What is a “mega tournament”? In this case, it’s a massive regional competition that combines three circuits into one. It’s a Super Youth Circuit (SYC), and Regional Junior and Cadet Circuit (RJCC), and it’s a Regional Open Circuit (ROC) all in one weekend and under one roof. Academy of Fencing Masters is hosting this combined competition, AFM Super Regional, November 4-6, 2022! (You can register here!)
The competition will include 53 metal strips and scoring apparatus from Absolute Fencing Gear, with an Olympic-size fencing strip for the finals. The tournament setup will be similar to NACs and Fencing Summer Nationals, with national-level referees and officials. It will give fencers the chance to compete in an exciting format.
Take note that all of the events are capped, so please register early to participate. This is the biggest event on the West Coast in the 22-23 season, and we are expecting a lot of fencers from all over the country, especially from the West and Southwest, to come out for the competition.
Three Circuits in One Tournament
Having 3 circuits in one tournament will allow fencers to compete in multiple divisions AND allow clubs to bring a broader range of their club members to a single tournament. Coaches and families can support fencers in a broader tournament setting, pooling resources and cutting down on additional travel and expense. With many available categories to compete in, fencers can gain points for regional qualification for Fencing Summer Nationals and Junior Olympics in multiple events. No matter the age, every fencer would be able to compete in at least two events! This will be a great competitive experience and a welcome way to work towards qualifying!
Putting all of these things under one roof is also a simple way to support fencers who want to have a bigger experience. There is nothing like Fencing Summer Nationals, but a massive competition like this one is something close to the realm of a national tournament right here, in the center of Silicon Valley. Much like a NAC, this competition will give fencers a taste of what it feels like to compete with so many people across many different levels.
As there is no November NAC this year, this competition is a way for fencers to fill in that space with a regional competition that is somewhat similar in scope, even if it’s not quite the same.
Who can compete in this super competition?
The AFM Super Regional will offer qualification opportunities for Cadets and Juniors for the Junior Olympics, as well as for the full spectrum of Fencing Summer Nationals – Youth 10, Youth 12, Youth 14, Cadet, Junior, Division 1A, Division 2, Division3, and Veterans.
All three weapons are able to compete, so epee, foil, and sabre fencers should get ready to come out! It’s a fantastic opportunity for every fencer, regardless of their weapon, age, or level to participate in this level of tournament.
Though it’s targeted at Region 4 Cadet and Junior fencers, those who live outside of Region 4 can earn Youth national points in the SYC portion of the competition or qualify for Division 1A/Division 2/Division 3/Veterans via the ROC circuit, depending on their age and classification eligibility. Anyone is allowed to register, and we encourage people to talk it over with their fencing coach if they are interested in being part of this competition.
What are the competitions within this competition?
Included in this mega event are four competitions. Here’s the breakdown:
- Regional Open Circuit Competition – Higher than the local level, but below the national level. ROCs are designed for fencers who want to increase their competitiveness or to earn points towards qualifying for Fencing Summer Nationals. Division 1A ROCs qualify for Division 1A, Division 2, Division 3, and Veterans National Championships, depending on the fencers’ eligibility. Fencers born in 1974 or earlier are eligible to compete at the Veteran ROC, which is part of the AFM Super Regional.
- Regional Junior Cadet Circuit – The RJCC is similar to the ROC, with the notable exception that it’s only for Cadet and Junior level fencers. This year, until Junior Olympics, Cadets are 2006-2009 and Juniors are 2003-2009. While only Region 4 fencers can earn qualifying points for their respective events, all fencers can get a new rating and of course, gain a lot of experience.
- Super Youth Circuit – An SYC competition is for youth fencers who want to compete beyond the local and regional levels. This includes Y10, Y12, and Y14 level fencers. Earning national points through SYC competition is one way for fencers to earn qualifications but also become ranked fencers in their respective age/weapon category. Since the SYC allows to earn national points regardless of region, it attracts many fencers from all over the United States. The AFM Super Regional even has a lot of youth fencers coming from Canada, which makes this tournament a super exciting one with a flavor of international fencing!
- AFM Youth 8 Competitions – Y8 fencers are the youngest possible participants in fencing competitions, but they don’t yet have a place in the USA Fencing pantheon of regional competitions. During the mega competition, AFM is hosting its own local Y8 tournament so that fencers of all weapons in this age category can be included in this mega competition. This is a fantastic way for the youngest generation of fencers to experience such a high-level setup and get the atmosphere of having all three weapons across genders and ages, similar to what happens at the national-level tournaments.
You can register for both competitions at the following links:
- AFM Super Regional – https://member.usafencing.org/details/tournaments/5974
- AFM Local Y8 – https://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=51024
What level of competition should you expect?
Fencers in the region should expect to find competition at the highest level at this Super Regional. Region 4, where this competition takes place, is home to a wealth of high-level fencers. We are fortunate to have a rich pool of talented fencers here in Region 4 and in close-by states. This tournament is expected to bring out some of the best from California, Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and even Canada, not talking about fencers coming from farther regions.
The three circuits are a fantastic opportunity for fencers to come out and earn points in multiple events, which can be difficult for fencers who are on the line around the Youth/Junior/Cadet/Senior division break. With all of the potential competitive opportunities here, it’s possible for highly competitive athletes to get everything they need in a single weekend.
We’re expecting everything many events to be A-4 level events and to have a good showing at the levels below as well. It’s a fantastic way for fencers to challenge themselves.
What fencers need to know
The tournament registration is open until October 2, with late registration open until October 21.
There are two airports close by – San Jose and San Francisco. Flying in and out for this tournament, which is being held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, is simple! AFM has worked with the Hilton Santa Clara to secure a discounted rate for those coming into this competition, and you’ll find a link for a discounted rate on the registration website. Note that you must book by October 4th to get the discount.
This time of year is a wonderful, less crowded time for travelers. Early November has beautiful weather, and it’s definitely worth it to enjoy this while you’re here. California is mild and easy in late fall. There’s lots to do if there is downtime, or if families want to come in early or stay late to enjoy some tourist adventures.
Enjoying the competitive experience!
Fencing competitively is great for fencers of all ages. Tournaments are an important part of the development process for athletes, no matter what age they are or what level they are competing at.
Though this mega tournament will provide lots of opportunities for fencers at the highest levels to compete, it’s also a fantastic entree into this level of competition for fencers who are still progressing. It doesn’t matter if you are a national level competitor or a novice, if you’re in the area and able to compete, it will support your growth and development as a fencer.
Our goal is to establish it as an annual tournament on the West Coast – giving fencers in this area an anchor competition to develop their skills and qualify for the Junior Olympics and Fencing Summer Nationals. This will hopefully be just the first of many.
We are beyond excited to be hosting this tournament and to welcome everyone to our backyard to compete!