As of today, the Canadian Fencing Federation (CFF) and Ontario Fencing Association (OFA) membership portals are active. You must have an CFF/OFA membership to participate in any external fencing competition or event in Canada. This is regulated by SportCanada and our Federal/Provincial governments. You do not need a membership to be a member of SFO or to fence in the club but you cannot do any fencing event that is sanctioned by the CFF/OFA. This is, in part, to guarantee safety of all participants as SafeSport guidelines are enforced as part of sanctioning of events.
You can find the link here:
You will be asked to select one of two options: Full competitive or U15 competitive license. If your athlete is not yet 14, then select the u15 option as you are only allowed to fence in your age, and one above in the youth. So if you are Y14 (e.g., already 14 years old) then you can fence cadet and above so select competitive license. If you are Y12 (not yet 14), then you can fence only Y12 and Y14.
Please find the first draft of all known competitions for the calendar year in the documents section of this site. There are many gaps and no camps put in. I will put these in as soon as we have more shape. Basically, we wait on the finalization of national events, then provincial and then local. Things are slow but moving.
A couple of things to remember:
- a. This is not an exhaustive list, or necessarily where I will ask your child to go or to fence. This gives us a shape of the season only at this point of time and as events solidify within the next two weeks, I will have a pretty good idea of which events to attend.
- b. This is not the only list of fencing tournaments you can attend. There is an American site (ASKFRED) which lists many American and some Canadian fencing tournaments, provides registration links and which you can browse. It is impossible for me to know all the small local US tournaments which pop up in nearby cities or where you may have family to visit. You should have a look at ASKFRED. https://askfred.net/
- c. Likewise the OFA website will eventually have a calendar of events - again, don't be afraid to attend something.
My default answer to whether you should go to a fencing tournament is 'yes'. More fencing experience is a beneficial part of learning to be a strong athlete, and if you are willing to go, I am generally supportive of that. If the tournament has a bad reputation, or is a waste of your time in level, I will try to let you know. But more fencing experience is always a good. We will, however, direct you to tournaments in which we will be there to support you.
Our philosophy at SFO is not to chase medals (there are enough weak tournaments that you could fill a wall with medals even if only mediocre) but to pursue excellence. It's a longer path, but a much better one in terms of development and personhood.
Finally, you will note three colours:
RED: These are events that are required to make the national team for Cadet, Junior or Senior. There are no international youth championships by the Federation International of Escrime (FIE) and as such no national team for those ages unlike other sports. However, even if you are not trying for those teams, you can still fence those events if you wish. I highlight them in red for our members who are in the High Performance Program.
BLUE: These are US based 'prestige' tournaments that are very big, very exciting and a good introduction to higher level of fencing. These are SuperYouth Circuit (SYC) Tournaments. The USA tracks all ages of fencing and considers this to be ordinary. This, for better or worse, is not followed by SportCanada for under 14, and starts only with cadet.
Black: These are domestic or local tournaments. Mainly Ontario, but we do sometimes go to Montreal for some tournaments.