If you are getting ready for your first tournament, there are a lot of things to juggle. To help simplify the process, I have compiled a list of things here that you will need. Definitely add in the comments if there are other things that you recommend!
Things You Need for Tournament Day!
· USA Fencing membership card with competitive membership (physical or electronic copy).
· Proof of your age (birth certificate or passport, etc.). You can scan and email these documents to USA Fencing (email@example.com), and they can then verify your DOB. If you do that, your membership card will have your DOB verified, and you won't need to bring separate verification with you. It is highly recommended to get your DOB verified through USA Fencing.
· Two (2) working body cords.
· Two (2) working weapons.
· Anyone fencing women’s events must wear the plastic chest protector in addition to the plastron.
· A jacket or lame with your name on the back if fencing a national event (required for NAC and often SYC events but not RYC or local events)
· A kit to check your weapons and cords. You should check your weapons before the event begins and before each DE bout to avoid getting a yellow card for non-working or defective weapons. In addition to making sure the weapon works, also check to make sure you have 2 point screws in the tip of every weapon. For epee, consider purchasing NEPS screws and a NEPS screwdriver as they are very easy to change out in critical moments.
o Consider also getting basic tools such as a hex key to tighten the weapon handle, small screwdriver for point screws, extra points, extra screws. These can also be obtained under tools at absolute fencing and sometimes from vendors at the venue.
· Y10 events are fenced with #2 blades. You must have two #2 blades to compete in Y10 events.
· Y12 and older events are fenced with #5 blades. A #5 blade is about 3 inches longer than a #2 blade. You are permitted to fence in Y12 events with a #2 blade, but the short blade is a disadvantage. Y10 fencers fencing in Y12 events should strongly consider having at least one #5 blade and two #5 blades if possible.
· Make sure your glove is free of holes and tears; gloves will be checked at registration and need to be in good condition to be allowed for competition.
· For foil, make sure your lame is free of any dead spots or damage and is working properly.
· If fencing both foil and epee, make sure to have the right kind of mask for each weapon; the foil mask has a conductive bib while the epee mask does not.
· Bring your positive attitude and open mind, ready for challenges and opportunities.
· Bring a means to take photos and videos and try to capture as many as you can. They are great for review but also for just capturing the moment and memories.
· The day is quite long. Bring plenty to drink and plenty of snacks. Some quick carbs such as some bites of chocolate can be a nice pick-me-up between matches.
· The completion of pools generally takes about 2 hrs regardless of tournament size. Most tournaments finish in 4-6hrs. National tournaments can be an 8+hr event.
General Extra Advice: Take your uniform out of your bag and air it out to dry at the hotel if fencing consecutive days. You are not required to have multiple uniforms, but try to stay presentable and comfortable.