Wheelchair Fencing

What does the sport involve?

Individual and team events. Men compete in Foil, Epee and Sabre events, women in Foil and Epee events. Wheelchairs are fixed to the floor using a metal frame which is clamped to the piste or playing area, giving fencers movement of upper body only. Two versions of this frame, the French and the Italian are used in the competition. In each contest the competitor with the shortest arms decides whether the playing area between chairs will be set at his distance or that of his opponent’s arm. There is a preliminary round. Each bout lasts a maximum of 4 minutes. The winning contestant is the first to score 15 hits (or touches) against their opponent. Touches or hits have to be within the designated target area for the event. In Foil and Sabre events the target area is the same as in standard fencing, in the Epee event the target area is everything above the waist and competitors wear an apron which cancels out hits below the waist.  Competitors feet must remain on footrests and not touch the piste and they must remain seated with no daylight seen between the competitor and the chair. Competitors may lean back to avoid their opponent.

The preliminary round is followed by a knockout round in which fencers have 3 x 3 minute bouts against their opponent with a 1 minute break between bouts. The fencer who scores 15 hits first or the fencer with the greatest number of hits by the time each bout ends wins.

In the team events, there are 3 team members and the first team to score 45 hits wins. Each team must include at least one category B player.

Who can compete?

Open to : Men and women with physical disabilities, including amputees, spinal injuries, cerebral palsy. Arm amputees are established in able bodied fencing. Leg amputees currently are mainly established in wheelchair fencing.

Fencers are classified according to their level of ability into catagories:

 A –full sitting balance and may be able to stand and walk

 B – do not have sitting balance but full use of arms and hands

 C – do not have full arm and/or hand use

Where do I start if I want to try this sport?

The national body responsible for organisation of this sport is:

British Disabled Fencing Association, which is affiliated to British Fencing : BPFA/BDFA Secretary 40 Rosemary Drive, Napsbury Park, St Albans Hertfordshire AL2 1UD


British Disabled Fencing Association http://www.bdfa.org.uk

Contact Paul Cordell e - mail :secretary@bpfa.org.uk


Wheelpower - British Wheelchair Sport

Did you know?

Fencing was first included in the Paralympics in Rome 1960

There is currently only one British manufacturer of wheelchair fencing frames and he is based in Driffield, Yorkshire

Would I like this sport and what are the benefits?

A fast moving sport requiring focus, skill and split second timing. Good for developing, coordination, balance and flexibility


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