Lancashire Schools

The Lancashire Schools tournament will take place on the 29th of April at Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe. There will be competitions at all 6 weapons for under-11, under-14, under-17 and under-20 fencers. The under-11 and under-14 competitions will form part of the North-West Junior Series.

You can enter online by following this link

Your First Competition

Your First Competition

Choose Your Weapon! (Or, How not to be a Target Dummy)

This has been adapted from A guide to beginner competition in the USFA by Sam Signorelli.

Welcome to Fencing in the North West

Welcome to the world of official BFA competitions in the North West. This page is designed to allow you to navigate through your first tournament without looking like a total newbie (and, to paraphrase George C. Scott in "Patton", make someone else look like a total newbie).

BFA, Leon Paul, Cheshire and Lancashire Schools competitions are held all around the region. Particular competitions may run at sports centres, such as Morecambe or Bebington, or school gyms, such as West Hill School, Stalybridge  or Arnold School, Blackpool.

Fencing starts at various times depending on the weapon scheduled. Check-in for each individual event opens 30 to 60 minutes before the scheduled close for that event, depending on the anticipated size of the event, it is the fencer's responsibility to be present and checked in by that time. It is a good idea to arrive at the event by the opening of check-in at the latest. This will allow you to stretch and warm up. In addition, this gives you time to do emergency field repairs, for example glueing down the wire in your foil.

Some Important Things to Remember

  1. Membership in the BFA is mandatory for most events. If you haven't already joined, you can normally do so at the event. You must bring proof of your membership and present it to the tournament committee when you sign in for an event. This can be either your membership card or a receipt from the tournament committee if you joined at an event. You probably only need musketeer membership if you are under 14, and junior membership if you are under 18.
  2. Event entry fees are variable, but are normally between about £6:00 and £15:00 dependent on the event. Be very aware of the application deadline, if your application is not by the specified deadline, you may be charged a late entry fee or not allowed to fence.

In order to compete in competitions, you must have the following:

  1. A regulation fencing jacket, for beginners at foil and sabre this can be a "short", i.e. waist length jacket. For epée and higher level competitions you should wear a full-length jacket that protects the groin. The jacket should be in good condition, with no tears or other defects that a point could lodge in. For beginners competitions cotton or stretch nylon is permissible. As you buy new clothing make sure it is has a CEN 1 badge on it. As you enter higher level competitions you will need to wear FIE homologated clothing at 800N (CEN 2).
  2. A regulation underarm protector (plastron)
  3. A fencing glove for your weapon hand. The cuff must extend at least halfway up the forearm. For sabre you will need a glove with a conducting cuff since the wrist is part of the target
  4. In all but beginner's competitions a pair of white fencing breeches. Tracksuit bottoms may be acceptable for beginner's competitions; whatever you wear must fit close enough to the body and not have openings (e.g. pockets) in which your opponent's point could lodge. If in doubt, ask the tournament committee prior to the tournament. Shorts are not allowed.
  5. A pair of socks. These must cover the entire shin so no exposed skin is showing. Although this is probably the least enforced rule anywhere at the local level, for the sake of your skin, follow it; any padding is better than none. The socks should be white, please don't wear anything like neon yellow, burning out the eyes of your competitors isn't very sporting.
  6. A pair of shoes. Fencing must be done in tennis or other sport shoes. Street shoes and sandals are not allowed.
  7. If you're a man, a box is optional (though recommended for epée). If you're a woman, breast protectors are mandatory. They can be the "hubcap" kind (that look like small frisbees and slip into pockets inside the jacket) or a full plastic breastplate that fits under the jacket and covers the upper half of the torso.
  8. At least one fencing mask appropriate for the weapon (i.e. no electric sabre masks for epée or foil, and no foil/epée masks for electric sabre). Some masks sold are designed for beginners during lessons, but are not built to withstand the rigours of actual competition. If you buy your own mask, make sure it is rated as an FIE mask (meaning it meets the minimum requirements to be used at the highest levels).
  9. At least one lamé if you are fencing foil or sabre (there is no lamé for epée). Be sure you don't bring one with a lot of dead spots (see the comment above about checking in early).
  10. At least two working body wires (and two mask wires as well, for sabre).
  11. At least two working weapons. Remember: It is your responsibility that the weapons and wires be in working order when you arrive at the piste, so check them out before the competition. Be further warned: weapons and wires have a habit of failing at the worst time, i.e. when you're on a scoring binge in D.E. It really throws the momentum off if you have to change a wire several times, not to mention the penalty points you can get.

By the way, long hair must be tucked under the mask or into the lamé/jacket.

I will assume you've had some experience with the electric gear at the club, but there are some procedures, such as the weight test, that we don't normally do at and you need to be aware of them so you don't get unnecessary penalty cards due to lack of knowledge.

New to Fencing

New to Fencing
Interested in the sport but don't know what it is all about? Read on for a brief history, what the weapons are, how you can get involved or just how to watch if you see it on television
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Competitions

Competitions
Fencing in your club is fun but if you want to take it further then there are competitions all across the region from beginner level all the way up to national and international tournaments.
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Junior Series

Junior Series
Enjoyed your fencing at school or in the junior section of your club? If you are under-15 and want to take your fencing further then why not take part in the North-West Junior Series of competitions?...
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Academy

Academy
The Academy is a non-affiliated and a non-political organisation that encourages each fencer to remain a member of their respective fencing clubs. It's aims are to work alongside the regions fencing clubs...
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Gallery

Gallery
Liked the photographs on the site? Want to see more, everything from club nights to international events?
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