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Health and Safety Updates for Summer Nationals

06/25/2021, 2:45pm CDT
By Nicole Jomantas

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – USA Fencing has made several modifications to our health and safety protocols in order to reflect the latest guidance issued by public health authorities. These changes will take effect beginning at the National Championships and July North American Cup, July 3-12 in Philadelphia, Pa.

Key changes are as follows:

  • All tournament participants who have proof of completion of their COVID-19 vaccine series (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson only) at least 14 days prior to arrival at the venue do not have to take a COVID-19 test. Proof of vaccination must be shown daily to enter the venue.
  • All unvaccinated individuals will need to complete a health questionnaire and show their cleared screen and proof of negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the start of travel at the entrance each day.
  • All competitions will be held in a single hall.
  • Each competitor will be granted credential access for two additional individuals. This is in addition to credentials awarded to USA Fencing Member and Affiliate Club coaches.
  • Awards ceremonies will be held at Summer Nationals. However, all participants must wear masks covering nose and mouth at all times.
  • The previously issued ban on screaming by fencers during competition has been lifted.

A summary of COVID-19 protocols is as follows:


Individuals who have completed a COVID vaccine series (Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson only) 14 days prior to arrival at the venue will NOT need to obtain a negative PCR test result, but they must provide proof of vaccination. Tournament participants, staff and plus ones can upload their proof of vaccination at beginning now. Once this is verified, you will receive a confirmation email with a QR code to scan for entry into the venue. Please note: Proof of vaccination must be shown daily to gain access to the venue.

COVID-19 Testing

All participants in the tournament who have not completed one of the COVID-19 vaccine series listed above at least 14 days prior to the start of the tournament must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result in order to enter the facility. This includes athletes and staff as well as all coaches or other credentialed individuals. The COVID-19 PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to the start of travel and must be shown daily to enter the venue.

USA Fencing has entered into a partnership with Inspire Diagnostics to offer mail-in PCR testing kits with no out of pocket cost to all NAC participants and staff. Tournament participants can click here to order your mail-in PCR testing kit. Tournament participants are NOT required to use this testing method; however, it is being made available as a USA Fencing member benefit for those who choose to utilize the service.


The tournament venue will have one competition hall for all events. Hand sanitizer and bleach wipes will be available throughout the venue for use. The competition hall will be closed and cleaned overnight after each competition day.

Tournament participants are encouraged to bring their own water to the venue. Touchless water stations also will be available throughout the venue.

Equipment Check

All events will have a scheduled equipment check time. A schedule will be posted in the Athlete Packet once these times are finalized. Fencers will not be permitted to check equipment any earlier than the scheduled time. All armorers will be required to wear masks and protective gloves to avoid direct contact with equipment and athletes. Barrier shields will be mounted on the front of the armory tables to separate the armorers and fencers during the inspection process.

Health Checks

Upon arrival at the venue each day, all participants must provide proof of negative PCR test results OR proof of vaccination as detailed above.

Unvaccinated individuals also will need to complete a health questionnaire and show their cleared screen and proof of negative PCR test at the entrance each day.

Individuals will receive a color-coded wristband for the appropriate day of their competition and should not attempt to enter the competition hall on days during which they are not competing, unless they are registered as an accompany person for another athlete that is competing that day. See details below.

Mask Mandate

As announced in October 2020, all participants in USA Fencing events, including coaches, athletes, spectators and staff, MUST wear a face mask that covers mouth and nose at all times, including competition.


Warnings and penalties will no longer be issued for competitors who scream during the bout unless the fencer is in violation of another rule, such as refusal to obey the referee, anti-sporting behavior, offense against sportsmanship, etc. 

Credential Access

Summer Nationals will not be open to spectators; however, each competing athlete will receive credential access for two additional individuals which may be a coach OR another accompanying individual, such as a family member. A link will be sent to all athletes to register their second person for access. During the Summer Nationals registration process, athletes had the opportunity to register an additional individual for a guest credential. These individuals also are subject to the COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination restrictions as listed above. In order to enter the venue, any individuals who are not athletes or tournament staff must have be credentialed with an athlete.

All current Member and Affiliate Clubs that have athletes competing will be permitted to register as many coaches as they wish to send. A link will be sent to all Member Clubs to register their coaches.


Awards ceremonies will return for Summer Nationals. Athletes who finish in the top eight will be receive a medal for individual events, and teams that finish in the top three will receive medals. A coach’s medal will be awarded to the coach of the gold medalist in all National Championship events.

Before and during ceremonies, athletes, coaches and awards staff should practice social distancing whenever possible. Handshakes and hugging are discouraged, but group photos in front of the awards backdrop will be permitted.

Athletes and coaches must wear masks on the awards podium.


Athletes are to salute at the conclusion of a bout in lieu of shaking hands with each other, the referee or coaches.

Social Distancing

Everyone should practice proper social distancing measures at all times while in the venue. Floor decals and signage will be placed around the venue as reminders.

Bout Committee

No more than one fencer will be permitted at the table at which each Bout Commit­tee official is stationed. All other fencers for that event should wait behind the line until called by the officials’ member to come forward. Athletes should ensure 6 feet between themselves and any others waiting in line.

Bout Committee officials will not take the bout slips from the fencers. Each slip will have a barcode which will be scanned by the fencer. Slips will be scanned by the fencer, and the BC official will record the score on the com­puter while the slip is shown to them. Once completed, the slip will be dropped in a box by the fencer, on the side of the table closest to them and furthest from the BC official.


All tournament officials will be placed in single hotel rooms for the 2020-21 season unless otherwise requested.

In rest and meal areas, best practices for serving food will be determined by local venue protocols. Meals will be prepackaged or served by venue staff to minimize the need for shared serving utensils. Disposable sets of napkins and silverware will be provided in officials’ meal rooms. Community games and other shared items will be removed from officials’ break areas until further notice.

Tag(s): Updates