Event Qualification

Events that require prior qualification include all national championship events, and a very few national events other than championships.

There are often several different possible paths to qualifying for an event. In general, the paths come down to three different types:
  1. Accumulation of a minimum number of points on a national or regional points list.
  2. Placement at designated qualifying event.
  3. Participation (regardless of placement) in some qualifying event.
Here is the official USA Fencing description of all the various qualifying paths for events that require qualification.

Accumulating Points

The first method appears to be USA Fencing's preferred method. Accumulating points comes from consistent performance at a series of events that are designated to award points, so it allows USA Fencing to select those fencers who demonstrate their ability to produce consistent results. There may be several points events, allowing the competitors some degree of flexibility in terms of which events to compete in.

Examples (consider these fictitious; they are used to convey the concept only. See the linked (above) document for details):
  • One can compete in Division 2 Regional Open Circuit (ROC) events to accumulate points to qualify for the Division 2 National Championships. Points are awarded at ROC events to the top 25% of finishers.
  • One can earn Division 1 national points by competing in a Division 1 North American Cup (NAC) event. The top 4 points holders will be selected to the Olympic Team.

Qualifier Events

The second method is older, and more of a "high-stakes" method: the qualification is based on a single result at a single designated qualifying event.

Most commonly, qualifier events are sanctioned by the USA Fencing Divisions, and are used to qualify for the national championship events. Usually, such events are restricted to members of the host division. (Riverside is a member of the "New England" division, which actually consists only of the eastern 2/3 of MA and RI. Berkshire county (MA), CT, VT, NH, and ME are all parts of other divisions.)

Example:
  • CT division U17 Junior Olympic Qualifiers. Restricted to fencers aged 17 or younger (cadet age group) who are members of the CT division. This event would qualify people to the USA Fencing Junior Olympics (the national championships for cadet and junior events). The number of qualifiers depends on the number of entrants; it's usually the top 25% of the field or so that qualifies.

Participation

Some events allow qualification merely by your participation in an earlier event. Within USA Fencing, this is most common for Veteran age category events.

Example: in order to qualify for the Veteran events at the National Championships, a fencer must participate in any of the following events prior to the national championships:
  • Any North American Cup (NAC) event in that weapon
  • The fencer's division qualifier event for the weapon
In these cases, participation, regardless of final placement, is sufficient to qualify the fencer.