VA Division Operating Guide

Last Updated: January 2021

1.0 Purpose of this Manual

This manual has been written to document established Virginia Division of USA Fencing, LLC. (Virginia Division) procedures, best practices, and rules. It is not intended to supersede, nor may it contradict, the Virginia Division By-laws. Where a policy in this manual may conflict with the Division By-laws, that policy is null and void.

2.0 Who May Modify this Manual

This manual may be modified from time to time as procedures and rules change in the Division. Changes to the manual do not need a vote of the Executive Committee of the Virginia Division. However, the Virginia Division Executive Committee should review the manual on a timely basis — at least once every three years — and approve its continued use, or request that it may be modified as necessary. In the absence of an officer being assigned direct responsibility for this Operations Manual, the Secretary of the Division has the responsibility to maintain this document.

While only a Division officer or officers may modify this document, this document is public to all members of the Division. 

3.0 Officers

3.1 Chair

The Chair of the Division acts as the Chief Executive Officer of the Division and is responsible for the smooth running of the Division, enforcing the By-laws of the Virginia Division, as well as the rules set for in the USA Fencing Athlete Handbook, Operations Manual and USA Fencing rules. 

The Chair leads the meeting of the Division Executive Committee as well as the Division meetings of the membership. 

The Chair ensures that the responsibilities of the other officers and appointed Committees and Task Forces of the Division are met.

The Chair of the Division acts as one of the signers on the bank account.

Lastly, the Chair is the public face of the Virginia Division of USA Fencing and serves as the liaison to the National Office of USA Fencing.

3.2 Vice Chair

The Vice-Chair adds their particular expertise to the Executive Committee, and succeeds the Chair if, for some reason, the current Chair is unwilling or unable to fulfill his or her duties.

3.3 Secretary

The Secretary keeps the official minutes of all Executive Committee and Division meetings. In addition, the Secretary is responsible for the reporting of tournament results and ratings changes to the national offices of USA Fencing.

The Secretary is responsible for filing any officer reports as required by USA Fencing.

The Secretary also coordinates the Division’s public presence, including Web Page support and updating any public media accounts the Division should choose to operate. Division announcements and press releases should be coordinated by the Division Secretary, including updating and maintenance of Division events on AskFred, the Division webpage (in coordination with the webmaster for the Division, where appropriate), and any and all social media accounts (unless otherwise assigned by the Executive Committee)

Additional duties include, but are not limited to: submission of the official results and rating changes resulting from tournaments held in the Division, referee utilization reports (shared with Division FOC) for Division events, and the upkeep of this document (unless otherwise assigned by the Executive Committee)

3.4 Treasurer

Keeps all financial records of the Division and ensures that Division funds are properly recorded and accounted for. The Treasurer is also responsible for filing the yearly statement of financial position with USA Fencing, as well as ensuring compliance with any other necessary financial reporting. The Treasurer must give a complete account of the Division Finances at least once a year, though more often is recommended. The Treasurer is one of the signers on the Division bank account.

The Treasurer may also have to collate information for IRS 1099 income reporting and issue the required 1099 forms at the end of the calendar year.

3.5 Member At Large

The At Large Member applies his or her expertise in one or more subjects necessary for the Division Executive Committee to make decisions and conduct its day-to-day affairs. The At Large Member educates the Division Board with this special information, bringing his or her knowledge or unique insight for the good of the Division.

The Member-at-Large serves as the spokesperson for the members of the Division. His or her constituency may be geographical, political, or unique in some other fashion (Veteran members, for example). It is the responsibility of the Member-at-Large to attempt to represent the membership in any decisions the Board makes and to remind the Board of how its decisions will affect the members.

The Member-at-Large serves on committees, commissions, and task forces for the Division, including acting as the head of these delegations where his or her expertise is particularly insightful or valuable in determining a course of action.

The Member-at-Large serves the Executive Committee as a whole in making and implementing the decisions of the Committee. The Member-at-Large in turn communicates and reports EC decisions to the membership and outside parties.

3.6 Division FOC

The Division FOC is a semi-permanent, appointed member who serves at the pleasure of the Executive Committee. The Division FOC is responsible for overseeing the development, continued professional education, and hiring of referees in the Division for Division-run events. The Division FOC is the first point of contact between referees and the Division.  

