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haggis
-4th June 2008, 13:25
Team announced here

http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=1026

Skartha
-4th June 2008, 13:33
Out of interest, what's S&C? (last entry)

Best of luck to all the Britons - we'll see if the selectors' shock decision to leave me out is justified... ;)

Red
-4th June 2008, 13:41
Strength and Conditioning

hokers
-4th June 2008, 14:15
Is Honeybone injured/ineligible/unavailable?

Bit surprised not to see his name in there otherwise.

rory
-4th June 2008, 14:35
So that's the list of people who won't be at Nationals then.
Ouch.

Danger Mouse
-4th June 2008, 15:18
Why dose the Ladies foil team only have three girls, when all the other teams have four or five fencers.

Better hope they can all stay fit !!!!

Gangsta G
-4th June 2008, 15:33
Also surprised to see that Glueboy hasn't been selected. Good luck to everyone though (of course)!

Red
-4th June 2008, 15:51
Indeed. He seems more obvious than one of the people on the list...

tigger
-4th June 2008, 17:22
He's fit and available...and number 1

cesh_fencing
-4th June 2008, 18:02
Why dose the Ladies foil team only have three girls, when all the other teams have four or five fencers.

Better hope they can all stay fit !!!!

It is not surprising really; at Grand Prix events this season there have been at least one occassion when 4 British Fencers have attended the Ladies foil Individual on Saturday and only 3 have been allowed to be named in the team. The other had been totally happy to be the reserve (and had offered their services) but was not wanted. Thankfully for the selectors none of the fencers got injured else there would have been some explaining to do.

I am actually quite surprised that any Ladies Foilists are going apart from Martina as none of them has got past a World Cup L64 in the last 12 months from what I can see and we even have a fencer who has not even got a single L64. I am sure we have at least 1 ladies epeeist who has better results than that. Really strange!!

TomA
-4th June 2008, 18:17
Very surprised not to see any women epeeists. Whatever you want to say about not sending large teams, if someone's proved that they're the best in Britain, why shouldn't they be given the chance to do the same in Europe? :(

Jan O'C
-4th June 2008, 20:07
So that's the list of people who won't be at Nationals then.
Ouch.


MS & WS are returning in time for the Nationals - tight timing for WS but they are determined ladies!

Keith.A.Smith
-4th June 2008, 21:26
Dear All,

The Europeans end on Thursday 10th July, so many of the fdencers may well be back in time, just.

Many congratulations to all the team.

Keith

cesh_fencing
-5th June 2008, 08:52
Good luck to all those who have qualified (and those selected who have not) for the European Champs and we all hope you bring back some stunning results for us to celebrate at the Nationals.

hokers
-5th June 2008, 09:24
He's fit and available...and number 1

What more can you do than be GBR #1?

According to the selection rules this selection must have been made and justified to the IC and then approved by them.


A statement of the date of the selection, who participated and whether the decisions were unanimous or not.

Evidence of the appropriate points/ranking systems.

Confirmation that the points ranking of the fencers are unchallenged.

Confirmation of the fitness/training information.


http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=250

Sabre selectors seem to be missing on the BF site:
http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=284

JulianRose
-5th June 2008, 10:14
What more can you do than be GBR #1?

According to the selection rules this selection must have been made and justified to the IC and then approved by them.



http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=250

Sabre selectors seem to be missing on the BF site:
http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=284


You could get the required 1 L32 or 2 L64s in senior nominated A-grades/GPs as it stand for the Europeans i believe, or has that been raised higher now as well?

The team that has been selected is the same team that nearly beat China a couple of weeks ago and all fenced great. I think this is the strongest TEAM we can put out at the moment.

hokers
-5th June 2008, 10:46
You could get the required 1 L32 or 2 L64s in senior nominated A-grades/GPs as it stand for the Europeans i believe, or has that been raised higher now as well?

The team that has been selected is the same team that nearly beat China a couple of weeks ago and all fenced great. I think this is the strongest TEAM we can put out at the moment.

Ahh I didn't realise there was a list of nominated events, I couldn't find any criteria on the BF site that said that. I guess this is a discretionary selection as not all of the team achieved the criteria.

Listen good luck to whatever team gets sent - it's just an unexpected decision...

cesh_fencing
-5th June 2008, 10:57
You could get the required 1 L32 or 2 L64s in senior nominated A-grades/GPs as it stand for the Europeans i believe, or has that been raised higher now as well?.

The selection criteria is still on the BF site as 1* L32 or 2 * 64, however the results only counts if the fencer is placed in the top 50% at the event which rules out a number of GBR fencers L64 results (in the less attended weapons).

No 33 in the rules will probably be the reason some of those fencers have made it -
"In particular ‘Olympic Pathway’ fencers may be selected even if not qualified, provided that no qualified fencer is displaced."

Possibly if a list of who was on Pathway was published (as has been requested repeatedly) we would be able to understand why some fencers have got the 'Golden ticket' to compete, even when they are not qualified (and in some cases not even in the top 10 on the British Rankings).

I really do hope that some of those who have been funded and have not really improved their results do get a result this time. At some point the funding must have to be reviewed and questions will have to be asked on why thousands are being spent on various fencers with no appreciable end product.

