COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As the countdown to the 2028 Paralympics in Los Angeles ticks under the five-year mark, USA Fencing is boosting our efforts to grow the sport of parafencing.
The latest initiative: Discounted tournament registration fees for parafencers, starting with the Parafencing North American Cup in February 2024 (held in Charlotte in conjunction with the Junior Olympics).
The new fee structure is as follows:
Tournament registration fee — $110
Admin fee — $10
Event fee — $0
Note: Fees are nonrefundable, just like before, and open-period and late-period pricing rules still apply.
This pricing structure marks a significant change from the previous event fee of $95 per event, a cost that could quickly accumulate for parafencers who often compete in multiple weapons during a tournament. (For example, a parafencer competing in epee, foil and saber previously would’ve paid $405 but will now pay $120.)
"Our decision to eliminate event fees for parafencers this season is rooted in our commitment to make the sport more accessible," says Beth Mahr, USA Fencing’s Parafencing Manager. "We aim to reduce barriers to entry and the overall cost of participation for these athletes. It's a sign of progress as we invest more in growing participation in the sport."
The move to eliminate event fees for parafencers is particularly impactful given the smaller size of parafencing events, which often feature fewer than a dozen participants in a single event. By removing this financial barrier, USA Fencing hopes to encourage more athletes to participate and compete.
And what about able-bodied fencers? While the initiative is a positive development for parafencing, some able-bodied fencers may wonder why their event fees remain unchanged. It's worth noting that the scale and logistics of able-bodied fencing events are considerably larger, requiring more resources to manage. The discounted fees for parafencers are part of a targeted effort to grow this specific aspect of the sport and make it more inclusive.
For now, this discount applies to the 2023-24 season, starting with the February 2024 Parafencing NAC. Pricing structures for future seasons will be announced when available and may change as parafencing continues to grow.