Bulletin for the week of October 21, 2019


There will be fencing on Halloween (next Thursday). It is a Level 3 night, so mostly adults and teens. If you are involved in Halloween festivities that night, you are welcome to come to Middlebury the night before for the same class.

Charlotte fencers note: On Tues Nov 5, we will be meeting at the Shelburne town gym due to polling at CCS. Practice will be 7-9 instead of 6:30-9 that night, but otherwise all the usual stuff (Level 1/2 classes, CS with Geoff). The Shelburne town gym is located in the old school building (where the police station and town offices are), across the parking lot from the library and next door to Schip's Treasure.

Club swag: In the next week or two, I will be putting together our annual order for club sweatshirts and jackets (more info in next week's bulletin on prices and how to order). While we only order the sweatshirts once a year, there are several other items you can buy any time.
a. Club socks (green knee-high fitted soccer socks, suitable for use with fencing knickers, with gold club logo). $12 each, in sizes S (mens shoe 3-6), M (mens shoe 6-9), L (mens 9-12), and XL (mens 12-15). Email me and let me know what you want. Please pay in exact change or check.
b. Club patch (sew on the non-swordarm shoulder of your jacket, or equipment bag or backpack or whatever). $3 each. Email me and I will bring you one. Please pay in exact change or check.
c. VFA Competitive Squad t shirts - Adam Glazer's wonderful pirate squid design. You don't have to be a Squaddie to buy one, and a small amount of each sale benefits the club. Available from print-on-demand service Redbubble, in a range of shirt styles, plus stickers. To see what is available and to order: https://www.redbubble.com/shop/vermont+fencing+alliance

Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be inviting pre-competitive students (all of Level 1, and a few of the least experienced Level 2 fencers) to try fencing with club electrical equipment after class. I will be bringing a limited amount of equipment in a limited size range each evening.
We will learn how to use the electric scoring equipment, and try fencing with it in a noncompetitive way. Electric equipment is a lot of fun to use and gives you instant feedback about the accuracy of your hits. My hope is that you will enjoy it so much that you will feel inspired to sign up for Age Group Fencerama (see #4 below).

Here is the schedule of who I want to participate each week.

Oct 22: Lana, Lucia, Madi, Maggie, Jack, Gabriel
Oct 29: Merren, Lucas, Simon, Marianna, Amelie, Yuri
Nov 5: No electric fencing for Level 1/2, we will play the Jail Game instead, due to shorter practice (see #1 above)
Nov 12: Rick, Avery, Theron, Rob

Oct 28: Elinor, Eve, Jonathan, Cullen, Peter, Jayden

What if you are absent on your assigned night? If (and only if) there are fewer than 6 present the following week and I have the right size equipment for you, you may be able to do it then. Otherwise you will need to wait until next term, or even better, come to Age Group Fencerama (see #4 below!).

Second Champlain Cup tournament of the season, at UVM (indoor tennis courts, Patrick Gym), this Saturday, Oct 26. Sign up by midnight tonight to get the discounted entry fee (and because it is very very helpful to know well in advance who to expect).

Event schedule:
9:30 am Open (senior mixed) foil
10 a.m E-Under Epee
12 pm Open (senior mixed) saber
2 pm E-Under Foil
2 pm Open (senior mixed) Epee

Who can enter this tournament: Open events are for all fencers born 2006 or earlier. Competitive USFA membership is required (if you are currently a noncompetitive member, you can update on line or over the phone, by paying the $65 difference for the season). E-under events are open only to E and Unrated fencers, making them perfect for inexperienced and first-time competitors.

You do not need to own your own equipment for this tournament, but if you want to borrow anything from the club, please please please sign up today. If you sign up at the last minute, I may not have time to organize and pack equipment for you.

Entry fee if signed up by midnight tonight: $15 for your first event/$5 per additional event
If signed up late: $20 for your first event/$10 per additional event

Epee fencers: nice job on signing up in advance. It looks like we will have a B2 open event (25+ fencers) and a D1 E-under event (15+ fencers)

Foil fencers: Where are you? As of today, there are only 8 people signed up for open foil and 6 for E-under. I know we have more foilists in the club than that! Remember, if we want folks to come from out of state to fence with us, we need to sign up well in advance so they can see that our foil events are happening things. So, if you fence foil and have not yet registered, please do it today. If you signed up for E-under foil and are not also fencing E-under epee, I strongly encourage you to also participate in Open Foil.