DSSabre
-5th June 2008, 11:49
I agree with Julian i think this is the stongest team we can put out at the moment. It is interesting to see that the current GB 1 at men's sabre has no international points. Worrying times ahead some may say

tigger
-5th June 2008, 12:27
None of the 4 selected for MS has any international points, and indeed none of the GB top 8 does. I disagree that this is the strongest team, and it's hard to see how it's justified.

I actually think that there are great times ahead for British MS. A number of young fencers who've been on the scene for a while a maturing into strong sabreurs, and 4 of the GB top 5 are under 21.

Red
-5th June 2008, 12:59
Glueboy has demonstrated the ability to make it out of the poules in a senior GP. He also got 2 L16s, 3 L32s and 2 L64s in the juniors.
Another one of the fencers managed 1 L16 and 1 L32 in the juniors and has yet to make it out of the poules at a senior WC/GP.

By all means send the other fencer along with the team, but why leave somebody more likely to get a result (on paper at least) at home?

Probably all justified by the fact that nobody's good enough to qualify, so its all based on selectors' discretion.

Peter Pan
-5th June 2008, 13:02
I actually think that there are great times ahead for British MS. A number of young fencers who've been on the scene for a while a maturing into strong sabreurs, and 4 of the GB top 5 are under 21.

...and the average age of the world top 8 is just over 30 - so plenty of time to improve yet!

Marcos
-5th June 2008, 13:20
I agree with Julian i think this is the stongest team we can put out at the moment. It is interesting to see that the current GB 1 at men's sabre has no international points. Worrying times ahead some may say

they do at U20 level which might be more relevant given their age


promising MS

yes.....if they are retained and driven onwards - too many in the past fell away.

that there are so many U20 in the top 20 might be just a symptom of a changeing of the guard. That said U20 in the UK does seem stronger than it has been for along time. Even some of those lower down the list (Gann comes to mind) has the potential to become a player...

funkygibbon
-5th June 2008, 13:25
I agree with Tigger, there are some young chaps with very bright futures ahead of them. MS is in a good place right now and will continue to improve.

Interesting to note that James has reached the no.1 spot without (I assume) pathway funding etc. Says a lot for his training/work ethic and the people who have coached/developed him as an athlete. I also think it must be incredibly dissapointing (understatement) to reach the national no.1 spot and not be chosen to represent your country at this event.

JulianRose
-5th June 2008, 13:30
Glueboy has demonstrated the ability to make it out of the poules in a senior GP. He also got 2 L16s, 3 L32s and 2 L64s in the juniors.
Another one of the fencers managed 1 L16 and 1 L32 in the juniors and has yet to make it out of the poules at a senior WC/GP.

By all means send the other fencer along with the team, but why leave somebody more likely to get a result (on paper at least) at home?

Probably all justified by the fact that nobody's good enough to qualify, so its all based on selectors' discretion.


These are INDIVIDUAL RESULTS. as i said i, and this is a personal opinion, the best TEAM we can send. the two things are not the same! this is not to say that James won't be a valuable member or the team in the future though! and i think he has started brilliantly in seniors.

tigger
-5th June 2008, 14:23
QUOTE - "the best TEAM we can send"

What evidence is this based on?

James fenced superbly at the team event in the junior worlds, out-scoring both Alex O C and Anthony.

All four of the team members also fence in the individual event...

DSSabre
-5th June 2008, 14:29
The fact that the GB number one had no international points was more of a reflection of the state of Men's Sabre rather than a reflection of the person at number 1. Jon is right none of the top 8 have international points which i think is a cause for concern.

I do agree that the future in the long run looks more promising as, as tigger / jon says there are many young fencers now present in the top 10 of the British rankings. That however is unlikely to solve things in the short term and U20s should in an ideal world not be worrying about senior events until they have mastered U20s.

I was reflecting on Jules' statement about the team after Madrid by saying it is a strong team. We also need to reflect that sometimes individual fencers are not the strongest team fencers, and vice versa.

Keith.A.Smith
-5th June 2008, 16:56
Dear All,

Just to correct an error in a previous post.

James Honeybone has been receiving BFA funding.

Keith

Highlander
-5th June 2008, 22:33
Can someone
Please explain what James is expected to do to get picked
for the team
he has made it to No1 in the rankings
does that not stand for anything anymore
if other fencers were scoring shed loads of points in
world cups and Grand prix then they would be at the top
of the rankings
but they haven't so James has earned the right
to be picked first, surely

Red
-5th June 2008, 23:16
Can someone
Please explain what James is expected to do to get picked
for the team
he has made it to No1 in the rankings
does that not stand for anything anymore
if other fencers were scoring shed loads of points in
world cups and Grand prix then they would be at the top
of the rankings
but they haven't so James has earned the right
to be picked first, surely

Nobody has ANY real international points (GPs, WCs, World/European Champs - foreign opens/satellites don't really count) so selection is purely upon the whim of the selectors and the wheel of whimsy didn't point in James' direction. Being GB #1 only counts when being selected for WCs/GPs.

