VFA Bulletin
January 9, 2023

1. SCHEDULE
I am looking forward to meeting our 23 new club members in Level 1 classes this week! We have 13 new club members in Charlotte (5 adults, 1 teen, 7 children) and 10 in Middlebury (4 adults, 6 children). Later today, I will send a separate email to all the newbies with full info on what to bring to class and what to expect, so be on the look out for that. As of this week, we are in to our full winter schedule:

Tuesday, Charlotte (Central School)
7-8:15 pm Level 1 class, Self-directed practice for Competitive Squad
8:15-9 pm Open fencing time for Level 1, Competitive squad continues with me

Wednesday, Middlebury (Mary Hogan School)
6-7:15 pm Level 1 class (with gym available for open fencing for Level 2/3 fencers)
7:15-7:45 Organized bouting time for everyone (Level 1 and Level 2/3)
7:45-9 pm Level 2/3 class (with gym available for open fencing for Level 1 students who wish to stay)

Thursday, Charlotte
7-8:15 pm Level 2/3 class
8:15-9 pm open fencing

As it's the start of a new session, everyone has some fees due. Please pay by check or exact change cash. No credit cards or phone apps.
Level 1 students who are renting equipment: $115 ($65 for your first punch card, $15 club dues, $15 USFA dues, $20 equipment rental). If you have your own equipment, $95 is due.
Returning fencers:
-Buy a new punch card ($65) when ever yours runs out. If you still have one from fall, continue using it until you have used it up.
-Everyone has club dues now due. $25 for Level 2/3 class (Wed or Thurs) only, $50 for Competitive Squad members (come Tues as well as Wed and/or Thurs)
-If you are renting equipment for Level 2, $20 equipment rental fee + separate postdated (March 24) $100 security deposit check
-If you are returning to fencing for the first time since July 31 (when all USFA memberships expire), you will need to renew your USFA membership yourself, before attending your first practice. You can do this on line at usafencing.org, or over the phone at 719-866-4511. I recommend Noncompetitive membership ($15) for youth fencers (born 2010 or later) and Access membership ($25) for any teen or adult fencer who thinks they might want to participate in some local tournaments (saves you the hassle of upgrading later). Those who joined or renewed their USFA memberships in the fall (including the fall Level 1 classes) are all set. .

