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Evaluating Your Clubs Super Youth Circuit (SYC) Medal Count

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Fencing tournaments, such as the recently completed 16 SYCs, serve as a measurable test of a fencing club’s athletic power. At NFCR, medal counts are the object of intense scrutiny after every SYC tournament. Most clubs should celebrate any medal with pride, given that roughly 41% of clubs competing in SYCs return home empty-handed.

In 2016/2017, 10% of the competing clubs at SYCs won 58% of Top 8 medals, and 20% won 79% of the medals. This is consistent with the typical 80-20 distribution rule of thumb which states that approximately 20% of a group’s members will achieve 80% of its “production,” in this case Top 8 medals. Despite this concentration, more clubs are winning Top 8 SYC medals now, when compared to five years ago. Keep an eye out for our future post titled: “Measuring the Competitiveness of the Super Youth Circuit (SYC): Are the Top Fencing Clubs Getting More Competitive?”

If you’re a member of a small fencing club, you probably think the fairest way to judge the medal count standings for our National Fencing Club Youth Championships -SYC 2016-2017 is by medals per club member attending SYCs or by medals per number of club entries at SYCs. If  you’re a member of a large club, you probably think it should be judged on total medals. People generally adjust their perceptions of the medal tally based on their club’s size because it can shift the rank orderings for the club’s convenience.

Do clubs win more Top 8 medals if they send more fencers to SYCs?

How should a club’s performance in the recent SYCs be measured? The traditional way is to simply tally the number of medals won – and the result? – the biggest clubs always come out on top: fencing’s largest such as the Fencers Club, Nellya Fencers, Alliance Fencing Academy, Massialas Foundation (M-Team), and the Los Angeles International Fencing Center, to name but a few.

What if the totals took into account the factors that may influence a club’s performance, such as the size and income of a club’s catchment population, the size of its competitive youth program, the economic profile of its members, or the size of its traveling team for SYCs?

It may be thought that “wealthier” clubs tend to do better, not only because more athletes can attend SYCs, but because the athletes who attend are better prepared through well-financed athletic resources (coaches, facilities, camps, travel, etc.)

When it comes to SYCs, size does in fact matter!  It stands to reason that the more fencers a club has (in an SYC), the more medals it will accumulate. Time and time again, large clubs make it to the Top 8 and Podium.

There is clearly a positive relationship between the number of fencers per club and the number of medals won at SYCs. The correlation reveals that on average, 10 additional club entries in the SYCs results in 2.5 additional Top 8 medals. There is also a positive relationship between the number of Top 8 medals won by a club at SYCs and the number of podium medals won.

The correlation reveals that on average, 10 additional Top 8 medals results in 5.4 additional podium medals.

Despite our analysis, we found no correlation between the age of a club’s catchment population, its population density and median household income of a club’s trading area and the performance of a club in this year’s SYC.

Medal Conversion

Despite training, 50% of youth fencers do not advance past their first direct elimination bout and thus have no chance to make it into the Top 8 or onto the podium. This description of the realities of SYC participation is quantified in the following table. Readers are able to sort, filter or search the table. By typing in a club’s name in the search slot, readers will be able to compare the performance of a club with the average for the Top 100 clubs. In certain instances, state rankings are possible by placing the state abbreviation in the search box, e.g., TX for Texas. Details on all medalists from the Top 20 ranked clubs can be found by clicking the name of the club in the following table.

Medal Conversion Statistics for Top 100 Ranked Clubs in the National Fencing Club Youth Championships - SYC 2016-2017