Gangsta G
-6th June 2008, 00:57
On a slightly seperate note, shouldn't Chris Buxton have some international points from Hungarian domestics?

mendacious dog
-6th June 2008, 06:41
A number of young fencers who've been on the scene for a while a maturing into strong sabreurs, and 4 of the GB top 5 are under 21.

Bah. Bloody dinosaurs. :whistle:

Red
-6th June 2008, 08:08
On a slightly seperate note, shouldn't Chris Buxton have some international points from Hungarian domestics?

If he tells me about them, he can have them.

Rubber Ducky
-6th June 2008, 11:39
Having seen the team fence in Madrid I thought they did fantastically and with any other ref would have beaten China. However not all members fenced in the matches, and as we are talking about reserve places I personally think that Glueboy would be the best choice for the future of team. (This is no intended disrespect to any member of the team - you know I lov ya all). He is training full time and has had a good world cup debut. This is of course just personal opinion.
In previous grande prix team events I was informed the team has been decided on ranking (I had asked because I had outperformed team mates in the individual and wondered if I was warming the subs bench or getting an outing).
The following year - with a higher ranking and better individual results it was decided prior to us going out but only the team captain and one other fencer had been informed - the criteria now a mystery.
This isn't personal sour grapes - I know I'm never going to set the world on fire with my fencing, especially now I'm officially ancient, but I found this all a little frustrating at the time because I was training as hard as I could but couldn't see any rewards or goal posts to aim beyond. I never really kick up a fuss because it would damage team moral, it isn't going to change things on the day, would just start inducing resentment in a squad that works well together and the decision makers aren't there anyway (one of whom I have never seen, nor do I believe he actually exists.)
The very worrying thing for me is that the British number one and obvious choice is not selected. I don't understand why he wasn't selected for the team in Madrid in the first place. The frustration he must feel at the start of his senior international career must be unbearable.

kingbob
-6th June 2008, 18:44
...he has made it to No1 in the rankings
does that not stand for anything anymore
..

Err obviously not. There is a reason why James isn't in the team and Athony is, I think we should leave the team as it is, Its a great line up and im sure they'll do us proud.

And has anyone noticed how lowley ranked niel and Chris are, This is because of lack of Domestic points, but are still seen as best for the job and i agree.

KB

Highlander
-6th June 2008, 19:16
If the bfa have a ranking system
that has set rules for gaining points

Why ignore the ranking
guys that don't have enough points
because they failed to score any
in WC's and GP's should have done enough
domestic comes to be sure of enough points
to qualify for the team as of right
who's to say they haven't lost there
ability
the whole point of having rankings
and rules for scoring points is to show the
top performers
Richard Kruise only does one domestic per year
But he produced the goods and scores enough
points to easily stay number 1
That proves he is the No1
James has. Scored the most points
according to the ranking rules
cab someone from the BFA please
make the whole thing transparent as
it seems to keep shooting it self in the foot.
and upsetting people buy moving goal posts
and keeping things covered up.


What other sport would not pick their
no 1. Ranked sportsman for a FOUR man
team event.

cesh_fencing
-6th June 2008, 20:21
What other sport would not pick their no 1. Ranked sportsman for a FOUR man team event.

I guess that BF expected that the funded athletes would improve enough to regularily get into the top 50% at World Cups (i.e. domestic points) so they would not have this somewhat embarrassing situation.

The fact that a fencer is British No 1 and is not selected (when a full team goes who are ranked below him) does actually dissuade fencers outside the funding from really striving to improve as they see that the door is slamed in their faces whatever they do.

The fairest solution surely would have been to select the No 1 for the individual and select someone else for the team if the selectors feel that fencer is a better team fencer.

Spider5
-6th June 2008, 20:58
Err obviously not. There is a reason why James isn't in the team and Athony is, I think we should leave the team as it is, Its a great line up and im sure they'll do us proud.

And has anyone noticed how lowley ranked niel and Chris are, This is because of lack of Domestic points, but are still seen as best for the job and i agree.

KB

But presumably one that can't be shared. Shame, it must be an absolute cracker.

Boo Boo
-6th June 2008, 22:06
But presumably one that can't be shared. Shame, it must be an absolute cracker.

One could make an educated guess... if you consider what is happening in the near future.

Boo

Highlander
-7th June 2008, 20:52
can sense prevail here.
Our president should step in to
prevent this stupid act of indecency.
Who ever is responsible for this rediculous decision is
putting British fencing into disrepute.
He should allow James to represent his country
after climbing to No1 in the rankings.

What is the incentive for anyone
who is not in the BFA clique.

Foilling Around
-7th June 2008, 22:33
Come on guys, the boys is obviously far too young and lacking in self confidence so he should not be exposed to the rigours of senior international competition. It sould spoil him for the future.

In the same way that Rebecca Ward was far too young at 16 to be let loose on the senior fencing world!!!

Actually, there may well be sound reasons behind the decision, but in the absence of any explanation then it does seem to fly in the face of logic.

COMMUNICATIONS!!!

I take it from Tigger's comments that no-one has had the courtesy to contact the number 1 in the rankings and let him know why he has not been selected!!

