Bulletin for the Week of October 15, 2018

1. GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
2. TOURNAMENT THIS WEEKEND: MORE E, UNRATED AND VETERAN FENCERS NEEDED
3. NOVEMBER TOURNAMENT: EVENTS FOR ALL AGES IN MIDDLEBURY

1. GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS
I will bring the club self-serve "Sock Store" to all practices this week (yellow and orange Hannafords insulated bag). Club socks are $12 each and club patches are $3. The size information is on the sock packaging (choose according to your shoe size, although tall fencers might go up a size to get the length). There is an envelope in the bag for payments - exact change or check payable to VFA please. Buy your socks this week if you can. After this week, if you want socks or patches you will have to e-mail me and request me to bring them for you.

This week after Level 2 class, I am going to begin taking some of the Level 2 fencers for a chance to try electric equipment. This week, I am bringing foil equipment in larger sizes, and plan to take the 4-6 largest people in the class. Next week, I will bring foil equipment in smaller sizes and take the smaller class members. The week after that, I will bring epee equipment and take those who have been doing mostly epee.

While I am working with a small group trying electric equipment, I strongly encourage the Level 1 and remaining Level 2 fencers to stay and fence at least a few bouts with each other. I encourage you not to keep score most of the time, just fence for fun and to experiment and learn. If there is no experienced fencer available to ref you, fence anyway! If you are not sure whose point it was, don't count it (remember, no arguing, call the touches against yourself). Level 3 fencers/Squaddies: Any time you are taking a breather from your own training, please take a few minutes to help the newer fencers enjoy open fencing, by reffing, coaching, and helping them (especially the younger ones) find partners to practice with.

2. TOURNAMENT THIS WEEKEND: MORE E, UNRATED AND VETERAN FENCERS NEEDED
Sign up for the Burlington Brawl by midnight tonight (Monday Oct 15) to get the discounted entry fee and to really help the organizers prepare for the tournament!
Location: UVM Patrick Gym indoor tennis courts

Sat. Oct 20
9:30 am Open (senior mixed) Foil
12 pm Open Saber
2 pm E-Under Epee, Veterans Foil (if you want to enter both of these, please get permission from the organizer)

Sun Oct 21
9:30 am Veterans Epee
11 a.m E-Under Saber
2 pm Open Epee, E-Under Foil (if you want to enter both of these, please get permission from the organizer)

As of today, a reasonable number of fencers have signed up for Open events (although we would love to see more!) and for Veteran epee (again, more are welcome), but hardly anyone has signed up for any of the E-Under events, as well as Veteran foil. The Green Mt Division puts on E and U events in order to encourage new competitors to come out and participate in our league, and to give intermediate-level competitors opportunities to earn E and/or D ratings (minimum 6 competitors needed for an E event and minimum of 15 for a D). Putting on E and U events is a lot of work, as it requires experienced volunteers to give up a chunk of their weekend to ref, as well haul and provide loaner equipment. Speaking as one of those volunteers: the best way you beginning and intermediate competitors can thank us is to sign up, show up, participate, learn and have fun! If E and U events are not well attended, we will schedule fewer of them next season.

Never competed before, feeling shy, wondering if you are good enough to try a Champlain Cup tournament? The Green Mt Division is famous for its friendliness. Every one of us was a beginner once, and we remember what it was like. We also know that, without new competitors coming into the league, it will shrivel and die. So while you may see some fierce competition in the finals of open events, you will find a welcoming and supportive atmosphere in our E and U events (not to mention Youth and Veterans). You do not need to be a cut-throat competitor to enjoy our tournaments, we welcome you and want you there as part of your journey to becoming a better fencer. I am happy to answer your questions before or at the tournament (I will be there all weekend).

Open (senior mixed): foil, epee and saber, for all fencers born 2005 or earlier
E-under: foil and epee, for beginning to intermediate level competitors, restricted to E and unrated fencers (all first time competitors are unrated), born 2005 or earlier
Veterans: foil and epee, for "mature" athletes of all skill level born 1979 or earlier. Veteran fencers love helping new veterans learn and improve. These events are not just for experienced fencers, unrated fencers are welcome! Come play with kids your own age.

