Summary of the Division Meeting on 9.13.15

Hello All,

We did not have corum as we lacked 25 members, but much was discussed. I’ve summarized the discussion and suggested courses of action.

There is a new rule coming into effect October 1st, specifically the need to record the name and background screening status of all dedicated referees and include that information in the report to the Secretary and subsequently the National Office. It was discussed and the attendees are generally in favor of allowing self-directed events to be sanctioned in our division. You may be more familiar with the phrase “reffing out of pools”. If an event is self-directed, the referees do not need to be recorded nor do they need to have a background screening or professional membership status. It would be the Observer’s responsibility to ensure the rules are adhered to, of course, but the items that received agreement were:

Whether the event is self-directed, has a mix of self-directed and dedicated, or is wholly run by dedicated referees must be clearly expressed when the tournament is proposed for sanctioning and also in the askfred listing when it is posted.

If an event is listed as self-directed, you can choose to add dedicated referees or go with only dedicated referees on the day of the event. If an event is listed as mixed or dedicated refereeing, it cannot be changed to self-directed. I recommend a minimum of 1 month in advance would be acceptable to make a change to mixed or self-directed from dedicated, but that was not discussed and I cannot speak to others’ opinions on that point.

If a referee is used for an event other than the one they are fencing in (a foil referee fencing an epee event, for example), then that person is a dedicated referee for the (in this example) foil event in which they referee.

This brings us to the next subject: referee development. With the potential that the demand for dedicated referees may at least temporarily decline as people hold self-directed or mix-directed events, I feel like this actually puts us in a situation to need even more referee development. I feel like the areas we should focus on, which are identified by number or skill set differently by different people, is initially the beginning referee who is perhaps not yet ready to take the test but is newly interested in becoming a referee and later adding the skills or tips/tricks that help them become competent to referee at division-level events. The goal as I see it is to develop a general standard that people are at least skilled enough for divisional events event if they choose to referee only local tournaments.

To that end, I proposed an incentive program. The referees who are currently of a level to provide guidance to new and developing referees (Matt Cox, Stephen Pashby, Tom Bryan, Mike Nicholson, Bobby Gibbs, and Darius Wei, initially) should be approached about offering Referee Coaching at tournaments. The thought is that, when the schedule is finalized following the scheduling deadlines, the tournament schedule will be forwarded to these individuals and they will respond with their availability to attend said events. The tournament organizers for the events that the Referee Coaches are willing to be available for can then be contacted to discuss whether there would be a benefit to have a Referee Coach at the tournament and whether the club would like to have a Referee Coach available. Assuming there is reasonable benefit and the club agrees, then the Division would compensate the Referee Coach monetarily. The discussed amount was $50 per tournament day and that the division might consider this program under the current restriction that it will only pay this compensation for one tournament per month and only one Referee Coach for that tournament. This is, of course, negotiable depending on interest and need.

There has been interest from multiple parties in becoming Division Observers. The Observer Program has not been updated since approximately 2012 and so I am currently working on updating that. My goal is to have a video (as well as a PDF for those who prefer to read) available on the division website that the potential observer can access. Until an automated process can be put in place, the potential observer will then be able to email me to receive a test that they will answer and email back to me for grading. Assuming a passing score, they would then be a Division Observer. I anticipate the video to take no more than approximately 30 minutes and the test to be 10-20 questions in length and multiple choice. My hope is to have this completed at least to the level of being functional by the end of this week.

Additionally, it has always been in the Division Observer program manual that clubs must send someone for observer training before they can host sanctioned events. I propose that we start enforcing this rule, especially as it’s one of the few that was actually written down and intended to be followed. Following the confirmation of the tournament schedule after each deadline, the Observers would receive a list of the tournaments to be sanctioned and respond in a reasonable amount of time with their availability for each tournament. The committee or individual then appointed by the board would assign a primary and secondary Observer to each event, thereby lifting from the clubs the need to find an observer (which was supposed to be a division responsibility anyway) as well as helping lessen the load on those handful of observers who have been working all of the state’s tournaments. The secondary observer is just in case the primary cannot it make it to an event due to unforeseen circumstances.

