05/02/2021- Events

Piste Lengths for U14s – BF Consultation

BF welcomes member views and feedback by 1st March on proposals to permit 10m long pistes for U14 fencing.

BF is currently considering a proposal which will allow U14s to fence on pistes 10m long (compared to the full size 14m long).

Shorter pistes for younger fencers are already common in countries such as France and Italy, and reduced field of play areas is already in place for many other sports in the UK.

The main reasons driving this change are:

  • Shorter length pistes provide for greater opportunity for young fencers to fence ‘in distance’ which in turn enhances learning.
  • As we exit from COVID-19 restrictions it is expected that clubs and competition organisers will face a greater challenge in finding suitable venues. Reducing the length of the piste for U14s will allow organisers of U14 competitions more flexibility in layout and implementing social distancing.


The proposal does not currently include moving the on guard lines. This is to ensure that fencers are suitably separated at the start of the bout in consideration of the fact that 13/14 year old fencers can often be of adult height. However we welcome views on whether on guard lines should be moved closed together (3m apart) for U14 or younger age groups.

This proposal is also not currently intended to be mandatory, however competition organisers would be expected to communicate if shorter pistes are in use and ask referees to remind fencers before commencing bouts.  In addition there must be consistency of use for a single (on the day) competition – organisers cannot have some U14 fencers on full size and some on shorter, nor can they move onto full size (or vice versa) between rounds.


In responding to the consultation please include consideration of the following questions:

  1. Do you support the change to piste length to 10m for U14s. If yes, why. If no, why?
  2. Do you agree that any change should be optional, rather than mandatory?  If yes, why. If no, why?
  3. What are your views on moving the on guard lines for U14 or any other younger age category?

The consultation is open until 1/3/21. To respond to the consultation please click here.


Subscribe to our new weekly summary email featuring the previous week’s latest news and announcements. Sign up here.

Join the conversation. Share your stories using #BritishFencing on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Our Partners

  • Our Partners