500 reasons to be a team player
The AFF manages athlete entries to many overseas tournaments as outlined here. This includes submitting entries for individuals and teams to FIE, EFC and FCA events where there are no calls for nominations, such as FIE World Cups and satellite events, (Early Closing Events under the AFF Selection Policy). This process is managed according to the AFF Selection Policy and any rules imposed by the event organisers.
Increasingly athletes are nominating for individual events but not making themselves available for team competitions. This is contrary to the AFF’s preference for entering teams in overseas events wherever possible. It also disadvantages other fencers who have observed the Selection Policy and planned their travel accordingly.
Section 2.3 of the AFF Selection Policy provides “Any fencer who nominates for a particular event in a weapon must make themselves available for both the individual and team competitions in that weapon at that event”. As such, a fencer’s availability for team events is presumed where nominations are received for a competition where there is also a team event. While final team selections cannot be confirmed before the AFF Closing Date (30 days prior to the event), fencers can readily determine the likelihood of an Australian team being formed by reviewing individual entries on the event website. Links to this information, which is regularly updated, are provided by the AFF at the time a fencer nominates.
Fencers who register late should always plan on attending the team event pending team announcements. The AFF process for team selections for Early Closing Events, contained in sections A4.39 – A4.41 of the Selection Policy, does not allow Late Registrants to opt out of the team event.
While the AFF is sympathetic to individual circumstances, strict adherence to the Selection Policy is essential to provide greater certainty for all fencers planning their travel, to avoid late fees being levied by tournament organisers and to prevent any unnecessary administrative burden falling on the AFF and the Selection Commission.
As such, for all relevant overseas events scheduled from 10 August 2019 onward, the following penalties, available to the AFF Board under section 2.3 of the Selection Policy, will apply to nominations for all relevant overseas tournaments (Early Closing Events) where a team event is also scheduled:
- Fencers who nominate for the individual event fewer than 30 days prior the individual event (Late Registrants under the AFF Selection Policy) who do not make themselves available for the team event where an Australian team is otherwise able to be constituted will be charged a $500 no-show fee
- Fencers who nominate for the individual event more than 30 days prior the individual event (Early Registrants under the AFF Selection Policy) who do not make themselves available for the team event where there are three or more Early Registered fencers in the individual event will be charged a $500 no-show fee