To register, get directions, see who else is coming, etc:

New to using AskFRED? Directions are here:

On Saturday November 16, the VFA is hosting the 3rd Champlain Cup tournament of the season at Mary Hogan School in Middlebury. In order to give everyone a chance to try a tournament before committing to upgrading to competitive membership, I have decided that this entire tournament will be informal and unsanctioned (meaning no ratings can be awarded). While Green Mt Division youth events are always unsanctioned, this will be the only tournament all season for adults and teens that does not require competitive USFA membership. My hope is that a lot of new fencers, including those currently in Level 1 classes, will come out and enjoy this. You will get to experience fencing with electric equipment (loaners available for those who sign up in time) and learn about how a tournament works. This is an experiment, so if you like the idea, please sign up and show up!

Age Group Fencerama will feature foil and epee competitions in 3 age groups, defined by birth year (not age on day of tournament).
YOUTH: Born 2007 or later. Foil at 11:30 a.m, epee at 1 p.m. You can do both if you want to!
For YOUTH events, we will use the standard format. Kids will first be assigned a pool of 5-9 fencers and all fence each other a 5 point bout. The results will be used to seed a direct elimination (DE, or knock out) ladder in which they will fence 10 point bouts with the winner advancing. The schedule is designed to allow adult and teen fencers to ref for the youth. The emphasis is on fun and learning, and in addition to the usual medals, the referees will award a Spirit Award for effort and sportsmanship.

TEEN: Born 2000-2006. Foil at 10 a.m, epee at 2 p.m. You can do both if you want to!
TEEN events: format tba, depending on numbers. It may be similar to the Youth, or similar to the Adult, whatever will give everyone the most fencing (tba the week before). Reffing will be done by adult and more experienced teen fencers (so newbies can just learn and enjoy).

ADULT: Born 1999 or earlier. Foil and epee both start at 1 p.m. The Round Robin format allows you to do both if you wish, as long as you don't mind doing some switching back and forth, and have lots of energy because you will have to fence every one in both weapons.
ADULT events: will use a Round Robin format, in which everyone fences everyone else a 5 point bout, with no elimination matches.

At the end of the day, there will be a social hour at a nearby restaurant, with food and age-appropriate beverages! Everyone is invited.

Entry fee if signed up by midnight Nov 11: $15 for your first event/$5 per additional event
If signed up late: $20 for your first event/$10 per additional event. I can not promise loaner equipment will be available for late registrants, so if you need to borrow equipment, please sign up early.

To register, get directions, see who else is coming, etc:

New to using AskFRED? Directions are here:

Many of us know Keith "Digger" Puffer, former VFA fencer who now lives (and sometimes teaches fencing) in central VT. His young adult son Keagan was seriously injured in an accident last week. Keagan is doing well considering his injuries, but is facing a long hospitalization and rehab. Digger is the kind of guy who would go out of his way to help a friend, so it would be nice to do the same for him. There are a couple of ways you can help:
a. The Puffers are doing an online fundraiser to help Keagan with medical expenses and the cost of being out of work for a long period. You can contribute here:
b. Prepare a frozen meal for the Puffer family (Digger, his wife and daughter) so that they can focus on being with Keagan at the hospital. As the Puffers do not have a large chest freezer, we will need to make several deliveries over the next few weeks. For this week, I already have 4 volunteer cooks (myself included) and Don Selby is lined up to meet up with Digger in Burlington and deliver them in a cooler. I am looking for 2 more cooks for next week (already have 2, plus Leslyn volunteered to make the delivery), and 4 for the week of November 4. Meals should be packaged up, frozen and brought in to practice on Monday or Tuesday night (I will have a cooler with me and the delivery person will keep them overnight in their freezer if needed). Email me if you would like to make something.
IMPORTANT: all donated food must be completely GLUTEN FREE as Digger's daughter has celiac disease. Here is a list of foods that are okay, and others to avoid: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gluten-free-foods. Please clean your kitchen/utensils to avoid cross contamination, and read labels for any prepared condiments or other ingredients that might contain hidden gluten. Include an ingredients list with your meal just in case (along with any instructions for reheating/serving).