In 2022, Eli Dershwitz OLY (Tim Morehouse Fencing Club) defeated Cody Walter Ji (Nellya Fencers) to take him the Division I National Championship in Men's Saber. (Photo by Serge Timacheff)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Their names are etched in fencing lore — so iconic that many fans know them by last name only: Zagunis. Westbrook. Hurley (both Courtney and Kelley). Stull. Prescod. Itkin.
(See the full list of Division I medalists throughout history.)
These fencing legends have one thing in common: their path to glory started at a Division I National Championship — the highest domestic medal available to members of USA Fencing. Many Division I National Champions have gone on to compete on Senior World Teams, win Senior World Championship Medals and even fence at the Olympic Games.
And here’s the inspiring part: Each April, any USA Fencing member who represents the United States can compete in the Division I National Championship — as long as they qualify.
So how does a fencer qualify for this year’s edition? With the 2023 Division I National Championships & April North American Cup approaching fast, let’s review.
And for those who qualify, we’ll see you April 21-24 inside America's Center Convention Complex in St. Louis!
Here’s what the Athlete Handbook says:
Division I National Championships: The Div I National Championships, held in conjunction with the April NAC, are championships for fencers on the National Rolling Point Standings for Seniors, Juniors and the top Cadets. Competitors must be U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents.
Fencers qualify for these Championships via the National Rolling Point Standings, top placements from the last Div IA and Div II National Championships and via modern pentathlon.
Athletes that have represented another country in the last three years at FIE level competitions (Veteran/ Senior/Junior and those athletes that represented another country in the Cadet World Championships) are not eligible to compete in a National Championship, unless the athlete has been officially approved by the FIE to represent the USA.
Here’s what the Athlete Handbook (section 2.12.5) says:
Eligibility (age, classification, qualification path)
Fencers must be at least 13 years old on Jan. 1 in the year of the competition (see Table 2.5.1 for exceptions). Fencers must have a classification of “A”, “B”, or “C” at the entry deadline and be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident.
This is from the Athlete Handbook (section 2.12.5):
Fencers must meet eligibility requirements AND at least one of the following requirements:
Be on the current Senior National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) at the regular fee entry deadline
Be on the current Junior National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) at the regular fee entry deadline
Be on the current Cadet National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) at the regular fee entry deadline
Have placed in the top 8 in the 2021-22 season’s Division IA National Championships (held at the 2022 Summer Nationals in Minneapolis)
Have placed in the top 4 in the 2021-22 season’s Division II National Championships (held at the 2022 Summer Nationals in Minneapolis)
Be one of the 24 individual competitors who fences at the 2023 NCAA National Championships (held March 23-26, 2023)
For epee only: the top 3 (on Modern Pentathlon Point Standings) USA Fencing Modern Pentathlon fencers will be eligible to compete in the Division I epee events without qualifying by any other means. USA Modern Pentathlon fencers MUST be USA Fencing members.
To be on the National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS) for Senior, Junior or Cadet, a fencer must have earned points at one or more of the following tournaments:
2022 Division I Championship/April NAC
2022 July Challenge
2022 October NAC
2022 December NAC
2023 January NAC
2023 Junior Olympics
Important note: Please remember that the dashboard on your membership profile tracks only regional points so don’t be alarmed when you don’t see a green checkmark next to your name. You may still be qualified even if you don't see a green checkmark.
In order to compete for a Division I Team National Championship, fencers must meet the age (2009) and classification (C or higher) requirements that are standard at all Division I events. All fencers must also represent the same club.
Tag(s): Latest News April 2023 NAC