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USA Fencing Selection Criteria and Point Standings Update

04/29/2020, 8:30pm CDT
By USA Fencing

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the postponement of multiple domestic and international events that had an impact on selection for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as the 2020 Veteran World Championships and National Point Standings at all levels. Accordingly, the USA Fencing Sports Performance team has been working diligently, in consultation with the Athletes Advisory Council, the Sports Performance Resource Team, Veterans Committee and the national coaches to provide guidance to athletes regarding selection criteria for all international events as well as updates regarding the National Point Standings.

Point Standings

  • USA Fencing Senior National Team Point Standings are frozen as of March 11, 2020.
  • Points earned at the 2019 Division I National Championships will remain on the Senior, Junior, Cadet and Y14 National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships and July Challenge.
  • Points earned at the 2019 Parafencing National Championships will remain on the Parafencing National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships and July Challenge.
  • Points earned at the 2019 April North American Cup will remain on the Veteran National Rolling Point Standings until the conclusion of the 2020 National Championships.
  • The 2020 Division I event at the July Challenge will count for team points for cadet and junior fencers and rolling points only for senior fencers.
    • The strength factor for the 2020 Division I event at the July Challenge will be calculated using the regular formula as designated in section 3.4.1 of the current Athlete Handbook.
  • The 2020 junior and cadet events at the July Challenge will count for team points across all weapons.

On March 30, 2020, the International Olympic Committee announced the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be celebrated from July 23 through August 8, 2021. On April 20, 2020, the International Fencing Federation (FIE) provided information to its member federations concerning how the FIE will handle qualification to the Olympic Games to be held in 2021. 

According to the FIE, senior international competitions scheduled in April, May and June of 2020 have been canceled and FIE rankings are frozen until the final Olympic qualifying events can be held. Those events are:

  • Men’s Épée World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)
  • Men’s and Women’s Foil Grand Prix (originally scheduled March 13-15, 2020)
  • Men’s Saber World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)
  • Women’s Épée World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)
  • Women’s Saber World Cup (originally scheduled for March 20-22, 2020)

Per the FIE, the events scheduled in March and the four zonal qualifying events, including the 2020 Senior Pan American Championships, will be held when:

  • The global health situation will be safe.
  • Fair and adequate training and preparation of athletes can take place.
  • No federations will be prevented from participation.
  • International competitions, including several “preparatory” World Cup/Grand Prix competitions, have taken place beforehand.

At this time, without a confirmed domestic and international competition schedule, it is impossible for USA Fencing to fully amend its selection criteria for the Olympic Games. However, the following principles will guide USA Fencing in its decision making:

  • Athlete well-being, both physical and mental, will guide all decision making.
  • Olympic hopefuls will be consulted and have the opportunity to discuss questions and concerns prior to the finalization of any selection criteria.   
  • Decisions will be made with the guiding principle of fairness to all athletes.
  • Decisions will be communicated quickly and clearly to all athletes and the USA Fencing membership at large.

2021 Tokyo Olympic Games Selection Criteria

While it is premature to amend the selection criteria, athletes are advised of the following:

  • USA Fencing Senior National Team Point Standings are frozen as of March 11, 2020.
  • Men’s épée, men’s foil, women’s épée and women’s foil each had one remaining international competition remaining for qualification prior to the shutdown of international events. 
    • Therefore, once the FIE announces its rescheduled international calendar, one more international event will be designated as the final international competition remaining for qualification. It is USA Fencing’s intention to not designate the first international competition available, but to allow athletes an appropriate training period prior to the designated event.
    • Revised online registration deadlines will be announced once the event schedule is known. Selections for the designated international event will be made using the National Team Point Standings as of March 11, 2020, regardless of the date of competition for the designated event. If necessary, the Junior and Cadet National Rolling Point Standings as of the date of selection will be used.
  • Men’s and women’s saber had two remaining international competitions remaining for qualification prior to the shutdown.
    • Therefore, once the FIE announces its rescheduled international calendar, two more international events will be designated as the final international competitions remaining for qualification. It is USA Fencing’s intention to not designate the first international competition available, but to allow athletes an appropriate training period prior to the designated event.
    • Revised online registration deadlines will be announced once the event schedule is known.  Selections for the designated international event will be made using the National Team Point Standings as of March 11, 2020, regardless of the date of competition for the designated event. If necessary, the Junior and Cadet National Rolling Point Standings as of the date of selection will be used.
  • All weapons had one remaining domestic competition remaining for qualification prior to the shutdown.
    • Therefore, once the FIE announces its rescheduled international calendar, the final domestic event for qualification will be designated.
    • The 2020 Division I July Challenge will only count for rolling points only for senior fencers and will not be the final designated domestic event for Olympic qualification. 
  • The selection date for the next Senior Zonal Pan American Championships will be announced once the FIE publishes its rescheduled international calendar.

Please Note: All Olympic selection criteria must be approved by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Updated selection criteria will be posted at www.usafencing.org once it has been approved.

2020 Veterans World Championships Selection Criteria

In consultation with the Veterans Committee and the Sports Performance Resource Team, the 2020 Veterans World Championship selection criteria has been amended as follows:

  • Given the cancellation of the April NAC, points earned at the 2019 December NAC and the 2020 National Championships will be combined to create the Veteran Team Point Standings.  The top four athletes on the Veteran Team Point Standings following both events will be selected to represent the United States at the 2020 Veteran World Championships. All remaining athletes will be alternates to the Veteran World Championship Team.
  • Should the 2020 National Veteran Championships (or equivalent event) not be contested, points earned at the 2019 December NAC will be used to create the Veteran Team Point Standings. The top four athletes on the Veteran Team Point Standings will be selected to represent the United States at the 2020 Veteran World Championships. All remaining athletes will be alternates to the Veteran World Championship Team.

2020 Paralympic Games Selection Criteria

At this time, no further details about qualification to the Paralympic Games has been communicated by the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS). The last communication regarding qualification was released prior to the postponement of the Paralympic Games.  USA Fencing will provide updates as they are received.

Should you have any questions concerning the above, please contact USA Fencing at international@usafencing.org.

Tag(s): Latest News  Updates  Coronavirus Updates