Quick Links: Registration FeesRefund TableCadet/Junior Ages

Celebrating our fifteenth year as a proud member sport of the Arnold Sports Festival, the largest multi-sports festival in the U.S.
Royal Arts Fencing Academy (RAFA) is excited to host the Arnold Fencing Classic Regional Youth Circuit (RYC), Regional Junior and Cadet Circuit (RJCC), Y8, Vet, Open, Wheelchair, and HEMA (Longsword, Rapier & Dagger, and Sword & Buckler) tournament. The Arnold Fencing Classic is co-hosted by the Rose & Gold Foundation, a 501(c)3 corporation with the mission to improve lives through fencing.


The Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival is the largest multi-sport festival in the world featuring over  50 sports and events, 180,000 spectators, and 19,000 athletes. Don't just fence, visit for the weekend and enjoy what the event offers. Athletes get passes to the entire sports festival as a part of the entry.


Will he be there? Yes. Arnold will present the scholarship winner at our venue. We are not permitted to give you the day or time for security reasons. Other celebrities may also appear in the venue from time to time. All events stop for Arnold's appearance. His appearance is brief. Events resume after he has left.

There is no guarantee that he will be there.


All times are subject to change, however days are finalized. See the schedule.

We frequently get asked when an event will end. While the Arnold historically runs on time there are so many factors to consider when planning that we actively discourage the idea of running out the door at the end of your event to catch flights. You should plan to spend the entire day at the venue and enjoy the other sports and events when you are not fencing. If you absolutely must gamble, see our past event times. Know that we cannot guarantee any of this.


All fencers in ALL age groups are required to be members of USA Fencing. You can apply or renew your membership at Foreign fencers need to show proof of membership in their national federation prior to competition.

Y8 fencers are required to have USA Fencing Membership, too.

Longsword and Rapier (HEMA) fencers do not require membership as their event is entirely separate from the sport fencing tournament.


Foreign fencers may participate in any event at the Arnold provided they meet the membership requirement above. If your organization needs assistance registering through AskFred or needs alternate methods to pay for entry please contact us at info @ If foreign fencers require assistance with translation or other services to accommodate your stay, please contact us. We will assist as much as possible.


Wristbands are required for all fencers, coaches, parents, and spectators. The wristband is entry into the Arnold Sports Festival, the largest sports festival in the world. Wristbands are $15 per day. Security will not permit fencers without a wristband to participate. Two wristband vendors are conveniently located on either side of the fencing venue.

The cost of the wristband is factored into your entry fees for athletes. The athlete wristband is NOT the same as the spectator wristband. Parents, coaches, and others will be required to purchase at the venue or via Security will be present and checking every day.

For non-athletes choose:
Arnold Sports Festival & Fitness Weekend 1 Day EXPO Admission or
Arnold Sports Festival & Fitness Weekend: WEEKEND EXPO Admission


Do I Have to Pre-pay?

Yes. For most events this is a national qualifying tournament. Like all qualification events, pre-payment is required. Regardless, prepayment is required because this is not your average, local event. We will have 28 grounded strips, 35+ plus referees, a few dozen support staff, and many others. Don't worry, it's worth it!


The Columbus Rotary in partnership with the Arnold Sports Festival will award a $2500 scholarship. Candidates must submit an essay, be between 13 - 18 and fence at the Arnold. Details here:

The scholarship is restricted to US citizens and Olympic sport fencers.


John Glenn International Airport (CMH)
4600 International Gateway
Columbus, Ohio 43219
(614) 239-4000

John Glenn International Airport


There are several venue hotels. Check our website for the most current information. Additional information: hotels page or on our home page.

A great portion of the Columbus hotels are taken by the event. Book early. Check with individual hotels. The festival can override any special discounts members would ordinarily get during other weekends. Many hotels provide transportation to the venue.


Parking downtown can be a challenge during the festival. You are encouraged to pre-pay parking prior to your arrival to ensure good parking. Check the parking page or on our home page.

Many of the nearby hotels offer shuttles. The Arnold re-routes city busses from many of the surface lots and other locations. Be sure to check the parking page for that information. Also, it is often easier to Uber from your hotel and be dropped off right at the venue.


The USA Fencing requires ALL fencers to show a birth certificate or other government-issued identification with a birth date before they fence in their first competition of the season.

Check your membership card. If it says "Verified" you do not need to provide this information. Otherwise, please bring either a copy of a birth certificate or passport. You may also contact us via email with proof of birth before the tournament.

USA Fencing rules apply. Full USA Fencing regulation uniform is required, including plastron, knickers. Y8 & Y10 require either a #0 or #2 blade. Vendors will be on site if you have equipment needs. You are not required to have your name on your uniform.


If your registration is being rejected for age, but you are currently listed on the National Rolling Points for the next lower age, please contact


The Arnold Fencing Classic takes place AFTER the Junior Olympic Championships, which is the national championship for Cadets and Juniors. That means fencing at the Arnold is fencing in the NEW Cadet/Junior season. The valid ages for the Arnold are:

Cadet: 2002-2005
Junior: 1999-2005

Fencers born in 2001 (Cadet) and 1998 (Junior) AGE OUT of these categories after the Junior Olympics, which is a couple of weeks before the Arnold and are, therefore, no longer eligible.

