The Unites States Fencing Association
(USFA) is the national governing body for fencing as directly
related to the Olympics. USFA provides the framework in which the
U.S. can achieve greater successes in the world fencing community.
Fencers of all ages can test their skills with other fencers by
competing in USFA-sanctioned tournaments.
Depending on the the size of the tournament
and who places in the finals, fencers are awarded classifications
that indicate their level of competitive successes. Participation
in the NACs and other national competitions provides fencers of
all ages to accumulate points to bolster their national standings.
Younger fencers can look forward to competing in the Junior Olympic
Fencing Championships ("JOs"). Veteran fencers (ages 40+)
can strive to compete in the World Veterans Championships held internationally
as well as other Veterans events held throughout the U.S.
Ultimately, participating in USFA
tournaments provides an excellent framework in which fencers of
all ages can strive to achieve competitive success.
Participation is easy:
- Learn to fence.
- Join USFA.
- Learn the rules.
- Get your competition
- Enter in a tournament.
"Hors d' concours"
Other ways to get involved at a competition
Fencing competitions require the involvement
of many individuals to help organize and officiate the event. Here
are some of the ways individuals can contribute to help in the success
of a fencing event. (Links below are courtesy of United States Fencing
Association's web site.)
- Referee (formerly called "Director")
- Referees controls the proceeding of a fencing
bout and allocates the score according to current rules and regulations.
Referees are classified by the level of competition they are certified
to officiate. The lowest, level 10-rated referee is credentialed
to officiate at the finals of an Unclassified competition. A level
1 rating allows the referee to officiate the finals of any North
American Cup competition. The Fencing
Official's Commission (FOC) is the governing body for the
- Assists the referee in keeping score. Records
the allocation of points on the scoresheet.
- Assists the referee in keeping track of time
elapsed during a fencing bout. Monitors and controls the time
clock/stopwatch. Calls the final "Halt" to indicate
that the time allocated to the bout has fully elapsed, thereby
ending the bout. New rule as of August 2002: regular pool bouts
are now 3 minutes long, not 4 minutes.
- If you enjoy putting together and repairing
the fencing equipment, you might consider obtaining an armorer's
rating. There is an Armorer's Commission that has a system of
testing and certification. Check
- Tournament organizer
- These folks crunch the bout score figures and
come up with the standings and "tournament tree". This
role requires knowledge of the Operations By-laws that concern
the conduct of tournaments. It would also be useful to become
familiar with XSeed,
the software used by USFA for its national events.
- Promotions and Communications
- Tournaments often require folks who can help
distribute flyers, make telephone calls, update web sites, send
out emails, hand out notices before, during and after a competition.
Events without folks who are responsible for the internal and
external communications are destined to be poorly attended or
- Set-up/Clean-up crew
- These are typically the tasks that nobody wants
to do but have to be done, nevertheless. Volunteer for this to
secure your spot in fencing heaven.