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Competition Rules

Please see the the AFF Competition Rules (click here) as adjustments to the FIE competition Rules (click here).

Some information which fencers may find useful regarding AFC competition score sheets is as follows:

* The DT team receives score sheets from the field of play in varying states of legibility and sometimes with incorrectly recorded results. For pools, the score grid is taken as the primary score-keeping record, with the list of individual bouts appearing below the grid being used as the secondary score-keeping record where there are errors or missing results from the grid that require clarification.

* Fencers are strongly encouraged to check all scores recorded. It is not the practice of the AFF's DT team to require fencers to sign score sheets, but where this is done, it is taken as a strong indication that the relevant fencer (or coach) has checked all parts of the score sheet, including their own wins, losses, and scores.

* There is also a reasonable level of expectation that the honour of our sport is respected by those fencers whose results are incorrectly recorded in their favour, and will seek to have this corrected regardless of detriment to their own results.

* The competition software that the AFF uses double-checks all scores to ensure that each bout has a winner and loser recorded. Where the software indicates there is an error, or where the DT team identifies this as part of the data entry process, fencers and / or referees are called to the DT office to clarify results where necessary.

* The purpose of the production of the ranking list after the pools and before the direct elimination is to allow fencers to again check all results, specifically to again check that their own results have been correctly recorded. During the course of AFC tournaments each year, a very small percentage of pool ranking lists are identified as incorrect, and invariably these are due to a fencer not checking their pool sheet results prior to their submission to the DT. Generally, corrections are made on the spot, and DEs are re-drawn (where fencing has not commenced in the DE).

Part of any fencer's development includes not just skill and discipline acquisition, it also involves learning about the rules and conventions. This is true of any sport. There is no fault to be found or error to be attributed to any fencer who is still acquiring knowledge about his or her sport. In much the same way that developing fencers learn not to step off the back of the strip, or that they must always have spare equipment ready at the side of the strip, so too are there valuable lessons to be learnt in diligently checking all aspects of score sheets and DE draws in all rounds of an event.
 

Team Events

The AFF hosts five different types of Team events. These are shown below. At all Team events, medals are awarded to the winners, with certificates awarded for second and (equal) third places.  The composition of teams for non-school events is determined (or reconfirmed) at the quarter-final stage of the corresponding individual events, and the order of fencing is determined immediately prior to the relevant round of the Team event.  For all Team events, a minimum of two teams from different States / Countries are required to run the event.

State-based team events (at Under-15s/Cadets, Juniors, and Open Championships) - there is a maximum of two teams per State for each weapon/gender. Where other Nations are competing, this rule extends to two teams per Nation. These events are run as a straight direct elimination, with no separate rounds competed for third place onwards.

Club-based team events (usually only at AFC3 when in Perth) - two teams per club are permitted for each weapon/gender. These events are also run as a straight direct elimination, with no separate rounds competed for third place onwards.

School-based team events (at AFC Schools - Teams) - each State is permitted to enter up to two Teams for each weapon/gender, and the host State may enter a third. All members of each Team must be from the same school. However, where there are less than sixteen Teams competing, any vacant places will be filled from additionally nominated teams in order based on the number of Junior Competitive members in the State. The event is usually run as a pool unique format. However, the specific format of the competition will be determined by the Tournament Management Commission and Tournament organisers once the number of entries is finalised.

School-based team events (at AFC Schools - Individuals) - each State is permitted to enter one team per age category for each weapon/gender, with the team made up of the individual fencers nominated for that event. All members of each Team need not be from the same school. Where there are insufficient individual fencers to make up a team, a state may nominate other fencers to compete on the team - however, each fencer can still only compete in a single individual event. These Team events are run as a straight direct elimination, with no separate rounds competed for third place onwards.