All events require competitive USFA membership (if you are currently a noncompetitive member, you may upgrade at any time before the tournament, by paying the $65 difference). Loaner equipment is available for those who need it, if signed up in advance.

Entry fees if signed up by midnight tonight: $15 for your first event plus $5 per additional event of the weekend. Late sign ups: $20 first event/$10 per additional event.

To sign up, get directions, and see who else is coming:
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41618

New to using AskFRED? Directions are here:
http://www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm

3. NOVEMBER TOURNAMENT: EVENTS FOR ALL AGES IN MIDDLEBURY
Mark your calendars! The VFA is hosting the November Champlain Cup tournament at Mary Hogan School in Middlebury. The weekend will include events for 3 different age groups.

Sat November 3: Adult Round Robin
The Adult Round Robin is open to all fencers born 1998 or before. This is an informal, unsanctioned event, meaning no ratings will be earned, and a noncompetitive membership is sufficient (so if you were waiting for a chance to try a tournament without having to upgrade to competitive status, this is your one and only chance!). You may enter foil, epee or both. Loaner equipment will be available for those who need it. These will be "pool unique" events, meaning everyone fences everyone else a single 5 point bout, with no elimination matches. The Adult Round Robin will be followed by a social hour at a nearby restaurant! All fencers of all skill level are invited, including those currently taking Level 1 classes (you will know enough by November to try this out).

Sat November 3: GMD Youth Series #1
The first of 4 tournaments this season for kids born 2006 or later. Noncompetitive membership is sufficient. You may enter foil, epee or both. Loaner equipment will be available for those who need it. All young fencers are invited, including those currently taking Level 1 classes (you will know enough by November to try this out). Is your child ready to give this a try? Attitude and maturity are really more determining factors than fencing skill level for this age group. A child is ready for their first tournament if these are true:
-Can take winning and losing in stride, with good sportsmanship; Understands that learning and having fun are more important than winning (Nearly all kids in this age group need a little parental help with this!)
-For the smallest kids, don't feel afraid or intimidated by fencing larger kids. There is a big spread in body size from the smallest 9 year olds to the largest 12 year olds. For smaller kids, buying them a plastic chest protector as well as padded underarm protector might help them feel safer and protect against hard hits from larger opponents (not just for tournaments, but nice for practice too). It's also okay to wait until they grow a little and feel more confident.

To sign up for Adult and Youth events: https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41586
Please sign up by Oct 29 to get discounted entry fee, and because it's super helpful to the organizer (i.e. me).


Sun November 4: Teen Fencing Day (aka Jr Olympic Qualifier)
This is the only GMD tournament all season for teens and only teens! All teen fencers of all skill level are welcome. You do not have to be a hot shot competitor or be interested in competing at Junior Olympics to enjoy this tournament, meet other fencers your age, and gain valuable experience. You do need to have a competitive US Fencing membership (if you are currently a noncompetitive member, you must upgrade to competitive status before the tournament, by going to http://www.usfencing.org).

There are event for two age groups:
Cadet: teens born 2002-05. These events are only for younger teens
Junior: teens born 1999-2005. These events are open to both younger and older teens

We encourage you to make a day of it, and sign up for at least 2 events, depending on your age and which weapon(s) you fence. While you may sign up for 4 or more events, that takes a lot of stamina, so unless you are a pretty hardcore athlete, 2-3 events is a good number in one day.

Entry fee is $15 for your first event, plus $5 per additional event. Note that unlike most GMD events, where the price goes up after the preregistration date, for this tournament, registration actually closes and you will not be able to sign up after October 30.
All posted event times are provisional. Registration closes Oct 30, at which point times will be finalized, and any event with fewer than 4 will be cancelled. The tournament is open only to Green Mt Division members. Separate male and female events will be held (mixed events are not permitted at qualifiers).

To register for teen events (note, different page than for Adult and Youth): https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41584