01/08/2023- GBR Fencer


Following a process review which included feedback from the BF Athlete Panel, Discretionary Application Forms for representing GBR at FIE/EFC International Competition should now only be used for ‘returning performers’ in limited circumstances.

The majority of GBR selections or international entry allocations are not discretionary. They are based on qualification standards (e.g. average %age finishes for major events), rankings (e.g. top 8 for Junior/Senior FIE World Cups and Grand Prixs) or first-come, first-serve entry based on minimum ranking eligibility (e.g. Satellites, EFC U23 Circuit) as laid out in the GBR Selection Policy.

The discretionary process allows for the consideration of athletes for international events in the following situations:

  1. Potential Performer – already showing the potential to develop at the international level, or
  2. Returning Performer – returning from a significant period of absence where an athlete has previously demonstrated an appropriate level of performance at international competitions.


Potential Performer

Two areas of work within the Athlete Development Programme (ADP) are being used to further evidence potential:

  • Performance Tracking – BF has established an online athlete performance-tracking system available to all, including athletes, parents, coaches and selectors.  Athletes can (and are encouraged to) use this system to provide feedback information to selectors about each competition- when they compete as an individual (see here) and when they participate as a team (see here).
  • Individual Athlete Development Plans (IADPs)/Athlete Assessments (AAs) – currently being rolled out across the ADP, updated IADPs/AAs will be the mechanism by which athletes are expected to keep the ADP and, in turn, the selectors up to date with their competition, training plans and development needs.

As a result, the ADP and Selectors can access the information required to make discretionary selections for Potential Performers.

Discretionary Application Forms will no longer be required or accepted for Potential Performers.


Returning Performer

From 2023-24, Discretionary Application Forms will only be accepted for Returning Performers, athletes where :

  • Their recent performances were impacted by illness, injury, pregnancy, significant life-changing events or periods of absence*, and
  • They have previously demonstrated appropriate performance levels at relevant international competitions.

*Significant life-changing event or period of absence:

  • Includes: If an athlete does not have British Nationality at the point of the National Championships but subsequently receives British Nationality.
  • Does NOT include: Moving to a different coach/club/country, changing vocation or educational institutions.

Unless otherwise stated, the deadline for completing the Discretionary Application Form continues to be

  • For nominated selection events – two calendar weeks before the selection point OR
  • For development or non-nominated international events – the BF entry deadline.

BF entry deadlines and selection points are posted on the GBR Calendars. 



I want to fence in a Junior or Senior World Cup or Grand Prix? How can I make sure I am selected.

Be in the top 8 of the BF Rankings at the Selection Point. (For more info on eligibility and how rankings are setup, read the Selection and Ranking Policies and if you are having trouble understanding these please sign-up to the BF webinars on this topic.)


Are there age limits for Potential Performers?

Currently there is no age limit to a fencer being able to receive a Potential Performer discretionary place. In future seasons it is anticipated that in the Senior World Cup/Grand Prix selections, Potential Performers will be restricted to those athletes in the U23 age category. Athletes no longer in this age group would be expected to be able to achieve a top 8 BF Senior Ranking and be selected for Senior World Cups and Grand Prix on merit (or as a Returning Performer)


Who is responsible for my IADP?

It is ultimately the athlete’s responsibility to keep their IADP up to date, and to submit post competition feedback via the two forms to ensure selectors have all of the information they need to make decisions around discretionary selections. If an athlete has ambition to compete at an elite level for GBR, their habits and engagement with all elements of their personal development is expected to match those ambitions.

For Major Events, does an unqualified athlete always need to complete a form to be considered for a Discretionary place?

No. ADP & Selectors can consider any eligible athlete for a discretionary place following the published Selection Policy, irrespective of whether a form is completed. The choice of which athletes to consider will be guided by published performance data (individual and team), IADP reviews and Weapon Strategy (more information will follow on this).

Unqualified athletes may be requested to confirm availability for the event before selection, and all athletes will be reminded to update their IADPs before the selection point.

Athletes whose early season performances are getting close to qualification standards with a positive performance trajectory are strongly encouraged to book in for IADP reviews with their Personal Coach and a member of the ADP team; this ensures that any gaps in the IADP or understanding of routes to selection can be addressed early. The responsibility to request a review meeting lies with the athlete, noting that these meetings will not be scheduled in the four-week window before major event selections.


More Information

For more information, please see the following pages:

  2. Guide to Discretionary Selection – DISCRETIONARY SELECTION – BRITISH FENCING

If you have any questions about this post, please submit them to us via the form here, and an ADP team member will respond.

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