New Jersey Division of Fencing

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2020-21 Athlete Handbook Updates

The 2020-21 USA Fencing Athlete Handbook has been posted at https://www.usafencing.org/athlete-handbook.

The Athlete Handbook includes several key changes and modifications due to COVID-19 restrictions. Any additional updates made throughout the season will be posted to the website above. Also, please note that the Athlete Handbook does not contain selection criteria for the 2020-21 season as the national and international schedules have not been finalized yet. When the selection criteria is released, an announcement will be made at www.usafencing.org.

The following is a summary of key updates:

Classifications

Due to the cancellation of events during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, classification decays that were scheduled to occur on Aug. 1, 2020 will be postponed until Aug. 1, 2021.

Athletes may still earn new classifications during the 2020-21 season regardless of geographic restrictions placed on any event.

Qualification

For the 2020-21 season, due to the cancellation of and regional restrictions affecting Regional Youth and Super Youth Circuit tournaments, the requirement for Y10 and Y12 fencers to attend one of these events prior to registering for a Youth North American Cup has been removed. Please Note: This requirement has not been removed for the 2021 National Championships.

As announced on Nov. 24, the Tournament Committee is examining qualification pathways throughout the season for the 2021 National Championships and July Challenge and will examine expanding division qualification pathways in order to supplement qualification via the national and regional events structure. A top percentage of each regional points list-based qualification will be used to compensate for the differences in the number of events in each region. The percentage of each regional list will be determined as the field size for Summer Nationals becomes clearer.

Petitions

Athletes who were unable to compete in the various qualifying competitions this season due to COVID 19 restrictions will be able to petition for entry into the 2021 National Championships and July Challenge.

Age Requirements

For junior and cadet events, athletes will not age out of an age category until the conclusion of the 2021 Junior Olympic Championships which will be held in July during the USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge.

International Regional Circuit Events

There will be no IRC tournaments held during the 2020-21 season.

Update regarding tournaments!

USA Fencing Events and Points Allocation Update

06/25/2020, 1:45PM CDT

As an organization, USA Fencing understands the disappointment the fencing community experienced with the cancellation of the National Championship and July Challenge as well as the national events and championships in March and April.

The National Office is working together with constituents within the fencing community to determine the structure of the events schedule for the 2020-21 season. These constituents include representatives from the National Office, board of directors, Referees’ Commission and Tournament Committee as well as coaches, club owners, athletes and regional event organizers.

“Although it was heart-breaking for everyone to realize that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would mean the ultimate cancellation of our national events, we know that the health and safety of our community must come before competition,” said USA Fencing President Donald K. Anthony Jr. “We are hopeful for the future as the fencing community returns to local, regional and, ultimately, national events. We are looking into how we can be creative in the use of event combinations as we prepare for the return of national events for the 2020-21 season. Tournaments may look different in the future as we continue through the phases of our Return to Fencing Guidelines, but, as fencers return to their clubs for camps and lessons this summer, I want to reassure all of you that we are working hard to create a national tournament structure next season that includes safe competition opportunities for all events.”

Updates regarding any changes to the existing national events schedule (currently set to begin at the October North American Cup in Richmond, Va. on Oct. 18-21) will be made in the coming weeks.

In May, USA Fencing Competitive members and tournament officials completed a survey in order to obtain feedback from the membership and gauge the interest of participants in returning to local, regional and national tournaments. A follow-up survey will be distributed on July 6. Regional organizers have been contacted in order to receive feedback as well.

USA Fencing will resume the sanctioning of local tournaments on Aug. 1 in locations where tournaments are permitted to be held by local and state laws, regulations, executive orders and other legal mandates regarding COVID-19.

Due to restrictions on large group gatherings in most areas of the country, regional tournaments that were postponed during the last three months due to COVID-19 will not be rescheduled. USA Fencing is working with regional tournament organizers on the scheduling of regional events for the 2020-21 season with more details to be released in the coming weeks. Individuals who registered for these regional events will be contacted directly regarding their refunds.

Regional patch winners for the 2019-20 season will be determined based on the regional events that took place throughout the course of the season prior to the COVID-19 cancellations with announcements to be made by the end of July. Winners will be mailed their patches in August.

Points Updates

The USA Fencing National Office, in conjunction with the Tournament Committee and the Youth Development Resource Team, determined the following plan regarding expiration of youth points:

Y10, Y12, Y14 Regional Points

  • Points expire on July 31 at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.

