Usage / Bookings

Please Read the following SFC Covid – 19 Protocol when using the Centre. It is essential that you follow these Covid Safe measures –

  • Remember to check in with QR Codes at Buliding Entry and at SFC Entry.
  • Please Note – No one is allowed in any City of Melbourne building without proof of Vaccination. Make sure you have proof, either on your phones, or in hard copy form, whenever you wish to gain access to the building. The Recreation Centre will have someone in the foyer checking for Proof of Vaccination. All participants aged 12 years and 2 months and older, must be fully vaccinated to attend the Centre, unless a medical exception applies
  • Be aware that there are entry and exit points for the building now when you arrive. For the building, entry is the Arden St doors, exit is the back door (oval side). For the State Fencing Centre itself – entry is via the double doors closest to the stairs, exit is the door on the other side of the bleachers (closest to the storeroom
  • These sessions will run under strict guidelines for social distancing and hygiene. There will be markers on the bleachers to remind you about where you can sit and remain the required distance apart, this also applies to your bags.
  • All gear must be stowed in your fencing bag and not left on the bleachers, or the floor – this includes jackets and Masks.
  • There will be hand santiser for you to use when you enter and during the sessions when required, and before you leave. The Centre MUST be kept clean by all.
  • You are expected to wear a mask indoors, but not during exercise. Coaches may also be maskless during training. Where practicable, mask wearing is encouraged, however, we realise that this is not viable during the (according to the VIS) ‘huffing and puffing’ stage of exercise.
  • It is expected that coaches and fencers will continue to clean any high touch surfaces in between groups or users.

Please Note:At present all booking is to be done via  Only High Performance fencers/State Squads and their Coaches, have access to the Pistes between 6:30 – 8:00pm Monday to Friday

State Fencing Centre Piste Booking & Policy

The Victorian State Fencing Centre (SFC) is a neutral fencing venue created with the specific intention to be a site of high-performance training for Victorian fencers. This is accomplished through bringing both coaches and fencers together that would otherwise train at separate clubs and venues.

Whilst it is not the intention of any policy to deliberately exclude specific users from the facility, the same importance cannot be provided to all users. Those who have achieved a higher level of performance need to be preferred over those who wish to use the facility for a more social and casual purpose.

The centre is being used by many coaches, many fencers and multiple weapons all needing space at the same time and there are only 8 pistes to go around. Any decision about its use must be based around the original intention of the SFC as a high-performance training venue, as well as being both fair and transparent.

This policy has been designed with the intention of allowing for equality of access across fencers and coaches so as to meet the original intention of the Centre.

Please ensure that you read the attached PDF explaining the State Fencing Centre Piste Booking Policy for both Peak and Non-Peak Times before booking.

Ensure that when bouting, at the State Fencing Centre, for training or competition, that legs are covered, track pants, at the minimum, should be worn for Novice fencers and whites for higher level bouting and competition.  Lessons are the exemption.

*Peak Time at the SFC is between the hours of 6.30pm to 8:00pm Monday to Friday.

The process for booking strips is as follows:
  1. Access the Online Bookings System Link.
  2. Check to see whether the time(s) you wish are available.
  3. If the time(s) are available, you will need to sign in to the booking system.  Please note that this is different to your Fencing Victoria system login.
  4. If you have never used the strip booking system before, you will need to ‘Create a new user account’.
  5. After you have logged in, in the top right hand corner of the screen, you will see that you have a number of hours of credit.
  6. If you click on the specific slot in the calendar, you can enter a New Booking. Quantity is how many strips you would like, if you click on the Repeat bubble, you can book a number of weeks ahead. Please note: Piste 9 is a Coaching Only Piste – It costs half the number of credits and cannot be used for free fencing – only lessons. You can select Piste 9 by choosing the RED highlighted booking time slot.
  7. If you have no credit (or no credit left), you will be given the option to ‘buy credit’.  Hours can be purchased using Paypal, and Paypal will allow also you to use a Visa or Mastercard credit card.  In the Paypal screen, you can identify how many hours you wish to purchase (make sure you click the Update button).
  8. The manipulation of bookings is fairly intuitive, but you can click on Help for more instructions.  As you book strip time, the system will deduct hours booked from your credit hours; if you remove a booking, credit hours will be returned to you.  If there are no strips available at the Centre for time slot that you would like, you will be given the option to be wait-listed, and the system will email you when (if) the slot then becomes available.
General Rules Governing Use of the SFC 

