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The SYC Youth Market & Ranking of Clubs by Ratings Awarded at SYCs 2011-2012 to 2015-2016

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The ascendency of U.S. fencing in recent years is due in no small way to the development of youth fencing in the U.S. Since the first national youth tournament held in 1985, the expansion and development of youth fencing has relied on a series of national tournaments such as the North American Cup (NAC) and Summer Nationals. In more recent years, a series of regional tournaments has evolved including the Regional Youth Circuit (RYC) and Super Youth Circuit (SYC).

The SYC is a group of tournaments held throughout the country for fencers in the Y10, Y12 and Y14 age categories in both men’s and women’s events in foil, epee and saber. These tournaments provide an opportunity for youth fencers to experience elite competition, earn national ranking points and be placed on the National Rolling Point Standings (NRPS).

A total of fourteen SYC tournaments were awarded to organizers in 2015-2016, up from eleven in the previous season. With the exception of Region 1 (WA, OR, ID, MT & WY), all Regions were awarded at least two SYC tournaments. Region 4, (CA, NV, UT, CO, AZ & NM) was awarded three and Region 3, (VT, NH, ME, RI, NY, CT, MA, PA & NJ) was awarded four SYC tournament as outlined in the accompanying table. 

The Performance of Super Youth Circuit (SYC) Tournaments by Location for 2015-2016

TournamentDateLocationFencer Events% Epee % Foil % SaberFencersFencer Events Per Fencer
Grand Total8,90727.7%44.9%27.4%2,9323.0
Capitol Clash SYC & RCC 2016January 15-17, 2016National Harbor, MD1,18627.8%41.5%30.7%8691.4
Steve Sobel SYC & Cadet International TournamentFebruary 26-28, 2016Edison, NJ97424.9%42.1%33.0%7461.3
Cobra Challenge SYC & CadetNovember 27-29, 2015Secaucus, NJ83224.3%45.0%30.8%6521.3
Mission SYCApril 29-May 1, 2016Rocky Point, NY70022.3%45.9%31.9%5141.4
North Texas Roundup SYC & RCC September 5-7, 2015 Irving, TX 69233.1%42.3%24.6%4871.4
Carl Borack SYC (So Cal)January 29-31, 2016Gardina, CA67323.0%49.0%27.9%4761.4
2016 Rain City SYCApril 22-25, 2016Bellevue, WA58929.0%50.4%20.5%3791.6
Windy City SYC & RCCDecember 18-20, 2015Rosemount, IL58726.6%49.4%24.0%3951.5
Badawi Challenge SYC w Y14 Team Events February 19-21, 2016Austin, TX51643.4%42.6%14.0%3501.5
Bernie Stein Memorial SYC 2015October 30-November 1, 2015Chandler, AZ48926.2%47.9%26.0%3381.4
Ben Gutenberg Memorial SYC & CadetOctober 23-25, 2015Brockport, NY48624.3%52.1%23.7%3431.4
Svetlana Chayevsky Atlanta Fencing Classic SYC & RCCOctober 2-4, 2015Atlanta, GA46031.3%38.5%30.2%3161.5
SDFA Rocky Mountain SYC & RCC 2015November 21-23, 2015Denver, CO42125.2%43.5%31.4%2871.5
Daugherty Youth Cup SYCOctober 17-18, 2015St. Louis, MO30236.1%41.4%22.5%2101.4
Source: askFRED.net and National Fencing Club Rankings.

The table ranks the SYC tournaments by the number of fencer events, the composition of fencer events and the number of fencers. Fencer events are the aggregate number of events entered by individual fencers. For example, a Y10 fencer who entered a Y10 event as well as a Y12 event at a tournament, participated in two fencer events. The data in the table relates to Y10, Y12 and Y14 youth events only and does not include data for Y8 or cadet events which were added at several tournaments this year.

