register their details into the ratings page to enable this function.
Don’t miss the latest news. Subscribe to our weekly summary email, The Fencing Digest, featuring the previous week’s latest news and announcements. Sign up here.
Sign up to receive regular highlights from the exciting world of fencing - celebrating the best of our unique and inspiring community