The Division FOC and the Executive Committee hold the responsibility to host two intro-level referee clinics each season and preside over the corresponding observation tournaments held the following day.

Ideally, the Division FOC is an active referee with a USA Fencing rating of “5” or above in one weapon, and with referee experience at the local, regional, and National level. The Chair is under no obligation to fill this role if they feel there are no qualified candidates among the members of the Division.

While not a voting member of the Executive Committee, the Division FOC is considered an ad hoc member of the EC unless specifically excluded in deliberations or meetings.

3.7 Division Armorer

The Division Armorer is a semi-permanent, appointed member who serves at the pleasure of the Executive Committee. The Division Armorer is responsible for the procurement, upkeep, and inventory of any Division-owned scoring and timekeeping equipment.  The Chair is under no obligation to fill this role if they feel there is no need, nor qualified candidates among the members of the Division.

3.8 Other Division Duties

Other duties to be taken on by a variety of officers or appointed positions in the Division:

  • Regional tournament proposals and coordination
  • Division Points lists and updates
  • Website upkeep (when not done by the Secretary)
  • Virginia collegiate fencing club coordinator/support
  • Support for Division sponsored events and/or qualifiers (either onsite or otherwise, i.e., adding Division Events on AskFred)
  • Support USA Fencing SafeSport and US Center for SafeSport initiatives and policies including the assigning of a division contact
  • Support USA Fencing Division Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and VA Division of USA Fencing  initiatives, including a commitment to having a Contact and/or committee

3.9 Officer Benefits

Officers may fence without charge at any Division sanctioned event run by either the Division or by a USA Fencing Virginia Division Member Club. The entry of an officer is not counted towards the calculation of the 10% sanctioning fee remitted to the Division by the hosting club, i.e., the club does not pay the sanctioning fee on the Officer’s entry.

This benefit may not be passed to a non-officer in lieu of the officer not fencing in a given event.

4.0 Annual Membership Meeting

The Division shall have one general membership held in accordance with the By-laws of the Division.  The Chairman of the Division may call additional general meetings as necessary and will be held in accordance with the By-laws of the Division.  A quorum for general meetings of the Division shall consist of ten members of the Division, representing at least three different clubs.  

4.1 Membership Meeting Agenda

The agenda of this divisional meeting shall be:

  • Reading and approval of minutes of previously held meetings called by the Chairman (if any)
  • Reports of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer
  • Reports of other Division Officers, committee chairs, and administrative assistants (when appropriate)
  • Election of officers (when appropriate)
  • Unfinished business
  • New business

4.2  Post Membership Meeting Executive Committee Session

The newly elected Executive Committee will meet briefly at the end of the Annual Membership Meeting to answer any questions between the group, collect contact information if necessary, and to schedule the first Executive Committee meeting for some time in July, if possible.

5.0 Election of Executive Committee

Elections are held in accordance with the By-laws of the Division and procedurally below.  No more than four (4) members of one club can serve on the Executive Committee.  Representing a club is to represent that club in the competition, or for that club to be the individual’s primary location of fencing activity.

5.1 Proxies

The use of Proxies is held in accordance with the By-laws of the Division.  Our current Proxy Form is attached to the end of this document as Appendix A, and will be sent to all known candidates when they announce their intention to run to the Executive Committee.  The proxy form will also be posted on the Division website at the time of the Membership meeting announcement.  

5.2 Election of Chair and Vice Chair

First the election of a Chairman shall be completed.  Second, the election of a Vice-Chairman shall be completed.

