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Thread: College Fencing - How Does the Process Work?

  1. #1
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    College Fencing - How Does the Process Work?

    So i'm a rising high school senior and i was wondering how i should contact coaches. should i notify them that im fencing in sacramento? should i wait till i get results?

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    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    If you have a list of schools that you think you might be interested in, absolutely contact the coaches now. Coaches, generally, would prefer to have seen potential recruits/prospects (whatever word you prefer to use) actually compete. The earlier the coaches are aware of your interest, the easier it is for them to find a time that you are fencing at an event that they are attending. Additionally, contacting the coaches will make them aware of you and provide them with contact information so that they can pass along information about their programs. This, in turn, should help you make an informed decision of what programs/schools are likely to be of interest to you as you perform your college search.

    The fewer opportunities coaches have to see you competing at the national level, the more important it is for them to be aware, in advance, of those opportunities.

    Drop an email, a phone call, a letter. Tell the coach that you're a rising senior and that you're interested in his/her program. Give basic information such as your weapon, number of years fencing, any information about your level of fencing (classification(s), tournament results, etc.). Likely the coach will reply with some information about his/her program, including a form requesting much the same information that I've listed, as well as academic information (GPA, SAT scores, class rank, etc. (all of which would be appropriate in the initial contact as well)), and whatever additional information that coach has found, in the past, to be useful.

    -B :)
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    Senior Member akaiyuki's Avatar
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    oiuyt pretty much summed it up. Usually you can find coach's contact information on the school website. Look under athletics or look up fencing. The site might have a special page for recruiting (for example UCSD has a form which you can fill out online), others you might have to look into contact info for staff/coaches.
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    Senior Member lefty_monster's Avatar
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    I'm here to add my confusion to the thread...

    I was looking on the NCAA website and it said that there are specific rules govorning when and how coaches and potential athletes may contact each other.

    Are there ways to get full scholorships for fencing? People that I've talked to have said that they are few and far between.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    For the basics on NCAA fencing and athlete information go to:

    http://www2.ncaa.org/sports/winter/fencing/

    http://www.ncaaclearinghouse.net/nca...mon/index.html

    As for contact between coaches and students, I believe the rule is that the student must be at least a sophomore or junior for the coach; the coach cannot make contact before that, but the student is able to write and ask questions. Most definitely go through the find the 'email-drop or address and send a note' process.

    For scholarships, that is done through the individual university. Ask about this possibility when contacting the coach.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Goofy; 06-25-2005 at 11:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lefty_monster
    I'm here to add my confusion to the thread...

    I was looking on the NCAA website and it said that there are specific rules govorning when and how coaches and potential athletes may contact each other.
    By the time a fencer is a rising senior, I believe all those restrictions are gone.
    Are there ways to get full scholorships for fencing? People that I've talked to have said that they are few and far between.
    Yes, you have to contact individual schools which offer them. They are difficult to get--if you're not a top national fencer, you won't get one, but you can still be recruited (help with admissions), so it's good to talk to coaches.

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    Senior Member akaiyuki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prototoast
    Yes, you have to contact individual schools which offer them. They are difficult to get--if you're not a top national fencer, you won't get one, but you can still be recruited (help with admissions), so it's good to talk to coaches.
    I believe some/many NCAA schools does not even offer any scholarship for fencing. But it does help with admissions. If your GPA and SAT scores are good enough, coaches can put you on the recruiting list and you're almost guaranteed admission.
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    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    How much pull coaches have varies tremendously from institution to institution.

    As far as scholarships go, there is certainly money available, but akaiyuki is correct that many programs cannot offer any. None of the division III programs (roughly half of the NCAA programs in the country) can offer athletics aid. Of the division I programs a number don't (none of the Ivys, for example, due to conference rules). The programs that do have money available have a wide variety of how they apportion that aid. A list of what division every fencing program is can be found on the NCAA website. Women's teams - Men's teams

    Some target only fencers that have a demonstrated ability to make top-10 junior standings (US or foreign) and then go after those fencers with full rides. Others split the money up to offer partial aid to a larger number of athletes. I've heard of at least one that doesn't offer any aid to incoming freshmen, requiring that every athlete "prove" themselves at the NCAA level before even getting consideration for athletics aid. How good you need to be in order to get aid will vary school to school and year to year for a program, based on what each school needs at the time you happen to be looking at schools.