Boo Boo
-7th June 2008, 22:59
I take it from Tigger's comments that no-one has had the courtesy to contact the number 1 in the rankings and let him know why he has not been selected!!

Somehow (and from personal experience), I don't think this is uncommon in British Fencing...

It is a bit like applying for a job - it is not uncommon to NOT get any acknowledgement if you are not successful.

Being no 1 in the British rankings means nothing (apart from that you are currently the highest ranked fencer in GB AND as a source of personal satisfaction) - sad but true.

Someone so young will hopefully take comfort that their international results will get better and better and that qualification by right cannot be far away :)

Boo

DSSabre
-8th June 2008, 10:45
There are oftne and it pains me to say it reasons behind a lot of the decisions that are made concerning selection that will only become obvious in time.

The ranking is one means of selection but as some funded atheletes are told not to do domestic competitions there ranking will obvioulsy be lower than those who have done all the domestic events in the season.

It is rare that i come out and defend a decision like this but patience will tell all.

DSSabre
-8th June 2008, 10:47
There is evidence that if you are too young and competing to often you simply burn out and have no desire to do it anymore.

Rebecca Ward apparently is giving up after Beijing.

Young fencers in this country should recieve encouragement and support but not be expected to travel everywhere and compete everywhere because the system is flawed and the seniors are not doing the job.

Meg_SF
-8th June 2008, 10:57
This is all very cryptic!!

Congratulations to glueboy for being No1. Commiserations that apparently that means 'nothing' in terms of selection??!!

This is bizzare surely...??? I really have no idea who is better worse as I am not a sabreur, but I would assume that that is why we have rankings....?

MatFink
-8th June 2008, 12:13
Looking initially at the selections there is a vague impression that our policy is to send complete teams (I'll come back to WF and WE) in the same way we did for the Junior Worlds.

This atleast gives justification for selecting whole teams of fencers who have not met the qualification criteria and who have not demonstrated significant effectiveness in team events.

I would like to make clear at this stage that I am pro sending full teams as I feel this is a strategy congruent with developing our program most effectively leading to 2012. 4 years is a long time in the fencing world (just ask the previously commented on Becca Ward for whom it may prove to represent an entire but sparkling international career). Our fencers gain a huge amount from team competition both in terms of experience and confidence (atleast from what I have seen of the men's epee)

ME seems as good a place to start as any. Willis and Taylor have been a revelation, Jonny is now undeniably world class and now (finally now he has been used in the team) has proved the engine room of a GB men's epee team that has the potential to beat the top teams in the world (when the team beat Spain in Montreal the Spanish team had 3 senior world cup winners in it).

Taylor has come into his own again at the back end of this season beating a World Silver medalist and pushing the world No.1 in an elimination bouts demonstrates that he deserves to be at the party.

The 2 Tom's both have solid individual results and clearly warrant their places, so on to Mr. Thornton.

Jimmy has had a tough year with injuries and rehab, but his performance in Teams this year has been outstanding providing a safe and reliable platform for the guys to work from in victories against Czech Republic and Spain, and also for 'Stockport' in the European Cup. From what I saw in Montreal Willis, Taylor and Thornton are our strongest team combination, and with two other great individual fencers to choose from to compliment them I think this team is a real possibility for the future and 2012.

MF and WS are our traditional powerhouse weapons and don't really need much comment other than to say good luck.

WF ?!?!!?!?!? why if your going to send 3 (not all qualified) why not send a fourth (injuries, experience, a million and one reasons) its not logical to 'bend' selection rules to send a team, then not send a full team. If there is an injury then what? Plus lets face it we all know of atleast one Women's Foilist with a lot of international experience who has volunteered to be the reserve in the past and whose international track record is actually better than some of those on the team.

MS - Honeybone is superb, he is young, also I trust DS enough to belive that there is a good reason behind this decision. I also really rate all of the fencers who have been selected, I feel it bodes well for sabre that it is so competetive at the top. It does not bode well for sabre that in all of this group there has not been an international result let alone a qualifying result. Especially as stated in previous posts this is a group that has seen funding.

So finally to a group who has not seen funding and who have not had any selected fencers. WE must be feeling pretty sick right now. Jo Maynard hasn't had her best year abroad, but has still scored points internationally which sticks her above about half of the selected fencers so far. Albini was given the nod for the Olympic Qualifier (all our other representatives have been selected for this event) but has not been selected here despite being British No.1 and (according to the selection criteria for the qualifier) a serious medal chance in 4 years at 2012. Also from a team point of view lets not forget that in combination with Corrina Lawrence and Louise Highton she was a fourth place finisher in the Junior Europeans. If that isn't a young team you want to develop 4 years from an Olympics then we don't have one in this country.

Maynard, Albini, Lawrence, and any one of Cohen, Crook, or either Highton would have made a logical choice and shown positive attitude by BFA and support for a Women's Epee team who have great potential.

The biggest concern these selections flag is that we continue to select athletes from our funded programs who have achieved less or at least no more than non funded athletes. Surely if you are going to wild card someone it should be a non-funded fencers who has over achieved, not a funded fencer who has under achieved despite having every advantage of finance, coaching, and support.

