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Fencing

Maggie Dull and David Blake, standing in front of a sign for the Salon del Deportes Cubano in Havana, Cuba.
Maggie Dull and David Blake.

Most of my vacation time is spent working bout committee, or tournament management, for fencing tournaments around North America. My senior year of college, friends convinced me to walk onto the college’s NCAA team.

I was terrible, but I loved it.

I continued fencing for a few years, but eventually switched to supporting the sport. I served as Secretary of the Oregon Divison of USA Fencing from 2008 through 2011, coordinating local qualifying tournaments and supporting events and clubs throughout the region. When I moved to Baltimore in 2012, I continued to support fencing in Maryland and started to serve as Bout Committee Chair for regional events. Bout Committee is essentially managing the tournament on the day — making sure the event starts on time, that we have enough strips, that scores are entered correctly and the proper seeding and format are used, etc. This work relies on strong coordination and collaboration with all other tournament staff, referees, armory, sports medicine, etc. This coming together to create an amazing event and experience for fencers is that part the I love the most. It’s challenging and often tiring, but something I greatly enjoy.

In 2013, I was invited to train as a member of USA Fencing’s National Bout Committee staff, first working the 2013 Junior Olympics. I continue to support NACs and National Championships as Bout Committee Chair or Bout Committee Staff, including the newly created Super Junior and Cadet Circuit (SJCC). In 2017, I joined USA Fencing’s Tournament Committee, where I work to ensure a consistent and excellent tournament experience across our sport.

I love working a wide variety of fencing events – local and regional, high school and college — and you can find me on the bout committee stage across the country and in Canada. If you are interested in my help at your event, please contact me.

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