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Neil Brown
-4th August 2009, 00:43
Details of the selection events for all weapons are now up on the British Fencing web site.

List of events & a calendar at http://www.britishfencing.com/British_Fencing.asp?PageID=59

coach carson
-16th August 2009, 18:08
How many fencers will be taken to the Junior qualifying events?

DSSabre
-17th August 2009, 10:32
Always a good question but unfortunately one that i dont think neil can answer.
Is there now a standard ruling across all weapons and sex?

DS

to the point
-17th August 2009, 10:43
How many fencers will be taken to the Junior qualifying events?

Looks like 9? - there is a link on http://u20sabre.net/

DSSabre
-17th August 2009, 12:47
Are we sure as only 4 were sent to a lot of events for womens sabre last season with the reasoning that the others werent good enough. I dont see how that will have changed as they cant have improved internationally as they werent allowed to go.

DS

Tubby
-17th August 2009, 14:02
was it just "internationally" that was being commented upon last year; was level of fitness, training and dedication to training also part of the reason?

coach carson
-18th August 2009, 10:20
Common sense prevailing?

Hot Bot
-18th August 2009, 17:07
In sabre, will a cadet get ranking points on the cadet ranking list if he were to get a result at a Junior World Cup?
I know it's extremely unlikely, but hypothetically.

Peter Pan
-18th August 2009, 17:15
Hot Bot, you should get points - James Honeybone did this a couple of times in 06/07 season - see http://www.sabrerankings.com/ then look at the cadet 06-07 selection rankings - look for the "x 10 x 2" in the NIF header

Let's Fence
-18th August 2009, 17:33
"Points will be awarded for:-
1. The British Cadet (U17) Championships.
2. The fencerís best 3 domestic results. There will be 4 domestic events: the U20 British
championships, a junior BSC & 2 other events chosen by the weapon committee.
3. The fencerís best 3 international results. Weapon Committees will select (nominate) up to
4 international competitions and the 2009 cadet & junior world championships.

Hence for the cadet ranking the best seven results will count: the U17 British Championships, the
best three domestic and the best three international competitions. Any world cup events used for
the junior ranking will not be used for cadet rankings." BFA Selection document for cadets from BFA website

Peter Pan
-18th August 2009, 17:57
OOps
Show's what I know - I stand corrected
:o

Foilling Around
-18th August 2009, 18:26
In sabre, will a cadet get ranking points on the cadet ranking list if he were to get a result at a Junior World Cup?
I know it's extremely unlikely, but hypothetically.

To clarify - that was the situation last year. Cadets could use JWCs for points at all weapons. That has now changed - and for the better in my opinion. Removes all the pressure to overcomplete and promotes progressive development.

And please don't anyone quote Rebecca Ward, she is one fencer and we as a country have lost many many excellent fencers to injury etc at least in part due to being pushed to fast, or at least not being held back.

Hot Bot
-19th August 2009, 20:25
Ah right. I knew it had happened in the past, but had heard that it had changed, so wanted to clarify. Thanks all. I'm still doing any JWCs i get selected for!

Tubby
-20th August 2009, 14:48
... we as a country have lost many many excellent fencers to injury etc at least in part due to being pushed to fast, or at least not being held back.It won't stop that. Those who can afford to will send child on both circuits, increasing the number of comps child does. Under the old system you could chose to drop the cadet circuit comps, under the new system you have to do both circuits to guarantee being in the runnings for selection to the cadet and junior teams (no selector is going to say to a cadet that they will get a pick). More so for last year cadets who are trying to either break into the junior ranks for subsequent year juniors and to actually compete at the junior level to gain experience.

Tubby
-20th August 2009, 14:58
And please don't anyone quote Rebecca Ward.Mariel Zagunis, Kelly & Courtney Hurley

Red
-20th August 2009, 15:24
Olga Kharlan.

rory
-20th August 2009, 16:38
Ben Montague.
Michelle Glisson.
Clare Velden.

... and all the other British fencers who came through our system in days gone by, and promptly burned out / over-did-it-and-injured-themselves and quit.

Just because cadets in other countries are able to handle the pressures of cadet & junior circuits doesn't remotely mean that we Brits are set up to do so.

riposteinprime
-20th August 2009, 17:02
So because a few brits failed then we should disadvantage everyone else?

I believe Alex O'C was allowed to do all circuits at once and he's doing better than ever. Perhaps they 'burn-out' because they simply weren't good enough, or didn't want to be at that level.

You're either holding top cadets back that can't afford to do 6+ trips overseas a year, or forcing top level kids to do more competitions to chase overseas points.

