EYCs 2020/2021

Further to our earlier announcement postponing the England Youth Championships this year, England Fencing has taken the decision to cancel the 2020 event. The England Youth Championships will return in June 2021.

Refunds for any entries made to the 2020 EYCs will be made in the coming days, we thank you in advance for your patience. All refunds will be automatic, there is no need to contact England Fencing.

We, of course, understand that this will be a disappointing outcome for the many young athletes who were looking forward to competing at the 2020 EYCs, especially for those for whom the 2020 event would have been their last opportunity to compete at the EYCs.

Therefore, as a gesture of goodwill to those who would otherwise miss out on their last opportunity to participate in the EYCs, the 2021 England Youth Championships will run with slightly modified age groups of Under-11, Under-13, and Under-16 to give the young athletes an opportunity to compete at a final EYCs. We plan for the age groups to return to their usual format of Under-11, Under-13, and Under-15 for the 2022 EYCs.

Any comments or questions should be directed to our dedicated email address: eyc@englandfencing.org.uk

2 Replies to "EYCs 2020/2021"

  • comment-avatar
    Kerstin Sallows
    May 1, 2020 (10:21 pm)
    Reply

    If you are going to change the age group next year to U 16 why don’t you also change the lower age groups to U 14 … and U12. It seems very unfair on the current 13 year olds who will completely miss out the way you have structured it.

    • comment-avatar
      ef2014
      October 26, 2020 (1:33 pm)
      Reply

      Hi Kerstin

      Sorry for the (very) delayed reply!

      We did consider the ramifications of modifying the U15 2021 event on the “U15” year in great detail. I include a brief summary of our reasoning below. We note, however, that in these situations it seems to us that there is rarely a perfect solution so we appreciate that there may be disappointment. Of course, we are always happy to engage constructively with members of the fencing community so please don’t hesitate to question and probe further if our reply doesn’t make sense or satisfy you.

      1. The Remit of England Fencing

      The starting point for our decision making always involves considering “what is EF for?” We note that the purpose of England Fencing is to promote participation in the sport of fencing and to support England Fencing members by providing them with opportunities to participate. This is one of the reasons, for example, that the EYCs is an open-entry event unlike the BYCs which is a qualification-only event.

      With this remit in mind, we considered what options were available to us for the 2020 and 2021 EYCs. For transparency we have listed these options below:

      2. Option 1: Delay the 2020 EYCs to the Autumn and run the 2021 EYCs in June 2021 as normal

      This was the first option we considered and the one that we initially hoped we would be able to pursue. However, the rapid development of the Covid-19 situation and noting our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of our members, we decided that a 2020 EYCs event was not worth the risk and that the 2020 EYCs, therefore, should be cancelled.

      3. Option 2: Cancel the 2020 EYCs and run the 2021 EYCs as normal

      This was the second option that we considered, and in all likelihood would have been the least controversial option. However, we are conscious that the EYCs is one of the last opportunities for many youth fencers to participate in an open-entry national event before the “formality” of the British national championships sets in. We are also conscious that events have been cancelled widely across the world, and for the 2005-year group, this has meant that effectively their farewell tour of pre-cadet fencing has been taken away from them. We note that other year groups still have at least one more season of pre-cadet fencing and so the detrimental effects of this season being curtailed are less final for these younger year groups.

      For these reasons, we decided that we would like to include the 2005-year group in the 2021 EYCs in some form.

      4. Option 3: Run the 2021 EYCs as U11, U13, U15, and U16

      This was the first option that we considered for the 2021 EYCs. Unfortunately, we quickly realised the logistics of the EYCs would not support an additional 6 events. On a purely practical level, we are unable to run 24 events in two days at the EYCs without significantly reducing the quality of the event. Due to this, we realised that we would have to restrict ourselves to three age groups.

      5. Option 4: Run the 2021 EYCs as U11, U13, and U16

      The balance of running three age groups and including the 2005-year group led to the conclusion of U11, U13, U16 age groups at the 2021 EYCs. We then evaluated the negative consequences of this on the 2006-year group (i.e. the middle year). We, however, reached the conclusion that the focus of EF is on increasing participation, as opposed to meeting performance objectives. Therefore, we determined that while the option of running U11, U13, and U16 age groups is imperfect, it is the option most in keeping with EF’s purpose.

      Final Remarks

      I would note that we are still in early days of planning the 2021 EYCs, and that the precise competition format has not yet been decided upon. There are many options for the event and we are committed to providing a fair competition experience for all young athletes. We are, nonetheless, fully committed to operating the EYCs in U11, U13, and U16 categories.

      However, we will be exploring options for alternative formats for the U16 category so that the 2005-group and the 2006-group both benefit from a positive experience of their “final EYCs”. At this time, we have not yet evaluated all the possibilities and so I cannot comment on how precisely we will achieve this but rest assured it is a priority of our events delivery team.

      Of course, any suggestions would be most welcome and we are always happy to talk through any concerns or comments you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at eyc@englandfencing.org.uk


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