The Celtic Fencing Code

Participant Eligibility

All fencers who are a minimum of 40 years of age at December 31st in the year of the current Celtic Challenge; and in possession of a valid current fencing licence; and eligible to fence for one of the Celtic nations (listed below) are invited to compete. Nations may enter as many fencers as they wish at each individual weapon. 

Participants must be members of their Fencing National body, e.g. British Fencing. Irish Fencing Federation, Federation Francais.

The Celtic nations that contest the Challenge are Asturias, Brittany, Channel Islands, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Northern Ireland, All Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Isles, Scotland, and Wales. A fencer is considered eligible to compete for a nation if he or she meets at least one of the following criteria in their own right:

  • Was born in one of the Celtic Nations named above

  • Has a parent or grandparent who was born in one of the Celtic Nations

  • Is permanently resident (or has been previously) in one of the Celtic nations, and lived there for a minimum of three years sequentially and is currently on the electoral roll for that region (or was for the minimum time period) and has previously fenced for the same Celtic Nation.

Format & Rules

All six weapons (foil, epee and sabre, male and female) are fenced as individual events, taking the form of an individual open: depending on the number of entrants there will be one or two rounds of pools, leading to direct elimination to determine a single victor. Prizes will be awarded at first, second, and joint-third place.

There is also a team prize, which is calculated based on the standings from the individual events. Team managers/captains will be asked to nominate their regional team (in writing) at the beginning of each individual competition, choosing three fencers to represent their nation. At the end of the discipline, the positions of the named fencers will be added together to give a team result. The team with the lowest number of points will be named team champion for that weapon.

Mixed teams: comprising of fencers from more than one nation, are permitted.

1. A mixed Barbarian team of one fencer from each Nation, e.g Wales, Scotland, Ireland may win the team prize in their weapon, but their result can not be counted towards their nation’s overall position at the end of the Celtic Challenge.

2. A mixed team of 2 fencers from ONE Nation may "adopt" a fencer from another Nation; e.g. 2 Scottish and 1 Irish; this team becomes Scottish, they may win the team prize in their weapon category. 

However,  for awarding "Dragon" points towards "Dragon Trophy," the "adopted" fencers position, regardless of whether their position is higher than any other nominated team fencer will be ranked after the last placed 3rd member of all the complete Nation teams, e.g the last placed person in the Wales WF team is placed 10th, the "adopted" fencer for the purposes of points is awarded 11.

For the Individual awards 1st to joint 3rd places the "adopted" fencer will be awarded their individual position if placed there.

E.g. Scotland finish 1st and 3rd, the "adopted" fencer adds 11points to the 4points already added and gives a total of 15, whilst Wales finishes 6th, 8th and 10th, giving them 24 points overall.

"Arturo", the coveted Celtic Dragon Trophy will be awarded to the nation whose combined nominated teams has the best overall performance (the lowest number of points across the six weapons) and will be named Celtic champions.

Master of Arms Award

Any competitor who competes in all three weapon categories for their gender will be awarded points for their position, these points will be totalled and the participant with the lowest number of points will be awarded the Master of Arms trophy. This year the Cornwall Celtic hosts will be dedicating the Master of Arms award to the memory of our founder Cheiftan, Richard Bonehill. 


Each Celtic nation shall appoint a Clan Chief who will nominate the teams, in writing, at check in for each weapon.

The host nation will endeavour to fairly seed the competition. However, Clan Chieftans will be expected to provide initial seeding/information regarding their fencers. The Celtic hosts cannot be held responsible for seeding errors if information is withheld.

The competition will follow FIE rules. However, all refereeing will be considerate and mindful that there may be the sharing of fencing equipment.

The host nation will attempt to provide adequate referees and prevent conflict of interest. However, due to location this may not always be possible. It is the responsibility of the fencer to express any conflict concerns, in a courteous manner, prior to the bout/round commencing. In this case the host nation will endeavour to rectify the situation. Failure of a fencer not to declare any conflict of interest between themselves and the referee is not in the spirit of The Celtic Challenge.

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