I wish all our athletes the best if luck and they are all fair representation of what the country has to offer as the best in their specific disciplines, it would just be nice to see 5 more names on the list and to have the reassurance that not being fund doesn't close the door to those athletes who continue to work hard in spite of being overlooked thus far.

Foilling Around
-8th June 2008, 19:37
There is evidence that if you are too young and competing to often you simply burn out and have no desire to do it anymore.

Rebecca Ward apparently is giving up after Beijing.

Young fencers in this country should recieve encouragement and support but not be expected to travel everywhere and compete everywhere because the system is flawed and the seniors are not doing the job.

Dave, you have a point about burn out and where there is little between them, and some fencers have been advised or told not to enter a full quota of domestics, then the more experienced fencers are likely to be chosen.

Again as many times before my point is mostly that a person who has a right to expect to be picked has not been - and they have not been told why!

Miss_P
-8th June 2008, 20:35
Again as many times before my point is mostly that a person who has a right to expect to be picked has not been - and they have not been told why!Do we know that they have not been told? Could it be that they have and just do not want to share it? Maybe it's just the wider (nosey maybe) community that has not been told and maybe it's none of our business other than as a piece of goss...

Foilling Around
-8th June 2008, 21:03
Do we know that they have not been told? Could it be that they have and just do not want to share it? Maybe it's just the wider (nosey maybe) community that has not been told and maybe it's none of our business other than as a piece of goss...

Agreed, I don't have a right to know the detail. I am going by the fact that James' coach, Tigger, seems to be commenting on this thread in such a way that they have not been contacted.

I do however think that it is, to some extent, our business. Many of the wider fencing community are fencers who are striving for international selection, coaches of said fencers or parents of said fencers.

If decisions are made on the basis of whim (and I'm not saying they are in this case) then it is demoralising for the fencer and coach who does not know what they need to achieve to attain their goal.

To use a bit of jargon, we as an organisation are not communicating effectively either horizontally or vertically with our internal customers.

Jan O'C
-8th June 2008, 22:21
To repeat what I'm sure I've said elsewhere: the british rankings as such don't tell us anything - all they tell us at the moment is that James does nothing other than fence and train whilst other people (in this case Anthony Crutchett, as I assume that is whose place people think James should be taking) are studying for a degree at one of the country's top two universities as well as trying to fit in his training and competitions.

Well, you may say that that is Anthony's choice, as indeed it is Alex O'C's choice too, but nevertheless if you compare like for like and look at the points from the 4 competitions that James and Anthony have both done (Senior Nats, Hamlet, Bristol and Birmingham) then you will see that Anthony has more points! Anthony 5716, James 5485.

Now, I have no axe to grind as both boys are family friends and visit our home regularly so I am equally fond of them both but I think that Anthony therefore has more right to go than James. I also think that Anthony is a better team fencer AT THE MOMENT! (Jon's quote from the Junior Worlds is just one competition so you can't generalise from it). James will get his turn - he is growing up fast and I'm sure is destined for great things. I hope to see both Anthony and James in the team for 2012 (along with Alex of course, but then I would hope that wouldn't I).

If I am mistaken and people think that either Chris B or Neil should be left out then they are not allowing for the fact that both of these chaps are Pathway which takes precedence if no-one is qualified by right and both are very experienced Senior fencers so are clearly obvious choices.

If people think Alex should be left out, I would go back to my original arguement but this time you would need to compare the 3 competitions that he and James have both done (Nationals, Hamlet and Bristol) - outcome = Alex 6171, James 3645.

The selectors choose who they think the best team will be for a variety of reasons. Alex has never been ranked No 1 at Senior because he's never done enough competitions & he's not on Pathway because he's at uni, so why did they send him to Istanbul? Because they thought he was the best man for the job - not because of where he's ranked, not because they liked him more than anyone else or didn't like someone else.

In the absence of anyone qualifying by right, the selectors select the best people for the job - why don't we just let them do that rather than going on about who's ranked where when the rankings don't compare like for like.

pinkelephant
-9th June 2008, 06:56
Perhaps we have come to the point where the rankings are no longer fit for purpose? It might be worth considering going back to the system where one was allowed to count 4 domestic competitions and 2 foreign, or something else along those lines. This was changed a few years ago to "any six, not more than 3 of which may be foreign". With the advent of the Pathway, many of our top fencers are not doing 6 domestic competitions.

Marcos
-9th June 2008, 07:59
The ranking is one means of selection but as some funded atheletes are told not to do domestic competitions there ranking will obvioulsy be lower than those who have done all the domestic events in the season.



and P/E says something similar

but rather than change the ranking system, maybe the UK has to change domestic competition to make it relevant again for Pathway fencers?

French domestic and FIE tournaments see the top 16 (or so) ranked fencers join the tournament straight in at the DE's.

Tigger suggested before that there should be two divisions, where in some comps only the top 64 (?) can enter.

By moving away from rankings as a selection tool, you reduce transparency and where there is discretion, there is arguement.

And where there is arguement, you force selectors to justify each and every selection...



