Parents of Beginner Fencers Guide to Youth Fencing Tournaments


Local, Regional and National tournaments are a fun and challenging experience for fencers of all levels. At the start, you can rely on our coaches to let you know when your child is ready for their first tournament and it should be at a level where they have a positive competitive experience.

Local tournaments are a great place to start and we do host tournaments at Cobra. We recommend that your child start competing at local tournaments where the experience level of the competitors is similar to their own. Some tournament acronyms to know are:

  • SYC = Super Youth Circuit for y8, y10, y12, y14
  • RYC = Regional Youth Circuit y8, y10, y12, y14
  • RJCC = Regional Junior/Cadet Circuit for (Under 17) and Junior (under 20)
  • ROC = Regional Open Circuit for Open, Division 1A, Division 2 and Division 3.
  • NAC = North American Circuit

Youth fencing tournaments are arranged by age in two year increments. The first is Youth 8 (y8) and is for fencers who are 8 years old or younger on January 1st in the competition year which runs from August 1st to July 31st each year. So for example, if a youngster turns 9 on February 1st they can still fence through July 31st in y8 since they were still 8 on January 1st. The other age categories are y10, y12, y14, Cadet (16 and under) Junior (20 and under).

In order to fence in a tournament the fencer must be a “competitive” member of the USFA (United States Fencing Association).

The equipment required for tournament fencing is:

  • Mask
  • Jacket
  • Electric Jacket (for sabre and foil) which is also called a lame
  • Fencing Knickers
  • Glove
  • Underarm Protector
  • 2 Body cords and 2 mask cords for foil and epee
  • Fencing Socks which cover the foreleg
  • 2 Working Weapons