The Big One

NEIFC Fall Invitational

Saturday November 4th, 2023 at Smith College

The NEIFC Fall Invitational (better known as "The Big One" *) is hosted on (usually) the first weekend in November.  Fencers compete as individuals, but must represent a member institution. Occasionally, the NEIFC invites teams from institutions from outside the conference to compete in this tournament.


Registration for the Big One typically opens mid-September and closes ten (10) days prior to the event. To request registration materials, please email

Preliminary Entries.

2023 Big One registration is open. Registration closes October 24th, 2023.

Preliminary Entries

The preliminary seedings posted here are not official. If you believe there is an error, please bring it to our attention. Preliminary entries are updated daily about 3:00am from the time registration opens until the day PRIOR to the day of competition.

Seeding Information (opens in new window).

Initial Seeding: ME, MF, MS, WE, WF, WS

Schedule of Events

Event times listed here are close of check-in times. Events will begin as soon after check-in as possible.

This schedule is subject to change.


Live Results (opens in new window). 

Results Archive (opens in new window).

Tournament Format

Information here is provided for general purposes; official format followed may differ slightly. Updated, detailed information will be provided to registered teams.

The Big One runs as a standard USA Fencing-style elimination tournament. For each weapon, fencers will be split into pools of 5-7 fencers each. Pool bouts are 5-touch bouts. After pools are fenced, the top 80% or top 64 fencers, whichever is greater, advance to the direct elimination (DE) table. The DE table is a single-elimination format (no repechage), using the 15-touch bout format.

There are no coaching timeouts permitted during five-touch pool bouts. Coaching is permitted during the one-minute breaks in a 15-touch direct elimination bout, as per USA Fencing rules.

There is no fence-off for third place; both fencers eliminated in the semi-finals are considered "tied for third place."

Seeding Information (opens in new window).


The venue for the 2023 Big One will be the Ainsworth gym at Smith College

Click for map (opens in new window).

Why is it called the "Big One"?  When the Big One was first imagined in the 1980s, it involved the teams from the NEIFC (men's teams only) and the sister organization, the New England Women's Intercollegiate Fencing Association (NEWIFA) . As a combined-gender event, it was then larger than the championship events for either conference (which were held separately through the mid-1990s). During the planning meetings for the as-yet-unnamed tournament, Laurie Katz, then the head coach at Wellesley College, referred to it as "the big one," to differentiate it from smaller events being planned at the time.