Art of Fencing, Art of Life

Petition to Fix the Summer Nationals Schedule

Dear Fencing Community,

I’ve just launched a petition that speaks to the hearts of fencers, parents, coaches, and clubs across the nation. This petition is a rallying cry for an immediate revision of the Summer Nationals schedule, and here’s why it’s so crucial.

The scheduling of national-level competitions has become riddled with issues that demand urgent attention. Take, for example, the April NAC in Men’s Epee, where the Senior Team event overlaps with Junior Men’s Epee. This year, we see a staggering drop in participation, with only 8 registered teams compared to the 30 teams that fenced the same event the year before (not clear that all eight teams will fence as usually some registrations scratch). This decline denies our fencers the opportunity to gain valuable experience and weakens our long-term prospects for developing competitive team fencing at the international level.

In the March NAC, events in the same weapon (for all weapons/genders) on the last day start simultaneously, creating insurmountable challenges for coaches to provide adequate strip coaching coverage.

Yesterday, the USFA released the Summer Nationals schedule, and after lengthy discussions with coaches, we’ve identified several issues that need urgent attention. Imagine gearing up for the biggest tournament of the year, only to be met with a schedule that forces you to make impossible choices.

Events overlap, conflicts arise, and the logistical nightmare becomes all too real. This isn’t just about inconvenience; it’s about the integrity of the competition, the development of our fencers, and the future of team fencing in the USA.

These issues affect fencers of all ages, from Y14 and up, in various weapons and genders, to our veterans who’ve dedicated years to the sport. It’s about ensuring that every fencer has the opportunity to compete at the national level and dream of representing the USA on the international stage.

As someone who has organized similarly complex events in the past, I understand the logistical complexities that the USFA team faces. It’s not easy and requires hours after hours of revisions and conflict resolution. While I sympathize with their challenges, I believe we can work towards a better schedule together.

That’s why I’m urging you to sign this petition, and to sign it now. We can’t afford to wait until it’s too late. The Summer Nationals registration is looming, and we need the USFA to take action ASAP. We need them to listen to our concerns, recognize the urgency of the situation, and implement the changes we so desperately need.

So, fellow fencers, coaches, parents, club owners, officials, and supporters of the sport, I implore you—don’t let this opportunity slip away. Sign the petition, share it far and wide, and let your voice be heard. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can ensure that the future of fencing in the USA is brighter than ever before.

I believe that by uniting behind this cause, the USFA will be compelled to take action and seek input from the community on how to improve the schedule. After all, we all share the same goal—to make fencing better. Let’s turn this belief into action and create a platform for collaboration.

Let’s do this.

Link to the petition: https://chng.it/5Bn5BV7DbW

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4 Comments

  1. R

    Refs are needed to enable fencing. SN’s first half comprising the senior events is more attractive to those with limited vacation time or who don’t want to slough through 512s thus impacting staffing. NAC teams don’t comprise our nationals so I don’t understand what’s lost.

    • Igor Chirashnya

      That’s a strange argument, Rich! There are a lot of qualified refs to bring to the event of this magnitude, both domestic and international. This shouldn’t be a factor. But in your own event, vets cannot fence either Div1A or teams. The schedule of the national championship shouldn’t disallow it by design. It should be your own choice. And that’s with every vet event for all weapons/genders. Also, CWE and Sr Team WE are on the same day, making it impossible to fence both, thus cutting the teams in half (at least).

  2. Ian Swope

    Thank you for posting this. We looked at the schedule and saw that for our single daughter to compete in Y14WF, CDTWF and JNRWF we’d need to take 9 days off of work and have 8 hotel nights plus meals and were completely shocked that this was the best schedule they could come up with. Considering the overlap of competitors doing all 3 of these events is pretty high they couldn’t put them closer together than having 2 days between each separate event? We don’t have unlimited time or money and are now trying to figure out how to get her into at least 2 events since we don’t know how we can pull off all 3.

    • Igor Chirashnya

      Hi Ian, there are many issues and we all need to raise our concerns for the national office to hear them. Please also share it with your social circle do hopefully more people will sign. And good at the the nationals!

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