and offer suggestions for other information you would find helpful)


Welcome to fencing in our area. 

Almost every American knows what an "inning" or an "extra point" is, but most of us are unfamiliar with many of the terms (other than enguarde or touche) commonly used in the fencing setting.   You can find a layman's quick reference here.

To fence in tournaments, you must be a competitive member of the USFA.  This costs $50 for one or $100 for a family, and memberships run from August 1 - July 31.  Many fencers may not know that if you become a new member on or after April 1 of each year, the membership extends through the next season. (ex.  membership sent in April 3, 2003, will expire on July 31, 2004.)  This applies only to new members.  You can download the membership form here.  DO NOT SEND CASH.

There are minimum age limits for "open" tournaments (non-aged) it is generally 12-13, but goes by birth year.  Check out your age groups here.  "Senior" events are not "over 55" events.  Senior means all ages above the minimum.  "Junior" is generally under 20 and "Cadet", under 17 - again according to birth year.  Over 40, over 50, and over 60 have their own age limits which are referred to as "Veteran" events.

It is imperative that fencers know the rules.  There are several 'books' that you may wish to download, copy, and keep in a notebook for reference. USFA RULES is the most important set of instructions to the fencer containing all the rules regarding requirements for fencing a USFA sanctioned event.  To know this book is to have an edge on other fencers who do not.   Athletes Handbook - contains information regarding codes of conduct and what fencers should expect during tournaments, as well as qualification paths to various national and international events.  Operations Manual explains how tournaments are to be managed.  All of these forms/documents are available at USFencing.org.

When you attend a large event, you may experience confusion over who you will fence in the direct elimination portion of the tournament.  Here is a helpful chart to copy and take.  Find what number you are, what number is across from you and then locate that number on the D.E. seeding.

At times during the year, we attempt to have competitions which also include training specifically for those fencers who are entering the competition arena.  Keep an eye for such information on the division website.  Also look for "beginner" or "novice" events.  Do not think that merely an aged event like Y14 will be particularly easy.

Want to learn to keep score?  Here is detailed information and practice pages!

Please email the webslave if you have ideas for other helpful information.