ATAC fencers have the opportunity to participate in many local, regional and national tournaments. Participation in these tournaments enables our fencers to achieve recognition, improve their skills, and score points that contribute to the improvement of their rankings. Most of these tournaments are USFA-sanctioned and adhere to the organization's policies and procedures.
USFA membership is a prerequisite to participation in such events. Fencers who wish to compete in local, regional and/or national tournaments must have current and valid membership in the United States Fencing Association (USFA). USFA membership must be renewed annually and runs August 1 through July 31. Membership forms are available from USFA, on the web at www.usfencing.org.
Coaches can advise fencers and parents in how to fill out the membership application. It is important that the information pertaining to the division, competition club and coaches be completed accurately.
Each USFA member receives a membership card from the organization. The card notes the fencer's ranking and membership type. It is important that the fencer retain his/her their USFA membership card. It must be presented at all tournaments in which the fencer desires to participate. The inability to demonstrate USFA membership may disqualify the fencer from participation in tournaments. Moreover, participation in USFA-sanctioned tournament by a non-member threatens the legitimacy sanctity of the tournament and may affect the results and standings.
Most, if not all, local and regional tournaments allow registration at the door. Some of the larger tournaments give discounts for preregistration. Check mailings and tournament web sites to see if a tournament has preregistration.
All national tournaments require preregistration, usually 30 days before the competition begins. Late fees are high (triple) and for National Championship late entries are not accepted.
Every tournament has entry fees. For South Texas division tournaments entry fees vary. For Regional tournaments entry fees vary. For National tournaments check the USFencing.org web site for the application form. Registration is required 30 days before tournament.
Note: At every tournament, ATAC is represented by a Coach. This will require fees to be paid for coaching and travel expenses. These fees are to be paid in advance.
For local tournaments that require no travel expenses, there will be a $20 coaching fee.
For regional and national tournaments that require travel, there will be a schedule of costs for coaching, lodging and travel. These costs will be divided among the students participating. This schedule will be posted 30 days before the event.
North American Cups (NACs)
Many of the national tournaments in which ATAC fencers compete are North American Cup events, or NAC. These are a series of national competitions sanctioned by the USFA. NAC competitions are open to fencer's throughout North America. Such competitions are very large events, with often over 2,000 competitors and several events occurring simultaneously. NAC events involve seven different age groups and three levels of competition:
Division I - age 13 and older, C rating and above;
Division II - age 13 and older, C rating and below;
Division III - age 13 and older, D rating and below;
Junior - between ages 13 and 20;
Cadet - between ages 13 and 17;
Youth-14 - over age 11 and under age 15;
Youth-12 - over age 9 and under age 13;
Youth-10 - over age 7 and under age 11,
Veteran - age 40 and over.
A fencer's age is as of January 1 of the competitive season, which runs from August 1 to July 31.
Fencers, younger than the minimum age, may compete in a level above; however, they must have national points in the age group and weapon directly below. For example, a 12-year-old fencer who desires to compete in saber at the Cadet level must have national points in saber at the Youth-14 level.
Fencers participating in USFA-sanctioned tournaments must have the proper fencing attire. All fencing competitions of the South Texas Division of the USFA are USFA-sanctioned tournaments and subject to USFA rules.
All fencers must wear white fencing jackets and knickers at competitions. Pastels colors and patterns are allowed with some constraints, but advised against until you are well aware of the regulations. At all national competitions the fencer's name must be on the back of the jacket or rear pant's leg. The name must be printed in dark blue with letters no more than 10 cm tall. Club patch must be sewn on the sleeve of the rear (non-weapon) arm.
An underarm protector is required under all jackets.
Gloves must extend at least half way up the arm between the wrist and the elbow.
Socks, white or with only a band of color, must cover the leg and stay under the bottom of the knickers without falling down. (Note for female fencers: When you can't find full length or tube athletic socks in the women's socks department and the salesperson tells you they don't exist for women or have to be special ordered, look in the men's socks department. The sizing is identical.)
Shoes must be fencing shoes or light-soled court shoes.
FIE approved attire is not required for USFA competitions.
Fencing equipment consists of mask, weapons, body cord and lame (for foil and saber)
The mask, at a minimum, must pass a 12k punch test. The mask will be tested and stamped before many local and all national tournament. Masks failing the punch test will be destroyed or permanently marked on the spot.
A fencer must present to strip with at least two working weapons. The weapon will be tested on the strip.
Each fencer must have two working body cords. The body cords will be tested before some local and all national tournaments.
One lame with no "dead" spots is required in foil and saber. Lames will be tested at national competitions.