Referred to as “Parafencing” in the US and “Wheelchair Fencing” internationally.

Parafencing (known internationally as Wheelchair Fencing) was first introduced in 1953 by Sir Ludwig Guttmann, who is also the founder of the Paralympic Movement. In 1960, wheelchair fencing debuted at the first-ever Paralympic Games in Rome, Italy. There are three weapons in fencing: epee, foil, and sabre, with various target areas and right of way rules. Athletes compete in fencing chairs fastened to a frame on top of a fencing strip.

Equipment Options

The individual equipment needs vary slightly depending on the weapon. All parafencers need a mask, whites (uniform), a glove, a weapon, and a fencing chair. Foil and Sabre each require a specific lame and Epee requires a skirt (or apron). The mask, glove, and weapon all differ based on the weapon discipline.

Ability Level Conciderations

Athletes with permanent disabilities that include, but are not limited to, amputation, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke and cerebral palsy are eligible to compete within the United States. The fencer must have one of the following eligible impairments: impaired muscle power, athetosis, impaired passive range of movement, hypertonia, limb deficiency, ataxia or leg length difference.
There are three categories of competition, based upon disability classification. The three categories are: A, B and C with each category indicating the degree of disability from least “A” to most severe “C”. An official classifier for IWAS (International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation) determines the specific category for each parafencer who attempts to compete internationally. Starting August 1, 2024, USA Fencing will adhere to the U.S. Paralympic National Classification Policies and Procedures for classification at National events.

Ease of Access

Finding a fencing organization is easy but not all have experience with Fencing. If the organization you found is part of US Fencing they can reach out to US Fencing for guidance.

Fencing Wheelchairs

General Fencing Equipment

Equipment Info

There are only a couple of pieces of adaptive equipment you need to get started. The rest is the same as what our able-bodied peers use.

Instructional Videos

Videos coming soon! Huge thanks to Fencers Club in Manhattan, NY for helping with content for this page.

Basics Competition Equipment

Determining Distance

Right of Way

Competition Footage

Practicing against Able-Bodied Opponents

Structure of a Tournament

Chair & Reel

Protective Equipment


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