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The Only College Fencing Recruiting Thread You Need to Read

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Replies to: The Only College Fencing Recruiting Thread You Need to Read

  • saharafrogsaharafrog Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    @fencingmom Change "college fencing is really a team sport" to "college fencing is MOSTLY a team sport" and I'll be on board with you. Conference meets have both team and individual champions, you qualify for NCAA regionals as an individual (there are team restrictions), and at the NCAA championships you are competing as both an individual and as a member of a team - and can be a champion in one and not the other.

    In light of that, I re-assert it would be nice if there were a central location to see individual results. I also want to see the team results, but those are already much easier to find - and CollegeFencing360 has brought many (though not all) of those results together.
  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye Registered User Posts: 669 Member
    To @fencingmom 's point, in our experience, there is very little focus on the individual fencer. Of course there are standouts and attention given to the 'aces' on the team. And, yes, there are individual titles at NCAAs, Ivies, and at other tournaments. Oh, and there are always fencers (and usually parents) who are more concerned with individual performance than they should be. But on the whole, NCAA is marked by Team with a capital "T". I don't know any fencer who would not immediately give up his or her individual title at any event for a team championship. Nice to see the individual stats, particularly of one's own kid, and it can have some NCAA-stats resonance, but on the whole not particularly important.
  • saharafrogsaharafrog Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Hey, no argument from me that NCAA fencing should be team first, then individual. I am fully on board with that.

    Perhaps I should have stated that I wish there was a central repository for BOTH team and individual results. Until/unless NCAA regional qualification changes, I think being able to see individual stats would be helpful.

    Plus I am a data person by occupation, so I naturally want to see the numbers behind the numbers. Heck, I wish the bout sheets would include in what order the individual points were scored for each bout.
  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye Registered User Posts: 669 Member
    Totally hear you @saharafrog. Personally, loved reviewing the data from Ivies and NCAAs. Fun to see the individual match-ups and results.
  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye Registered User Posts: 669 Member
    For those of you currently participating in NCAA competitions, those of you expecting to compete in 2019-2020 and beyond, and those just interested in the competition, the upcoming weekend marks Regionals in the Mid-Atlantic/South, Midwest, Northeast, and West Regions of NCAA Fencing.

    The Mid-Atlantic/South region features top fencers from Princeton, Penn, Duke, Penn State, UNC, and an array of competitive DV3 programs. The Midwest features reigning champs Notre Dame, together with OSU, Northwestern, and Cleveland State. In perhaps the most hotly competed regional tournament, the Northeast hosts Columbia, Brown, NYU, Yale, Sacred Heart, Brandeis, Harvard, St. John's, and a host of competitive DV3 programs. In the Golden West, Stanford leads a pack including UCSD, USAFA, and Cal Tech.

    The tournament format is similar to NCAA Championships, but is completed in one day(!) and does not include an individual final 4. Depending on the size and number of fencers, there is often a preliminary fence-off pool from which the top seeds are exempt. The main competition then consists of a series of pools, with eliminations after each pools, coming down to a final pool. Fencers are competing to qualify for an NCAA Championships berth in each weapon/gender. Results from Regionals count for 60% of the total formula, together with regular season statistics, toward an NCAA berth.

