Saturday, 3 December 2011

United States Fencing and Olympic Fencing Tickets

In the United States, athletes compete at local and national levels, for the most part sanctioned by the United States Fencing Association (USFA). Locally, athletes register for tournaments in their division via a website called "" Nationally, athletes compete in tournaments called North American Cups, or NACs for short, as well as championship events including the Junior Olympics and Summer National Championships. At these tournaments, competitors are divided by sex, weapon, age group, and division. Age groups include Youth 10, or 10 and younger, 12 and younger, 14 and younger, Cadet, Junior, as well as a variety of Veterans' categories for fencers over 40, 50, 60, or 70.
National ratings are awarded by the USFA and range from A through E; A being the highest and E the lowest, with U for all unrated fencers. Ratings are awarded based on number of competitors in a tournament and the strength of the tournament. Some competitions require competitors to meet the rating criteria. Division I fencing requires ratings of C or higher; Division II requires ratings of C or lower; Division III requires D or lower. A national points system for the age groups as well as Division 1 is based on results at national events and determines qualification for World Championships, World Cups, and the Olympics.
In the most common tournament format, fencers first fence 5 to 7 others a round-robin "pool" in 5-touch bouts. The fencers are then seeded against all other competing fencers based on their pool results. A certain percentage of the lowest seeded fencers are sometimes cut from the competition prior to the direct elimination bracket. Fencers are then placed into a bracket based on the seeding and fence single elimination bouts, usually to 15 touches. The winners advance in the bracket, and the losers are eliminated from the tournament.
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