COACHING AT TOURNAMENTS
North Atlanta Fencing Center is dedicated to the competitive success of our athletes. To that end, our coaches offer their services at National Tournaments. While fencers are not required to have coaching at tournaments, they may request this service, at an additional cost. There must be a prior agreement for a fencer to receive coaching at any event. This may be an on-going relationship agreed upon for the season, or a request for a particular competition.
NAFC coaches will provide their services under the following conditions:
- The fencer requests coaching during the event.
- A coach is available for the event the fencer is attending.
- The fencer is willing to pay some or all of the costs associated with being coached at the event.
Regarding compensation for coaches at tournaments, the following are the rates for compensation at large National or “away” tournaments.
- There is no charge for local events. Any tournament a coach has to fly to is a “non-local” event. Should there be a time that a National tournament is held close to Atlanta, it will be treated as outlined below.
- At the start of the season NAFC will announce which tournaments on the National and Regional Calendar are “Designated Events”. At least one coach will attend a Designated Event. US National Championships will always be a Designated Event, unless there are circumstances beyond the control of NAFC or the coaching staff.
- For those tournaments which are not Designated Events, but parents or fencers wish to engage a coach for that event, those fencers engaging a coach must cover airfare, hotel room, and $30.00 (per coach) a day in meals for each day that coach is traveling or at the event. Coaches will arrange their own travel and always attempt to find the cheapest fare possible. Coaches will stay in the lodging that is both reasonably priced and located to the venue. The airfare, hotel room, and per diem for the coach attending the tournament will be evenly split among the fencers involved.
- Compensation will be paid directly to NAFC for coaching services. While it is the job of the coach to assist each fencer at the event as much as possible, please keep in mind that at some events there are many students fencing at once. When that is the case, a coach must set priorities. For the fencer who is attending a tournament for their first time, coaching during the opening rounds can be important. More experienced fencers will not need as much attention until later in the event. NAFC will work to ensure that a coach is available when the fencer needs them most. However, that is the coach’s decision to make, and fencers and parents must defer to the coaches discretion.
For every tournament a coach will be at the venue from a half an hour before the close of registration for the first event until the last fencer is eliminated that day. Warm-up lessons (at no additional charge) before the tournament begins are part of the duties as a coach. In addition, tournaments can stretch over several days, such as in the case of Nationals or the Junior Olympics. In those cases, training lessons can also be given (at no additional charge). These lessons are available any time a coach is not strip coaching, or involved with any other duties at the event.
It is the coach’s job to act in the student’s best interest at all times. However:
- A tournament is the place where a coach has the least effect on the outcome. Every tournament is won based on the mental and physical preparation of the fencer. Having a coach present at the event is not a substitute for the fencer having properly trained for the level of competition they have entered.
- Coaches may fix equipment strip-side in an emergency. But it is the fencer’s responsibility to arrive at a tournament with 3 working weapons. Do not assume a coach will act as an armorer the night or during the event. It is the fencer’s responsibility to have 3 working weapons, 3 body cords, and 2 complete uniforms with them before they leave for the competition.
- Please remember that referees make mistakes. Coaches are not supposed to punish those referees for those mistakes. A coach should support the fencer if the referee makes an error in the rules, is officiating dishonestly, or is clearly not capable of refereeing at the level of fencing at the event. Under those conditions will a coach attempt to intercede with the bout committee or FOC representative. Disputing every judgment call by a referee, or even loudly pointing out the occasional mistake, is not beneficial. By treating referees with respect, and not interfering with their performance, referees tend to listen to coaches when they do make objections.
- Coaches do not travel to tournaments to play discipline their fencers. However, a coach will not hesitate to reprimand a fencer for poor behavior. No coach or representative of NAFC will tolerate illegal or disruptive behavior by a fencer while at the tournament, venue, or hotel. Coaching services will be withdrawn from any fencer acting in a manner that does not reflect well on the club, coaches, or him or herself as an athlete. If the fencer is a minor, a member of the coaching staff will notify the parents – from the venue if necessary – of any disciplinary action necessary.
POLICY FOR TEAM EVENTS AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Selection of NAFC team members:
- All team members must be members of the USFA, and eligible to compete in the US Championships, as per the requirements set out in the Athlete Handbook of the USFA.
- All team members must be members in good standing of North Atlanta Fencing Center.
- Teams will consists of three members and an alternate, where possible.
- Team members will be selected for the team in order of their fencing ability as determined by: Their placement on the USFA Senior Points list (Rolling), their placement on the USFA Junior Points list (Rolling), their placement on the USFA Cadet Points list (Rolling), their USFA classification, and finally by their placement on the Virginia points list in weapon they are applying for a position in. Fencing in the team qualifying event does not ensure a place on the team that actually competes at Nationals. In the case of any absolute ties, the coaches will have the final decision on team members.
- Team members will be announced 30 days before the close of registration for Summer Nationals. At this time, each selected team member must inform the coaching staff of their willingness to fence the team event. If they are unwilling or unable to fence the event, that fencer is passed over the next eligible fencer.
- Every Team must have a Team Captain, either a NAFC coach, or appointed by the coaches.
- Team members are responsible for supplying their own equipment to fence team, including uniforms, weapons, warm up jackets, and any other equipment.
- Team members must pay their individual entry and registration fee for the National Championships. NAFC will pay the entry free for any qualifying competitions and for teams entered at Nationals.