Y10, Y12, Y14 National Points

  • Athletes who age out of their category will be removed from points lists at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
  • Points earned by those still age eligible for their respective category at the 2019 March NAC, 2019 March SJCC and 2019 National Championships will remain on the national points lists until another national event is completed.

In consultation with the Veterans Committee, the following determinations were made regarding the Veteran National Point Standings:

  • The next North American Cup that includes veteran events will be seeded with points from the following events: 2019 April and December North American Cups, 2019 National Championships and 2019 Veteran World Championships. In the event that the 2020 Veteran Worlds are canceled, this event will be removed from seeding and the National Point Standings.
  • Due to the cancellation of the 2020 National Veteran Championships, points earned at the 2019 December NAC will be used to create the Veteran Team Point Standings. The top four athletes on the Veteran Team Point Standings will be selected to represent the United States at the 2020 Veteran World Championships. All remaining athletes will be alternates to the Veteran World Championship Team.

Updates will be made regarding Senior, Junior and Cadet National Points Standings following the release of details regarding the 2020-21 international events schedule from the Federation Internationale d’Escrime and the European Fencing Confederation.

https://www.usafencing.org/news_article/show/1110840?fbclid=IwAR03eeM2Kiq7ZiVutlDLo8DCkiIgJOvuS5zwYjWTyNc7khdryktFve4xKVM

The 2020-2021 National calendar is posted

The 2020-2021 National calendar is posted – can’t wait to fence, can you?

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing is pleased to announce the national events schedule for the 2020-21 season.

The North American Cup circuit, which includes North American Cups as well as National Championships, will travel to eight cities across the country, beginning in October and concluding with the National Championships and July Challenge in July of 2021.

The 2020-21 season will open in Richmond, Virginia at the October North American Cup. Held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center Oct. 23-26, Richmond was the location of the 2018 Division I and Parafencing National Championships and April North American Cup. Division I and parafencing athletes will once again be in action in Richmond with the Division I event serving as a domestic qualifier for the 2021 Senior World Championship Team. Division II fencers and cadet fencers will also be competing with points on the line for the 2021 Junior and Cadet World Championships.

Cadets, as well as juniors, will have another opportunity to pick up points for qualification to the Junior and Cadet World Team in November as the NAC circuit continues in Minneapolis. Taking place Nov. 13-16, the November North American Cup will mark the return to Minnesota for the first time since 2014 when it hosted the Division I and Wheelchair National Championships and April NAC. Y14 fencers will also head to the Minneapolis Convention Center to fence for the first time in the 20-21 season.

The host of the 2018 National Championships and July Challenge as well as the 2020 Division I and Parafencing National Championships and April NAC – where the 2020 Olympic Team will be named – St. Louis will showcase some of the world’s best fencers as Division I athletes continue their quest for a place on the 2021 World Team. With competition running Dec. 11-14 at the America’s Center, veteran athletes also will be competing in age and open categories with 50-59, 60-69 and +70 fencing for Veteran World Team qualification in their first event of the season. Competition will also be held in Division II and senior team events.

The first national event of 2021 heads to Atlanta, where World Team qualification points will once again be on the line for Division I athletes and juniors. Returning for the first time since 2010, the competition will run Jan. 8-11 at the Georgia World Congress Center and also will feature competition in senior team as well as parafencing.

The circuit moves to the West Coast in San Jose for the Junior Olympic Championships and is the site of the final domestic qualifier for the Junior and Cadet World Team. The JOs will feature cadet and junior individual events as well as junior team competition from Feb. 12-15 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. This marks the return of the NAC circuit to San Jose for the first time since 2015 when it held the National Championships.

Many of the fencers at the March NAC will be competing in Fort Worth Texas for the first time as top youth athletes in Y10, Y12, Y14 and Y14 team events will fence alongside Division II competitors at the Fort Worth Convention Center from March 19-22.

Denver will be home of the 2021 Division I and Parafencing National Championships. The host of the 2019 Junior Olympic Championships, competition takes place April 16-19 at the Colorado Convention Center. Contesting both individual and team events for Division I, Denver will not only see some of the country’s top athletes fence for national titles, but also is a domestic qualifier for the 2021 Senior World Championship Team. Division II, Division III and veteran events will also be held as part of the April NAC with veterans continuing their quest for a position on the 2021 Veteran World Championship Team.

