09/10/2015- Latest News

The recent changes to the Senior Ranking Scheme had unintended consequences for the Junior Ranking Scheme. 

Specifically the Senior Ranking scheme has adopted a new NIF calculation which affects the number of points gained for results in Senior competitions. This has resulted in Juniors receiving an unexpectedly high number of points in the Junior Ranking Scheme for results achieved in the nominated Seniors competition. 

In reviewing this we have taken into account the following:

  1. The effect on the Junior Ranking Scheme from the changes to the Senior Ranking Scheme was unintentional and accidental.
  2. We are 4 months into the Junior Season.
  3. The Junior Ranking system as published prior to the start of the Junior Season was designed based on the Senior NIF system on that date. Multiplication factors for Senior selection events were factored in based on that NIF system. Therefore the relative ‘value’ of a Junior vs Senior competition was already factored in to the calculations.
  4. The Junior Ranking Scheme should not be changed unexpectedly. To be clear, if someone had come with a proposal to introduce up to 3.5 point multipliers mid-season randomly to one or two competitions in one weapon only that would not be acceptable.
  5. The initial changes do not at this time materially affect Junior International selection. Selectors are still able to factor in the actual and relative results across all the competitions when deciding discretionary selection. International performances should be the focus of those fencers wishing to qualify for the Euros and Worlds.  
  6. The changes do not at this time substantially change the current ranking positions. But the longer term consequences are not yet understood across all weapons and require greater analysis. Any significant change in points drives an associated behaviour change and this is not desired mid-season.
  7. Adjusting the Junior Ranking Scheme mid-season, eg by removing the multipliers, to take into account the new Senior NIF Scheme, could introduce further unknown effects and potentially compound our mistake
  8.  Junior fencers do not feel that these changes were communicated or fairly imposed. Whilst the extra points could be considered an unexpected ‘lucky’ bonus, there could be a negative effect on fencers’ motivation further down the ranking lists affecting the remainder of the season.

It is therefore the decision of British Fencing that the Junior Ranking Scheme should follow the rules and original NIF system as was in operation when the scheme was published prior to the start of the Junior season. 

This will adjust the NIF counts for the competitions since 1st September as follows (all amounts include the 1.5 multipliers): 

Weapon: WE

Competition: Milner-Barry

Original NIF: 118.5                              (NIF calculated under New Senior Scheme: 184.5) 



Competition: Miller Hallet

Original NIF: 103.5                             (NIF calculated under New Senior Scheme: 364.5) 


Weapon: JMS

Competition: Hamlet Open

Original NIF: 69*                          (NIF calculated under New Senior Scheme NIF: 97.5) 

* this is the Junior NIF (senior would have been 43*1.5=64.5) 

(There have not yet been any WS or Foil competitions)

In closing, British Fencing would like to thank those members who have contacted us directly with their views on this matter, and apologise again for the error.


Additional Note:

It is still of some concern that there are people that believe these extra points in a domestic competition would have a significant bearing on International selection.  Juniors that wish to represent their country in European and World Championships should be focussing on their international performances as it will be these that the selectors will be looking at first and foremost. Those fencers wishing to be selected for World Cups should note that selectors look further than simply the ranking and number of points gained – actual and relative results are taken into account.

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