Updated: September 2016

1. Selection Principles
2. Selection Procedure
3. Guidelines for Senior Events
4. Guidelines for Junior & Cadet Events
5. Guidelines for Team Events
6. Appendix: Events counting towards World Cup Selection


1. Selection Principles

1.1 Philosophy

This set of guidelines marks a sea-change in Fencing Ireland’s selection process. As a body we are committed to the continual improvement of this process in order to increase transparency and working with athletes to improve performance and create a level playing field for all those who wish to compete in our sport. The underlying principle for these new criteria is to emphasise selection through objective comparison of results, in so far as possible, while promoting a minimum yet achievable level of performance in order to represent Ireland at various levels.

It should be noted, however, with the vast array of international and domestic competitions the onus is with the athlete to inform Fencing Ireland of their ambitions to fence internationally and to apply to selectors for entry into competition.

1.2 Qualification Principles

For FIE events, having achieved the criteria listed below, Fencers will be automatically selected unless there are more fencers who reach that level than can be entered into said event or in the case where Fencing Ireland has imposed a limit to the number of fencers who can enter an event. In such a case, selectors will make a decision by comparing results at the closest relevant available level of competition.

For example, by first comparing results at World Cup events and then (should no materially significant difference be found in the eyes of selectors) by comparing results at Satellite events and so on.

In exceptional circumstances, and only in the case where all team places are not filled by fencers who have achieved the stated criteria, fencers who have not achieved the stated results may still be selected at the discretion of the selectors; in doing so the selectors will consider, but will not be limited to, the following factors:

● Qualifying results and performance in the preceding season
● Future potential
● Physical fitness / injury during the season in question


2 Selection Procedure

Fencers will be selected using the objective criteria set out below in section 3 (individual) and section 4 (team) events. Selection for FIE events must pass through the process outlined in the diagram below. Therefore it is recommended that all applications are made ideally 2 months before the start of a season or no later than 3 months before a competition. Conversely selectors will endeavour to make selection decisions at the latest 1 month prior to competition.

At the beginning of the season, a fencer who aspires to international competition should provide the following information to Selectors via email to selectors@irishfencing.net (this will be automatically forwarded to the Fencing Ireland secretary and selectors.

● Competition programme (domestic, UK and Europe)
● Cite the result which qualifies them for that level of competition (name, date of competition, result achieved.

2.1 Advice for Fencers wishing to compete internationally

In addition to their competition calendar for the season, fencers are encouraged to consider carefully the following elements and to discuss and plan accordingly with their coach and may submit these along with their competition plan for discussion with weapon mentors:

● Long-term goal
● Medium-term goal
● Name of coach
● Training programme
● Fitness programme

Weapon mentors have been appointed to help guide fencers aspiring to international selection. The mentors will be able to offer advice on season planning, development
opportunities and competition choice.

Épée: Yves Carnec – epee@irishfencing.net
Foil: Philip Lee – foil@irishfencing.net
Sabre: Owen McNamee – sabre@irishfencing.net


3 Guidelines for Senior Events

3.1 Events with Restricted Numbers of Entries

In all cases where EFC or FIE requirement is to provide a referee where there are 5 or more fencers, the number of fencers selected will be the four best candidates having achieved relevant level of results for consideration at that level. Should 5 or more fencers wish to take part, and this is approved by Selectors, then the referee cost should be borne by the additional fencer/s.

3.2 Senior Events Criteria

3.2.1 FIE Satellites

Last-32 in the nominated non-domestic events listed below (see appendix).

3.2.2 World Cups / Grand Prix

Progress through poules plus winning a further two rounds of DE at FIE Satellite or EFC under-23 event.

3.2.3 U23 European Championships

Top-half finish in an EFC under-23 event.

3.2.4 European Championships / World Championships / World Student Games

2 x Qualification from Poules to preliminary tableau at Senior WC/GP during that season.

3.2.5 Olympic Zonal Qualifier

3.2.5.1 Preamble

The purpose of the Olympic zonal qualifier is to provide an opportunity for nations having not yet qualified fencers for the Olympic tournament a final opportunity to do so. Fencers aiming to reach the goal of qualification for the Olympic Games should realistically be seeking a minimum level of performance of consistent achievement of Last 64 or better at Senior World Cup/Grand Prix prior to the qualifier.