The final event of the season – the National Championships and July Challenge – heads to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia for the first time in the event’s history. From July 3-12, national titles will be awarded in veteran age, Division IA, Division II, Division III, Y10, Y12 and Y14 with the 2021 Veteran World Championship Team also being named. The largest fencing tournament in the world, more than 5,000 competitors are expected to attend with 96 gold medals awarded.

Please click on the links below to reserve your hotel room through USA Fencing’s official housing partner, GroupHousing. All rooms are guaranteed to be the lowest rate available.

2020-21 USA Fencing National Events Schedule:

October North American Cup
Division I, Division II, Cadet, Parafencing
Richmond, Virginia
Oct. 23-26, 2020

November North American Cup
Junior, Cadet, Y14
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nov. 13-16, 2020

December North American Cup
Division I, Division II, Veteran Open, Veteran Age, Senior Team
St. Louis, Missouri
Dec. 11-14, 2020

January North American Cup
Division I, Junior, Parafencing, Senior Team
Atlanta, Georgia
Jan. 8-11, 2021

Junior Olympic Championships
Junior, Cadet, Junior Team
San Jose, California
Feb. 12-15, 2021

March North American Cup
Division II, Y14, Y12, Y10, Y14 Team
Fort Worth, Texas
March 19-22, 2021

Division I/Parafencing National Championships and April North American Cup
Championships: Division I, Parafencing, Division I Team
NAC: Division II, Division III, Veteran Open, Veteran Age
Denver, Colorado
April 16-19, 2021

National Championships and July Challenge
Championships: Division IA, Division II, Division III, Veteran Age, Y10, Y12, Y14
July Challenge: Division I, Junior, Cadet, Senior Team, Veteran Team
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
July 3-12, 2021

https://www.usafencing.org/news_article/show/1077961

USA Fencing cancels the National Championships and July Challenge.

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Fencing has announced the cancellation of the National Championships and July Challenge, which was scheduled to be held in Louisville, Ky.

Originally scheduled for June 28 – July 7, the tournament, which draws nearly 5,000 participants ages 8-80+ over 10 days of competition, was previously postponed with the potential of holding the event in August.

“Summer Nationals has become the largest fencing tournament in the world and the culmination of the season for athletes of all ages over the last 30+ years. But the tournament is more than that. For athletes and their families, coaches and tournament staff, Summer Nationals has become a tradition and an opportunity for the fencing community to come together every year,” said USA Fencing Senior Director of Sport Operations Christine Strong-Simmons. “We worked with our partners at the Louisville Sports Commission as well as the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Kentucky Division over the past two months regarding dozens of possible scenarios and contingency plans to hold the event in August or September. However, the health and well-being of our members is the most important thing to consider at this time and now we will focus on preparing for what fencing competition looks like in the upcoming season.”

At this time, the state of Kentucky is not allowing gatherings of more than 50 people until July 1 with the timeline for when the state will open for large events still unknown.

On May 15, USA Fencing sent out a survey to all competitive members as well as tournament officials to receive feedback regarding what safety measures the community would like to see put in place when events resume as well as the likelihood that competitors and staff would participate in an upcoming event such as Summer Nationals.

With more than 3,000 respondents participating in the survey, only 35% of those who previously planned on competing at Summer Nationals described themselves as “likely” or “very likely” to compete at a national event held in August with 38% responding in the same manner for a national event in September. Accordingly, only 35% of tournament officials responded that they would be likely to volunteer to work a national event an August with the number increasing to 41% in September. Additional surveys will be conducted in the coming weeks.

View Summer National Event Survey Results

“We appreciate everyone who took the time to share their feedback. While canceling this event for the first time in the history of Summer Nationals was a challenging decision, we will be doing everything we can to work on how to structure future tournaments in a manner that helps protect all participants,” said Brandon Rochelle, chair of the Tournament Committee. “With states around the country still under orders such as stay at home or safer at home, one of the challenges this tournament presents is when athletes will be able to return to regular training in order to be in proper condition to compete at a national level event. We all want to return to competition as soon as possible, but we also need to ensure that athletes have time to prepare for such an event.”

