(BF licence: ——)
Returning in 2025

Welcome to the Mercia Novice Open – an epee, foil and sabre event aimed specifically at introducing new and less experienced fencers to competition, though others are also welcome to enter (see information below for exceptions). This is an event designed to be an opportunity for fencers who want to see if competition is for them being able to enter without needing to buy an upgrade to their existing British Fencing membership.

Entries for the 2025 event are not yet open, check back later in the year!


Fencers aged 13 and over as of 1st January 2025 with Starter, Recreational or Compete membership who are not in the British Fencing senior rankings as follows: men, not in the top 100 for that weapon; women, not in the top 50. Fencers who are new to competition are particularly welcome.

Please note: fencers who have previously won a senior Open or who have been selected to fence that weapon for their country at any level (including cadet, junior or veteran) are unlikely to meet the criteria for being a ‘novice’ fencer and are asked to consider if this event is appropriate for them. Feel free to email us if you’re unsure.

Previous winners are welcome to enter again, if they intend to do a different weapon (e.g. the previous winner of our epee competition may fence foil or sabre, but not epee), assuming they still meet our criteria for being a novice. 

Please note: this is not a BF ranking event.


2 rounds of poules, with the 2nd round to be ranked based on 1st round results – all fencers go through to the Direct Elimination (DE) round. Poules may be mixed gender, depending on numbers, but DE round(s) will be single gender.

Medals for the top 4 fencers in each category – bronze medals for both losing semi-finalists with no further fencing for them. There will also be a prize in each category for the most successful first time competitor (please make sure you tell us when you sign in if this applies to you).

Fencers will not be expected to self-referee at any stage of this competition.


All weapons: minimum 350N jacket and breeches, 800N plastron only, size 5 blades.

Foil: Foil lame, mask with a conductive bib, mask wire. Fencers wearing a chest protector don’t need the padded covering for that item for this competition.

Sabre: Sabre lame and mask, 800N sabre glove, mask wire.

Please note: fencers should be coming to the piste with a minimum of 2 weapons, a spare body wire and a spare mask wire (foil/sabre). This is a requirement for competitions of all levels – no spare kit or equipment will be available to borrow at the venue.

We will have an armorer present on the day, who will be able to do minor repairs. We will also have Excalibur Sports on site.

SIGN IN TIMES:          to be confirmed


The Mercia Novice Open takes place in the Sports Hall at Allestree Woodlands School, Blenheim Drive, Derby, DE22 2LW. Free parking is available adjacent to the hall – turn right for the car park after the school entrance. Entry to the venue will be signposted from Blenheim Drive. This competition is also accessible by public transport; the Trent Barton Allestree bus runs regularly to and from Derby city centre.

Toilets and changing rooms are available at the venue. There will be a clearly marked bag area in the sports hall – fencing bags must remain in that area while the competition is taking place for the safety of fencers and spectators. Tea and coffee will be available on site – a convenience store and a Tesco Express are also close by.

Welfare Officer: to be confirmed nearer the time of the competition


Entries are now closed.