In aggregate, the fourteen SYC tournaments hosted 2,932 individual youth fencers who generated 8,907 fencer events at an average of three fencer events per fencer in 2015-2016. The largest SYC tournament was the Capital Clash SYC tournament held in January 2016 and the smallest was the Daugherty Youth Cup SYC tournament held in St. Louis in October 2015.  The composition of fencer events by weapon varied considerably across tournaments as illustrated in the table and reflected the fencing characteristics of the tournament’s catchment area. In aggregate, foil accounted for about 45% of fencer events while epee and saber each accounted for about 27-28%.

Over the past twelve months the number of fencer events hosted by SYC tournaments grew by 14.2% from 7,799 in 2014-2015 to 8,907 in 2015-2016, reflecting an expansion of the market with the addition of three SYC tournaments in new locations, namely Brockport, NY, Gardena, CA and Austin TX and the deletion of one location, Durham, NH from the 2014-2015 list. On a “same store” basis however, fencer events grew marginally at 0.3% from 7,209 in 2014-2015 to 7,232 in 2015-2016 as illustrated in the accompanying graph. 

On a “same store” basis, epee fencer events grew by 10.7%, saber fell by -0.9% and foil declined by -4.5%. While our “same store” analysis includes several SYC tournaments that were held at different times of the year compared to the previous year, we believe it serves to illustrate that most of the growth in fencer events came from an expansion of new tournament locations rather than growth in the existing SYC locations, adding some meaning to the saying, “If you build it, they will come”! While the total youth market for SYC tournaments grew by 14.2% in 2015-2016, epee grew a whopping 30.1%. Saber and foil trailed at 9.4% and 8.9% respectively.

The composition and characteristics of the SYC tournament market for 2015-2016 including the number of fencer events, the number of fencers and the average size events are summarized in the accompanying table. 

The Composition and Characteristics of the Super Youth Circuit (SYC) Market for 2015-2016

Age-Gender-WeaponFencer Events% of Grand Total of Fencer EventsFencers Events Per FencerAverage Size EventLargest EventSmallest Event
Grand Total8,907100%2,9323.035.31542
Men5,28559.3%1,8132.941.91543
Epee1,48616.7%5812.635.41133
Y10 Men's Epee2653.0%1371.918.9423
Y12 Men's Epee4825.4%2342.134.46121
Y14 Men's Epee7398.3%3572.152.811318
Foil2,31025.9%7353.15515413
Y10 Men's Foil4084.6%1912.129.14613
Y12 Men's Foil8199.2%3472.458.59527
Y14 Men's Foil1,08312.2%4612.377.315436
Saber1,48916.7%5652.635.41028
Y10 Men's Saber2262.5%1122.016.1358
Y12 Men's Saber6086.8%2952.143.410216
Y14 Men's Saber6557.4%3112.146.89811
Women3,62240.7%1,1193.228.7952
Epee98511.1%3352.923.4602
Y10 Women's Epee1301.5%662.09.3172
Y12 Women's Epee3654.1%1592.326.14511
Y14 Women's Epee4905.5%2252.2356014
Foil1.68919.0%4833.540.2955
Y10 Women's Foil2482.8%1152.217.7305
Y12 Women's Foil6136.9%2402.643.87213
Y14 Women's Foil8289.3%3162.659.19525
Saber94810.6%3412.822.6622
Y10 Women's Saber1381.5%662.19.8212
Y12 Women's Saber3704.2%1552.426.4628
Y14 Women's Saber4404.9%2142.131.4549
Source: National Fencing Club Rankings based on an analysis of askFRED.net data.

Over the past five years, the total number of youth fencer events at SYC tournaments has grown at the compound annual rate of 10.2% from 6,033 in 2011-2012 to 8,907 in 2015-2016. Epee has led the charge growing at the compound annual rate of 13.3% per year followed by saber and foil growing at 9.5% and 8.9% per year respectively. The accompanying graph illustrates the comparative importance of foil, saber and epee in terms of size and the accompanying growth rates as demonstrated by the upwardly trending bars for each category. For the first time since 2011-2012 the number of epee fencer events has eclipsed the number of saber fencer events! 