On April 29, the USA Fencing Board of Directors made the decision to allow the sanctioning of non-competitive fencing activities in locations where clubs are permitted to operate or reopen by local and state laws, regulations, executive orders and other legal mandates regarding COVID-19.

Although the sanctioning of local and regional events has not resumed, USA Fencing released Return to Fencing Guidelines on May 26 to help athletes, coaches, club owners and division officers prepare to return to lessons, practice and training as states begin to reopen and allow such activity.

“Club owners and coaches around the country have been extremely innovative in order to keep fencers engaged in the sport throughout the last few months. As clubs begin to reopen throughout the summer, we know fencers will be excited to return to the sport. Although we are all disappointed at the cancellation of Summer Nationals, we encourage fencers to return to practices, lessons and camps in preparation for a return to competition at all levels as soon as we can safely do so,” said USA Fencing CEO Kris Ekeren.

Athletes will age out of their current age categories on July 31. As announced in April, classification degradation will take place on Jan. 1, 2021 rather than Aug. 1, 2020.

Additional information will be provided on or before June 18 regarding the National Points Standings. The National Office will work with the Sports Performance Resource Team, Tournament Committee, Veterans Committee, Parafencing Resource Team, Athlete Advisory Committee (AAC), Youth Development Resource Team and National Coaches in order to determine the impact of the cancellation of national events due to COVID-19 on National Points Standings.

Any details regarding future event dates will be released at www.usafencing.org.

Athletes who previously requested that registration and event fees from the March and April North American Cups or Division I National Championships be transferred to Summer Nationals will be contacted by the National Office regarding refunds.

Additional details regarding events that were scheduled to take place during the National Championships, including the 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as well as the 2020 All-Academic and All-American Receptions, will be posted in the coming weeks.

If you have questions regarding the event, the refund process, etc., please contact nationalevents@usafencing.org.

USA Fencing Town Hall Report

A Summary of the recent Town Hall is available at the link or continue reading below
https://www.usafencing.org/news_article/show/1106504

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The USA Fencing Board of Directors and National Office Staff held a town hall meeting on Tuesday to inform the fencing community of news within USA Fencing as well as answer questions that were submitted from the membership.

Updates were given from board members and National Office Staff on topics such as membership, sports performance and national events, including the announcement that an update regarding the status of the USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge will be made by June 1. In addition, there will be an FIE meeting the first week in June with updates regarding the status of international fencing events to follow.

The following is a summary of questions, answers and reports from the town hall meeting:

National Events Q&A

Q: What is the timeline for an announcement regarding Summer Nationals?

A: USA Fencing will announce a decision on Summer Nationals by June 1. We have submitted a plan to the state of Kentucky that they are reviewing. We also sent out a survey to tournament officials as well as all competitive members last week to gauge interest in returning to competition and what the membership would like in order to improve the safety of our events. We received more than 3,000 responses and are reviewing the feedback currently. One of the many benefits of the survey is that we have been able to hear a significant amount of feedback from membership and it was important for us to hear directly from those competing what their exact concerns and comfort level is in attending Summer Nationals as well as other local, regional and national events moving forward. Among the issues we heard were ensuring enough training time once certain regions begin to open back up to concerns regarding masks during tournaments. We are taking all of that into consideration as we implement event plans for the future.

Q: Looking forward to the 2020-21 schedule, what is the current plan for the season?

A: USA Fencing has been working on all possibilities over the last two months. Knowing the likelihood of a lower attendance we’ve researched how a 50-75% attendance rate impacts our event structures, both nationally and regionally. We have also begun to see how states are going to re-open once again allowing sports and larger gatherings and are working on how that will apply to USA Fencing events. We have been working with the local CVBs and Sports Commissions with the expectation of lower attendance and we do have signed contracts with each of the cities, but because of our great partnerships we’re all working together to ensure successful event under any situation. We also wanted to assess how the USA Fencing membership and tournament staff felt about attending events in the coming months and sent out a survey last week to gather that information.

In addition, we are putting together a group from all areas of the fencing community with representatives from the National Office, board of directors, Referees’ Commission, and Tournament Committee as well as coaches, club owners, athletes and regional event organizers. This group will look at the structure of our national tournaments and the best way forward for fencing as a whole in regards to events.

Q:  How do you plan to handle current national points if Summer Nationals or the autumn NACs are postponed?

