Notes on a Fencing Team, Part II

Next year’s fencing team should have no more than 12 persons. Seventeen fencers with swords waving around in a room the size of the fencing room is too many. At least half of the team should be ninth graders. The majority of our matches this year were against ninth graders and above; we need a team that can compete. The rest will be seventh and eighth graders, so I don’t have to rebuild the team every year. Four proven loafers from this year will not make the team. (ESJ, AS, JL, ST) The team will have one captain, who will have a specific roster of duties. There will also be an armorer, who will also have a specific roster of duties. There may be a bout committee made up of senior and junior fencers, and the coaches, to arbitrate disputes.
There will be five tests assigned over the course of the term:
the Footwork Test — know the names of the various movements
the Equipment Test — know the names of the equipment
the Defense Test — identify the various defensive postures
the Offense Test — identify the various styles of attack
the Armorer’s Test — fix a piece of broken equipment
the Director’s Test — you have to pass to be a director
There has to be a solid set of general exercises for the whole team at the start of practice — including me — which will include calisthenics, a (short) run, stretches, footwork drills, and swordwork drills. There will be three pools competition each week, in addition to matches, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I will try to schedule an eighth grade match and a ninth grade match each week.

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