19/04/2022- Coach

Guide to BYC Accreditation 2022

All the information that coaches and parents/guardians/carers need around accreditation for the British Youth Championships (BYCs), which is taking place for the first time since 2019.

For a large number of fencers and their families attending the event, this will be the first time they have taken part in the BYCs. For many others, this might be their first major competition since 2019. With that in mind, we aim to provide as much information about the accreditation process to help prepare fencers and their families before the BYCs kicks off on Saturday 30th April in Sheffield.

We have put a series of FAQs together (see below) and on Monday 25th April at 7pm, we will be running a drop-in session for coaches and parents/ guardians/carers who may have questions about accreditation. Please sign up here if you would like to join us. Evie and Virginia from the BF team will be on the Zoom call to answer your questions.


Why is there an accreditation system in place?

There are several reasons why an accreditation system has been introduced at BF events. Field of Play (FoP) accreditation was in part introduced to control and improve the quality of the immediate environment around the fencer when they compete. Over the years an increasing number of parents, coaches etc have wished to support fencers by occupying spaces closer and closer to the piste which causes safety issues and makes refereeing more difficult.

Importantly fencers tell us that they do not like this overcrowding and it makes it harder to concentrate.

Accreditation is also an important part of us managing the experience for young people and helps us uphold the Fair Play Code which we expect everyone to follow for the event.  (You can find an article on coaching and supporting fencers at U14 events here, and the role of a parent during a match here.)


Do I need FoP accreditation if I am just coming to the event?

No. There is spectator seating and standing room in both halls with space to view all pistes.


As a parent/guardian/carer do I need FoP accreditation?

No. Unless the fencer’s coach is not present at the event and they need your assistance whilst on piste during the DE’s, you do not need to enter the FoP.  (DE stands for Direct Elimination. This is the fencing term for the knock-out stages of the tournament which follows the round robin groups – the ‘poules’)


I am a parent/guardian/carer do I need BF membership to apply for FoP accreditation?

Yes. This helps us monitor and know who has access piste side. The names of those applying are checked against our safeguarding register and on the membership database to ensure the safety and wellbeing of fencers are not compromised. Also, by signing up as a member of BF you are signing up to our policies and codes of conduct which are the basis on which all our fencing activity takes place.


If I have accreditation, when can I use it?

There will be no access to the FoP for coaches or parents/guardians/carers during the poules. If an athlete requires additional (non-coaching) FoP assistance during the poules, please contact [email protected] to discuss appropriate arrangements.

It is expected that fencers competing at the BYCs will be capable of plugging themselves on and off boxes by themselves. Whilst referees will be able to provide assistance should a problem arise (especially in the U12s) we would recommend that inexperienced fencers are given plenty of opportunity to practice this in club before attending. Please talk directly to your club coach about this.


What are the FoP rules?

From the DE stages, the following process will be in place:

    • All those applying for a FoP accreditation (coaches or parents/guardians/carers) must be a BF member and agree to the BF Codes of Conduct.
    • Coaches applying for accreditation are required to be on the BF Coach Register.
    • Each athlete will be allowed ONE accredited piste-side supporter (coach or parent/carer), at any one time on the FoP, during the DE.
    • They will be granted access for the duration of their athlete’s bout (match) only and must leave the FoP once the bout has finished.
    • If individuals remain on the FoP despite being asked to leave by an official, they will have their accreditation removed. Referees and the event team, have the right to remove accreditation from people in these instances.
    • Accredited individuals are expected to cooperate with referees and the event team throughout the duration of the event.
    • There will be a zero-tolerance approach towards abuse directed at referees and the event team. You may also face additional disciplinary action by BF if you fail to comply with the procedures in place.

Individuals applying for accreditation are accepting that they are personally responsible for upholding the FoP rules and should not wait until an official reminds them they are required to leave the field of play.

The markings for the Field of Play will be clearly displayed at the entrance of each venue and event staff will be on hand to assist throughout the competition.

BF are committed to improving the sustainability of our events, therefore all individuals are required to return their accreditation before leaving the venue. Each accreditation will be unique and assigned to a single individual/athlete.


How do I apply for accreditation?

Please complete this form by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 26th April. Any applications received after this might not be processed.


When will I find out if my application for accreditation has been accepted?

With limited staff resources, we are unable to respond personally to every application. If you tick the box at the bottom of your application form you will get an email copy of the submitted application for your records.  If we have any questions on your application we will be in touch, otherwise, provided you have submitted it by the deadline it will be ready to collect at the venue on the day of the competition.


*Field of Play: This includes the piste, the surrounding run-off around the piste and any other area in the event space that the event organisers clearly mark out as Field of Play.

If you have any general questions about the BYCs, please submit them via this form and a member of the BF team will respond.

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