11/05/2023- Latest News


Following community consultation on Referee Provision at BF Championship Events, further information is now available on the provision for the 2023 British Open Championships (3-4th June).  

Following the community consultation on Referee Provision at BF Championship Events, updated information is available for the 2023 British Open Championships, which will be held in Sheffield on 3-4th June 2023.

BF will work with clubs collaboratively to provide the required amount of referees to run a successful event. Clubs impacted by the new quota system (detailed below) are encouraged to contact BF  as soon as possible with any queries or issues they may have.

From the consultation period, we understand that this will affect some clubs who currently feel that they do not have referees to fill their quota at this time; therefore, BF will work with clubs to:

  • Utilise network links with clubs to share responsibilities and create training pathways
  • Look at alternative methods of contribution to the event (for example, event volunteers)


Referee Provision Information

The British Open Championships will pilot the following model for referee provision

Each Club provides a referee based on the number of Fencers they enter:

  • 1-4 fencers   – no referee
  • 5-9 fencers    – 1 referee
  • 10+ fencers  – 2 referees

Note that is quota is based on per weapon per day. For example, a club entering four fencers into Men’s Epee and four into Women’s Foil are not required to provide a referee. However, if a club is entering five fencers into Men’s Epee and three into Women’s Foil, the club must provide one referee.

As this is the first event where this provision is in place, BF wants to work collaboratively with clubs where they must provide referees per their club entries.

The process will work as follows:

  • Clubs are encouraged to contact BF stating their intent to provide a referee following the formula as early as possible but not after the competition’s closing date. As per the event entry lists, BF will also reach out to clubs when they meet five fencers per weapon.
  • Names of nominated referees must be provided to BF before the 26th of May 2023 as soon as possible; before this date is preferred.
  • Clubs are to cover their own referee’s expenses (travel and accommodation). BF can provide details of the ‘official workforce’ hotel BF uses if clubs would like to book their referee into the same hotel.
  • Clubs providing referees will also be offered vouchers for safeguarding training and the opportunity to have a 1-1 session with BF staff exploring support opportunities for their club (e.g. grant application support, welfare training plans, risk assessment reviews, personalised GB League sign-up support).
  • BF is not looking to fine clubs but will fine £250 in the following circumstances:
    • A club does not engage or respond to BFs communications and fails to provide referees.
    • A club agrees to provide support (Referee or other agreed support) following a conversation with BF and then fails to do so (excluding force majeure reasons).

As stated in the proposal, BF will cover the day rates for all referees per the following pay scale at BF Cadet, Junior & Senior Events where the pilot is in place (listed below).

Qualification Level Maximum Day Rate
Domestic Referee: Level 3, Level 2 Qualification £40
International Referee: Active FIE, EFC C Grade Qualification £60


Frequently Asked Questions From Consultation

Q: Is this coming in for all ranking events?

A: At present, this is a pilot which covers the below BF ran portfolio events

  • British Open Championships (excluding GB Cup)
  • Cadet and Junior National Championships
  • British Senior Championships
  • The Cadet and Junior ‘A’ BRCs

Q: My club must provide a referee, but we don’t have any referees, and we cannot afford this pilot?

A: Reach out and talk to us early. There are several alternative options to contribute to the event, for example, event volunteers.  We are also open to discussions about providing more referees or volunteers at one event if there is a particular financial challenge with another.


If you have any questions, contact [email protected]

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