2019 SYCs – a quick update from SF HQ

Last year running four six-weapon events across one weekend was a considerable effort and only just manageable. Any oversubscription of entries for example or equipment failures could have made the event run late. This prompted the events director to consider how to reduce the overall number of events. 

Given we have an extremely busy weekend Scotland-wide for fencing on February 2nd/3rd and athletes keen to participate at more than one event in more than one location it is critical for us to maintain a lean championships.

The decision to combine the under 20 (U20) and under 17(U17) events was based on last year’s entries and results. Only one U20 event last year was won by an U20 fencer, five of the other events were won by U17 fencers. It could be argued U17 fencers are as likely to win a combined U20/U17 event and there seems to be no competitive advantage to being older.

Another factor was all but six of the fencers who entered the U17 event went on to also fence in the U20 event. Which suggests that most U17 fencers are willing to compete against older fencers.

There were very few U20 fencers entered – only two events had more than one. As this is a Scottish Championships it is important that there are enough entrants to make it a competition. There needs to be value to being awarded this title. Scottish Champion titles cannot be awarded to the only fencer who turns up or awarded by default.

Consequently, in 2019 the U20 and U17 events are combined and the highest place U17 will receive the Scottish U17 title and a medal. (for clarification if an U17 fencer wins they will win both the U20 and U17 title). I was delighted to receive this suggestion via some helpful volunteer feedback and thank you to everyone who commented on social media and contacted us in a constructive manner.

Scottish Fencing would like to remind our members that our sport runs on the goodwill of our volunteers, whether that is referees, Board members or competition organisers.  To keep our volunteers and to help with recruitment of their successors we ask that the fencing community treats them with respect in person and on social media. There is a place for debate, comments and questions we ask that these are conducted with good grace.  This week alone we have seen three volunteer forums with input from 18 people driving the sport forward, which is truly inspiring. 

I understand competitions create intensity which is fantastic however its also important we maintain a consistent level of dialogue both openly on social media forums and of course in a 1-1 or face to face environment.

Thank you to everyone who sent opinions and thoughts. As we move towards a busy SYC’s I’d like to offer the opportunity to anyone who wishes to help support the event in a voluntary capacity to contact admin@scottish-fencing.com – it would be great to hear from you.


Vincent Bryson