I feel that specifically requiring every observer to work at least one tournament a season may not be as realistic as it may sound. Some people are busier than others or have more or less opportunity to attend events than others. In recognition of this, as well as the need for clubs to support the greater community, I recommend that if a club has not had an observer work at least one event over the course of a 3 season period, then that club receives a warning. If by the following season’s end that club has still not been represented by an observer (ie. their observer or observers have not worked any events), then I suggest a suspension of 6 months during which they cannot host any sanctioned events. While this may seem extreme to some, I feel that given the number of tournaments held in the division every year there is simply no excuse for a club not to have an observer work at least one of the approximately 80+ events that occur over a 3 year period, especially if the division is attempting to fairly distribute this responsibility among all the observers. A club may have as many people submit to be observers as they wish, but they only need one observer to work at least one tournament in a 3 season period in order to avoid this consequence.
USA Fencing continues to roll out new rules every 6 months or so, it seems, and many involve the recording/reporting of additional tournament information. To that end, it is my recommendation that we require the Observers to receive, and pass on to the Secretary, digital copies of the following:

The classification change report as generated by Fencing Time
The referee usage report as generated by Fencing TIme
The Fencing Time save file for the tournament itself
* If the Fencing Time save file is from version 3 or earlier, a copy of the master database is also necessary. This is not necessary if the save file is from Fencing Time version 4 as its save data is more complete.

Regarding any additional activities (camps, clinics, specialty classes, etc.) that clubs wish to hold or host, please note that if the activity falls under the club’s USFA insurance then everyone should be properly Safe Sport screened. If the activity falls under another group’s insurance (such as a special calisthenics class or having a massage therapist available), then they need not be Safe Sport screened. This is especially relevant for guest coaches, who may even be from another country and so they may have no USFA membership at all. Regardless, if it falls under USFA insurance, then the instructors/guests need to be properly screened if they are over the age of 18.

The ROC we wish to hold in April 2017 is still being worked on. I’m currently awaiting contact information for Linda Marsh so as to discuss the potential of hosting it at the Koury Center in Greensboro. The other location that the current committee is looking into is Charlotte. Bout and Tournament Committees are almost completely decided as well as much of the Armory Crew, with a few referees from outside of NC having expressed interest in refereeing if they are officially asked with enough advanced notice.

The NC Junior Olympic Qualifier is pending location approval, but the date will be November 21st-22nd. There is no current location or date decided for NC Divisional Qualifiers, although I hope to have at least the date pinned down by the end of the week.

I believe that summarizes everything I can recall being discussed. If you have any thoughts on these topics and the suggested responses, please let us know.

Thank you,
Kemmerlyn Lawrence
2015-2016 NC Division Chair
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Fall 2015 Division Meeting

Hey all,

This is to inform the populace that there will be a division meeting on September 13th at 4 pm following the Tarheel Open. The tournament information (location, contacts, etc.) can be found on askFRED at

The primary topic to discuss will be the NC Division hosting an ROC next season.

-Kemmerlyn Lawrence

2015-2016 Division Chair

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A Populace Meeting

Hi All,

It’s been suggested that the division could benefit from having our members attend a meeting to air out the grievances that have previously made it difficult to improve and also give your input as to where you feel we are and where we should be heading as a division. I think this is a great idea and one we should try to pursue.

When? – Evening of June 20th, 2015 @ 7:00 PM

Where? – Powerade State Games of North Carolina @ the Raleigh Convention Center (500 South Salisbury Street Raleigh NC 27601)

This is a meeting for everyone who would like to attend: fencers, friends and family who also fence, friends and family who don’t fence, coaches, club owners, et al. are welcome. Please try to attend.

Thank you,

Kemmerlyn Lawrence

2014-2015 NC Division Secretary and 2015-2016 NC Division Chair


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Division Meeting General Summary

The Division Meeting went pretty smoothly, in my opinion. We had 14 current members and 2 not-current members show up in person and had 27 proxies for a total of 41 representative votes. A big thank you to all who attended and shared their input and concerns.

There were two main pieces of business voted on and approved at this meeting:

Incoming Division Board -

Chair: Kemmerlyn Lawrence (Salle New Bern)

Vice-Chair of Coach & Referee Development: Stephen Kmiec (East Carolina University)

Vice-Chair of Youth Development: Paul Perkins (Cape Fear Fencing Association)

Secretary & Treasurer: Liz Morey (Raleigh Fencers Club)

Past Chair: Donny Zelinski (Salle New Bern)

The other piece of business voted on was the acceptance of the new Bylaws as they were posted on the division website previously. There were no changes beyond what had already been posted to the public and so it was accepted as proposed.

Outside of the voting issues, an ROC Bid Assessment Committee has been setup to tackle the issue of whether or not it is feasible for our division to host an ROC and under what conditions. We are shooting for the 2016-2017 season with this, so as not to unduly rush ourselves. There is also momentum building for improving communications between the board and the individual members of the division, ex. updating the division website completely and taking better advantage of social media than we’ve lately been doing.

As incoming chair I also have many other projects, both personally brought up and requested by others, that I intend to get done this coming season. A brief summary of them is as follows:

An updated, comprehensive list of available referees for our division and contact information for said referees.

Updating, refining, and possibly expanding the Division Observer program.

A “Division Procedures Manual” that outlines and defines many of the practices we commonly observe but are not yet officially written down as rules within the division. Ideally, this will also double as a “how-to” manual for those wishing to take on additional responsibilities with the division such as bout committee, refereeing, and more.

