Fencing Friction: Sport or No?

By Marcus McDermott |

Three years ago Patrick McAllister, John Chann, Ryan Caprio, and Steven Barnett had the drive and initiative to start The Morgan Fencing Club. Since then, the club has grown in numbers and competed in various meets and tournaments all across the state. Despite all of this, the club has been denied the title of “varsity sport” throughout its history. That’s where the question arises, should fencing be considered a sport? Or should it stay a club? This question isn’t an easy one to answer, so I turned to a member of the fencing club for an answer.

When asked how fencing compared to other sports, Julia Horan, a freshman, told me that “fencing is just like any other sport in the sense that it requires conditioning and specific training. We practice five days a week with regular meets and tournaments”. On a more global scale, fencing is widely accepted as a sport all over the world. It is also one of only five sports that has been in every modern Olympic Game. Fencing is a sport that transcends the typical fan’s view of athletic performance. Although it isn’t one that we typically think about, it is one nonetheless. These athletes train and work just as hard as any other sport’s players. Their program isn’t getting the recognition it deserves and to classify fencing as a club is unjust and without reason.

The Morgan Fencing Tournament
The Morgan Fencing Tournament

Next I talked to Mr. Rayel, the athletic director here at Morgan. When asked about fencing being a club, he told me that “They’re a club because it’s a CIAC sanctioned club activity, not a CIAC sanctioned sport.” He also told me that “Every year it’s under review; once it’s proved to be self sufficient as far as participation it will be reviewed again. We review it once every year.” I’m not 100% sure as to why it isn’t considered “self sufficient” as far as participation, but it is under review.

Hopefully in the coming years the fencing club will gain further recognition as a sport. They have been gaining steam recently and have gained a few new members this season. In the end, it is up to Mr. Rayel and others involved in athletics at the school to make the final call. Is fencing a sport or not? Leave your thoughts below.