What if I Want to Compete?
Competitions are a great way to improve your fencing! They offer a more physical and mental challenge than regular practices, and allow you to try out your skills against a wider variety of people! Competitions are fun, exciting, and help our fencers foster self-confidence, and teamwork as they help and support one another.
How do I know when I'm ready to compete?
It's recommended that athletes try out their first competition when they feel confident in understanding the basics, and are able to keep up well with their peers in practices. Typically, most fencers begin competing once they have 1 to 2 terms of experience fencing. If in doubt, always ask your coaches!
What do I Need to Compete?
Competitions come with a few more requirements than regular practices, in terms of equipment. It's recommended that fencers looking to compete purchase at least the basic pieces of equipment themselves. These include: indoor court shoes, a mask, jacket, and glove.
Additional items needed for tournaments include an electric jacket, fencing breeches/pants, knee high athletic socks, fencing wires, and a protective half-jacket. For your first competition, the club will help provide some of these items!
Afterwards, if you'd like to continue competing, it's recommended that you purchase your own gear.
How do I register for Competitions?
All competitions have a regular-fee registration deadline that you'll need to sign up by. Once that deadline passes, the event fees will increase, and you'll have a limited time remaining to complete your registration. Registrations are done online, and you can check out "fencing.ab.ca" for a list of upcoming events in the province.
How do I know which events to sign-up for?
When you click to register for an upcoming tournament, there are few key things to note. Make sure you select the right Age Categories and Weapon(s) that you'd like to compete in. For example, if you are 12 years old, you're eligible to compete in the following categories: U13, U15, and U17. It's recommended that you fence at least two events each competition in order to get more out of the experience, and to challenge yourself!
Secondly, once you've decided on the Age Categories you'd like to compete in, you need to be sure that you select the right Weapon and Event! Sabre, Foil, and Epee are the three disciplines of fencing, so be sure that you register for your correct event!
The days and times for your events will be posted weeks in advance of the competition.
Okay, I've registered for my events, now what?
Now that you've decided you're ready to compete, you have the appropriate equipment, and have registered for the right events, it's almost time to compete! Follow these steps to make sure your first tournament goes as smoothly as possible!
1) The day of a tournament, make sure you know when your first event is (ie. 9AM), and aim to arrive at the competition venue an hour before-hand (ie. 8 AM).
2) After arriving, you'll need to SIGN-IN. Check with the registration table, and confirm your name, age, event(s), and club affiliation (Wild Rose Fencing Club). You'll need to sign in separately before each of your events!
3) Once you've signed in you'll then need to head to the EQUIPMENT CHECK table, where they will inspect your gear to make sure it's suitable to compete with. You'll only need to get your equipment checked ONCE each tournament.
4) After your equipment has been checked and everything has passed, you can place your bag down near your friends, teammates, or coaches, and get ready to warm up.
It's time for your event!
After you've warmed up, and changed into your fencing gear, it should be time to start your event! The start of your event is the time posted online when you originally signed up (ie. 9 AM).
Listen carefully, as the event organizers will announce when your event is starting. They will call your name, and let you know which numbered fencing piste you'll be on.
Once you've arrived at your assigned fencing piste, the referee will check everyone's equipment again, so make sure you're wearing everything you need to compete in!
You'll start by fencing a Round-Robin against everyone in your group, with matches going to 5 POINTS. After you've finished fencing everyone from your group, you'll get a small break while they sort through the ranking process. After they've posted the Round Robin results, you'll move into the Direct Elimination round! Here, you'll fence an opponent you've been matched up with through the rankings. First person to 15 POINTS wins, and will move on to the next round. If you happen to lose, that's alright! Think back on your matches, "how you can improve in your next event or tournament?" Be proud of challenging yourself!