Fireworks
-20th August 2009, 18:41
You're either holding top cadets back that can't afford to do 6+ trips overseas a year, or forcing top level kids to do more competitions to chase overseas points.[/QUOTE]

Quite right !

Tubby
-20th August 2009, 22:21
Just because cadets in other countries are able to handle the pressures of cadet & junior circuits doesn't remotely mean that we Brits are set up to do so.Surely its an individual by indivdual development thing rather than a country by country. I don't understand what you mean by "doesn't remotely mean that we Brits are set up to do so" unless you're saying as a nation we're not brave enough to "break" a few to get one to succeed. By "break" I include burn out and reject, but not compound injury by forcing to fence injured.

By the way, its not the fault of the previous system that coaches or parents force cadets/juniors to fence injured leading to early retirement. Why should that be a factor in changing the points ranking system. Also our cadet population in most weapons are not large enough to generate enough competition to build development, probably lead to averaging out. (total guess of course but probably as valid as an opinion as everyone elses).

DSSabre
-21st August 2009, 07:00
I am all for fencers having to do less competitions if they are truly good enough they wouldnt need to do cadet competitions at all and could just concentrate on the junior internationals.

Fencers dont just give up due to over competing but also due to the fact that back in the day there was no infastructure to allow them to continue fencing after school / university age. The list is a lot longer than the one currently on this thread.

There is no reason with the right coaching and planning to a season you can do both cadet / junior international competitions.The major problem with have is that parents and coaches will send fencers to competitions they are not yet ready for and in some cases make fencers who should not be concentrating on fencing in two age groups do exactly that to the detriment of their fencing.

There is not enough strength in depth yet in this country at any weapon exceot with the exception possibly of men's foil, some day i hope there is, to allow them not to fence in the age group above to gain necessary experience.

DS

coach carson
-22nd August 2009, 12:54
ThiS has always been a tricky one. Certainly in my experience, daughter no.1 was not ready for U20 at the age of 14, whereas daughter no.2 is. And there are a few around like Fabio Artesi and Alyja Iskovitz who would clearly benefit. But the age old problem of how to select fairly and wisely hasn't really been cracked yet. Maybe we should take 8 17-20 year olds and a development group of the 4 top cadets to U20 events.

Red
-23rd August 2009, 02:39
In MS, 3 of the cadet top 4 are in the junior top 12 anyway.
In WS, there are 2.
One of those 'missing' ones certainly isn't ready to go to Junior A grades yet and wouldn't gain anything by going.

Your idea wouldn't be of benefit unless the full quota of 12 places was used - in which case, it wouldn't really change anything. Top cadets would be invited to go anyway.

MF would be radically different, as would WE - how about a purely merit based system where the best 12 are sent?

coach carson
-23rd August 2009, 10:05
In MS, 3 of the cadet top 4 are in the junior top 12 anyway.
In WS, there are 2.
One of those 'missing' ones certainly isn't ready to go to Junior A grades yet and wouldn't gain anything by going.

Your idea wouldn't be of benefit unless the full quota of 12 places was used - in which case, it wouldn't really change anything. Top cadets would be invited to go anyway.

MF would be radically different, as would WE - how about a purely merit based system where the best 12 are sent?

My issue is that in the top 12 there are cadets who would benefit from U20 experience. But we are only taking 9, based on merit. The discussion point is whether we should also be developing cadets towards U20 too.

Your comments about a particular cadet not being ready for U20 demonstrates another problem I allude to. Unless you are their parent or coach you are not entitled to express an opinion about potential without raising emotions in others. So, if we did go down a U20 development route, the selection process would be difficult. I don't know and don't want to know whom you refer to, but there are at least two other WS fencers outside the top 12 who I would consider developing towards a strong U20 team in 4-5 years time.

Selection based on merit is easy, but might exclude talent. Selection based on potential requires more refined judgement, but can easily be perceived as unfair.

coach carson
-23rd August 2009, 10:15
Sorry I meant to say that in the top 20 there are cadets who would benefit from U20 experience.

Red
-23rd August 2009, 13:57
My issue is that in the top 12 there are cadets who would benefit from U20 experience. But we are only taking 9, based on merit. The discussion point is whether we should also be developing cadets towards U20 too.

Your comments about a particular cadet not being ready for U20 demonstrates another problem I allude to. Unless you are their parent or coach you are not entitled to express an opinion about potential without raising emotions in others. So, if we did go down a U20 development route, the selection process would be difficult. I don't know and don't want to know whom you refer to, but there are at least two other WS fencers outside the top 12 who I would consider developing towards a strong U20 team in 4-5 years time.

Selection based on merit is easy, but might exclude talent. Selection based on potential requires more refined judgement, but can easily be perceived as unfair.