Veteran team events (at AFC Veteran Nationals) - each State is permitted to enter up to two single-gender teams.  If at the time of team declaration (i.e. at the semi-finals of the corresponding individual event), there are only one or two single-gender teams entered, the event will be declared mixed.  If an event is declared mixed, then (a) existing entries may be re-organised to accommodate the change, (b) additional entries may be made by any State, (c) each State is permitted to enter up to two mixed teams.  Alternatively, if an event is declared as a separate Men's and Women's event, made up of single gender teams, a State that would otherwise be unable to enter a team in either event, may then elect to enter one mixed team into the Men's team event.

Veterans Age Categories & Local Events

From 2013, the FIE has changed its age category assessment for veteran fencers. You are now considered as being part of an age category if you turned 50 or 60 or 70 any time in the relevant year (not 1 September any more). This change has also been adopted by the AFF for its domestic circuit to align ranking and selection processes with the FIE, in that you are now considered as being part of an age category if you turned 40 or 50 or 60 or 70 any time in the relevant year (not as at the date of the AFC event). So, for example if you were born any time in 1967, then in all 2017 AFC events and in the 2017 World Veterans Championships, you are considered to be in the 50+ age category. Please note that age calculations are different for Commonwealth Veterans events (see the Competitions / Overseas Events web page on this site for details).

Special rules related to Veterans Individual events:
* Competitions will be "mixed" (include fencers of both genders) in the pools round and direct elimination rounds if there are three or fewer fencers of either gender;
* Where four or five fencers of one gender are present, competitions will be mixed in the pools round only;
* Where there are six or more fencers of both genders present, separate men's and women's competitions will be held as per the present system
* Separate medals will be awarded to men and women based on the current medal-to-entry ratios and structure.

Where a fencer withdraws from a Veterans event at any time up to and including roll call for the reason that it will be a fully or partially mixed event, that fencer will be entitled to receive a full refund of their entry fee for that Veterans event.

Other Age Categories & Local Events

The FIE rules relating to competitor ages apply for entry to all non-school AFF events. However, o.55.1 ("at least 13 years old on 1 January in the year of the competition") applies only for Open, U/23 and Junior (U/20) events. An exception will be permitted for these events where the fencer has achieved a Top 8 at an Under-15s National competition, a Top 16 at a Cadet National competition, or is a member of the Talented Fencer Program.

For Cadet (U/17) events, fencers must be at least 12 years old on 1 January in the year of the competition. For U/15 events, fencers must be at least 10 years old on 1 January in the year of the competition. Exceptions from these minimum age requirements may be considered by the AFF Board on a case by case basis.

Black Card Penalty

Under the National Black Card Policy:

A fencer penalised by a black card (which carries the penalty of exclusion from an event, suspension from the rest of the tournament and exclusion for the following two months of the current or following FIE season) at any international competitions or AFF national competitions, shall be excluded from competing:

  • in official FIE competitions - for two months, from the date of the offence, in the age group competition season in which they are eligible to compete in the current or following FIE season; and
  • in all other international competitions - for two months from the date of the offence; and
  • in the next AFF national tournament in which they would have been eligible to compete; and
  • at the state level - all state and interstate level competitions from the date of the offence to the conclusion of the next AFF national tournament in which they would have been eligible to compete.

The AFF will take responsibility for advising State Associations as to which registered fencers are penalised in accordance with the above policy.

Where the AFF has been advised of the penalisation of a fencer by a black card by an AFF Member State under a State Reciprocal Black Card Policy, the text of which has been ratified across all Member States, the AFF will not register that fencer in any international competition which requires entry by a National Federation on behalf of a fencer, and which takes place during the exclusion period that would apply to a National event under the Reciprocal Black Card Policy.

