Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Category: Rules and Regulations Page 2 of 12

An Open Letter to the USA Fencing Board of Directors Regarding Y10 & Y12 National Events

Dear USA Fencing Board of Directors,

The push and pull of the responsibilities of USA Fencing is significant, particularly as our sport has grown and of course through the massive challenges of the pandemic. 

It’s critical that we look out for the future of our sport, and that means looking out for our youngest competitors. Youth fencers who compete early get a head start, making the road to the highest levels more attainable and, importantly, less stressful along the way. 

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the current motion to cancel Y10 and Y12 national fencing competitions that was placed before the board back in October. In it, I encouraged our readers to reach out to their board members and to sign the petition urging the Task Force to recommend that these competitions remain in USA Fencing. 

Understanding the National Ranking System in Fencing

Understanding the National Ranking System in Fencing

On its surface, the national ranking system employed in fencing can look pretty confusing. However, understanding and using the National Points List is crucial to advancing in competition and growing as a fencer. 

The more you understand how national points are awarded and factor into a fencer’s place on the national points list, the easier it is to take advantage of competitive opportunities that could boost your ranking. National points can support qualification for Fencing Summer Nationals, which is a major goal for many fencers. 

Regional points are earned with similar mechanics, but for now, we’ll focus on national points as they apply across the board. 

How to Put Your Name on a Fencing Jacket

How to Put Your Name on a Fencing Jacket

One of the major milestones that a fencer takes comes when they get their name put on their jacket. This is a mark showing that they are not only committed to fencing, but that they are invested in competition to a level of showing the world that they are here for the long haul. Of course, having a jacket stenciled with your name is a requirement for competing in every USA Fencing national-level event, such as NAC’s (North America Cup), July Challenge, or National Championships. 

It’s more than just a requirement, though – getting a name on a jacket is also an initiation of sorts. Youth fencers feel a real sense of pride when they get their name put on their jackets. It’s also a big step for adult fencers, who feel that same rush of pride! There is something magical about the dark letters on the white jacket. Many fencers choose to get their name on their jacket as they get close to that level of competition in order to mentally psych themselves into improving. 

There is, however, a cold hard practicality to putting the name on the jacket. To dive deep into what that can look like, let’s go through the requirements as well as the possible ways to meet them. 

Qualification Update: 2023 Fencing Summer Nationals

Qualification Update: 2023 Fencing Summer Nationals

We’re already in the thick of the 2022-23 fencing season, and that means it’s time to start thinking about those long-term goals surrounding Fencing Summer Nationals next year.

This year, there are more opportunities than ever to qualify for the tournament, and with all of these potential ways to compete, we want to be sure that everyone is well prepared for reaching their potential. 

Where competitions are held

There’s been a lot of discussion online about the way that the tournament season was structured, particularly in regards to the geographic distribution of the tournaments around the country. Where and when major tournaments take place can have a significant impact on who can attend, which then has far reaching ramifications for how qualification plays out for individuals. For many fencers, the placement of national tournaments this season means that they’ll have to rethink what they’d like to attend to qualify. 

We wrote an in-depth piece about this when it was announced over the summer, and you can get all of the details there. 

The placement of national tournaments could be a challenge for those fencers who are accustomed to qualifying in a certain way. They might be frustrated that travel expenses are difficult to overcome, thanks to where those national tournaments are now. Rather than looking at this as a hindrance, fencers can view this as an opportunity to travel more or to challenge themselves to go the divisional or regional level to get the all way to the top.

Now the big question is – how do fencers qualify for Fencing Summer Nationals? Here’s what you need to know.

Where Do We Go From Here? An Open Letter to USA Fencing about the 2022-23 National Calendar

Where Do We Go From Here? An Open Letter to USA Fencing about the 2022-23 National Events Calendar

USA Fencing just released the national calendar for next season today, and it’s already a hot topic of conversation online and among the fencing community in clubs all over the United States. While we were anxiously anticipating this national calendar, what was revealed is, to put it bluntly, a big disappointment. 

Normally, I refrained from criticizing USA Fencing here on the AFM blog and in general within the community because it doesn’t help to grow the reputation of the organization and by extension it doesn’t help the sport to grow and become more widespread in the world. I also understand the immense amount of work that it takes to bring these huge events to life all over the country, especially when a lot of people have a lot of different opinions. 

Every region is hugely different. Every club is different from every other club. There are many, many stakeholders that need to be satisfied. The members have a multitude of different requirements, the coaches have needs and ideas, the clubs are always looking for ways to keep going, and fencing parents have an important perspective. For all of these reasons, I usually try to refrain from criticizing. Even here, with this controversy about the schedule, I hope to not wade into criticizing, but rather that it will be looked on by USA Fencing as an opportunity to improve for next year. 

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