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Tournament Listing Guide

On askFRED, if you click on the "Upcoming Tournaments" button, you'll get a screen that looks like this (click to enlarge):

Much of this is intuitive. Below is information that may not be intuitive to someone new to reading these entries. It is intentionally an incomplete list.
  • Gender (second box): 
    • A "Mixed" event is one where both genders compete together. 
  • Age (third box). The age brackets are, roughly:
    • Youth: Up to age 14. There are Y10, Y12, and Y14 events.
    • Cadet: Ages 13 to 17
    • Junior: Ages 13 to 20
    • Senior: Ages 13 and up
    • Senior/Open: Senior, but limited to "Open" events. See below.
    • Veteran: Ages 40 and up. There are "Vet Combined" (40 and up), Vet 40 (ages 40-49), Vet 50 (ages 50-59), Vet 60 (ages 60-69), and Vet 70 (ages 70+).
    • For a complete listing of ages, see here (link good as of 11/26/2013).
  • Division (right box, second row): USA Fencing is divided into several geographic divisions. Riverside is the westernmost member club of the New England Division, which includes Rhode Island and Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River. Here are approximate geographic limits of other nearby divisions:
    • Connecticut Division: The state of Connecticut.
    • Hudson-Berkshire Division: Hudson River valley region (around Albany) and into the Berkshires.
    • Green Mountain Division: The state of Vermont.
    • Northeast Division: New Hampshire and Maine.
    • Metro NYC Division: New York City
    • Long Island Division: New York's Long Island.
    • Westchester-Rockland Division: Westchester and Rockland counties in NY.
Once you have searched for tournaments, you may find one that looks like this (click to enlarge)

There are "Ratings" for tournaments, usually listed in the name. A tournament may restrict who can participate based on the USA Fencing ratings of the participants.

The USFA ratings are, from highest to lowest: A, B, C, D, E, and U (or unclassified). Fencers earn ratings by placing well in tournaments.

The ratings for tournaments are as follows:
  • Division 1: open only to fencers with A, B, or C ratings.
  • Division 1A: open to fencers with any ratings. Also called "Open."
  • Division 2: open only to fencers with C, D, E, or U ratings. Also called "C and Under"
  • Division 3: open only to fencers with D, E, or U ratings. Also called "D and Under"
  • E and Under: open only to fencers with E or U ratings.
  • "U" or "Unclassified": open only to fencers with U ratings.
  • Novice: like unclassified events, open usually only to fencers with U ratings, and those who have limited competition experience. There is no official definition for "novice," but a common one is "less than 2 seasons of competition."
In the screen shot above, for example, "Div2 Senior Men's Saber" means that this event is open to men's saber fencers ages 13 and over who have USA Fencing ratings of U, E, D, or C only.

The "strength" of a tournament is also listed (also called "Event classification"). In the screen shot above, all the events are currently listed as "NR." The strength of a tournament indicates what ratings could be earned by the fencers. In order for ratings to be awarded, the event must be officially sanctioned by USA Fencing. Generally speaking, the number of competitors and the ratings of the competitors determines the potential strength of the tournament. The actual strength also considers the final placements of the competitors. Stronger tournaments can award more and higher ratings to the high-placing contestants.

The official USA Fencing chart summarizes it well.