Face Masks Optional Starting March 12th

Following the recent updates to CDC guidelines, as well as Washington State and King County recommendations, there will be some changes to our COVID policies this month.

Effective March 1st, 2022, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result is no longer required to enter RCFC. We do still strongly encourage all of our fencers and their families to get fully vaccinated.

Starting March 12th, 2022, face coverings will be optional for all students, staff, and spectators. You are still welcome to wear a face mask if you want to.

The exception to the mask-optional policy is at tournaments. USA Fencing still has a nationwide mandate for tournaments at all levels — all fencers, spectators, coaches, and officials must wear face masks at all times. If USA Fencing decides to alter this policy, we will update tournament websites accordingly.

We will still require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test at large regional tournaments. Check the tournament website for details.

We look forward to seeing your smiling faces soon!

COVID-19 Mitigation Policy Updates

Last updated December 22, 2021

RCFC is open for all of our usual in-person activities. There are currently no capacity limits for classes or open fencing.

We have updated our protocols which are designed to minimize the risk of exposure for students, parents, and coaches. We continually evaluate these protocols for feasibility and effectiveness, and adjust them as necessary.

Note that while we will attempt to minimize risks as much as possible, there is no way that risk can be completely eliminated. Members of high-risk populations should still stay home. Clients will be required to sign a waiver agreeing to our COVID-19 mitigation policies. An email containing a link to a brief safety reminder video will be sent prior to each lesson (WA state requirement).

Surfaces and Objects

Based on newly available data, including a recent study on surface transmission via sports equipment, we have scaled back some of our surface and equipment policies.

  • All of our staff wear appropriate PPE including face coverings at all times. There is a transparent barrier at the front desk to help minimize risk of transmission.
  • We strongly recommend that customers pay their bills online through our membership system. In person, our credit card terminal supports contactless payments such as tap-and-go and Apple Pay. When paying in person with a credit card, signatures are not required.
  • Doors to the main restrooms are propped open to avoid contact with door handles.
  • All students should bring water bottles with them. Please put your name on your water bottle! At our water fountains, there is no drinking by mouth, only filling water bottles.
  • During open fencing, scoring machines should be turned on and off with the tip of the weapon if possible.
  • We have installed no-touch soap dispensers and faucets in all restrooms.
  • The weight room is limited to 1 person at a time. Sanitizing equipment before and after use is required, using the sanitizing spray provided.
  • Props for games (balls, pool noodles, etc.) and club electric equipment (foils, lames, body cords) are quarantined after use until the following day.

Distancing

  • Students should check in at the front desk, and avoid congregating closely while waiting for their class or lesson.
  • If possible, parents and other non-fencers should wait in their vehicle or leave after checking in their child and come back at the end of class. Otherwise, parents should wait upstairs. If possible, only one non-fencer should accompany a minor fencer into the club.
  • Enter through the front doors only. When possible, exit through the double doors between the two gyms.
  • After saluting: no handshakes, high-fives, or elbow bumps.

Hygiene and Screening

  • All standard CDC recommendations (hand washing, control coughs and sneezes, stay home if any symptoms, etc.) are in place.
  • Fencers and parents should self-monitor symptoms and check their temperature before they leave home. We will conduct a no-contact temperature check of everyone who enters the club. Anyone with any COVID-like symptoms or a temperature over 100 will not be allowed in the club.
  • Parents should check their child in at the front desk.
  • Students should wash their hands on arrival. They may do so in the restrooms or using the kitchen sink upstairs.
  • Hand sanitizer, tissues, and trash cans are available throughout the facility.
  • Students should come for class a few minutes earlier than usual to avoid backups in the restrooms.
  • All employees are screened for symptoms daily.
  • Cloth or surgical masks are required for everyone while in the building. This includes underneath the fencing mask.

Fencing Equipment

  • Fencers who have their own gear should bring it, use it, take it home every day, and wash/disinfect it after each use.
  • Fencers who have their own gear should not borrow any club gear.
  • We strongly recommend that students purchase their own gear, or at least their own glove and mask, after their two months of classes. We will do our best to maintain our retail inventory at appropriate levels.
  • Retail uniforms which are worn to check for size and not purchased will be kept out of active inventory for at least 24 hours.
  • For students who do not have their own gear, each student will be allocated their own set of club gear, which will remain at the club. All club gear is labeled with index numbers, which will be recorded for each student. We will place each student’s set of gear in a separate plastic storage bin where they can access it before class and return it afterwards. Each student only wears one particular set of gear, and each piece of gear is only worn by one student.
  • Club gear will be washed/sanitized every other week, then put back out into bins.

