There is always some question about the path to the national fencing competition. This is especially true during the spring, as fencers start to need to do the math to figure out what they have to do to qualify. This time of year, we always have parents and fencers asking us about their qualification status for Fencing Summer Nationals.
To make your way from a competitor who wants to compete to a qualified candidate, you have to figure out three things:
- How to qualify (the process for everyone)
- What your standing is (verifying your individual point standing)
- What gaps you have in qualification (and where to go to find them)
This is the same for everyone, no matter what age or stage you are at. It’s not a thing you’ll do just once and then have it figured out, either. Though the whole system is similar for every kind of fencer, it’s not exactly the same for each level. A Cadet and Y10 fencer will find familiarity in their qualification paths, but they will be different enough that they have to figure it out fresh for each of them.
It’s not that difficult to figure out, so let’s jump in and walk through it!
1. How to Qualify for Summer Nationals
THE thing to remember when looking towards qualification for Fencing Summer Nationals is that there are always multiple paths to get there. Every single fencer is able to qualify in multiple age divisions and through the Regional, Divisional, or National path. If a fencer is not quite there in one section, they should absolutely look to another section for the opportunity that will get them to Minneapolis!
For those who are new to the process – you might be closer than you think! Though many fencers trace qualification with their coach in detail from before the season even begins, that’s not the only way to go about it. If you have been competing without a plan up until now and aren’t sure where you stand, this is the time to figure it out!
If you have been competing with a plan, again you are encouraged to look at a different path. Perhaps you thought that Regional Points was the way for you, but you’re not quite there. Look at the National pathway and see how close you are there. There are lots of possibilities, and it’s entirely reasonable to think that you’ve got opportunities you don’t see.
To figure out what your possible paths are, please take a look at our previous blog post for a detailed description of the qualification guidelines. We take a deep dive into the paths, with all of the details and nitty-gritty of each potential way to get to SN.
If the written way isn’t easily clear to you, check out If you like a more visual presentation format, check out our comprehensive 2022 Summer Nationals Qualification Infographic. You’ll be able to directly follow through with your own path, based on your specific classification. Read the sections of Cadet, Junior, Division 1A, Division 2, Division 3 – these are the individual events you want to qualify for. We offer an updated infographic every year!
For fencers who are old hat at this whole process, keep in mind that the broad strokes always stay the same, but that sometimes the specifics of qualification shift here and there. You’ll need to go through the qualification parameters every year to make sure you know where you are and where you have gaps or opportunities. There might be an easier path for you than what you are thinking of or one which might be a better fit.
Everyone should take note of the updated age-eligibility for Summer Nationals:
- Cadet: 2006-2009
- Junior: 2003-2009
- Divisions (all of them): 2008 and older
- Y14: 2007-2010
- Y12: 2009-2012
- Y10: 2011-2014
Once you know your potential paths, and there are multiples paths for every single fencer, then you can go onto the next step.
2. How to verify individual point standing
Regional and National points track the individual of each fencer towards the national championships. The one that we care about right now is the 2022 Summer Nationals held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 2-11, 2022.
Fencers accumulate points at any number of competitive events across the country. These points are tallied along the way by USA Fencing, but it can be a little difficult to figure out how to find your own points in the milieu of numbers.
All point standings, both regional and national, are publicly available, so you can see the points of every fencer who has earned any. Yes, you can see the points of your rivals as well as yourself. The full list can be found here, and once you’re there you can go in depth to find the standings of each individual fencer.
For National Points, click on the list right/center with the gender and weapon categories.
On the next page, the National Youth Points header will now be bold. The list is configurable to filter specific events down to gender/weapon and age group. Choose the event that you want to see your fencer’s points. You can refer to the qualification guide to see where you are given your current standing. This is a rolling points tally, so this tab is updated constantly with new information.
To find Cadet/Junior/Senior/Veteran National Points, you’ll click on the top right header, which will send you to a different page. Scroll down and choose your weapon/gender. You’ll see a list of PDF documents with the standings over time. Unlike the Youth Points, these are not updated in a column format. Instead, you’ll look at the most recent PDF file listing the current points for your event. There’s a separate PDF for each of the events. Click the “+” button to zoom in closer and see exactly where you are. It’s not as convenient and responsive for mobile as Youth national points, but all the info is there.
If you try to click the Regional header, it will flip you back to the previous page.
Regional Points are on a rolling scale like Youth National Points. For Regional Points, look to the column on the left. Start off by making sure that the top portion is the current year – it’s a check box. Now go down the list for category, weapon, gender, region, and competition.
Let’s walk through an example with Regional points. For instance, choose “Season” as 2021/22, “Age Group” as CDT (as in Cadet), “Gender” is Women, “Weapon” is Epee, “Region” is 4 (for example – AFM is in Region 4), and “Qualifying Tournament” should be 2022 USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge. Click the “Submit” button below all these filters.
