Competition is not
mandatory but it is essential in the learning process if you
intend to become a high level-fencer. Once you have
passed the beginner's level and have gained some experience
you may want to consider competition. It is important
that you feel confident in your abilities and you are ready
to take the competition seriously. It is only then
that you should approach your instructor about competing and
discuss the what is right for you. Your instructor
will help you select the tournament that is right for you.
Local events, hosted by
other fencing clubs, will usually be your entry into the
competitive world. These smaller venues are usually single
weapon events. The Divisional and Sectional
Tournaments are used to qualify the fencer for national
tournaments. The Regional Open Circuit (ROC) and Youth
Events are Regional Competitions. The Summer Nations, Junior
Olympics, and North American Cups (NAC) are National
Tournaments. Many advanced competitions are broken down by
weapon, age, and gender.
What Is Required
You must be a
member of the US Fencing Association which is the governing
body for fencing in the United States. The fee for a
Basic Membership is approximately $40. This gives you
the ability to participate in US competitions and provides
you with insurance. You can register at
create an account on the
website. This site is a great resource for planning
competitions to attend.
Register for the
event. If you do not prepay be sure to bring a
check with you to the event.
You are required to
have a full set of electric equipment with age appropriate
weapons. Check in advance to make sure all components
are in good working order.
For beginners your
instructor must be there to guide, direct and give advice.
Coaching fees for a competition vary based on location,
coach's demand and level of competition.
Work with your coach
to set attainable goals prior to the competition.
Early arrival is
necessary to give yourself time to check-in and warm-up.
Keep a fencing journal
and write down your thoughts about the competition. Include
what actions worked and what failed against who and why.
You can use this to discuss topics with your coach at your
What To Bring To
must have a Breast Protector
White Socks that reach bottom of knickers (soccer socks
either fencing or sneakers
working weapons and two working body cords
Fencing bag to hold equipment
Plastic bag to hold wet equipment
(small and large screwdrivers for tip and
pommel, spare screws, springs, Allen wrench, small white towel)
up suit and change of clothes
or exact change for entry fees if not prepaid
Medical kit with
band-aids, ice pack, ace bandage, feminine products and
required prescription medication
Medical insurance card
Books, Ipod, or games
to pass the time.
Competition Do For Me?
- Improves your
skill level and fencing abilities
- Allows you to
test your proficiency against other opponents.
- Teaches good
- Allows you to
meet interesting people and make new friends.
- Improves general
- Helps to increase
focus and develop an ability to make quick decisions.
- Allows you set
goals and strive to achieve them.
- Can gain ranking
at a national level.
What To Expect On The Competition Day...
your day off with a good breakfast well before the event
Remember to bring a towel, change of clothes and winning
Arrive early to the event.
to see if your club has a gathering spot where you can
put your gear.
Events are often listed as the close of check-in which
means you have between a 1/2 hour before and this time
to present yourself to the registration table. The
fencer must check-in themselves. Once check-in closes it
takes about 1/2 hour to draw up the pool sheets.
So you can expect fencing to begin about 1/2 hour after
the close of check-in.
must have your equipment officially tested. This
is something that a parent can do for you while you
warm-up. You can not compete if your equipment
does not have the correct inspection markings.
warm-up process should consist of a physical warm up and
a fencing skills warm up. Both are very important to get
you ready for your bout. Plan on spending at least
30 minutes on your fencing skills, 15 minutes for kids
under 10, so you are prepared for the first bout.
will be placed in a pool with between 5 - 7 competitors.
Depending on the venue they may call your name and send
you to a strip or you may be required to look at a
posted list. Pay attention to all announcements.
Proceed to the strip with all the equipment needed.
Take a look at the score sheet to make sure you name is
spelled correctly and to see who the other fencers are
in your pool. Remember it is never too early to
strategize. Most directors will announce what
match is starting as well as which match is on deck. It
is recommended that you stay near the strip at all
times. Remember that the best way to see your
opponents abilities is to watch the in their other
matches. Try and rest between bouts if possible.
A pool of 6 fencers will finish in about 1 1/2 hours.
Sometimes it is necessary to have 2 sets of pools, so
the second would start when the first is finished.
hydrated and eat light and healthy throughout the
every fencer has fenced every other competitor the pool
is concluded. Be sure to check over the referee's
score sheet for accuracy before you sign it.
Results are then seeded and posted. It will
usually take some time before the elimination bouts
begin. Do not do anything to exert yourself
between elimination bouts and put on clothing to keep
your body warm.