|Founded||April 22, 1891|
|Affiliation||Fédération Internationale d'Escrime|
|Regional affiliation||Pan American Fencing Confederation|
|Headquarters||210 USA Cycling Point|
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US
|CEO||Kris Ekeren (resigned 2021)|
|Other key staff|
|Operating income||$11.1 million|
The United States Fencing Association (USFA) is the national governing body for the sport of fencing in the United States. The USFA was founded on April 22, 1891, as the Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA) by a group of 20 New York City fencers seeking independence from the Amateur Athletic Union, in a dispute over rules for national championships. The AFLA changed its name to the United States Fencing Association in 1981.
The organization was founded on April 22, 1891, in New York City, initially as the Amateur Fencers League of America (AFLA). Graeme Hammond was its first president, from 1891 to 1925. It was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Pennsylvania in 1964. The organization changed its name to the United States Fencing Association in 1981. It was incorporated in Colorado in 1993 in compliance with the Amateur Sports Act. It opened its national office at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1982. The national office moved from the Olympic Training Center to downtown Colorado Springs in 2002. The USFA's first full-time Executive Director was hired that year. The USFA is affiliated with the Fédération Internationale d'Escrime (FIE), the international federation for fencing founded in Paris in 1913.
Initially, officers of the Association were only White men, and the AFLA excluded women, Jews, Blacks, and others from membership. In 1938 Helene Mayer won the fencing Association's San Francisco Division men's title; two days later she was stripped of the title, as the Association adopted a rule banning competition between women and men, reasoning both that fencing involved physical contact, and that "a chivalrous man found it difficult to do his worst when he faced a woman."
Two-time Olympian Nzingha Prescod was elected as an athlete director on the USA Fencing Board of Directors beginning on January 1, 2021, as the top vote-getter in a vote by athletes who represented the US at the Olympics or Paralympics, Pan American Games, or Senior World Championships. She said that in 2020 the organization's disciplinary decisions "reeked of lenience and favorability for the offender."
In 2021, when fencer Alen Hadzic was permitted to go to the Tokyo Olympics after an arbitrator reduced his sanction of temporary suspension following an investigation prompted by rape and other sexual misconduct accusations against him, his Team USA teammates expressed concerns for their safety and well-being arising from his presence, according to USA Fencing. USA Fencing therefore prohibited him from staying at his teammates' hotel. Hadzic's lawyer said USA Fencing had known of the allegations made by the three women against Hadzic "for years," but until the Olympics had never put a restriction in place for Hadzic while he competed all over the world with USA Fencing teams. He therefore sought to overturn the restriction in arbitration, without success. Hadzic had previously been suspended by Columbia University for a year for sexual misconduct, as a result of the findings of a Title IX investigation of Hadzic's behavior. By October 2021, a total of at least six sexual misconduct complaints, including rape, had been filed against Hadzic.
During the Hadzic scandal, it was disclosed by the press that USA Fencing had received a sexual assault complaint about Hadzic by a fellow USA Fencing fencer in 2013, but not acted on it. The lawyer for the complainant had written to Ekeren in 2013: "How can the [United States Fencing Association], in good conscience, claim its hands are tied and permit the participation of a known rapist into its athletic midst?" However, Ekeren did not respond further to the lawyer, and the letters were not made public for eight years. In the wake of that disclosure, the Executive Director/CEO (Kris Ekeren) and General Counsel (Jim Neale) of USA Fencing resigned in 2021.
The USFA tracks ratings for its members. Ratings are a system of classification for USFA fencers; they are primarily used to seed tournaments, but are also considered to be (very) broad indicators of skill. When a fencer first joins the USFA, he or she will have a classification of "U", or "Unrated." There are six different ratings in the USFA those being U (the lowest rating), E, D, C, B, and A (the highest rating). Fencers may increase their classification—from U to E, and then up to A—by placing in USFA-sanctioned tournaments. A tournament must have a certain number of competitors, and those competitors must maintain a certain ratio of classifications, for the top fencers to be eligible for ratings.
The United States Fencing Hall of Fame (or "U.S. Fencing Association Hall of Fame") is a hall of fame for US fencers and coaches. It is located in the Museum of American Fencing in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Museum of American Fencing is in Shreveport. It was founded as the National Fencing Coaches Association Hall of Fame on February 15, 1963, and was in its early days located at Helms Sports Hall of Fame, founded in 1936 in Los Angeles, California. No one was inducted into the Fencing Hall of Fame during the years 1975–1994, due to physical moves and organizational changes, including its takeover by the Amateur Athletic Foundation.
Through June 2021, US fencers had won 8 Olympic medals, and 202 World Championships' Medals.
Main article: List of USFA Hall of Fame members