USA Fencing has announced that fencers will no longer be required to wear a face mask under their fencing mask during bouts in which they are competing. The change, which is effective immediately, applies to USA Fencing-sanctioned events, including local, regional and national tournaments. Here’s what you need to know:
- While face masks are now optional for athletes during bouts in which they are competing, fencers will still be required to wear two-layer cloth masks or surgical face coverings at all other times when they are in the competition venue, including in between bouts.
- Masks remain required at all times for coaches, tournament officials, referees and spectators.
- The Virginia Division’s vaccine mandate remains in place. Unvaccinated athletes are required to produce a negative PCR/RAPID test from a 3rd party provider no more than 72 hours old from event start time to compete in tournaments sanctioned by the Virginia Division of USA Fencing.
- The 90 second break between elimination bout periods has been restored to the pre-pandemic 60 second break.
- All Virginia Division sanctioned tournaments are required to implement this new policy.
This mandate does not apply to our clubs during regular practice or unsanctioned tournaments, and clubs may come up with mask and vaccination policies at their own discretion.
Should you have any questions, please comment below or reach out to the Executive Committee via email. Thank you, and stay safe.
There are a lot of events coming up for fencers in the Virginia Division. The below list includes National, Regional and VA Division run events happening over the next two months. There are also many club run events for VA Division members in VA, NC, MD and the Capital Division (DC area) to go to (www.askfred.net).
April 2-3 – The Cherry Blossom ROC (Region 6) in College Park, MD
April 9-10 – The GMU Patriot Open in Springfield, VA (All net proceeds go to support the GMU college club fencing team)
April 9-10 – Bull City SABER RYC in Durham, NC
April 21-24 – April NAC/Div I and Para National Championships in Charlotte, NC
April 30 & May 1 – VA Division Spring Referee Clinic in Richmond with Mary Mahon
April 29-May 1 – Peachtree Battle RYC/RJCC/ROC/Para – College Park, GA
May 13-15 – The Fairfax Challenge SYC and RJCC (Region 6) in Fredericksburg
May 21st – VA Division Div 2/3 and Y14 SN Qualifiers in Falls Church
Regular and Late period registration close dates are listed on each event either on usafencing.org or askfred.net. Thanks!
Virginia Division Members:
As a reminder, local Virginia competitions require proof of vaccination (or negative Covid test from the last 72 hours) in order to compete. Beginning in January, 2022, national events will have a similar mandate.
From the USA Fencing Board of Directors 10/16 Meeting Agenda – “Beginning with the NAC scheduled for December (updated to January 2022), and until further action by the Board of Directors, entry to USA Fencing national competition venues will be limited to individuals who are fully and demonstrably vaccinated against coronavirus (Covid-19) disease, those who have demonstrated authentic medical or religious vaccination exemptions, and vaccine ineligible individuals (i.e., members of groups for whom vaccines have not been approved by the CDC or FDA).
The Virginia Department of Health now offers the ability to store a digital vaccine record on your iPhone. In addition to accepting a photo of or your original vaccine card, we will also accept this as proof of verification.
To download the record to your phone, simply go to the VDH Digital Vaccine site and provide your information. A QR code will be provided. Using your rear-facing camera, scan the QR code and then add your record to the Apple Health app.
If you have any questions on how to use this feature, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help you troubleshoot.
Stay safe, and happy fencing!
The Virginia Division of USA Fencing is proud to recognize 44 Virginia Division Fencers selected to the 2021 Absolute Fencing All-Academic Team.
The All-Academic team recognizes athletes with a GPA of 3.4 or higher, with 1st Team recognition awarded to students with a GPA of 3.85 or better.
Congratulations to the following VA Division Fencers for your hard work in the classroom and on the piste!