All age groups have seen positive growth in fencer events at SYC tournaments over the past five years. The Y14 age group has grown marginally faster at the compound annual rate of 10.9 % per year, followed by the Y12 and Y10 age groups growing at 9.6% and 9.5% per year respectively.

Over the past twelve months, fencer events in the Y12 age group have grown at 17.7% followed by the Y14 and Y10 age groups which grew at 15.1% and 4.6% respectively. For the first time since 2011-2012, there were more women’s epee fencer events than women’s saber fencer events at the SYC tournaments as illustrated in the following graph. The number of men’s epee fencer events was almost identical to that for men’s saber fencer events in 2015-2016, a sharp contrast to previous years. 

The SYC tournaments are an important venue for youth fencers to improve their national rankings and receive classifications. Over the past five years, 928 ratings were awarded to youth fencers at the SYC tournaments, 430 in foil, 257 in epee and 241 in saber as illustrated in the accompanying table 

Trend in Ratings Awarded by Classification at Super Youth Circuit (SYC) Tournaments 2011-2012 to 2015-2016

Classification2011-20122012-20132013-20142014-20152015-2016Grand Total
Grand Total157170178189234928
A201611
A201511
A201422
A201311
A201211
B20161111
B2015718
B20149312
B20136410
B20121010
C20163232
C2015241438
C2014191029
C2013301848
C201228230
C201166
D20165050
D2015423476
D2014303060
D2013472471
D2012461258
D201188
E20166060
E2015363167
E2014433477
E2013513182
E2012452166
E20111313
Source: askFred.net

This year 234 new classifications were awarded at SYC tournaments, up 23.8% over 2014-2015.  They included one “A” rating, 12 “B” ratings, 46 “C” ratings, 84 “D” ratings and 91 “E” ratings, with about two-thirds of the “E” ratings awarded in the second half of the year as illustrated in the table.

Over the past five years about 86% of ratings earned at SYC tournaments were awarded to fencers competing in the Y14 age group, with the remainder going to fencers competing in the Y12 age group as illustrated in the table below. While men youth fencers accounted for 62% of fencers competing in SYC tournaments in 2015-2016, they earned about 55% of the ratings.  About 46% of ratings over the past five years were awarded to foil fencers followed by epee at 28% and saber 26%. 

Trends in Percent of Total Ratings Awarded by Event, Weapon, Gender and Age at Super Youth Circuit (SYC) Tournaments 2011-202 to 2015-2016

 2011-20122012-20132013-20142014-20152015-2016Grand Total
Grand Total100%100%100%100%100%100%
Event
Y12 Men's Foil9.6%13.5%3.9%5.3%5.1%7.2%
Y12 Women's Foil0.0%7.6%10.7%7.9%7.3%6.9%
Y14 Men's Epee20.4%7.6%20.8%16.4%10.7%14.9%
Y14 Men's Foil22.3%15.3%18.5%19.0%17.1%18.3%
Y14 Men's Saber13.4%16.5%16.9%13.8%12%14.3%
Y14 Women's Epee17.2%14.1%7.3%12.7%13.2%12.8%
Y14 Women's Foil7.6%14.1%11.2%13.2%20.5%13.9%
Y14 Women's Saber9.6%11.2%10.7%11.6%14.1%11.6%
Weapon
Epee37.6%21.8%28.1%29.1%23.9%27.7%
Foil39.5%50.6%44.4%45.5%50.0%46.3%
Saber22.9%27.6%27.5%25.4%26.1%26.0%
Gender
Men65.6%52.9%60.1%54.5%44.9%54.7%
Women34.4%47.1%39.9%45.5%55.1%45.3%
Age
Y129.6%21.2%14.6%13.2%12.4%14.1%
Y1490.4%78.8%85.4%86.8%87.6%85.9%
Source: National Fencing Club Rankings based on an analysis of askFred.net data.

First time ratings accounted for 350 fencers over the five-year period, with about 73% getting an “E” rating, 24% earning a “D” rating and 3% or 11 getting a “C” rating.

