GBR Wheelchair fencers at the World Cup in Warsaw 2019

Refereeing para fencing is essentially the same as for able bodied fencing.

Training therefore is currently provided by home county associations for fencing (i.e England, NI, Welsh or Scottish Fencing) with referees then being able to familiarise themselves with wheelchair fencing through attending domestic and international competitions.

Important things to note are :

  • Due to the close proximity of the fencers far more yellow cards are issued for fencers starting before the referee issues the command to start fencing.
  • Fencers must keep their feet on the footplates of the chair and must not touch the piste with their feet.
  • The Epee apron must not cover more than the correct area as specified in the IWFC rules.
  • Referee Assistants may be appointed to check that the fencer is not lifting from the chair when attacking or defending.

Links to the rules for competition can be found on this website.

Para fencing, previously known as wheelchair fencing, is continually growing and is fully inclusive in that all athletes can participate.

GBR has had a number of world champions and Paralympic medallists in para fencing, and is well represented in the international community, so it is vital to train the next generation of wheelchair fencing referees.

In response to the growing need and awareness of the importance of para fencing within the UK the Joint Home Countries Working Group has included the opportunity to qualify as a domestic para fencing referee as part of the review of the qualification process.

The qualification process will be aligned to the HC basic and level 2 approved refereeing assessment process, including the mentoring process.

To qualify as a Para fencing (Wheelchair) referee is a three stage process

  • stage 1 – Lecture and seminar with a written theory exam can last a full day as the full process is a minimum of 4-5 hours
  • stage 2 – First practical assessment this can only be undertaken at a training camp before a World Cup, or satellite competition ( and can not be assessed by own country’s IWAS examiner)
  • stage 3 – final practical exam to be taken at a World Cup

Learning resources

  • watch as many para fencing YouTube championship videos as you can
  • explore the learning resources  available here 

To find out more or express an interest in becoming a para fencing (wheelchair fencing) referee or examiner, please contact Chris Farren  or complete this expression of interest form


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