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What to Know About the Format for Division I Foil and Epee Events at National Tournaments

09/12/2022, 10:15am CDT
By Bryan Wendell

Beginning at the October 2022 North American Cup, Div I men’s and women’s foil events will use a two-pool format if an event has 203 fencers or more.


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Update (Sept. 14): Some members pointed out inaccuracies in the original version of this story. We've updated the text below (and added the graphic above). We apologize for the confusion!

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As USA Fencing national tournaments continue to grow, our staff and the volunteers on our Tournament Committee regularly consider ways to improve the competitive experience for our fencers.

The latest example applies to Division I fencers in men’s and women’s foil events.

Beginning at the October 2022 North American Cup, Div I men’s and women’s foil events will use a two-pool format if an event has 203 fencers or more. 

This mirrors the change we made starting in the 2019-20 season for Div I men’s and women’s epee events. 

Here’s how it works:

  • If a Division I men’s or women’s foil or epee event has 203 fencers or more:

    • The event will be a one-day event with two rounds of pools

    • The top 34 fencers will receive a bye into the second round of pools. Byes will be awarded based on the USA Fencing National Rolling Points Standings, as of the regular seeding deadline (10 days before the start of the tournament)

    • The top 75% of all fencers will be promoted from the first round of pools to a direct elimination tableau. 

    • That first direct elimination tableau will be fenced to 64.

    • Those 64 fencers will join the 34 fencers who had byes and compete in a second round of pools.

    • The top 75 fencers in the second round of pools will be promoted to the final direct elimination rounds (DEs).

    • That final direct elimination tableau will be fenced to a gold medal.

  • If a Division I men’s or women’s foil or epee event has 202 fencers or fewer:

    • The event will be a one-day event with one round of pools

    • The top 75% of all fencers will be promoted from pools to the direct elimination rounds (DEs)

For the October 2022 NAC, for example, as shared in the check-in times chart, both the Division I men’s foil and Division I men’s epee events met the requirements for a two-pool format. 

The top 34 athletes in those events will receive byes and will not need to report until 1 p.m. on their competition day. The list of athletes who qualify for byes are the top 34 fencers in the respective rankings, as of the Wednesday prior to each national tournament.


Brandon Li (left) defeated Jonas Winterberg-Poulsen during the Division I men's foil finals at the 2022 Summer Nationals. (Photo by Serge Timacheff)

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