Classification – For the purpose of distinguishing between levels of performance and providing an objective scale for the seeding of competitions for those who have achieved a national ranking in their category and their weapon, fencers are classified nationally into the following letter classifications: A (highest), B, C, D, E, U (Unclassified, lowest). Classifications are written as A18, B19, C17, etc. with the letter indicating the classification and the number indicating the latest year when that classification was earned or re-earned.
NAC - The North American Cup tournaments are a series of national point-earning tournaments organized by USA Fencing. USFA competitive members are able to enter NAC tournaments if they meet the eligibility conditions of that NAC including age and classification. Fencers must also first qualify to participate in most NAC tournaments.
Junior Olympics – The JOs serve as the national championships for junior and cadet fencers. The junior and cadet seasons end following the JOs in February and the age eligibility for both junior and cadet events adjust at that point. Fencers must meet certain qualification requirements in order to compete in the Junior Olympics.
Open – An open competition is one in which all age eligible competitors are able to compete without regard to their divisional membership, classification, or rank. To compete in a USFA-sponsored "Open" event, all fencers must be at least 13 years old on January 1 of the competitive season in question unless the fencer is on the National Junior point standings at the entry deadline for that competition.
Qualifier - A qualifying competition is a competition whereby a specified number of fencers qualify for the USFA Championships or the Junior Olympics based on their results. Depending on the event, qualifiers are held by the Division or through a Regional qualifier.
RJCC - Regional Junior/Cadet Circuit events function as regional point earning events. There are no national points awarded at these events. A fencer’s placement on the regional point list or the number of total regional points accumulated by the fencer is one path to qualification for the Junior Olympic Fencing Championships and the July Challenge tournament. Fencers may participate in more than two RJCC tournaments in a season; however, only the fencer’s best two results will be included in the regional point standings. Also, PFA fencers can only earn regional points at regional tournaments held within Region 2 (Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio).
RYC - Regional Youth Circuit tournaments are regional point earning events for youth fencers. There are no national points awarded at Regional Youth competitions. These competitions are one of the qualification paths for Youth 10, 12 and 14 events at the North American Cup and/or the National Championships. Youth fencers may participate in more than three RYC tournaments; however, only the fencer’s best three results will be included on the regional point standings. Also, PFA fencers can only earn regional points at regional tournaments held within Region 2 (Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio).
SYC/SJCC - Super Youth Circuit and Super Junior Cadet Circuit tournaments occur each season in roughly a dozen cities nationwide. National points are awarded to the top 40% of the field at Super Circuit competitions. Fencers may participate in one or more Super Circuit tournaments; however, only the fencer’s best result is included in the National Point standings published after each SYC/SJCC. National points expire one year from the month in which they were earned.