Bulletin for the Week of November 12, 2018

1. SCHEDULE
2. LAST CHANCE TO ORDER CLUB SWEATSHIRTS AND JACKETS
3. WHY YOU SHOULD SIGN UP FOR THE NEXT CHAMPLAIN CUP TOURNAMENT
4. ALL ABOUT PURCHASING FENCING EQUIPMENT

1. SCHEDULE
Here is the schedule for the remainder of the fall term.

Nov 12, Middlebury: Level 1/2 class #8
Nov 13, Charlotte: Level 1/2 class #7
Nov 14-15: Level 3 class #8

Nov 19-22: No fencing, happy Thanksgiving


Nov 26-27: Level 1/2 class #9
Nov 28-29: Level 3 class #9
Dec 3-4: Level 1/2 class #10
Dec 5-6: Level 3 class #10

Dec 10: special bonus evening in Middlebury, if no make up needed
Dec 11: Charlotte Level 1/2 make up class #8, 7:30-9:30 pm (NOTE time change-see below)

Dec 12-Jan 1: No fencing, holiday break

Jan 2-3: Winter Level 3 classes start
Jan 7-8: Winter Level 1/2 classes start
Please tell your friends about our winter classes, and invite them to come watch one of the remaining fall classes to learn more!

Attention Charlotte fencers: In the winter, the Charlotte school gyms are in heavy use for town and school basketball programs. Our practices will almost certainly need to be shortened (to 2 hrs instead of 2.5), and will either run 7-9 pm or 7:30-9:30, depending on this year's basketball schedule (which nobody ever seems to know until the season is underway - it seems to depend on how many kids sign up in which age groups and what schedule is convenient for the parents who coach them. The town rec website lists the season as Dec 10-Feb 16). I will announce our schedule changes for the winter as soon as I know what they are, so keep an eye on your weekly bulletin!

2. LAST CHANCE TO ORDER CLUB SWEATSHIRTS AND JACKETS
As of this morning, I have 11 orders for club apparel. We need at least 12 to get the listed prices. Remember, we only order these things once per year. If you would like to place an order, please email me today. If you have already ordered but not yet paid, please bring your payment to practice this week (check payable to VFA or exact change).

Here again are the choices:
a. Holloway Dedication Jacket. Mens and Womens sizes S through XXL, Youth sizes S, M, L, $53 each.
b. Heavier weight (Badger 60/40 blend) hooded pullover sweatshirt. Adult unisex sizes S through XXL, $31 each
c. Midweight (Jerzees 50/50 blend) full zip hooded sweatshirt, Adult unisex sizes S through XXL, $30 each
d. Lightweight (Gildan) hooded child's pullover sweatshirt, Youth sizes S, M, L, $22 each

To order, I need the following information:
Item, size (for jacket, specify men, women or youth), and name to embroider (most people choose either a first or last name, but if you have a short name there might be room for both. Name is optional, it's okay to get without, or just initials).

3. WHY YOU SHOULD SIGN UP FOR THE NEXT CHAMPLAIN CUP TOURNAMENT
Upper Valley Holiday Open, Sharon Academy, Sharon VT, Sat Dec 8. Event schedule:
9:30 am Open (Sr Mixed) Foil
10 am E-Under Epee
11:30 Open Saber
12:30 E-Under Saber
1:30 E-Under Foil
2 pm Open (Sr Mixed) Epee

This tournament is open to fencers born 2005 or earlier. All events require competitive USFA membership. Please do not register for 2 events that start within a half hour of each other.

Top 10 Reasons to Sign Up Now For This Tournament
1. E-Under events are E and Unrated fencers only (all new competitors start out unrated). They are perfect for newbies, including all teens and adults currently in Level 1 classes. Of course, adventurous newbies are also welcome in open events (if you would enjoy and not feel discouraged by fencing more skilled opponents).
2. Experienced fencers volunteer their time to organize and ref E and U events. Best way to thank them, and to vote for offering more events for newbies next season? Sign up and participate!
3. If 15 or more fencers, including at least 4 Es, participate in an E-Under event, the winner earns a D and 2nd and the 2 3rd place finishers earn an E rating. So big E-Under events mean exciting opportunities for fencers to earn new ratings.
4. All remaining tournaments for adults and teens this season require competitive membership. If you are currently a noncompetitive member, you may upgrade any time before the tournament on the US Fencing website or over the phone (word of advice: don't leave it to the last minute). The cost of the upgrade is $65. All memberships expire July 31, so the later you wait to upgrade, the less value you get from your membership. Trust me, you are not going to want to miss the Middlebury Open (which includes separate mens and womens unrated foil and epee events, and is the VFA's big blow out party of the year). But why wait until March to upgrade? Do it now and get in on the Champlain Cup fun before then.
5. Would you join a softball league or basketball team, go to practices, and never play in any games? Tournaments are our games (with the bonus that no-one ever sits on the bench!). They give you a chance to meet your fellow fencers, try implementing what you are practicing against a variety of opponents, learn and challenge yourself. Searching out new opponents is part of the never-ending journey toward becoming a better fencer.
6. Our local (yes, in the fencing world, Sharon is local...) Champlain Cup league is friendly, supportive and welcoming to newbies. We were all beginners once! Experienced fencers are usually happy to offer advice and answer questions.
7. Upper Valley tournaments are fun because they tend to draw a good contingent from NH (Dartmouth College, Concord and Seacoast Fencing Clubs etc) and usually a few from MA as well.
8. The Upper Valley Fencing Club promises that this year, it won't snow for the Holiday Open.
9. When you sign up early, fencers who are on the fence see that it's going to be a big event, and are attracted to signing up themselves. As the biggest club in the Green Mt Division, it's up to the VFA to lead the sign up charge.
10. If you sign up by Dec 3, you get the discounted entry fee ($15 for your 1st event plus $5 per additional event). If you wait until after that, the price goes up to $20 for 1st event plus $10 per additional event.

To sign up, get directions and see who else is coming:
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41786

New to AskFRED? Find directions here:
http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm

4. ALL ABOUT PURCHASING FENCING EQUIPMENT
I always get a lot of questions about buying fencing equipment at this time of year, so I put together a little guide and posted it on our website: http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/EquipmentBuyGuide.htm

I encourage beginners who are renting equipment to go ahead and buy a basic set (mask, jacket, glove, plastron, practice weapon) as soon as you know you definitely want to continue with fencing. The advantages of owning your own equipment:
-You can get what you want, including a front zip jacket, the kind of grip you want and a plastic chest plate if you want one.
-You can keep your gear a lot cleaner than the shared club gear (note: wash jackets, plastrons and gloves in cold water and hang to dry. Never put in dryer)
-You can visit the other class (Middlebury or Charlotte) any time you want, without having to check with me about equipment availability
-You can enter any tournament, whether or not I can be there to bring equipment (I always arrange to send club electric equipment if not going, but not basic uniforms)
-You free up rental equipment for new Level 1 students to use.

Those who are moving into Level 3 classes this winter will also need their own electric gear (weapon, body cord, and lame for foil).
If you have a fencer in your family, you will never again have to worry about holiday gift ideas! Fencers always need more equipment.

Do you have any outgrown or unused equipment you would like to donate or sell? Let me know what you have (specific: brand, size, gender, hand, condition) and I can try to help you find a new home for it.