Rules for NSW Schools Fencing Competitions

These Rules govern NSW Schools Competitions. They are kept under review and are applied by the tournament officials – the Directoire Technique (DT) and Referees.

 Competitor Age Categories

School fencers are sorted into age categories based on their age as at 1 January. For example, a fencer who turns 15 on or after 1 January fences in the Under 15 category. A fencer who turns 15 before 1 January fences in the Senior category.

Schools fencing age categories are:

Under 7
Under 9
Under 11
Under 13
Under 15
Senior (over 15)

Clothing and Equipment

  • All bouts for all age groups are to be fenced with electric equipment (this requires a wired weapon, body wire and a lame (for foil and sabre).
  • Competitors must wear an under-plastron (half jacket), fencing jacket, fencing breeches and long socks. For U13s and younger in foil and sabre, tracksuit pants are acceptable. Pockets must be sewn or zipped shut.
  • Under-plastrons must be of 800N grade with the maker’s FIE certification stamp.
  • Jackets and breeches must be of a minimum 350N grade with the maker’s FIE certification stamp.
  • A fencer’s legs must be completely covered (fencing breeches and long socks or track suit pants for U13 and younger in foil and sabre). Tights and shorts are not acceptable.
  • Jackets and breeches must fit properly so no skin is exposed.
  • Fencers must have a glove for the weapon hand in good condition without any holes caused by wear and tear.
  • Masks must be of a minimum 350N grade with the maker’s FIE certification stamp and must be in good condition.
  • Masks must be well fitted and have two securing devices (usually a tang and an elastic strap) to hold the mask firmly in place. The elastic strap must be in good condition.
  • All female fencers must wear a breastplate.
  • It is recommended that all male fencers wear a groin protector (either of the cricket box or jockstrap type).
  • It is recommended that male fencers in epee, up to and including U13, wear a chest protector.
  • Fencing shoes or trainers must be worn.
  • Parents and other spectators are requested to wear soft-soled shoes.

See: NSWFA Equipment and Safety Policy – 2014

 

Weapon Sizes

Foil Competitions

  • U13 and above competitions are fenced with foils from size 0 to 5 (5 is full size)
  • U11, U9, U7 competitions are fenced with foils from size 0 to 3

Epee Competitions

  • U13 and above competitions are fenced with epees from size 0 to 5 (5 is full size)
  • U11, U9, U7 competitions are fenced with epees from size 0 to 3

Sabre Competitions

  • U13 and above competitions are fenced with epees from size 0 to 5 (5 is full size)
  • U11, U9, U7 competitions are fenced with epees from size 0 to 3

Parents should consult their child’s school or individual coach about the appropriate weapon size.

 

Individual Event Entry Rules

  • Fencers may compete in their own age category and a higher age category (fencing up). Parents should consult their child’s coach before entering them in a higher age category.
  • Fencers may compete in more than one weapon category at schools competitions, provided their second weapon entry does not overlap in time with their first, however we encourage schools fencers to specialise in one weapon.

 

Team Event Entry Rules

  • Teams are comprised of three or four fencers. The fourth fencer is a reserve and can be used as a substitute during the match.
  • The team fencing order will be nominated by the Team Captain on the score sheet before the match begins.
  • If a substitution is to be made, the Team Captain must advise the Referee and the opposing Team Captain before the commencement of the bout preceding the one in which the substitution is to be made.
  • Team members who fence in the direct elimination rounds must be the same individuals who fenced in the pools qualifying round. Team managers and coaches should ensure that fencers will be available for both the pools and direct elimination rounds when submitting team entries.
  • If a team member who fenced the pools round is unable to fence in the direct elimination rounds through injury or sickness, and the team has only three members, then a substitution may be made from another team from the same school entered in the competition with the permission of the Directoire Technique.
  • Under 13 fencers may not fence in both an U13 and U15 team. The only exception allowed is to name a fencer from an U13 team as a reserve but they may only be used in the U15 team in the case of injury; they may not be used as a tactical substitution.
  • In boys’ foil only, U15 fencers may not fence in both an U15 and a Senior team.
  • An U15 team must have at least one fencer aged over 13.

 

Competition Formats

Individual Events

  • These will be fenced as a round of pools, followed by a direct elimination round with all fencers promoted from the pools. The pools bouts will be to 5 hits in 3 minutes.
  • For U15 and Senior events, direct elimination bouts will be fenced to 15 hits in three sessions of 3 minutes.
  • For U13, U11, U9, U7 events, direct elimination bouts will be fenced to 10 hits in two sessions of 3 minutes.
  • When there are fewer than 8 fencers in an event, it will be fenced as a pool unique (all fencers compete in the same pool and the final result is determined by the results of their pool bouts).

Team Events

  • The format for team competitions will generally be to 45 hits (9 bouts of up to 5 hits in 3 minutes), except where the Directoire Technique may decide, for reasons of time, to reduce the target to 27 hits (9 bouts of up to 3 hits in 2 minutes).

 

Referees

Referees are assigned by the Directoire Technique to manage individual bouts and team matches.

Category A Referees are those who have been assessed as competent and are rostered to attend Schools Competitions. Their role includes supervising and mentoring less experienced referees and presiding over semi-final and final bouts. Experienced referees are also drawn from members of NSW Squads.

Schools are required to provide referees capable of managing pool bouts and some direct elimination bouts.

NSWFA facilitates the training of referees with courses available during the year.

Please contact the State Officiating Director if you require information, guidance or assistance in providing school referees.

 

Rules of Fencing

Generally, the FIE Rules of Fencing and normal competition procedures will apply, except that:

  • Weapons are not checked for tip weight and travel at the beginning of each bout.
  • Weapon faults detected at the beginning of a bout do not receive a yellow card.
  • For all but Seniors, the non-combativity rule will not be applied (i.e. bouts will run to full time and will not be shortened if the fencing action is slow). For Seniors, the non-combativity rule will apply in both individual and team events.
  • Stepping off the piste will be treated leniently by Referees where the piste edge is not clearly marked (i.e. when fencing on a wooden floor).

 

Etiquette and Discipline

The FIE Rules and the NSWFA Code of Conduct and Rules of Entry apply to all competitions managed by NSWFA, including schools events.

The FIE Rules are here: www.fie.ch/Fencing/Rules.aspx.com

The NSWFA Code of Conduct

These rules require all participants including fencers, parents, coaches and others to observe high standards of courtesy and show respect to opponents, to tournament officials and to the sport of fencing.

In particular, Referees at schools competitions must not be subject to any abuse, criticism or influence.

Breaches of the rules and accepted standards of proper behavior will be regarded seriously and may result in disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion from membership of NSWFA or banning from fencing events.

All participants should be familiar with the principles of fair play as explained on the Play by the Rules website: www.playbytherules.net.au

 

Rules for NSW Schools Fencing Competitions – reviewed January 2017