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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy last night signed Executive Order No. 204, which pauses indoor practices and competitions for youth and adult sports from Saturday, December 5 at 6:00 a.m. through Saturday, January 2, 2021. The EO also lowers the outdoor gatherings limit from 150 people to 25 people, effective Monday, December 7 at 6:00 a.m.
“As we battle the second wave of COVID-19, we must continue to take all steps necessary to prevent needless infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from this deadly virus,” said Governor Murphy.“While there is hope on the horizon in the form of several vaccines, in the interim, we are taking these steps today to protect our communities. It is our intention for indoor sports to resume in the new year, but this can only happen if our state remains committed to the fight against COVID-19.”
Indoor Youth and Adult Sports
Indoor sports practices and competitions, including group, competitive and/or organized sporting activities for youth and adults, will be prohibited starting Saturday, December 5, at 6:00 a.m. until Saturday, January 2, 2021. This prohibition will not impact collegiate and professional sporting activities. Private fitness classes, lessons, and trainings at gyms, studios and similar locations are permitted to continue.
Wedding ceremonies, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities are not subject to the outdoor gatherings limit. All other types of gatherings, such as a high school football game or an outdoor concert, will be limited to 25 individuals. Athletes, coaches, referees and other individuals necessary for a professional or collegiate sports competition are not counted towards the 25-person limit.
For other adult and youth sports occurring outdoors, the number of individuals necessary for a game or practice can exceed the 25-person limit, but only if no individuals who are not necessary for the event, such as spectators, are present.
Outdoor gatherings continue to be subject to strict social distancing restrictions, including the requirement to wear masks whenever it is not possible to social distance.
Addiction Support Groups
Indoor meetings of addiction groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, are not limited to 10 individuals, but will instead be limited to 25 percent of the capacity of the room in which they take place, up to a maximum of 150 individuals.
For a copy of Executive Order No. 204, please click here.