Finding and implementing a division-wide solution to help fencers at every level to get to tournaments more readily than they might be able to currently. I’m already working with Coach Miller to make sure this is something all college athletes could also take advantage of.

Besides my own works, Stephen Kmiec is already talking with others about referee clinics and coaching clinics for the upcoming season. We also already have tentative plans in place for the August meeting, but I’ll leave those to be posted when they have been firmed up.

If anyone has any comments, questions, or concerns please contact the current division Chair ( or Secretary ( and it will be brought to the attention of the appropriate people.


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Division Meeting

The Division meeting will still be held on April 25. With the recent news about NBS Gym we will be moving the location of the meeting to the Healthy Start Academy at 807 Chapel Hill Street, Durham NC 27701. The meeting will still be at 5:00 pm and the topics will still be the same.

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Board Meeting

The Division Board meeting will be held at 5 pm on Saturday, April 25th at NBS Gym. The address is 3701 Neil Street Raleigh, NC 27607.

The items to be addressed include -

* New board members for the upcoming season

* By-Law revisions and changes

* Referee eligibility and suspension

* Observer responsibilities and reporting

Other topics may be added to this list as they are proposed. Attached below are the proposed by-law changes, a list of what the changes are, and a comparison with the current by-laws.

The proxy forms shall take the outline below and can be mailed to: PO Box 3502 New Bern NC 28564. The proxies must be received by Tuesday, April 21st to be valid.


I wish to inform you that ______________(Your name) will be represented at this meeting by _______________(Proxy name) who is authorized to speak and vote in the name of  ______________(Your name).






By-Laws Documents

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Div II/ Div III Divisional Qualifier

The Div II/ Div III Divisional Qualifier is now posted on . This will take place on March 7-8 at Raleigh Fencer’s in NBS Gym. Further information is on .

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Mid-South Fencer’s Club will be hosting a referee clinic on Jan 31-Feb 2

Mary Mahon is a Certified Referee Instructor (CRI) and is known for her two day interactive referee clinics. Mary will present lecture materials on the first day, and then observe the referees during a small tournament on the second day. This two day format provides an extremely efficient opportunity for aspiring referees to earn a rating. No need to wait for another opportunity for a CRI to come back to be observed refereeing!

Registration on askfred is not required for participation, but helpful. The cost is $75 for the two day seminar paid to Mary Mahon which is due on the first day of the clinic. Pre-registration helps to make sure enough materials will be produced.

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DIvision Schedule

Our apologies for the long delay in officially approving the requested tournaments for the rest of the season. Below is a jpeg (picture) showing the weekends for the 2nd part of the season. A written list of approved dates is also below.

January 17, 2015 – Open Foil, Open Epee, One Touch Epee – CFFA (Wilmington, NC)
February 7, 2015 – Open Foil, Open Epee, D & Under Epee – CFFA (Wilmington, NC)
March 7-8, 2015 – DIV 2/3 Qualifier Events – by NC DIvision @RFC (Raleigh, NC)
March 14-15, 2015 – Open Foil, Open Epee, Open Saber – MSFC (Durham, NC)
March 28-29, 2015 – RYC Events – MSFC (Durham, NC)
March 21, 2015 – Open Women’s Foil, Open Women’s Epee, D & Under Women’s Saber – CFFA (Wilmington, NC)
April 4, 2015 – E & Under Foil, E & Under Epee – SNB (New Bern, NC)
April 18, 2015 – Open Foil, Open Epee, E & Under Saber – CFFA (Wilmington, NC)
April 25-26, 2015 – Open/Y12/Y14 Foil, Open/Y12/Y14 Epee, Open/Y12/Y14 Saber – RFC (Raleigh, NC)
May 2, 2015 – Open Epee – SNB (New Bern, NC)
May 9-10, 2015 – Open/Vet Foil, Open/Vet Epee, Open/Vet Saber – MSFC (Durham, NC)
May 23, 2015 – Open Foil, Open Epee, D & Under Foil – CFFA (Wilmington, NC)
June 6-7, 2015 – Open/Y12/Y14 Foil, Open/Y12/Y14 Epee, Open/Y12/Y14 Saber – RFC (Raleigh, NC)

-Kemmerlyn Lawrence
2014-2015 Division Secretary

Division Schedule

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Division Meeting August 31

There will be a Division Meeting August 31 at NCFDP after their tournament that day. Proxy’s for votes must be received by the secretary by Wednesday, Aug 27 to be valid (PO Box 3502 New Bern NC 28564).


Treasures report

Proposed by laws changes ( for scheduling and updating our by laws)

Hosting an ROC the following season

Hosting an RJCC by Raleigh Fencers

Fencing in State Games

Safe Sport policies

Any other issues wishing to be discussed.

Donny Zelinski

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