Colleges with NCAA-sanctioned Fencing Teams

As the school year begins, many high school fencers and their parents are thinking about their next educational steps. With so many post-secondary options and so few NCAA fencing schools to consider, it’s important that all prospective college level fencers have the information they need to make the best decision possible. That’s why NFCR has used the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard to ensure that student-fencers and their families have the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and reliable information available on NCAA fencing schools.

NFCR’s rankings are restricted to colleges and universities with NCAA-sanctioned fencing teams. Not all college level fencing is conducted at the varsity level. In a future post, the schools that are members of the US Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs (USACFC) will be ranked using the same criteria.

NFCR’s post  allows visitors to sort and filter their search results to easily compare such factors as typical costs, admission rates, test scores, graduation rates and earnings of alumni. With the help of “Colleges with NCAA-Sanctioned Fencing Teams Ranked by Earnings of Alumni & Test Scores” students and families  can make informed college choices.

New Foil Rule 2016/17


Attention all foil fencers (and referees), a new rule is to be applied to foil immediately.

A fencers who reverses the line of their shoulders (bringing the shoulder of the non-weapon arm forward of the weapon arm shoulder) is now subject to a Group 1 penalty. This means a touch scored will be annulled, and a yellow card will be given.

The intention of the rule is to prevent foil fencers covering target area with the non-sword arm. This rule will mean that any foilist reversing shoulders will be penalised regardless of covering target or not.

Please note that this rule change applies to foil only, and does not affect epee or sabre.

Benefits of Fencing Camps

Benefits of Fencing Camps

Training camps have always been an essential part of a fencer’s development, and at Atlantic Fencing Academy we encourage everyone to join. They incorporate many activities to suit anyone from novice to competitive fencers:-

Novice fencers may attend to kickstart their fencing career, increase their chances of retaining information by training consecutive days during vacation time from school. Camps give the time and space to learn without being judged or intimidated.

Intermediate fencers may want to hone their skills with world-class coaches or bout with new opposition, longer training times give athletes more freedom to practice and experiment with new techniques.

Elite athletes may use camps as a source of conditioning preseason and maintaining high levels of technical and tactical abilities midseason. It’s a chance to rebuild foundations and practice new moves.

Apart from the above, here are 4 reasons we think training camps are worth joining:

  • Focused Training

Whether it is a few days or a whole week, training day after day gives athletes a chance to leave distractions outside the fencing salle and focus on enjoying the sport. Turn up, play games, learn new skills, bout, and recover for the next day.

  • Access to Experienced Fencers and Coaches

Being able to spend time with more experienced fencers and world-class coaches opens the opportunity to pick their brains. Coaches are always nearby, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions, it is likely they’ve got a long list of suggestions for you!

  • Learn More than Fencing

Attending a fencing camp can be so much more than learning the sport. It encourages you to engage with other athletes and develop friendships over a common interest. You may find that you learn about yourself as a person as well as an athlete.

  • Something Completely Different

The structure of modern training camps include more than fundamentals, bouting, drills and conditioning, they contain games, sport psychology, nutrition information and injury prevention and a lot more.

      •  Upcoming Fencing Training Camps at AFA

We’re running a Spring Camp and three Summer Camps at the Atlantic Fencing Academy, 9:30am – 12:30pm


Rule in Your Favor

Rule in Your Favor

‘Knowing the rules and remembering the rules are completely different things.’ -Simon Travaglia

Fencing rules and regulations can be a lot to take in for beginners and their parents, but even competitive fencers may not know some specific rules and the penalties for breaking them. Giving out cards as a referee and receiving them as a fencer is inevitable at all levels of ability, but the better educated you are on the rules and repercussions, the more confident you can fence.

The primary responsibility for a fencing referee is to ensure the safety of athletes (and anyone surrounding the strip), but they are also there to enforce technical rules and give sanctions:

Yellow – Warning, valid for the duration of a bout

Red – Penalty hit, awarded to the opponent

Black – Expulsion from the competition

How many times have we seen cards given for seemingly simple mistakes; leaving the strip without permission, covering target and bending the weapon on the strip? It is true that what the referee says goes – you cannot change their mind about what happened during a bout. However you have the right to challenge the implementation of the rules. Therefore it stands to reason any fencer, coach, or supporter such as parent should embrace a chance to educate themselves about them.

There are some highly recommended things to do if you or your child fences:

  1. Download a copy of the annual Athlete Handbook. Far from a complete rule book, it provides some useful guidelines for fencers and their parents regarding procedures of US Fencing membership, competition structure, and required equipment.
  2. Have a read of FIE Technical Rules. Specifically the glossary in Part 1 will give fencers a greater understanding of the terminology used in fencing halls around the country.  Parts 2-4 are weapon specific and describe how hits are scored.
  3. Remember, you can’t learn fencing by reading a book! In order to grasp a greater understanding of the sport you can attend a seminar by a world-class referee like Atlantic Fencing Academy is hosting on Sunday, 13th December 2015. This seminar are not just designed for fencers, but for their parents and wider support structure.

So remember, whether you’re new to the sport, bouting socially or competing in tournaments, there are rules which you don’t know! But don’t worry, knowledge is power, and our referee seminar will be given by Abdel Abdelaziz at Atlantic Fencing Academy on Sunday, 13th December 2015. You can Pre-Register on AskFred.

In addition to educating fencers, coaches and parents, the seminar is a prerequisite for anyone wishing referee at a tournament. It’s a great way to earn extra money whether at local, regional or high school level. You can take an online exam and be observed for a rating at a tournament after you’ve attend the seminar. For more information you can check out the US Fencing Officials Website.

New Coach, Fraser Ward

New Coach, Fraser Ward

Fraser in Bangladesh

Atlantic Fencing Academy is happy to introduce

Fraser Ward, former member of the British National Saber Team, who has represented Great Britain in World Cups, Grand Prix, and European Team Competition. He has represented his home country, Guernsey at Junior and Senior Commonwealths. He was 2012 British Champion, Junior Commonwealth finalist and team medalist. He has been coaching since 2008 from beginner fencer to national champions.

Fraser earned his International Coaching Diploma specializing in Fencing in 2009 at Semmelweiss University, Budapest, Hungary, world class medical university with a coaching program governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The course provides a wide range of subjects; training’s theory, nutrition, physiology, conditioning, sport psychology, and injury prevention among others. He specialized in fencing, instructed by three world class coaches who lectured at the University: Istvan Lukovich, foil, Gabor Bognar, epee and Laszlo Szepesi saber.

Fraser was lead saber coach at Elizabeth College for six years, which was founded in 1563 under the orders of Queen Elizabeth I. He recruited fencers from the over 600 student strong secondary school and from the primary school of 275 students. The school had well over 100 fencers. His responsibilities included group training from beginner, intermediate and hobby fencers, to advanced and competitive fencers. He was four times team captain at the Junior and Senior Commonwealth Games.

In the spring of 2015, Fraser was invited by the Secretary General of the Bangladesh Fencing Association and was coaching the National Team in foil, épée, and saber in preparation for the South Asian Games, Three Country Games (Bangladesh, Nepal, and India), and Asian Games. In addition to coaching the squad, he was running workshops for refereeing, coaching, and organisation of competitions and tournaments.

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