05/10/2020- Covid 19

Fencing time/bout limits increased for lower risk fencing activity (England)

Under certain circumstances two fencers can now fence for a maximum of 5×5 hits or 2×15 hits in a single session.  

Adapted sparring between two individuals in the group can take place up to 2 x 15 hits OR 5 x 5 hits, up to a maximum of 20mins of fencing time and 30 mins of elapsed time, PROVIDED THAT

  • activity is taking place in venues that comply with the relevant COVID-19 government guidance (eg community, leisure facilities)
  • the club is implementing the BF guidelines in full
  • 2m social distancing is being successfully maintained at all times other than the fencing activity (sparring)
  • face-coverings (low intensity) and/or mask liners (higher intensity) are in use during fencing
  • after each hit fencers immediately return to a position where they are 2m or more apart. This may require fencers to be at a certain level of ability.
  • The COVID-19 Officer in conjunction with the Coach is responsible for risk assessing this increase and noting it on the session risk assessment.When it is not possible to count hits (eg adapted pairs training), the appropriate fencing/elapsed time must be set by the coach and in no cases exceed 20mins/30mins respectively. (So if you are fencing continuously with no breaks that maximum length of time is 20mins, if you are taking regular breaks the maximum length of time ‘on piste’ is 30mins).

In the event the requirements for increasing the limits are not met, clubs should continue to follow the existing/previous limits: Adapted sparring between two individuals in the group can take place and is limited to 1 x 15 hits OR 3 x 5 hits, up to a maximum of 10mins of fencing time and 15mins of elapsed time. (This means, for example, a group could choose to run a poule unique of 6 fencers where everyone fences each other once only to 15 hits and each bout takes no longer than 10mins of fencing time and 15mins elapsed time). When it is not possible to count hits (eg adapted pairs training), elapsed time must be strictly adhered to.

The updated BF Return to Fencing Guidance for England can be found here. Please note that for standard club fencing activity groups must still adhere to the ‘rule of six’.

If you have any queries regarding this and other announcements please contact us using this form. Many of the queries we get are answered in our guidance and resources here so we strongly recommend reading this in advance of contacting us.

BF will continue to update our COVID-19 advice here.  You can also subscribe to our new weekly summary email featuring the previous week’s latest news and announcements. Sign up here.

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