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View Full Version : When will The F.I.E. Referees Commission get it's act together?



Barry Paul
-26th October 2003, 20:58
At the world Championships the Refereess commission had a 6 hour meeting prior to the world chanpionships. At the meeting major issue of hand signaling, socks being pulled up and shaking hands were discussed. When some referee had the absolute outrage to ask a question about the interpretation of the rules they told it would come later, Now about the socks !!!!!! needless to say the question was never answered.

The question being asked was one in which foil referees from Germany and Italy are in absolute disagreement with referees from the Anglo French countries.
The question is thus: Fencer A attacks with a straight line. Fencer B moves back. Fencer A keeps his arm straight with out bending or the point moving from the target. Fencer B attacks hitting fencer A but at the same time is hit by the straight arm of fencers A. What is the referees decision?
Anglo/French (and old fashioned me) A gets the hit. Attack never parried staight arm, fencer B runs onto straight arm.

German/Italian Fener B has parried by moving out of dististance, then has right of way to attack. ie B gets the hit. A is counter attacking. (What rubbish. where in the rules is a parry defined as moving out of the way?)

The problem is that the F.I.E. referee commission cannot agree amongst its self so it just avoids the issue. Is this the way to run a international body? If it was not important to fencers who have spend a life time training it would be a joke.

Its like watching a football match in which the offside rule is interpretated completely differently by referees depending if they are are Fench or German. When questioned by the press the International Football Body has no answer, but points out how the players now shake hands after the whisle is blown, and are'nt the referees hand signals so clear.

Barry Paul M.D. Leon Paul

Australian
-27th October 2003, 03:06
i would really like this clarified too...

i'd like to know when the simple attack ends

whizzkid1982
-27th October 2003, 10:04
in sabre at least the end of the attack is defined as the when the front foot hits the floor with a lunge (or long finishing action at lower levels where lunges are not always proper!). in your example barry you do not mention whether fencer A lunges (ie first attck no) or whether he is simply stepping in which case, certainly at foil (IMHO being a sabreur an all) it is one attack and fencer A's point.

srb
-27th October 2003, 10:13
Originally posted by Barry Paul
(and old fashioned me)
Barry Paul M.D. Leon Paul

And me. Fencer A has the attacking line, that line is maintained, and Fencer B does nothing to change the row.

Fencer A's hit

srb

Robert
-27th October 2003, 11:41
Surely this depends on exactly what you see.

Fencer A lunges, B retreats, both fencers halt, now Fencer B attacks into a straight arm (clearly A's point).

Or

Fencer A lunges, B gives just enough for A's point to stop short and then lunges. Question mark over whether or not A's action is really a remise?

Now I'm not qualified to say but I would have thought that the argument is really around the second situation, which while I would call it for A is certainly more ambiguous than was implied at the start of the post.

Barry, could you specify?

Robert

Barry Paul
-27th October 2003, 12:10
I am not interested what happens in sabre this is foil.
I don't care when the attack finishes. A arms remains straight and continueously threatens the target. No Ambiguity at all. It is clear, according to the rules, the hit is A. If the regulations have changed the F.I.E. must get a vote through congresss for a change in the rules.

srb
-27th October 2003, 12:15
Originally posted by srb


Fencer A's hit

srb

Ooops - I think 'Fencer A gets the hit' might read a bit better. Again I agree with Barry.

srb

gladiator
-27th October 2003, 12:22
Not a foil ref, but sounds like the line is good to me. Parrying a line by moving out of distance??? Line is good as long as it is held until something stops it. Moving back then forwards again certainly doesn't stop a line in my book.

Prometheus
-27th October 2003, 12:39
In my experience, here in the UK, the judgement is made as it is in Germany/Italy. Of course I'm not prepared to comment on an interpretation of the rules as to arguement for/against.........

Barry, why don't you ask what the FIE presidents think at SP?? Perhaps we will spark off a whole new way of presiding in the UK???

Mantis
-27th October 2003, 13:06
I suppose it is not surprising that this has developed into a discussion/argument over the specific rule, but the point is that the committee is not giving a clear indication one way or the other. I'm sure that if they came out and made a decision then even "old fashioned" Barry Paul would accept it if it so happened that they favoured the German/Italian interpretation.

Barry, when can we get 800N socks? Surely they are on the way, since the powers that be are placing so much importance in them. :grin:

Barry Paul
-27th October 2003, 15:26
I am not going to SP.
If we are refereeing the German/Italian way it's wrong.( ARE THESE SABRE REFEREES?)
The F.I.E. wants some rules to be followed to the letter and others can be ignored. Are we are slipping into control by whim outside the rule of law?

