The Season Outlook

The Season Outlook


A message from the Director of Operations


July 25, 2014


The purpose of this message is to share some highlights of last season and of plans for the upcoming 2014 – 2015 Bay Cup season.


The 2013 – 2014 Bay Cup season was the biggest ever!  And next season promises to be even bigger!


We had the most participants since the Bay Cup started over 12 years ago (915 individual participants, up 7% from the previous season).


Fencing in the Bay Area continues to grow, and it’s very exciting to see that happening.  With Summer Nationals scheduled for San Jose next season, we expect even more growth in Bay Cup participation in the 2014 – 2015 season.


We are expanding into Las Vegas! We’ll be running some trial senior and veteran epee events there this season to gauge interest and participation.


We continue to be the largest local fencing circuit in the U.S. 


79 tournaments with a total of 169 youth, junior, senior, and veteran events in 2013-2014.


We conducted our second annual ever Bay Cup survey and got an impressive level of response and helpful feedback  – 186 responses!


The input helped shape the plans for next season and provided a number of suggestions for us to consider.  Thanks to everyone who participated!  The general feedback is that you like what the Bay Cup is doing and you want more series, more events, and more training!


But…we continue to face growing pains and ever more challenging constraints…


The number of weekends available.  .  With an ever-increasing number of other local, regional, and national events, the number of conflict-free weekends available continues to shrink.  An explanation of how we try to avoid conflicts with different types of tournaments is provided in the News article “2014 – 2015 Season Plans.”  In order to offer as many events as we do, we need to continue to schedule a few events on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day (and hope the host clubs can play up these days and help make them special events) and we need to schedule more events on Saturday afternoons.


Referees.  There aren’t enough referees available to ref all the events that you want us to hold.  If there were more referees available for Bay Cup events, we could schedule more events on each available Sunday.  Everyone needs to understand we can’t grow The Bay Cup without more fencers, coaches, and clubs willing to participate in referee development, encouragement, and support.


Optimizing what the Bay Cup offers


We hate to disappoint any particular group of fencers but we try to balance the event offerings based on the level of participation and interest in the different age groups, weapons, genders, and classifications.  We are reducing the number of events for some series with low participation in order to expand the number of types of series offered and support the series with high levels of participation.  There are only so many events we can offer due to the constraints with the number of available weekends, host clubs, and referees.  For the series and programs planned this season, see the “2014 – 2015 Season Plans” news article.



I look forward to helping make the coming Bay Cup season the best ever!


As always, my hearty thanks and accolades to our enthusiastic and dedicated Program Manager, Sarah Thomson, who not only keeps the administrative wheels turning but has done an outstanding job improving our communications and our social media presence, and to the volunteer Board members from our three Divisions (listed at the bottom of our Contact page )


Please feel free to send comments or questions to me at


Mark Wheeler

Director of Operations

The Bay Cup