5.3 Election of At-Large Members, Secretary and Treasurer

The election of seven (7) Members-at-Large shall be completed: each voting member casts seven (7) votes for nominees; one for each of seven different nominees, or multiple votes in any combination for a smaller number of nominees so that the total number of votes is seven (7), including casting all seven votes for one nominee. A nominee may vote for himself.  Votes shall be cast in whole numbers, no fractions. The seven nominees with the highest total of votes become Members-at-Large.  In the event of a tie for one of the 7 positions, a runoff shall be held. Immediately thereafter, the Members-at-Large best able to fill the roles of Secretary and Treasurer shall be nominated, and they shall be elected to those roles in that order by the voting members of the division (Note: the duties of Secretary and Treasurer may be combined and handled as a single position when appropriate)

6.0 Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (EC) is made up of the four (4) elected Officers of the Division, and five (5) elected At Large Members elected at the Annual Meeting.  The Executive Committee, with the approval of the Chair, may appoint members to serve as non-voting members of the Executive Committee. Only the officers of the Division have a vote in the deliberations of the Executive Committee, and only the officers may be counted towards a quorum of the committee.

6.1 SafeSport Coordinator

The Chair, or the Executive Committee will assign a SafeSport Coordinator to receive, coordinate and assist in implementing content that comes from USA Fencing SafeSport Offices and/or Committee.  If the Division does not assign this responsibility, it will automatically become the responsibility of the Chair.  The goals/objectives of the SafeSport Coordinator are at a minimum the same as the USA Fencing SafeSport Committee.

6.2 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Coordinator

The Chair, or the Executive Committee will assign a DEI Coordinator/Committee to receive, coordinate and assist in implementing content that comes from USA Fencing DEI Offices and/or Committee.  If the Division does not assign this responsibility, it will automatically become a responsibility of the Vice Chair.  The goals/objectives of the DEI Coordinator/Committee are at a minimum the same as the USA Fencing DEI Committee.  The Virginia Division will do its best to maintain a DEI Committee of at least three individuals.  The current Virginia Division DEI Statement can be found as Appendix B of this document.

7.0 Tournament Sanctioning

Only USA Fencing or the Virginia Division may sanction USA Fencing tournaments inside the Commonwealth of Virginia Division boundaries as noted by our By-laws.  Tournaments held by USA Fencing are not considered sanctioned by the Virginia Division de facto, and need not meet any other requirements by the Division.

7.1 Requirements for Virginia Division Sanctioning

In order to be a Virginia Division sanctioned USA Fencing tournament, the tournament must meet the following requirements:

1. The event must be announced at least 30 days before the event. That announcement must be in a public forum, such as a publicly accessible web page, flyer, or announcement on “AskFred” or its equivalent.

2. The event must appear on the official Division calendar as published on the Virginia Division web page or other official schedule on social media.

3. The hosting club or location must be fully insured for the course of the event, along guidelines published by USA Fencing. This insurance must be through the USA Fencing club insurance program, or the equivalent from a third party vendor.  If club is insured by an equivalent third party vendor, the Virginia division reserves the right to obtain a copy of the policy before sanctioning a tournament.

4. The competition must follow the rules of USA Fencing without significant departures.

5. The competition may not use a tournament format not approved by USA Fencing.

6. A Division officer (or appointed representative) must be present during the running of the event, though they may or may not have a role in the event itself.

7. At the conclusion of the event, a sanctioning fee amounting to 10% of the gross proceeds of entry fees (or donations in lieu of entry fees) must be remitted to the Virginia Division.

8. Sanctioning fees from any previous tournament must be current before a subsequent sanctioned event can be held by the member club.

7.2 Appointed Representative for Sanctioning

The Division Executive Committee may, at its discretion, appoint a representative to be present for any sanctioned tournament in order to meet the requirements of 6.1(6). The appointed representative is obliged to insure that the tournament is run in a manner in accordance with the policies of the Virginia Division, and has no other duties or responsibilities as an officer. The Executive Committee must unanimously agree to the appointment of the representative. That representative may be a member of the hosting club for the event, but must be at least 18 years of age.

The appointment as a representative does not transfer any of the powers or responsibilities of a Division Officer to the appointee, except in the case of a formal bout committee being called during the course of the event. The appointment begins at the opening of registration and ends after the final bout of the last event of the day has been recorded by the Bout Committee.