[Please contact your State Association to obtain a copy of the State Reciprocal Black Card]

ACT Fencing Association - http://www.actfa.org.au/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=867:actfa-black-card-policy&catid=132&Itemid=280

NSW Fencing Association - http://www.nswfencing.org.au/docs/nswfa_black_card_policy_2014.pdf

QLD Fencing Association - http://www.qfa.org.au/index.php/qfa-documents-and-policies/2620-qfa-black-card-policy-revised-september-2014

Fencing South Australia: http://www.fencingsa.org.au/Policies

Fencing Victoria - http://www.sportingpulse.com/get_file.cgi?id=623379

WA Fencing Association - https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-z929Hz0b14RWN4UjF5YmlvUWs&usp=sharing&tid=0B-z929Hz0b14bFJrdkJpWVh2VDg

AFF Late Entry Policy

All AFF National tournaments have a cut-off date for normal entry or registration which is two weeks prior to the first day of the tournament (unless otherwise notified). All entries made after that date are considered to be "late".

It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that their fencers are in good standing with the State, properly affiliated and capitated to the AFF. If a levy is charged by the fencer's affiliated state, the state should notify the Tournament Commission prior to the event of the amount of the levy. If the state has not advised that a late entry fencer's levy has already been paid, it will be added to the late entry fee paid directly by fencers to the AFF Tournament Management Commission representatives and remitted to the fencers affiliated state by the AFF.

Podium Presentation Standards

All AFF National tournaments have podium presentations (medal ceremonies).  All athletes are expected to present themselves appropriately for these presentations and respect the importance of winning a medal at a National sporting event.  The appropriate form of dress for all podium presentations is as follows:

*  For State-representative events (AFC1, AFC2, AFC3, AFC Open Nationals, AFC Aged-based Nationals), athlete must wear the track suit / uniform for their State.  The lower body should be clad in tracksuit pants and sports shoes.  In the absence of a State tracksuit, the athlete must gain permission from a State official (or the Directoire Technique if there are no State officials present) to wear something other than a State tracksuit, being either full whites, or an AFF tracksuit.

*  For Club-representative events (AFC3 Club events only), athlete must wear the track suit / uniform / polo shirt for their Club or (if not available) their State.  The lower body should be clad in tracksuit pants and sports shoes.  In the absence of Club / State attire, the athlete must gain permission from a Club or State official (or the Directoire Technique if there are no Club or State officials present) to wear something other than Club / State attire, being either full whites, or an AFF tracksuit.

*  For School-representative events (AFC School events), athlete must wear the track suit / uniform / polo shirt for their School or (if not available) their State.  The lower body should be clad in tracksuit pants and sports shoes.  In the absence of School / State attire, the athlete must gain permission from a School or State official (or the Directoire Technique if there are no School or State officials present) to wear something other than School / State attire, being either full whites, or an AFF tracksuit.

Unacceptable presentation attire includes Club tracksuits at National events, Australian Fencing Team uniforms, Olympic track suits, or generic tracksuits.  Any exceptions (including those where an athlete wishes to wear a sponsor's promotional attire) must first be discussed with the Directoire Technique, who must have given their explicit permission prior to the presentation ceremony.

Weapons Control

The Weapons Control Policy can be downloaded from the Documents and Policies folder (see here).

Referee Appointment

This policy for the appointment of referees can be downloaded below, and applies to all Open and Veteran Australian Fencing Circuit tournaments.

Transgender Competitors

The AFF's position on transgender competitors follows the FIE's.  This, in turn, follows the current position of the International Olympic Committee, an extract of which is as follows:

1. Those who transition from female to male are eligible to compete in the male category without restriction.
2. Those who transition from male to female are eligible to compete in the female category under the following conditions:
2.1. The athlete has declared that her gender identity is female. The declaration cannot be changed, for sporting purposes, for a minimum of four years.
2.2. The athlete must demonstrate that her total testosterone level in serum has been below 10 nmol/L for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.
2.3. The athlete's total testosterone level in serum must remain below 10 nmol/L throughout the period of desired eligibility to compete in the female category.
2.4. Compliance with these conditions may be monitored by testing. In the event of non-compliance, the athlete’s eligibility for female competition will be suspended for 12 months.

Video Refereeing

Some National competitions may have certain bouts where video refereeing is used.  Where this is so, the standard FIE rules apply in this regard (extract below).