Information for schools’ fencers

Congratulations on choosing fencing as your sport. You will find it exciting and enjoyable.

You may be chosen by your school to enter New South Wales schools fencing competitions.

Here are some handy tips.

Above all, winning is great but doing your best, representing your school with honour and enjoying the challenge is what it’s really all about.



To fence in a NSW schools competition you must be either a Junior Registered or Junior Affiliated member of the New South Wales Fencing Association.

The Junior Registered category is for Schools Competitions. If you want to enter State and maybe National Competitions as well, you will need to become a Junior Affiliated member.

Your registration should be done online at by your parent or guardian.


Competition entry

You must enter online at for each competition you fence. This must be done by the Friday of the week preceding your competition – that is, 7 days before your competition day. Please have your membership log-in and credit card details handy. Entries will NOT be accepted on the day of the competition. Please consult your School Fencing Coach about which competitions you should enter.


Age categories

For 2017:

  • Under 7 – born on or after 2010
  • Under 9 – born on or after 1 Jan 2008
  • Under 11 – born on or after 1 Jan 2006
  • Under 13 – born on or after 1 Jan 2004
  • Under 15 – born on or after 1 Jan 2002
  • Senior – born on or before 31 Dec 2000


Clothing and equipment

You need to have the correct clothing and equipment before you can fence. This includes an 800N under-plastron, a 350N mask in good condition, 350N jacket and breeches (track suit pants with closed pockets are OK for U13 foil and sabre), a fencing glove, long socks, fencing shoes or trainers, a weapon in good condition, a body wire. Some schools provide this equipment and a limited amount is available for hire at competitions. It’s best to have your own if possible.

If you have any questions, please see the teacher in charge of fencing at your school, or your school coach.


Before the competition

Get a good night’s sleep – you need to be up and ready to go early in the morning.

If you have your own equipment, check that it is in good working order and packed in your fencing bag so you can make a clean start in the morning.

Bring a water bottle, food and your school tracksuit.


At the competition

Make sure you arrive in good time – at least 30 minutes before your event is due to begin and longer if you have to hire equipment.

On arrival at the venue, go straight to the registration desk and have your name ticked off.

Get into your fencing gear and do some warm up exercises – you can also have a practice bout or two before the competition starts.

Listen carefully to the announcements and be ready to go to your nominated piste. You must be ready to fence by the time the competition starts and your name is called for your first bout.


During the competition

Salute your opponent before and after the bout and shake hands at the end of the bout. Showing courtesy and respect to your opponent is an important part of fencing.

Listen to the referee and follow his or her instructions.

You can ask the referee to explain why he or she made a particular decision but you must not argue with the referee.

At the beginning of each passage of play, the referee will say: “Come on guard, ready?, fence!”

If you are not ready when the referee calls “ready?” say so. The referee will give you time to get ready.

If you need to stop the bout for a good reason (maybe your blade is bent or your body wire has come undone) raise your hand to the referee who will pause the bout.

At the end of your pool round, check that your scores have been entered correctly on the score sheet.

When the pool results are posted on the wall, check that your Indicator is correct. If you have won 3 bouts out of 6 your Indicator will be 0.500.



Medals are awarded for first (gold), second (silver) and equal third (bronze). Medal presentation ceremonies are held soon after each competition finishes. Please be ready to accept your medal and wear your school jacket.



Results will be posted to the Results & Rankings page of the NSWFA website. If you’ve won a medal, your name may appear on the Sports Results page of Monday’s Sydney Morning Herald or Daily Telegraph.



Please don’t leave your equipment lying about for people to trip over. It should be in your bag or placed against a wall.

When you are carrying a weapon, hold the tip down. Don’t wave the weapon in the air where it may hit someone passing by.


Food and drink

Please don’t take food and drink onto the fencing pistes.

Please pick up your rubbish and put it in the bin.


Enjoy your fencing!