NFCR’s rankings are based on a rigorous process that includes data collection, data cleansing and statistical analysis. We use a ranking methodology that is easy to find, easy to understand and highly transparent.
To be eligible for a ranking, a fencing club must have at least one of its fencers place in the Top 16 of a USFA National Domestic Point Tournament in one of the following four age divisions:
- Youth (Y10, Y12 and Y14)
- Cadet (Under 17/Under 16)
- Junior (Under 20/Under 19)
- Senior (Division 1) and
In the Veteran age group (40 & Older), a club fencer needs to finish on the Podium for a club to be eligible for a “Best Fencing Clubs” ranking.
The top 16 (or Podium) finishers in each competition automatically contribute to their club’s final ranking(s) in each age-gender-weapon category. The number of points earned by a club is therefore determined by the placement of its fencers in the top 16 (or Podium).
Typically, there is a lot of interest in the fencers who make the Podium or the Top 8. Some believe a Top 8 medal points rank is too restrictive to examine how a club has performed and that a Top 16 may be more appropriate. We therefore provide three rankings for 30 age-gender-weapon categories:
- Podium Medal Points Ranking
- Top 8 Medal Points Ranking, and
- Top 16 Placement Points Ranking.
The National Domestic Point Competitions used to rank clubs for 2015-2016 were:
- Youth (2015-2016)
- Y10 (March 2016 NAC and June/July 2016 Championship)
- Y12 (March 2016 NAC and June/July 2016 Championship)
- Y14 (November 2015 NAC, March 2016 NAC and June/July Championship)
For each youth-gender-weapon category the rankings are based on the results of six national youth events. Six youth events were canceled at the June/July Championships in Dallas. These canceled events include the Y10 men’s epee, Y10 women’s foil, Y10 women’s epee, Y10 men’s saber, Y12 men’s foil and Y12 women’s saber competitions. They are not included in this year’s rankings.
- Cadet (2015-2016)
- Cadet (June/July 2015 NAC, October 2015 NAC and November 2015 NAC)
- Junior Olympics Cadet Championships (February 2016)
- Junior (2014-2015 & 2015-2016)
- Junior (July/July 2015 NAC, November 2015 NAC and January 2016 NAC)
- Junior Olympics Junior Championships (February 2016)
- Senior (2015-2016)
- Div 1 (July 2014/July 2015 NAC, October 2015 NAC, December 2015 NAC & January 2016 NAC)
- Div 1 (April 2016 National Championship)
- Veteran (2015-2016)
- Veteran 40-49 – December 2015 NAC, April 2016 NAC and June/July 2016 Championship)
- Veteran 50-59 – December 2015 NAC, April 2016 NAC and June/July 2016 Championship)
- Veteran 60-69 – December 2015 NAC, April 2016 NAC and June/July 2016 Championship)
- Veteran 70 & Older – December 2015 NAC, April 2016 NAC and June/July 2016 Championship)
- Veteran Open 40 & Older – December 2015 NAC, April 2016 NAC
Fourteen veteran events were used to rank each Veteran’s gender-weapon category in 2015-2016. So for each veteran-gender-weapon category there was four age groups x three events per year plus the two open events giving a total of 14 Veteran events for each gender-weapon category.
The following data sources were used to compile our rankings:
Once a USFA member competes in an RYC, SYC, ROC, Division Qualifier or USFA National tournament, the fencer’s club is defined for the season and can only be changed to “Unattached.” In these cases, we simply categorized the fencer’s club as “unattached”. In a number of cases, the fencer’s club was not listed in the tournament results. We searched the data sources to determine if the fencer had club representation or was unattached and made the correction to our database.
In the case of college fencers, we assigned the fencer’s club immediately before they entered college or a new club, which they may have joined while in college. In no case did we use the college or university representations. Our rationale for adopting this approach is explained in part by reading the material in USFA’s Athlete Handbook relating to collegiate or scholastic fencers.
Once we thoroughly examined and updated club memberships for fencers in each of the National Domestic Point Tournaments we were able to allocate points based on a fencer’s placement in the Top 16.
An accumulative tiered point system based on a 100-point scale was used to rank the performance of fencers by their club representation. The 100-point system (adopted by the USFA for its national points systems) is designed to reward fencers commensurate with their placement as illustrated in the accompanying table.
|Gold medal (1st)||100|
|Silver medal (2nd)||92|
|Bronze medal (3rd)||85|
There are bigger point jumps between direct elimination rounds (for example between a fencer placed 9th and one who places 8th, due to the fact that the 8th placed fencer went to the next level in the direct elimination bracket).
In case of a tie for a medal or placement (other than the bronze medals), the points were averaged for each place involved (e.g., three tied for 13th receive the average of points for 13th, 14th, and 15th place). We also weighted the points for the following events as prescribed by the National Coach for each weapon and outlined in the 2015-2016 Athlete Handbook:
- Senior Men’s Epee 2015 December Div 1 NAC at 0.8.
- Senior Men’s Saber 2015 October Div 1 NAC at 0.8.
- Senior Women’s Epee 2015 December Div 1 NAC at 0.8.
- Senior Women’s Saber 2015 July Challenge at 0.8
- Senior Women’s Saber 2015 October Div 1 NAC at 0.8.
The number of points earned by a club is therefore determined by the placement of its fencers in the Top 16, adjusted for any ties and one-off weightings as prescribed by the National Coach for each weapon. The club’s ranking is based on the total number of points the club’s fencers have accumulated during the season.
The analysis is designed to produce a table in which each club is assigned a specific rank based on the total points amassed (medals/placements multiplied by points) with higher ranks indicating higher performance, lower ranks indicate lower performance. The final point rankings are the basis for our “Fencing Club of the Year” and “Best Fencing Clubs” awards.
Medal Efficiency Ratios
In addition to the rankings, our full weapon reports include:
- Number of Club Fencers on Podium, in Top 8 and in Top 16
- Podium Medals, Top 8 Medals and Top 16 Placements Per Club Fencer on Podium, in Top 8 and in Top 16
- Number of Club Fencers Participating
- Ratio of Podium Medals, Top 8 Medals and Top 16 Placements Per Club Fencer Participating
- Number of Club Fencer Events
- Ratio of Podium Medals, Top 8 Medals and Top 16 Placements Per Club Fencer Event
Our medal/placement efficiency ratios are designed to examine how well a club has performed based on the total number of its fencers who participated in the events and the total number of fencer events generated by these fencers.
The resulting quotient indicates the individual efficiency of each club’s fencers performance. The higher the ratio, the more efficient a club was in winning medals.
Generally, we encourage readers to compare the efficiency ratios by firstly comparing clubs with comparable or similar number of club fencers and the number of fencer events, and secondly by comparing a club’s efficiency ratio with the average for all clubs.
We propose to update the rankings every year to track developments and make comparisons over time. Future release dates for the rankings are as follows:
- Youth 2016-2017 – Release Date: Friday 28th, July 2017 (after 2017 USA Fencing National Championships)
- Junior & Cadet 2016-2017 – Release Date: Friday 3rd, March 2017 (after 2017 Junior Olympic Fencing Championships)
- Senior 2016-2017 – Release Date: Friday 5th May, 2017 (after 2017 Div 1 Championships)
- Veteran 2016-2017 – Release Date: Friday 28th, July 2017 (after 2017 USA Fencing National Championships)