Dedicated fencers, parents, coaches and clubs underpin the success of the U.S. youth fencing program.  In recognition of the commitment many clubs have to youth fencing and in particular the SYC, we have ranked clubs by total ratings awarded to club members by weapon at SYC tournaments over the past five years as illustrated in the accompanying table.

It should be noted that the clubs ranked represent about 30% of the clubs that have participated in SYC tournaments over the past five years. It should also be noted that not all clubs ranked have been open for the entire five year period. In addition, a number of clubs listed have ceased operations. Readers can filter or search the table. You may click on a column heading to sort the data based on that criteria or expand the number of entries. 

Ranking of Clubs by Total Ratings Awarded by Weapon at Super Youth Circuit (SYC) Tournaments 2011-2012 to 2015-2016

ClubEpeeFoilSaberGrand Total
Grand Total257430241928
Fencing Academy of Westchester, NY1635253
Manhattan Fencing Center, NY133649
Los Angeles International Fencing Center, CA152035
Fencers Club, NY825134
5T Fencers Club, NY2323
San Francisco Fencers Club, CA2222
Nellya Fencers, GA2121
Bergen Fencing Club, NJ1818
Alliance Fencing Academy, TX1818
Laguna Fencing Center, CA1515
Massialas Foundation (M Team), CA1515
New York Fencing Academy, NY1515
Boston Fencing Club, MA37414
Gold Fencing Club, MA1414
Silicon Valley Fencing Center, CA21214
Salle Mauro Fencing Academy, TX111113
Rhode Island Fencing Academy and Club, RI32712
New Jersey Fencing Alliance, NJ7411
DC Fencers Club, MD7411
Medeo Fencing Club, NJ9211
Unattached (or Unknown)19111
Gutkovskiy Fencing Academy, NJ1111
Baltimore Fencing Center, MD2911
Windy City Fencing-chicago, IL1111
Lucchetti Fencing USA, NJ9110
Empire United Fencing, NJ1010
Fencing Academy of Philadelphia, PA189
Premier Fencing Club, NJ189
Northwest Fencing Center, OR279
Sword Players, ON99
Zeta Fencing, MA88
New York Athletic Club, NY358
Texas Fencing Academy, TX4228
Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club, NY88
Top Fencing Club, NJ178
Fencing Academy of Denver, CO77
Mid-south Fencers' Club, NC167
Lilov Fencing Academy, NJ1517
Fencing Academy of Nevada, NV527
Olympia Fencing Center, MA617
North Shore Fencers Club, NY77
PDX Fencing, OR66
Cobra Fencing Club, NJ426
Dynamo Fencing Club, BC516
Marx Fencing Academy, MA66
The Fencers Academy (St.Louis), MO66
Fencing Institute of Texas, TX156
Putnam County Fencing Center, NY516
Alamo Fencing Academy, TX66
Fortune Fencing, CA66
Premier Fencing Academy, CA55
Minnesota Sword Club, MN235
Rochester Fencing Club, NY1225
Bucks County Academy of Fencing, NJ55
California Fencing Academy, CA55
HuaHua Fencing Club, ON55
Le Club Touché, CA55
Moe Fencing Club, MA55
United Fencing Academy, CA55
Atlantic Fencing Academy, NJ235
Toronto Fencing Club, ON235
Nyack Fencing Academy, NJ55
Advance Fencing and Fitness Academy, NJ44
Avant Garde Fencers Club, CA44
Capital Fencing Academy, VA44
Halberstadt Fencers' Club, CA44
Oregon Fencing Alliance, OR44
Virginia Academy Of Fencing, VA44
Cardinal Fencing Club, CA134
Peter Westbrook Foundation, NY224
Candlewood Fencing Center, CT1124
Bluegrass Fencers' Club, KY44
