07/10/2015- 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.
Having now reviewed the outcome of these changes it is clear that they do not materially affect Junior International selection. Selectors are still able to factor in the actual results across all the competitions when deciding discretionary selection. They also do not substantially change the current ranking positions.
We acknowledge that Junior fencers do not feel that these changes were fairly imposed. Whilst the extra points could be considered a bonus to the top fencers that generally do well anyway, there could be a negative effect on fencers’ motivation further down the ranking lists affecting the remainder of the season.
Had we been in a position to review the consequences in advance we may have still adopted the new Senior NIF calculation but would have reduced the impact of the increased NIF count,  and communicated this in advance to the members.
We believe that it is right that to acknowledge our error, apologise and take remedial steps if necessary. As mentioned above, this isn’t about International selection – which will be unaffected, but more about the principle.
Therefore we are currently working with the Junior Ranking Coordinators to look at the options and at this stage are considering:

  • a)      Whether or not to introduce a balancing factor to off-set the unexpected increase. This may simply be the removal of the 1.5 multiplier
  • b)      Revert to using the NIF as calculated under the old system

British Fencing would not under normal circumstances retrospectively reduce points. However in this case we have made a genuine error and we hope that you will bear with us whilst we look into the matter.
British Fencing would also like to thank those members who have contacted us directly with their concerns. If there is anything further members would like to add please do so by emailing [email protected] by 5pm 08/10/2015.
In the meantime, we would like to apologise to the affected Junior fencers and parents.
Additional Note
This issue has highlighted a need in British Fencing to have an individual directly responsible for the Junior Ranking scheme and we therefore intend to officially appoint a volunteer National Junior Rankings Manager who will work to ensure that the ranking scheme best meets the needs of the sport and its participants in both development and performance fencing. This manager will liaise with the National Senior Rankings Manager (currently Peter Smith) over any future changes, consult appropriately on the likely impact and communicate changes in advance to the membership. Members interested in that position, which will be advertised on the website, should notify [email protected].

Georgina Usher – 7.10.15

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