At national tournaments the AFF relies on two types of referees:
- Independent referees - selected or appointed, either as volunteers or paid officials who are not participating as fencers in the competition in question.
- Fencer referees - designated to referee while being competitors in the event.
The preferred method is to only use independent referees. However, in National Open, Under-23 and Veteran events for which there are not enough independent referees to cover all the refereeing responsibilities, then the AFF Referee Policy provides guidelines as to how fencer referees will be selected.
This policy does not apply to Cadet, Junior or School Competitions, where separate procedures are in place.