A: In the event that events are postponed or cancelled, the National Office Staff will work with the Tournament Committee, Sports Performance Resource Team and athlete representatives in order to develop a plan for the transition of past points onto future rankings

Q: Travel restrictions are likely to remain in place for some time and many members may be hesitant to get on an airplane, stay in hotels, and eat at restaurants in host cities. Are there going to be any adjustments to national events given these issues?

A: We are working closely with our CVBs, Sports Commission, and hotel partners across the country to ensure that each city will have the health and safety protocols locally prior to any event hosted in a city. That includes the airport, hotels, and restaurants. Many cities are in their beginning phases of this reopening process and are re-opening at this time. We understand and share those concerns so it’s definitely something we’re aware of at the National Office. Prior to any tournament, we will be sure to direct attendees to any local restrictions and guidelines as they will vary throughout the country.

Q: With social distancing being highly encouraged in all public places, what is USA Fencing doing to ensure the safety of all attendees?

A: The Tournament Committee is looking at the idea of having a maximum number of participants at local, regional, and national level based upon local, state and federal guidelines for large gatherings. We are looking at protocols for events to make sure social distancing is maintained in all aspects of a tournament including how the layout is set up (more space), registration, armory, Bout Committee, field of play, competition and awards.

Q: What is USA Fencing doing to ensure the safety of all competitors at national events?

A: The biggest/most common question we received was along these lines. We are working on a protocol document for our National Events that will outline how we will best reduce the risk of attendees at events. We’ve worked with the RC, TC, BC, Semi Committee, awards, vendors, replay and IT to determine risk areas and best way to reduce the risk. Possibilities include temperature checks at the door, spectator limitations, check in updates, additional medical staff, updated layouts, competition interaction protocols between referees and athletes. How to best handle weapon check and keep both the armorers and athletes safe through that process. We’re working with convention centers to ensure enough sanitation stations, clean restrooms, safe concessions etc. It’s safe to say that events will look different. But all the measures that will be put in place will be done with the health and safety of our membership in mind.

Q: Can you further clarify the Classification downgrade announcement that was made late last month?

A: We changed the date of classification downgrade from Aug. 1, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021. This means for example that a C16 would downgrade to a D20 typically on August 1. That downgrade will now occur on Jan 1. It does not, in any way, refer to age classifications.

Membership and Sanctioning Q&A

Q: What are the expectations for the size of membership next season? 

A: We have had a lot of great growth within our membership and clubs over the past few years, reaching 40,000+ members for the first time in 2018-19 and more than 700 clubs. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on sports at all levels around the nation, but we will be working with our clubs to help retain fencers. Historically, in times of tragedy, people are looking to get back to what is familiar, including sports. We just want to make sure that everyone can do so as safely as possible, both in training and in competition. Most sports are projecting between 10-30% drop; we hope that we will not see more than a 20% drop.

Q: Do you have a timeline for when fencers will be able to return to training and competition?

A: USA Fencing resumed its sanctioning of club activities on May 1, 2020 for clubs in locations where clubs are permitted to operate or reopen by local and state laws, regulations, executive orders and other legal mandates regarding COVID-19. We are finalizing Return to Fencing guidelines which will be made available to the full membership, including division officers, club owners, coaches, fencers, families. The Return to Fence Guidelines will include multiple phases of reintroduction to fencing. This includes guidelines for before, during and after fencing.

Q: In establishing equity with respect to training, is there an established training timeline so all athletes may have time to train before tournaments are sanctioned?

A: As we look at timelines for sanctioning tournaments at all levels, this also includes examining which areas have access to training, under what conditions and for how long. We know that many fencers want to return to competition, but that this must be balanced in order to ensure that athletes have had time to train prior to the return to competition.

Q: Will there be any extensions on memberships purchased during the 2019-20 season?

A: As we roll out plans for a Return to Fencing, we also are assessing when the 2019-20 season will formally conclude and what affect that will have on memberships for the upcoming season.

Q: Our division typically holds its Board elections around this time. We’re trying to figure out a way to do this virtually this year, given the current situation. Ideally, we would hold our annual meeting via some online platform, and then send voting links to eligible members of our division.

A: USA Fencing uses a platform called eBallot for national elections. However, depending on the size and scope of your election, a platform such as Survey Monkey may be useful. We do recommend reviewing your bylaws to make sure that any method you use is in compliance in order to guarantee the validity of the election. The USA Fencing National Office can assist with utilizing a platform such as Survey Monkey and will be reaching out to divisions with information on assistance.

