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
Junior Women’s Epee
Junior Men’s Foil
Junior Men’s Saber

Cadet Men’s Foil
Cadet Women’s Epee
Cadet Men’s Saber

Sunday, October 13st
Junior Women’s Saber
Junior Women’s Foil
Junior Men’s Epee

Cadet Women’s Saber
Cadet Women’s Foil
Cadet Men’s Epee

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.

VA Division Introduces International Competition Expense Grant

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The Virginia Division of USA Fencing, LLC., has implemented a program to offer its fencers financial assistance when they compete internationally.

Starting on August 1 of each fencing calendar year (Current being 8/1/2018-7/31/2019), grants of $400.00 are available to individual fencers who are members of the Virginia Division to reimburse expenses related to competing in international Veteran, Senior, Junior and Cadet level USA Fencing designated competitions.

Eligibility is limited to one grant per season and is available for expenses not fully reimbursed from other sources.

To receive these grants, fencers should complete and submit the VA Division Grant Application with copies of all the relevant receipts for evaluation, approval and reimbursement to grants@va-usfa.com

It would be appreciated if all grant reimbursement requests are submitted before the beginning of Summer Nationals (approximately June 30th) of each calendar year, to support the July 31stfinancial close required by USA Fencing. For this season (2018-2019), this deadline will be pushed back until after the completion of Summer Nationals.

Any questions regarding this policy can be sent to grants@va-usfa.com.

2019-2020 VA Division General Election Announcement and Election Proxy Form

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The below note will be sent to all VA Division members via a USA Fencing email blast over the next 24 hours. The VA Division PROXY FORM is below for those who cannot attend the meeting!

To:       All Virginia Division Members

Fr:       Richard Weiss, Chair

Re:       Virginia Division Election Announcement

Date:   May 15th, 2019

The Virginia Division of USA Fencing, LLC. would like to announce that our Annual Division meeting will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the NOVA Fencing Club, at the conclusion of fencing for that day. 

The agenda for that meeting will be as follows:

  • Reports of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and any other Divisional Officers (if any)
  • Proposed amendments to the By-Laws
  • Election of Officers, new Board Members
  • Unfinished business
  • New business

Regarding amendments/changes to the By-Laws: A number of minor changes have been proposed by me to the Board and to the Division.  These changes are requested more or less to update the document to support changes that have occurred at USA Fencing and within our Division.  A list of these proposed changes has been posted to the VA Division website (www.va-usfa.com) for review prior to the meeting and vote.

Regarding the Election of Officers:  At this writing, I am happy to tell you that each of our existing officers wishes to continue to remain on the Board.

The Board has been notified that Scott Farber of Cardinal Fencing Academy has expressed interest to join our board as a Board Member at Large.  His nomination was seconded by Ilya Lobanenkov.  Scott is running for a position that is currently open.

The NOVA Fencing Club is located at 3431 Carlin Springs Rd; Suite E, Falls Church, VA 22041.  The Top of the Hill Youth and Veteran Tournament’s final event start time is 12:45pm, with an estimated end time around 4:30-5:00PM.  We will begin the meeting at the end of fencing and awards, but not before 5PM.

If you wish to take place in our elections but cannot make our meeting on the 15th, you may wish to assign your vote, or cast your votes in advance using our VA Division Election Proxy Form.  This form can be found here (on the VA Division website).  Only VA Division members (All levels of USA Fencing membership may vote EXCLUDING Non-Competitive and Foreign Memberships.) We will confirm all in person and proxy voters at our elections or prior.

If you have any questions about any of the above, do not hesitate to write to me @ rweiss1@yahoo.com, or any of our officers. Officers email addresses are on our website under About Us.  Look forward to seeing you there!


Proposed Changes to VA Division By-Laws for 2019-2020

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The below four small changes to the “VA Division” By-Laws have been proposed :





Reason: The actual incorporated name of the VA Division is “Virginia Division of USA Fencing, LLC.”


From:      ARTICLE I The Virginia Division of US Fencing, Inc., (“the Division”)

To:      ARTICLE I The Virginia Division of USA Fencing, LLC., (“the Division”)

Reason: Same as above #1.


DELETE ARTICLE V   “The Divisional Representatives on the Sectional Executive Committee shall be the Divisional Chairman and one other divisional executive committee member, who shall be designated by the chairman.”

Reason: USA Fencing no longer recognizes “Sections”. Irrelevant

4. DELETE ARTICLE IX  “The Divisional Championships shall be CLOSED unless specified otherwise in a general meeting. The qualifiers to the National Championships shall be the same as the Championships, provided it is in conformity with the requirements of the USFA.”

Reason: The VA Division Championship Tournament is no longer a qualifier to a Summer National Championship event. Irrelevant.

Voting on these changes will occur at the VA Division Annual Meeting and Elections to be held at NOVA Fencing Club on June 15, 2019 at the completion of fencing for that day (Roughly 5pm).

2018 Kickoff Classic Registration is Open

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The Virginia Division is hosting the KickOff Classic at the Richmond Fencing Club on September 8th and 9th.  It features Senior Open events and Mixed C & Under events.  Although not a ROC this year, still expect great referees and tournament management, a great venue, plenty of happy faces and medals to the 8!  Register Today!

Virginia Division 2018-2019 Tournament Schedule

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The Virginia Division is pleased to announce that we have posted its 2018-2019 Tournament Schedule.  We will do our best to link events to the calendar as they are added to both AskFred and the new USA Fencing registration system.

Do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments.