Fencers born in 2005 AGE INTO Cadet and Junior after JOs and can, therefore, fence those events at the Arnold.

Regular birth year exceptions for points still apply.

For full age information see: USA Fencing Eligibility Information


A parent signature is mandatory on both the USA Fencing membership ( unless excepted by foreign fencer rules ) form and the RYC waiver/informed consent. These forms will be available at registration. We highly encourage you to register online and save time:

Arnold Fencing Classic Waiver


Y10, Y12, Y14, Cadet, and Junior events are gender separated. Y8, Senior Events, and Vet events are mixed.

Medals are placed out to 8 places except for wheelchair. You can read more about our medals as well as see them here.

Medal ceremonies are done for all events on the finals stage with our announcers and medal music composed by Dr. Paul Geraci. Medal ceremonies do not necessarily directly follow finals. Sometimes there is a line of events to get to the stage. We frequently have guest presenters for your medals. It could be celebrity. It could be Darth Vader or Chewbacca. Who knows.

Points, Ratings, and Seeding

All sport fencing events are seeded based on the current national rolling points standings followed by their letter ranking and year of classification. Point standings are usually updated weekly by USA Fencing. We use the list available the Wednesday before the Arnold. We update as soon as it is available.

Letter classification information is pulled directly from the USA Fencing membership database. AskFred does not represent accurate classification. If you earned a new rating a tournament, and it has not been updated with USA Fencing, you will be seeded on your previous, official, rating and not the new unofficial AskFred rating.

Any discrepancies need to be reported to the bout committee prior to the close of registration of your event.


All weapons will be scored electrically. Equipment (masks, lames, and body cords/head cords) will be inspected and marked.

All Y8 and Y10 events must be fenced with a size 0 or 2 blade. This rule will be enforced.

NAMES ARE NOT REQUIRED on your uniform although our vendor will gladly do it for you.

Olympic Fencing Registration

How to Register: Registration is done via and is open now.

The Arnold Fencing Classic for Y8, RYC, Cadet, Open and Vet.  Register Here.

This event is always full. Registration deadlines are strictly adhered to. Events fill fast. Don't wait!

HEMA Registration

HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) registration is done on this site. Be sure to read the rules of competition for the longsword and rapier events. Registration is done here. Don't wait to sign up. The registration pricing table and deadlines apply to HEMA fencers, too.


Below is the registration fee table for the Arnold Fencing Classic. Please note there is no "at the door" registration. Everyone must be registered and pre-paid by the following deadlines.
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DeadlineRegistrationPer Event
Regular Fees End02/12/2018$40$35
Late Registration02/13-20/18$80$35
Scholarship Entry*02/15/2018 - -
Last Minute02/21-25/18$120$40
At the Door03/02-04/18Not AcceptedNot Accepted
* Scholarship entries are restricted to Olympic Fencers that are US Citizens that are participating in the Arnold Fencing Classic.

Are Fees Refundable?

The refund policy for the 2018 Arnold Fencing Classic is listed in the table below.
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Request DateRegistrationPer Event
Before 12/31/2017$40 (100%)*$35 (100%)*
01/01-10/2018$0.00 - No Refund$31.5 (90%)
02/11-18/2018$0.00 - No Refund$17.5 (50%)
After 02/19/2018$0.00 - No Refund$0.00 - No Refund
Refunds for 100% of the total will be refunded minus the credit card processing fees charged by Askfred.

Refunds are processed 4-6 weeks after the tournament. If you wish to cancel your registration, the request can be made here.
All fees for Olympic sport fencing must paid on-line through to complete the registration process. Please be sure to provide the email address (in AskFred) so we can communicate any tournament changes and updates to you. Refunds requested after January 1 will not be processed until after the tournament. That process can take several weeks to complete.

Check-in Procedures

You must check-in each day that you fence. Registration opens at 7:00 AM. You must check-in before the listed time, which is the close of registration.

  1. All fencers are required to bring their USA Fencing membership card that is valid for this season.
  2. Unless your membership card says your birthdate is VERIFIED, you must bring a copy of a birth certificate or passport to verify birth.
  3. You must complete a waiver. All fencers regardless of age must do this. Do it now and save time. The waiver is located here. You cannot fence without a complete waiver.

If you do not have proof of USA Fencing Membership, you will have to apply to be a member that day. We cannot allow you to compete without membership (except HEMA fencers).


All sport fencers must report to the armoury for equipment inspection before their first competition. The armoury opens at 7:00 AM daily. We will be checking the mask, lame, foil bibs, gloves, and body cords.
Masks that fail the punch test will be impounded or marked as "FAILED", and you will have to purchase a new mask.

Each fencer should have a minimum of two working weapons and body cords when they report to strip. Failure to do so will result in relevant penalties.

The Armoury is available Thursday evening after 7:30pm until 9pm. Interruptions may occur as our focus is on setting up for the tournament. During the weekend the armoury closes before events are finished.

Special Merchandise

Event t-shirts, hoodies and other apparel will be available at the Arnold Store next to registration. There are several great designs. If you need more information about the 2018 t-shirts or are still interested in a previous t-shirt, please contact us via email at


1. We recommend you make hotel reservations early due to the demand for hotel rooms in downtown Columbus, Ohio. See “location” page for details.

2. Go to the “Scholarship” page to see how you could win a $2500 college scholarship (fencers ages 13-18).

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