All users of the centre must pay Fencing Victoria for use of pistes, whether it be through booking directly using the link located on the Fencing Victoria website in accordance with Fencing Victoria booking guidelines, or through payment to/agreement with another individual who has made a booking as described above. 

  • A minimum of one piste must be booked by all coaches/fencers for use of the Centre.
  • Outside of Peak Time, a maximum of two pistes may booked by a coach at any one time.

To book more than two pistes, permission must be obtained from the Board of Fencing Victoria.

  • A maximum of two coaches, from any one club, can book pistes in advance.
  • A maximum ratio of ‘fencers using pistes’ to ‘pistes booked for fencing’ that should be maintained is 6:1. Having fencers in excess of this 6:1 ratio is valid grounds to petition Fencing Victoria for additional piste bookings. 
  • A minimum ratio of ‘fencers using pistes’ to ‘pistes booked for fencing’ that should be maintained is 3:1. Having fencers in deficit of this 3:1 ratio is valid grounds for Fencing Victoria to refund bookings, should a petition be successfully made to have these pistes made available on the grounds of a greater need by others .
    • If a group of more than 3 people are using the centre for Warm-up activities, they must book a Pistes at the ratio of 5:1, fencers to Piste, doing the warm-up.
  • Coaches must book a minimum of one piste to coach in the Centre. They may move to another, unoccupied piste, so as to allow fencers to utilise the booked piste or they may use the non-piste space present next to the piste that they have booked.
  • In the event of multiple coaches using the same booking, the number of additional unoccupied, non-booked pistes that can be used for coaching is one.
    • When a coach books the Coaching Piste, they must stay on the Coaching Piste, even if other Pistes are free.  If they want to move to another Piste, which is free, they can change their booking or if there is not a Piste available on the system – but free in reality, they must sms to say they are changing Pistes and I will update the amount they pay for the Piste in the back of the system.
  • Coaches and fencers who are being paid by/have made an agreement with other individuals to use their booking are responsible for these individuals, and as such will face penalties should these individuals not follow Centre policy, including, but not limited to, the use of pistes that have not been booked or have been booked by another coach.  The last Coach to leave (the one with the final booking for the night), will be responsible for following the State Fencing Closing Checklist – State Centre Closing Checklist

Fencing Victoria takes no responsibility whatsoever for any financial transactions arising between fencers and/or coaches as a result of agreements to transfer piste use or bookings. 

Peak Times 

During Peak Times the following rules and procedures over-ride some of the General Rules Governing the Use of the AFC 

During Peak Times only one piste can be booked per Affiliated and Registered AFF Coach of Level 1 or above. Bookings must be made in advance of the Sunday before the start of each week.

On the Sunday, before the commencement of each week, fencers can book a maximum of 1 available piste and coaches can book a second piste, if available.

Fencing Victoria reserves the right to cancel any and all bookings made by coaches and fencers (issuing a full refund to those individuals) so long as a minimum time period of 4 weeks’ notice has been issued to the booking individual. The Exemption to this is: if the Centre is required for a National or State Event that was unforeseen 4 weeks in advance. Under these circumstances booking may be cancelled by the Fencing Victoria Executive with less than 4 weeks’ notice and a full refund will be issued.

