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.