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bydande
-16th January 2004, 08:33
At the Scottish Open at the weekend I noticed that quite a few of the foilists were using non-insulated pistol grips - with no tape over the rear extremities.

Given that rule m.13 "The insulation of the button, the blade and the grip" appears to require that the pommel or rear extremities of the grip be insulated, were these foilists committing an offence and should the referees have yellow carded them for incorrect equipment?

srb
-16th January 2004, 09:03
Strictly speaking yes. See the link for F.I.E. Rules at the top of the page.

THE BRITISH FENCING ASSOCIATION
REFEREE’S COMMITTEE
GUIDANCE FOR REFEREES
EDITION TWO

FEBRUARY 2003

Edited by
KEITH SMITH & MIKE THORNTON

...The Weapon

1. Check that the travel spring will hold up the test weight.

2. Check that the blade is correctly insulated (15cms of tape from the point down the blade).

3. Check that the handle is insulated so that it can’t be shorted against the lame jacket.

4. Check that any bend in the blade does not exceed 2 cm.

5. Check that the crocodile clip onto the lame is on the sword arm side at the back of the jacket.

6. Check that the lame is the correct size.

7. Check that an under-plastron is being worn....

srb

pinkelephant
-16th January 2004, 09:41
See the other thread on this forum on insulating pommels/handles, in the Armoury & Equipment section.

bydande
-16th January 2004, 10:24
I raised the issue about insulated grips - less to get an explanation as to why the grip should be insulated (I have read threads on this forum and fencing.net about that) and more about why do referees frequently not bother about this rule.

If its in the rule book shouldnt referees be enforcing it - even if they do get moaned at by the fencers for doing so (I know I was when I did so) - until such time as the rules change.

Even if the scoring boxes are not up to scratch and/or the fencers feel the rule is an irritation and not really important - referees should enforce the rulebook, shouldnt they?

Australian
-16th January 2004, 10:52
its not enforced because it doesn't short out the fencer so they couldn't be hit like it used to

bydande
-16th January 2004, 11:16
But surely referees should not be choosing which rules they apply - and which rules they dont. A referees job is to implement the rules consistently and impartially not to decide which rules are valid/sensible and which are not.

- the rulebook tells referees to check for grip insulation,
- refereeing courses tell new referees to check for grip insulation,
- the BFA guidance to referees is to check for insulation

So if everybody is telling referees to implement this rule, then surely they must implement it - even if it is unpopular to do so.

The Little Un
-16th January 2004, 12:29
I have two handles that look identicle, if they were laid on a table I could not tell which is the insulated one. So how does one tell?

Best wishes,
Judy

clockity
-16th January 2004, 12:59
Originally posted by The Little Un
I have two handles that look identicle, if they were laid on a table I could not tell which is the insulated one. So how does one tell?


Insulated pistol grip handles (for foil) are usually covered in paint or a coloured rubbery substance. Companies generally use different colours for different sized handles. Here green is for small, blue is for medium and red is for large grips.
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/handle_85_small.jpg

Epée pistol grips are usually made of uncovered bare metal
http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/epeehandcrossref82NI_back_small_both.jpg

Of course there are always the plastic pistol grips which are insulated. With french (and italian) grips, the pommel is the part of the handle that needs to be insulated. Electric french grip handles normally have a pommel covered in a black non-conductive material.

You can always use insulating tape wrapped around the prongs of a bare metal pistol grip to insulate it for electric foil.

Does this help?

MrWizard
-17th January 2004, 15:41
Originally posted by srb
5. Check that the crocodile clip onto the lame is on the sword arm side at the back of the jacket.


I thought the clip was meant to be on the non sword arm side, i.e. furthest away from your opponent (and also closer to the loop the electric cable connects to). What's the reasoning behind this?

Jamie

Rdb811
-17th January 2004, 16:41
I've always done it non-srowd arm side, next to the clip , presumabley to prevent an oppoponents blade getting up in it.

(unless you want to stop people interferring with the wire !!!)

bydande
-17th January 2004, 17:17
The clip should be on the sword arm side in order to prevent a fencer "accidentally" disconnecting it with the non-sword arm.

Robert
-17th January 2004, 19:14
Originally posted by bydande
But surely referees should not be choosing which rules they apply - and which rules they dont. A referees job is to implement the rules consistently and impartially not to decide which rules are valid/sensible and which are not.

