VFA Bulletin
November 7, 2022

Another reminder: it is up to you to keep track of your own punch card and to buy a new one when it runs out (honor system - please don't ask me how many punches you have left, I can not keep track of 60 people all on different schedules). Buying a punch card is how you pay me for the work I do organizing, running and coaching this club (your club dues do not go to me, they are your contribution to renting the gym). So please help me stay in business by keeping accurate track of how many practices you attend, and buying new punch cards when you need them. For reference, this will be week 7 of fall Level 1 classes, and week 8 for Competitive Squad and for Level 2/3 classes. As always, if you attend 2 or more practices in the same week, you only have to punch your card once. Cards are $65 for 5 punches. Payment is by check (payable to Viveka Fox) or cash (exact change) - no credit cards and no phone app payments (I'm an old fashioned luddite with a barely functional Tracfone, sorry).

Joining Level 2/3 classes in progress this fall? (I know there are a few of you wrapping up fall team sports) Please renew your USA Fencing membership (on line at usafencing.org) before coming to your first practice (exception: if you took Level 1 class in the spring, you got the extended membership for this season). Not sure if your membership is up to date? You can check. Go to usafencing.org, click "membership" and "current member list" and search for yourself. Make sure the expiration date next to your name is July 2023 (names of lapsed members stay in the database, so do look at the date).

This Saturday's Stick Season Stab is for all teen and adult fencers (born 2009 or before)!
Open Events are open to all (unrated/newbie competitors are very welcome)
E-Under events are open to E and Unrated competitors only, making them fun for newbies as well as intermediate-level fencers. Loaner equipment is available at no cost for new competitors as long as you sign up today. Great chance to try electric fencing if you have never done it!

Register by midnight tonight (Monday 11/7) to avoid a late fee!

Fencing in your first tournament (ever, or of this season)? All teen and adult (a.k.a senior) competitors must have Access or Competitive USFA memberships, so if you currently have a noncompetitive membership, you will need to upgrade (on line at usafencing.org, or over the phone at 719-866-4511) at least a few days before the tournament, by paying the difference in dues. Access membership allows participation in division level tournaments and is $25 per season (so $10 to upgrade from noncompetitive). Competitive membership allows participation in regional, national and international (including Canadian) tournaments and is $90 per season. Not sure what kind of membership you have? You can check. Go to usafencing.org, click "membership" and "current member list" and search for yourself. You must take care of any needed upgrade before the tournament - we can not do it for you the day of.

Tournament Location: Middlebury Union Middle School (NOT Mary Hogan School where the October event was)
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. Payment is by check (to VFA) or cash (exact change please). No credit cards or phone app payments.

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:

Help needed: VFA fencers in morning events, please arrive at 8:30 a.m to set up. VFA fencers who are coming only for afternoon events, please stay after you are eliminated and help clean up. Doing both a morning and an afternoon event? Your choice, pick one, help with set up or clean up (you don't have to do both). Note on cleaning up: Please pack VFA strip sets in suitcases exactly as listed (i.e. if it says Machine X and reel set 1, that is what goes in the case - they may have gotten mixed and matched during the course of the day). That way we don't have any lost equipment, or mismatched items in wrong cases. When packing rollaboard suitcases, always place reels at the bottom (near wheels when being rolled) so they don't crush the other things.

I will say this again: Tournaments do not just magically happen. Nor do your entry fees pay people to make them happen. It takes a large team of volunteers to put on a tournament. The best ways to thank them:
-Sign up, show up, fence and have fun. It's only a party if you come!
-Help set up and clean up (see above!)
-Learn to be a meet manager, ref and/or armorer. Not only are these skilled jobs vital to a successful tournament, but you can earn GMD coupons that you (or your favorite fencer) can use to get free entry into future GMD tournaments. For the Stick Season Stab, we have a crack team of ace meet managers who would love to train some new apprentices. This is a perfect job for a parent or spouse who does not themselves fence but wants to support the fencers in their family. The job entails checking people in, collecting entry fees, and running the Fencing Time meet management software. Want to learn? Let me know, or just show up, go to the registration table (if not too crowded) and say "show me how to do this".
-Become a Green Mt Division officer. We'll need some new ones next season as the current crew have mostly served for more than 3 years (the limit in our bylaws, which we stretched due to the pandemic). Plan the tournaments and do the behind-the-scenes work of running the division. I would especially like to see younger adult fencers start taking over the GMD, as many of the folks who have run it for years (myself included) are in or approaching their 60s. Not that older volunteers are not also wonderful, but having younger ones ensures continuity into the future.