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.
Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases throughout the country, USA Fencing is delaying the launch of Phase 3 in the Return to Competition until Feb. 1, 2021.
Athletes competing in regional events may do so in their region only through Jan. 31, 2021. Super Youth Circuit events may take place no earlier than Feb. 1, 2021. The Austin SYC and RCC will now be held as an RYC and RCC and will remain on Dec. 19-21 with participants from the host region earning regional points only. All other SYC tournaments scheduled in December and January will be postponed until later in the season. Updates regarding rescheduling of these events will be posted at https://www.usafencing.org/regional-calendar.
The Super Junior and Cadet Circuit also will begin no earlier than Feb. 1, 2021 with dates and locations to be posted in the coming weeks.
The Tournament Committee will evaluate qualification pathways throughout the season. 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. The TC will examine expanding division qualification pathways as needed should there be an insufficient number of regional events.
If you have any questions regarding the regional event schedule, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that in accordance with renewed State requirements and efforts to combat escalating COVID cases (see EO 194), all NJ Division tournaments are restricted to NJ residents only until further notice. This is of course in addition to being subject to mandatory masks (including during bouting, warm ups, etc), participant caps and other COVID related guidelines that we have previously disseminated to clubs and organizers. We strongly recommend these guidelines for club practices as well. Thank you for your patience and compliance as we continue our return to fencing in as safe a manner as possible.
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.