Sports Performance Update

There is a dedicated page on our website (www.usafencing.org/coronavirus) that contains useful information for athletes, including webinars and podcasts on topics ranging from keeping fit at home to financial stability as well as tips for air travel, links to resources, up-to-date event information and much more.

National Team Update

All international events are on hold and the FIE is working to develop an event calendar for next season.  Of course there are many items dependent on this calendar, including finalization of the Olympic selection criteria, 2020-21 designated calendars and selection criteria, scheduling of training camps and many others.

From an athlete funding perspective, both the USOPC and USA Fencing are continuing to pay monthly athlete stipends.  We do not have confirmed information regarding USOPC funding for 2021, but we expect to see a reduction in support.  USA Fencing is planning to do everything possible to provide the Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls with the same level of support in 2020-21 as we planned for 2019-20.

We are working with the USOPC on when and how the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center will open as it will be an important venue for our teams to prepare for getting back into competition. In the meantime, our athletes continue to train at home and hopefully will be back in their clubs soon.

The USA Fencing Athletes Advisory Council, the Sports Performance Resource Team, Paralympic Resource Team, Veterans Committee and the national coaches have all played and will continue to play key roles in handling the challenges COVID-19 has had on our athletes.

From a Veterans perspective, we previously announced revised selection criteria for the Veterans World Championships.  The FIE is currently working with its Medical Commission to determine if the Championships can and should be held this year.  We know some of our vet fencers are hesitant to travel and hope to have a decision from the FIE in early June.

Sports Medicine Update

Everyone is urged to remain up-to-date with local, regional, state and national guidelines with regards to health and safety in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Links to these guidelines have been posted at www.usafencing.org/coronavirus.  USA Fencing is finalizing Return to Fencing guidelines which will be released shortly..

In addition, we are developing a series of podcasts for athletes as they return to fencing. Even though some athletes have been cross-training at home, it’s important to remember to slowly ease back into fencing in order to prevent injury. If you have any questions, please contact international@usafencing.org.

Financial Update

The impact of cancelled/postponed events has negatively affected the organization’s cash flow and bottom line for the 2019-20 membership year. We have received approval for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program and also have secured a line of credit that is collateralized by our reserves that are invested with the US Olympic Endowment. The line of credit was secured using USA Fencing reserves, not US Fencing Foundation funds that are managed separately by the US Fencing Foundation Board of Directors.The National Office is finalizing projections for the 2019-20 fiscal year-end over the next two weeks. Simultaneously, work has begun on revising the previously approved 2020-21 budget. Several items will be addressed as we go through revisions with the Budget Committee and Board of Directors, including club credits, membership fees and plans for the 2020-21 event season. We anticipate receiving the insurance renewal information around July 1 which also may impact the budget.

Strategic Plan Update

As mentioned during the recent CEO Update to the membership, USA Fencing had recently completed the 2020-24 strategic plan that included expanded initiatives for athlete and member wellness, growing the sport, coaches and referee education as well as diversifying revenue. We are also looking ahead to 2028 when the U.S. will once again host an Olympic Games.

With the onset of Covid-19 crisis, it became clear that we needed to develop a plan for the next 12-18 months before transitioning to the 2021-24 plan. We have put together a working group of volunteer, athlete and staff leadership to address the current challenges including, but not limited to assisting clubs and rebuilding membership, expanding marketing efforts to build membership and support and assisting our elite athletes on their Tokyo journey.

Once the interim plan is complete, we will share with the USA Fencing membership and provide regular updates on our progress as we begin to emerge from the challenges we are facing now.

Vote!

Please look for your USFA ballot email and vote early!  It makes a difference!

Note Hall of Fame Balloting – Maya Lawrence, Roger Cummings, and Chris O’Loughlin have New Jersey connections.

Find the full slate here:  https://www.usafencing.org/news_article/show/1102950?fbclid=IwAR0zQQ8NplMKEpk74XOh2EqDYzBlFYpexkQ_GwOynnxxUgZIN2mleas-xMY#.XrMqMPYm-j0.facebook

National Events, Points and Classifications Update

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of three major domestic USA Fencing tournaments – the Anaheim Super Junior and Cadet Circuit tournament, March North American Cup and the Division I / Parafencing National Championships and April NAC during a span of five weeks.

