Bulletin for the Week of March 11


Here is the schedule for the last two weeks of winter term, including make up dates. All practices are 6:30-9 p.m in usual locations. Note that in Middlebury next week both practices are Level 3, and in Charlotte next week, both practices are Level 1/2

Mon 3/11 Middlebury: Level 1/2 class (#10 of 10), competitive squad practice
Tues 3/12 Charlotte: Level 1/2 class (#8 of 10), competitive squad practice
Wed 3/13 Middlebury: Level 3 (#7 of 10)
Thurs 3/14 Charlotte: Level 3 (#10 of 10)

Mon 3/18 Middlebury: Level 3 (#8 of 10)
Tues 3/19 Charlotte: Level 1/2 (#9 of 10), competitive squad
Wed 3/20 Middlebury: Level 3 (#9 of 10)
Thurs 3/21 Charlotte: Level 1/2 (#10 of 10), competitive squad if Geoff can make it (or run your own open fencing)
Mon 4/8 Middlebury: Level 3 (#10 of 10)

March 22-April 1, spring break, no fencing

Tuesdays, Charlotte Central School, April 2-June 4
6:30-8 p.m. Level 1 (beginner) foil/Level 2 foil and epee classes
6:30-9 pm: open fencing

Wednesdays, Mary Hogan School, April 3-June 5
6:30-8 p.m. Level 1 (beginner) foil/Level 2 foil and epee classes
6:30-9 pm: open fencing

If you are currently in Level 1 classes, you are cordially invited to move up to Level 2 this spring! If you are currently renting equipment and would like to continue to rent, please let me know as soon as possible, as I will soon be starting to register new club members for the spring. Ready to buy your own equipment (highly recommended)? Look here for advice:

Do you have friends who might be interested in fencing? Now is the time to tell them about our spring classes and have them get in touch with me. For every friend you get to sign up for a Level 1 class, you get $5 off your own class fees.

I have tentatively set a date for another Summer Clinic (5th annual), in Middlebury, July 27-29. The purpose of the clinic is to provide an intensive training camp experience with at least one guest coach, in an affordable local setting. The past clinics have been beneficial and fun, and I hope we can do it again this year. In order to move forward with planning, I need a preliminary indication of interest. Therefore, if you are (or think you will probably be) available that weekend and interested in participating, please put your name on this list before April 1:
Preliminary sign up does not obligate you to attend. If there are 15+ names on this list by April 1, I will begin collecting nonrefundable deposits. If 20+ people have submitted deposits by June 3, the clinic will go ahead, otherwise it will not be held this year.

The clinic is open to foil and epee fencers, all levels except rank beginner (teens and adults, if you are currently completing Level 1, you can do this). Teen and adult fencers of any skill level, and advanced youth fencers (ages 11-12 with 2+ seasons fencing and some competition experience), may register immediately. 11-12 year olds with less than 2 years experience need permission from Viveka (priority will go to older/more experienced fencers, but focussed and mature younger students may be admitted if there is space). Minimum age is 11. Note that, unlike many fencing clinics and camps, this one is very welcoming to adult fencers, and we anticipate having a good contingent of adult participants.

Cost: $150 if 20-28 fencers attend, $125 if we get 28-40.

Hospitality: this is a day camp, but it may be possible to house fencers who live far away with local host families-please let Viveka know if interested in that. There are also numerous hotels, campgrounds, etc close to Middlebury for families that would like to do some vacationing while one member is taking the clinic. Clinic location is Mary Hogan School in Middlebury.

Coaching Staff
Guest coach or coaches TBA
Local coaches Viveka Fox and Geoff Butler

Tentative Schedule
Friday July 27, 7-9 p.m Open Fencing

Saturday July 28
9-10 a.m. warm up and footwork
10 am-12. Training session #1
12-1. Brown bag lunch and discussion
1-3 p.m. Training session #2
3-7 p.m. Swim in town pool, dinner from local restaurants (all walking distance)
7-9 p.m. Open Fencing

Sunday July 29
9-10 a.m. warm up and footwork
10 am-12. Training session #3
12-1. Brown bag lunch and discussion
1-3 p.m. Informal competition
Clinic officially ends at 3, but the town pool is open for swimming

Here are the final numbers for our winter fund drive. Thank you again to all who helped with the fund drive in any way!

