New Jersey Division of Fencing

Everything you need (or want) to know about fencing in NJ

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.

USA Fencing Update on Sanctioning of Online Lessons and Classes by Member Clubs and Coaches

Due to the disruption to normal fencing lessons and practices caused by COVID-19, USA Fencing has been in frequent contact with our insurance providers concerning the availability of coverage for online training offered by member clubs and coaches. Today, our insurers advised of their following updated position: Until such time as in-person practices can resume, our general liability coverage will extend to online lessons, classes and other training sessions. Accordingly, USA Fencing is now sanctioning such activities, effective immediately, April 20, 2020.

Please note that all virtual training/coaching/instruction/meetings must be conducted under the same terms, conditions and rules applicable to in-person training. Among other things, clubs, coaches and participants must all have appropriate levels of USA Fencing membership. Those offering the online sessions must supervise the participants. All interactions involving minors remain subject to requirements of the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPP). Some helpful recommendations from the U.S. Center for SafeSport regarding digital communications can be found here.

As announced during the club and division calls last week, USA Fencing will be discussing possible re-entry scenarios for other sanctioned activities at the April 29, 2020 USA Fencing Board of Directors meeting.

We know that our clubs are facing many challenges and are hopeful that the online sanctioning will assist during these uncertain times. We will provide further updates as circumstances evolve.

Calling all (wannabe) referees!

Are you interested in becoming a USA fencing referee? Lisa Campi- Sapery is offering an official referee seminar on SATURDAY MAY 16. Due to Covid-19, this seminar will be taught using ZOOM online.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
Aspiring referees – This seminar is a required step in becoming a rated referee in USA Fencing
Coaches – To learn the current rules and see how actions are currently being called
Athletes – To improve their fencing and be better positioned to advocate for themselves at competitions
Parents – To gain a foundational knowledge of the rules and a better concept of the sport in general
Current referees – To refresh their knowledge base and update their profile with a current seminar

For more information or to sign up, go to https://askfred.net/Clinics/moreInfo.php?clinic_id=46553

A preference will be given to Region 3 participants.

Note that NJ Division members can have 50% of their seminar and online test costs reimbursed if they pass both!

Sanctioning Update

Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our nation and the world, USA Fencing Member and Affiliate Club activities will remain unsanctioned through at least April 30Unsanctioned activities will not be covered by USA Fencing’s insurance. Neither USA Fencing nor any of its divisions will be sanctioning any competitions until at least May 11.

At its next meeting on April 29, the USA Fencing Board of Directors will be reviewing sanctioning dates as well as discussing long-term plans for resuming competition and training in a manner that provides a safe environment for all participants in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control as well as state, local and federal governments.

Are you a fencing All-American?

Are you a high school student with a 3.4 GPA or higher or who has earned an E classification this season?

For the 10th straight year, USA Fencing is recognizing athletes for their achievements in the classroom through the Absolute Fencing Gear All-Academic Team where fencers also are eligible for $10,000 in scholarships from Absolute.

High school students who have earned an E classification or higher also are eligible for the USA Fencing All-American Team.

Deadline for applications is May 1.

All-Academic Team Information: https://www.usafencing.org/athletes-scholarships

All-American Team Information: https://www.usafencing.org/all-american-team

Summer Nationals Update

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Fencing is postponing the 2020 USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge to late July or early August in order to protect the health and well-being of competitors, coaches, tournament staff and spectators.

USA Fencing is working with our partners at the Louisville Sports Commission and Convention and Visitors Bureau to assess venue availability for the tournament that was originally scheduled for June 28 – July 7.

Decisions will be made in keeping with guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control as well as local, state and federal regulations and other applicable epidemiological guidance.

Due to the postponement of qualifying tournaments for the National Championships and July Challenge, qualifying paths also are currently being reassessed.

We understand that tournament participants, members and clubs also are attempting to plan ahead for upcoming tournaments and resuming practice and we are working to provide information as soon as possible while still putting procedures and timelines into place that are in the best interests of the health of the USA Fencing family. Further details, including dates for the opening of tournament registration and deadlines as well as the release of updated qualifying criteria, will be published in the coming weeks.

Support your local fencing club!

Fencing clubs have supported our dreams and competitive aspirations. They’ve helped build our health and friendships. They need our assistance in return now more than ever. If you are able, please continue to support your clubs financially during this trying time.

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