Alex....no James..! No! Anthony! Stone them all! Sack the board..!
we've been having arguements on the internet like this in Ireland for years - not very seemly to be honest.

All I would say is shuold any of them be going to a Senior Euros at all when they are all doing very well in the Juniors thanks very much?

Jan O'C
-9th June 2008, 08:49
Perhaps we have come to the point where the rankings are no longer fit for purpose? It might be worth considering going back to the system where one was allowed to count 4 domestic competitions and 2 foreign, or something else along those lines. This was changed a few years ago to "any six, not more than 3 of which may be foreign". With the advent of the Pathway, many of our top fencers are not doing 6 domestic competitions.


This would be a much better idea tho I'd make it 6 competitions of which AT LEAST 2 must be foreign. Obviously you'd then have to have a nominated set of foreign competitions otherwise you'd have some people with too much time and money on their hands chasing half way round the world to get easy points, tho in fairness I don't know any GB fencers with that much money!

The whole point of fencing at top level is to do well internationally
at top competitions - what's going on domestically is irrelevant bearing in mind the bigger picture. This is why we've never chased all over Britain with Grace or Alex doing loads of competitions just to get points and yet in the last 2 Cadet Worlds Grace has finished as the highest of the WS.

Obviously it's up to each individual what they do with their money but more is not always best.

In response to Marcus's comment - Alex and Anthony are now both finished at Junior as of the Junior Worlds - James still has 3 years so plenty of time for success at U/20 and I'm sure he'll achieve it.

Keith.A.Smith
-9th June 2008, 09:12
Dear All,

James is fully aware of the current situation and why certain things are happening. I am not at liberty to discuss them all at present but I think further conjecture from people not fully in the picture will not help James.

I am sorry if that sounds cryptic but it would be unfair to elaborate any further.

I am all for openness, hence I am on this forum regularly,(for which I am criticised by some) but at present this thread is doing no one any good.

Best wishes,

Keith

scottishsabreur
-9th June 2008, 11:07
I don't want this to be taken as an example of anyone on or off the team but I can understand why people would feel it disappointing not to be selected despite topping the rankings.

HOWEVER!!! I agree that rankings don't always tell us who is, "the best man for the job". That's not to say that James isn't the best man for the job (I don't know enough about any of these fencers to make any kind of statement like that) but it is evident from other countries teams (the Senior 5 Nations comes to mind) that selecting your team by ranking alone is not always successful. Perhaps other countries selectors should take a leaf out the BFA's book and not bow to the pressure of rankings and select the best fencers for the team, not the highest ranked.

Miss_P
-9th June 2008, 23:49
As a stakeholder in BFA there are certain things I should know, some I'd like to know and some that I am not entitled to know (I may have plagerised that from someone else's post).

There are things I have to rely on the BFA getting right and take on trust that what is being done is in the best interest of the BFA (as the current directors see it).

Maybe there has been a history that informs members' cynicism however my experience of the BFA in the past 3 years is that it does try to do the right thing (cadet drinking trips excepted) and that the various interested parties would have been informed of selection decisions.

Keith asks us to trust him, I do.

kingbob
-11th June 2008, 09:36
Miss_P.... Calm Yourself.

Marcos
-11th June 2008, 11:47
trust me

and I would trust Keith if I were a BFA member

however, this question is going to repeat itself everytime a team is selected

I don't know who should be on the team....I don't know if Gareth Barry or Frank Lampard should be in midfield....but if, albeit for valid reasons, the ranking is not used to select teams, then questions and opinions will come-up

so change the rankings to reflect team selection, or change team selection criteria, or keep the system as is, but don;t be surprised if questions are asked....! :)

hokers
-11th June 2008, 14:10
If it's using discretionary selection then that's fair enough - it's not a popular way of doing it, particularly when Pathway fencers are getting priority, but it is not an entirely unknown solution - same happens in cricket, football etc.

Who are the Sabre selectors (not listed on BF site) and who comprises the International Committee?

These are the people who have made and approved the selection decision, (which is not going to change) but they do have to be responsible for answering questions from the BF membership about their decisions.

Baldric
-11th June 2008, 15:36
Who are the Sabre selectors (not listed on BF site) and who comprises the International Committee?

These are the people who have made and approved the selection decision, (which is not going to change) but they do have to be responsible for answering questions from the BF membership about their decisions.

No. They have to be accountable to the directors of British Fencing, who we, as members, elect because we trust them to discharge this function properly.

I don't know anything about sabre selection, but we should not feel ENTITLED to quiz the selectors about their decision. Or at least, we shouldn't be surprised if they tell us to b*gger off and mind our own business.

There are sometimes confidential issues underlying selection decisions that can't be publicly aired. Just to give one example from a different sport and different country - an underage female athlete who was widely considered to be by far the best in her discipline had confided to the national coach that she was pregnant. She had not told her parents, the father, or her personal coach. In another case, (not fencing) a young athlete was having a nervous breakdown caused by pressure from his coach and father.

These are not things that should be discussed openly!

This means that selectors should always tend to be close-mouthed. If the selectors answer some questions but not others, then when they do say "no comment" then the inference could be drawn that something odd was afoot, which is a breach of confidentiality in its own right. Better that they account for their decisions to the board, and if we don't trust the board to hold them to account, then elect better directors next time.

