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Following concerns raised by participants regarding the Winter Blade, which took place in Dublin on 12 December 2015, the IFF committee has concluded that this event will not be eligible for inclusion on the rankings at Men’s and Women’s Épée. This is due to technical issues in DT which meant that the event did not proceed according to a standard format.

The IFF appreciates that this will be unwelcome news for fencers who took part, however it is in the interests of all of Irish fencing that our national rankings remain fair and reflective (due to its impact on seeding and selection).

In this particular case, fencers were seeded at random at the outset of the tournament, resulting in very unbalanced pools, and this had a knock-on effect for the entire competition. The precedent for such situations is for the event to be moved down one weighting tier, which in this instance removes the event from the rankings.

Next Steps
To help eliminate misunderstandings around format and procedures, we will shortly be publishing a handbook for prospective tournament organisers. We also aim to provide formal DT training later in the season to ensure our clubs feel empowered to run ranked events with confidence.

It is our hope that next year’s Winter Blade will proceed successfully and return to the rankings at Tier C, with the full support of the fencing community. Once again, the IFF wishes to congratulate the winners of this year’s Winter Blade on their performances on the day.

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