8.0 Principles of Tournament Scheduling

1. All clubs should have equal access to the Division Calendar for hosting events. The sanctioning process should be available to all clubs, and will be transparent in its operation. The Division should announce the “opening” of the next season’s calendar for tournaments both on the Division web page and in an email directed to each member club of the Division.
2. It is in the Division’s interest that marquee events — both hosted by the Division and hosted by private parties via sanctioning by the National Offices (either National or Regional Events) — be identified by the scheduling  process and remain on or near the same date every year, in order to build up attendance and the reputation of the tournament.
3.  Tournament conflicts should be avoided where possible. Tournaments within the Division should not be scheduled on the same weekends, though in some cases, this may be unavoidable. In those cases, the tournaments in conflict must be of different types such as those targeted at different age groups, genders, or ratings.  Every effort should be made to send the Virginia Division proposed calendar to the Maryland and Capital Divisions prior to the Annual Executive Committee meeting typically held right after Summer Nationals.

4. Multiple “like” tournaments (Opens, Vet, Youth, Ratings restricted) should not be in close proximity on the calendar. The Division should avoid (where possible) conflicting with major National events, and premier events in the neighboring Divisions of DC, MD, and NC, however, the Division is under no obligation to avoid conflicts with any entity besides itself. 
5. Tournaments must be hosted with adequate resources for the expected turnout, and level of competition. This means not only should the venue be able to handle the expected event, but that referees and technical committee personnel should be competent to manage the numbers and level of fencing expected.

6. Tournaments conducted during a pandemic or similar health or other crisis may not violate local, regional or statewide statutory or mandated laws and regulations.  Maximum capacity guidelines and rules must be observed to the fullest extent.  Failure to comply with Commonwealth and County laws and regulations will result in suspension of club’s ability to host sanctioned events for a period of time to be determined by the Executive Committee.

8.1 Recurring Events in the VA Division

Every club in the Division is allowed to host up to three (3) recurring events during the season. These events must meet the following criteria:

1. The event must be held in the same month, and preferably the same weekend, every year. The event may shift one weekend earlier or later to accommodate schedule needs.  

2. The recurring event may be of any type (Open, Youth, Vet, etc) but must be of the same type of event every year.

3. To be considered for recurring status an event must be held three years in a row at roughly the same time and venue. At the end of the third occurrence, the host may request that the event be given recurrent status, provided the host has not reached their limit of three recurring events.  

4. Recurrent events will be considered only on a case-by-case basis. For each tournament a host wishes to be entered into recurring status on the Division calendar, the host must make a separate request to the Executive Committee.

5. At the end of three concurrent years of being on the official Division calendar, a host must apply—and receive—recurring status from the Division Executive Committee.

6. After an event has been given a recurring status, the recurring event must occur every year. Failure to hold an event in a single year without explanation will be the loss of the recurring status and the event will return to the open bid process and must be recertified by the EC after being on the calendar for two consecutive years.  During the 2020-2021 season, due to COVID-19 pandemic, this rule is suspended and will be reinstated upon the return to normal operations and normal competition schedule.

7. Recurring tournament events are not transferable between clubs.

8. The recurrent tournaments and their hosts as of 8/1/2020 are:

                        Valkyrie Women’s Open (October) NOVA

Tech Open (October) Virginia Tech

            Halloween Open (October) W&M

            Thanksgiving Throw Down (November) RFC        

JMU Open (February) JMU

River City Rumble (February) RFC

Tidewater Open (February) TFC

Conomikes Open (March) W&M

Valkyrie Women’s Open (May) NOVA

Top of the Hill Vet (June) NOVA

Tune Up Open (June) RFC

8.2 Scheduling Process—Setting the Division Calendar

The Executive Committee sets the Division Calendar for the next season at the first Executive Committee meeting at least 30 days before the start of the next season, with the convention that the season starts on August 15 of the calendar year. The Executive Committee may set the first half of the calendar (August through December dates) and leave the remaining dates (January through July) for an additional meeting, provided that meeting is held by November 15th  of the current calendar year.  The current process is:

  1. Identify all USA Fencing National Events
  2. Identify all Regional Events in Virginia, Maryland, DC, and North Carolina. The presence of any of these events may or may not be considered a conflict, but are noted for purposes of information.
  3. Identify all dates for Division required events (Qualifiers, Division Clinics  and premier Division events)
  4. VA Division Club Recurring tournaments
  5. Open Division dates are identified and  bids for those dates are solicited from local clubs by email and social media.. All  tournament requests received are reviewed  and accepted or sent back to the hosts for clarification within 14 days.