Freehold Fencing Academy, NJ44
Masters Fencing Club, FL44
Jacksonville Fencing Club, FL314
South Denver Fencing Academy, CO314
Academy of Fencing Masters, CA44
North Texas Fencing Alliance, TX44
Beaches Sabre Club, NY33
Fencing Academy of South Jersey, NJ33
North Vancouver Fencing Club, BC33
Polish-American Fencing School, NJ33
Sabre Outreach Network, FL33
Fresno Fencing Academy, CA33
Golubitsky Fencing Center, CA33
Grand Rapids Fencing Academy, MI33
Mechanicsville Fencing Academy, VA33
Utah Swords Academy, UT33
Golden Gate Fencing Center, CA123
Royal Arts Fencing Academy, OH123
Hooked on Fencing, OH33
Morris Fencing Club, NJ33
Northern Colorado Fencers, CO33
Swords Fencing Studio, CA33
Golden Sabre Academy, CA22
Knights Of Sienna, SC22
Lone Star Fencing Center, TX22
Midwest Fencing Academy, IL22
Peninsula Fencing Academy, CA22
Research Triangle Fencing, NC22
San Diego Fencing Center, CA22
The Sabre School, NJ22
International Fencers Alliance Of Dallas, TX112
Washington Fencing Academy, WA112
Liberty Fencing Club, PA22
North York Fencing Club, ON22
Tokyo Fencing School, Japan22
Olympic Fencers Club, GA112
Durkan Fencing Academy, NJ22
Epic Fencing Club, AB22
Fencing Sports Academy, VA22
Gold Blade Fencing Center, TX22
OLYMPIAN Fencing Club, TX22
Peoria Fencing Academy, IL22
Rain City Fencing Center, WA22
Rocky Mountain Fencing Academy, CO22
Birmingham Fencing Club, AL11
Cheney Fencing, TN11
Columbus Fencing & Fitness, OH11
Cutting Edge Fencing Club, TX11
Dynamo Fencing Center, MA11
HHH, CA11
International Fencing Club, MA11
Italian Fencing Academy, OR11
Midwest Fencing Club, IL11
North Carolina Fencing Development Program, NC11
Spartak, CA11
Stamford Fencing Center, CT11
Bayou City Fencing Academy, TX11
Brooklyn Fencing Center, NY11
Chesapeake Fencing Club, MD11
Denver Fencing Center, CO11
DuBOIS Fencing Club, PA11
Eagle Fencing Club, GA11
Fencers Club of Arizona, AZ11
Massialas Foundation O.c. (M team O.c.), CA11
My Fencing Club, ON11
Naples Fencing Center, FL11
New Amsterdam Fencing Academy North, NY11
North Bay Fencing Academy, CA11
Oklahoma Sport Fencing, OK11
Peekskill Fencing Center, NY11
Pocatello Fencing Club, ID11
Precision Athletics Fencing Club, CA11
Presidio Fencing Club, CA11
Salle Du Lion Fencing Center, OH11
Salle LaVerne, BC11
Stoccata Fencing Academy & Club, FL11
Three Rivers Fencing Center, PA11
TigerZ Fencing Academy, NJ11
Zeljkovic Fencing Academy, PA11
Altitude School of Fencing, NJ11
Austin Fencers Club, TX11
Bay State Fencers, MA11
Bre-les Dynamiques De Brebeuf, QE11
Cheyenne Fencing Of Denver & Modern Pentathlon, CO11
East Bay Fencers Gym, CA11
Encinitas Fencing Academy, CA11
Fencing Center of Alaska, AK11
Fort Bend Fencing Academy, TX11
George Platt's Swordplay, CA11
Glenbrook South High School Fencing, IL11
High Desert Fencing Club, OR11
Illinois Fencers Club, IL11
International Fencing Academy, CA11
Iowa City Fencing Center, IA11
Lion Heart Fencing Academy, CA11
Louisville Fencing Center, KY11
Maryland Fencing Club, MD11
Raleigh Fencers Club, NC11
Rockland Fencers Club, NY11
Schoolhouse Fencing, UT11
Thrust Fencing Studio, NJ11
Vivo Fencing Club, MA11
Source: askfred.net

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