    Good luck to all competing fencers!
  • ShanFerg3ShanFerg3 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    Thank you @BrooklynRye. I wish there was at least a Facebook live feed or some broadcast of it.
  • saharafrogsaharafrog Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    @BrooklynRye We're heading to Notre Dame to watch the Midwest regionals. It looks like for the last 4 years, the Midwest region has gone with one big pool as their format. And with three of the top ten women's teams (#1, #2, and #8) among the seven schools in that region, I'm looking forward to a long but exciting day of spectating. This will be the first big college meet my wife and I will have gone to, so I'm also expecting to be a bit overwhelmed.
  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye Registered User Posts: 669 Member
    @saharafrog - Yes. The West and Midwest regionals tend to start/come down to a single pool. The South/Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have much larger fields and tend to start with an elimination round of lower-seeded fencers, into 3 or so round of pools with cuts at each level. Last year, for instance, the Northeast had an average of 40+ competitors in each gender/weapon. Good luck in South Bend!
  • chelsea465chelsea465 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    @BrooklynRye - 'just looking at the regionals format, past results as well as initial seedings that are up on fencingtime. It looks like they try to separate club mates like at NACs. Is this correct?
  • BrooklynRyeBrooklynRye Registered User Posts: 669 Member
    They try early on to do this, size of the field permitting, but eventually, teammates end up in the later pools together.
  • arwarwarwarw Registered User Posts: 1,316 Senior Member
    I was relieved to see no fencing coaches named in Operation Varsity Blues. I’m hopeful the headlines will discourage all NCAA coaches from selling slots in the future. I think the USA Fencing easily verifiable ranking and rating system would make it difficult to pass off a non-fencers as a recruit.
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,364 Senior Member
    Watched my first full NCAA Regional event last weekend. I’d dropped in on a few before, when people we knew were competing. But this time I stayed for the whole thing to cheer on my kid and her teammates.

    A few thoughts:

    - It’s a long day.
    Pools start at 9 or 10 AM and only get done around 5 or 6 PM. I’m talking about the larger regions here, the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic/South — which both feature four rounds of pools.

    - It’s a tough day.
    The final pool of 12 in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic/South has been referred to by some as the “Death Pool”. But look at the results from the 2019 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic/South Regional Qualifiers and you’ll see plenty of strong fencers who didn’t even make that final pool. The various rounds of pools can be difficult, and mentally/physically grueling.

    - It is an important day.
    (But not as important as you might think, based on some outcomes this year). BrooklynRye once mentioned to me that that the regular season results don't matter much — that it was the league championships, Regionals, and NCAA Championships that really mattered. And now I get what he’s saying. Because if you’re the #1 seed going into regionals but fail to make the final 12 or 18, you are probably not going to the NCAA Championship. Not to say that you didn’t have a great season…but most likely you’re not going to represent your school at the big dance/help them win a championship.

    However, in a few cases this year, someone finishing outside the Top 8 (or even Top 12) in a region was able to qualify based on the strength of their overall season. So keep in mind that while your placement at Regionals is important, it’s only 60% of the equation. The other 40% is based on your season-results, a combination of strength of schedule and record vs. top fencers.

    Another interesting thing about Regionals is that you’ll probably fence people you haven’t faced in NCAA competition before that day. And that always makes things interesting. A solid D3-school fencer can beat a D1-school fencer on any given day. And even then…even a not-so-solid D1 or D3 fencer can beat a top seed if their styles don’t happen to sync well…or if one of the fencers is just on (or off) for that bout.
  • SevenDadSevenDad Registered User Posts: 4,364 Senior Member
    edited March 20
    With the 2019 NCAA Championship nearly upon us, I wanted to bring up the topic of "matching target schools/programs with a fencer's competitive goals".

    This topic has come up before, but the NCAA Championship field of competitors underscores the issue for me. For fencers who have their eyes on making nationals, there are pros and cons of targeting strong schools with deep rosters.

    Remember that only 2 people per weapon per gender can represent a school at nationals. When you look at the rosters for some of the strongest programs like ND and CU....the "third" fencer on the depth chart (in this case, I mean the strongest fencer NOT going to nationals) is probably a great fencer who could add to their team win total and maybe even contend for an individual medal or All-American honors — but they won't get a chance. They might have to wait until more stronger or more senior fencers graduate to have their shot. And even then, they might not have the best Regional showing or have to compete against strong incoming recruits for those two slots.

    I don't think there is any one "right" answer to this calculus. It's really an individual decision.
  • ShanFerg3ShanFerg3 Registered User Posts: 219 Junior Member
    Looking at the women Epeeist who qualified for their respective teams, it’s exciting to see fencers my daughter competed against over the years. It’s surreal to see them representing their Universities. Looking forward to having my daughter join them next year and compete for her school. I feel it will be a blast for her to compete with a team.
  • slimesznslimeszn Registered User Posts: 22 Junior Member
    How do wild cards work for NCAA championships?
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