Football & Fencing Fun in Baltimore

It was a busy weekend for Charm City the past few days: two big-draw tournaments were held in and around Baltimore featuring competitors from all around the country.  On Saturday, the Baltimore Flag Football Festival kicked off at Pimlico Race Course, and the 24th annual Charm City Classic presented by the U.S. Fencing Association, a two-day event for fencers 13 and over, got underway at UMBC’s Retriever Activities Center.

The Baltimore Flag Football Festival was not just about the games, but a celebration of football and fun, according to organizers.  The festival featured 5v5, 7v7 and 8v8 tournaments in various divisions, as well as live music, food, carnival games, inflatables and a tailgate area featuring a cornhole tournament.  The proceeds from the festival benefited Baltimore’s Toys for Tots.  The top prize was $1,200, and it was awarded to the winner of the men’s elite division.

There were 53 teams competing in the round-robin tournament, and they came from Maryland and its surrounding areas, like Virginia, Pennsylvania and the District.  The winners of the big money were the D.C. Jets, a team that had won the 2008 U.S. Flag and Touch Football League national championship.  The inaugural event was a huge hit, and it’s expected to grow to include an even bigger field for next year. (Bonus: here’s a feature from local station WJZ on the festival)

Down in Catonsville, fencers took to the mats for the Charm City Classic.  This was the second year the tournament was held at UMBC because the event had outgrown its previous facilities.  This year’s field featured 340 competitors in six divisions: men’s & women’s epee, men’s & women’s sabre and men’s and women’s foil.

Participants came from 12 different states, including Maryland, as well as Canada and the Dominican Republic.  This tournament was part of USFA’s Regional Open Circuit or ROC.  This circuit is used by competitors as an outlet to move up in the ranks for chances to compete at U.S. National meets and then international meets beyond that. Check out this link for a list of results and winners from this weekend’s tournament. (Bonus: here’s a feature on the tournament by the Baltimore Sun)

Regardless of whether you prefer the flick of a foil or a flea flicker pass, one cannot deny that these two events were a great asset for Baltimore and Maryland.

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