    -B :)
    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

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    Having just gone through the process, these are my observations:

    1. Don't wait around for college coaches to make initial contact with you. They won't unless you are at the top of the National Rankings. You must initiate the contact them.

    2. IMPORTANT. Most college fencing programs have their own websites. Go to the websites of the colleges in which you are interested and fill out their online questionaire. Following this the coaches should contact you through email.

    3. Fenfool (fenfool.com) has a link to all collegiate fencing programs.

    4. Most contacts (after sophomore year and after haven taken the SAT) should be done through email. There is no limit to email contacts between coaches and prospects. There is a limited number of direct contact (face to face or over the phone) that can occur.

    5. Divisions (I, II or III) are pretty much irrelevant when it comes to collegiate fencing. Div III - there are only a couple of Div II schools - will compete agains Div I teams, unlike other sports.

    6. Best of luck.

    PS It appears that SAT are weighted a little more heavily than grades.

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    Senior Member Sciurus-Rex's Avatar
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    Anyone 40+ years old try going back to finish an undergrad degree and get a fencing scholarship?

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    Armorer DHCJr's Avatar
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    How many 40+ year olds, who have never gone to college, when they in their teens and 20's and then go to college? This is not an idle question. If the answer is yes, then no they can't get a scholarship.

    There is what is called a 5-year rule for NCAA Division I atheletes, the only ones that can give scholarships: an athelete is no longer eligible 5 years after they start their 1st semester/quarter.
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    Senior Member epeemike81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHCJr
    How many 40+ year olds, who have never gone to college, when they in their teens and 20's and then go to college? This is not an idle question. If the answer is yes, then no they can't get a scholarship.

    There is what is called a 5-year rule for NCAA Division I atheletes, the only ones that can give scholarships: an athelete is no longer eligible 5 years after they start their 1st semester/quarter.
    Actually, it is an idle question, because ANYBODY over the age of 27 (I believe, but somewhere thereabouts anyway) is inelligible, regardless of previous matriculation (or lack thereof).

    -m

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    Armorer DHCJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by epeemike81
    Actually, it is an idle question, because ANYBODY over the age of 27 (I believe, but somewhere thereabouts anyway) is inelligible, regardless of previous matriculation (or lack thereof).

    -m
    Where did you get this information?
    Donald Hollis Clinton, Jr.
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    Senior Member RebelFencer's Avatar
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    As this was a matter of interest to me recently I looked some stuff up.

    You DO NOT lose any eligibility as long as you are not competing as a part of an NCAA team. Once you turn 21 you lose a year of eligibility every year after that.

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    Posting Hound oiuyt's Avatar
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    Pulling information from the NCAA division I manual (which I keep on the bookshelf next to my desk)... (note division III rules are different, as are division II rules (division III cannot offer scholarships, division II can, but under different rules than division I, I don't have the manuals for those divisions, but they should be available online from the NCAA website)).

    Every year after the athlete's 21st birthday, but prior to initial collegiate enrollment, in which the athlete participates in organized sports competition counts as a year of varsity competition in that sport. I assume this is where epeemike's 27-year-old rule is coming from. This rule does not include competitions while in the US armed services.

    There are various other rules that modify the five-year rule. Years exempted from the counted time include time spent in the armed services, on official church missions, or with recognized foreign aid service of the US government. This includes such things as Military Sea Transport Service, Peace Corps, and service as a conscientious objector ordered by the Selective Service Commission (or equivalent authority in a foreign nation) in lieu of active military duty. The religious mission exemption is why, for example, you will see a number of BYU football players that are a couple of years older than typically seen in collegiate programs.

