Practices are held on the balcony of the Henry Crown Field House (5550 South University Avenue) for two hours a day, Monday through Friday, as follows:
Monday-Thursday: 5 PM to 7 PM
Friday: 4 PM to 6 PM (open bouting)
Practices consist of team conditioning and footwork, after which we split up into weapon squads to drill and bout.
What to Bring
Fencing equipment if you have it; if not, we will provide weapons, masks, and other protective gear. Wear sneakers and long athletic pants. Don't forget to bring water!
The University of Chicago Fencing Team has both men’s and women’s teams in all three weapons: foil, sabre, and epée. New fencers can try out each of the weapons during the first weeks of practice and decide which one they want to fence.
Only persons directly associated with the University of Chicago itself may fence with the team. That means, roughly speaking, only current students (undergraduate or graduate), recent alumni, faculty, or staff of the University of Chicago, or the spouses thereof, may fence with the team.
Dues will be collected on a quarterly basis and will cover equipment and collegiate tournament fees. They will be due at the start of the third week of practice for the quarter. If you have a problem paying dues, talk to us about helping our armorer repair weapons.
Quarterly dues are as follows:
Fall Quarter: $40
Winter Quarter: $40
Spring Quarter: $40
Squad members going to competitive NCAA team tournaments will be chosen by the weapon captains primarily on the basis of attendance at practice. We’ve taken brand new fencers to past tournaments. Fencers can also go to USFA (United States Fencing Association) tournaments in the area, although USFA tourney and yearly membership fees must be covered by the individual fencer.
Fencing has a long and varied history at the University of Chicago. In 1892, the founders of the University included fencing as one of the activities complimenting the education and well-being of the ideal renaissance student. The varsity team developed and grew into a powerhouse—winning the Big Ten Championship seven times between 1930 and 1941. As the years progressed, numerous All-Americans and several Olympians were to result from the program. In the middle of the century, when the University re-centered itself around an academic focus, all varsity teams at the school were cancelled with the exception of fencing and gymnastics. Fencing prevailed as one of the more successful sports at the University of Chicago until 1996. After one hundred and four years of history, the varsity team was cancelled by the school’s Athletics department. A huge uproar resulted, and several different explanations of the team's demise were circulated. Fencing all but disappeared for the 1996-97 season. In 1998 a small club surfaced, which grew into a successful and respected team thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated team members. The club is still one of the few teams at the University of Chicago which successfully competes against Big Ten schools such as Notre Dame and Ohio State. The revived team, following in the footsteps of the University itself, chose their motto to be “Rising from the ashes.”