This week in the lead up to World Fencing Day, USA Fencing is celebrating our Life Members, their dedication to the sport and their role in the #USAFencingFamily.
Meet Jorge Gana: Walking on to his college fencing team at Johns Hopkins University, Jorge Gana quickly became passionate about fencing. Although he had no prior experience in the sport, Gana became a team captain and won the individual University Athletic Association Championship and Temple Open in men’s epee in 1991, on his way to a top-10 senior national ranking. Now involved in fencing for more than 30 years, he is the chair of the New Jersey Division, a certified referee and a volunteer assistant coach at Christian Brothers Academy High School. He even still fences when he has the time.
Fencing has become a part of the Gana family. Gana and his wife have seven children, two of which are Life members. Gana describes that purchasing a Life membership was a great option to reflect his commitment to the sport, and was an investment for his kids, who also found a strong passion for the sport.
For more information about the Life membership, visit https://www.usafencing.org/…/698114-individual-memberships.
The NJ Division is looking for members interested in helping to expand fencing diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as High School age members for general minor representation (with parental approval). Contact us if interested!
NJ Division fencers and coaches: As we commence reopening activities, adherence to NJ State Government requirements and guidelines can help ensure safety and avoid setbacks. As applicable to sports and recreational practices, the State of NJ currently requires that; ALL individuals (including parents, coaches, staff, etc) SHALL wear cloth face coverings while indoors (as well as outdoors when social distancing is not possible), unless doing so will endanger the subject’s health. Athletes/participants should wear cloth or disposable face coverings when not engaging in vigorous activity, such as when sitting, or when interacting with staff or other participants. USA Fencing’s national office has also made a non-mandatory recommendation that face coverings be used during fencing activity, though face coverings are not required by the State of NJ while persons are engaged in high intensity aerobic or anaerobic activities. Face coverings should not be worn when doing so may endanger the individual’s health. Clubs should also continue to follow other guidelines and restrictions including, but not limited to restrictions on maximum capacity, scheduling to limit unncessary overlap of groups/athletes, and COVID-19 related cleanliness and hygiene. Individuals, including coaches, players, and families, should stay home if they have tested positive for, or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. Thank you for respecting the State government guidelines and keeping our community safe. (See NJ Executive Orders 163, 168, and NJ Dept of Health “Guidance for Sports Activities”)
USA Fencing announced earlier this month that sanctioning of in-person non-competition activities could resume in locations where the clubs are permitted to operate or reopen by local and state laws, regulations, executive orders and other legal mandates regarding COVID-19.
As states and municipalities begin to release more information regarding opening dates for businesses that include fencing clubs, USA Fencing is now issuing Return to Fencing Guidelines that address suggested precautions for fencers and their families, club owners, coaches, administrators and division leaders.
The Return to Fencing Guidelines are recommendations, not mandates. They are based in significant part upon current guidelines promulgated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee and other publicly available resources. The knowledge surrounding COVID-19 is constantly changing and clubs’ circumstances may differ depending on their geographic locations, facilities, memberships and other factors. Accordingly, USA Fencing encourages clubs and participants to implement the following measures, to the extent reasonably possible, as minimum precautions.
As a reminder, USA Fencing’s sanction, and thus its insurance coverage, will apply only to areas in which clubs can be open legally.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the Return to Fencing Guidelines, please contact email@example.com.
Congratulations! Chatham High School in Chatham Township, N.J. led the rankings with 10 All-Americans, including three First-Team, three Second-Team and four Honorable Mention Team members.
The full roster includes many NJ High School students – Jersey proud:
Ready to become a referee and earn $ next season? Here’s an opportunity for a Zoom ref seminar on 8/15 – and NJ Division members have an opportunity for tuition reimbursement (message this site for details)
USA Fencing Events and Points Allocation Update
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.
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.