- the rulebook tells referees to check for grip insulation,
- refereeing courses tell new referees to check for grip insulation,
- the BFA guidance to referees is to check for insulation

So if everybody is telling referees to implement this rule, then surely they must implement it - even if it is unpopular to do so.

The rules governing the play of the game should always be enforced. But I think a certain amount of discretion is called for with most of the penalty rules. In this case it would seem petty to card somebody at an open, esp. if the box was using the modern system. After all you wouldn't card somebody for bringing their guard in contact with the lame on a modern box, surely?

Also, if you note it on a French foil, all I have to do is wrap a bit of tape round, but the majority (pistol users) would have to completely replace the grip. This is quite a lot of fuss to go through when it isn't likely to have any effect.

If opens were presided purely by independent, non-fencing, qualified presidents then you would be absolutely right, and all the rules should be enforced (and I would expect them to be at A-grades) but as long as fencers are presiding themselves the rules should be applied with an understanding of the spirit and purpose.

Robert

bydande
-17th January 2004, 20:09
Hi Robert,

1. You dont need to replace a pistol grip. A bit of tape on the three extremities is all that is required - a 20 second job. So its no more difficult for pistol grip users than it is for the French grip brigade.

2. It is sometimes just no fun being a foil ref. When I did my refereeing practical I got told off by the examiner for not enforcing the insulation rule - and then I got an earful from some of the fencers when I did.

3. If a newbie ref wants to progress to the higher levels of refereeing then shouldnt they know and apply the rules, as dictated to them by the rulebook and guidance from the BFA, at all times - so as to demonstrate their knowledge and competence and thereby gain "promotion" to the higher levels of refereeing?

The Little Un
-18th January 2004, 00:12
Thanks Clockity.

Best wishes,
Judy

Robert
-18th January 2004, 12:52
Originally posted by bydande
2. It is sometimes just no fun being a foil ref. When I did my refereeing practical I got told off by the examiner for not enforcing the insulation rule - and then I got an earful from some of the fencers when I did.



Didn't know 1. You're right it is not fun being a foil ref.




3. If a newbie ref wants to progress to the higher levels of refereeing then shouldnt they know and apply the rules, as dictated to them by the rulebook and guidance from the BFA, at all times - so as to demonstrate their knowledge and competence and thereby gain "promotion" to the higher levels of refereeing?

But the majority of fights are presided by people with no intention of progressing anywhere, they are fencers not referees.
I don't think anybody would mind you saying "this box doesn't have a modern circuit, please wrap a bit of tape round that foil". Unless that is what you got an earful for? But a fencer would probably be irritated about getting a yellow card over it. After all, they wouldn't get one from another fencer, so why should they be penalised for having a president who has a qualification.

As an example. Two fencers are fighting, there is a hit, you replace both on guard. One of the fencers has just got a kink in his blade. He or you spots it. Obviously you make sure he straightens the blade, but do you also give him a yellow/red card?

I do broadly agree with you, but I think presidents have to have a certain sensitivity to the fact that the rules are written for A-Grades and World Championships, not Opens.

Robert

P.S Would you penalise fencers for absence of weapon check marks?

bydande
-18th January 2004, 17:18
Robert,

What I got an earful for was saying to the fencers before the pool actually started - "look guys I am doing my refereeing exams today so can you all just tape up the extremities of your grips so that I dont have to yellow card you for it". Seemed a reasonable and pragmatic approach to me but there were still a couple of fencers that moaned - interestingly enough the ones that moaned werent the best fencers or the mewbie fencers but the middle ability fencers.

In the scenario you give, the blade has been "kinked" during play and is not a penalty offence because it is "when during a bout an irregularity in the equipment which could be caused by conditions during the bout" (t45.2) - "the referee will applly neither warnings nor sanctions".

Your PS about the weapon check marks is a bit of red herring isnt it? The point about checking the insulation on the grip extremities is that it is included in the list of checks that the BFA is telling referees to do - weapon check marks is not mentioned on the list as reproduced by srb near the start of this thread. Opens are run under the FIE rules as amended by the BFA and as the BFA instructions explicitly include the insulated grip rule - then it should be uniformly applied.

