NCAA Fencing Competition Format

While the competition format in the NCAA is similar to that found in the United States Fencing Association (USFA) and the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE) (English: International Fencing Federation) there are some differences.

The Team Format:

The NCAA uses a 3 v 3 paradigm similar to that found in the USFA.  Each fencer from one team fences each fencer for the other team in a round robin format for a total of nine bouts.  Whereas the USFA and FIE utilize a format where there is a rolling point total up to forty-five in five touch segments, the NCAA uses the results of individual bouts to determine the team score.  Thus the total number of team points possible in the NCAA is nine, when one team wins all bouts in the round. 

The individual Format:

While on the team level, an individual's score or indicator is not relevant and points lost by a teammate cannot be made up by another.  That is not to say that the points do not matter.  Each year, the fencer's individual record from the team format is compared to the records of others he or she has fenced against, with this in mind, fencers with a win percentage over twenty who have fenced over half the total possible number of bouts possible are qualified to represent the school in the Midwest Regional Competition.  It is at Regionals that fencers are selected to fence in the NCAA individual championships. 


All scores, team and individual, count and unlike the USFA style of fencing where fencers are eliminated via direct elimination, the round robin method employeed by the NCAA means that fencers get to compete against everyone, regardless of their losses.  Fencers in the NCAA should be prepared to fence their best all day, and against every opponent.

The Rating System

The NCAA has created it's own rating system which is different than the one found in the FIE or USFA.  While the NCAA likes to change the power rating system from time to time, what follows is the most current format.

There are potentially three things that can affect a fencer's rating in the NCAA:

  1. The Fencer's rating from the USFA and/or the FIE
  2. The Fencer's previous NCAA season results
  3. The Fencer's results against other opponents with higher power ratings then themselves during the current season

The Power rating system is out of 120.  What follows are some examples of what each power rating could mean:

0- New fencer, no previous USFA rating, or NCAA experience

20- 'E' or 'D' rated USFA fencer

30- 'C' rated USFA fencer

50- 'B' rated USFA fencer

70- 'A' rated USFA fencer

80- 'A' rated USFA fencer in National point standings or FIE fencer with top 64 finish

90- FIE fencer with top 32 finish, previous NCAA championship top 8 finish

100- FIE top 16 finish, previous NCAA championships top 4 finish

110- NCAA previous year champion