Vaccination

  • All of our staff are full vaccinated.
  • Per King County mandate, all fencers age 12 or older, plus all spectators and family who will be in the building more than a few minutes, must provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test on entry. We record that our staff have verified vaccination status in our membership system.
  • We strongly recommend that all of our fencers get fully vaccinated as soon as possible.

Vaccination/Test Requirement Starts November 6th

On October 25th, King County established a vaccination mandate for “certain businesses such as gyms and fitness facilities”. We have not heard back from them as to whether RCFC is subject to this mandate. However, we have decided that the prudent course is to follow it regardless.

Starting Saturday, November 6th, we will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result for all fencers 12 and older, as well as anyone else over 12 who will stay on site more than a few minutes.

You may email a photo of your vaccination card to membership@raincityfencing.com, or show it at the front desk next time you check in. We will record the vaccination confirmation in our membership system. (We will not save any images of vaccination cards.) We will accept proof of at least the first dose as sufficient.

If you already verified vaccination status for our RJCC/ROC tournament in September or the RYC in October, we have that recorded, so you do not need to send it again. If not, you may submit this information before next week if you like.

Anyone 12 or older who is not vaccinated will need to show a negative PCR test result from within 72 hours. The King County mandate does not allow us to accept self-administered rapid test results.

This requirement does not apply to anyone who is only in the building briefly (picking up, dropping off, or making a quick equipment purchase). It also does not apply to anyone under 12 at this time. However, we do strongly recommend that all of our students get vaccinated, now that the vaccine has been approved for younger kids.

Please let us know if you have any questions about this new policy.

Price Changes Effective September 1st, 2021

Starting with the September 2021 fall session, there will be some changes to our prices.

  • Our Competitive Junior class will be larger, but 3 days a week, so will be $250/month.
  • Open fencing is less limited than during COVID restrictions, so will be $60/month or $10/night drop-in.
  • Monthly uniform rental will be $25/month, starting after your first two months of classes.

All other class and lesson prices remain the same as last season.

Please send us email if you have any questions about prices or billing. Thanks, and we’ll see you in September!

RCFC June Youth Tournament

On June 19-20, 2021, we will hold our first sanctioned youth tournament since reopening! Read on for details about the event formats and COVID protocols.

This event is open to all Western Washington Division fencers.

Registration

Please pre-register on AskFRED.Net to speed up the tournament setup process. We will bill entry fees to your account in our membership system, to avoid a long line at the front desk on the day of the event. Entry fee is $30 per event.

Event sizes will be limited to 30 competitors. If an event is full, you may email us and ask to be placed on a waiting list. If you pre-registered and will not be able to attend, please cancel your pre-registration as soon as possible to let others sign up.

All fencers must be current (2020-2021) Competitive members of USA Fencing. If you need to join or renew your membership, please do so online before the tournament.

Age Eligibility

Youth-10 – born 2010-2013
Youth-12 – born 2008-2011
Youth-14 – born 2006-2009

Check-in

Please check in at the front desk when you arrive. We will do temperature checks of all competitors. As always, anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has had recent close contact with someone who has tested positive should stay home.

Equipment

All fencers should wear full fencing uniform, including fencing pants and long socks, and make sure their electric gear is in good working order. Foil fencers must have a mask with an electric bib, and a mask cord to connect the bib to the lame. Foil fencers who wear a chest protector (required for girls, optional for boys) must have approved padding on the chest protector. We have a limited number of padded chest protectors available to borrow.

Event Format

As mentioned above, each event will be limited to 30 competitors.

Boys and girls may fence separate or mixed depending on number of entries of each.

Format will be one round of pools with 100% promotion to direct elimination.

Pools of 5 and 6, rather than 6 and 7, will be used where possible. Pool bouts are to 5 touches or 3 minutes.