As the pandemic has continued to affect businesses and sports events throughout the nation, these events will not be rescheduled in order to protect the health and safety of all USA Fencing members.

The 2020 USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge, originally scheduled to be held in Louisville, Ky. from June 28 – July 7, will be rescheduled for later in the season with potential dates in August.

The USA Fencing National Events Department, in conjunction with the Tournament Committee, is working with local and state authorities in Kentucky to assess options regarding the event structure of Summer Nationals with the goal of announcing a decision by mid-May.

Our top priority remains the health and safety of the fencing family and all numerous options regarding the sustainability of the event are being examined, including a reduction in the length and scope of the tournament, alternative dates and locations and hosting the event over two weekends instead of a 10-day span.

We appreciate the feedback we have received from athletes, parents, coaches and club owners regarding the hosting of Summer Nationals and know that the tournament is a tradition the USA Fencing community has always valued. All decisions will be made with the well-being of the USA Fencing family in mind and will be communicated swiftly to the membership.

The following are updates regarding the status of classification, points and selection criteria for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season:

Classification

Due to the cancellation and postponement of events throughout the nation, USA Fencing will be changing the date of classification degradation from Aug. 1, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021. This will allow athletes the opportunity to renew classifications at local, regional and national tournaments as they resume throughout 2020.

Points

  • USA Fencing Senior National Team Point Standings are frozen as of March 11, 2020 and will resume at the start of the next designated Olympic qualification tournament (dates to be determined after the release of the international schedule from the FIE).
  • Points earned at the 2019 March North American Cup will remain on the Youth National Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships.
  • Points earned at the 2019 Division I National Championships will remain on the Senior, Junior, Cadet and Y14 National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 July Challenge.
  • Points earned at the 2019 Anaheim SJCC will remain on the Junior and Cadet National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 July Challenge.
  • Points earned at the 2019 April North American Cup will remain on the Veteran National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships.
  • The 2020 Division I event at the July Challenge will count for team points for cadet and junior fencers and rolling points only for senior fencers.
    • The strength factor for the 2020 Division I event at the July Challenge will be calculated using the regular formula as designated in section 3.4.1 of the current Athlete Handbook.
  • The 2020 junior and cadet events at the July Challenge will count for team points across in all weapons.

Selection Criteria Update

The USA Fencing Sports Performance team has been working diligently, in consultation with the Athletes Advisory Council, the Sports Performance Resource Team and the national coaches to provide guidance to athletes regarding selection criteria for all international events. Click the link below to view the Selection Criteria Update for international events, including the 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games and 2020 Veteran World Championships.

USA Fencing Selection Criteria Update

USA Fencing Selection Criteria and Point Standings Update

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of multiple domestic and international events that had an impact on selection for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the 2020 Veteran World Championships and National Point Standings at all levels. Accordingly, the USA Fencing Sports Performance team has been working diligently, in consultation with the Athletes Advisory Council, the Sports Performance Resource Team, Veterans Committee and the national coaches to provide guidance to athletes regarding selection criteria for all international events as well as updates regarding the National Point Standings.

Point Standings

  • USA Fencing Senior National Team Point Standings are frozen as of March 11, 2020.
  • Points earned at the 2019 Division I National Championships will remain on the Senior, Junior, Cadet and Y14 National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships and July Challenge.
  • Points earned at the 2019 Parafencing National Championships will remain on the Parafencing National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships and July Challenge.
  • Points earned at the 2019 April North American Cup will remain on the Veteran National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships.
  • The 2020 Division I event at the July Challenge will count for team points for cadet and junior fencers and rolling points only for senior fencers.
    • The strength factor for the 2020 Division I event at the July Challenge will be calculated using the regular formula as designated in section 3.4.1 of the current Athlete Handbook.
  • The 2020 junior and cadet events at the July Challenge will count for team points across all weapons.

On March 30, 2020, the International Olympic Committee announced the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be celebrated from July 23 through August 8, 2021. On April 20, 2020, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) provided information to its member federations concerning how the FIE will handle qualification to the Olympic Games to be held in 2021.

