In general, fencing competitions have a format of one round of pools, followed by a Direct Elimination.
Pools normally contain between 5 and 7 fencers, and everyone fences every other fencer in their pool. In pools, each bout is to 5 hits, with a maximum time limit of 3 minutes. It should be noted, however, that this time limit relates purely to fencing time. 'Non-fencing' time (eg after a hit is landed, when the referee awarding the point) is not included in the time limit. If time expires before either fencer has scored 5 hits, then the fencer with the highest score is the victor.
After the first round, fencers are ranked according to their results in the pools. A Direct Elimination (DE) table is drawn up, in which higher ranked fencers compete against those with lower rankings.
Direct Elimination bouts are to 15 hits, or a maximum fencing time of 9 minutes. As soon as a fencer loses a Direct Elimination bout, he/she is eliminated from the competition.
In some events, a number of fencers may be eliminated after the round of pools. However, in FencingSA and AFF competitions, all fencers proceed from the pools to the DE.
Depending on the number of fencers, the first round of the DE may be an 'incomplete tableau', in which the higher ranked fencers have byes.
Team Tournaments are fenced between teams of three fencers. Each of the three fencers from one team shall fence each of the fencers from the other team. During each bout the fencers shall have to try to reach a target score, which shall increase by five points each bout. When either fencer reaches that score the bout will end, and two new fencers will fence, trying to reach a different, higher target score.
During the tournament each team shall fence every other team exactly once, in accordance to the draw, which will be published by the Tournament Management Committee prior to the start of the tournament.
After the round robin has been concluded, a final of two or four teams may take place depending on the number of teams entered and the amount of time available.
A team may have a maximum of four fencers.
Every team tournament shall have a maximum number of teams permitted to compete. The number shall be decided according to the amount of time available to run the tournament.
Any fencer may fence for any team, on the condition they do not compete for more than one team during any given tournament.
School Team Competitions
The competition format shall be determined on the day of the tournament by the DT; Round-Robin tournaments will be held whenever possible. However given the time constraints and the number of team tournaments held every year the events may be fenced knockout from the first round.
A team may have a maximum of five fencers.
Currently fencers from the FSA after schools program are eligible to enter the teams. Fencers in team must come from same school.
A fencer may either be registered with Fencing SA or hold a junior license from the Australian Fencing Federation.
A fencer must be attending either a primary or a secondary school.
Where there is a total less than 4 fencers (combined gender) that register for any category/weapon, then that event will be cancelled. Where more than 4 fencers have registered for an event but less than 4 fencers of either gender has registered, the following table will be used to determine the format of the event.
* Where there is a min of 2 fencers of a gender, if ALL parties agree and at the discretion of the DT, the format may be changed to "Mixed Pool, M/F DE".