USA Fencing Updates: No USA Fencing Activity NOW Through April 20

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As of today, more than 223 million Americans in 24 states, 74 counties and 14 cities are under orders to stay at home, shelter in place or avoid non-essential activities, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of reported cases across the nation continues to rise sharply on a daily basis. 

Accordingly, USA Fencing Member and Affiliate Club activities will remain unsanctioned through at least April 20 (previously April 6). Unsanctioned activities will not be covered by USA Fencing’s insurance.

USA Fencing will not be sanctioning any competitions until at least May 4. The National Office is working with organizers to reschedule regional events that were to take place between March 18 and May 3. The updated regional events schedule is available at www.usafencing.org/coronavirus.

The USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge are currently still scheduled to take place from June 28 – July 7, in Louisville, Ky. Due to the schedule changes for regional and national events this spring, the National Events staff and Tournament Committee are examining any potential changes to qualifying paths. An update will be made on April 9 at www.usafencing.org. Online registration for the National Championships and July Challenge will open on April 16. Any additional updates regarding Summer Nationals will be posted at posted on www.usafencing.org

USA Fencing Statement for Clubs, Affiliate Clubs and Coaches Regarding COVID-19 – UPDATED 7PM 3/17/2020

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Dear USA Fencing Club Owners,


We understand that right now is a challenging time for everyone in the nation and around the world as we attempt to navigate the current circumstances created by the coronavirus (COVID-19).


Over the past few days, many of you have chosen to suspend classes at your clubs and, although we know these decisions were heart-wrenching, the fencing community as well as the local, national and international communities at large, becomes a safer place the more precautions we take to protect each other from this disease.


In order to protect the health and safety of all of our members – including athletes, coaches, staff and their families – clubs should suspend practices, lessons and gathering for the next three weeks. This applies to any club activity, including group sessions as well as individual lessons. In consultation with our insurance carrier, we will not be providing insurance coverage for Member Clubs beginning March 18 and continuing through at least April 6. Coaches at Affiliate Clubs will not have liability insurance coverage for the same period of times. As you all know, this situation is continually evolving and we will keep you updated with any changes in the coming weeks.


This was not a decision anyone came to lightly. The guidance from the Centers for Disease Control has been that social distancing is necessary to prevent the spread of the disease and that asymptomatic individuals can be carriers. We know many clubs have put social distancing practices into place in order to keep access to the sport open for your members during these challenging times; however, with schools, universities and workplaces suspending classes and creating virtual working environments to protect everyone, we are asking you to follow suit.


We will revisit this timeframe within the coming weeks; however, please note that the Centers for Disease Control is calling for no mass gatherings of 50 or more individuals for eight weeks which means that, when fencing resumes, classes and events are to be restricted in size until May 10.


We know that our nation’s fencing clubs are the heart of the sport, but also that we must do what is necessary to protect everyone within our fencing family.

UPDATE FROM 7:00PM: As a point of clarification regarding the email sent out this morning, in order to protect the health and safety of all of our members, and in consultation with our insurance carrier, Member Clubs and coaches should suspend practices, lessons and gatherings at this time. Accordingly, beginning March 18 and continuing through at least April 6, USA Fencing will not be sanctioning such activities, and insurance coverage will therefore be unavailable for those activities during that time.

If you have any questions, please contact me at B.Bodor@usafencing.org.
Sincerely,

Bob Bodor
Director of Member Services

April NAC, Div I and Parafencing National Champions POSTPONED

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The April NAC, Div I and Parafencing National Championships have been postponed. USA Fencing is working with the St. Louis convention center regarding a reschedule date.
https://www.usafencing.org/news_article/show/1095881

Virginia Division Extends Non Sanctioning Policy Through May 1

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Following the decision by USA Fencing to not sanction any events through April 6th, the officers of the Virginia Division has decided to take the extra step of not sanctioning any event prior to May 1.  

Rescheduling of events postponed due to COVID-19 will occur only when USA Fencing and the VA Division deem it to be appropriate and not put more people at risk of infection.

The Virginia Division also requests that fencers, parents of fencers, coaches and clubs take the additional step of not attending or offering classes, camps, lessons or club tournaments while the extent and duration of the risk for our community is unknown.  

We cannot tell clubs to shut down, and we cannot tell parents or fencers not to go, but there is significant evidence that COVID-19 spreads exponentially and one of the simplest ways to avoid the spread of it is to practice “Social Distancing” and stay home.

Please be safe, be well, and look for more updates over time.

USA Fencing Announcement Regarding COVID-19 – (as of March 13)

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Dear USA Fencing Divisions,


Over the course of the last seven days, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted unprecedented changes within the world of sport.


In prioritizing the health and wellness of all our members, USA Fencing will not be sanctioning any local, regional, national or international tournaments from March 16-April 6. 


Divisions are directed to postpone all sanctioned competitions across the country through April 6, 2020. 


In order to allow participants from postponed tournaments to still be eligible to compete at the National Championships and July Challenge, the deadlines have been extended as follows: 


Division Qualifying Forms Submission Deadline: June 1Petition Deadline: June 3Regular Fee Deadline: June 3Triple Fee Deadline: June 12Withdraw Deadline: June 12
Classification Deadline: June 12
Check-In Times Posted: June 8 Please provide this information to clubs within your Division.