3.2.6.1 Criteria

Selection will be based on best performance at Senior World Cup and FIE Satellite competition in the order outlined below during the qualification period outlined by the FIE (normally the last number of world cup competitions of the season preceding the Olympic season up until the final World Cup counting towards Olympic qualification) .

The minimum level of performance in order to be considered for selection is L16 at FIE Satellite Competition. There is no obligation for selectors to send fencers in each weapon.

Results will be compared in the following order, using:

  1. Highest number of World Cup points gained at Senior World Cup/Grand Prix. Should no difference emerge, then:
  2. Most ‘material’ results at senior world cup. Results which will be considered ‘material’ will involve successfully qualifying from a pool and winning at least one round of direct elimination matches. Should no difference emerge, then:
  3. World Cup Points gained at FIE Satellite Event. Should no difference emerge, then:
  4. Last-16 results achieved at FIE Satellite Event, where a last-16 result involves winning two direct elimination matches.

4 Guidelines for Cadet & Junior Events

At Cadet and Junior level, the Selection Committee will work closely with the Junior Development Committee using the Future Trailblazers framework. Fencers wishing to compete at European or world-level events should treat the Junior Development Committee and Future Trailblazers coaching team as their first points of contact. When cadet and junior fencers are put forward for selection by the Junior Development Committee, the Selectors will evaluate nominees according to the following performance criteria.

4.1 Events with Restricted Numbers of Entries

In all cases where EFC or FIE requirement is to provide a referee where there are 5 or more fencers, the number of fencers selected will be the four best candidates having achieved relevant level of results for consideration at that level.

Should 5 or more fencers wish to take part, and this is approved by Selectors, then the referee cost should be borne by the additional fencer/s.

4.2 Cadet Events Criteria

4.2.1 European Cadet Circuit

Top-half finishes in two stage-appropriate events in UK/Europe as determined by the Junior Development Committee.

4.2.2 European Championships / World Championship

Top-half finish in a European Cadet Circuit event.

4.3 Junior Event Criteria

4.3.1 Junior World Cup (A-Grades)

Top-half finishes in two stage-appropriate events in UK/Europe as determined by the Junior Development Committee, or
Qualification in previous season for Cadet European or World Championships.

4.3.2 European Championships / World Championships

Top-half finish in a Junior World Cup.


5 Guidelines for Team Events

5.1 Non-FIE Events

5.1.1 Five Nations

To select the strongest team based on Irish-qualified and -declared fencers competing in Irish ranked competition. The top four ranked Irish fencers, having declared to fence for Ireland and eligible for an Irish passport, on the Irish ranking will be selected to the panel. Fencers who currently represent a country other than Ireland at FIE level shall not be eligible for selection.

5.2 Full International Events

5.2.1 FIE International Championships

For each of the following events, the Selectors will consider entering a team, if two or more fencers achieve the individual guidance for the event (see above). The rest of the team will be selected based on the recommendation of the selectors and only in the case where the third athlete has already competed at that level.

Cadet Events: – European Championships
Junior Events: – European Championships
– World Championships
Other Events: – U23 European Championships
– World Student Games
Senior Events: – World Cups
– European Championships
– World Championships

6 Appendix: Events counting toward World Cup Selection

Men’s Épée and Women’s Épée

FIE Satellite events and EFC under-23 events top-half finish
London International Open
Miller-Hallet for Men’s Épée and Milner-Barry for Women’s Épée

Men’s Foil and Women’s Foil

FIE Satellite events and EFC under-23 events top-half finish
Essex Open (UK) Last-16
Welsh Open (UK) Last-16
Birmingham International Open (UK) Last-16

Men’s Sabre and Women’s Sabre

FIE Satellite events and EFC under-23 events top-half finish
Hamlet Open (UK) Last-16
Welsh Open (UK) Last-16
Birmingham International Open (UK) Last-16

T. +353 1 298 4039
E. selectors@irishfencing.net