View Full Version : criteria???????

-4th May 2003, 23:34
I just wonder what the BFA or Sabre Club want to achieve with the criteria L16 on A Grade competition. They should learn from the lesson in the last year that no British sabre fencer -except James Williams- at this moment who is able to complete this criteria.
In this season only few sabreurs took their chances to take part in A Grade events because the vast majority of them realised that there is no chance to reach this level. Some of talanted fencers have turned away from fencing.
I am just worried that World Championship will run without British sabre team in this year. What is the main goal, to get rid of the fencers' opportunities to taking part in World championship or just keep fencing on and accept the situation what we have?

-14th May 2003, 18:47
Originally posted by vivo
I just wonder what the BFA or Sabre Club want to achieve with the criteria L16 on A Grade competition.

Vivo, I've been waiting for someone to post an explanation for you.

I don't know so don't quote me but it is just possible that the standard has been imposed by FIE. The athletics federations won't let just anyone turn up and run in the world 100m championship you have to meet the qualifying standard first. If this is so I suppose a last 16 place is a not unreasonable standard to require a fencer to achieve though easier to achieve in some places than others.

-14th May 2003, 21:49
I am not quite sure that it is a FIE standard for qualifying. As far as I know quite a few fencers from some countries that their fencers' performance should not be better than our fencers still can represent for thier countries in World Championship. In my opinion, L16 is the BFA standard which is not reachable for most of GB fencers at them moment. However, this criteria discourages fencers and raises a question " Why I have to fence for and if I reach the top ranking of GB, what should be my award which is a National team member in World chamionship?" As a result, some fencers will give up and this will deteriorate the fencing future in Great Britain.

Anyway, thanks for your opinion and I look forward to hear from others for this issue.

Boo Boo
-15th May 2003, 11:35
L16 and L32 are imposed by the BFA and not the FIE (some countries just send there top 3 fencers regardless of their international results).

The official line from the BFA - at least, as I have heard it - is that entry standards are raised to raise the standard of British fencing. Personally I am not 100% sure of this logic: I think that most people will attempt to gain the best possible result rather than the minimum required result. Raising the qualification requirements also allows the International Committee a large amount of "discretion" in who they send.

This year I am pretty sure that the BFA will send full teams in MF, ME, WE and MS. Since teams for all of these events are trying to qualify for the Olympics, the BFA would be mad not to send full teams. For WF and WS I would guess that they will probably just send those who qualify, but may send a promising junior or someone who has a realistic chance of Olympic qualification.

I hope that the International Committee always sends full teams: if they don't, I can't help wonder if an opportunity for fencer/team development isn't being missed...

Does anyone know whether the Women Sabreurs have done many team events this year? Women's Foil haven't really bothered with doing the team events this year (since some people see little point since there is no WF team in the Olympics).


-15th May 2003, 16:10
Just did some research I have been considering for a while. From the current world ranking lists on the FIE page, 73 men and 53 women have fulfilled the current criteria for sabre. Poland would not have qualified a full team if they were using the british standard. There are fencers in the top 50 who have not met the criteria also, one in the men's and 5 in the womens. There are also men who have reached the criteria through the Iran A-Grade only.

I am v. good at time wasting! but it goes to show that the criteria currently in force in this country are somewhat strong.

It is all very well setting criteria like this when there is strong back up for training. currently there is not.

-15th May 2003, 22:13
Why set a criteria so high that you can't field a complete team? So you send a couple of good fencers and one not so good, surely this is still better than being 1 man down.

-15th May 2003, 22:31
The criteria were imposed across the board by the BFA for all the weapons, but the BFA was forced into this by Sport England who provide the majority of the funding for the BFA, they have demanded a year on year improvement in results and this is fed through into World champs qualifying standard.

Under normal circumstancces I wouldn't have a huge problem with the standard they have imposed (its damn tough but should be achievable by our top guys in at least 1 A-grade((note this does not mean that I have a chance in hell of getting the result but our top guys should))) but this year it just hasn't taken into account the fact that the worlds top fencers/teams are scrambling for Olympic qualification so the standard and entry's at the A-grades have gone up considerably making it much harder to achieve the result. Also the fact that only 6? comps are deemed to count doesn't help matters.

