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The selection of Australian Teams for International Competitions has always been based on multiple selection criteria. The selection criteria which have been included are:  the Australian Rankings, having a minimum required number of Australian ranking points, having completed an approved overseas training and competition tour, and having achieved benchmark performances in national and international events even if you are the number one ranked fencer on the Australian Rankings. In the past there have been instances of the number one ranked fencer not being selected for Australian Teams because they didn’t meet all of these criteria.

It has never been the case that Australian rankings are the sole criteria for selecting Australian and it is misleading to suggest that this is a change that has occurred with the introduction of the AFF’s new strategic approach to High Performance. The only change that has occurred is that the selection process now occurs in two stages (selection of the AFT/AFS at the beginning of the competition year and final team selection three months before the event) with the first stage being earlier in the year to give teams more time to prepare for the major international events.

The current system requires that nominees satisfy multiple criteria and then the eligible nominee with the highest ranking who meets these criteria is selected. That is a “merit” based system with “merit” being determined on multiple criteria not just rankings.

The current policy is to select the strongest National Team possible from those who qualify and nominate to be on the National Team approximately 12 months prior to the World Championships in each age category. Therefore, selection is based on merit. As there are more fencers selected on the National Team at the start of the “year” to allow for injury etc there is a further selection process before each particular event.