    An institution may approve a one-year extension of the five-year period of a female student-athlete for reasons of pregnancy.

    Female student-athletes enrolled prior to the 1981-1982 academic year are not subject to the five-year rule, but much follow the 10-semester/15-quarter rule used in division II and III.

    Waivers can be granted to the five-year rule by the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.

    RebelFencer- Here're the rules that apply to what you're talking about:
    Quote Originally Posted by 2004-2005 NCAA Division I Manual
    14.3.5 Participation after 21st Birthday. In sports other than tennis, any participation as an individual or a team representative in organized sports competition by a student during each 12-month period after the student's 21st birthday and prior to initial full-time enrollment in a collegiate institution shall count as one year of varsity competition in that sport. Participation in organized competition during time spent in the U.S. armed services shall be excepted. (Revised: 1/10/90, 1/16/93, 1/10/95 effective 8/1/95... <SNIP>)

    <SNIP>

    14.3.5.3 Organized Competition. Athletics competition shall be considered organized if any one of the following conditions exists:
    (a) Competition is scheduled and publicized in advance;
    (b) Official score is kept;
    (c) Individual or team standings are maintained;
    (d) Official timer of game officials are used;
    (e) admission is charged;
    <SNIP 4 more criteria>
    USFA (or FIE) competition clearly fits the description for organized competition. If you aren't fencing, however, those years don't chew up eligibility years (they still chew calendar years if you've previously been enrolled in college full-time). If you're 40+ and have never been enrolled in college (or are a female, enrolled prior to the 1981-82 year) then the 5-year rule doesn't apply, and, assuming you haven't been involved in organized competition, you could still be eligible for varsity participation. Unless there's another rule which I've missed (clearly possible).

    Lucky me, I get to take my annual compliance test on Wednesday when I get to spend 2 hours answering questions like this (fortunately open book).

    -B :)
    "Oh but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"

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    Senior Member epeemike81's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oiuyt
    Pulling information from the NCAA division I manual (which I keep on the bookshelf next to my desk)... (note division III rules are different, as are division II rules (division III cannot offer scholarships, division II can, but under different rules than division I, I don't have the manuals for those divisions, but they should be available online from the NCAA website)).

    Every year after the athlete's 21st birthday, but prior to initial collegiate enrollment, in which the athlete participates in organized sports competition counts as a year of varsity competition in that sport. I assume this is where epeemike's 27-year-old rule is coming from. This rule does not include competitions while in the US armed services.

    There are various other rules that modify the five-year rule. Years exempted from the counted time include time spent in the armed services, on official church missions, or with recognized foreign aid service of the US government. This includes such things as Military Sea Transport Service, Peace Corps, and service as a conscientious objector ordered by the Selective Service Commission (or equivalent authority in a foreign nation) in lieu of active military duty. The religious mission exemption is why, for example, you will see a number of BYU football players that are a couple of years older than typically seen in collegiate programs.

    An institution may approve a one-year extension of the five-year period of a female student-athlete for reasons of pregnancy.

    Female student-athletes enrolled prior to the 1981-1982 academic year are not subject to the five-year rule, but much follow the 10-semester/15-quarter rule used in division II and III.

    Waivers can be granted to the five-year rule by the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.

    RebelFencer- Here're the rules that apply to what you're talking about:


    USFA (or FIE) competition clearly fits the description for organized competition. If you aren't fencing, however, those years don't chew up eligibility years (they still chew calendar years if you've previously been enrolled in college full-time). If you're 40+ and have never been enrolled in college (or are a female, enrolled prior to the 1981-82 year) then the 5-year rule doesn't apply, and, assuming you haven't been involved in organized competition, you could still be eligible for varsity participation. Unless there's another rule which I've missed (clearly possible).

    Lucky me, I get to take my annual compliance test on Wednesday when I get to spend 2 hours answering questions like this (fortunately open book).

    -B
    But it's fairly unlikely that you're going to make a varsity team in ANY sport if you're forty and haven't been involved in any organized competition.

    -m

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