As for the BFA sending teams irrespective I'm not so sure I personally think they would be stupid not to as only sending 4 or 5 fencers to the worlds would be very damaging to British fencings image but from what Keith and some of the selectors have been saying it looks like they'll stick to their guns, we'll have to wait and see.

p.s. why don't you sabreurs try? the top guys hardly turn up to any domestics and wheras in the rest of the weapons at least people give it a go internationally (and often suprise themselves) the sabreurs seem to give up from the start. And if the top guys don't want to go why not llet some of the lower ranked fencers get experience fencing in A-grades its a whole different world to the Coupe Du Nord which you all so like!

The Fie has no qualifying standard for the Worlds or Europeans and provided your federation wants to send you you can go.

-15th May 2003, 23:17
<considers going round to the BFA HQ to bang heads until someone sends me on a big pissup, errrrrr.... Tournament :)>

-15th May 2003, 23:31
I just wonder whethere or not the BFA or sabre committee has any idea to built up the men sabre team in order to reach their standard. I guess it is very impossible to complete. Therefore, I can see that there will not be a GB sabre team in Havana. I am afraid we can see only the GB referee in Cuba. Sorry! It is very pity.
Has anyone a clue on how many team event does the GB sabre team participate in this season? Surprisingly, I would say "none". What the BFA expect from the sabre future? As I know, apart from James Williams only few senior fencers took part in recent A-grade abroad. Unfortunately, they have not got any support from the BFA who expects them to represent the GB with good results. Believe it or not! there is no any structural plan for improving the GB member. Is anyone know whether Sabre Committee provides some support for the top fencers?

So, I agree with the opionion that says before setting the standard, we should consider how we will be able to do it or not. Great Britain fencing is still not strong enough but participating the World Championship is should be the main goal and motivation for fencing.

Turtle ninja
-16th May 2003, 00:03
Hey! Where are the BFA guys? You see someone does not agree with you. Your standard is too highhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.:dizzy:

-16th May 2003, 00:19
IMHO the BFA should be putting a team into every major competition going, it doesnt matter whether or not they are your best fencers, presence is what counts. You ofen see the England football team putting an XI's side into a competition that the A side wouldnt bother with, so why cant this work for fencing too?

-16th May 2003, 00:54
Do the sabreurs enter any team events attached to the A-grades? do enough of them bother to go? as I've said before I agree the standard set is very high but still in both epee and foil we always enter 8 fencers into nominated A-grades (in fact theres a waiting list in case people drop out) and we enter every FIE team event going, the fencers entering go in with the attitiude that its not impossible to get a L16 and that if they really want to compete at an international level they should be achieving this. (and before anybody says that thats because the epee A-grades are too easy in the past couple there has been an entry well over 200), Laurence Halstead managed a 16 last weekend, Georgina Usher got a last 8 in a super A-grade 3 weeks ago so its not impossible

At Jakab you have some of the top sabreurs, get together and enter these comps otherwise you'll be woefully unerprepared even if you do get to send a team, last year in the team event the mens sabre did woefully badly.

-16th May 2003, 01:11
Fundamental question, is it better to enter a team and do badly than not to enter one?

-16th May 2003, 15:18
More sabreurs would enter A-Grades if a) we were selected to go, b) even if eligible to go, were given dates and details at a sensible time so flight can be booked.

Given that in the past fencers had to pay to go to the worlds, why not put qualifying standards for funding not for going? if a full team is not going to qualify.

We will be hard pushed to keep a position of 13 in the Coupe des Nations if we have a very very small team

-16th May 2003, 15:25
Originally posted by randomsabreur
Given that in the past fencers had to pay to go to the worlds, why not put qualifying standards for funding not for going?

Now that's not a bad idea, tho it could create a system where only the few who can afford it can go.

-16th May 2003, 15:26
Better those who can afford, and most will do their best to find a way if for the worlds, than empty spaces

-16th May 2003, 18:28
Yup, my sentiments exactly

-16th May 2003, 21:25
According to the criteria, it is too high. According to the cost of going for the Worlds, it is also high. If you say the fencers who can afford can go, why the fencers have to represent GB. Why do we have BFA?
I'd rather think about the selection idea should be the top fencers eg. top 4 and these person should perform all activites in fencing for a whole year not only fencing results but also the standard of fitness and fencing training attending. These fencers who qualify in all criteria should get financial support and be selected to represent in the Worlds.

Turtle ninja
-16th May 2003, 21:41
Why do we need the criteria? All top fencers must pay by their own for everything such as traveling expenses, fencing equipment and GB Tracksuit, in all A-grade and the World Championship.
The new criteria is who is willing to pay will be selected as a GB fencers in the World Championship.

