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USA Fencing Streamlines Age Verification Process for Competitive Memberships

05/30/2024, 8:45am CDT
By Bryan Wendell & Brad Suchorski

Age verification to ensure competitive integrity has been required at regional and national competitions for some time. This latest update merely streamlines the process.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a move designed to help ensure a level playing field for all members, USA Fencing is streamlining the age verification process, requiring age verification within 14 days of the purchase or renewal of competitive membership types.

Members know that age verification is nothing new for fencing. It’s been required for all regional and national competitions for some time, often happening onsite at tournaments. Age verification is important because all USA Fencing competitive categories are limited to fencers within a certain age range. By verifying these fencers’ ages, we can maintain a fair competitive landscape for everyone.

This new update merely streamlines the process.

Beginning with the 2024-25 season, those who purchase a competitive membership type will need to become age-verified within 14 days after the membership purchase. Competitive members who do not complete the age verification process within that window will still retain access to membership benefits but can’t register for regional or national events until age verification is completed.

“The adjustments to the age verification process will be a big improvement to the existing structure for tournament participants and organizers,” says Dan Berke, former Western Washington Division Chair and creator of Fencing Time. “By doing the verification proactively through the member profile, this will be a one-time check for all competitive members. This relieves the added time and energy it takes to do onsite verification of documents – streamlining tournament prep and check-in for everyone.”

Notice he said “one-time.” That means that once a member’s age is verified, they’re good for life. (After all, a birthday doesn’t change.) We hope our members understand the need for this important and relatively simple step.

“The updates to the age verification process will have a number of benefits for athletes at competition,” says Connie Schreiber, Executive Director of the Fencing Sports Academy and director of Fairfax Challenge regional tournaments. “This includes shorter lines at registration and less need to be nervous about being at the strip and ready when each event starts. Being able to confirm if age verification has been completed online, and only having to submit documents once, means permanently marking off one item from the lengthy checklist for fencers and parents.”

Who Must Complete Age Verification?

Anyone who competes at regional or national tournaments — including those with Competitive, Collegiate Competitive, Life, Life Installment or Coach memberships.

How Much Does This Cost?

Nothing. This member benefit is free of charge and is a one-time process that will remain valid as long as the individual maintains an active USA Fencing membership. 

How Does a Fencer Get Age-Verified?

At Summer Nationals: USA Fencing will provide an option to become age-verified at Summer Nationals. Throughout the competition, members can approach the registration area with a form of ID for on-the-spot age verification.

Online: 

  1. Log in to your membership account at https://member.usafencing.org.

  2. Click on My Account > Age Verification.

  3. Upload a valid form of ID. (See the FAQs below for acceptable documentation)

Once approved, the uploaded copy of your document will be destroyed. (See details below.)

When Should I Complete Age Verification?

As soon as possible! Fencers who wait on this process may run into delays when registering for regional or national tournaments. We recommend completing your age verification as soon as possible so you don’t have to stress later.

If I’m Already Age-Verified, Do I need to Complete This Process Again? 

No, you do not!

What if I Need Assistance?

Contact information@usafencing.org if you have any additional questions.

What if I Have More Questions?

We’ve answered some more FAQs below:

What is the fee to be age-verified by USA Fencing?

There is no separate fee for this benefit. Age verification is one of the benefits of a USA Fencing membership.

Who is required to be age-verified by USA Fencing?

Beginning on Aug. 1, 2024, all competitive membership types will be required to submit proof of age. This is a one-time process and will not need to be repeated annually.

What documentation is accepted by USA Fencing for age verification?

  • Birth certificate

  • Driver’s license

  • Passport and/or Visa

  • State-issued ID

  • Military ID

Note: Even though we destroy our copy of identification once verification is complete, members may also redact sensitive information like drivers’ license numbers or passport numbers before uploading.

What happens to the document after it’s uploaded?

A USA Fencing staff member will review the document, record the birthdate in our system to mark the individual's record as age-verified, and then permanently delete the uploaded document from our system.

How long does the process take for someone to become age-verified?

The processing is usually completed within two business days if done online. Note, USA Fencing has already been performing verification for members who contact us, beginning earlier this season.

I’m a club owner and my athlete did not complete the age verification process in time. Will my insurance coverage be valid?

Yes, individuals who do not complete the age verification process will retain access to membership benefits, which includes insurance coverage.

Why was this timing selected?

USA Fencing surveyed key stakeholders about the age verification process, and the results (which you can see for yourself here) indicate that members of the community feel verification should be completed after membership sign-up. 

So that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Tag(s): Updates