As for 800 Newton socks, not available this century, but we are
working on them.

gladiator
-27th October 2003, 15:35
I am mainly a sabre ref, yes, but still agree with barry that fencer A with the line gets the point. If it was a lunge then maybe at sabre but not with line.

Robert
-27th October 2003, 16:19
Originally posted by Barry Paul
I am not interested what happens in sabre this is foil.
I don't care when the attack finishes. A arms remains straight and continueously threatens the target. No Ambiguity at all. It is clear, according to the rules, the hit is A. If the regulations have changed the F.I.E. must get a vote through congresss for a change in the rules.

You haven't answered my question. Is the action by the fencer remise like and part of a quick exchange of thrusts or are the two events distinct.

I suspect that your own views are colouring your interpretation of what the Italian/Germans are saying here, perhaps there are some Italians/Germans on the board who can clarify it for us??

Robert

ihunter
-27th October 2003, 20:32
And a fine body they are! The answer to your 'main' question has already been answered. When they wish to! I'm amused that the use of referee's at World champs,( i presume this issue arose there) by its very nature means people reffing weapon's that they are qualified at but don't specialise in. This distance thing sounds very like someone who is active in sabre attempting to apply what is 'accepted' by sabreurs to the far more rigidly scripted foil 'in-line' concept. I've been told by at least 2 members of the august body previously mentioned that the greater needs of the 'big picture' ie politics, deny the best fencers the best referees specific to their weapon on many occasions because the IOC who expect fencing to be World-Wide and truly international will not accept that the best referee's may be European so the geographical spread is getting bigger.I suspect the overall standard is not improving and cross-over interpretations will continue to arise from time to time, even in euroland. I also suspect they didn't provide an answer because its self evidently wrong to call moving out of distance a 'parry' at foil as the rules are currently set up.

Robert
-27th October 2003, 20:56
Originally posted by ihunter
I've been told by at least 2 members of the august body previously mentioned that the greater needs of the 'big picture' ie politics, deny the best fencers the best referees specific to their weapon on many occasions because the IOC who expect fencing to be World-Wide and truly international will not accept that the best referee's may be European so the geographical spread is getting bigger.I suspect the overall standard is not improving and cross-over interpretations will continue to arise from time to time, even in euroland. I also suspect they didn't provide an answer because its self evidently wrong to call moving out of distance a 'parry' at foil as the rules are currently set up.

This seems like a serious problem but is it the same problem Barry is worried about? He isn't suggesting there are bad refs about because of structural problems. He is saying a whole chunk of presidents (Germans and Italians) are not just wrong, but have a coherent alternative interpretation of the rules.

Robert

Barry Paul
-27th October 2003, 22:09
Ian is really on a seperate issue. The F.I.E. are the ultimate custodians of fencing and the rules by which fencing are controled. In the past the F.I.E. has abrogated their responsibility and allowed the leading fencing countries to dictate the intertpitation of the rules and for many years allowed wide scale cheating and the throwing of fights.
What I think is unacceptable is for the referees commission to duck important questions about refereeing. Clearly in the case I have outlined A should get the hit. The referees commission should uphold this view or state how the rules have been read incorrectly or change the rules to allow fencer B to get the hit according to the new written rules, which have been approved by the F.I.E. congress.

So is the Chairman of the F.I.E. referees commission prepared to give us his/her views? Barry Paul

Australian
-27th October 2003, 23:43
after examining the rules carefully, i am in complete agreement with you barry...

i'll take it up with my federation, we have nationals in about a month

3 Card Trick
-28th October 2003, 07:34
Barry, I agree with you on ths one, following on from our Antipodean friends comment, should we ask the Chair of our Rules Com to make a pronouncement as well?

Barry Paul
-28th October 2003, 08:44
I hope I am reporting what was said to me correctly.

If the sequence of events is without a significant pause after the end of the lunge the rules clearly indicate A gets the hit. If there is a pause, it is possible for an interpretation of ' A attack failed B attack good'. His personal view would still be A gets the hit.

The answer of how should the referees give such a hit should come from the referees commission with possible reference back to the rules committee.

So over to the referees commission.

Robert
-28th October 2003, 13:31
Originally posted by Barry Paul
I hope I am reporting what was said to me correctly.

If the sequence of events is without a significant pause after the end of the lunge the rules clearly indicate A gets the hit. If there is a pause, it is possible for an interpretation of ' A attack failed B attack good'. His personal view would still be A gets the hit.