Exactly the same process works in many walks of life - companies don't share all their corporate secrets with every shareholder!

Ronald Velden
-11th June 2008, 19:11
I think that Keith has made it clear that a decision was taken by selectors
and that in case of James this was explained to him.

If James or his coached had disagreed with that decision they could have
gone to appeals process which they do not appear to have done.

In the circumstances there is no point in raising issues here which might not
be in the best interest of the fencer.

Marcos
-12th June 2008, 08:35
true

just not sure the internet works that way.....

tigger
-12th June 2008, 09:40
I would like to make it clear that there has been NO contact of any kind with James or myself from BFA selectors regarding selection for the Senior Europeans.

I would prefer to end this discussion, as it may become damaging to James' future selection prospects.

Jon Salfield
Head Coach, Truro Fencing Club

cesh_fencing
-12th June 2008, 10:09
I would prefer to end this discussion, as it may become damaging to James' future selection prospects.


The issue being discussed in a general way should in no way effect anyones future prospects, however would hopefully lead to a more clear and informed communication process.

Keith.A.Smith
-12th June 2008, 14:57
Dear All,

I think it worth mentioning that in many sports, one person the Performance Director or International Manager does all the selecting. UK Sport I think would like us to have this modeal but we have acontinued with the weapon selectors proposing teams and individuals, which is then ratified by the International Committee to ensure full and rigorous scrutiny of selections.

Thus selections are a collective decision

In addition appeals are also allowed to the BFA Board who appoint a small group to hear appeals.If a fencer feels that they should have been selected they can appeal by stating their case for selection.

Thus I believe selections are scrutinised thoroughly but clearly all the particular and personal details are not going to be put on the Forum.

No fencer has appealed against non selection for the Senior European Championships.

Hope that helps,

Keith

cesh_fencing
-12th June 2008, 18:27
Keith

One of the problems that existed 10-15 years ago and I do not think has really been cleared up is that there is no timetable of selection publshed on the BF site for each major event (unless I am mistaken).

Is there any way that a timeline is drawn up for each major event (World Champs, Europeans for example) in advance and put on BF site saying.

Date
1) Selection criteria results deadline
2) Date selectors meet for selection
3) Date all team members will have been informed by of their selection
4) Date for appeal to be registered
5) Date for for all appeals to be resolved
6) Official Selection announcement

This would mean that anyone who has not heard by Date 3 about being selected will know that they need to appeal by date 4/ find out if they missed the call/find out if their selection letter was lost in post etc

At the moment the selection could occur for one event 3 months before and another just a week or 2 before the championship so if someone is not contacted saying 'you have not been selected', they do not know that they actually need to appeal until it is possibly too late. Obviously it is impossible to contact everyone saying you have not been selected, so this will make it easier to run the whole process.

Generally once the selection is publically announced, it is difficult for someone to appeal as if they succeed it will be public knowledge that someone else has been kicked off the team to make way for them, with all the politican problems/backlash following it.

I would have though that a timeline like this would actually help everyone involved or just interested in who is reprsenting GBR as it would give structure to the whole process that is visible both within and outside the selectors/PD/International Manager arena.

This would probably save you, the PD, the selectors and everyone involved a huge amount of hassel and take seconds to implement.

fencingmum
-12th June 2008, 18:51
Well said, Cesh. What an excellent suggestion.

Keith.A.Smith
-12th June 2008, 20:59
Dear All,

I have sent the post about dates etc to the relevant people.

The dates are all agreed well in advance and each weapon representative who sits on the IC has them but I personally think there is plenty of merit in publishing these on the BFA web site too.

Keith

Boo Boo
-16th June 2008, 20:36
The dates are all agreed well in advance and each weapon representative who sits on the IC has them but I personally think there is plenty of merit in publishing these on the BFA web site too.

Ahhhh, the weapons reps again - that "tick box" of an institution...

Edited to add that there may be good weapons reps out there (I can think of at least one), but there is need to re-election and a huge improvement in the communications/outputs that come out of the athlete reps...

Boo

fencingmum
-16th June 2008, 20:57
QUOTE: "The dates are all agreed well in advance and each weapon representative who sits on the IC has them but I personally think there is plenty of merit in publishing these on the BFA web site too."



It is not clear from this whether any interested fencers, ie possible contenders for places, are also aware of the dates, particularly the dates for appeals.

cesh_fencing
-16th June 2008, 21:10
It is not clear from this whether any interested fencers, ie possible contenders for places, are also aware of the dates, particularly the dates for appeals.

I guess we have to look forward to this information being published on the BF website in the future as Keith has agreed it would have merit in this being done so that all of those interested will be fully informed of all the dates / processes involved.

The BF website is the most powerful tool that the organisation has to communicate and is cheap and easy to update so is the perfect place for all information to be posted as long as it is easy to find.

Libby
-17th June 2008, 10:20
Ahhhh, the weapons reps again - that "tick box" of an institution...

Edited to add that there may be good weapons reps out there (I can think of at least one), but there is need to re-election and a huge improvement in the communications/outputs that come out of the athlete reps...

