frequently Asked Questions


They aren’t being mean. According to NCAA rules, coaches aren’t allowed to contact or to reply to prospective student athletes until their Junior Year of High School. However, if you attend a school visit, you may meet the coach in their office on campus. If you have contacted a coach in your Junior year of High School and haven’t received a reply, they may be swamped with applications and may have misplaced yours. Some coaches get upwards of 300 applications.

After your final event at Summer Nationals of your Junior Year OR if you make a college visit, the coach can speak with you on campus.

You are allowed to contact a coach at any time. But remember, the coach isn’t allowed to speak reply respond back until your Junior year of High School. How will I know if a coach has me on their ‘Favorites’ list? You won’t. NCAA rules won't allow a coach to say they are watching your progress.

Most definitely. Each school has it’s own personality and atmosphere. Some schools are geared more toward technology while others are liberal arts or business oriented. You really want to get a feel for the school, professors and campus to make sure your college career will be a successful and enjoyable one. IMPORTANT: Since the coach isn’t allowed to talk with you until your junior year of High School, they cannot tell you if they will be on campus during your visit. Please check the tournament schedule of the team to see if they are at an away tournament that weekend. Or if the NCAA season is in progress.

Many factors dictate where you get admitted. Most of all grades and test scores. After that, the coaches can help. And so can Recruit Fencing.

Obviously, schools want the best fencer they can get. That’s common sense. However, no school can get all the top fencers in the world. Factors such as grades and test scores, location, recruiting spots and family finances play a big part in which school the top fencers attendy. There are up to 18 starting spots on any team (9 spots for title IX schools). That is a lot of spots to fill throughout the country. Many school will fill many spots with walk ons. Some schools will even fill spots with beginners from the fencing classes they teach in the college. So if you have solid fencing experience, you can find a school to fence for. Recruit Fencing can help get your name to the coaches who need you.

A walk on is someone who doesn’t get recruited but gets admitted on their academic merit. Once accepted, they ‘try out’ for the team. If they make it, they are a walk on.

Some schools offer scholarships, partial scholarships or other means of financial assistance. In fact, many schools pride themselves on their ability to help their athletes financially. You can find schools that offer money in the Recruit Fencing search function. For those schools who don’t, there is usually a very good student loan program.

Schools have early admission which means the fencer is picking 1 school to apply to early. If admitted, the fencer commits to attending this school and cannot change.

Absolutely. If a school has 5 A level fencers for 3 spots in foil, but only 1 in sabre, the coach would rather fill out the sabre squad then have a high level 3rd alternate for an already strong foil squad.

A plain walk-on player is someone who has decided to try out for the team without the coaches support. It’s possible that the coach actually knows the athlete but never actually pursued him.

Athletic recruiting is a difficult process but the hard work can pay off - earning an athletic scholarship is a life-changing experience. Athletic recruiting doesn't work the way many people think, though - coaches from college programs don't just go to tournaments to "discover" recruits. A lot of recruiting now happens online. Take an important first step in the road to a fencing scholarship by creating a recruiting profile in the Recruit Fencing. The preferred walk-on has actually been recruited by the coach who generally has offered the player a spot on the roster. The player isn’t offered any scholarship money as a freshman but there is the possibility in the future. Recruited theoretically means that the coach is trying to convince you to come to their school. However, it has come to mean that the coach has some pull as to who gets admitted over others. Generally, a recruit will get a scholarship or partial scholarship.

Team means it falls under NCAA rules and is paid for by the school. Club’s are created, funded and run by the students. They cannot fence in the NCAA Championships. But they do have their own National Club Championships. Recruit Fencing doesn’t represent Collegiate Clubs currently as the coach can’t help the student get in. This may change in the future.

When it comes to fencing, there’s not a HUGE difference. The main difference is the level of commitment by the school. There are schedule differences, both practice and competition. Since fencing is still a small sport (only 44 schools have fencing teams as opposed to football which has 130 Div 1, 169 Div 2 and 250 Div 3 teams) all divisions compete against each other and qualify for 1 NCAA Championships in March.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that creates equity in colleges among mens and womens athletic teams. In other words, since many schools have men’s football, there must be a women’s only sport to even it out. Many times they will take the men’s version of a minor sport to create the balance. So some schools only have a women’s team. They may have a men’s club, but they don’t do any recruiting for the clubs.

The ‘black out’ period is a time that the coaches are not allowed to speak to any Prospective Student Athletes at all.

Generally the NCAA season starts in October and ends with the NCAA Championships the second week of March.


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