So if you aren't the parent or coach of a fencer you can't make judgements about potential or talent? That immediately increases the number of selectors from three (or thereabouts) to dozens. That's unworkable.

You might perceive a fencer to have a lot of potential, but the reality is they have no real way of realising that due to the fact that the only training they do (or are willing to do) is 1.5 hours a week at the club - if they can be bothered to turn up.
Should they be sent ahead of a slightly older fencer that is doing all the right things, training properly, has the right attitude and is ranked 10 or so places higher? How can that be justified?

(The fencer in this post is purely hypothetical)

Back to the point - if you have problems with the fact that the sabre committee will not send 12 fencers to nominated junior A grades, then the solution is to get all of the people that share this problem to harass the sabre committee until they send the top 12 that want to go. The same general principle applies to seniors as well.
Even better - find a way to get onto the sabre committee so that you can change this.

coach carson
-23rd August 2009, 14:17
So if you aren't the parent or coach of a fencer you can't make judgements about potential or talent? That immediately increases the number of selectors from three (or thereabouts) to dozens. That's unworkable.

I don't know what you are getting at. In terms of selection no, you can't have parents and coaches determining or balancing potential against actual achievements.

You might perceive a fencer to have a lot of potential, but the reality is they have no real way of realising that due to the fact that the only training they do (or are willing to do) is 1.5 hours a week at the club - if they can be bothered to turn up.
Should they be sent ahead of a slightly older fencer that is doing all the right things, training properly, has the right attitude and is ranked 10 or so places higher? How can that be justified?

Precisely, you have to have something to base the judgement on, but it would be subjective and subject to criticism and challenge.

(The fencer in this post is purely hypothetical)

Back to the point - if you have problems with the fact that the sabre committee will not send 12 fencers to nominated junior A grades, then the solution is to get all of the people that share this problem to harass the sabre committee until they send the top 12 that want to go. The same general principle applies to seniors as well.
Even better - find a way to get onto the sabre committee so that you can change this.

No I don't have such a problem. The discussion is about whether a to develop the right fencers towards U20 from and earlier age and how that could be done outside of a ranking system.

Red
-23rd August 2009, 15:33
No I don't have such a problem. The discussion is about whether a to develop the right fencers towards U20 from and earlier age and how that could be done outside of a ranking system.

Coaches and clubs should be doing this already. If they aren't, then they need to be taught how to do this.

By the way, I just saw the 2nd Pork Squadron fly by...

coach carson
-23rd August 2009, 16:16
Coaches and clubs should be doing this already. If they aren't, then they need to be taught how to do this.

By the way, I just saw the 2nd Pork Squadron fly by...



Even if they were doing that, they still wouldn't be getting their fencers selected outside of the top 4 or 9 (depending on what selection planet we have landed on).

Red
-23rd August 2009, 16:22
Even if they were doing that, they still wouldn't be getting their fencers selected outside of the top 4 or 9 (depending on what selection planet we have landed on).

Then you would agree that not sending a full quota of 12 is A Bad Thing (TM) and should somehow be fixed?
I think that you (and other coaches and clubs) can do that.

Let's hope that we don't return to the surreality of WS last year...

TomA
-23rd August 2009, 19:07
Coaches and clubs should be doing this already. If they aren't, then they need to be taught how to do this.The problem is that a large proportion of fencers up and leave at the age of 18, either to go on to university or another career path. They might come back to their 'home club' during the holidays but realistically most clubs' development plans up to under 20 are going to be cut short by the pressures of real life. Also, while coach and club education is obviously a good thing, if it is to happen properly then it needs to be part of a long term plan - which by its very nature will take time to be implemented and produce results. In the mean time, some centralised athlete development would be no bad thing, even if it just involved taking development squads to some of the non-nominated junior world cups.

Red
-23rd August 2009, 21:10
The problem is that a large proportion of fencers up and leave at the age of 18, either to go on to university or another career path. They might come back to their 'home club' during the holidays but realistically most clubs' development plans up to under 20 are going to be cut short by the pressures of real life. Also, while coach and club education is obviously a good thing, if it is to happen properly then it needs to be part of a long term plan - which by its very nature will take time to be implemented and produce results. In the mean time, some centralised athlete development would be no bad thing, even if it just involved taking development squads to some of the non-nominated junior world cups.

I'll expand on what I said before.

Identifying the 'right' fencers to develop without using national rankings is something that good coaches/clubs ought to be able to do. It isn't necessarily something that the weapon committees should be doing directly.
If the clubs/coaches cannot do this, then they need to find out from somebody that can. And yes, it would probably take the better part of 5 years to see the benefit. If in 5 years time there are a dozen more very good clubs each with five very good 15/16 year old boys and five very good 15/16 year old girls then we'll all be happier than we are now. The number of good fencers will increase and the standard of fencing ought to become higher, so GBR will be more competitive internationally. Wonderful!

