USA Fencing maintains both regional and national points lists by age, gender, and weapon. The regional and national points lists are completely independent of each other, and are earned at entirely different tournaments. This month, Parent’s Corner will try to de-mystify the complicated, some would say unnecessarily so, points process with a focus on regional points.
What are Regional Points?
Regional points exist solely as a qualification path to compete in three national-level tournaments run by USA Fencing. Regional points are not used to rank fencers nationally, or to seed fencers at tournaments; this is the purpose of the national points list.
The three USA Fencing national events for which regional points act as a qualification path are:
- USA Fencing Summer Nationals, held in late June through early July, is the largest fencing tournament in the world! All youth categories fence at this tournament.
- USA Fencing Junior Olympics, held in February, is the national championship for Cadet (U17) and Junior (U20) age categories.
- USA Fencing March North American Cup (NAC), is a national level tournament for Y10, Y12, and Y14 fencers.
These events are held in different cities each year, and are the largest and most competitive youth fencing events in the US.
USA Fencing changes the qualification rules for these events from year to year to manage event sizes. The 2016 qualification paths can be found on the page links for each event.
The table below is the 2016 qualification path options for each youth event at Summer Nationals. In the table below “NPL” = “National Points List”, “RPL” = “Regional Points List”, and “Regional Qual. Event” means that there’s a regional event that can act as an alternative path to qualify for this event.
Earning Regional Points
Regional points for youth fencers are earned at events with RYC (Regional Youth Circuit) or RJCC (Regional Junior/Cadet Circuit) in their name. These can be found easily by searching for “RYC” and/or “RJCC” in the name for events in AskFRED.net. As the “regional” name implies, fencers can only earn points in events hosted in their home region. Rochester is part of region #3, which includes New England, NY, NJ, and PA. All competitors earn points at these regional events, and the number of points received is based on the fencer’s final result and the number of fencers in the event. First place always receives 100 points, regardless of the number of competitors. For Y10, Y12, and Y14 fencers, the fencer’s top three RYC point results in the current fencing season are counted for regional points. For Cadet and Junior fencers, the top two RJCC point results are counted for regional points.
Viewing Regional Points
Regional points lists are maintained by USA Fencing and can be viewed online on the usfencing.org website by selecting Rankings > Current Point Standings > Regional from the menu. Once you view this screen, select the appropriate Ranking Category (Regional Points), Weapon, Ranking Group (age and gender), Region, and Season as shown below. The sample shows the selections to view the Y10 Men’s Foil regional points for Region 3.
Why is this so complicated?
The following is my opinion as a fencing parent, but one I know is shared by other parents and fencers. To put it bluntly, it really shouldn’t be this complicated. USA Fencing’s youth fencing program has experienced huge growth in the last couple of decades, but the organization has not figured out how to deal with that growth while still keeping national tournaments at a manageable size. When individual events start to exceed 256 fencers, the pool/DE tournament structure breaks down; too many strips are required, not enough qualified referees exist, and events take too long to complete. I expect at some point this will change again, but for now, the current point system is how USA Fencing manages event size.
But don’t let these complicated intricacies be a deterrent. These large national events can be a lot of fun for the fencer and the parents/family! It’s an opportunity to travel somewhere new, experience fencing at a whole new level, and make friends from all over the country.