It’s probably no secret that I am a lab scientist and that I love data. Well, that applies to fencing too, and I’m definitely a fencing nerd when it comes to scoping out opponents, collecting video, and generally trying to stay a step or two ahead.
If you have been a competitive fencer with us for a while, I have probably recommended that you become familiar with the website Fencingtracker.com. In the past, this has been a great place to see who is registered for upcoming tournaments; that way if you are looking at competitions, you can see who is going, which may give you someone to talk with about the planning or just ask questions, especially if you are new. Our registrations can be found here:
Fencing tracker has also made several recent upgrades, which may appeal to you if you are interested in the details of fencing clubs and fencer performance. You can see those here including the 1) national circuit tab and 2) the fencer’s name search box:
First, they have added the national circuit data. This listing is their way of assessing how clubs perform at the national level. They have created a scoring/ranking system that takes into account clubs’ performances only at national events including NAC’s, JO’s, and Summer Nationals. They also give credit just for sending fencers to those events. If you compare the list of all clubs on the site (683 clubs are listed) to those on their national circuit listing, you can see that most clubs never send anyone to national level events. That means when you go to these events, your opponents are already pretty highly selected from top national clubs. Our club is doing quite well including being in the Top 30 for several Epee categories across ages and gender.
Next, they have added a search function for individual fencers (the fencer’s name box). This feature amazingly produces a record back to about 2018 for any fencer whose bout record can be found on the web (I think the site compiles data from askfred and fencingtimelive). Granular data such as pool wins, DE wins, close bouts, etc can be seen for just about any fencer who has fenced competitively. You can see part of the data under the "bout history" tab for Lex here as an example:
If you dig into the data, you can impressively see that our fencers have fenced in more than 2000 competitive matches (2192 currently recorded)!! 7 of our fencers have completed more than 100 competitive bouts since 2018 (Mariasole leads at 639, also including Sam, Lex, Sheerea, Semaj, Thomas, and Elway). 4 fencers have more than 100 wins over this time in their combined pool and DE records (Mariasole, Sam, Lex, and Sheerea). Overall, it is really mind-boggling to look at and think about all the energy that has gone into the development of those skills you see at practice. The highly competitive fencers seem to be fencing around 100-150 tournament bouts per year (about 10 tournaments), but nearly all of them have worked their way up to that number. I imagine many of the older fencers also have more bouts that are just not picked up by the web program that looks for them, but maybe it will update in the future.
I hope this might be a cool tool for tracking your opponents. I have definitely enjoyed seeing in great detail just how amazingly experienced our team is. I know the list will only grow with future seasons.