VFA-in-Exile Bulletin
September 23, 2021

1. FENCING ON SATURDAY THIS WEEKEND
Weather forecast looks good for Saturday, so classes are on as scheduled unless the weather forecast changes over the course of the day tomorrow (as always, check for late-breaking updates late on Friday).

2. FOR BEGINNERS AND ANYONE ELSE WHO NEEDS A REVIEW OF FOIL RULES
Last week, I briefly went over the rules of foil fencing (which are a little complicated!). If you would like a review before this week's class, or if you missed class last week and want to catch up, everything I went over and then some is posted here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pYAeWm_CuTJk072fN0Rm9eBJXOrbc5iB/view?usp=sharing

3. WHAT IF I MISS A CLASS? (FOR LEVEL 1 STUDENTS)
For Level 2/3 and Competitive Squad, not a big deal, just come when you can. You have enough basic skills and knowledge to drop back in any time.

For Level 1, class moves along pretty quickly and is progressive (new skills are learned every week). You are always welcome to come to the other location any time it works better for you (like if you usually fence in Charlotte but can't make Saturday morning, come to the afternoon class in Middlebury, or vice versa). If you can avoid missing a week that way, that would be the best option. However, some misses are inevitable - especially as we all have promised to stay home if we are not feeling well. If you miss just one class, come a little early the following week. I will ask one of the more advanced fencers to quickly show you what you missed (while I am doing warm ups with the rest of the group), or if I have time (if I finish with the Level 2/3 group early) I'll show you myself.

If you must miss 2 or more classes in a row, it's a little more complicated, as I want you to schedule a private make-up lesson with me before returning, so that you are not completely confused and therefore confusing your practice partners. A make up lesson (about 20-30 minutes) is equal to one punch on your card (a pretty good deal, as it's making up 2 classes). Here are the times/places I could be available for make-up appointments:
-In Charlotte, a half hour before Competitive Squad practice starts (currently that would mean 4:30-5 p.m on Thursday, or Wednesday if the Thursday forecast is for rain - but it may move a little earlier in October as sunset gets earlier)
-In Charlotte, a half hour before Level 2/3 class (9:30-10 a.m on Saturday, or Sunday if weather dictates). You would then need to kill some time before your 11:30 class
-In Middlebury, a half hour before Level 2/3 class (2-2:30 p.m on Saturday, or Sunday if weather dictates). You would then need to kill some time before your 4:00 class
-In my driveway in Addison (near the Snake Mt trailhead), pretty much any time that is convenient for both of us and the weather is cooperating.

4. USED EQUIPMENT TAG SALE
I have a bunch of donated used equipment to sell off. These items are priced to move for a small donation to the VFA (way way cheaper than new!) most in good to excellent condition.

Fencing Jackets
a. Right handed front zip men's size 36 (fits roughly a 30" chest, typically a tween or teen), Absolute stretch nylon (a step up from cotton) $15
b. Left handed front zip, mens size 40 (fits roughly a 34" chest, so teen or smaller adult), Absolute cotton with stretch panel in back $15
c. Right handed front zip, looks like it would fit an average 11 year old (larger 10 year old, smaller 12 year old), Triplette cotton, fair condition (some stains but plenty of life left) $5
c. Underarm protector size S (would fit most kids, as well as smaller teens and thinner adults), stretch nylon, $5 (free if you buy one of the jackets)

Fencing Pants (all Absolute brand, sizes may not correspond to typical pants sizing), $10 each
a. Size 26, looks like it would fit an average 11-12 year old
b. Size 30 men's, looks like it would fit a thinner teen or taller tween
c. Size 30 men's, slightly roomier (different cut) than b
d. Size 34 men's, looks like it would fit a medium-sized adult

Full chest plates (bare plastic-padding can be added to make legal for electric foil competition), $10 each
a. Womens Size S
b. Womens Size S
c. Womens Size M
d. Man's Size L (most men don't wear a plastic chest plate, but it is helpful for those who bruise easily or find their opponent's hits painful, especially for epee)

Fencing Shoes
a. Adidas (older model, probably En Garde), size mens 7.5/Euro 40.5. Run narrow (best fit might be for a woman). Excellent condition. $25
b. Adidas (older model, probably En Garde), size mens 6.5/Euro 39. Run narrow (best fit might be for a woman). In box, look new. $25
c. Absolute MVP size mens 10-10.5/Euro 44. Good but not new condition (perfect for beating up on concrete). $10
d. Still looking to give away a pair of black Puma sneakers (not fencing-specific shoes), mens 8/Euro 40.5. $0 (grab them soon or I will donate them to a thrift shop)

Book
A Basic Foil Companion. Free to the first Level 1 student who asks for it! If you don't get the free copy and you want one (I recommend it, it is one of very few fencing books written with the beginner in mind), you can buy them here:
https://www.amazon.com/Basic-Foil-Companion-Paul-Sise/dp/0978902254

Please let me know if you want to look at/try on any of these items, and I'll bring them to class.

5. FALL OUTDOOR TOURNAMENT AND OTHER GMD NEWS
The Green Mt Division (Vermont's branch of US Fencing) met by Zoom last night. Thank you to outgoing secretary Leslyn Hall for 3 seasons of dedicated service to the division, and to incoming secretary Karen Cutler for stepping up to help keep the division running. Birk Rivait, Ray Schuppe and Michele Wheeler will continue to serve as prez, vice-prez and treasurer for one more season. Adult fencers and parents of junior fencers: we are always looking for new volunteers to help organize our local tournaments, so please get involved!

At present, neither the VFA nor the UVM club can host indoor tournaments due to covid policies. Upper Valley FC has returned to indoor fencing (in Tracy Hall, Norwich) but is currently re-organizing/rebuilding and not ready to host anything yet. Digger Puffer is planning to re-boot the Mid-Vermont FC (in the Waterbury area) but has not started anything yet. So we are unable to announce a full season of tournaments just yet. We decided to put on an unsanctioned outdoor tournament this fall, and then wait and see. If we can return to our indoor venues in the winter, we will start scheduling regular, sanctioned competitions at that time.

So.... mark your calendar for Sunday October 17 (with possible rain date October 24, if it's not too cold....if weather is bad both weekends, it just won't happen). Events will be open epee and open foil, for teens and adults only (fencers born 2008 or earlier), all levels (including this fall's teen and adult Level 1 students - you will know enough by the time it rolls around to enjoy this informal tournament!). We are still researching possible locations (first choice is Airport Park in Colchester, second choice is Middlebury Rec Park - it depends what we can reserve). We are scheduling it for a Sunday in the hopes that I will not need to cancel Level 1 classes for that weekend (Level 2/3 class, I'll poll you and see if you prefer to rest the day before competing or want a class the Saturday before).