Bulletin for the Week of October 29, 2018

1. SCHEDULE ETC
2. ANNUAL CLUB APPAREL ORDER
3. TOURNAMENT THIS SATURDAY FOR KIDS BORN 2006 OR LATER - REGISTER TODAY TO SAVE MONEY
4. CALLING ALL TEEN FENCERS - TEEN FENCING DAY REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS TOMORROW
5. ADULT FENCERS OF ALL SKILL LEVELS - SIGN UP TODAY AND SAVE MONEY
6. TOURNAMENT RESULTS

1. SCHEDULE ETC
There will be a Level 3 class in Middlebury this Wednesday. If you are involved in Halloween festivities and can't make it, you are welcome to come Thursday in Charlotte instead.
There will be no fencing on Tuesday Nov 6 in Charlotte, as CCS is a polling place. That class will be made up on December 11. I encourage Competitive Squad fencers (and anyone else with their own equipment who doesn't want to miss a week of fencing) to practice in Middlebury that Monday instead.

This Tuesday, Oct 30, will be the first monthly Competitive Squad scrimmage night, hosted by the Charlotte group. The Charlotte squaddies have a fun competition planned (with Halloween candy!). I encourage all Middlebury squaddies to make room in your schedule to visit Charlotte this Tuesday.

Yet another reminder: please bring a water bottle to all practices (parents, please see that your kids have them). Neither gym has a water fountain in it, and constantly leaving the room to get water is disruptive to class. If you have a water bottle with you, you can stay hydrated and take a short water break any time without having to leave the room.

2. ANNUAL CLUB APPAREL ORDER
Want to show your pride in your club and your sport? Once a year, we order club warm-up jackets and sweatshirts. If you don't order now, you will have to wait until next fall. The ordering deadline is November 12 (2 weeks from today), in order to ensure we get them in time for the last practice before the holidays. To order, you may either email me or fill in the order form at practice. If you would like to order a secret gift for your favorite fencer, let me know and I'll sneak the item to you when it comes in. All jackets and sweatshirts feature the club "Northern Horde" logo on the back, "VFA" and the fencer's name embroidered on the front. All items are dark green with gold decoration (the jackets also have black and white accents).

Here is what is available:
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).
Payment is due by November 15. Checks payable to VFA or exact change, please. These are custom items and not returnable. Kids, if you are ordering something and expect your parents to pay for it, please make sure they have agreed!

Club socks and patches are available any time, just ask me to bring them in for you.

3. TOURNAMENT THIS SATURDAY FOR KIDS BORN 2006 OR LATER - REGISTER TODAY TO SAVE MONEY
The Green Mt Division youth series consists of 4 events (in November, January, March and May), just for kids born 2006 or later (ie. roughly age 12 and younger). These events are meant to be a supportive, age appropriate introduction to tournament fencing for our youngest fencers. The VFA is hosting the first 3 of the events, including one this Saturday in Middlebury. Even those who just started fencing this fall are welcome to participate, and all equipment will be provided for those who sign up by this Wednesday (although, if you sign up by midnight tonight, you will get a discount). You will get to use electric equipment, meet and fence with kids from the other VFA branch (and maybe from other clubs too), all with the help and supervision of teen Competitive Squad members. I will be there all day to help and answer questions (since I am fencing in the Adult Round Robin taking place at the same time).

Last week, I handed out Youth Passport brochures to all the youth fencers in class. If you didn't get one, make sure to pick one up from me this week. The brochure is full of information for your parents, but of greater interest to kids, it contains a page to collect stickers from each of the 4 youth tournaments. If you collect a sticker from 3 different tournaments this season, you will get a prize at the end of the season (cool custom-designed dragon bookmark courtesy of our in-house illustrator Adam Glazer). Put your name on your Passport as soon as you get it, and please try not to lose it!

As of this morning, there are 5 kids signed up for youth (Y10Y12) foil (starts 10 a.m, please arrive by 9:30 at the latest), and 3 kids signed up for youth epee (starts 12:30 pm, please arrive by noon if you are not already there for the foil event). I would like to see a whole lot more kids taking advantage of this opportunity (if kids don't participate, the GMD will schedule fewer events for them next season). So go ahead and sign up! Curious about epee, but never tried it? No problem, I will give you a short introduction and loaner equipment and you can try it out if you want to. You are welcome to do both foil and epee (the times will not overlap, epee will start after foil ends).