Boo

Boo,

I think you are confusing the weapon reps who sit on the IC with the athlete representatives who sit on the athletes commission. Weapon reps on the IC are published on the BF website, atheletes representatives are also listed separately.

Libby

ChubbyHubby
-17th June 2008, 15:24
atheletes representatives are also listed separately.

Libby

Whilst they are indeed listed on the website, the question is that is the concept just a "tick box" of "UKSport-ish kind of thing"?

When is the last time an athelete rep played an active role representing a fellow fencer? Indeed, how any are still actively competing? Unless I've misunderstood the concept, isn't the whole point of the reps is for them to represent their peers (and by definition one should be an active competitive fencer to represent another?)

Or have I missed the point of the elected reps (shouldn't there be regular elections?)

Keith.A.Smith
-17th June 2008, 16:01
Dear All,

I know that James Williams has been contacted several times and has contacted BFA and represented the views of fencers.

It is easy to be cynical about athlete reps but I introduced them as I felt that it was a positive step forward.

James or an alternate attend Board meetings.

I have asked James to organise new elections at the GB Championships.

Keith

ChubbyHubby
-17th June 2008, 16:23
Dear All,

I know that James Williams has been contacted several times and has contacted BFA and represented the views of fencers.

Well, that's sort of the point I'm making really. I'm sure James has represented the views of fencers fairly. However, isn't James now a GB team selector and part of the performance program staff? Potentially conflict of interest?



It is easy to be cynical about athlete reps but I introduced them as I felt that it was a positive step forward.

Absolutely agree it was a positive step forward at the time.



I have asked James to organise new elections at the GB Championships.

Keith
That's great. Do fencers have to be at the GB champs to vote? Will this be publicised on the website/forum?

DSSabre
-18th June 2008, 00:01
Surely as James is also a coach and his fencers are on pathway he has a vested interest here as well.

Boo Boo
-18th June 2008, 07:12
Sorry Libby, I mis-interpreted the "weapons rep" quote and took the thread down a whole new direction unintentionally... :(


Dear All,

I know that James Williams has been contacted several times and has contacted BFA and represented the views of fencers.

It is easy to be cynical about athlete reps but I introduced them as I felt that it was a positive step forward.

James or an alternate attend Board meetings.

I have asked James to organise new elections at the GB Championships.

Keith

It isn't the idea of athlete reps that is a problem (I assume that the BFA introduced them to follow the reccomendations of UK Sport), it is the implementation. Yes, the BFA got them in place (and ticked that box with UK Sport), BUT no monitoring of the reps has happened since.

Yes, in theory, the reps should be self-monitoring and regulating, BUT they need some form of charter or something to do that to (which sets out their roles and responsibilities and how often they will be re-elected etc).

I think that in the four years between the time that the reps were introduced (Sept 2002) and the time that I retired (Sept 2006), I had communications twice from the reps. I don't believe that has improved much since - from talking to some current top fencers in various weapons...

Obviously some reps will be more active than others (i.e. Beth Davidson is always a star), but for other weapons time moves on... people leave the sport and they need a more active replacement. 6 years between elections is far too long and, in addition, people should replaced if they nolonger have the time or enthusiasm to dedicate to it. Two years between elections would seem suitable - since people may often move on. Obviously people could be re-elected for additional terms.

I have posted on this subject several times and, I seem to remember, re-elections were promised at the 2006 GB Senior Champs. Obviously they never happened.

If re-elections are going to take place at the 2008 GB Senior Champs (not less than 4 weeks away), then where is the information? How can people stand for the posts? Where is the publicity to encourage voting? Who can vote?


Surely as James is also a coach and his fencers are on pathway he has a vested interest here as well.

And he is a selector and runs the TASS camps. He is obviously a very experienced athlete, but with such a mix of roles it must be difficult to keep independence. If an issue comes up with selection or some sort of disciplinery action at a TASS camp, then would it be easy for him to fulfill his role as athlete representative?

Boo

Rdb811
-18th June 2008, 11:13
I'd imagine that the athlete's reps were intended to be something like teh Grand Prix Drivers Associataion and that would be best served if the top fencers elected a spokesman once a year at an Open.

Keith.A.Smith
-18th June 2008, 18:55
Dear All,

For info the FIE elect at the World Championships for a period of 4 years.

Keith

Boo Boo
-18th June 2008, 19:41
USFA elects athlete reps for just two year terms. Seems more sensible to me: keeps people fresher and "on their toes". If a rep is good, then they are very likely to get re-elected anyway... but a shorter (two year) term would ensure that those not delivering could be replaced quickly and easily.

I would assume that there is no need to have the same term as the FIE, since - IF the athlete representatives are going to be re-elected at this GB Champs - their term will not align with the FIE Reps term anyway...(since last FIE athlete representative election was in October 2005).

Boo

Keith.A.Smith
-28th June 2008, 20:01
Dear All,

Owing to some delays we will not hold the elections for our Athlete's Comission at the GB Championships but will hold them at the Bristol Open.

A call for candidates etc and gthe rules of the elections will be published shortly.

Keith