8.3 Scheduling Process – Submitting a bid

Bids from member clubs wishing to hold tournaments should have the following minimum information:

                        a. Date of event

                        b. Name of event

                        c. Type of event (classification)

                        d. Location

e. Any unusual situations (parking, strip layout, location) should also be communicated to the Division.

A club may submit a “save the date” bid to the Division without all the required information necessary, but should respond with complete details within 30 days of submitting the “save the date” bid.

9.0 Division Events

The following events are considered “Division Run” events:

            Kick Off Open ROC (September) – Premier Division Event

            Hangover Open (non-ROC) January – Premier Division Event[1] 

            Division Championships

            All required Division qualifiers (Currently: JO, Y14, Div2 and Div3 Nationals)

Fall and Spring Referee Clinics and Observation Tournaments (Note: The Fall Clinic is always held at NOVA and there is an understanding between the Division and NOVA that the revenue collected at the Observation Tourney goes to NOVA in lieu of rent paid for the venue for two days. It does not count as a Recurring Event specifically because it’s to support the Virginia Division.  RFC has this same opportunity available to them if they choose)

9.1 Pay Scale for Division Events

The Division believes that the referees and other officials who work the events in the Division deserve the highest possible compensation for their assistance. To that end, the Division has set the following pay scale for referees and Bout Committee people for Division sponsored tournaments[2]  and its listed on the website.

In addition, referees working more than 4 hours will be fed one meal (breakfast) and referees working more than 6 hours will be fed two meals (breakfast and lunch).

9.2 Travel and Hotel

While the honorarium is a flat rate to simplify calculating costs for tournament organizers and referees, the Division provides additional compensation for those referees traveling an unusual distance. In addition, hotel accommodations are provided—as needed—for Division events. The referee will be asked to share a room with a referee of the same gender.

10.0 Club Events

Clubs are encouraged by the Division to host tournaments and other events throughout the year. These events may be “Unsanctioned” or “Sanctioned” events. Unsanctioned events may be of any type and may conflict with any event on the Division Calendar. Unsanctioned events are not allowed to give USA Fencing approved ratings, do not contribute points to the Virginia point standings and should state clearly that they are being held “unsanctioned” when advertised/posted.

Clubs holding Division sanctioned events are responsible for submitting the results of the competition, as well as a list of Safe Sport approved referees working the competition to the Division Secretary within three days after the close of the competition.

11.0 Division Website

The Division website ( is self-managed by officers of the division.

12.0 Virginia Points List

The Virginia Division keeps track of point standings on AskFred. Points are accumulated at all sanctioned local and regional tournaments in the state of Virginia that are both open and meet the age and gender requirements of the different lists. Only members of the Virginia Division are included on the lists. The lists maintained include:

1. Youth Men’s 3-Weapon (Y12 and Y14 tournaments, but must be 12 or younger)

2. Youth Women’s 3-Weapon (Y12 and Y14 tournaments, but must be 12 or younger)

3. Junior Men’s 3-Weapon (Junior and Senior tournaments, but must be under 20)

4. Junior Women’s 3-Weapon (Junior and Senior tournaments, but must be under 20)

5. Veteran Men’s 3-Weapon (Veteran and Senior tournaments, but must be 40 or over)

6. Veteran Women’s 3-Weapon (Veteran and Senior tournaments, but must be 40 or over)

7. Senior Men’s 3-Weapon

8. Senior Women’s 3-Weapon

9. Senior Men’s Epee

10. Senior Women’s Epee

11. Senior Men’s Foil

12. Senior Women’s Foil

13. Senior Men’s Saber

14. Senior Women’s Saber

For each tournament the fencer participates in that meets the criteria, the fencer earns the inverse of their placement, plus one. For example, first place in a 30 person event gets 31 points. Second place gets 30 points, and so on until 30th place earns 1 point.

13.0 Tournament Fees and Division Refund Policy

The Virginia Division does not have any official position on the fees that a club may charge to enter a tournament. However, fees for any event should be uniform for all USA Fencing members, except for reasonable late fees, and the discount given to Division Officers. The Division will not sanction any club event in which excessive fees may be charged by a club to non-club members as a deliberate pattern of discouraging attendance.