AIC Fencing Club:
· Lianhao Li
· Sabrina Hsieh
· Rebecca Hsieh
· Chelsea Hu
Cardinal Fencing Academy:
· Sebastian Lu
· Ajit Sivakumar
· Andy Zhang
Fencing Sports Academy
· Hadley Husisian
· Andrew Kee
· Elizabeth Kim
· Gianna Macedon
· Julia Peeler
· Lauren Richardson
· Sarah Schoenberger
· Alexei Stevens
· Maximillian Kobal
· Mason Stanley
· Elias Chatto
· Sofia D’Orazio
· Gianna Hall
· Grand Halla
· Natalie Kerbel
· Peter Leffler
· Elizabeth St. Pierre
· Narain Dowling
Penta Olympic Fencing Club
· Christopher Chong
· Erika Gumagay
· Ryan Kim
· Daniel Lee
· Yedda Lee
· Kyungmin Lee
· Keegan O’Hara
· Lily Papadakis
· Vincent Park
· Kozmo Rhyu
· William Suringa
· Chandler Wimmer
· Thomas Murphy
Richmond Fencing Club
· Quinn Kast
· Christopher Limm
· Rob Rountree
· Quin Smith
· Maddy Stone
· Evan Stubblefield
The full list of Academic All-Americans can be found on the USA Fencing website.
Out of concern for the safety of our membership and their families, effective immediately, the Virginia Division of USA Fencing will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test for all fencers, parents, volunteers and USFA Professional members for that event to be sanctioned by the Virginia Division.
Confirmation of vaccination or negative COVID test will occur as you walk into the venue. No one without proof will be allowed into the venue at any time, no exceptions.
Negative COVID test results (PCR or Rapid) cannot be more than 72 hours old from the day of the event the fencer is competing in.
Tournament organizers are required to publish this policy, USA Fencing’s venue mask mandate, and any other venue specific requirement in the tournament listing on AskFred at the time the tournament is posted. Any changes to any of the above policies will be communicated to those registered and preregistered by the tournament organizer promptly.
This mandate is a requirement only for events where the Virginia Division of USA Fencing is the sanctioning body. Regional events (ROC’s, R/SYC’s, JRCC’s), North American Cup events and unsanctioned local events will not have this requirement.
Failure to comply with this mandate will result in the un-sanctioning of tournaments and/or the loss of ability to host future tournaments.
Questions regarding this mandate can be made to any VA Division Executive Committee member directly, or by email to email@example.com.
Due to a series of changing circumstances and out of respect for community resources, the location of the May North American Cup has been moved from Minneapolis, Minn. to Richmond, Va.
The May NAC will be held from May 6-9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center with competition being held in Division I, Junior, Cadet and Y14 categories.
Registration will open on April 2 at 9 a.m. PDT and close on April 8 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.
“Thank you to our partners at both Sports Minneapolis and Richmond Region Tourism for their flexibility and willingness to make the accommodations necessary to make the May NAC successful,” said USA Fencing Senior Director of Sports Operations Christine Strong Simmons (Colorado Springs, Colo.) “We are looking forward to returning to Richmond in May and to partnering again with Minneapolis in the future.”
Each of the events will remain capped at 126 competitors and be limited to U.S. citizens or permanent residents only. The protocols listed in the Health & Safety Practices for the Resumption of National Events also will remain in place, including the mask mandate as well as mandatory COVID-19 testing 72 hours prior to departure for the event.
With events being capped at 126 competitors, athletes will be selected as follows from among those who register for the tournament prior to the registration deadline:
- Top 75% (up to a maximum of 90 individuals) of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet the criteria above on the National Rolling Point Standings as of the opening day of registration will be selected in order of their ranking on the standings. Please Note: The top 75% (up to a max of 90) applies to U.S. citizens / permanent residents only. For example, if there are 100 fencers on the NRPS and 96 are U.S. citizens / permanent residents, 72 fencers (96 x .75) will be selected.
- All remaining slots will be allocated by a lottery that will take place at the conclusion of registration.
- Athletes not selected in the lottery will be placed on the waitlist for the event.
- Waitlist order will be determined by the lottery.
All rooms for Minneapolis will be canceled at no penalty by Group Housing. There is no need to contact them about canceling your room. To book a room for the May NAC in Richmond, click here.
On February 24th, 2021 (Effective March 1), the Commonwealth of Virginia updated Executive Order #72 – Phase III Guidelines. FULL TEXT. Upon detailed review of the document, we believe nothing has changed as it relates to fencing in the Commonwealth.
