VFA Bulletin
September 19, 2022

1. WELCOME TO THE VFA BULLETIN
For those of you new to the VFA Bulletin mailing list, I send out this newsletter weekly, usually on Mondays. The purpose of the VFA Bulletin is to keep everyone informed of what's happening in the club, the Green Mt Division, and the fencing world in general. The Bulletins can be pretty long sometimes, but I will always put pressing information (like the occasional schedule change) at the top, stuff which is less important for everyone to read further down the page, and tournament results at the end, so at least skim the headlines. Please keep me up to date if your e-mail address changes, or if you want additional addresses added to the mailing list. Please check your spam filter and white list this mailing list if needed, as it is the way I will let you know if there is an unexpected cancellation (such as a snow day).

Registration is going very well for our fall Level 1 classes, which start next week (September 27/28). I am excited to welcome 11 new students to each of our groups (so far, registration has included 2 teens and 9 youth in Charlotte, and 5 adults, 2 teens and 4 youth in Middlebury). I am "sold out" of rental gear in child sizes, but could possibly accommodate one or two additional teens or adults depending on size needs. So if you have a friend who is interested in fencing, please have them contact me right away.

Next week, I will email all of the new Level 1 students with complete information on what to bring to your first class, and what to expect. If you are curious, feeling a little uncertain (remember - no refunds once class is underway), or just want to check it out, you are welcome to drop in this week, observe a Level 2/3 class, and meet me and some of the club members.

2. THIS WEEK'S PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Practices continue this week for returning fencers only (beginners start next week). Here is this week's schedule.

Tuesday 9/20, 7-9 pm Charlotte. Competitive Squad kick-off practice. Competitive Squad is open to fencers born 2009 or earlier (with the occasional younger exception by special invitation) who want to participate in tournaments at least at the local level. There are no try-outs; maturity, enthusiasm and positive attitude are more important than current skill level. Think you might be interested but not sure? Come this Tuesday to try it out with no commitment, and to learn more! Definitely joining? Come this Tuesday to have input into what the rest of the season will look like. Bring electric equipment if you have it.

Wednesday 9/21 6:30-8:30 pm Middlebury (Mary Hogan School). First Level 2/3 class of the season. Warm up, footwork and drills until 7:45, then open fencing after. Bring electric equipment if you have it. This class is for everyone, from those who just started fencing last spring, to our most skilled competitors.

Thursday 9/22 7-9 in Charlotte. First Level 2/3 class of the season. Warm up, footwork and drills until 8:15, then open fencing after. Bring electric equipment if you have it. This class is for everyone, from those who just started fencing last spring, to our most skilled competitors.

This is the first "official" week of practice for returning fencers, meaning that club dues (and new punch cards if you need them) are due this week if you did not already pay in advance last week. Price reminder:
Fall club dues (September through December) are $15 for Level 1 students, $25 for Level 2/3 and $50 for Competitive Squad. Still undecided about CS? It's okay to pay the Level 2/3 dues now and upgrade later if you decide to join.
Punch cards are $65 for 5 weeks. Remember, if you come twice (or even 3 times!) in one week, you only have to punch your card once. Cards never expire, so if you still have a valid one from last year, just keep using it until it is used up. Honor system - I rely on you to keep track and purchase a new card when yours is used up.
Equipment rental: Most returning fencers have their own (thank you - it's very helpful in accommodating all our newbies!) but if you are renting, you will pay $20 for the fall, plus a separate check for $100 postdated Dec 10 (this is just a security deposit, I don't cash it, and will return it to you when you return the equipment)

Payment can be made by check or cash. If paying cash, please bring exact change. Sorry, no credit cards or Venmo.

US fencing membership: Is required for insurance purposes. I will register the Level 1 students for their first noncompetitive memberships (included in the payment you will give me next week), but all Level 2/3 students must renew their memberships on their own. All memberships expire on July 31 annually, so if you have not renewed since July 31 you need to do it with 2 exceptions: life members, and those who started fencing or who upgraded to Access status for the first time after April 1, 2022 (spring memberships and upgrades include all of the following season). If you still need to renew, please take care of it at usfencing.org, or by phoning the national office at 719-866-4511.

Lost and found: I am still looking for the owner of a jacket left behind at Mayhem Night in June, looks like a teen boy or small man's. Please claim if yours.

3. SIGN UP FOR THE FIRST 2 CHAMPLAIN CUP TOURNAMENTS
The Champlain Cup is the Green Mt Division's fun, friendly league. Points can be earned at monthly tournaments from October through May, with season-end awards for the best fencers in each weapon, the best youth (born 2010 or later) and veteran (born 1983 or earlier), and rookie of the year for a new competitor. You do not have to be an expert fencer or a cut-throat competitor to enjoy our local tournaments - think of it like joining a recreational tennis league if you will. Events labeled "U", "E-Under" or "Youth" are especially supportive for first-time competitors and other newbies. All events for teens and adults require Access or Competitive level US Fencing membership. If you are currently a noncompetitive member, you will need to upgrade before the tournament (we can not do it for you at the tournament).

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

Entry fees are $20 for your first event of the tournament, plus $10 per additional event, with a $15 late fee if you sign up less than 5 days in advance. Please do not sign up for two events that start at the same time. Payment is at the door, so if you sign up and have to cancel, there is no penalty (we want you to stay home if you are sick).

Oct 15, Mary Hogan School, Middlebury: Open foil, epee and saber, veterans foil and epee
To register, get directions and see who else is coming: https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=51548

Nov 12, Middlebury Union Middle School: Open foil and epee, E-under foil and epee
To register, get directions and see who else is coming: https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=51587

Dec. 3 (not yet posted, location tba): Open foil and epee, youth foil and epee