Points and points lists
Points are awarded to fencers in regular season tournaments and the Individual Championship.
Most regular season rounds have the schools split between two or more tournaments. Points are awarded to the fencers who finish in the top 16 in the DE round of each event as follows:
Final place: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points awarded: 64 52 40 n/a 32 30 28 26 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11
At the Individual Championship (and in some seasons, one or two of the regular season rounds), all the schools compete in a single combined tournament. This makes the tournament more competitive, and so the top 16 placed fencers are awarded twice as many points as usual and the 17-32 placed fencers in the DE round receive between 1 and 16 points:
Final place: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 Points awarded: 128 104 80 n/a 64 60 56 52 36 34 32 30 28 26 24 22 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Note that in both types of tournament, points are only awarded to fencers who advance to the DE round. That means that unusually small events will award fewer points than shown in the table above. For example, if an event has only 18 fencers, 15 (80% of 18, rounded up) will advance to the DE round and so only those 15 will earn points.
The points lists
Fencers are ranked by the number of points they have earned in the current season. This is known as the individual points list. As men and women compete separately, there are separate points lists for each sex.
Schools are ranked by the total number of points earned by their fencers. This is known as the team points list. Again there are separate points lists for men and women.
Standings are a fencer’s or team’s current rank in the league (so we also call them rankings).
- During the regular season, fencers’ or team’s rank is their place on the points list.
- Fencers’ final rank for the season is where they finished in the Individual Championship.
- A team’s final rank is where the team finished in the Team Championship.
Initial seeding at tournaments
When pools are constructed, the top seeds are spread out among the pools to avoid having some easy pools and some really hard pools. The seeding is usually based on the fencer’s place in the current season’s individual points list. At the first tournament of the season, the current season’s points list has not yet been created, so the previous season’s points list is used (not the place the fencer finished in the Individual Championship).
Pope Varsity Letters
The number of points required to earn a Pope Varsity Letter for fencing is 75 points for the 2017-18 season. The number of points required is adjusted each season based on how hard it is to earn points. For more information see the Varsity Letters page.
To qualify for the Individual Championship, fencers must have earned points and have competed in four regular season tournaments in the current season. If more than 84 men or 84 women meet that requirement, only the 84 who are highest on the points list will qualify. If there is a tie for the last qualifying place, the tied fencers all qualify.
Beginning in 2016-17, the league changed from two to three tournaments in each regular season round. This significantly increased the number of fencers who earn points and as a result it is now common for there to be more than 84 men and 84 women with points by the end of the season. Fencers sometimes ask how many points is enough to qualify, the answer is “it depends”, but a rule of thumb is that finishing in the top 8 in one tournament or finishing in the top 16 in two tournaments should be enough (some lucky fencers with only one top 16 finish may also make it).
As in regular season tournaments, initial seeding in the Individual Championship is by place on the individual points list.
As mentioned above, the place that a fencer finishes in the Individual Championship is the fencer’s final rank for the season. In each Individual Championship event, the top 8 finishers receive medals; the winner receives the travelling trophy for a year and a smaller trophy to keep.
The Team Championship includes a men’s event and a women’s event. In each event, schools can be represented by a team of three or four fencers who must all have competed in at least four regular season tournaments.
Currently all schools can send a men’s and a women’s team as long as they have at least three fencers of each sex who have competed in four tournaments. As the league grows, if more than 24 schools have enough fencers to form a team, the 24 schools that are highest on the team points list for each sex will qualify for the Team Championship.
Teams are seeded for the Team Championship using the team points list following the Individual Championship. The top four seeds get a bye into the second (championship) round. The other teams compete in the first (wild card) round, which is direct elimination until four teams remain. Those four teams join the top four seeds in the championship round, which is direct elimination with a fence off for third place.
The final team ranking for the season will be the place earned in the Team Championship. The top four teams in each event receive trophies. For information about team matches, see the Team Match page.