U.S. fencing competitive history

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Ancientepee, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    For those who are interested in the history of fencing competitive results in the United States, Andy Shaw has posted both my Div I USFA National Champions reports and my NCAA reports on his Museum of American Fencing web site (http://museumofamericanfencing.com/wp/). They're under the "Fencing History" pulldown.

    The NCAA reports are still a work in progress. I now have what I think are complete 1-6 results for all of the events (except one) and complete individual results for the years since 1983 with a scattering of years since the first championships in 1941. But for some of the years I haven't found the results yet for places below the top 6 and there were some years when a separate team events were held and I don't know the names of the fencers who competed in the team event but not the individual event.

    I'm still coming across interesting tidbits though now at a very slow pace. I don't know if you've seen the ND fencing media guide. It puts every other school's to shame. It's FORTYSEVEN pages of just ND fencing info. But it says that ND fencers first participated in the NCAAs in 1947 which I thought strange because the team results for 1941 list ND in 13th place with 9 victories. Yesterday I found a article in a 1941 South Bend newspaper that listed the five ND fencers who had competed with their results. Their victories add up to 9. So that'll be in the next set of reports that I will send Andy with this year's results from next week.

    Charles Schmitter was a collegiate fencing coach from 1935 to 1983 and left his files to the Michigan State University library. I suspect that that's the only place were I'll be able to find (mostly) complete NCAA fencing results from that period. I hope to be able to take a trip there this summer to spend a couple of days going through the 8 cubic feet of material that the left there.

    As far as I can tell, Andy Shaw and I are the only ones interested in researching the history of fencing in the US. With the amount of information being put up on the web growing at an incredible rate, more and more information is becoming available online for those who are willing to dig for it. If there are some others who are willing to help fencing by spending a couple of hours looking for missing or incomplete information, please let me know what you find or if you'd like to tackle a long-term research project.
     
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  2. ktinoue3

    ktinoue3 Podium

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    Don't let Conner see this
    It is officially USA Fencing as I was reminded this weekend.
     
  3. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    I have a nearly complete database of US Vet National Championship winners if reports from it would be of interest to anyone.

    btw does anyone know the USFA history behind Kamila Kruszelnicka and how she ended up with USFA Member #100000001 ?
     
  4. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

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    They can rebrand it all they want to, but the bylaws still name it as "UNITED STATES FENCING ASSOCIATION".
     
  5. ktinoue3

    ktinoue3 Podium

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    Don’t look at me I was just told that it was a required name change due to being the governing body of a Olympic sport.
     
  6. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    Is to me!
     
  7. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    I still call it the AFLA :cool:
     
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  8. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    It probably wasn't an official name change. [Does anyone know?] It might be that the USOC asked all of their NGBs to refer to themselves as "USA [sport]" to simplify their own record keeping and so it's a [legal?] alternate name. I seem to recall that when the name was legally changed from "Amateur Fencers League of America", it was a costly and time consuming process. Others also use abbreviated names. For example, "Ohio State University" is really, legally named "The Ohio State University" and some other colleges also have legal names that no one uses.
     
  9. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    What do you mean by "database"? Is the information in an Access database, an Excel spreadsheet, a Word document, or some machine readable format?

    If you want, I can send you the Access database that I use to store and report out the Division I reports that I posted. You would have to load your data into four tables in that database and then you could generate reports using the reports that I've already defined. The four tables are:
    dbFencers - Where you'd put the fencers' names and (optionally) any information you have about their date/place of birth/death. Fencers who previously won a Division I championship would already be there.
    dbIndividualPlacement - Where you'd put year, individual event code, and name of the fencers who won their events. You can actually store all of the fencers who competed and their placements but I don't have reports currently defined to report out anyone other than the champions.
    dbTeamPlacement - Where you'd put year, team event code, and club name of the teams. (Ditto about teams below first place)
    dbTeamMember - Where you'd put the year, team event code, club name, and fencers' names.

    Andy Shaw or someone else might then be interested in posting your reports online.
     
  10. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    The Veteran National Champion data is contained in several tables in a Postgres database of fencing and competition related info. It was setup so I could do ad hoc queries of interest and win bar bets, among other things.

    Some of the "other things" have been enabled by determining and storing the USFA member numbers for the Champions of each event. (As all Vet Championship events have been in the USFA era). That helps deal with people's name changes and variations over the years and enables quickly picking up champions' YOB/DOBs and the like. One of the goals was to generate something the Vet Committee and/or USFA could use for various purposes. Queries such as which Vet Champions are or aren't still current USFA members are quick and easy.

    Vet Championship team events were easy to handle -- there have been no Vet Team National Championship events (at least that I have found). While there have been Vet Team events at Summer Nationals, those events weren't declared "National Championships". All of the US Vet National Championships were individual.

    Also not all individual Vet Championship events were held during Summer Nationals. Some Vet age group National Championship events were held at the end of March 2001 in Louisville, KY, just two weekends after a separate Vet NAC was held in Overland Park, KS.

    Championship data was extracted from various versions of FT output, xseed pdfs, html tables, etc if and when result lists were located for events. Processing results lists is fairly straightforward, if annoying, but can be automated to some extent. Finding historic results is always the more time consuming part.

    Results lists were not found for all events. In several cases, however, points lists were located that listed points awarded at missing events and thereby their champions and other placements were able to be reconstructed.

    For a small number of events, neither results lists nor suitable points lists have been found. Champions for a couple of those were able to be reliably determined by other means, but there are still a few Vet Nationals Championship events missing results and Champions.
     
  11. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    I'll run down some leads I have left to check for some of the missing events in the next week or so -- I'll post a report after that.
     
