18/01/2023- GBR


Ranking competitions must implement new rules at the latest by 1st March. All subsequent BRCs, U23 British Championships and the Senior British Championships will be run following the new rules.

In December 2022 the FIE Congress approved changes to the passivity/non combativity rules (FIE Technical Rulebook – t.124) which came into effect on 1st January 2023.

As these are the rules that will be followed when our athletes compete internationally, it is important that these are implemented for UK competitions as soon as practically feasible, but also allowing for reflections from the interpretations being observed at the first few FIE events.


Senior Ranking Tournaments (Opens) 

Unless a senior ranking competition has an FIE qualified head referee it is our recommendation that competition organisers should follow the ‘old’ rules for January, briefing the referees and competitors accordingly until 1st March by which point all ranking competitions must use the new rule.

If you have questions related to the rule that you would like answered (that are not answered by the FIE rules as written) please forward these to [email protected] with ‘FIE Passivity Rule’ in the subject header. We may not be able to reply individually but we will incorporate the answers into subsequent guidelines.


U23/U20/U17 British Ranking Competitions

As at 1st January there remained just one junior BRC events per weapon left before selections for the Cadet and Junior Europeans taking place in February.

After consulting with Athlete Development Programme coaches (who are preparing the GBR team for upcoming Cadet and Junior Europeans) and BRC competition organisers it was decided not to implement the new rule for these last events. This information was communicated directly to the event organisers. The ADP camps continue to provide opportunities for athletes to practice the new rules.

In line with the Senior Ranking tournaments all BRCs after 1st March will be subject to the new passivity rule. Note that there are currently no further U23/U20/U17 BRCs planned until after the Cadet and Junior Worlds in April. (see calendar here.)

For BRC competitions after 1st March BF will support the referees and competition organisers with implementing the new rules, working with the competition Head Referees. The Head Referee will be responsible for incorporating additional guidance into the usual briefing for all referees at the start of the day until the new rule is embedded for organisers, referees and athletes.

Following feedback from the events being run internationally, any further clarification provided by the FIE and informal consultation with competition organisers, BF will be providing additional guidance for referees, fencers and competition organisers. Specifically we are aware of questions in relation to the EFC U14s and unranked fencers , those referred to in the entry list as 999’s which the BF Rules Committee will be reviewing and commenting on separately.


Please note that unless any further information has been received from the FIE the rules will be followed as written.

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