According to the FIE, senior international competitions scheduled in April, May and June of 2020 have been canceled and FIE rankings are frozen until the final Olympic qualifying events can be held. Those events are:

  • Men’s Épée World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)
  • Men’s and Women’s Foil Grand Prix (originally scheduled March 13-15, 2020)
  • Men’s Saber World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)
  • Women’s Épée World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)
  • Women’s Saber World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)

Per the FIE, the events scheduled in March and the four zonal qualifying events, including the 2020 Senior Pan American Championships, will be held when:

  • The global health situation will be safe.
  • Fair and adequate training and preparation of athletes can take place.
  • No federations will be prevented from participation.
  • International competitions, including several “preparatory” World Cup/Grand Prix competitions, have taken place beforehand.

At this time, without a confirmed domestic and international competition schedule, it is impossible for USA Fencing to fully amend its selection criteria for the Olympic Games. However, the following principles will guide USA Fencing in its decision making:

  • Athlete well-being, both physical and mental, will guide all decision making.
  • Olympic hopefuls will be consulted and have the opportunity to discuss questions and concerns prior to the finalization of any selection criteria.
  • Decisions will be made with the guiding principle of fairness to all athletes.
  • Decisions will be communicated quickly and clearly to all athletes and the USA Fencing membership at large.

2021 Tokyo Olympic Games Selection Criteria

While it is premature to amend the selection criteria, athletes are advised of the following:

  • USA Fencing Senior National Team Point Standings are frozen as of March 11, 2020.
  • Men’s épée, men’s foil, women’s épée and women’s foil each had one remaining international competition remaining for qualification prior to the shutdown of international events.
    • Therefore, once the FIE announces its rescheduled international calendar, one more international event will be designated as the final international competition remaining for qualification. It is USA Fencing’s intention to not designate the first international competition available, but to allow athletes an appropriate training period prior to the designated event.
    • Revised online registration deadlines will be announced once the event schedule is known. Selections for the designated international event will be made using the National Team Point Standings as of March 11, 2020, regardless of the date of competition for the designated event. If necessary, the Junior and Cadet National Rolling Point Standings as of the date of selection will be used.
  • Men’s and women’s saber had two remaining international competitions remaining for qualification prior to the shutdown.
    • Therefore, once the FIE announces its rescheduled international calendar, two more international events will be designated as the final international competitions remaining for qualification. It is USA Fencing’s intention to not designate the first international competition available, but to allow athletes an appropriate training period prior to the designated event.
    • Revised online registration deadlines will be announced once the event schedule is known.  Selections for the designated international event will be made using the National Team Point Standings as of March 11, 2020, regardless of the date of competition for the designated event. If necessary, the Junior and Cadet National Rolling Point Standings as of the date of selection will be used.
  • All weapons had one remaining domestic competition remaining for qualification prior to the shutdown.
    • Therefore, once the FIE announces its rescheduled international calendar, the final domestic event for qualification will be designated.
    • The 2020 Division I July Challenge will only count for rolling points only for senior fencers and will not be the final designated domestic event for Olympic qualification.
  • The selection date for the next Senior Zonal Pan American Championships will be announced once the FIE publishes its rescheduled international calendar.

Please Note: All Olympic selection criteria must be approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Updated selection criteria will be posted at www.usafencing.org once it has been approved.

2020 Veterans World Championships Selection Criteria

In consultation with the Veterans Committee and the Sports Performance Resource Team, the 2020 Veterans World Championship selection criteria has been amended as follows:

  • Given the cancellation of the April NAC, points earned at the 2019 December NAC and the 2020 National Championships will be combined to create the Veteran Team Point Standings.  The top four athletes on the Veteran Team Point Standings following both events will be selected to represent the United States at the 2020 Veteran World Championships. All remaining athletes will be alternates to the Veteran World Championship Team.
  • Should the 2020 National Veteran Championships (or equivalent event) not be contested, points earned at the 2019 December NAC will be used to create the Veteran Team Point Standings. The top four athletes on the Veteran Team Point Standings will be selected to represent the United States at the 2020 Veteran World Championships. All remaining athletes will be alternates to the Veteran World Championship Team.

2020 Paralympic Games Selection Criteria

At this time, no further details about qualification to the Paralympic Games has been communicated by the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS). The last communication regarding qualification was released prior to the postponement of the Paralympic Games.  USA Fencing will provide updates as they are received.

Should you have any questions concerning the above, please contact USA Fencing at international@usafencing.org.

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