Direct elimination bouts are to 10 touches and two 3-minute periods (for Youth-10) or 15 touches and three 3-minute periods (for Youth-12 and Youth-14).

Medals will be awarded to the top 4 finishers in each event.

COVID-19 Measures

All of our COVID-19 Safety Rules will be in place.

Only one parent or guardian should accompany youth and junior fencers to the tournament. Spectators should watch from upstairs.

Face masks (surgical or cloth) must be worn at all times by all fencers, spectators, and officials, including under the fencing mask. Face masks must be worn properly, covering the nose and mouth.

Fencers should wash or sanitize their hands frequently.

Drinking fountains are for filling water bottles only. Please bring a water bottle with you and keep it near your strip.

Locker rooms are limited to 2 people at a time, per state guidelines. Please come dressed in your fencing pants and long socks if possible. Showers remain closed.

Referees will wear masks and disposable gloves at all times.

Pools and direct elimination tableau quadrants will be spread out through the facility. All fencers should remain near their pool/quadrant, and maintain social distance from other competitors while waiting for their next bout.

Medals will be handed to the finalists. Each medal ceremony will be socially distanced.

After the completion of your event, please leave the facility so we can sanitize all high-contact areas, the electric wires, machine remotes, etc. before the next event starts.

We will be following USA Fencing’s recommendations as well. In particular, athletes should refrain from shouting and/or screaming after scoring a touch. Referees will begin with a reminder warning to athletes who do so, but are authorized to assess penalty cards if it continues.

Spring Regional Tournaments Canceled

Hello RCFC tournament fans,

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, Rain City Fencing Center will not be holding any regional tournaments in the spring of 2021. Our Spring RJCC and our Super Youth Circuit will be rescheduled to next season. While we understand that this is disappointing for everyone, we believe it is the right course at this time.

COVID-19 numbers in Washington State continue to improve, but we believe large tournaments are still too risky right now. Regional tournaments in particular involve competitors traveling from multiple counties and states, which are not recommended activities right now. We want to make sure all of the region’s fencers, parents, coaches, and officials stay safe.

At RCFC, we take pride in a well-planned and well-executed tournament. The current restrictions make it impossible to adequately plan for numbers of competitors and availability of officials. We want to make sure every tournament we run meets our high standards.

We will look at running small local events when USA Fencing’s Western Washington Division agrees to sanction them. Meanwhile, stay safe during training, and we look forward to seeing everyone at regional events next season!

Rain City Fencing Center
Tournament Organizers

Private Lessons Resume January 11th

Based on the Governor’s new “Healthy Washington-Roadmap to Recovery” initiative released this week, we are planning to reopen for private lessons starting Monday, January 11th. If you were already on the lesson schedule in November, your schedule will remain the same.

Group classes and open fencing are on hold until February, or until we receive more detailed information from the State about the new guidelines.

Read our latest email announcement for complete details on our reopening plans.

COVID Update: Closure extended to January 11th

Governor Inslee recently announced that the current COVID-19 restrictions which began in November are being extended one more week, to January 11th, 2021. This means we are still closed for all in-person fencing activities – classes, lessons, and open fencing. Our online Conditioning/Footwork and Technique/Tactics classes will resume on January 4th, on their usual schedule.

We expect the State to publish new reopening details next week. When they are, we will look at how they affect us, when we will be able to reopen, and whether our schedule will need to change.

We are still available for retail purchases by appointment. Please send us an email if you would like to arrange a time to buy equipment or logo apparel.

Happy New Year to everyone, and stay safe!

Greg Jones
Owner and Head Coach
Rain City Fencing Center

COVID UPDATE: In-person fencing suspended through January 4th

Governor Inslee recently announced that the current COVID-19 restrictions which began in November are being extended to January 4th, 2021. This still includes shutting down all of our in-person fencing activities – classes, lessons, and open fencing.

We will continue to hold our virtual Conditioning/Footwork and Technique/Tactics classes through December. As January 4th approaches, we will be keeping track of the status of the state restrictions. We hope to be able to resume in-person fencing in January.

We are available for retail purchases by appointment. Please send us an email if you would like to arrange a time to buy equipment or logo apparel.

Happy Holidays to everyone, and stay safe!

Greg Jones
Owner and Head Coach
Rain City Fencing Center