The Virginia Division of USA Fencing’s Executive Committee
does not support sanctioning events without widespread availability of a vaccine. We do believe there is a path to competitions again most likely in the late summer contingent on the promising projections of the vaccine rollout over these next few months, and we continue to monitor the Commonwealth’s guidelines and the rollout of vaccines and will readdress this position when the Virginia Guidelines change.
Further, we do not support the sanctioning of Regional and National events through the end of the 2020-2021 Season. It is our concern for the safety of our fencers, parents, referees and others in our community who may be unknowingly affected by attending these events that gives us pause.
Lastly, we do not sanction Regional / National Events, regardless of where they are held. Sanctioning decisions for these events are made by the National Offices.
Again, to our fencers and parents of fencers, we feel that even if an organizer is able to account for everything in their control, it only takes one Fencer, Club, Coach, or Referee not following protocols in their normal daily lives (or one of their contacts) to jeopardize a multitude of communities. We prefer to err on the side of safety and understand that others do not hold this same opinion.
Thank you for your support and hope all of you are happy, healthy and safe!
On December 10, 2020, the Commonwealth of Virginia issued Executive Order #72 and “Order of Public Health Emergency”.
Click here for the full text, but effective Monday, December 14th and through at least January 31, 2021, highlights include:
- Modified Stay at Home Order between 12AM and 5AM (with certain exceptions)
- Fitness and Exercise facilities max occupancy dropped from 25 to 10 people; however Indoor Recreational Sports venue limits remain at 25
- All Public and Private In-Person Gatherings limited to 10 people (with certain exceptions)
As noted by Cardinal Fencing Academy in an announcement this afternoon, some of these new restrictions have gray areas that can be left up to interpretation by the reader, so we ask that you please read through the document thoroughly and be cautious about how you approach fencing these next few months, or at least until more clarification comes from Richmond.
Let us be clear –
The Virginia Division Executive Committee:
- does not support bouting in our clubs due to the 84% surge of COVID-19 cases in VA over the past 28 days not to mention throughout the country.
- will not sanction any event in VA through the end of the 2020-2021 season. We will monitor conditions in the Commonwealth through the Spring to ascertain widespread availability and acceptance of a vaccine before reconsidering this position.
- does not support the sanctioning of Regional and National events through the end of the 2020-2021 Season. We will monitor conditions in the Region 6 through the Spring to ascertain widespread availability and acceptance of a vaccine before reconsidering this position.
- does not sanction Regional nor National Events, regardless of where they are held. Sanctioning of these events are only done by the National Offices.
To our fencers and parents of fencers, our feelings are that even if an organizer is able to account for everything in their control, it only takes one Fencer, Club, Coach, or Referee not following protocols in their normal daily lives (or one of their contacts) to jeopardize a multitude of communities.
Thank you for your support and hope all of you are happy, healthy and safe!
VA Division of USA Fencing Statement Regarding the Sixth Amended Version of Virginia’s Executive Order 67
On November 13, the Sixth Amended version of Executive Order 67 (PHASE THREE TIGHTENING OF CERTAIN TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS DUE TO COVID-19) reduces the maximum total number of people (participants, coaches and spectators) allowed indoors down to 25 (or less given size of location.)
Further, the Fourth Amended version removes the 10ft social distance requirement to support high school winter and spring team sport activities. The 10 ft distance requirement however, still exists for Fitness Centers and Gyms. We expect this to be reinstated shortly.
The Virginia Division Executive Committee does not support bouting in our clubs due to the recent surge of cases in VA and the country and will not sanction any event through January, where we will again consider conditions in the Commonwealth and whether there is widespread availability of a vaccine.
For your reference:
Please join the Virginia Division of USA Fencing along with Dan Kellner (Olympian, coach of Olympians and owner of Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club), Bruce Gillman (Head Coach at Vassar College), Peter Grandbois (Head Coach at Denison University), plus Jennifer Chen, Captain of the William & Mary club team, Maria Papadopoulos, Captain at Duke, and others.
This will be an informal panel discussion of expectations and experiences of all parties – what to look, expect and plan for as you consider fencing in college, and what changes given COVID19 if anything. We will have some prepared questions and hope to take questions asked by those in attendance (time permitting).
You must register in advance for this discussion:
Hope to see you there!