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The United States Association of Collegiate Fencing Clubs (USACFC) was established in 2003 to educate and promote fencing at the collegiate level throughout the United States. The organization began with 13 teams and has grown to over 45 teams since its inception. The USACFC was formed as a Nonprofit Corporation in 2005. Each year the organization holds a national fencing championship in the host city of one of the member colleges.


The main purpose of the USACFC, per its Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, includes being “organized for non-profit, charitable or educational purposes, namely to foster national fencing competition at the collegiate level, to organize an annual national championship, and to promote the like, within the meaning of Sections 501(c)(3) (or corresponding Section of any future Federal Tax Code) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or any successor law, and rules and regulations issued by the IRS pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code or any successor law (the "Code")…”

Tournament Format

All tournament format information as well as other USACFC policies can be found in our Tournament Manual​
Round 1: Pool Play
Pool Phase

Pools shall be composed of 6 or 7 individuals. There will be no time outs. Pools will be split into two even flights, so as to give fencers the opportunity to support other members of their team. The number of fencers entered in the event shall dictate the number of strips made available. Optimally, there will be 45-48 strips, which are divided into 16 for foil, 16 for epee, and 12 for saber, with the remainder made available for fencers to warm up. If there are fewer strips or pools needed, the number assigned to each weapon will be reduced by the bout committee.


To prevent confusion, the Bout Committee should make sure strip assignments are posted clearly indicating if the pool is in the first or second flight. One referee should be designated as the chief of each pool and be responsible for making sure the pool runs efficiently. Thus, the pool moves as fast as its internal dynamic allows without any need for control from the bout table. At the conclusion of the first flight, the referee shall take the score sheet to the bout table so results can be compiled as quickly as possible and the second flight may begin.


Pool Seeding

The USACFC Bout Committee will be responsible for fairly seeding the pools taking into account such factors as, 1) fencers school affiliation 2) geographical distribution or conference participation, and 3) USA fencing rating in the appropriate weapon, if applicable. Other factors may be considered at the discretion of the Bout Committee.



Pool results

USA Fencing rules will be used to tabulate the wins and losses of each fencer. If the pools are uneven, the results will be treated as uneven pools as they would be per USA Fencing rules. The rankings will be posted as rapidly as possible by the bout committee with promotions to the Direct Elimination Tableau indicated.

Direct Elimination Tableau

At the conclusion of both flights of the Pool phase, the top 64 ranked fencers will be promoted to the Direct Elimination Tableau. These fencers will compete in accordance with USA Fencing rules, with no fence off for third place. Hence, rounds in the tables of 64, 32, 16, 8, Semifinals, and Finals will be contested. 


At the conclusion of the Finals, the bout committee will promptly post completed results for the event, and begin calculating seeding and promotion to the Team Direct Elimination Bracket.


Promotion and Seeding in the Team Elimination Bracket

To determine the seedings in the team elimination table, the results of the top three fencers from each school will be tabulated in order to determine the schools ranking. Should there be a tie for any rank in the team DE table, the highest individual result between the two teams will break the tie between the two squads. If a team, for any reason, is comprised of fewer than three individuals, they shall take a score of one greater than the number of competitors in the weapon as their third score (e.g: a partial squad in a field of 100 shall take a score of 101 as their third score for purposes of team ranking).


Only the top 32 ranked schools shall be promoted to the Team Elimination Bracket on Day 2.



Round 2: Team Elimination Bracket

Any venue hosting the championships should have a minimum of 45 strips. The USACFC Board may accept a bid with fewer strips at their discretion but the number of strips per weapon will have to be reduced. Squads must have at least 2 fencers to fence in the bracket. At the start of the day, any team which, for any reason, cannot field 2 fencers will be deemed to be eliminated and teams behind them will move up in seed. The bracket will have 32 teams with all places fenced out. If the USACFC Board accepts a venue with insufficient strips, it may decide to use an incomplete table of 32 but the Board should make every effort to secure a venue with sufficient space for 45 strips (40 at the absolute minimum).


Rules for the bracket
  1. All matches will be fenced to decision (5 bouts) on a regular NCAA dual meet score sheet.

  2. The Bout Committee must make available a table of 32 in each weapon and keep it up to date so that competitors and spectators can see the progress of the tournament. A projection screen should be set up for this purpose or other acceptable methods may be used.

  3. A substitute may be put into the match and may be replaced by the starter in the same position. However, all substitutions must be made by informing the referee and the opposing team a full bout in advance.

  4. If a team only has two fencers, the captain will choose where to put the starters and the third position produces forfeits. Forfeits only count when you reach them on the score sheet. Thus, even though a team only has two fencers, they are not automatically down 0-3.

  5. A bout fenced out of order will follow NCAA rules for dual meets. The bout is put where it was supposed to happen on the score sheet and is not counted until reached in the match. If two fencers fence twice, the second bout will not count. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH TEAM TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CORRECT BOUT IS FENCED.

  6. A single, one-minute time out per school, per team match, will be permitted.

  7. If a fencer is injured and must withdraw, a substitute may take over the bout at the score and time when the injury occurred. If there is no substitute available, then that bout, and all succeeding bouts for the injured fencer in that round are forfeits. The injured fencer may be used in a subsequent round.

  8. In order to move the tournament along, each section of the bracket should be assigned a pod of strips and referees to keep it moving. Under no condition should the Bout Committee wait until all matches are done in a round to begin the next. For example, the 17-24 matches can be given 4 strips and refs, a bracket, and be completed at its own pace. FencingTime can handle a bracket fenced out to all places and needs to be used with the winning team bringing up the bout slip and returning with the next match.

  9. Specific strips should be set aside for medal rounds and, if possible, bleachers provided for spectators. The Bout Committee must announce medal bouts so spectators know where to go to watch.

Past Championships

The following were the sites and hosts for the National Championships since USACFC’s inception:

  • 2003 – University of Florida (18 teams)

  • 2004 – University of New Hampshire (22 teams)

  • 2005 – Michigan State University (25 teams)

  • 2006 – Clemson University (30 teams)

  • 2007 – Indiana University (31 teams)

  • 2008 – Smith College (35 teams)

  • 2009 – Wisconsin Dells, hosted by U Wisconsin (32 teams)

  • 2010 – Swarthmore College (41 teams)

  • 2011 – University of Chicago

  • 2012 – Hartford Conv Center, hosted by West Point/Army

  • 2013 – Summit Sports & Ice Complex, hosted by MSU

  • 2014 – Knoxville Convention Center, hosted by USACFC

  • 2015 – Bensalem High School, hosted by Liberty FC & Swarthmore College

  • 2016 – Brown University, hosted by Smith College and USACFC

  • 2017 – Summit Sports & Ice Complex, hosted by MSU

  • 2018 – Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center

  • 2019 – Sportsplex Bucks County

  • 2020 – CANCELLED

  • 2021 – CANCELLED

  • 2022 – Rhode Island College, Providence, RI

  • 2023 - Turnstone Center, Fort Wayne, IN

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