I can't see that at all. I could see the possibility, when there wasn't a pause, of some ambiguity (A short, B's counter good, A remises) but if there is a pause surely (A short, B no action forfeits priority, A reestablishes line, B attacks into line).

Also, I would still like to hear it from some Italian/German that this is how they are interpreting it. It may just be that they are phrasing differently:

Barry's phrase:
A attacks short, A maintains point in line, B attacks into line (A's hit)

Possible alternative phrase:

A attack short, B counters good, A remises (B's hit)

It requires no difference in understanding of the rules for two groups of Presidents to be giving different decisions on the same action.

Robert

P.S Of course nothing short of an FIE qualified German or French president coming on this board and saying it is going to completely satisfy me that this is not just a misunderstanding.

Prometheus
-28th October 2003, 13:41
Why do I get the feeling that Barry has a tendency towards 'Troll' like behaviour???

Barry, that#s Troll in the chat room sense- I wouldn't want to imply any resemblance to hirsute Nordic monsters......:rolleyes:

Barry Paul
-28th October 2003, 13:49
Why do I get the feeling that Barry has a tendency towards 'Troll' like behaviour???

Please explain?

Robert
-28th October 2003, 13:58
Originally posted by Barry Paul
Why do I get the feeling that Barry has a tendency towards 'Troll' like behaviour???

Please explain?

Internet jargon 'Troll': someone who posts controversial or provocative messages in order to provoke a reaction, rather than out of a genuine belief or desire for constructive dialog.

Such as your post about 'child-like' fencing in the World-Championships section a while back.

Robert

Barry Paul
-28th October 2003, 15:11
'Internet jargon 'Troll': someone who posts controversial or provocative messages in order to provoke a reaction, rather than out of a genuine belief or desire for constructive dialog.'

The posts I make are made because I think they cover important issues.

'Such as your post about 'child-like' fencing in the World-Championships section a while back.'

This was the view of three times world champion and worth considering

Prometheus
-28th October 2003, 15:25
Don't worry Barry - you're taking my remark too seriously..........even if it is your site ;)

It was just that for someone with your connections it would be far more likely for you to ask the people involved if it were a bona fide question to which you needed an answer.

As it is I think you are aware at least as much if not more than anyone else on this forum of the answers in respect to this question - hence why I suspect you of baiting or some aspect of trolling.......

I think for some real trolling though you could disguise yourself and make some really contraversial claims.........:eyerise:

srb
-28th October 2003, 16:05
Prometheus,

I think Barry, like myself gets very annoyed at the dreadful level of presiding at the moment, with special reference to RoW and flick hits. His posting may be provacative, but it may serve for some presidents to question the manner in which they currently preside.

If it educates just one fencer/president, then the posting was worth it.

srb

Prometheus
-28th October 2003, 16:08
Alright Birthday boy..:rambo: ..............I'll desist.............if you can explain the tactical use of counter time........:moon:

srb
-28th October 2003, 16:30
:shrug:

Barry Paul
-28th October 2003, 16:59
In theory I could ask the F.I.E. refereeing comittee Chairman for an answer to my original question But would I get an answer? I don't think so. However now the question is out in the open with a ground swell of general agreement prehaps some other fencers and or referees will ask the question?

The real problem is that referees for the big events are chosen by a few top officials. If you disagree with them or don't apply the definition of the rules they tell you to, however misguided, you are not asked back to the party. So referees when asked for rulings tend to follow the party line and not rock the boat.

Who's job is it to rock the boat?

tigger
-1st November 2003, 13:56
I don't think Barry's trolling - just passionate about foil. For some reason...

It's the big problem with foil at the moment. Not whether 'old' or 'new' interpretations are correct, just that there is no consistency. I personally don't really care how it's interpreted as long as everyone's doing it the same! I think in sabre there is a broadly global consensus on the timing (with 1 or 2 tricky questions arising from time-to-time!), but the foilists need to get it sorted fast before they lose a lot of hacked-off people to epee!

pinkelephant
-2nd November 2003, 00:39
Originally posted by tigger
I don't think Barry's trolling - just passionate about foil. For some reason...

It's the big problem with foil at the moment. Not whether 'old' or 'new' interpretations are correct, just that there is no consistency. I personally don't really care how it's interpreted as long as everyone's doing it the same! I think in sabre there is a broadly global consensus on the timing (with 1 or 2 tricky questions arising from time-to-time!), but the foilists need to get it sorted fast before they lose a lot of hacked-off people to epee!

And that includes referees.

