As we head towards the spring, Fencing Summer Nationals in San Jose will be here before we know it! For Youth fencers that hope to compete, it’s important for parents to be aware of the qualification paths that explain how your child can qualify for the competition. You can read the full set of qualifications rules on USFA’s website here. One way to qualify is through regional points, so this post will help you with tracking your child’s regional points standing to know if you’ve qualified or what you still need to qualify.
The paths differ for Y10 vs. Y12 vs. Y14. Note that when we talk about regional points standing, this refers specifically to points in your region, the one in which you are registered for the season.
Y10: Fencer need only be on the Y10 regional points standings to qualify (100% of fencers on the list qualify).
Y12: Fencer must be in the top 50% of the Y12 regional points standings to qualify. Younger fencers can also qualify for Y12 if in the top 4 in the region for Y10.
Y14: Fencing must be in the top 25% of the Y14 regional points standing to qualify. Younger fencers can qualify for Y14 if in the top 8 in the region for Y12.
When calculating regional points, the top three finishes in your region are what counts toward your total. You can find your total on USFA’s website under Rankings–> Current Points Standing –>Regional. Alternatively, here is a direct link. Once there, select your child’s weapon, category (e.g., Y14 Men’s Epee: “Y14ME”), and region (e.g., California is in “Region 4”). Click “Submit” and an ordered list will appear for you to search for your child’s name and find their rank. Note that for non-Youth age groups, the regional points are common across the whole country rather than being specific to a region. For cadets and juniors the points come from RJCCs and for Div1A, Div2, and Veterans, from ROCs.
Once you have found the right list and your child’s name, it’s time to do some simple math. Note your child’s rank and then note the total number of fencers in the list. For example, in Y12 Men’s Foil (Y12MF) for Region 4, there are currently 108 names. This number can go up as more competitions are completed, but cannot not down. So for Region 4, the top 50% would be the first 54 names. That means if you’re child is ranked 1-54, you’re currently qualified if nothing were to change. If you’re close to the middle, you might get knocked down if pending results place other fencers above your child. If you’re further up the list, your chances are better that you will stay qualified. At the same time, if you are below 54, you may end up qualifying as more fencers are added to the list or your child earns a better result than their current top three.
You can also click on your child’s name to view the breakdown of their points total with qualifying competitions and respective placements and earned points. You will see a list of the top three results (or fewer if your child has earned points in fewer than three regional competitions).
To earn more regional points, check askFred or your Division to check for the remaining RYCs in your region. Consult with your coach to figure out which RYCs would be best to attend to improve your results (if needed). The best option is to attend all of them! But we know budget and time constraints may limit your options, and your coach can help you narrow it down. If you really want to get crafty, you can look up the fencers that your child will face in upcoming competitions to estimate their chances to knock your child down the list.
You have a good bit of information available to you to check your child’s progress and probability of qualifying for Summer Nationals. At the same time, nothing is guaranteed and in the end you can only attend the competitions you can and support your child in fencing their best!
Update December 3, 2015: For Fencing Summer Nationals 2016 (Dallas, Texas), the cutoff numbers for Y12 and Y14 categories are changed to make it more attainable. The Y12 percentage increased to 60% and Y14 percentage is now 30%. Thanks to L. Mao for suggesting an update!