So you are interested in joining the fencing club, and you want to know “What does that involve?” The following information applies to the 2017-18 season.
The club practices in the cafeteria after school on Wednesdays from 3:30 until 6:00. It takes a few minutes to put cafeteria back together again afterward and so fencers can be picked up shortly after 6:00. The practice schedule starts in the first week of the fall semester and continues until the February break.
The club competes in tournaments organised by the Georgia High School Fencing League (GHSFL) once or twice a month from September through February. Tournaments are held on Saturdays and usually last from early morning until mid to late afternoon.
As fencers become more proficient, they are encouraged to join USA Fencing and compete in USA Fencing tournaments. Most Pope fencers who compete in USA Fencing tournaments go to local ones in the Atlanta area, but a few travel to regional and even national tournaments.
Fencers are expected to practice regularly at home and are also encouraged to join a private club for additional practice and instruction.
There are, of course, plenty of opportunities for parents be involved. In particular, we must provide referees and scorekeepers in order for our fencers to be able to participate in league tournaments (training is available). We are also required to host one or two tournaments a season at Pope, which takes a large number of volunteers. Please check out the volunteer page for more details.
Club dues for the 2017-18 school year are $170 (payable at the beginning of the year). Families with more than one fencer only paid $130 for the second and subsequent fencers. The dues cover coaching, team equipment costs and league participation fees.
Fencers need to provide their own personal equipment (this cost is not covered by the dues) which is described in the equipment list. If buying new, the cheapest alternatives will probably cost about $275 – $295. You may also be able to save (perhaps about 50%) by buying used equipment.
In order to participate in the fencing club, students must meet the same academic eligibility requirements as for a sanctioned sport, and must complete the Cobb County Athlete Registration on ParentVUE which includes having a physical exam by a medical professional.
How to join
The best time to join the club is at the start of the school year as there will be other beginners starting at the same time, but the club accepts new members during the year as well. You don’t have to commit (or pay) right away, just complete the Waiver and Medical Information form and bring it to practice. Attend a couple of practices to see if you like it before deciding to join.