2017 Tournament Format

  • A "fencer" is an individual competitor. 
  • A "squad" is a group of three (usually) fencers of the same gender who fence the same weapon. For example, a "men's foil squad" will consist of three (normally) male fencers who are competing together in foil. For the purposes of this competition, each squad must have a minimum of two fencers.
  • A "team" is comprised of three (exactly) squads: one each in foil, epee, and sabre. All squads on a team must be of the same gender*, and all must be from the same NEIFC member institution. (See athlete eligibility rules.) 

Team Competition

The team competition consists of one round-robin pool. Every team will fence every other team during this pool. Teams will rotate by weapon squads, not by full 3-weapon teams. Men's and Women's squads in the same weapon will travel together. Squads from Wellesley and Mt. Holyoke Colleges in the same weapon will travel together. 

In each round, the men's squads and the women's squads from each team will compete. The order of men first or women first will be determined at the event.

Each contest between two squads will consist of three bouts per weapon. The order of bouts will be C, B, A. The winner of the final bout will be responsible for bringing the official score sheet to the scoring/bout committee table. At the conclusion of the round of three bouts, the squad will move to the next contest.

No squad is expected to start fencing a round if they are still actively fencing the previous round. That is, squads will stay together, and the tournament will accommodate that.

In the case of a team fencing Mt. Holyoke/Wellesley, that team's men's squad will have a bye, and the women's squad will fence both Mt. Holyoke and Wellesley.


Substitutions may be made at any point during the team competition. Once a fencer is substituted into a slot (A/B/C), they may not fence in any other slot or weapon. A fence who is replaced by a substitution may return to fence only in that slot in a subsequent round.

Under no circumstances may any single fencer compete in more than one slot (A/B/C) OR weapon.

Any fencer who has been substituted in or out of any slot is ineligible to compete in the individual competition.

Incomplete Teams/Withdrawals/Exclusions

Any incomplete teams must fill the A slot first, then B, then C. Empty slots are considered to be forfeits.

Teams must have a minimum of six (6) fencers, two per weapon, in order to compete. Any team not meeting this requirement upon arrival will not be allowed to fence, and their entry fee will not be refunded.

If any fencer receives a black card, then that slot is considered to be forfeited for that team for the entire competition. No substitute may be entered into that slot. Prior results by that fencer are nullified.

If a fencer must withdraw due to injury, and there is no substitute to replace him/her, then that slot is considered to be forfeited for that team for the entire competition. No substitute may be entered into that slot. Prior results by that fencer are nullified.

Forfeits by one team are not considered victories by the opposing team.

Results and Tie Breakers -- Team Rounds

Team results will be determined by the total number of victories accumulated by all fencers in all squads over the course of the team rounds.

In the event of a tie for first place on team victories, the winner will be the team that won the greater number of bouts in the match-ups between the two tied teams. All 9 bouts contested between the two teams will be considered. This method will also be used in case of a tie for first among squads.

Ties for places other than first place based on victories will be broken using indicators first (greater number prevails), and then touches scored (greater number prevails), if necessary. If teams are tied on victories, indicators, and touches, scored, a dead tie will be declared.

Individual Competition

Twelve fencers per weapon will advance to the individual competition: 6 from the A strip, 4 from the B strip, and 2 from the C strip. Indicators, then touches scored, then the result from the team round bout will be used to break ties in the number of victories between two fencers.

Two pools of six fencers advancing to the individual semifinals will be seeded as follows:

Pool 1: 1A, 4A, 5A, 2B, 3B, 2C
Pool 2: 2A, 3A, 6A, 1B, 4B, 1C

The composition of the pools will be rearranged only if three teammates end up in the same pool. The top eight (8) fencers from the field of 12 will advance to the final direct elimination tableau. The DE bouts will follow the USFA standards for 15-touch bouts.


Substitutions may not be made in the individual championships portion of the tournament.

Any fencer who has been substituted in or out of any slot during the team round portion of the competition is ineligible to compete in the individual competition.


If a fencer who qualifies for the individual competition must withdraw at the conclusion of the team competition, then the next eligible fencer from that same slot (A/B/C) will advance to the individual competition.

For fencers withdrawing or being excluded once the individual championships portion has begun, current USFA rules for handling withdrawals and exceptions will be used.

Results and Tie Breakers -- Individual Rounds

There will be no fence-off for third and fourth places in the individual rounds. Both fencers who are defeated in the semi-final bouts will be awarded third place (tie) medals.