Tips for Fencers, Coaches, Staff, etc. 

  • Stay home from practice or competition if you feel sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer with 60-90% alcohol when restrooms are unavailable. 
  • Avoid direct physical contact with others (keep a six-foot distance when possible). 
  • Salute or elbow bump competitors, coaches and referees rather than shaking hands. 
  • Do not touch your face during a bout or training session. 
  • Do not share water bottles.
  • Do not put your mouth on water fountains. 

Tips for Club Owners and Tournament Organizers

  • Make sure to have hand sanitizer and tissues in high traffic areas throughout the training or competition space, including near bout committee tables, water dispensers, score tables, etc. 
  • Wash all shared gear and use sanitizng wipes on weapons in between uses. Read tips on how to wash masks.
  • Keep sanitizing wipes near reels and other frequently touched equipment. 
  • As always, make sure restrooms and locker rooms are properly cleaned on a frequent basis. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly.

The CDC recommends preventative actions regarding respiratory illnesses, including:  

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Everyone is encouraged to seek further information using the CDC and the WHO websites:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html#situation-in-us
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Questions or personal concerns regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) should be directed to your local healthcare provider. This remains a dynamic situation and we will update our decisions and recommendations on a regular basis both via email and at www.usafencing.org/coronavirus
Sincerely,

Bob Bodor
USA Fencing Director of Membership

Richmond Spring RYC Postponement

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Virginia Division of USA Fencing Announcement Regarding the Richmond Spring RYC:

Due to the current situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, the Richmond Spring RYC that was scheduled to take place in Richmond, VA from April 4-5, 2020 will be postponed until some time in May of 2020.

USA Fencing understands that this was a competition opportunity that fencers and their families were looking forward to; however, this is an extraordinary situation and our top priority remains the health and well-being of all of our members, athletes, tournament staff and participants.

When a new date is finalized with the National Offices, another communication will be sent out.

March NAC Postponed

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Due to the current situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, the March North American Cup that was scheduled to take place in Detroit from March 20-23 will not be held at this time.

USA Fencing understands that this was a competition opportunity that fencers and their families were looking forward to; however, this is an extraordinary situation and our top priority remains the health and well-being of all of our members, athletes, tournament staff and participants.

All participants will receive refunds of both event and registration fees for the tournament. Refunds will be processed within 5-7 business days.

The USA Fencing national events staff is looking into the possibility of rescheduling the event to a later date in the year. Any details regarding future dates will be released at www.usafencing.org.

Fairfax Challenge Postponed

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The Fairfax Challenge has been postponed this weekend until some unknown date in May as a precautionary measure related to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Please send any question to fairfaxchallenge@hotmail.com or call (551) 221-2211. You can also visit their website @ http://www.fairfaxchallenge.com for more information when it becomes available.

VA Division Junior Olympic Qualifier Registration Is Open

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Registration is now open for the 2019 Virginia Division Qualifier to the USA Fencing Junior Olympics. This qualifier event will be held on October 12th and 13th at the Richmond Fencing Club.

Fencers must complete their registration and pre-pay all entry fees by Wednesday 10/10/19 at midnight to compete in Saturday or Sunday’s events.

Preregister here: https://askfred.net/Events/Prereg/prereg.php?tournament_id=44916

More Information below, or on AskFred! See you there!

Saturday, October 12th
9:30AM
Junior Women’s Epee
Junior Men’s Foil
Junior Men’s Saber

12:30PM
Cadet Men’s Foil
Cadet Women’s Epee
Cadet Men’s Saber

Sunday, October 13st
9:30AM
Junior Women’s Saber
Junior Women’s Foil
Junior Men’s Epee

12:30PM
Cadet Women’s Saber
Cadet Women’s Foil
Cadet Men’s Epee

NOTES:
Junior (U20) events will be held before the Cadet events on the same day.

Virginia Division Members Only!!! A member can declare a Division affiliation based on his or her residence, location of the school that member is attending or location of club that the member will represent in USA Fencing competitions. Each year a member must declare the Division affiliation for that membership year. That Division is then the one from which the fencer must qualify to the USA Fencing National Championships and the Junior Olympic Fencing Championships.

Fencers under 13 can compete in the Cadet event if they are on the NRPS for Y-14.

Number of Qualifiers for Junior Olympic Fencing Championships and USA Fencing National Championships from Division Qualifying Competitions (25% rule)
# Competitors 1 2 3 -12 13-16 17-20 21-24 25-28
# Qualifiers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

VA Division Election Update

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With elections just around the corner on the 15th, I wanted to update you with some additional people who have stepped forward to run for our Board.

For your consideration – Scott Farber, Nic Papodopoulos, Julia Jiang and Damien Lehfeldt have decided to run for the VA Division Board with existing Board Members – Greg Kaidanov, Amy Papodopoulos, Ted Smith and Meredith Powers.

Stepping down from the Board are Jacob Duell and Melanie DeMaree. (Thank you both for your many years of service and support of the Virginia Division!)

Elections to be held at the completion of fencing this coming Saturday, no earlier than 5PM, at NOVA Fencing Club.

If you cannot be in attendance, please forward a proxy statement (With an original signature) to any officer casting your vote(s) for one or more of the people running. The proxy form is on the election announcement page.