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Senior Team Selection Policy

This policy covers selection for Welsh Fencing Senior teams for Commonwealth Fencing Championships, 5 Nations and Winton Cup events. Selection for Junior, Schools or Student teams are NOT covered by this policy. This policy replaces all previous versions of Welsh Fencing Senior Selection Policy.

Selection Panel

Selections will be made by a panel appointed by the WF executive board. The panel will comprise at least 3 selectors, who between them must have expertise in all 3 weapons. Additional panel members may be co-opted by the executive board. All selections must be ratified by all members of the panel. Where there is a disagreement between members of the panel, this will be resolved by majority vote; in the event of a tied vote, the chair of the panel will have the deciding vote. Selectors must declare any conflict of interest to the other panel members (e.g. if a selector coaches or is related to someone who is considered for selection) The panel may be supported by a WF appointed administrative assistant to undertake such duties as WF executive decide, but who will not have any role in the selection process itself.


The only grounds for appeal will be either a material inaccuracy in the rankings used for selection or the incorrect application of the stated selection policy. Fencers are responsible for reporting ranking inaccuracies to the specified weapon ranking co-ordinator.  Any such appeal should be made in writing to the Chairperson of Welsh Fencing within two weeks of the publication of the relevant ranking on the British Fencing website.  Appeals will be decided by the Board, whose decision shall be final.


All fencers must have been full members of Welsh Fencing for at least 12 months and be in good standing (i.e. they are not subject to disciplinary action etc. and the selectors have confidence that they will fence and conduct themselves in a manner that will bring credit to the team). The eligibility criteria for the Commonwealth Championships, 5 Nations and Winton Cup are all different and are detailed under the respective sections below.


Fencers who have been selected must contact the chair of the selectors (or their administrative assistant) within 10 days of selection notification being sent out (unless stipulated otherwise in the communication for that event) to confirm acceptance of their place. Any fencer who fails to do so will be deemed to have declined their selection and a replacement will be selected.

Selection Dates

The Chair of the selection panel will be responsible for setting the selection dates for each event. These will be published on the WF website. The date will reflect a balance between giving the fencers enough time to make travel arrangements etc. whilst ensuring that the team selected are “in-form” fencers at the time of the event. The most recent version of the GB senior rankings available from British Fencing on the Selection Date will be used in the selection process.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria for each event are detailed below. The majority of selections will be made on the basis of positions in the GB senior rankings, but the selection panel will also consider performance in the Welsh Closed Championships and any other factors they believe relevant in selecting the strongest possible team to represent the country.

Commonwealth Fencing Championships

Team Size

Under the current Commonwealth Fencing Federation Statutes (see http://www.commonwealthfencing.org ) Welsh Fencing are entitled to enter up to 5 fencers in the individual event at each of the 6 weapons, and are entitled to enter 1 team at each weapon in the team events. Teams are of 3 fencers plus 1 reserve for any match, but can be varied between matches, meaning that it is possible that all 5 fencers may be used in the course of the team event. The maximum overall size of the team is therefore 30 fencers. The selection panel may only select those individuals and teams whom they believe stand a realistic prospect of winning a medal, and as a result may decide not to select a full team of 30 fencers. If there are insufficient fencers of a suitable calibre at any particular weapon, the selectors may decide not to enter a team at that weapon and indeed may decide not to enter any fencers for the individual event either. Fencers accepting selection for the Commonwealth Championships will be expected to stay for the entire duration of the event (usually 6 days) in order to support the team.


a) The eligibility criteria for the Commonwealth Fencing Championships (in addition to the
General eligibility criteria listed above) are:

  • Fencer was born in Wales or
  • Fencer has one (or more) parent who was born in Wales

b) In exceptional circumstances Welsh Fencing can apply to the Commonwealth Fencing Federation for an exemption for a specific fencer who does not meet these criteria but meets the following criteria:

  • Fencer represented Wales on the last occasion that they fenced at a Commonwealth Fencing Championship or
  • Fencer will have been resident in Wales for at least 2 years by the start of the Commonwealth Fencing Championship (a shorter period may apply to Under-20s who have moved to Wales with their parents) or
  • Fencer has a strong connection to Welsh Fencing and has previously lived in Wales for a continuous period of at least 5 years.

It is in the interests of Welsh Fencing to keep any such applications to a minimum and the selectors will only make an application if they feel this will contribute significantly to the strength of the team. Applications must be submitted by Welsh Fencing at least 6 months before the date of the championship in question, so it is vital any fencers wishing to be considered for selection who would require an exemption (i.e. those who do not meet either the main criteria listed in a) above) contact the chair of the selection panel at least 9 months before the Commonwealth Fencing Championships to allow the selectors time to consider whether to make an application for exemption.

These criteria are dictated by the Commonwealth Fencing federation, in line with the Commonwealth Games Federation Constitution:

http://www.commonwealthfencing.org/docs/CFFStatutes.pdf - article 3
http://the cgf.com/about/constitution.pdf - article 24

Selection Criteria

Automatic selection for those achieving a Top 30 placing in the ranking lists on selection date, provided they are in the Top 25% of the Ranking List (excluding those with no points), up to the maximum team size

The Board can apply discretionary selection up to the maximum team size where there are insufficient automatic selections

Team selection is based on results at the event.

Whilst the rankings will certainly be considered by the selection panel in making such decisions, a number of factors may also be taken into account, including past performance for Wales, results of the Welsh Closed Championships, future potential etc.

This Policy was updated to reflect the impact of COVID.  The updated Policy can be found here: Commonwealth Selection Criteria

5 Nations

Team Size

4 fencers will be selected at each weapon – a total of 24 fencers.


The eligibility criteria for the 5 Nations event are the same as the criteria for membership of Welsh Fencing:

  • Born in Wales or
  • Parent born in Wales or
  • Grandparent born in Wales or
  • Resident in Wales or
  • Have fenced for Wales in the past

However in the interests of continuity, particularly on the run-up to a Commonwealth Championship, the selection panel may give preference to those fencers who meet the exceptional eligibility criteria for the Commonwealth Championships (see above)

Selection Criteria

Those eligible in the top 50 GB senior rankings at each weapon on the selection date will be selected, up to the maximum team size of 4.

Any remaining selections at each weapon will be at the discretion of the selection panel and will be aimed at maximising the overall strength of the team. Whilst the rankings will certainly be considered by the selection panel in making such decisions, a number of factors may also be taken into account, including past performance for Wales, results of the Welsh Closed Championships, future potential etc.

Winton Cup

Team Size

Up to 4 fencers will be selected at each weapon – a maximum of 24 fencers


The eligibility criteria for the Winton Cup are laid down in the Winton Rules and for Welsh Fencing this means:

1. Fencer was born in Wales or
2. Fencer has been resident in Wales since Jan 1st of that year or
3. Fencer has been a member of a club in Wales since Jan 1st of that year or
4. Fencer represented Wales at their most recent previous Winton Cup

Selection Criteria

The Winton Cup is an inter-regional, rather than an international, event and as such priority will be given to those who are resident or actively fencing within the region (i.e. those who meet criteria 2 or 3 above). Fencers who have strong links to another region (e.g. those who are resident outside Wales) may choose to represent that region at the Winton Cup without fear of affecting their selection chances for Welsh 5 Nations or Commonwealth teams.

Rankings will offer a guide, but Selection will be a balance of fencers who show development potential and more senior colleagues. Selection for this event becomes entirely discretionary.

This change will give opportunity for ‘possibles’ to gain experience at an Intermediate level, and to increase the depth of talent available for Senior event selection.



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