Competitions & Guide to Competing
Leon Paul Junior Series; a nationwide circuit of regular regional/local competitions - entry level competing! For U.9/U.11/U13/U.15 (age category is determined by how old you are as of 1st Jan, i.e. if still ten on 1st Jan 2014 then student is in U.11's for all of 2014 even once they've turned 11.
TFS generally advocates that fencers travel to competitions and do them as a group, especially the first one!
Competing is extremely stressful at first. Injuries and upsets are common, however after a while they will be enjoying a long day out of sport with friends. It's our focus to ensure your child learns to lose (and win) with grace. There is a long period of small incremental improvement which leads to a lasting enjoyment.
(Dates differ every year and are approximates, therefore please be sure to check the Leon Paul Junior series website as well as Newhamswords website, and the Britishfencing.com events calendar. Entry is online and you need to have Britishfencing licence / association membership )
If your child is doing well at LPJS in U.11/U.13 and achieving L8 then they will do well at nationals such as the EYC and BYC (see below) because London has the top clubs.
The LYC (London Youth Championships) is a once a year event for which the age category is different to normal (U.10/12/14/16). It is normally early March and is a qualifying event for the BYC (British Youth Championship), which are early May. Accordingly to reach quarter final/medal zone in BYC is highly prestigious, although LYC in itself is a very tough competition because London has a much stronger field than other regions.
The EYC (England Youth Championships) is again once a year, held in age category (U.11/U.13/U.15). There is no qualifying round and a last 4 placing in U.13 or U.15 guarantees selection for England squad. Held end of June.
All 'open' (senior) events are listed on the calendar page of the British fencing website, but the ones we are concerned with are the BRC (British Ranking Circuit) events. These are split into cadet (U.17) and Junior (U.20) categories and are the next step up for serious fencers after LPJS. Very strong performance in EYC, BYC and BRC leads to selection for overseas trips representing England / GB.
European Fencing Confederation
The ECC (European Cadet Circuit) is for the most able students. Normally only fencers approved by the BFA (British Fencing Association) enter these travelling in a chaperoned group. Fencers may still enter if they haven't been selected by the national federation (BFA) but they do so independently - this is only available for the strongest fencers. The EFC also lists a number of competitions that are not ECC ranking events and are an alternative way to gain early exposure to international competing. There is only one ECC ranking event that is held in the UK for foil... the 'Manchester Cadet International'.
Serious competing for those aiming at squads requires travel outside of London 4 to 5 times per year. If aiming for cadet selection then it is good to try and do all events as they operate a system whereby the more you go, the more points you are awarded (subject to planning well and according to the calibre of competition entries that year). This is so the federation can assess both the commitment and consistency of a fencer's performance.