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USA Fencing to Implement No-Show Fine for National Events

06/17/2021, 4:00pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – Due to capacity restrictions on national tournaments, and in order to help ensure that all available spots in an event are filled, the USA Fencing Board of Directors has approved a $250 fine for fencers who fail to appear at the strip for national events, beginning with the upcoming National Championships, Junior Olympics and July North American Cup, July 3-12 in Philadelphia.

This policy is coupled with the new standby process, which allows waitlisted fencers to be entered into the event the night before the event to replace fencers who withdraw prior to 5 p.m. local time. Beginning at the April NAC, USA Fencing has posted pools the night before each event, which allows athletes to see who they will be fencing the next day as well as where and when their pool will take place. Unfortunately, however, no-show fencers negatively impact the rest of the field by reducing the size of the pool they have withdrawn from, creating unbalanced strength in pools and denying entry to willing standby competitors.

In order to withdraw from the event, fencers must email withdrawals@usafencing.org by 5 p.m. local time the night prior to the event.

This fine will be enforced for fencers who are scratched from an event but did not do one of the following:

  • Submit a withdrawal notice in writing to the National Office prior to the posted times for the close of athlete check-in.
  • Withdraw themselves from an event in person by speaking with a USA Fencing staff member at the registration desk.
  • Are withdrawn from a previous event in the same tournament by medical withdrawal after evaluation by a member of the sports medicine team.

In the event of medical emergencies or force majeure, an athlete may submit an appeal with decisions made by a panel that includes a Tournament Committee member, athlete representative and National Office staff member.  

The fine will be enforced for each event that a fencer fails to appear for, and a fencer will not be eligible to compete in any USA Fencing sanctioned competition until the fine has been paid. As an example, if a fencer fails to appear at two events during the course of a national tournament, the fencer would need to pay $250 per event with a total balance of $500.

All fencers who are scratched after not appearing at the strip will be notified via email from the National Office and provided with instructions on how they can complete payment. If an individual believes a fine has been wrongfully or incorrectly administered, there will be a review process by which a waiver can be granted.

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