Academy of Fencing Masters Blog

Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Category: Rules and Regulations (Page 1 of 4)

Infographics – Update on Qualifying Path for USA Fencing Summer Nationals 2019

How to Qualify for 2019 USA Fencing Summer NationalsFencing season is starting again! That means it’s time to make goals and figure out how you want your fencing season to go. Every year we see tweaks to the rules, not to mention the need to review the qualifying paths for Fencing Summer Nationals as fencers progress through the age divisions.

Small changes are small, but they add up over time. The USA Fencing is in constant pursuit of improving the competition, working to make the competitive process as smooth and fair as possible. Of course young fencers change qualification paths regularly as they get older too! Every fencer and parent should keep in mind that fencers can qualify outside of their age category under specific conditions.

Everything you see on this infographic is information you’ll find on the USA Fencing website and in Athlete Handbook. We’re simply presenting it in a format that is visual and hopefully easy to follow.

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A Comprehensive Guide to USA Fencing Tournaments

A Comprehensive Guide to USA Fencing TournamentsFor the uninitiated, the world of USA fencing tournaments can seem complex and honestly confusing. Just as with anything however, once you get the basics down it all seems simple!

This comprehensive guide to fencing tournaments in America will show you what types of fencing competitions exist, the reasons that each one is important, and how the network of tournaments are connected to one another.

The first thing to know if you don’t already is that fencing in America is governed by the USFA – United States Fencing Association. This non-profit governing body sets forward the rules and regulations for sport fencing in the U.S., as well as sponsoring and structuring the competition circuit.  

Keep in mind that if you are relatively new to competitive fencing, it might take you more than one reading of this post to really “get” the information. We encourage you to bookmark this post and read it again until you’ve got it all clear!

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8 Essential Skills for Beginner Young Fencing Referees to Master

8 Essential Ref Skills for Beginner Young Fencing Referees to MasterYouth fencing brings with it youth referees, an aspect of our sport that’s good all the way round.

As a fencing father and a fencing event organizer, I’ve watched as beginner and young fencing referees work their way through calling matches. They start officiating at tournaments at a very young age, down to age twelve and sometimes even to age ten! That’s a fantastic thing as it develops referees, it develops fencers, it instills confidence, and so much more. Handing over a match to a young fencer shows them that the adults in their life trust them to make smart, level headed decisions.

Making mistakes is a part of life. Refs at the national level make mistakes. Refs at the Olympic level make mistakes. However a lack of experience means that young refs make more mistakes than those veterans with years of calling matches under their belt. What’s more, young refs tend to make the same kinds of mistakes again and again. While we can’t instantly give our young fencing referees years of experience with a snap of the fingers, we can teach them how to remedy their most common mistakes by mastering fencing referee skills.

Note that when we talk about these important fencing referee skills, we aren’t talking about the details of technical decisions and rules. Those are aspects of being a ref that young fencers should go to their coaches and mentors to deal with. Instead these are guidelines for all of fencing refereeing that exists outside of the technical aspects of the sport.

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Why You Should Yell and Scream In Fencing

Yelling and screaming in fencing: why you should yell and screamRecently I was at a competition, and a new parent approached me. She has a young fencer new to the sport and they were both new to the experience of competitions. She asked me, “Why do the other girls yell so much?” She thought it was inappropriate to behave in that way and that the other girl should be penalized or punished for her outbursts.

If you’re new to the sport of competitive fencing it’s easy to mistake the outbursts to be some kind of temper tantrum or even bad sportsmanship. But the truth is it’s completely appropriate behavior, and in fact, it is encouraged and even sometimes cheered!

Here’s why.

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Plan, But Validate Your USFA Rankings Are Official

Plan attending USA Fencing National Championship, But Wait Until Your USFA Rankings Are OfficialThe next two weeks are the last to be qualified for summer nationals in some categories via a regional tournament or divisional qualifier.  In other words, this is your last chance to evaluate your current standings including how many regional points your child has, which events you need to register for, and if there’s a chance for you to improve your standing by attending another event.

Parents, it’s important that you make a careful plan for the next steps of attending Summer Nationals, as time will quickly run out if your fencer still wants to qualify.

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