2. CALLING ALL TEEN AND ADULT FENCERS, ESPECIALLY UNRATED FENCERS-TOURNAMENT THIS SATURDAY!
Sign up TODAY to avoid late fees, and also because early registration is super helpful to me and the other tournament organizers. Mid-Winter Melee, Sat. Jan 14, Mary Hogan School, Middlebury. For all fencers born 2009 or before (i.e. teens and adults) We especially need more unrated fencers, especially female unrated fencers, so that we can offer separate mens and womens unrated events. Plus, I notice that the majority of fencers signed up so far (for both open and unrated events) are coming from out of state. We need a lot more VFA fencers to sign up, so that if the weather is sketchy (good enough to hold a tournament, but bad enough to discourage some drivers from coming a distance), we don't lose a lot of money on this tournament. It is a lot of work to put on a tournament. Best way to show your appreciation to me and the other organizers? Sign up, show up, and enjoy a fun day of fencing. Unrated events are perfect for first-time and inexperienced competitors, as they are limited to fencers who have not earned a rating (or whose E rating has expired). If we have 6 or more fencers of each gender, we will have separate male and female unrated events. If there are fewer than 6 of one or both genders, we will hold a single mixed event for that weapon. The next unrated tournament will not be until April, so don't wait, sign up now. Event Schedule 10 a.m Open Foil, Unrated Epee 1:30 pm Open Epee, Unrated Foil To register, see who else is coming, get directions, etc https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=52060 You may not enter two events that start at the same time. Entry fees: If registered by Monday Jan 9, $20 for one event or $30 for two. $15 late fee if registered after Jan. 9. Payment is at the door, and there is no penalty for withdrawing if you need to (we definitely don't want you to come if you are sick), so go ahead and sign up now! How to withdraw if you need to: Log in to AskFRED. Click on "my FRED". You will see a box labeled "My Preregistrations" with a list of events you have signed up for. There is a red X next to each one. Click that X to withdraw from any events you are not attending. Tournaments do not just magically happen. Volunteers needed for Saturday: -All VFA fencers in morning events, please arrive at 8:30 a.m to help set up. -All VFA fencers in Open Epee (unless you helped with set up) please plan to stay until the end of the tournament to help clean up. The tournament is not over until all the equipment is back in my car! -Foil refs who are not concurrently in Open Epee, to stay after Open Foil is over and ref unrated foil. I need at least 3 refs in addition to myself. -Epee refs who are not concurrently in Open Foil, to come in early and ref unrated epee. -Meet managers (preferably one experienced manager for morning and another for afternoon, plus a trainee or two). -Armorers. Preferably at least one experienced armorer and a trainee or two. Specifically needed to troubleshoot strip equipment (figure out whether a problem is being caused by weapon, body cord, floor cord, or reel) and to fix things that are easily fixable at the venue). How to fence in your first tournament: -Create an account on the AskFRED website. FRED stands for Fencing Results and Events Database, and is used by clubs and divisions all over the country to handle tournament registation. For instructions on how to create an account look here: http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm -Using your AskFRED account, sign up for the events you want to participate in. Please sign up at least 5 days in advance, to avoid a late fee and because after that, I can not guarantee to have loaner equipment for you. In the case of the Mid-Winter Melee the deadline is midnight tonight. If you are having trouble figuring out how to use AskFRED and need help signing up today, please email me. -If you are currently a Noncompetitive member of US Fencing (that is what I signed you up for as a Level 1 student, or you may have renewed yourself at that level in the fall), you will need to upgrade to Access membership to compete. The upgrade costs $10 and will be good through July 31, so you don't have to do it again for tournaments later this season. However, you need to take care of it yourself, early this week. We can not do it for you at the tournament, nor can you count on being able to do it instantly on your phone on tournament day. If you know your user name and password, you can do it on line at usafencing.org (Click on "membership", and then "manage your profile" to log in. From there, scroll down to the box that has a "manage membership" tab. Click that and click on "upgrade"). If you are unable to log in, you can do it over the phone at 719-866-4511 (and they can reset your password for you). Do not expect instant service on the phone - it may take some time to get through or for them to get back to you, so don't leave it until the last minute. Also-office is in Colorado, 2 hrs earlier there. -Bring all the equipment you own or are renting to the tournament. Loaner electric equipment is available, free of charge, for VFA members who register in time. -Arrive at least 30 minutes before your first event to sign in, get loaner equipment if you need it, and warm up. Earlier if you like a longer warm up time. When you arrive, go to the registration table and pay your entry fees, please bring exact change or check payable to VFA. -Enjoy fencing, don't worry too much about your scores as a newbie, focus on having fun and learning! You will find the more experienced fencers happy to answer questions. We were all newbies once! .

3. SIGN UP NOW FOR MID-WINTER MELEE TOURNAMENT
Sign up TODAY to avoid late fees, and also because early registration is super helpful to me and the other tournament organizers.
Mid-Winter Melee, Sat. Jan 14, Mary Hogan School, Middlebury. For all fencers born 2009 or before (i.e. teens and adults)

We especially need more unrated fencers, especially female unrated fencers, so that we can offer separate mens and womens unrated events. Plus, I notice that the majority of fencers signed up so far (for both open and unrated events) are coming from out of state. We need a lot more VFA fencers to sign up, so that if the weather is sketchy (good enough to hold a tournament, but bad enough to discourage some drivers from coming a distance), we don't lose a lot of money on this tournament. It is a lot of work to put on a tournament. Best way to show your appreciation to me and the other organizers? Sign up, show up, and enjoy a fun day of fencing.

