(Colorado Springs, Colo.) – As we all navigate the momentous impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives, USA Fencing understands that the issues our fencing clubs face are challenging and, at times, overwhelming. USA Fencing’s member clubs are cornerstones of our fencing family and organization, and we remain committed to supporting them.
At its April 29, 2020 meeting, the USA Fencing Board of Directors approved the re-sanctioning of in-person activities (excluding competitions) at member clubs in locations where the clubs are permitted to operate or reopen by local and state laws, regulations, executive orders and other legal mandates regarding COVID-19. This re-sanctioning is effective immediately. Sanctioned activities will be covered by our insurance, subject as always to policy terms and conditions.
Please note that it will remain the responsibility of each club to stay abreast of and comply with legal requirements governing its own location. USA Fencing cannot, as a practical matter, oversee member clubs’ compliance with applicable laws, which vary widely from place to place. Nor is it within our competence to provide legal advice.
Similarly, USA Fencing will not prescribe or undertake to enforce specific measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission among club members, coaches, staff and visitors. Given the divergent locations, facilities, memberships and other COVID-19 risk factors among our many clubs, there is not a single solution that would be applicable to all. Protective measures that may be appropriate in one location could be too much or too little in another. Accordingly, selection and implementation of preventive measures must remain the province of individual clubs, just as decisions whether and how to participate in club activities must be left to individual members.
Importantly, USA Fencing is not currently aware of any authoritative COVID-19 guidelines that relate specifically to the sport of fencing. There can be no assurance that any measures will be 100% effective in preventing COVID-19 from being contracted in the course of club activities. Thus, at least for the foreseeable future, live-streamed online training classes and lessons will continue to be sanctioned and insured.
USA Fencing will continue to support our fencing community by providing links to potentially helpful COVID-19 resources, including considerations or guidelines from USOPC and CDC. In addition, if clubs or members wish to suggest resources for consideration by others in the fencing community, please pass them along. We cannot guarantee that we will post them all, but we will attempt to relay selected items that appear reliable, helpful and germane.
We will address the resumption of sanctioned competitions in a future update.