>2. How do you rank fencers state/nationwide.
>3. How do you get on to the national team.
and "rating competitions." Fencers are awarded classifications which
range from "A" to "E" ("A" being highest) plus "U" for unclassified.
In addition, the calendar year in which a rating is earned is appended to the
classification (i.e., "A95"). A fencer must re-earn his/her rating within
a 4 year period, otherwise it drops one major level (at the beginning of the
1995-96 season, all A91's become B95's). Do note that the minor level is
awarded based on CALENDAR year while the automatic dropping takes place at
the start of the FENCING year. For that reason, you will see minor ratings
ranging from 92 through 96 during the upcoming season.
Now, you earn a rating by finishing at a certain level at any USFA
sanctioned event (divisional, sectional, national). That "certain level"
depends on the strength of the competition. That's where "rating the
competition" comes into play. Competitions are rated as "Group 1A", "Group
1", "Group 2A", etc. (The actual groups are 1A, 1, 2A, 2, 3A, 3, 4A, 4 and
are normally designated with Roman numerals -- for simplicity, I will use
Arabic numerals in this message). To qualify as a group 4 competition, you
simply need 6 competitors. To qualify as a group 1A tournament, you need to
have at least 64 competitors, 12 of whom must be A's, 12 must be B's (or
higher), and 12 must be C's (or higher). In addition, there must be 4 A's
among the top 8 and 4 B's among the top 12.
I won't burden down this message with all of the requirements for the groups
and the classifications awarded for each. You can get that off of the USFA
web site at http://SportToday.org/. A full classification reference chart is
Now, as for the future, there is a proposal to the Board of Directors to
s***the current system entirely and replace it with a new numeric system.
If this proposal is accepted by the Board at its meeting this weekend, the
new system will probably be implemented starting next season.
On to question #2. You asked about ranking fencers nationally and locally
(i.e., by state). I can't speak for any methods other than nationally, as
those methods are up to the individual parties.
Nationally, there are certain competitions that are designated as "point"
events. These include all North American Cup events (also known as the
"circuit" events), one designated Canadian event (Montreal on 10/28-29),
USFA National Championships, and all FIE events. Each US competitor who
places among the top-32 in any of these events is awarded points (and just
like classifications, the number of points awarded depends on the type of
tournament, but I won't get into the details of that here). The point
standings are determined by taking the top 4 results (top 5 as of 10/2)
among all events except for FIE Category "A" (World Cup) events. FIE "A"
events are considered to be "bonus" points and are added on in addition to
the top 4 (or 5) results.
For Juniors and Cadet (U20 and U17), the method is the same, except that
domestic U20 and U17 events can be counted (U20 events count for both
categories, U17 for Cadet only) and FIE Junior events are bonus points too.
For Youth (U15, U13, U11), the points are calculated by taking the top 4
results among the 3 events in the age group and the 3 events in the next age
group up. For example, U13 points are calculated by taking the top 4 among
the 3 domestic U13 events and the 3 domestic U15 events plus adding any
Lastly, the way you get on a national team depends on the event. For this
past year's World Championships, the team was comprised of the top 4 fencers
in the point standings for each weapon. The method of determining the
Olympic team for this year hasn't yet been published.
Sorry to be so lonnnnng winded, but as you can see, it's not an easy
USFA Information Systems Coordinator