03/06/2021- Member

Restarting Domestic Ranking & International Fencing

A summary of the approach being taken to restart competitive ranking events and prepare for the restart of international events.

With the loss of the 2020-21 season, several factors will affect the restart of fencing competitions and these in turn will impact rankings, selection events and how the competition system and structure supports GBR athlete development. The overall intention as we restart is to provide more opportunities and choice for domestic ranking competition and more flexibility to use international fencing competitions as development opportunities.

Read below for more information on

  • FIE & EFC International Season
  • Ranking Carry Overs
  • Adapting Existing Ranking Schemes
  • New Ranking Schemes
  • Community Consultation on Proposed Ranking Schemes
  • Domestic Ranking Competitions
  • Selection Policies


FIE & EFC International Season 

Pre-COVID, BF would be able to plan out a domestic competition structure around a series of known international competitions and dates.  (As a reminder of this pre-COVID process see 2020-21 Structured Season.)

At the time of writing we (understandably) have not received confirmation of the 2021-22 FIE & EFC international calendars. As we reach the end of an Olympic cycle we are also aware that the FIE/EFC may take this opportunity to introduce changes (as part of the usual post Olympic competition review process).

BF remains open to the possibility of using foreign domestic circuit competitions for both athlete development and selection where travel restrictions to those countries are sufficiently lifted.


Ranking Carry Overs 

All 2021-22 rankings will be (re-)starting with a % carry over – more details can be found here. This approach balances the need to recognise previously achieved results, alongside the desire to support fencers transitioning into a new age group and opening up the possibilities for a larger group of fencers aiming for other Home Nation selections.

In taking this decision it is noted that that:

  • there have been no ranking events since March 2020 which has impacted two senior seasons
  • the entire 2020-21 season was lost to Cadet and Juniors, and for these vital developmental age groups, two seasons’ fencer cohorts will be moving into a different age group as we restart.

Members wishing to understand more about the carry over calculations will have the opportunity to ask questions as part of the related ranking scheme community discussion events (see below).


Adapting Existing Ranking Schemes

Senior: The Senior ranking scheme will be evolving to allow more fencers to be recognised and rewarded through the ranking system which in turn will support a rebuilding of domestic competition

U17 & U20: To aid and accelerate U17 & U20 fencer development, the intention is that the schemes will allow greater choice of competitive opportunities at various developmental levels with the ranking points available better reflecting relative performance levels.

The Senior, U20 & U17 ranking schemes will be made available for community consultation prior to being launched mid July 2021 (see below).


New Ranking Schemes

Following a review of the athlete development pathway and pipeline, BF will be introducing 3 new schemes:

  • U23 – to support U20s transitioning into the senior space and provide another development focus for U23 fencers with the desire to continue their pathway journeys and support those with ambitions of attending major Senior Championships (Europeans, Worlds)
  • U14 – to encourage the development of all fencers who wish to progress along the performance pathway and support those with the longer term ambition of representative fencing (Home Nation & GBR).
  • Intermediate – intended for intermediate senior development purposes and to seed the GB Cup or other national intermediate competitions.

All schemes will be made available for community consultation prior to being launched. This work will follow on after the Senior, U20 & U17 schemes have been approved.


Community Consultation on Proposed Ranking Schemes 

The proposed Senior, U20 & U17 schemes will be published for community consultation by 4th June at the latest.

Consultation will close at 12 midday on 18th June.

As part of this consultation process BF will be hosting two community events on 14th & 15th June for those members wishing to understand more about the proposed schemes.  Further information and sign-up here. 


Domestic Ranking Competitions

Senior: Senior Ranking Events will be licensed from 1st September,  but this may be subject to change depending on restrictions. BF will be continually liaising with the Home Nations on this.

Where entry restrictions impact the size of entry for senior competitions we will review whether it is still appropriate to use senior competitions as ranking events for U20s.


Cadet (U17) & Junior (U20):  With all the factors and uncertainty we cannot guarantee that any competition retains its former BRC status. Without known international dates (see above) we will need to introduce more flexibility and choice into the U17 & U20 domestic calendar.

To aid and accelerate U17 & U20 fencer development, there is also a requirement to provide more choice of competitive opportunities at various levels.

Domestically, the intention is to provide 2-3 high quality championship (A) level competitions (including U17 & U20 National Championships) alongside an increased number of (B) local area/regionally based competitions where ranking points and greater competitive experience can be gained to support ambitions to move up the performance pathway. This new structure is also intended to reduce travel and cost (especially for athletes moving through the lower stages of the performance pathway) whilst also providing greater choice for athletes to select appropriate competitions based on their individual development plans and location (including opportunities for those athletes that may not wish to travel internationally due to COVID risks and restrictions).

Our initial planning for the 2021-22 U17 & U20 structured season will be based on the assumption that the EFC/FIE calendars will broadly follow the outline of the last full competitive season (2019-20).  However, we will need to be flexible in the event the international calendar and our ability to send a team abroad changes due to reasons outside our control. BF will aim to publish the high level 2021-22 structured season by 10th June.


Selection Policies

Following the BF Ranking Scheme consultation, BF will be publishing draft Senior, U20 & U17 selection policies. Our aim is to run the consultation process from 21st Jun to 5th July, with two community events on Mon 28th June and Tues 29th June. More information about how to sign up for these events will be published along with the draft policies (prior to 21st June).


More Information

Consultation opens for 2021-2022 ranking scheme.

British Ranking Competitions (BRCs) for Cadet and Junior age groups scheduled for July,

Percentage carry over from 2020 rankings for new 2021 ranking lists.

A summary of the current situation and expected next steps for Ranking Competition Organisers.





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