Last Updated: 22.03.2024


Inclusion & Accessibility - Welcoming All

There are many factors that play a part in making fencing competitions welcoming for all (not just the fencers) and this can start even before anyone turns up to compete.

For example, are you able to provide basic information about the venue for anyone attending to let them know if there accessible parking bays available, or how many accessible toilets there are? Can you share information about the venue prayer room or a space where people can pray throughout the day? Are you aware of the variations in equipment rules that will allow more people to compete whilst also observing religious beliefs?

More information and guidance will be provided throughout the sections below.

Choosing a Date

We understand that the fencing calendar can be very busy and factors such as venue and referee availability play a big part in deciding the dates of events.

When holding an event, in particular a competitive event, it is important for organisers to check events that are already taking place in the local area, as this could have an impact on entries and workforce.

Please do check the BF calendar – Event Search – for existing licensed events and depending on the fencers/referees you are looking to attract you might wish to check the EFC/FIE/IWAS calendars.

If you are scheduling a major event please contact [email protected] for support and further information on calendar plans.

It is important to note that BF cannot confirm the domestic ranking series competitions for U17 and U20s until the international federations have confirmed the dates – and this can be very late (up to July for the season start in September). Therefore for the September to January competition period there can be late changes.

Often a look at what happened at last year will give you an idea of what might be around that time.

We encourage you to check to see if there are any clashes with key religious holidays. Whilst you might find that a clash is unavoidable, we would encourage you to be mindful of this and be forthcoming in recognising it within the community. This could be as simple as stating that you are aware of the clash on your website, as well as providing any information on steps you might take to support those observing the holiday.

If you are unsure as to what impact this could have on fencers who are planning on observing the holiday and want to understand what you can do to support them, the team at BF will be able to advise.

Selecting a Venue

Most often the choice of a venue is led by space, availability and affordability.

However other considerations such as heating/air conditioning may be a factor depending on the time of year.



You may also want to consider the type of floor (non slip, natural suspension) and other facilities such as a spectator areas and a cafe.

Event Licensing

To be covered by the BF insurance policy all competitions and events must hold a BF Event Licence, whether competitive, ranking, open, closed or simply recreational. More information on Event Licensing here.

Ranking Events

Senior Ranking Events are events that count towards the BF Senior Rankings

Any organiser can apply to host a Senior Ranking Event, providing that it meets the relevant standards and terms and conditions

Organisers must licence their event in the correct ranking package on Sport80 to apply, and will receive an email notification if the licence has been approved.

Once the licence has been approved, the event will show as a Senior Ranking Event on the Event Search

Organisers can access resources for running events on Sport80 here – RESOURCES FOR EVENT ORGANISERS

Junior (U20), Cadet (U17) and U14 Ranking Events – Often referred to as BRCs (British Ranking Competition) are allocated by BF on an annual basis.

There a ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ BRC Events. Find out more about the structure of British Ranking Competitions – BRITISH RANKING COMPETITIONS – EVENT FORMATS – BRITISH FENCING

BF will allocate B events to individual event organisers based on suitability and previous delivery performances. Organisers interested in running a B event should contact [email protected].

Community organisers are invited to express their interest in holding a ‘C’ or ‘D’ BRCs by completing the application form below:


All BRC events must conform with the expected standards of BRCs, which can be found here


Policies and Procedures

Fencing competitions in the UK run under the auspices of British Fencing must adhere to a variety of policies and procedures. These are put in place by BF as the National Governing Body of the sport to help keep our sport safe and provide an appropriate quality environment that meets the needs of all participants – fencers, coaches and volunteers.

For insurance to be valid, your event must follow BF policies and procedures – these include BF Safety and Safeguarding policies and procedures. Information on BF Policies and Procedures can be found in the Policy Zone

It is important that the following incidents are reported to BF using the forms available on the BF website as soon as practically possible:

  • Accidents and Near-Misses
  • Disciplinary offences/ Black Cards
  • Welfare Concerns

Reporting forms/information can be found on contact us page 

Welfare and Safeguarding

You must have a trained welfare officer at all events open to members for the duration of the event. The event welfare officer is not just responsible for the welfare of U18 fencers, but also the welfare of U18 officials and any adults at risk. For a description of the roles and responsibilities of an Event Welfare Officer click here.

You will need to display posters at the event so participants know who the welfare officer is and how to contact them. This information should also be sent out to participants (athletes and officials) in advance, and you should consider adding this information to a referee briefing. All Safeguarding incidents must be reported to BF as soon as practically possible.

There are a number of safety and welfare risks in allowing coaches and supporters too close to pistes.

Organisers can use barriers and accreditation to control the risks around this.

Coaches must be checked on the BF coaching register before being given any accreditation to specific fields of play.

Membership Requirements

All members of the competition organising team must be members (supporter membership is sufficient). Depending on the type of event participants may need to be members. All traditional fencing competitions require participants to hold compete licences, and recreational events require recreational (or starter) memberships. One-off ‘come and try’ sessions open to members of the public do not require participants to be members.

Running Events through the BF Platform allows membership validity and eligibility (such as age) to be automatically checked.

For events that are not using the BF platform to run events, BF provide an online membership checker to help competition organisers check that participants hold valid memberships, for more information contact [email protected]

It is also important to check that fencers are representing affiliated clubs.  If you are using the BF membership platform to accept entries this is automatically done – if you are using a different system you should manually check your lists.

Guidance for U18s travelling alone to competitions (within the UK)

In the majority of situations Under 18’s normally travel with their parents to events and competition and we recognise this as best practice.