USFA competitive membership is not required for the Youth Series. Entry fees are $15 for one event/$20 for 2 if signed up 5+ days in advance (i.e. by midnight tonight), or $20 for one event/$30 for 2 if you sign up late. Early sign up is super helpful to me in organizing the event.

Sign up here: https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41586

New to using AskFRED? Find instructions here: www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm

4. CALLING ALL TEEN FENCERS - TEEN FENCING DAY REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS TOMORROW
I am concerned about how few teen fencers have signed up for Teen Fencing Day (Sun Nov 4 in Middlebury) so far this year. Registration closes at midnight tomorrow (since it is our qualifier for Jr Olympics, there will be no late registrations allowed). We need a lot more teens to participate in order to hold a viable and exciting tournament. I have had a request to move foil into the afternoon in order to accomodate someone with a conflict, so heads up: we may do epee in the morning and foil in the afternoon (all times currently posted are provisional, final schedule will be posted and emailed to you Wednesday).

Last year, we had 12 male foilists (3 of whom did both foil and epee), 12 male epeeists (3 of whom did both foil and epee), and 5 female foilists participate in this (USFA rules say qualifiers can not be mixed gender). That was down slightly from turnout for the few years preceding. Of the 26 fencers who participated in last year's Teen Fencing Day, 23 were from the VFA (there is no party without us!). Of the 26, 6 have either aged out of this or moved away from VT, while 6 have not been fencing at all this fall. So, to achieve a similar turn out to last year (hold, and hopefully eventually reverse the downward trend in teen fencing), we need about a dozen more competitors to step up. Vital to that effort are first time competitors, unrated fencers, and kids who aged out of the youth series this season (i.e. 2005 babies). I would love to see a lot more new faces at GMD tournaments, starting with this one. It takes courage to try something new, especially if you think everyone else is an expert. The more unrated fencers who sign up, the less it will feel that way, but someone has to be the first (huzzah for Henry Weston, who is not only unrated but in his first season as a teen fencer! - now, who will join Henry?).

Ready to give it a try? Sign up here by midnight, Tuesday Oct 30 (no late registrations allowed):
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41584

New to using AskFRED? Find instructions here: www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm

5. ADULT FENCERS OF ALL SKILL LEVELS - SIGN UP TODAY AND SAVE MONEY
Calling all fencers age 21+, of all skill levels, including current Level 1 students! This Saturday is the unique and fun Adult Round Robin, at Mary Hogan School in Middlebury.

New to fencing, never fenced in a tournament before? Here is why you should sign up for this:
- This is the only event for adults all season which does not require you to upgrade to competitive membership. In other words, the only chance to try this informally and at low cost. I'm talking to you, Level 1 students!
- Instead of the usual format (pools and elimination matches), at the Adult Round Robin, everyone fencers everyone else a single 5-point bout (so the more people who show up, the more bouts you get to fence). No ratings will be earned, and everyone gets the same great work-out, win or lose.
- Social hour at a local restaurant afterwards - what could be better than hanging out with your fellow fencers?
-Loaner equipment (including electric) available for all who need it, as long as you sign up by Wednesday (but really, sign up today to save a few bucks and to help me plan the event)
- The experienced fencers in the crowd are nearly always happy to coach newbies and help you develop as a fencer, and their will be a few killer bouts between higher rated fencers that will be fun and instructive for newbies to watch.
- Fencing with your kid? There are youth events the same day (see #3 above) so you can come as a family.
-Curious about epee, but never tried it? No problem, I will give you a short introduction and loaner equipment and you can try it out if you want to. You are welcome to do both foil and epee if you have the stamina (you would fence all your epee bouts starting at 10 a.m, then switch over to foil and fence all your foil bouts, and then go out with the group for some well-earned refreshments).

USFA competitive membership is not required for the Round Robin. Entry fees are $15 for one event/$20 for 2 if signed up 5+ days in advance (i.e. by midnight tonight), or $20 for one event/$30 for 2 if you sign up late. Early sign up is super helpful to me in organizing the event.

Sign up here: https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41586

New to using AskFRED? Find instructions here: www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm

6. TOURNAMENT RESULTS