Prometheus
-2nd November 2003, 15:18
The real problem is that referees for the big events are chosen by a few top officials. If you disagree with them or don't apply the definition of the rules they tell you to, however misguided, you are not asked back to the party. So referees when asked for rulings tend to follow the party line and not rock the boat.

Ah, Barry welcome to the real world.......:(


The FIE will do what they will, just as Directors in any company will do what ever they wish whether based on reason or whim.

Although I do find your somewhat innocent feeling of justice touching......sorry :rolleyes: , I was brought up to be pragmatic (my father was an director in industry ) :burns2:

As long as the FIE chase the poisoned chalice of TV coverage you'll never get anything substantial, only the fickle vagaries and artifice of the media profession cast upon us. One day perhaps everyone will realise that fencing is a minority sport - but that ain't human nature is it?

Barry Paul
-3rd November 2003, 08:04
So as Prometheus is so worldly wise he can be the boat rocker.

Despite your moan about chasing the televised dream, this keeps us in the Olympics. which produces £4.1 million pounds for the present Olympic cycle. This means our President can spend his time travelling the World Business Class creating fencing into a world rather than a European Sport. This has rubbed off into A Grades being made available and more importantly the dominance of the European Cheating Cartel being broken. The trade off has been giving Power to one person ( the President) who is not very accountable to any one.

The balance of power and politicing in fencing is no different to most other sports. Barry Paul.

Prometheus
-3rd November 2003, 08:47
So we agree that it ain't fair play then?

pinkelephant
-3rd November 2003, 12:28
Fair play - don't be ridiculous. You'll be telling us it's a sport next.

(Feeling old and cynical - sorry).

Barry Paul
-3rd November 2003, 13:07
In order to play the game (in this case winning at fencing) you need to find out what rules, both on and off the piste, are being applied. Then you can decide if you want to play by the rules or try and change the rules. Barry Paul.

gbm
-3rd June 2004, 19:10
Thread Revival Warning!

I'm after a good answer to the original question in this thread. Actually I'm looking for somebody suitably qualified (preferably Keith) other than threecardtrick (who has already replied) to agree with me!

The question is this:
Fencer A attacks with a lunge, but falls short as fencer B retreats. Fencer A leaves his arm extended. Fencer B attacks onto fencer A's line. Who's hit?

Rdb811
-3rd June 2004, 23:15
I heardthe same conversation with four different groups of fenecrs within the space of month.

Can't remmebr the answer, but I think there were three of them.

Epeecurean
-4th June 2004, 09:46
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Thread Revival Warning!

I'm after a good answer to the original question in this thread. Actually I'm looking for somebody suitably qualified (preferably Keith) other than threecardtrick (who has already replied) to agree with me!

The question is this:
Fencer A attacks with a lunge, but falls short as fencer B retreats. Fencer A leaves his arm extended. Fencer B attacks onto fencer A's line. Who's hit?

"He who asks the questions determines the answer." Your wording of A's "line" kind of gives away what answer you are looking for. Could it be....touche for A? :grin:

As you might guess, I agree with you, though I'm making certain assumptions as to the phrase you are describing. Specifically, I'm assuming that A's arm becomes fully extended before B begins an extension of his arm. If A's arm is fully extended with the point threatening target before B begins an extension, then it becomes A's point in line even if A is in the middle of a lunge or stationary at the end of a lunge.

This is spelled out quite clearly in the FIE guidance for referees:

-------------
The “point in line” is defined in the Rules [t.10] However the FIE Referees Committee have adapted the definition which should now be applied as follows:

“The point in line is when a fencer has a straight arm with the point of the weapon threatening the valid target of the opponent in the high line. The arm must not bend, otherwise the point in line loses priority. At Sabre the fencer must hit with the point and not the edge of the blade. The point in line is valid if the fencer is standing still, going backwards or going forwards. To stop the point in line having validity the opponent must deflect the opponent’s blade (beat, parry, prise de fer).”

(emphasis added by me)
-------------------

and here:

"3. The point in line must be with a straight arm and must constantly threaten the valid target of the opponent. The point in line must be in place before the attacker starts the attack or it will be out of time."

(emphasis again added by me)

--------------------

However, if B begins extending BEFORE A fully extends his arm and then A's attack falls short, it is too late for A's extended arm to become a point-in-line and it would be a touch for B.

As such, I would disagree with the concept of a "distance parry" or making an "attack fall short" in foil as described by Bill Oliver (see below). The attack may have fallen short, but if the arm was fully extended and pointing at the target (i.e. no remise or replacement of the point required) before the opponent begins his extension, then it would certainly be a point in line, which must be dealt with by deflecting the blade rather then just impaling oneself onto it in an attack.

