How Tournaments Work: Tournaments 101

How Tournaments Work: Tournaments 101

9/16/21 | Academy WebDruid

Tournaments pretty much follow the same format. Preliminary bouts; Direct Elimination and Final Four Tableau - Semi-Finals and Finals. This description will focus on local tournaments where typically every fencer passes through to the Direct Elimination (DE) tableau/rounds. 

Preliminary Seeding.
This is the first action before the start of an event. This action will attempt to evenly disperse the competitors throughout the pool brackets. It is intended to balance the strongest amongst the less stronger fencers and, avoid having an over abundance of either in the pool composition. A fencers prior results are used to effect the seeding. This presents itself in the form of either points, a rating or both. National and regional events require point seeding however usage at local events are at the discretion of the organizer.  Experienced fencers know that seeding can be deceptive so don’t become too enamored in the preliminary seeding.  It is simply a tool to start the competition on an even keel.

Preliminary Bouts.
These bouts generally consist of 5-6 fencers in each pool. In the first round of play, each competitor within the pool will fence off in a round-robin of 5-touché, 3-minute bouts. The first fencer to reach 5-touché or the fencer with the most touches before time elapses is declared the winner. This cycle will continue until everybody has fenced the pool.  The goal in pool bouts is to score the maximum number of touches available to buffer the number of touches received.  If the score is tied at the end of the period, the Referee will toss a coin to determine which fencer has priority.  The fence-off consists of a 1-minute period whereby the non-priority fencer must score a touché to win.  If time elapses and no touché is awarded, the fencer with priority wins the bout.  The Referee will record the results of each bout and at the conclusion of the round-robin, the Referee will have each fencer check their final tabulation and sign-off on the pool scorecard.  Human error is inevitable so confirm the correctness of the scorecard before it is submitted to the Bout Committee.

Direct Elimination Seeding.
This is the second and final round of seeding following the preliminary bouts. This round of seeding is determined by the results from the pool bouts. It is generally a better indicator of the strength of the field of competitors than the preliminary seeding. This final round relies on the number of wins in individual pools; number of touches scored against an opponent; and number of touches received from an opponent. These numbers all determine a fencers final Indicator.  This Indicator is important as it generally determines the strength of your opponent in the next round.  

Direct Elimination Round/Tableau.
DE bouts consist of 15 touché, three, 3-minute bouts with a 1-minute rest period between bouts.  The first fencer to reach 15-touché or the fencer with the most points before time elapses is declared the winner. The final DE tableau is created such that generally the two highest seeded competitors will not meet in the 1st round out of DE.  It is a single elimination bracket and the tableau is generated to pit the highest seeded against the lower seeded opponent.  The number in parenthesis before a name denotes the seed of the fencer.  As in pool bouts, If the score is tied at the end of the final period, the tie-breaker will commence. Fencers are allotted a 10-minute break between DE bouts.  A loss in the DE tableau eliminates the fencer from the tournament.  A win, advances the fencer through to the next DE round. 


This format will conclude up through the finals, i.e. Tableau of / 64 / 32 / 16 / 8 / 4 / 2 / 1- Declared Winner.