VA Division Operating Guide

Last Updated: November 2023


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


  • Initiate conversations with clubs about what diversity looks like and how to expand it within their own establishment 
  • 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

Operating Guide 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.

August, November 2023 – revamping of VA Division Operating Guide by USA Fencing’s Division Resource Committee. Minor changes from prior documents excluding sections regarding Executive Committee members and how Executive Committee votes on issues. Sanctioning fee reduces from 10% to 5%.