NCAA Fencing Explained

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) fencing combines the three divisions: Division I, Division II, and Division III into a combined National Collegiate Sport. There are divisional difference for recruiting, scholarships, and various other rules.

NCAA Fencing is composed of:

  • 44 women’s teams, 35 men’s teams
    • Most men and women teams operate combined.
  • On average, over the past 5 years:
    • Over 1300 student-athletes; 700 female, 632 male

Team Season Schedule

  • The NCAA season typically starts in the Fall with teams starting to train around September.
  • There are a variety of types of competitions that teams will participate in:
    • USA Fencing events – often as individuals, but some programs will fund/host as travel as a team
    • Individual Collegiate Events – these are effectively preseason/exhibition for the teams to get themselves ready for regular season competition. These events typically do not count toward individual or team record.
    • Regular Season Events – Typically called dual meets or invitationals, these events will feature anywhere from 4-5 teams to 15-16 teams competing against each other over the course of a weekend. The number of events that a team attends varies drastically from team to team, but the maximum number of dates a team is allowed to compete in collegiate competition is 11.
    • Conference Championship Events – Many teams are members of conference which allows them to compete in a conference championship event. A few that you may have heard of: ACC, Ivy League, CCFC, Mountain Pacific Sport Federation, etc.
    • NCAA Regionals and Championship – The NCAA breaks the postseason into two parts:
      • Regionals – is the qualification event to the Finals site, also called the NCAA Fencing Championship.
        • Four regions: Northeast, Mid-Atlantic/South, Midwest, and West
        • Athletes qualify for each region based on their results during the season up to 12 per school, per gender. 
      • Championship –
        • takes place over four days with two day assigned for . Team champion is determined based on total bouts won by members of each team.
        • Athletes qualify from each region based on their finish at the regional qualifier and their regular season performance