The next page will show you a list of all of the women’s cadet fencers in Region 4. If you were looking for a specific fencer, you could scan down and find their name and see if they Look for your fencer and verify their points. Since we had chosen the Cadet age group, your fencer must have 65 points to qualify. If there are more points, congratulations! Your fencer is qualified. If there are fewer points in both Cadet and Junior lists (you would need to repeat the same process again but choose Junior for “Age”) then you would need to see what additional chance to qualify your fencer has. We’ll detail that process below!
This same process works for all fencers, regardless of age category, weapon, or gender.
3. Where to go to qualify for Summer Nationals
Unfortunately, there are only a few opportunities left to qualify for the Summer Nationals. With spring already here, the timeline gets tight.
Here, we’ve listed all of the final competitions that offer fencers the chance to qualify. Don’t miss them! Registration is still open and there is still an opportunity to make it to Summer Nationals!
a) National Path – Participate in the April NAC
The April NAC will feature Cadet, Junior, and Division 2 events. It takes place in Charlotte, North Carolina. The top 40% of competitors will earn national points in Cadet and Junior respectively, as well as Division 2 regional points. In both of these cases, the fencer will automatically qualify for their respective events.
Not only is participation in NAC’s a fantastic opportunity to improve and get a great experience, but it’s also the only national points path that is left that allows fencers to automatically qualify for this year’s nationals and next year’s Junior Olympics.
To sign up for April NAC (this is recommended regardless of the points! It’s a huge experience!) click here. Again, this is the LAST NAC of the season prior to there Summer Nationals.
b) Regional Path
Every region has its own regional competitions. You are only eligible to get points for your region by attending competitions that are in that specific area.
With just three months left in the competitive season, there are limited opportunities remaining to qualify via the Regional path, but there’s still lots of room. Depending on which region you’re in, there might be a whole lot of competitions for you still to qualify in. For example, Region 3 has eleven competitions still to go before the end of the season, where Region 2 only has three.
You’ll see a list of all of the remaining regional competitions broken down by region a little further down, but let’s explain what you need to know first. Qualification is always about strategy, but it’s even moreso about that now that we are so far into the season.
If there are multiple regional competitions that you can choose from, you want to think about who is going to be at that competition. For example, the regional qualifiers for Region 4 in Southern California are highly competitive as there are many highly competitive clubs in Southern California as well as in the San Francisco Bay Area who frequently travel south for the experience and competitions. They’re going to come out to those regional competitions in force for the Senior, Cadet, and Junior levels. For some fencers, it would make a lot more sense to go to the qualifier in Utah than to those in SoCal because it will be less competitive and they will have a better chance to get those regional points. Similarly, this might be a situation in your region too, with one competition being significantly stronger than another and you might want to strategize where better to go based on your personal situation.
For regional competitions, you are earning points towards your region only. There is a significant exception here – ROCs. A ROC is a Regional Open Circuit, and a fencer from any region can qualify for Summer Nationals. If you can find any ROC in any part of the country, sign up and compete. If you finish in top 40% – congratulations, you are qualified! As of this writing, there are ten ROCs left in the season. That’s ten opportunities to qualify for Fencing Summer Nationals!
The tables below detail the type, age groups/Divisions, dates, and locations, for each of the regional competitions that are left in the season. Scroll through and find your division, keeping in mind that you can qualify in multiple categories via both points and direct qualification. [Note: to create this table required a lot of copying & pasting and it’s an error-prone process, so if something is incorrect please let me know. Also, please check the official USA Fencing site for any relevant tournament information]
|3/12-13||1||RYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Salle Auriol RYC||Salle Auriol||Seattle, WA|
|3/26-27||1||RJCC||CDT, JNR||2022 Rain City RJCC||Rain City Fencing Center||Seattle, WA|
|4/2-3||1||ROC||D1A, DV2, VET||2022 Portland ROC – DV1A, DV2 & VET||Northwest Fencing Center||Portland, OR|
|4/9-10||1||RYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Orion Spring RYC||Orion Fencing||Vancouver, WA|
|4/29-5/2||1||SYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Rain City SYC||Rain City Fencing Center||Seattle, WA|
|3/1113||2||ROC/RJCC/RYC||D1A, DV2, VET, CDT, JNR, Y14, Y12, Y10||2022 Arnold Classic ROC, RJCC & RYC||Royal Arts Fencing Academy||Columbus, OH|
|3/19-20||2||RYC/RJCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, JNR||2022 GRAFA RYC/RJCC||GRAFA||Grand Rapids, MI|
|4/1-3||2||SYC/RCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT||2022 Windy City SYC/RCC||Windy City Fencing – Chicago||Deerfield, IL|