However, we also recognise that developing independence is an important  and necessary part of a young person’s development and travelling unescorted is part of that development. Many children travel to and from school by public transport on a daily basis and there is no reason why, as they mature, that young people should not take longer journeys on their own.

Further information and guidance for organisers on this can be found here

Using an online entry system

Cadet, Junior and Senior Ranking Competitions are required to be ran on the BF Platform. Non-ranking competitions may chose to run using an alternative entry system. If you are using an alternative types of event entry system you must make sure that you have the necessary GDPR policies and agreements in place to transfer and publish personal data.

As a reminder, unless your event is a come and try event, you must also make sure that all participants are members. There is a tool available which allows organisers to check valid memberships – contact [email protected] for more details.

Publicising your Event 

Both Competitive and Recreational events have the option to be displayed on the BF Events Calendar, this means that your event can be viewed on the online calendar here

For ranking events, there is a requirement that the event is listed on the BF events system for a minimum period of time – see the event licensing terms and conditions for more information

Timetabling your Event

It is important to timetable out the event in advance, particularly if your event has multiple categories of competition (eg different weapons or age groups) happening on the same day.

Consideration must be given to providing enough time for warm-ups (eg don’t start the event 20 mins after the venue opens!) and suitable rest periods which should take into account the age/ability/experience of the competitors. For example competitions for young children or veterans may need to provide longer breaks between rounds (than the minimum required under the rules). This consideration must be recorded in the risk assessment.

Whilst fencers may wish to compete in two events at the same time this is not recommended (particularly for those U15) due to the potential impact on the fencer, the other fencers and the organising team. In any case only in exceptional circumstances should this be allowed and must be signed off by the event welfare officer and noted on the risk assessment.

Timetables will obviously depend on the numbers that enter and the format used. There are a large number of formats that can be used (there are some restrictions on ranking event formats) so it is important is that you let people know in advance what they can expect.

If there will be unavoidable larger breaks between rounds, make sure people are aware in advance that these are going to happen and ensure that there is room for people to wait safely.

If you are delivering seated fencing as part of your competition, the timetabling will be different from a standing to allow longer for poules and more time between the DE’s.

BF can provide more support on request.

First Aid/Medical Provision

You should consider whether your event requires medical cover, as different competitions have different requirements. Depending on the type of competition you are running you may need St John’s Ambulance services or local services.

It is important to ensure you have access to the Accident and Injury Forms in the case of an incident. For more information click here.

Defib units are required for all Veteran Events (events aimed at age categories over 40).

Communicating to Participants

It is important to think about how you will communicate to participants and at the venue.

Organisers running events on the BF Events Platform can send emails to all participants through the event admin panel.

Event webpages and social media reminders are also a great way to reach people so they know what to expect.

In competition posters are a great eye-catching way to inform and educate people.

At all compete level (including all ranking) competitions the codes of conduct for fencers, coaches and parents (or posters with QR codes which link to the codes) should be clearly displayed.

Think about how you will communicate information to your attendees pre the event. Ensure your pre-event information is clear and attendees have contact details to reach organisers if they have any questions or issues. E.g. a number to ring if running late to check in.

Organisers running events on the BF Events Platform can send emails to all participants through the event admin panel. Find out more here

Risk Assessments 

You will need to conduct a risk assessment for the event for the insurance to be valid.  Sometimes this may be undertaken by the venue itself, but it will need to be amended for the competition.

It is most likely you will be responsible for the risk assessment and will need to liaise with the venue on this.  A Risk Assessment may have been undertaken for a previous event at the same venue and it is worth obtaining a copy of this to provide a starting point for your event.

Either way, start your risk assessment early and don’t forget to review it on the morning of the competition (at the venue!) and update it if anything has changed. BF provide a sample Event Risk Assessment Template1 and Template2 which can be used as a starting point.

GDPR Compliance 

If you are running your event through the BF membership platform and you are only downloading the data you need to put into the competition management software you can be confident that you are GDPR compliant.

If you are planning to do something different, you need to make sure you have a Privacy Policy in place and accessible that covers how you will use participant data. You also need to check the Privacy Policies of any entry systems you use and ensure that you can demonstrate that these are GDPR compliant and that you have a record of the informed consent of individuals to process their data which includes passing it to any third party providers you are using.


When organising an event, it is important to consider who will be on the organising team for the event. Roles to consider for your event:

  • DT
  • Welfare Officer
  • Floor Team
  • Armoury
  • Check in

Some of these roles may require the volunteer to be on BF workforce registers – for example Event Welfare Officers need to be on the BF Welfare Officer register.

Once you have your team in place, it’s important to provide them with a helpful briefing before the competition gets underway. The purpose of the briefing will of course be to ensure the team understand the competition format and scheduling for the day, but it’s also a great opportunity to remind them of the role they play in providing an inclusive, safe and fun environment for all involved. If you are providing a prayer room or space to pray, it’s helpful for your volunteers and referees to know this is available, either for themselves, or so that they can point a fencer in the right direction without having to tell them to ask someone else.

It’s also useful to remind them of any safety updates, for example ensuring they know it is acceptable for to wear tracksuits over breaches (800N) and socks on the day as long as the pockets of the tracksuit bottoms are sewn shut. Remind referees and DT members that they not be asking fencers to remove trousers to prove there are breeches underneath.  It is the role of the welfare officer to confirm (in consultation with parents if the child is U18) that the correct breeches are being worn and inform the referees as part of the briefing.



Finding Referees

If you are looking for referees for your event, BF can help to promote your event within the refereeing community. Complete the Referee Request Form for Competition Organisers  for your event to be listed as an upcoming  refereeing opportunity 




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