Competitive Opportunities through VAF - Viginia Academy of Fencing
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Competitive Fencing at VAF

Competitive classes provide the highest level of training offered in the U.S. Classes are serious and intensive, designed to produce skilled competitive fencers. A strong commitment is essential, not just for the individual but for the team as a whole. Skill level isn't as important as having the right attitude. An interview between the coach and the prospective student (and parents, if student is a minor) must be arranged in advance.

The competitive season lasts from September -- July with the Summer Nationals Championships as the final competition. Interested students should take competitive classes and need to make a serious commitment to practice several times per week.

There are a number of competitions held on local, national and international levels. Local competitions are divided into two categories: 12 years old and under, and 13 years old and over (open competition). To participate in these events you need to be a member of the United States Fencing Association (USFA) and must have safety and electric equipment.

A national level competition is the next step. There are a number of North American cups (NACs). The granddad of all is U.S. National Championships. Competition categories are divided by gender, age [10 and under, 12 and under, 14 and under, Cadet (16 and under), Junior (19 and under), Senior (13 and older), Veterans 40-49, Veterans 50-59, and Veterans 60-69, and skill level (Division I, Division II, and Division III). Some of the events require one to qualify to compete.

Leaping fencer


VAF Training Competitions

The first step to gain competitive experience is to participate in VAF training competitions, which are excellent opportunities for those who just want to compete for the first time, or to prepare for a higher level of fencing. Events are fenced in a format similar to United States Fencing Association competitions, but in a much friendlier and more helpful environment. Participants easily learn the skills, procedures, and etiquette necessary to compete at local/divisional and national events. At the end of each event, a pizza dinner is served for all competitors. The registration form for the VAF training competitions is available here.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Registration Deadline: 3/27/2016
Electric Sabre, All Ages Sun., 4/3, 2:00 pm
Electric Foil, All Ages Sun., 4/3, 4:00 pm
Electric Epee, All Ages Sun., 4/3, 6:00 pm


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Registration Deadline: 4/3/2016
Longword, 9 yrs+ Sun., 4/10, 3:30 pm
Rapier, 9 yrs+ Sun., 4/10, 5:30 pm

Rules and Regulations of VAF Competitions

  • An appropriate uniform, footwear and proper equipment are required for each event. Fencers in electric events must have appropriate, working electric equipment.
  • The event times indicated are “close of registration” times. Fencers are encouraged to arrive at least one half-hour prior to the scheduled time for the event. Competitors should use the time to warm up, fence practice bouts, and prepare for the competition.
  • Competitions will begin promptly after the close of registration.
  • Competitors may be divided into different age or gender groups depending upon the configuration of entries.
  • Each event begins with a short informational meeting to discuss how the event will be conducted and to assign fencers to pools. Important announcements are made at this time.
  • The competitions last approximately two to four hours, depending on the number of participants.
  • The top finishers in each event will receive medals.
  • Spectators are encouraged to observe, but must follow the safety directions of the competition officials. Young children must be supervised.
  • To participate, a competitor must be a VAF member. Each fencer should return a separate pre-registration form and payment to the front desk by the pre-registration deadline. The fee is $75 per event. The pre-registration deadline is one week prior to the event. The entry fee for late registration is $100 per event. The fee is not refundable.