In saber with a cutting attack it would be a completely different story, because a point in line is with the point, not with the edge. However, the ruling should be the same in regards to a saber attack with the point.

I too would be interested in the opinion of UK refs on this new interpretation, but it seems that we will have to settle for expanded & updated instructions rather than a direct head-on disagreement with the US fencing official. Some things are politically just too sensitive.

Cheers,

Epeecurean

------------------

What is a distance parry?
Written by Bill Oliver

Sunday, 30 May 2004

Many fencers and referees have heard the term "distance parry" to describe a fencing action. This action is composed of a fencer's defense by retreating out of distance, after the opponent has begun a direct attack, causing the direct attack falls short.

It is not, in fact a parry. Article t.7 states " the parry is a defensive action made with the weapon to prevent a offensive action from arriving." This action is more akin to an evasion. Causing the opponent's point to miss by using carefully timed footwork.

The concept of an attack failing because it falls short has been around for decades, primarily in saber (see t.75), where the end of the attack is specified in the rules. The idea that this could also be the case in foil is somewhat new, but it rapidly becoming a staple tactic at the highest levels. The relevant rule is: t.56 "(a) Every attack, that is every initial offensive action, which is correctly executed must be parried or completely avoided..."

The referee should never use the term "distance parry" nor the term repost in conjunction with this type of action. Rather, the referee should call "attack, No. Counter-attack. Touch."

dunastor
-4th June 2004, 09:57
I would agree with the notion of distance parry, even in foil.

But maybe that's because I'm a sabre fencer :D

Epeecurean
-4th June 2004, 10:00
Oh, I'm just quickly reading thru the "distance parry" thread on fencing.net and see that you & I are very much on the same page. The discussion seems to have taken on the same proportions as the earlier Bill Oliver dispute.

Cheers,

Epeecurean

J_D
-4th June 2004, 11:23
Originally posted by Epeecurean
[B
As you might guess, I agree with you, though I'm making certain assumptions as to the phrase you are describing. Specifically, I'm assuming that A's arm becomes fully extended before B begins an extension of his arm. If A's arm is fully extended with the point threatening target before B begins an extension, then it becomes A's point in line even if A is in the middle of a lunge or stationary at the end of a lunge.[/B]

I think this is a concise and accurate interpretation of this kind of phrase, the difficulty for the referee is in seeing the arm having been straightened before the start of the counter attack and then giving the PIL

dunastor
-4th June 2004, 11:33
Originally posted by Epeecurean
Oh, I'm just quickly reading thru the "distance parry" thread on fencing.net and see that you & I are very much on the same page. The discussion seems to have taken on the same proportions as the earlier Bill Oliver dispute.

Cheers,

Epeecurean

Great that people can agree about something about RoW ;)

doesn't happen a lot these days... :grin:

Keith.A.Smith
-4th June 2004, 19:45
In my opinion if you do a direct attack and the arm remains straight with the point threatening the valid taregt and it has not either been takwen off of the target nor do you bend your arm, then if your opponent does not parry with the blade but allows you to finish your attack and then runs on to your point it is the original attackers hit. If however you do an attack and you take the point away from the target and your opponent steps back, you fail to hit and then attacks, it is likely to be their attack and your counter attack.

The difference at sabre is most attacks are not made with the line but a cut and so "parrying using the distance" is much more common.

The FIE confirmed at their meeting you cannot "parry" ecepot with the blade but naturally you can make your opponent miss by using distance, which depending on what the original attacker does may well make the right of way pass to the opponent.

Hope this is clear(ish)

Keith

gbm
-4th June 2004, 19:51
Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
Hope this is clear(ish)

Crystal, as usual. I think it's fantastic that you answer all our petty questions! Shame there is only one of you though... with an army of Mr. Smith's, we could take over the world!

Keith.A.Smith
-4th June 2004, 19:53
Dear All,

I actually think refereeing at World Champs has improved over the past few years and is now more consistent at all weapons. Not all the out of Europe refs are bad indeed many are very good. Some of the refs lack international experience at the weapon they are refereeing which I think is inexcusable and they should gain experience at A grades etc. By being known you also gain respect, provided you are competent!! or you just get known.

Domestically we still lack sufficient refs but the REFs Committee is trying. One problem is that naturally the fencers like to stick with their tried and tested refs(small in number) or themselves rather than risk an "unknown". I think we do need more seminars and open forums so that chinese whispers about rules and interpretataions do not abound. I am often amused to hear what the FIE says hen I have been the only one from GB present!!

Keith