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2015-16 National Event Qualification Paths

06/12/2015, 5:45pm CDT
By USA Fencing

USA Fencing is pleased to announce that the qualification paths for the 2015-16 national events season are now finalized.

The full schedule of 2015-16 national events can be found by clicking here. Click here to view the qualifying paths. 

As part of the Tournament Improvement Plan, first announced during the 2013-14 season, the Tournament and Youth Development Committees, in conjunction with the National Events Department, has implemented several key updates to the qualification process for next season.

Regional Qualifying Events

Click here to view an FAQ on regional qualification.

The 2015 Junior Olympic Championships was the first event that used Regional Junior and Cadet Circuit (RJCC) tournament points as a qualifying path. Eight RJCCs were held throughout the country as qualifiers in 2014-15. In the 2015-16 season, at least two RJCCs will be held in each region. These tournaments will serve as one of the qualification paths for the 2016 Junior Olympics as well as the 2016 July Challenge. As shown in the chart below, athletes still can qualify for the JOs through the National Rolling Point Standings and Division qualifying events. In addition to the RJCCs, athletes also can qualify for the July Challenge through the NRPS. Foreign fencers who meet the A or B classification criteria also will be eligible for the July Challenge. 

In 2015-16, athletes may still compete in any RJCC, but a fencer will only earn points in his or her own region. Click here to view the map of USA Fencing regions. An athlete’s best two results will count in the rankings. Accordingly, RJCCs will use the same point scale approach that Regional Youth Circuit (RYC) tournaments have used since the 2012-2013 season (100 pt. scale).

New in 2015-16, RJCC points will be awarded to the entire field in each event. Due to the expansion of the RJCC rankings list next season and the variability in participation between the regions, qualification from the Regional Junior or Cadet Circuit Rankings will be percentage based. For the Junior Olympics, the top 25% of the fencers in each of the six region’s point standings will qualify for the junior and cadet events. For the July Challenge, the top 50% of fencers in each region’s standings will qualify as long as they meet the appropriate age criteria.

Also in 2015-16, Regional Open Circuit (ROC) events will issue points to 40% of the field, up to 64 competitors. Earning points / finishing in the top 40% earns a fencer qualification to the Summer National Championships in the category for which they have earned points and in any lower category for which they are ratings eligible. This is a change from the top 32 competitors earning points regardless of field size with a minimum of 685 points needed to qualify. A fencer’s best three results will combine for their ROC points total ranking.

While RJCCs, ROCs and RYCs will serve as qualifying tournaments  in the 2015-16 season, athletes qualifying via the RJCC, ROC or RYC regional points path will not be skipped as auto-qualifiers at the Divisional level. Junior Olympic qualification via the RJCC pathway is finalized after the last RJCC in each region on or before January 11, 2016.  For Summer Nationals/July Challenge, qualification is finalized after the last RJCC, RYC or ROC event in each region. Since all athletes finishing in the top 40% of any ROC now qualify to Summer Nationals, the additional qualification pathway of a single top 10% placement at a Div 2 ROC has been removed.

Athletes holding National Points and who are age eligible will continue to be skipped as auto-qualfiers at Y14, Cadet and Junior Divisional qualifiers.

NCAA Fencers at the July Challenge

For the Division I July Challenge, a new qualification pathway has been created for collegiate fencers. In addition to the qualifying paths based on the NRPS, all 24 fencers who compete in the individual event at the 2016 NCAA Championships will qualify for the 2016 July Challenge.

Division III Nationals

Also new in 2015-16, athletes who finish in the top 40% of the 2016 Division III NAC in April, and are classification eligible, will qualify for the 2016 Division III National Championships.

Point Structure Updates

The committees also approved several updates to point structure as follows:

  • Due to the difference in depth and degree of difficulty between the Y10 and Y12 age groups, the National Youth Point Standings will be differentiated for Y10 and Y12 fencers.  The point scale for a Y10 National event will remain at 100 points and Y12 will be increased to 150 points.
  • At Youth NAC and the Summer National Championships, points will be awarded to the top 64 fencers in a field of 160 or more.
  • SYCs National Point awards will be adjusted to a 0.8 scale of the Youth NAC / Championships point tables to differentiate between the variability in SYC fields and the greater depth in strength at the NAC and Championship level.
  • For all qualification paths, the final number of athletes qualifying will always round up if there is a non-whole number (for example, 9.25 rounds to 10).

The following is a summary of the paths for each event. Click on the tab for each event to learn how to qualify in 2015-16: 

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