Competing with the U.S.F.A - representing your Club
For students who are interested in competing, we encourage you to participate in our Competitor program and schedule a meeting at the Academy to discuss.
Fencers are required to:
Have a competitive membership with the USFA.
List Sebastiani Fencing Academy as their primary affiliation
Wear the SFA official apparel at each tournament (for sale at : http://www.princetonthreads.com)
Own 2 weapons, 2 sets of cords
Have your name printed on the back of your lame (Foil/Saber) or jacket (Epee)
Display the Sebastiani patch (logo) on your gear
To compete in adult categories, you must be 13 years of age or older. The majority of local, divisional, and regional events are open to fencers of any skill level, however, larger events like Nationals or the Junior Olympics will require fencers to participate in qualifiers. For more information on qualifying paths or youth categories, please contact us or visit the Official USFA website.
Good performances in the State of New Jersey are the only avenue to National Competitions, to selection in a National Team and more importantly to Athletic Scholarships in famous universities around the country for the best-ranked fencers (Qualifying events, Junior Olympics and/or NAC's).
MAITRE SEBASTIANI RECOMMENDS HIS BEST HIGH SCHOOL FENCERS to the Deans of Admission of the famous universities would the fencer intends to join a college team.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT COMPETITIONS
WHAT IS A FENCING COMPETITION?
Fencing competitions in all three weapons (epee, saber, foil) usually consist of two rounds of bouting. In the first round of “pools,” six to eight fencers compete in a round-robin of 5-touch/3 minute bouts. Pool results inform the seeding of the next round, Direct Elimination or “DE.” For epee, direct elimination bouts are 15 touches, with one-minute breaks at three-minute intervals. The bouts end when one fencer scores 15 touches or when three, three-minute periods elapse. If the bout is tied at this point, one fencer is awarded “advantage” by a coin toss. The bout then continues until a touch is scored or one minute elapses. If no touch is scored after a minute, the bout goes to the “advantage” fencer. Sabre direct elimination bouts also go to 15 touches, with a one-minute break when either fencer reaches eight touches. DE brackets (like NCAA basketball) allow for a maximum 128 fencers. Winners of each DE round advance to the tables of 64, 32, 16, 8, semifinals, and finals.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF COMPETITIONS?
Now that you’ve learned the basics of fencing, it’s time to start competing. SFA runs competitions for our fencers during the year, they are not open to fencers outside the club and award SFA points. For these in-house competitions, it is not necessary to be a member of the United States Fencing Association (USFA). Outside the club, competitions can be restricted by age, gender, or rating.
Tournaments in the USA fall in the categories of local, regional, and national. Local competitions are sponsored by the clubs themselves or the governing Division. Regional competitions include Super Youth Circuit (SYC), Regional Youth Circuit (RYC), Regional Open Circuit (ROC), and Sectionals. The last category of domestic tournaments is those run by the USFA. These include the North American Cups (NAC) which typically combine several different events in a tournament and are held around the country throughout the season. The championship tournaments for US fencing are the Junior Olympics in February and the Summer Nationals in July.
IT SOUNDS LIKE THERE ARE LOTS OF OPTIONS. HOW DO I SEARCH FOR TOURNAMENTS?
Search for local and regional tournaments through https://askfred.net/ (smaller local tournaments) https://www.usafencing.org/(larger events) These excellent sites list tournaments from all over the country and have a very good search function that includes the ability to specify on location, date, weapon, age, and rating.
To find nearby tournaments, you can search by Division (we are in the NewJersey) there are links to preregister for tournaments and see who else is coming. Registration policies differ from tournament to tournament so please read the information carefully.
THERE ARE A LOT OF AGE CATEGORIES, WHAT DO THEY MEAN?
Please refer to the official USFA Athlete Handbook for details (also available in our parent's observation room for consultation)
WHAT DOES DIVISION 1, 1A, 2, AND 3 MEAN?
At the national level, participation in Senior NACs is based on rating. Division 1 NACs (typically two or three per season) are restricted to fencers with a rating of a C or higher. Division 2 is restricted to C and under; in 2010-11 two national events were held. Division 3 is restricted to D and under; in 2010-11 one national event was held. National Championships are held in all three categories as well as an additional category, Division 1-A. For details about the qualification pathways for these events, please consult this page on the USA Fencing National Championships at usfencing.org.
THIS IS SO CONFUSING! HOW DO I DECIDE WHICH TOURNAMENTS TO COMPETE IN?
You can compete in as many tournaments as you like. When deciding on your competitive schedule you should talk to your coach about which tournaments will help you meet your goals for the upcoming season. You should also be honest with yourself about your budget. While going to national tournaments is a lot of fun, it can also be expensive. National tournament fees are considerably higher than those for locals and one must typically include airfare, hotel, and dining expenses.
OKAY. I’M A LITTLE NERVOUS, BUT I’M READY TO GET OUT THERE AND COMPETE. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Start reading in details the material available for competitors.
Schedule a meeting with us to start training
Get in shape - Keep a good diet
This sounds very exciting, so remember....Make sure you have FUN!!