VFA Bulletin
February 7, 2022

1. Schedule Stuff
Due to Thursday evening's snowstorm, the Charlotte and Middlebury Level 2/3 groups are now on the same schedule (Charlotte was originally a week ahead). The Middlebury Level 1 class is still a week ahead of the Charlotte Level 1 class, thanks to an earlier weather closure.

Winter classes will continue through late March. After a week off so I can clean and re-assign rental equipment, spring classes are planned to start the first week in April. I anticipate the spring schedule will be the same as in winter (except Charlotte practices will be 7-9, as basketball will be over). If you are currently in Level 1, you will graduate into the Level 2/3 group for the spring! Our club grows mainly via word of mouth, so please do tell your friends about upcoming spring classes. Feel free to invite them to come watch one of the winter ones to see if it's something they might be interested in.

2. Charlotte Open Tournament - more fencers needed by Feb. 13
As of today, 13 fencers have signed up for Open Epee, 12 for Open Foil, and 7 for Youth Foil. More are certainly welcome and encouraged! I would love to see 15+ in each of the open events, so that C or D ratings might be earned.

So far, only 4 people have signed up for Unrated Epee and only 5 for Unrated Foil. The minimum number to run those events is 6 (but I really want more, given that there are usually a few who have to drop out at the last minute). These are truly meant to be entry-level events, welcoming and supportive for beginner competitors (yes, even those currently in Level 1 classes). They are a lot of work to put on (compared to open events, which contain enough experienced fencers to run themselves). The best way to show your appreciation? Sign up and participate! The Green Mt Division can not recover from the pandemic without lots of new participants in our tournaments.

I need to make some decisions by next Monday, so that the school custodian can be notified of any changes in our schedule. Any event with fewer than 6 fencers signed up will be cancelled (of course, unrated fencers are welcome to participate in open events, whether or not unrated events are offered), and the day schedule may be tweaked to save some money on gym rental.

Many thanks to those who pledged contributions to the tournament fund, to help cover losses expected for our first few tournaments as we try to bring back local fencing competition. If you would still like to make a pledge (anything up to $100), it would be most welcome. After the Charlotte Open, I will calculate how much we need to cover our loss, and ask for some percentage of your pledge as needed (or if you wish, you can just donate the whole thing, with any extra toward the next few tournaments).

3. VFA Discord Channel
When we went into lockdown at the start of the pandemic, we set up a Discord channel as a place to chat and meet up with your fellow fencers. It's still a good place to ask questions, have discussions, and hang out with the fencing community. All VFA members are welcome to join the channel, including newbies. All ages are welcome, so please keep it appropriate and family-friendly.

Follow this link if you would like to join: Discord Link