You must be 13 years old or over (as defined by the age on 1st January in the season of the competition - 1st September to 31st August) to enter any event in which adults are allowed to compete. This applies to all events regardless of organisers or category and is a BFA Safety Rule.
The FIE rule requires a fencer to be 13 years old by 1st January (i.e. before 1st January) in order to compete in any FIE events in that calendar year. This includes the Cadet World Championships.
The International Youth Committee (IYC) and National Academy (NA) have agreed to change the BFA rule to comply with the FIE rule for all events that can include adults, i.e. all senior and junior (U20) competitions. So, for example, a fencer who was born in 1999 will not be able to enter any senior or junior events until 2013.
This rule is effective from 1st September 2012, but does not apply to any UK cadet events (see rule below).
The European Fencing Confederation requires a fencer to be 11 years old on 1st January in order to compete in any EFC Cadet Circuit events in that calendar year. It was agreed to apply the same rule to all UK cadet events and this will comply better with our long term athlete development programme.
This rule is effective from 1st September 2012, as issued by the International Youth Committee on 14 March 2012.
The above should be considered as guide lines. Always check with the organisers of the event as rules may be subject to change without notice.
In events which may have fencers over the age of 18, the following rule applies for events run by Surrey County Fencing Union : All fencers must be aged 13 years old or over before 1st January in the season of the competition. The season runs from 1st September to 31st August.
The British Fencing website (updated 14th March 2012- rule change) states : Fencers must be 13 or over on 1st January in the calendar year of the event to fence with adults.
The reason for Surrey's interpretation of this is : If you were born on 1st January at the date line for an event, please note that the intention is to be able to discriminate by year of birth alone, so 1st January is in the new year, not the previous year.