13.1 Division Refund Policy

Any fencer who has pre-paid fees for a Division event that is unable to fence in that event due to a family emergency or injury will have all paid fees refunded after the conclusion of the tournament.   

Fencers who withdraw for non-emergency reasons will not have the registration portion of the fee (if one is charged) refunded. If there is no registration fee, there will be no refund of any tournament unless the fencer withdraws more than 72 hours in advance of the event.

For those events in which a fencer qualifies in an event previous to the qualifier, the subsequent event fee will be refunded, but not the registration fee.  Fees for Division qualifier events not competed in due to insufficient registration numbers will be refunded.

14.0 Division Equipment Usage

The Virginia Division maintains a number of reels and scoring boxes for use by Virginia Division clubs in the hosting of Division sanctioned tournaments. This equipment is freely available, without charge for that purpose. This equipment is NOT for use in the daily operation of any fencing club, unless granted permission by the Executive Committee in the case of extreme circumstances.

Division equipment can be rented for unsanctioned events and/or events sanctioned by the National Offices (i.e. SYC’s, ROC’s, JRCC’s) for a fee.  Cost to rent equipment for an event is $30 per “strip”, which includes a machine, power supply, two reels and cables.

14.1 Equipment Usage Guidelines

  1. Clubs must contact the Division about the use of equipment at least two (2) weeks before the needed date.
  2. Clubs are responsible for arranging the pick up and return of all equipment. Any equipment found by the club to be defective or inoperable must be noted to a Division officer upon the equipment’s return.
  3. Clubs are not responsible for reasonable wear and tear on Division equipment. However, in the case of severe neglect or irresponsible use, the Division may request that the club contribute to the repair and/or replacement of any machines damaged, lost, or stolen.

15.0 Division Tournament Club Rental Rate

The Virginia Division will pay $50/hour to a VA Division Member Club for use of their venue to host a Virginia Division event.  Alternative terms of payment for this service requires the approval of the Executive Committee.

Appendix A: Virginia Division Proxy Form

The Virginia Division of USA Fencing, LLC.



Name of Member: ____________________      USA Fencing Membership #: ____________________

Club Affiliation:      ____________________

☐ I designate  ____________________ to vote on my behalf; OR (Choose One Only)

☐ I wish to vote for the following candidates/positions (Absentee Ballot):

____________________           ____________________           ____________________

____________________           ____________________           ____________________

____________________           ____________________           ____________________

Signature of Member:   ____________________        Date (Required): ____________________

This proxy is valid for no more than thirty (30) days after the above signature date.

Note:  You must be a voting member of USA Fencing by February 1st of the membership year to be eligible to vote and/or assign a proxy.  We will validate every proxy form received before the election is held. 

Appendix B:  Virginia Division DEI Statement

Mission: The Virginia Division aims to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by means of organization, facilitation, and communication within clubs, events, and recruiting.  The DEI committee will drive this mission by providing structure for raising diversity awareness, improving equity standards, and promoting inclusion in every corner of our sport.

Vision:  To be an inclusive community for all, by becoming more diverse in membership and equitable in actions.

Primary Objectives:

  • Expand club memberships to reflect the diverse communities around them
  • Examine equity challenges and address them with specific actions in partnerships with clubs, coaches, referees, and bout committees
  • Nurture an inclusive environment for fencers and families, making way for positive experiences with competitions, coaching, and community

Goals (Q1, Q2 2021)

  • Initiate conversations with clubs about what diversity looks like and how to expand it within their own establishment 
  • Send survey to Virginia Division members to measure a baseline of how they feel about DEI in clubs and at events
  • Initiate outreach with HBCUs in Virginia, partnering with clubs in their areas
  • Create training for referees and bout committees for recognizing bias in making calls, giving cards, engaging with fencers
  • Create and post anonymous form to report racism, bias, bullying, and/or actions in conflict with DEI efforts in Virginia Division (DEI committee will field submissions and work with VA Division leadership to address concerns)
  • Create post-event (competitions and camps) survey to collect feedback from competitors and/or parents in areas of DEI 
  • DEI committee to use surveys and submissions to provide recommendations to the division at large, clubs, or event organizers to improve inclusion
  • Collaborate with clubs to create innovative ways to be more inclusive at classes, camps, and competitions with team building activities and open conversations
  • Expand recruitment of referees and bout committee members to be more inclusive and reflective of the fencing community