-17th May 2003, 06:45
I just dont see the point of not fielding a full team cos they dont fit the criteria, its akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face.

-23rd May 2003, 10:33
Originally posted by randomsabreur
More sabreurs would enter A-Grades if a) we were selected to go, b) even if eligible to go, were given dates and details at a sensible time so flight can be booked.

Right, anybody in the top 20 of the british rankings can go provided 4 or 8 people above them in the rankings choose not to go. All the A-grade details are available on the FIE website www.fie.ch and flights/hotels etc can be easily booked with only a few days to go, but irrespective you will generally have about 3/4 weeks to sort out travel arrangements.

Given that in the past fencers had to pay to go to the worlds, why not put qualifying standards for funding not for going? if a full team is not going to qualify.

All the BFA funded fencers have these and they are even tougher than the worlds qualifying criteria!.

We will be hard pushed to keep a position of 13 in the Coupe des Nations if we have a very very small team

You'll be even more hard pushed if you don't start doing some team events!

-23rd May 2003, 10:35
Where at the moment it's the few who can afford it *and* can get selected.

-23rd May 2003, 10:36
Shut up saxon, and read to the end of the thread... :)

-23rd May 2003, 11:44
Originally posted by Turtle ninja
Why do we need the criteria? All top fencers must pay by their own for everything such as traveling expenses, fencing equipment and GB Tracksuit, in all A-grade and the World Championship.
The new criteria is who is willing to pay will be selected as a GB fencers in the World Championship.
Lol, I like that idea!!! :rolleyes:

-23rd May 2003, 15:29
I just heard that GB will not send the men's sabre team into the European championship. So, it can imply that it is hopeless for World Championship for having GB men sabre team no matter how the critieria is. Eventually, GB men' sabre will be forget from the fencing societly.
What's a shame!!!:upset:

-23rd May 2003, 15:36
World fencing society has already forgotten GB mens' sabre, if they ever knew about it!

<ducks and runs away>

[note to the humour impaired - this is a joke]

Boo Boo
-23rd May 2003, 15:36
Its the same for womens foil, they are just sending the two qualified individuals - Camy and Elly.

Its a shame, because I can't help feeling that doing this sort of thing is a missed "team development" opportunity (okay 4 years is a long time, but men's sabre and women's foil should be in the next Olympics).

I guess that team selection is more about short term funding than about longer term goals.


-24th May 2003, 00:47
I have not known this happened with women's foil as well. It is not fair.

BFA : "Men's sabre and women's foil, You are the weakest link! Goodbye!.";)

-24th May 2003, 03:50
This is the thing I dont get, there are fencers who WANT to enter the championships, so why will the BFA not send a team? Surely its better to enter what you can than to not even bother.

I mean its not like we don't have a shortage of volunteers is it?

-24th May 2003, 11:09
Some top fencers want to be part of the competitions but what they can do for the decision of GB will not send a men's sabre team. The root of the problem is an inefficiency of the management. BFA would like to be professional but what they have shown is far from the professional.:dizzy:

-24th May 2003, 13:28
This is the thing I dont get, there are fencers who WANT to enter the championships, so why will the BFA not send a team? Surely its better to enter what you can than to not even bother

Because they haven't met the qualifying criteria for the europeans?? (one 32 I believe) have the sabreurs actually entered any A-grade team comps this year where there are no qualifying criteria?

-24th May 2003, 15:10
One thing is the fact that our fencers are not good enough as we believe. As I say the criteria is need to be modified and relaxed in order to cheer up fencers to put more effort on. The top fencers should represent our country in a team no matter how the result will be. If we don't send the team, why we fence. What is the motivation? :(

-24th May 2003, 20:30
I understand that Graham Watts was the driving force in raising the qualifying criteria. Qualifying criteria were raised previously (98 or 99) so that to qualify a fencer had to have achieved at least one L32 at a World Cup. Now this latest hike in the standard required. His logic was that for too long British teams at World championships had been full of "tourists" who had no chance of producing any kind of decent result and this consequently damaged our credibility with SportUK and other funding bodies.

Personally I think this latest jump is a step too far or at least too soon. We suddenly go from having full teams at most weapons to sending maybe half a dozen fencers. Perhaps if all these fencers were going to be fully funded by SportUK or similar to compete in the World Champs this would make sense but, as far as I know, this is not the case. Indeed, the number of coaches, referees and officials could almost match the number of fencers and these will still have to be paid for by the fencers.

