VFA Bulletin
October 31, 2022

1. General Announcements
Happy Halloween! How many of you have a costume that involves a sword? Mine always did when I was a kid!

All classes as scheduled this week. Note that there will be no fencing the week of Thanksgiving (Nov 22, 23 and 24). The last fall fencing classes are Dec 8. We will be back in early January for the winter session. If you are currently in Level 1 classes, you will move up to Level 2/3 in the winter (Wednesdays 8:15-9 in Middlebury, Thursdays 7-8:15 in Charlotte).

Thinking ahead for current Level 1 students: I hope you will choose to continue fencing and move up to Level 2/3 (you are all invited!). Feeling like you need more time on the basics? The least experienced/newest Level 2 students may choose to attend Level 1 classes in addition to Level 2, so as to get additional review and practice, while also moving forward. You are welcome to do that any time - if you attend two classes in the same week, you just punch your card once, so there is no additional charge for fencing more. In fact, having you in Level 1 classes is a win-win, as you may be able to help the newbies who are meeting the concepts for the first time. My limited stock of rental equipment is really intended to allow newbies to try fencing for the first time without having to buy anything. While I won't say it is out of the question for L2 students to rent, I strongly encourage you to purchase your own equipment before January. I will give priority to new students registering in the month of December, and only allow returning fencers to reserve rental gear starting in January. I can not guarantee that I will still have equipment in your size - it depends who signs up for winter Level 1 classes. Getting your own equipment not only frees up rental gear for newbies, but means no more rental fees and deposits, and you can get things you want like a front-zip jacket, pistol grip or full chest plate. I recommend buying your equipment as a package (foil or epee, mask, glove and jacket - and a good package should also include an underarm protector, which is required for all competition and is a good thing to have anyway). Fencing equipment makes a great holiday gift for the fencer in your life! There is a page on our website full of advice about what to buy. Although the prices are out of date (you'll need to look up the current ones) the advice is still useful to first time fencing equipment shoppers:

2. Register now for the Stick Season Stab
Reasons to sign up EARLY for all fencing tournaments:
-It is extremely helpful to me and the other tournament organizers to know well in advance who to expect
-Once the roster of a senior (teen and adult) event is at 15 or more fencers, the ratings that can be earned go up, which makes the event more attractive to fencers traveling from afar. So simply by adding your name to the list, you are helping boost attendance, make the event financially successful, and make the event more exciting. As of today, we have 14 on the list for open foil. Who will be the helpful fencer to bring it to 15?
-Payment for all events is at the door. There is no penalty for withdrawing if you have to (although please do us the courtesy of withdrawing, rather than just ghosting on us)
-Avoid the $15 late registration fee

So what are you waiting for?!
Next tournament: Stick Season Stab
When: Nov 12
Where: Middlebury Union Middle School
Who: All fencers born 2009 or earlier. If you are currently a noncompetitive member, you will need to upgrade to Access status to start competing (do this on line at usafencing.org). E-Under events are limited to E and Unrated fencers. If you are not sure what a rating is, you don't have one (you are Unrated) - but see the October 10 Bulletin for an explanation. E-Under events are great for first-time competitors and for young teens moving up from the youth age group!

Event Schedule:
10 am Open (Senior Mixed) Foil, E-Under Epee
1:30 pm Open (Senior Mixed) Epee, E-Under Foil
Please do not register for two events that start at the same time.

Entry fees: $20 for one event or $30 for two, if registered by November 7, with a $15 late fee after that. Fees are payable at the door and there is no penalty for withdrawing if you need to.

Register here:

Sign up is via a website called AskFRED (FRED is the Fencing Results and Events Database). New to using it? Instructions for creating an account are here:

3. Remaining Champlain Cup Schedule-mark your calendars!
Open (aka Senior), E-Under and Unrated events are for fencers born 2009 or before
Youth (aka Y10Y12) events are for fencers born 2010 or after

Holiday Open and Youth: Dec 3, S. Burlington

Mid-Winter Melee Open and Unrated: Jan 14, Middlebury

Groundhog Open and Youth: Feb 11, S. Burlington

March Madness Open and E: March 4, Sharon
Not yet posted on AskFRED

28th Middlebury Open (open, youth, unrated and veteran events): April 15-16, Middlebury

May Tournament: May 6, Sharon, events tba
Not yet posted on AskFRED

24th Ticonderoga Challenge Outdoor Epee tournament (open and youth), May 28 (raindate May 29) Fort Ticonderoga
Not yest posted on AskFRED