The fencers that drop out at 18 will do anyway. As will those that drop out after the first term. You just need to ensure that the base of your pyramid is sufficiently wide that this isn't a crippling problem.
If you have a 90% drop off between 11 and 18 and you want 10 good fencers, then you need 100 through the door at age 11. If you only have 30, then you won't. Simple really.

There is centralised athlete development - CPP, TASS, TA (does that still exist?). There is regional athlete development in some areas and even county development squads, obviously with differing levels of success.

The problems with youth (or senior) development aren't going to be solved by sending 15 year olds to u20 A grades. It's more complicated than that.

TomA
-23rd August 2009, 21:56
The fencers that drop out at 18 will do anyway. As will those that drop out after the first term. You just need to ensure that the base of your pyramid is sufficiently wide that this isn't a crippling problem.
If you have a 90% drop off between 11 and 18 and you want 10 good fencers, then you need 100 through the door at age 11. If you only have 30, then you won't. Simple really.Fewer would drop out if there was a proper support system set up in conjunction with the universities. One of the main reasons for many people dropping out is the fact that while they're at school and living at home, parents fork out for most of their fencing expenses. Then university starts and suddenly everything gets a lot more expensive than it was before. Unless your parents are still willing to foot the bill, you've got a TASS scholarship (of which there are 17 across all the weapons according to BFA) or your university runs its own scheme, the sudden cost and additional organisation to get your head round can be a real barrier. Expanding the base will produce more good fencers up to the age of 18, but I suspect with the same amount of funding opportunities spread between more fencers, the drop-off rate will also increase. Unless you can produce additional funding and support to go with your increased 'base' size, you won't necessarily get the best fencers coming through - you'll get the ones with the money/the organisational skills.

Foilling Around
-23rd August 2009, 22:10
The fencers that drop out at 18 will do anyway. As will those that drop out after the first term. You just need to ensure that the base of your pyramid is sufficiently wide that this isn't a crippling problem.
If you have a 90% drop off between 11 and 18 and you want 10 good fencers, then you need 100 through the door at age 11. If you only have 30, then you won't. Simple really.

Too defeatist for my liking. You have to look at the environment and say "how do we minimise the drop out?" Why waste all the work on talented fencers when you might be able to retain them AND expand the base. Yes many will drop out, but a condusive system and environment can keep more interested.

Red
-23rd August 2009, 22:26
Sorry to sound defeatist - 90% was an arbitrary number, and most of those that drop out won't necessarily be supremely talented. Those that drop out (very talented or not) may do so because they get sucked up by swimming, music, rugby, motorsport, flying or a thousand other things that they may be good at/enjoy more/consume a large part of their life.

Tom's got it - sooner or later it probably comes down to money or a lack of other support.

I think this thread has drifted substantially...

Tubby
-24th August 2009, 00:35
The leave home to go to uni thing is a thread to itself. I have not done the research it just feels that a lot of "names" at cadet and junior level go to uni don't kick on then disappear.

rugmike
-29th August 2009, 09:59
Fewer would drop out if there was a proper support system set up in conjunction with the universities. One of the main reasons for many people dropping out is the fact that while they're at school and living at home, parents fork out for most of their fencing expenses. Then university starts and suddenly everything gets a lot more expensive than it was before. Unless your parents are still willing to foot the bill, you've got a TASS scholarship (of which there are 17 across all the weapons according to BFA) or your university runs its own scheme, the sudden cost and additional organisation to get your head round can be a real barrier. Expanding the base will produce more good fencers up to the age of 18, but I suspect with the same amount of funding opportunities spread between more fencers, the drop-off rate will also increase. Unless you can produce additional funding and support to go with your increased 'base' size, you won't necessarily get the best fencers coming through - you'll get the ones with the money/the organisational skills.

Most - well, the one's we've had dealings with - do have a "elite" athlete squad scheme of some sort whereby a fair load of training facilities etc.... can be accessed for nowt/very low cost, including things like medical, strength training, organisational help and advice etc..........
These are aimed at just that , the "athlete" in any discipline ( usually Olympic sorts, but not always confined to them.).

The real problem is - for any specific sport - is specific training for your sport, reasonably accessible.

The fencer has to ensure they are going somewhere where good coaching is available - not necessarily on campus, in most cases.
I'm sure this is one big reason for the drop-out situation - the lack of sufficient access, to training to keep up standards.

And of course, the need for the athlete to suddenly realise they have to be more pro-active, probably !!

The money is always, always, a big problem, but that's " always with us " I suppose !