Entry fees collected: $1192
Expenses (venue rental, awards, and GMD share of entry fees which was based on what "sponsored" fencers would have paid): $1284
Balance: -$92 (note: this portion of things is usually about break-even, but ran a slight deficit this year with reduced attendance)

Sponsorships $2680 (they came late but they were generous. The trend toward fewer but larger sponsorships seems to be continuing)
T shirt sales $202 profit (after printing expense). 3-color printing is nice but does reduce profit as it makes the shirts more expensive.
Raffle and Cafe (after expenses for prizes and supplies). It's hard to sort out which money is for the raffle and which for the cafe as they did some cash box sharing and many people wrote combined checks, so I will lump these together: $805

Overall fund drive total: $3595
For comparison, here are the totals for the past 5 years
2018 $4147
2017 $4313
2016 $4500
2015 $4235
2014 $4334

The take-away from this: we had reduced attendance at the tournament itself this year (mostly weather-related, plus conflicts with a college meet and school vacation, and general lower participation rates all season for reasons I can't explain). That in turn reduced entry fees, plus raffle ticket and concession sales at the event. I am open to suggestions for how to better "weather-proof" ourselves next year. Can we get more club members to sell more raffle tickets in advance? Is it time to abandon the sponsorship system in favor of crowd-sourcing (ie GoFundMe)? If so, how do we solicit in-kind donations from businesses (raffle prizes, t-shirt printing)? Does anyone have any fresh new ideas for next year's fund drive (and the willingness to help implement them)? How do we get more club members engaged in the fund drive, rather than rely on a shrinking number of people to make increasingly large contributions of both money and time? Or should we just dial down the whole fundraising thing and instead raise club dues significantly (from $10 per term to about $40 per term)? Or perhaps some hybrid system, with different dues for Level 1, 2, 3 and Competitive Squad (increasing in that order) plus a shorter, simpler fund drive? What do you think? Ideas and opinions are wanted!

There are not one, but two tournaments in April!

Saturday April 13 at Sharon Academy.
10 a.m. Foil-Epee Doubles. A unique Green Mt Division tradition! Enter with a partner, one foil fencer and one epee fencer per team. Fence other teams in 10-touch relays (one weapon pair fences up to 5 points, then their partner take over the score and fence to 10, with a coin toss to determine which pair goes first). Two rounds of pools-the first distributed by average rating, the second using the slightly complicated but very fun "Shark Pool" format. If you want to know what that is, you'll just have to come. Looking for a partner? Ask around at practice or ask me for a suggestion (no promises, but if I know of someone with the other weapon who is looking, I will let you know). You get a few bucks off your entry fee if your partner is your spouse, parent, child or sibling.

Afternoon: D-Under events, open to fencers rated D, E, or Unrated. Please do not sign up for more than 2 weapons (and consider seriously restricting yourself to one weapon: these events will run largely simultaneously, and if you are in more than one, you will have to run from one to the other with no rest).
12:30 D Foil
1 p.m D Epee
1:30 p.m D Saber
For a C2 event (in which winner earns a C, places 2-3 earn a D and places 5-8 earn an E), we need at least 25 competitors, including 4 Ds and 4 Es. So every single fencer counts! The earlier you sign up, the more encouraging it is to fencers from other clubs who may come in hope of a C2 event (a rare local opportunity to earn a C without having to place higher than other Cs). So, come in the morning for the Doubles and stay in the afternoon for one or more D events! Unrated fencers are very welcome to participate in D events - there should be a broad range of skill level.

All events are open to those born 2005 or earlier. USFA competitive membership is required for all events. The good news is, if you upgrade from noncompetitive to competitive status for the first time after April 1, your membership is good through all of next season. Note: I will be away for this, so all participants need to own their own basic uniform (jacket, mask, glove, underarm protector). I will arrange to send club electric equipment with someone who is going, so you do not need to own your own electric stuff.
To sign up, get directions, and see who else is coming:
To sign up your team (just have one of the partners do it, after coming up with a clever name, of course): click "preregister" than click on the small link at the top of the page that says "looking for team events?". There will be room for up to 4 names on a team. Just fill in the first 2.

April 27-28, at UVM. Annual Lloyd Staats Memorial Tournament. Open foil, epee and saber on Saturday, Youth Foil and E-under foil, epee and saber on Sunday (there is also a youth epee event posted, but I think that's a mistake - the 4th youth epee event is supposed to be at Ticonderoga in May). E-under events are perfect for you unrated fencers who upgraded to competitive status for the Middlebury Open, or for anyone else ready to make the upgrade (remember, if you upgrade after April 1 it's good through all of next season). I will be there (with loaner equipment for all who need it).
For event schedule, to sign up, etc:

On the same weekend as the Staats Memorial, we will hold any necessary qualifiers for Summer Nationals (in July in Ohio). If you think you might want to go to Summer Nationals for Y14, Div2, Div3 or Veteran events, and you have not qualified by any other means, you must sign up for the qualifier by April 22, using this link:
If 4 or more fencers sign up for any particular event, that event will be scheduled over the April 27-28 weekend. If 3 or fewer sign up, the event will not be held, and those who signed up qualify automatically. We anticipate that most events will not need to be held. If you have no interest at all in going to Summer Nationals, please do not sign up for these events (sign up for the Staats Memorial "actual events" instead).

Can't wait until April to compete again? Here is a recommended tournament in a neighboring division:
https://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=43141 (RPI Open, March 30)
There is also some good stuff in the Northeast Division in late March - have a look around AskFRED!