Beginning August 1, USA Fencing “Return to Fencing” Guidelines will allow for local/division sanctioning of events if the State guidelines that support physical distancing and other requirements are met.
The Virginia Division does not believe that while we are in Phase III that tournaments should occur given the 10ft mandatory distance required between competitors, coaches and or referees that the VAPhase III Guidelines require (under the Recreational Sports and Fitness Center/Gym guidelines for Businesses in Virginia), and therefore we will not sanction any event in the Commonwealth until such time where physical distance restrictions still exist.
Further, USA Fencing Guidelines also state that only the members from the sanctioning division are allowed to compete in a sanctioned event, so the notion of going to our neighbors events from the Capital, Maryland, and North Carolina divisions is not a possibility for now.
We understand that this is a frustration for some as we are all excited to get back to the sport we love. We feel whatever temporary setbacks or feelings we are going through pale in comparison to the risks of contracting COVID19, which could include severe medical issues that may last a lifetime and heaven forbid the loss of life of a fencer or one of their family members.
The Virginia Division also does not support clubs running unsanctioned tournaments in the Commonwealth given the above mentioned physical distancing requirements.
To our fencers, and/or 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 to jeopardize a multitude of communities.
Thank you for your support and hope all of you are happy, healthy and safe!