As far as developing teams for the future, this seems a bad move. Even borderline tourists/world class fencers will be discouraged from aiming high because the costs will be potentially prohibitive. Rich man's sport anyone?

-25th May 2003, 17:36
In reply to aao

You have to be a member of the Squad to be selected to go to A-Grades. despite being in the top 20, I have not been informed of what the cruteria for being in the squad are for the past three years! Would be nice to know.

-25th May 2003, 21:13
unless sabre is significantly different to epee, for nominated A-grade competitions (the list of these should be available through the sabre international commitee or equivilant) up to 8 fencers may be sent to and A-grade (provided there is a ref willing to go!, if not only 4 can go) with selection based on ranking e.g. the top 8 are asked first with lower ranked fencer down to around 20 being asked if those in the top 8 don't want to go. Non nominated A-grades can be entered by anybody holding an fie licence, these are yet again based on rankings but few of the top fencers bother going as there is no international multiplier (although we reckon that a non-nominated a-grade is a B-grade so should have a multiplier of 5) Talk to Ian williams to find out more .

the official rules are below:


Entry to overseas A-grade competitions will be governed by the conditions of the particular competition and/or FIE regulations and any fencer must meet any such conditions/regulation to be considered for selection.

Selection for overseas A-grade competitions is a matter for the selectors for each weapon and selection will normally be restricted to any fencer in the top 20 of the home rankings but the Selectors may in their absolute discretion and for good reason select a fencer for any competition who is not ranked in the top 20. The Selectors will use competition results based on the previous 12 month period on the date of selection to obtain this ranking. They reserve the right to ignore results if they are unable to obtain full details, either from the competition organisers for home competitions, or from the fencers concerned for overseas competitions.

If at least five of the top-eight ranked fencers, at the date of selection, wish to enter a nominated A grade then the selectors/weapon committee should arrange for a referee to be sent and ideally a full team of 8 (or more, in accordance with our FIE quota at each weapon) should be sent.

The top four ranked fencers will be automatically entitled to be selected. Any fencer ranked 5 or below will be subject to selection at the selectors’ discretion, who in their absolute discretion may take other factors other than ranking positions into account, provided that no manifest unfairness is caused to any other fencer.

Fencers competing in any associated World Cup Team event shall be automatically selected for the individual event. In any event of conflict between this requirement and those described in paras. 26/27, then this requirement will have precedence.

In making any selection decision the selectors shall not be obliged to have regard to the fact that selection (or non-selection) may affect a fencer’s ranking in any other ranking scheme (Cadet, Junior, World etc.).

Boo Boo
-25th May 2003, 23:09
In my experience ( ;) ), if you want to go to A-grades, you have to "make that known" (especially if you are not a Londond based fencer).

Ask your weapon captain for a list of nominated A-grades and express your interest in going to any which have spaces available (I know that 3 - James, Chirs B and Chris F - went to Athens: so there was room for another one there...).

Once you have a list of nominated A-grades (and the selection dates), you can "remind" your captain of your interest and ask who is selected. You can also check with your captain how many - in any (although remember this is an Olympic qualifying year...) - are going to the non-nominated A-grades.

Good luck and have fun.


-31st May 2003, 23:21
Roumors is spreading around that no British men's sabre team is sent to European Championship. I have not heard any official statement from BFA but if this news is true that means BFA shoot their own goal with this decision.
I understand that being part of Olympic Games is almost impossible for British sabreurs. Going to World Championship is very unlikely by the impossible criteria. But it is totally unacceptable that the door of participating in European Championship is closed in front of the top sabreurs. As my best knowledge, the aim of re-establishing European Championship by FIE is aimed at providing opportunities for the nations whose fencers are far from the world elite and have not chance to achieve significant results in Olympic Games and World Championship.
I am clear with the fact the British Sabreurs are far from the world supreme nations but they are not the worst. Somehow, they are as good as many other nations.
These guys are not a bunch of naughty kids who did something wrong and need a punishment. In fact, the top fencers have trained hard, undertaken lots of sacrifies and spent a large amount of money for achieving their goals. Nobody can blame them that they do not want to work hard. They are just not good enough to reach the top level of world fencing. They should not deserve this discrimination.
The decision of sending the team there and represent GB on this third level fencing event should be more important than showing power, disciplining these senior fencers and blaming them for poor performance.
In my opinion, with this decision "The BFA shot their own leg".

