CLUB AND CLASS FEES

For the foreseeable future, changes made during the pandemic will apply to everyone. Instead of a prepaid session option, we will be using a punch card system for all students, that allows us to shut down and re-open as needed and allows anyone who feels sick or has a possible covid exposure to stay home without penalty. Punch cards are not returnable, but they never expire and you pay only for classes you actually attend. We anticipate a modest increase in cost for both class cards and club dues this coming fall, due to inflation and increased gym and insurance costs. The costs listed below are from last season, we will announce the new fees once we know this season's gym and insurance costs

There are two sorts of fees: class fees (which only apply to classes you attend) and semester/season fees (which are the same no matter how many classes you attend) For the classes, you will purchase a 5-class punch card. When you use up all the punches, just purchase another one for your next 5 classes. Punch cards never expire. This system allows for rain days, quarantines/staying home when you are sick, etc. The cards are good for all classes, so as you move up from Level 1 to Level 2, you just keep using them. If we have no indoor location for the winter (as happened last season), they are still good when outdoor classes resume in the spring. Semester fees (club dues and equipment rental) are normally collected in September, January and April. If we have a lot of canceled classes or a prolonged shut down, we may modify this to keep it fair. Season fees (US Fencing Membership) are paid at or before your first practice of the season and expire July 31.

Group class punch card: $60 for 5 classes


Total due at first Level 1 class for a new student: $100, plus equipment deposit ($60 for punch card, $20 equipment fee, $10 club dues, $10 USFA membership). For your 6th through 10th class, you will need to purchase a second punch card ($60).

Equipment

Due to covid hygiene concerns, we have gone to a "lending library" system with fencing equipment rather than sharing it or dumping it into a common duffel bag. You will sign out a set of equipment (mask, jacket, glove, foil) for your exclusive use during the class. You will give me a postdated check for $100 as a deposit, which I will not cash, and will return to you when you turn in your rented gear. There is no charge if equipment breaks under normal use (I'll just give you a replacement). However, equipment lost or damaged due to improper use or storage (your kid brother slashing at trees with your foil, your dog chewing up your glove, etc) will be charged replacement value.

All fall rental equipment must be returned by December 10. Normally, you can just turn it in at your last class However, if your last class is cancelled or you have to miss it unexpectedly, you will be responsible for dropping the equipment off at my house in Addison, or shipping it back to me.

I encourage students to purchase their own equipment (approx$160-$200 per set) as soon as possible to free up loaners for new club members trying the sport for the first time. Click on "Old Posts" to see a blog on where, what and how to order.

Club dues

Helps cover operating expenses

Weekly classes (Level 1 or 2/3): $10 per term

Competitive Squad members: $20 per term

US Fencing Association Membership

All students are required to be USFA members in order for the VFA to be eligible for insurance through the USFA's member club program. Fortunately, the USFA offers a noncompetitive membership for the reasonable price of $10 per year. I will collect this fee directly from new Level 1 students, and new club members will fill in the appropriate paperwork at their first class of the season. All returning club members, whether competitive fencers or recreational or youth (age 12-) using noncompetitive membership, must renew their membership on line prior to the first practice (including preseason). You may begin the season as a noncompetitive member and upgrade to competitive status at any time. All memberships expire July 31 annually, so those who pay USFA dues in the fall or winter may continue through the season without needing to pay again. Those who start fencing for the first time, or who upgrade to competitive status for the first time, after April 1, have a membership which is good for all of the following season (no need to renew if you fall in this category).

ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE

Not even if I get sick and can't teach you, or you get sick and can't participate. All I can offer is that class cards never expire, and if you have to drop out after very few classes, I will credit your club dues and rental fees for when you return. You are paying for something with no guarantee of a minimum number of classes or that the experiment in offering classes during a global pandemic will be successful.

We encourage prospective club members (especially children) to visit and observe during the session before you actually start (for example, visit in the fall with an eye toward starting in the winter). We would rather have you decide that fencing really doesn't appeal to you as much as you had thought, or that the atmosphere of the club doesn't work well for you, than to have you pay and reserve a place in the class and then feel disappointed!

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