05/10/2020- Covid 19

Activity group size increases to 15 in Higher Education (England)

Fencing activities delivered to students in higher education institutions covered by the 2nd October government exemption can now take place in groups of up to 15.

  • The exemption does not currently cover recreational use, i.e. hall bookings for groups of friends to fence. Nor does it cover community clubs using higher education facilities or university clubs that have non student/community members. These remain covered by the ‘Rule of Six’.
  • Over-18s are only covered by the exemption for sport for educational purposes but this does include intra-mural, training and inter-university competitions.
  • This includes anything related to the curriculum/sport-related degree programmes.
  • Playing for school/college/university teams is covered by the exemption both at an intra-mural and inter-university level.
  • The exemption does not apply to all activity that happens to take place on the university site. i.e. playing for a university fencing team is exempt, but another club that happens to use the university facilities or is loosely associated would not fall under the exemption. It could still go ahead, but the rule of 6 would apply as with other indoor team sport.
  • Over-18s and under-18s (who are students at the university) can play together without restrictions only where this falls under the education exemption (as set out above). If not, the under-18s are exempt, but if an over-18 joins, the rule of six applies to everyone.
  • Other than when actually fencing the 2m social distancing rules should be strictly adhered to.
  • All other BF guidelines and fencing adaptations should be implemented.
  • Consideration should be given to minimise exposure by avoiding unnecessary travel and mixing with teams from other universities

More information here.

The updated BF Return to Fencing Guidance for England can be found here.

Please note that registered Coaches and Welfare Officers are not included in the 15.

Coaches and clubs must continue to adhere to the specific published fencing adaptations designed to reduce risk including those regarding maximum sparring times/bouts.

It may not be sensible or practical to deliver sessions to groups as large as 15. Decisions on group sizes for your setting should be based on:

  • the ability to maintain social distancing at all other times other than when doing sparring/pairs work.
  • BF guidance on coach ratios
  • the ability of those in attendance to maintain social distancing and practise hand hygiene
  • your session plan (expected movement, use of space, equipment)
  • the size or layout of your premises

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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