You can start fencing in tournaments at any age or skill/experience level. The competitive experience serves many purposes including:
* changing the fencer's perspective of the sport, and giving them an edge and a motivation to practice more and improve their skills
* meeting fencers from different clubs and regions across the country and around the world
* learning how to function and focus in a competitive environment
Prior to competing, we do recommend taking at least one private lesson weekly, in order to build more confidence.
Always check your tournament website or Askfred.net page for details. Your competition checklist should include:
Chest protector (Padded chest protector for competing in women's foil)
Knickers (fencing pants)
Long (knee-high) Changefencing socks
Glove (FIE glove, if fencing saber)
Lame (electrical jacket) for saber and foil
Two functioning electrical weapons
Two body cords
Two mask cords for saber and foil
Appropriate shoes (fencing shoes or other sneakers)
USA Fencing membership
Proof of age for fencers under 18 year old and Veteran fencers over 39 years old
Fencing tool kit (depending on your weapon)
Snacks (some venues may not have food available)
Change of clothes to wear after fencing
Entrance fee (check with the organizer to confirm how payments will be made)
Most importantly, your smile and GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP
*Here is a site that can help you track your results during and after the tournament: Fencing Time Live
USA Fencing ratings are a measure of fencing skill level. The ratings range from U (unrated), to E, D, C, B, and A (highest level). Fencers will have a separate rating for each weapon they competitively fence with. Each rating will also have a year attached to it: the year that the rating was earned. Four years after a rating is earned, it downgrades if not re-earned in subsequent competitions (ex: a C17 would downgrade to a D21 in 2021). Although ratings are not the ONLY measure of a fencers skill level, they are important because they help to seed (rank) fencers in tournaments. Ratings are earned by competing in USA Fencing-sanctioned events. For a more in-depth analysis of how the process works, Academy of Fencing Masters has a great webpage.
Within a fencing tournament, you will see that there are "events" which divide the tournament into separate competitions, for example "Y12 mixed saber" or "veteran's women's foil." These titles delineate how a fencer qualifies to compete in a given event, based on age and sex. In order to find out which events you qualify to fence in, you can refer to USA Fencing's website, here. Make sure to check it at the start of each fencing season, as your eligibility will change, as you get older.
We are currently developing our coaching fee system for local and away tournaments. Please stay tuned for this feature. :)
Disclaimer: If there are multiple Miami Fencing Club fencers in the same tournament, the coach will divide their time between the fencers in the best way they see fit. When two fencers from our club bout against each other, the coach will not coach either student for that bout.
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