Standard Penalties for Breach of SFC Piste Booking Policy

In the event of a coach or fencer using the Centre without making payment to Fencing Victoria, a series of graduated penalties will be faced by the individual and are as follows: 

  1. First offence will receive a formal, written warning from Fencing Victoria explaining that they have been found breaching Centre policy and that further breaches will receive a graduated penalty as detailed below.
  2. Second offence will be penalised via a fine equal to the payment of three (3) times the ‘Casual Rate’ for booking pistes.
  3. Third offence will be penalised via a fine equal to payment of used pistes at a rate of five times Fencing Victoria’s ‘Casual Rate’ for booking pistes.
 Exceptional Penalties for Breach of SFC Piste Booking Policy  

Should a coach or fencer breach booking policy more than three times, they will face the following penalties as determined by majority decision by the board of Fencing Victoria: 

  1. Restriction to booking capabilities, resulting in an inability to make bookings and use the Centre for any coaching/fencing purposes during peak-use periods for a period of up to 3 months.
  2. Restriction of booking capabilities, resulting in the coach or fencer not being able to book a piste at any time for a period of one month
  3. Suspension from the SFC, preventing any access to the facility for a period as determined by the Board of Fencing Victoria.
Booking Priority for the SFC 

Priority for use of the Centre determines if and when individuals may book the Centre. Those with higher priority will be given preferential timing in piste booking and will follow the below hierarchy of highest priority to lowest priority: 

  1. AFF approved squad activity and Competitions (6 month booking period) & FV approved squad activity and Competitions (6 month booking period)
  2. Coaches with full AFF affiliation – Level 1 or above (3 month booking period)
  3. Fencers with FV affiliation (6 week booking period)
  4. Additional bookings by any of the above parties in excess of the maximum 2 pistes, made with express written permission from the Fencing Victoria board (4 week booking period)

In the event that booking of pistes within the Centre makes any of the above groups unable to use the SFC, resulting in their exclusion from the facility, they may secure permission from Fencing Victoria for pistes to be made available to them – as long as they make communication a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the date in question.

Any petition later than this will be automatically refused on the grounds that reviewing the situation, reaching a decision and contacting affected parties will not be afforded an adequate time-frame to occur. 

All decisions will be at the discretion of the Board of Fencing Victoria and decisions must be respected by all users of the Centre. Should a decision regarding modification to the policy be reached for an individual, it is possible for Fencing Victoria to extend this modification indefinitely, allowing the same modification to occur on a weekly or monthly basis (e.g. if a coach is allowed to book 4 pistes during a non-peak-use period, they may be allowed to continue booking 4 pistes at the same time indefinitely).

Peak-Use Rationale:

The choice to minimise time to book down to 1 week from 6, affords coaches more time to book pistes, especially for those who book on a week-by-week basis, rather than a month in advance, whilst still providing adequate time to make additional bookings where required. 

The choice to prevent fencers from making bookings until all coaches have had an opportunity to make additional bookings is based on the logic that coaches rely on the use of the Centre for their career. Excluding them from use of the Centre through allowing fencers to book out the space, prevents coaches from providing adequate training opportunities to the fencers who rely on them and, therefore, excludes these individuals from the use of the Centre. 

The choice to prioritise decision making in response to conflict based on ‘need’ ensures that people will not be disadvantaged and excluded due to inadequate training space. However, an additional factor of ‘high performance’ needs to be considered as the SFC is a state training facility and therefore is intended for high performance activity as opposed to social or casual fencing.

Failure to put our high performing fencers at the fore-front of our decision making fundamentally undermines the intention of this facility.

A PDF of the complete State Fencing Centre Piste Booking Policy can be found Below

*Please note that bookings of more than two strips will need to be confirmed by Fencing Victoria, and that bookings of more than 20 strip hours in a single day are by arrangement only.

** Unbooked pistes cannot be fenced on.  They can be used for footwork, or they can be used by coaches for lessons – only if the Coach has already booked a strip.

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