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  12. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    When did they start having official national veteran championships. In the 1950s and 60s there were occasional veteran competitions but they used the term "masters" rather than "veterans" and I don't think that any of them were designated as official national championships. In 1974(?) at the nationals there were "senior age" events but I think that they were just demonstration events. There have been veteran events at the Nationals since at least 1996 but I don't know when they got the designation of "championship". I have digitalized copies of American Fencing up to 2005 and so if there are any results through then that you're missing, I could see if American Fencing had them.
     
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  13. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    I reached a milestone in my Division I Champions reports yesterday. During the last month I tracked down the birth dates of the four individual champions who I hadn't had even birth years for. So now I know at least the birth years of all of out individual champions. I found the last one after Andy Shaw found and passed on to me an address for the 1914 men's epee individual champion. Our records had shown him as being "Dr. Frederick W. Allen" of the Boston Athletic Association. Based on the address, I found that he was a dentist who graduated from the Harvard Dental School in 1897. His legal first name really was "Fred", not "Frederick" (based on his birth certificate and passport application) and his middle name was "Wilde". So now after the April Nationals, Andy will be able to post on his Museum of American Fencing web site updated Division I national championship reports updated to the current year.
     
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  14. oiuyt

    oiuyt Podium

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    Simply looking at the list of sports/NGBs on the USOC website would indicate a variety of naming conventions including "USA [sport]," "U.S. [sport]," "US [sport]," "US[sport]," and "American [sport]" in use.

    The "United States Fencing Association" has chosen to brand itself as "USA Fencing." The legal name remains "United States Fencing Association" (sometimes abbreviated as "USFA"), while doing business as "USA Fencing." The legal name is reflected in both the Bylaws and IRS filings (which also list the DBA name).

    B
     
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  15. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    Veteran events at Nationals appear to have started in earnest in 1995. All mentions and references I've come across for "masters or "senior age" events at nationals from before 1995 seemed to be for limited demo events.

    In the spring of 1995 a separate USFA application form was sent out for the "USFA 1995 Senior Age Tournament" to be held at Summer Nationals. Based on some archived posts, the form had checkboxes for all three weapons, both men's and women's events, and "senior age" categories of 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, etc.

    The events didn't end up run broken out by (vet) age groups though, but instead were run as six vet combined events.

    William Reith and Katherine McCormick won the 1995 "senior age / veteran combined" epee events, Bruce Milligan and Cynthia Carter won the foil events, Wang Yung and Leslie Taft won the saber events.

    The earliest references to the individual Veteran events at Summer Nationals being referred to as "National Championships" I found so far were for the 1996 events, however those were informal mentions. Are there copies of USFA Board minutes from 1995-96 online anywhere?


    After going though the last set of leads, the remaining hold-outs are:

    1998 Austin, TX: V40WE, V50WE, V60WE

    1997 Santa Clara, CA: V40WE, V50WE, V60WE, V40WS, V50WS, V60WS​

    The 1997 V50WS and V60WS events might not have been run though.
     
  16. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    The Fall 1998 issue of American Fencing has the results of most of the 1998 Summer Nationals events but at the end says that due to size constraints the Winter 1999 issue will contains the Veteran results. However the Winter 1999 issue contains only the results for the Veteran Combined events and not the Veteran Age-Group events.

    The 1998 issue what was the Summer issue but not labeled as such contained a lengthy article by Robert Block about the international and national status of Veteran fencing. It contains the following sentence: "Continuing with recent statistics for veteran women; 18 competed in epee at Santa Clara and 7 at NAC-H, while 22 women competed in saber at Santa Clara and 11 at NAC-H." The Summer 1997 issue of American Fencing has the results of the Santa Clara Summer Nationals and here, too, it shows the results of just Combined events and no Age-Group events.

    Did they hold Age-Group events in those years as well or just Combined events and then award points based on the relative finishes of the fencers in each age group in the Combined event?
     

    Attached Files:

  17. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    Thanks for the excerpts from American Fencing!

    For 1998 it doesn't look like the relative finishes of fencers in each age group who fenced in the SN Combined events were used to come up with the 1998 SN Vet Age-Group results found on archived copies of the USFA web site ...

    For example, the web site has a "Veteran Age Group Men's Épée (70 and over)" result along with a line stating "(4 Competitors)" however none of the fencers listed were also listed among the competitors in that SN's Vet Combined event. There are also separate results listed for V40ME, V50ME and V60ME. So the results seem to reflect either separate events or, perhaps, a type of points list reflecting placements from more than just the SN combined events.

    Maybe @Peach would know:

    For the 1998 SN Vet WS events, the web site lists results for "Veteran Age Group Women's Saber (40 and over)" with her as the winner of that but also a separate results listing for "Veteran Combined Women's Saber" with Nicolau as the winner. Were these fenced as two separate events even though the same fencers were eligible for both?
     
  18. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Pretty sure I fenced the Vet sabre event at Nationals in 1998, and if so I will have recorded or printed out the results ( all of them, not just my own ). If I printed them out due to the way results were paginated there will likely have been at least portions of results for other events with the ones in which I was interested.

    The problem is finding where the heck the papers are. I quail at the very prospect of searching them out.
     
  19. Peach

    Peach Podium

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    Luckily, I wrote that one down in my diary. (Austin was a big deal for me because I took 2nd in the Div II and earned a B, 6th in the Div III, and did a decent job of top 16 in the IA).

    Remember that point standings were not important for WS because there was no women's sabre in World Veterans until some years later. In 1998 in Austin, we had eight for the 40-49 WS group and three for the 50-59, so they merged the two and fenced two pools, one of five and one of six. That's the one I won (I beat DD Nicolau in the gold medal bout). I don't see in my diary if I fenced the separate veteran combined event, the one DD won.
     
  20. Peach

    Peach Podium

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    (adding that at that point I don’t think we had any WS 60+ competitions at all.)
     

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