Unrated events are perfect for first-time and inexperienced competitors, as they are limited to fencers who have not earned a rating (or whose E rating has expired). If we have 6 or more fencers of each gender, we will have separate male and female unrated events. If there are fewer than 6 of one or both genders, we will hold a single mixed event for that weapon. The next unrated tournament will not be until April, so don't wait, sign up now.

Event Schedule
10 a.m Open Foil, Unrated Epee
1:30 pm Open Epee, Unrated Foil

To register, see who else is coming, get directions, etc
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=52060

You may not enter two events that start at the same time.
Entry fees: If registered by Monday Jan 9, $20 for one event or $30 for two. $15 late fee if registered after Jan. 9. Payment is at the door, and there is no penalty for withdrawing if you need to (we definitely don't want you to come if you are sick), so go ahead and sign up now!
How to withdraw if you need to:
Log in to AskFRED. Click on "my FRED". You will see a box labeled "My Preregistrations" with a list of events you have signed up for. There is a red X next to each one. Click that X to withdraw from any events you are not attending.

Tournaments do not just magically happen. Volunteers needed for Saturday:
-All VFA fencers in morning events, please arrive at 8:30 a.m to help set up.
-All VFA fencers in Open Epee (unless you helped with set up) please plan to stay until the end of the tournament to help clean up. The tournament is not over until all the equipment is back in my car!
-Foil refs who are not concurrently in Open Epee, to stay after Open Foil is over and ref unrated foil. I need at least 3 refs in addition to myself.
-Epee refs who are not concurrently in Open Foil, to come in early and ref unrated epee.
-Meet managers (preferably one experienced manager for morning and another for afternoon, plus a trainee or two).
-Armorers. Preferably at least one experienced armorer and a trainee or two. Specifically needed to troubleshoot strip equipment (figure out whether a problem is being caused by weapon, body cord, floor cord, or reel) and to fix things that are easily fixable at the venue).

How to fence in your first tournament:
-Create an account on the AskFRED website. FRED stands for Fencing Results and Events Database, and is used by clubs and divisions all over the country to handle tournament registation. For instructions on how to create an account look here:
http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm -Using your AskFRED account, sign up for the events you want to participate in. Please sign up at least 5 days in advance, to avoid a late fee and because after that, I can not guarantee to have loaner equipment for you. In the case of the Mid-Winter Melee the deadline is midnight tonight. If you are having trouble figuring out how to use AskFRED and need help signing up today, please email me.
-If you are currently a Noncompetitive member of US Fencing (that is what I signed you up for as a Level 1 student, or you may have renewed yourself at that level in the fall), you will need to upgrade to Access membership to compete. The upgrade costs $10 and will be good through July 31, so you don't have to do it again for tournaments later this season. However, you need to take care of it yourself, early this week. We can not do it for you at the tournament, nor can you count on being able to do it instantly on your phone on tournament day. If you know your user name and password, you can do it on line at usafencing.org (Click on "membership", and then "manage your profile" to log in. From there, scroll down to the box that has a "manage membership" tab. Click that and click on "upgrade"). If you are unable to log in, you can do it over the phone at 719-866-4511 (and they can reset your password for you). Do not expect instant service on the phone - it may take some time to get through or for them to get back to you, so don't leave it until the last minute. Also-office is in Colorado, 2 hrs earlier there.
-Bring all the equipment you own or are renting to the tournament. Loaner electric equipment is available, free of charge, for VFA members who register in time.
-Arrive at least 30 minutes before your first event to sign in, get loaner equipment if you need it, and warm up. Earlier if you like a longer warm up time. When you arrive, go to the registration table and pay your entry fees, please bring exact change or check payable to VFA.
-Enjoy fencing, don't worry too much about your scores as a newbie, focus on having fun and learning! You will find the more experienced fencers happy to answer questions. We were all newbies once!