Club# Club Members @ SYCs# Club Entries @ SYCs# Club Members in Top 8# Top 8 Medals % Club Entries in Top 8# Club Members on Podium# Podium Medals% Club Entries on Podium
Academy of Fencing Masters, CA63203317235%183517%
Nellya Fencers, GA35169266538%234627%
Los Angeles International Fencing Center, CA37142216042%153223%
Massialas Foundation (M Team), CA50264265922%183011%
Silicon Valley Fencing Center, CA43216245827%193516%
Manhattan Fencing Center, NY74288255720%17279%
Alliance Fencing Academy, TX69186315429%182815%
Fencers Club, NY60226274922%14209%
Halberstadt Fencers Club, CA2588174956%112933%
Fencing Academy of Westchester, NY53201234623%163015%
New York Fencing Academy, NY27127174435%112520%
Medeo Fencing Club, NJ35145154229%102417%
Fencing Academy,
Olympia Fencing Center, MA46217143717%112210%
California Fencing Academy, CA35190123317%6147%
Windy City Fencing Club, IL3791163336%101820%
North Texas Fencing Alliance, TX147373244%42129%
V Fencing Club, NJ149983131%62121%
Gold Fencing Club, MA1710683028%61817%
Top Fencing Club, NJ22132123023%111612%
Dynamo Fencing Center, MA2996132930%91516%
Salle Mauro Fencing Academy, TX32107162927%91514%
Penta Olympic Fencing Club, VA31115122824%3109%
Laguna Fencing Center, CA3070142739%101420%
Oregon Fencing Alliance, OR2459132746%91525%
Cobra Fencing Club, NJ279092629%81618%
Dynamo Fencing Club, BC39111152523%9109%
Fencers Club of Arizona, AZ2260122440%101322%
Fortune Fencing, CA1764102336%81625%
Alamo Fencing Academy, TX145962237%51729%
Salle D'Asaro, CA115262242%61631%
Sabre Outreach Network, FL175192039%71325%
Stamford Fencing Center, CT177352027%41318%
Cardinal Fencing Club, CA235481935%41120%
Golubitsky Fencing Center, CA179451920%31213%
Texas Fencing Academy, TX1375101925%457%
Lone Star Fencing Center, TX195691832%71018%
The Fencers Academy (St.Louis), MO145251835%31121%
PDX Fencing, OR184471739%5920%
Tim Morehouse Fencing Club, NY258161721%3810%
Fencing Sports Academy, VA479691617%444%
Northwest Fencing Center, OR328381518%445%
Premier Fencing Academy, CA1334101544%81029%
Washington Fencing Academy, WA123241547%31031%
San Francisco Fencers Club, CA327781418%479%
Team Touche Fencing Center, CA2045101431%4716%
Capital Fencing Academy, VA3610171313%344%
Fencing Academy of Denver, CO2949111327%6612%
Fresno Fencing Academy, CA103751335%4719%
HuaHua Fencing Club, ON196171321%51016%
Swords Fencing Studio, CA2034111338%6721%
Advance Fencing and Fitness Academy, NJ238771214%467%
Fencing Alliance of Ohio, OH72351252%4835%
Winter Garden Fencing Academy, FL21521280%2533%
Battle Born Fencing Club, NV234581124%237%
Beverly Hills Fencers' Club, CA42331148%31043%
Fencing Center of Chicago, IL112751141%3519%
Metro Tacoma Fencing Club, WA155541120%147%
Precision Athletics Fencing Club, CA94341126%3716%
Royal Arts Fencing Academy, OH93241134%4825%
Woodlands Fencing Academy, TX275471120%5713%
OLYMPIAN Fencing Club, TX113331030%1618%
Peoria Fencing Academy, IL92451042%228%
United Fencing Academy, CA216951014%469%
Escrime Du Lac, IN5253936%2624%
Golden Sabre Academy, CA9147964%2321%
Kairos Fencing Academy, TX9225941%4627%
North Shore Fencers Club, NY15364925%4411%
Renaissance Fencing Club, MI12466920%337%
Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club, RI29125897%443%
Fencing Academy of Nevada, NV12245833%3417%
Fencing Institute of Texas, TX27626813%446%
Island Fencing Academy, NY36816810%234%
Le Club Touché, CA18595814%223%
Lilov Fencing Academy, NJ23495816%4510%
Moe Fencing Club, MA10242833%1521%
Rochester Fencing Club, NY35667812%569%
San Diego Fencing Center, CA10145857%2321%
South Denver Fencing Academy, CO16364822%113%
Avant Garde Fencers Club, CA8213733%1210%
Boston Fencing Club, MA11394718%113%
Denver Fencing Center, CO11155747%3427%
Midwest Fencing Academy, IL16237730%4417%
New Mexico Fencing Foundation, NM1291724%127%
Premier Fencing Club, NJ9323722%2413%
Sword Players, ON10186739%3317%
Tri-City Fencing Academy, BC8221732%1523%
Bergen Fencing Club, 14323619%113%
Birmingham Fencing Club, AL6325619%339%
Fencing Academy of Boston, MA11214629%115%
Kansas City Fencing Center, KS6114655%2327%
Las Positas Fencing Center, CA7182633%1211%
Marx Fencing Academy, MA16254624%3416%
Peninsula Fencing Academy, CA8183633%116%
Queretaro, Mexico4102660%1220%
Rockland Fencers Club, NY9443614%237%
Salle Auriol Seattle, WA17395615%225%
Sheridan Fencing Academy, NY11343618%226%
Anaheim Hills Fencers Club, CA9394513%225%
Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club, NY5222523%
Chadwick International, Korea4283518%2311%
Cutting Edge Fencing Club, TX13175529%116%
DC Fencers Club, MD4376457%345%
East Bay Fencers Gym, CA7223523%2418%
Grand Rapids Fencing Academy, MI15284518%3311%
Heartland Fencing Academy, KS12213524%2210%
Midwest Fencing Club, IL4103550%2440%
Northern Colorado Fencers, CO7214524%3314%
Olympia Fencing Academy, MO484563%3338%
Sacramento Saber Fencing, CA4162531%
Toronto Fencing Club, ON10134538%
Source: National Fencing Club Rankings based on an analysis of askFRED.net data and statistics.

The data in the table reveals that large clubs with very large participating teams and multiple entries per event tend to also have higher relative medal-conversion rates. For the Academy of Fencing Masters and Nellya Fencers, 35% to 38% of all event entries resulted in Top 8 medals. For smaller clubs like Precision Athletics Fencing Club and Battle Born Fencing Club, only 24% to 26% of entries resulted in medals.

Medal standings are historically displayed in descending order of total numbers. Through further analysis, the data yielded some valuable insights. For example, Halberstadt Fencers’ Club, North Texas Fencing Alliance, Nellya Fencers, and Los Angeles International Fencing Center remain in the top rankings whether their medals are measured in total or per competitor.  Halberstadt Fencers’ Club is tied with the Fencers Club for the total number of Top 8 medals won at SYCs this year;  however, it is ranked 6th on a Top 8 medal per entrant basis.

Twenty-five youth fencers from Halberstadt generated 88 SYC fencer-events, and captured 49 Top 8 medals, including 29 podium medals. Halberstadt, therefore, had a Top 8 medal conversion rate of 56%, and a podium medal conversion rate of 33%. This compares well above the average of 30% and 16% for the Top 100 ranked clubs.

While there is no single standard for ranking medals, we hope that our post demonstrates how, through the use of simple math, one can devise other ranking schemes to evaluate success. Feel free to write a comment or send us an email. We look forward to the 2017-2018 SYC season and may the best athletes win!


2 Responses to "Evaluating Your Clubs Super Youth Circuit (SYC) Medal Count"
  1. Alex Shender says:

    How about a breakdown by weapon.

  2. Ross says:

    Alex: Good idea! We’ll work on this over the next few weeks.

Comments are closed.