2018-19 VA Division Election Candidate Statement – Richard Weiss

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Hello Virginia Division!   I will not be in attendance for the Virginia Division Elections this coming Saturday at the Richmond Fencing Club. My sincerest apologies, but my daughter has her end of year Dance Recital, and well, you know…

It would be my pleasure to again serve as Chair of the Virginia Division of USA for next season. Since I will not be able to be in attendance, I wanted to let you know that we had a successful year, but not without some issues.

We need to think as a Division how to better support our local club tournaments.  This is not a “VA Division” problem, we hear about local events being overlooked by their members nationwide in lieu of regional (SYC, JRCC, ROC) events that offer “points”.   One thought is to work together with our surrounding divisions to further reduce the picking of an event over another where age/ratings of events overlap on a given day or weekend.

I had hoped to implement a program this year that would offer support to VA division fencer(s) who might need some assistance with travel/accommodations to cadet and junior competitions internationally.  I feel strongly about this, and commit to putting something together this year.

I’d like to run two (2) referee clinics annually to support the development of our division members who have interest in refereeing.  This may include a high level clinic for those who are currently referees, but wish to go to the next level.  These clinics will be offered specifically for the development of VA Division members/referees to support tournaments in the VA Division.

Finally, I couldn’t end this note without making a comment about Allen Evans.  Allen has decided that he’s had enough of us (my words, not his) and will not run again for VA Division Board.  I’ve had the pleasure of serving with him for many years, both locally and on the Division Resources Committee with the National Offices. Everything he says is so well thought out and insightful, and I know that the Board will not be the same without him.  Thank you, Allen, for everything.

Announcement from the US SEMI Committee on Saber Machine Timings

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US SEMI is aware of certain SG12ST and older SG21 machines that seem to not have the recent saber timing despite being upgraded. US SEMI believes the upgrade programming mechanism or device used to update the machines has some kind of fault that caused the machine to not be upgraded when it should have been. We believe that you can determine if your machine is faulty by setting it to Saber, turning it off, and turning it back on again. A correctly upgraded machine will not have the audible alarm that indicates the B-C connection is open. A faulty machine will sound the alarm. The lights will indicate the open condition on both working and faulty machines as normal. This was a change put into the software with the timing upgrade and can be used as an indication if the upgrade was successfully applied. The presence of a sticker is not an indication of whether the machine has correct timing. US SEMI has NO indication that any forfeiting of stickers has occurred.

US SEMI believes that it may be possible to fix the fault by repeatedly applying the “flash” programming sequence until it is successful. This would have to be done by a factory authorized technician, and would require the machine to be sent to the technician.

We would stipulate that anyone bringing an older machine that they think did not re-program properly and proof of purchase from Absolute Fencing or Ted Li could have them re-re-programmed at the Absolute Fencing Gear booth at the USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge or the 2018 October NAC at no charge, but that lacking proof of purchase they would pay the standard fee.

We recommend that faulty machines not be used for tournaments in which rolling points will be awarded. Use for other tournaments is at the discretion of the organizer.

Clarification on New Foil Chest Protector Rule

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The USA Fencing Referees’ Commission, along with the US SEMI Committee, has issued the following clarification regarding the change to the USA Fencing Rules of Competition regarding chest protectors for foil fencers that was approved on April 12:

1) The rule in m.25.4 that chest protection for foil fencers must be covered by a soft material applies to ALL chest protection, regardless of style. The soft material addresses issues of competitive balance caused by the foil requirements for tip debounce, and as such, there will be no exceptions.

2) We are aware that manufacturers may not offer older-style “hubcap” protectors that conform to the rules. Therefore, fencers are allowed to retrofit their existing protectors to bring them into compliance with the rules–that is, by attaching the required soft material to the protector. These retrofitted protectors are NOT required to have the manufacturer/FIE mark, but retrofitted protectors must be inspected at equipment check to ensure that they comply with the rules. Once inspected, the technician will apply the competition’s inspection mark.

3) Some fencers have indicated that they wear their chest protection in such a way as to make a referee’s inspection potentially invasive. For these fencers, the inspection technicians can issue the fencer an external marker (such as a card or token) that indicates their chest protection has passed inspection. The fencer may present this marker to the referee in lieu of showing the actual inspection mark on the protector itself, if the protector is worn in such a way as to make inspection invasive.  The referee may ask the fencer to demonstrate, as unobtrusively as possible, that the inspected protection is indeed present under their conductive jacket/fencing jacket/plastron.”

On April 12, the USA Fencing Board of Directors approved a change to the USA Fencing Rules of Competition regarding chest protectors for foil fencers.

Per Section m.25.4(c):

“At all weapons, the use of a breast/chest protector (made of metal or some rigid material) is compulsory for women and optional for men. At foil, this breast /chest protector must be worn below the protective plastron. At foil, the protector will have the following characteristics: The entire outside of the chest protector (the side facing the opponent) must be covered with a soft material such as E.V.A. (Ethylene-vinyl acetate) of four mm thickness and density of 22kg/m3. (The material can be attached to the current plastic models or incorporated into the manufacture of new chest protectors). The material must have the SEMI technical mark at the center of the upper edge.”

This rule is in line with the rule change made at the 2017 FIE Congress which began implementation at the 2018 Junior and Cadet World Championships. The rule is applicable to foil fencers ONLY.

The change will be effective beginning with the USA Fencing National Championships and July Challenge on June 28, 2018 for all Division I, Cadet, Junior and Veteran USA Fencing national events.

Beginning Aug. 1, 2018, the rule will take effect for ALL USA Fencing sanctioned events.