February 28, 2022

1. Class Updates
Charlotte group is back at CCS (last week at VCS was just for the school vacation).

Barring any further practice cancellations this winter, the schedule will look like this:
Middlebury: continue on Wednesday evenings through March 16. No fencing March 23 and 30. Spring session starts April 6, same schedule as for winter (i.e. Level 1 class/bouting time/Level 2/3 class). There is a chance we might be back at Mary Hogan School (still waiting to see if they have the requested hours available).
Charlotte: March 17 final winter L2/3 class, March 22 final winter Level 1 class (make up from our first class being canceled), March 24 (maybe) bonus open fencing night with a chance for newbies to try epee if they wish. March 29 and 31 no fencing. Spring session starts April 5, same schedule as for winter (i.e. Level 1 and Competitive Squad on Tuesday, Level 2/3 on Thursday)

If you are currently in a Level 1 class, you move up to Level 2 this spring (Charlotte fencers note - it's on Thursdays).

If you are renting equipment, it must be turned in (even if you want to rent again in the spring) by March 25. You do not have to wash it (I'll do that). You can turn it in at the end of your final winter class, but if you miss that class, you will need to make special arrangements to drop it off at my house in Addison. Speaking of rental equipment, I strongly encourage everyone who is continuing from Level 1 into Level 2 to purchase your own basic set of equipment (mask, jacket, glove, underarm protector, foil or epee). My limited stock of rental gear is really intended to allow newbies to try fencing for the first time without investing in equipment. By buying your own, you free up the rental gear for new club members to try fencing. You can also get something that fits you specifically, with a front-closed jacket, a pistol grip if you want one, etc. You generally save money by buying a starter set rather than buying the equipment piece by piece (although sometimes you can find good deals on used equipment on eBay). My guide to shopping for fencing equipment is here (prices may be outdated, but advice is still good):

http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/EquipmentBuyGuide.htm

The VFA grows mainly by word of mouth. If you have friends who might be interested in fencing, now is a great time to tell them about the club and our upcoming spring classes. Please feel free to share my email and/or the club web address (vtfencingalliance.org) so that they can get in touch for registration info, and to invite them to come watch one of the remaining winter classes and/or watch the Maple Madness tournament on March 19.

2. Register now for the Maple Madness Tournament
When: March 19
Where: Middlebury Union Middle School
Who: All fencers born 2008 or earlier. E-Under events are especially beginner-friendly, but newbies are also welcome in open (aka senior mixed) events. If you haven't yet upgraded, you will need to upgrade your US Fencing membership to Access (or the more expensive Competitive) status. If you upgraded for the last tournament, you are all set.
Events: 10 a.m Open Foil, E-Under Epee. 1:30 p.m Open Epee, E-Under Foil. You may not enter two events that start at the same time, but you may enter one morning and one afternoon event. E-Under events are restricted to E and Unrated fencers
How much: If registered on AskFRED by Monday March 14, $15 for one event or $20 for two. If registered after March 14, $20 for one event/$30 for 2. Loaner electric equipment will be available at no charge for VFA fencers signed up by March 14.
Covid precautions: vaccination (or valid medical exemption) required, masks still required by MUMS (although that may change in coming weeks), stay home if sick (no penalty for withdrawing if you need to).
Why fence in Green Mt Division tournaments: Would you join a recreational basketball league, go to all the practices, but never play in any games? Tournaments are our games. They are a chance to try out the stuff you have practiced, be part of the broader local fencing community, learn from experience, and have fun. As we rebuild from the pandemic, we need and welcome new fencers to our tournaments. Everyone was a beginner once, and you will find that local fencers are supportive and encouraging to newbies.

Sign up, get directions, see who else is coming:
https://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=49980
New to AskFRED? Directions are here: http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm
And while you are on AskFRED, why not sign up early for the Middlebury Open on April 9-10, which includes youth, veterans, unrated and open events
https://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=49979