|3/11 – 12||3||RJCC||CDT, JNR||2022 Garden State RJCC||Hub City Fencing||Metuchen, NJ|
|3/18-20||3||SYC/RCC/ROC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, VET||2022 Ben Gutenberg Memorial SYC/RCC/VET||Rochester Fencing Club||Rochester, NY|
|3/25-27||3||ROC/RJC||D1A, DV2, VET, JNR||2022 Goldfinch ROC D1A, DV2, VET & ROC||Y Fencing Club||Monroe, NJ|
|4/9-10||3||ROC||D1A, DV2, VET||2022 Boston Fencing Club ROC||Boston Fencing Club||Boston, MA|
|4/9-10||3||RYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Garden State RYC||Hub City Fencing||Metuchen, NJ|
|4/16-17||3||RYC/RJCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, JNR||2022 Duel of the East Coast RYC & RJCC||Farrag Fencing Team||King of Prussia, PA|
|4/29-5/1||3||SYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Mission/SYC||Mission Fencing Center||Rocky Point, NY|
|5/6-8||3||RYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Boston Fencing Club RYC||Boston Fencing Club||Boston, MA|
|5/14-5/15||3||ROC||D1A, DV2, VET||2022 Jeff Wolfe Long Island Challenge ROC||Mission Fencing Center||Rocky Point, NY|
|5/21-22||3||ROC||D1A||Durkan Rooster DIV1A ROC||Durkan Fencing Academy||Garfield, NJ|
|5/21-22||3||ROC/RYC||Y10,Y12,Y14, DV2||2022 Integrity Cup RYC & ROC (DV2)||New Jersey Fencing Alliance||Manalapan, NJ|
|3/18-20||4||SYC/RCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT||2022 Fortune Fencing SYC/RCC||Fortune Fencing||Ontario, CA|
|4/8-10||4||RYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Silicon Valley RYC||North Bay Fencing Academy||San Francisco, CA|
|4/9-10||4||RYC/RJCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, JNR||2022 Wasatch Fencing Spring RYC/RJCC||Wasatch Fencing||Kaysville, UT|
|5/6-8||4||ROC||D1A, DV2, VET||2022 ROC of the Rockies||Denver Fencing Center||Denver, CO|
|5/20-22||4||RJCC||CDT, JNR||2022 Collegiate Cup RJCC||University Of California San Diego NCAA||La Jolla, CA|
|3/26-27||5||ROC/RYC||D1A, DV2, VET, Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Wang Memorial RYC and ROC||North Texas Fencing Tournament Coalition (NTFTC)||Carrollton, TX|
|4/9-10||5||RYC/RJCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, JNR||2022 Battle in Space City RYC/RJCC||Salle Mauro Fencing Academy||Houston, TX|
|4/29- 5/1||5||RJCC||CDT, JNR||2022 Houston Spring RJCC||Alliance Fencing Academy||Houston, TX|
|3/12-13||6||RYC/RJCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, JNR||2021 Magic City RYC/RJCC||Birmingham Fencing Club||Birmingham, AL|
|4/2-3||6||ROC||D1A, DV2, VET||2022 Cherry Blossom ROC||University of Maryland Reckord Armory||College Park, MD|
|4/9-10||6||RYC||Y10, Y12, Y14||2022 Bull City Saber/Epee RYC||Forge Fencing||Durham, NC|
|4/29-5/1||6||RYC/RJCC/ROC/Para||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, JNR, D1A, DV2, VET, PARA||Peachtree Battle RYC ROC/RJCC/Chairfencing||Arsenal Fencing Duluth||Atlanta, GA|
|5/13-15||6||SYC/RJCC||Y10, Y12, Y14, CDT, JNR||2022 Fairfax Challenge SYC/RJCC||Fencing Sports Academy, Inc.||Fredericksburg, VA|
c) Divisional Path
The third way to get to Fencing Summer Nationals is to qualify via the divisional path.
First off, you want to find out which division you belong to. These competitions are further afield than other pathways, meaning they are more specific to your area. There are so many of them that it’s impossible to list them here, and the dates for them are not all released yet.
The Divisional Path only works for the following categories:
- Y14 (and Y12 for age-eligible)
- Division 2
- Division 3
In all of these categories, you must be in the top 25% at the Divisional Qualifier. You’ll find these on AskFred.net, and it’s also a place to be diligent about looking for open competitions. You should definitely ask your coach and your fellow fencers about potential divisional competitions that are coming your way.
Another important note here – check your profile with USA Fencing to make sure that you’re registered in the division that you’re competing in. If you are not listed in that division you will not be allowed to compete and thus will miss qualification and opportunity to participate in Summer Nationals. Please login to your fencer’s USA Fencing profile, check the Division and change if needed.
Explore every path
There are so many ways to get to Fencing Summer Nationals, even at this late date in the season! You have so many chances to get there, and there’s no reason to sell yourself short.
Fencing Summer Nationals is a competition unlike anything else. For any fencer of any age, it’s well worth the effort to make it to this competition. Explore every path that might lead you to the big competition, and don’t be afraid to look at a qualification path that’s outside of your comfort zone. With both the qualifier route and the points route, you can either build it up over time or just go qualify in a day!
Parents, know that you’ve got a lot of support to figure out how your kids can make this happen. With all of the potential ways to qualify, you could well find a way to get there that fits better in your schedule or that involves less travel. There are also considerations of where your club is sending coaches and what your other obligations look like. We encourage everyone to think outside of the box, because there are so many ways to get there.
We hope to see many of you in Minneapolis in July. It’s an extraordinary opportunity and a great feeling of accomplishment. The fencing community is a tighknit one, and Fencing Summer Nationals is where we come together to celebrate our achievements. Come join us!