-2nd June 2003, 05:46
First off I'd like to say hi to Laszlo and welcome him to the mad house that is this forum.

I agree that the BFA are shooting themselves in the foot, my point all along has been that it is better to have fought and lost than to have not bothered at all. We can all learn from our losses, we cannot learn if we don't turn up.

-2nd June 2003, 09:36
I was always of the impression that in general foil and sabre were our strongest weapons. Was I wrong?

-2nd June 2003, 10:30
Men's epee is starting to improve, after the threshold was increased. Men's sabre appears t declining.

-2nd June 2003, 10:43
May it's the distraction of us girlies

Boo Boo
-2nd June 2003, 10:55
Apparently one of the main reasons behind the WC qualification criteria being so high is funding (SportUk, I think). The funding body (who gives the BFA most of its money) requires that the sport shows continuous improvement in performance and does not want to see us sending any tourists to the World Championships.

The BFA are, apparently, strictly enforcing the World Championship qualification criteria - if you don't qualify (and your weapon doesn't qualify a whole team - i.e. top 8 in the world rankings) then you don't go. No matter about Olympic qualification... (since it doesn't like like we will send any whole weapon teams to the World Champions this year...)

Funding for individuals (not that this affects many at all) has consequently also got a lot stricter. Funding is now done on a 3 monthly cycle. If a fencer doesn't show continuous improvement in performance (i.e. world ranking and/or placings in world cups etc) each 3 months, then their funding is cut or removed... This is very stressful for our fencers and means that their goals are becoming dictated by the need to achieve results at all world cups, rather than being able to train for and concentrate on specific targets...

So everyone is chasing their tales regarding short term performance and funding. When maybe we need to look at how to develop performance by constructive methods rather than by punishment. Is it too late for Laszlo to stand for the BFA board (being elected at the moment...)???

A good team is not just a group of good individuals, it takes time and practice to develop. We should be making the most of the World Championships (and World Cup team events) to develop teams. Ok the results will not be immediate, but it takes time (years, maybe) to develop a good team. Sending teams which are not going to win World Championshop medals (or maybe even qualify for the Olympics) this time around, will - with the right effort and inputs - be a lot stronger in four years time.

(kicking her soapbox back under her desk...)

Boo Boo
-2nd June 2003, 11:29
By the way, current British positions in the world team rankings are:
- ME: 18th (have done 5 out of 7 events).
- WE: 18th (have done 4 out of 7 events).
- WS: 9th (4 out of 7)
- MS: 21st (have done 1 event!!!)
- MF: 12th (4 out of 6)
- WF: 11th (3 out of 7)


-2nd June 2003, 11:39
Originally posted by Boo Boo
By the way, current British positions in the world team rankings are:
- MS: 21st (have done 1 event!!!)

And so the solution is to not send them to the European Championships?

Am I the only one who is a little surprised that the national sabre coach had not heard anything about this before the rumours? If I were in the BFA's position and was about to make such a decision he would be the first person I would speak to.

Boo Boo
-2nd June 2003, 11:42
Would think that the National Sabre coach should be involved in all such decisions and give the men's sabre captain a kick re. selection for A-grades and team World Cups (despite the reluctance of men's sabre and women's foil to do team events at the moment.... should be thinking longer term...).


-2nd June 2003, 12:19
When has the BFA ever made any sense, its like compound interest, only its compound lunacy...

Also long term thinking for a sabruer is getting 3 pints in at last orders.

-7th June 2003, 12:47
I think the BFA put lots of sabreurs to the dead-end that whether they'd rather stop or continue. SOmehow, they look at the long-term vision as the benefit of this criteria. One thing for sure in the long term dream, lots of fencers will stop fencing because they have no aim. What is the reward of fighting for GB? -None-

-7th June 2003, 14:56
Hmmmm, maybe the Dutch have a sabre team I could join ;)

-15th June 2003, 19:47
As far as I am aware, the Sabre 'Establishment 'have declined to recognise the European champs(senior and junior)for a number of years now. I recall the invitation to submit teams being made and being ignored!

Ian Hunter
(International Committee member)

-16th June 2003, 19:49
If BFA would like to show the performance to UKsports to get funding, reducing the chance of sending the team to make the result does not work. In my view, BFA should look at the deep root of the problem why we cannot produce the good results, it is not fencers' fault. They try hard but gain nothing from their own nation.