Due to the lack of competition opportunities in some regions of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, athletes who were unable to attend qualifying competitions or who did not have qualifying competitions held in their division and / or region will be able to submit a petition for entry into the National Championships.
All athletes whose petitions are approved will be entered into a lottery with names drawn at random for entry into the requested event. All events will be open to petitions with the number of lottery slots available variant based upon size of the event field and the number of qualified registrants. Please note that, per the USA Fencing Athlete Handbook, a fencer who has fenced in the qualifying competition without withdrawing due to a disabling injury or illness cannot then petition to disregard or override those results. In addition, petitions will be denied for fencers who chose to fence in a regional qualifier (RYC, SYC, RJCC, and ROC) over their division qualifier.
- A petition may be filed by a fencer who qualified (by means of competition or petition) to that same competition in the prior season or whose recent competitive record indicates a strong possibility that the athlete would have qualified had they been able to compete in the qualifying competition but:
- Was unable to compete in the various qualifying competitions this season due to COVID 19 restrictions, injury, illness, military deployment, study abroad, compulsory school requirements OR
- Did compete and had to withdraw because of a disabling injury or illness OR
The number of qualifying athletes at a division qualifying tournament changed due to the inclusion of ineligible fencer(s) in the tournament (Note: Athletes who attend a school or university in the United States, outside of their division, shall not constitute inability to compete.)
- Petitions will be accepted beginning on June 8 and must be submitted by June 21. The petition application will be available at www.usafencing.org.
For the 2021 USA Fencing National Championships, there will be no petition fee required to apply.
Petitions must include:
- A written statement that gives specific details of the dates, reason for absence or withdrawal, and other pertinent facts. Written notice from the independent attending physician and/or statement from the Bout Committee must substantiate any medical reasons if the medical reason required withdrawal from the qualifying competition.
- A summary of the fencer’s significant recent competitive results. In particular, results in previous National Championships and recent North American Cup (NAC) competitions should be noted. (Example: top 64 international, top 8 in a USA Fencing NAC/Championship, top 16 at a ROC, top 24 at an SYC).
Responses to the petition will be made via email. Petitions that do not meet these requirements will not be considered. Decisions on petitions will be based upon the validity of reasons given for absence or withdrawal and the probability that the fencer would have qualified had they competed in the qualifying competition to its conclusion, based on results achieved in other recent competitions.
If a fencer is permitted to enter the National Championships by this petition procedure, the fencers’ entry will in no way affect the number of qualifiers from the division involved.