The point I am trying to make is that when a referee does his job and enforces a rule that the BFA is telling him to do and that only takes seconds for fencers to adhere to - when the fencers winge and moan about it they are showing disrespect to the referee and therby contributing to the shortage of referees - which they also moan about. I just think it would be better for fencing if we had more "qualified " referees and we showed them a bit more TLC".

The Little Un
-18th January 2004, 20:02
I think fencers should always be polite to referees. It does not mean that all referees are good or up to the job but there are proper courses of action to take if you are not happy about a referee. I have refused to have a referee on one occassion and he had never refereed a fight I was in. Some other fencers refused to have an fie referee at the BUSA Chanpionships in Nottingham.

Best wishes,
Judy

bydande
-19th January 2004, 12:02
Hi Little Un,

Are you able to let us know the reasons that you and the other fencers gave for objecting to the referees - without naming names or anything. I am just interested to hear your reasons and also how the DT reacted to your objections (especially in relation to the FIE level ref). Were they just conflict of interest type objections (ie the referee having close connections with one of the fencers) or was it something else?

Thanks.

Robert
-19th January 2004, 12:23
Originally posted by bydande
Robert,

Seemed a reasonable and pragmatic approach to me but there were still a couple of fencers that moaned - interestingly enough the ones that moaned werent the best fencers or the mewbie fencers but the middle ability fencers.



Seems reasonable and pragmatic to me. I completely agree with you and the fencers were out of order. But you seem to be doing exactly what I am saying. You didn't slap yellow cards on people for faulty equipment, instead you just asked them to put a bit of tape on.



In the scenario you give, the blade has been "kinked" during play and is not a penalty offence because it is "when during a bout an irregularity in the equipment which could be caused by conditions during the bout" (t45.2) - "the referee will applly neither warnings nor sanctions".


t45.2 was amended (2001/2) to include an extra section "However, even during the course of a bout, any fencer whose weapon, at the moment he presents himself on guard and ready to fence, has a curve which exceeds that permitted will be penalised in accordance with articles etc. etc."



Your PS about the weapon check marks is a bit of red herring isnt it? The point about checking the insulation on the grip extremities is that it is included in the list of checks that the BFA is telling referees to do - weapon check marks is not mentioned on the list as reproduced by srb near the start of this thread. Opens are run under the FIE rules as amended by the BFA and as the BFA instructions explicitly include the insulated grip rule - then it should be uniformly applied.


Yes the PS was tangental. I really meant to point out that there are whole sections of the rules that are completely irrelevant to presiding at an open, because the rules are written for a different sort of competition. Then there are rules which obviously must be rigorously adhered to. And then there is a third group that should be applied with sensitivity; 'please tape your foil because I'm taking my referees exam', 'no, I'm not going to penalise him because his spare foil is in his bag on the other side of the hall', 'come on guard anyway you like because I have nowhere near enough patience to force you to adopt ciste' etc.

But it seems from your description you already are doing that.

I agree with you that this problem would be greatly alleviated if it was possible to supply a larger number of presidents for competitions of all levels.

Robert

bydande
-19th January 2004, 14:12
Robert,
Thank you for your response.

You are of course correct about the amendment to t45.2 - I do have the May 2002 amendment but my reply about the "kink" was a lazy one. The full text of my response should have read something more like this:
From a pragmatic point of view, and at an Open level or lower, I would differentiate between the following instances.
1. If after a point a fencers blade is kinked and the fencer fails to notice this - heat of the fight etc etc - then a friendly invitation to straighten the blade might be more appropriate. This could be considered a reasonably pragmatic approach to the t45.2 amendment in the case of somebody who is accidentally breaking the rule because of poor observation rather than any intent.

However, If the fencer refuses to do so then even the most pragmatic referee should probably be reaching for the yellow - because this is showing intent to break the rule as well as dissent.

2. If after a point a fencers blade is kinked, the fencer notices it and attempts to straighten it (off the piste of course) but fails to straighten it sufficiently to meet the 2cm rule I would suggest this is a different matter to which the t45.2 amendment should be more readily applied. Because here again you could argue that intent to circumvent the bend rule had been displayed.

So yes I agree that what you describe as the "Third level" of rules should be enforced with sensitivity - in a cajoling rather than jackbooted fashion. But that still implies an enforcing even if it is a gentle enforcing.