DEI Committee Members:

Michaela Joyce, Ji Su, Julie Stubblefield, Chair

Appendix C: Recommended Procedure for Organizing and Running a USA Fencing Tournament

This section is intended to be an un-official guideline towards running USA Fencing tournaments in Virginia. The scope of this work is a small to medium local tournament. Obviously, when running Regional Open Competitions, Super Youth Events, or North American Cup events, the timeline is much different.

The organizer is the individual(s) responsible for overseeing all aspects of the tournament duties may be delegated as necessary.

The Tournament Committee is composed of the Division Officers and the Club representatives for the season.

The Bout Committee (BC) is the one or more people running the tournament process during the day(s) of the competition.

The FOC (Fencing Officials Commission) is the head referee for that day.

60 or more days in advance…

1. Select the Organizer 

2. Select and secure the Venue

3. Select the type of tournament

4. Select the date

5. Strip layout plan and equipment procurement

6. Hire referees and BC staff, check Safe Sport requirements

7. Arrange hotels for any out of town staff

8. Forecast event durations and set schedule of registration

9. Advertise the event on AskFred, including event start times and other information—include late fee information, if necessary

10. Open pre-registration

11. Purchase awards/trophies

Securing the venue well enough ahead of time is critical. This gives you time to inspect the venue for safe operations, and to lay out the strip layout to determine whether or not your venue is of a size to hold the event you expect.

As the organizer, you should be able to look at the type of event you are running, and make an estimate—using historical numbers for Division attendance—of the number of people attending. From that, it’s possible to estimate the number of strips and staff you need. A rough rule for strips is to divide the number of attendees for your first event by seven (7) and round out to get the number of strips you will need. So, for 40 people you will need six to seven strips. It’s best to have at least one referee for every strip. 

14 Days in Advance

1. Arrange computer and printer.

2. Arrange venue set up time and hire/request set up assistance.

3. Purchase set up supplies, including tape and arrange for tables for machines.

4. Confirm all staff hired for the event meets Safe Sport requirements, and email staff about report times and any necessary travel information.

1 or More Days in Advance

1. Email any announcements to pre-registrants.

2. Download pre-registration information

3. Print extra US Fencing membership forms

4. Set up cash box and cash security

5. Test and confirm credit card device is working

The Night Before

1. Set up strips and machines

2. Lay out other supplies (weights and shims)

3. Configure and test computer network

4. Signage, where necessary, directing fencers to location

Tournament Day

1. Breakfast, referee meeting

2. Staff registration table

3. Print initial seeding and confirm tournament registration

4. Start the tournament

End of Tournament Day

1. Secure cash box and membership forms

2. Police and clean up the tournament area

3. Organize and arrange scattered equipment (clipboards, weights, shims, etc…)

4. Lost and found

End of Event

1. Pay officials

2. Strip teardown and equipment storage and /or transport

3. Secure lost and found

Up to Three Days After

1. Publish results on

2. Reconcile tournament fees, deposit cash and checks

3. Send in any USFA memberships. Copy forms and send in PDF to National office before sending results. Coordinate with the Division Secretary where necessary.

4. Send in complete results, rating changes, and referee list to the Division Secretary for forwarding to USA Fencing. The Division Secretary should be copied on the email when the scanned membership forms are sent to the National Office.

Update History:

Final draft presented to EC, November 2016

Modifications made to referee pay, mileage, and lodging in June 2017

Modifications made to Division Refund Policy, Division Website, Travel and Hotel, Recurring Events in VA Division, Requirements for Sanctioning, Division Equipment Usage and Other Division Officer Duties in May 2018.

VA Division officers two year review of  document with minor proposed changes in August 2020, plus, modifications made to support forthcoming implementation of Division “standard” By-Laws by USA Fencing and the USA Fencing Division Resources Committee, as well as the inclusion of SafeSport and DEI coordinators in January 2021.