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graham paul
-29th October 2011, 01:34
I am rather disturbed by the muddled thinking that appears to be coming from the committee on selection. In September they produced a policy that they said they intended to implement, that was so flawed that virtually the whole team at the world championships signed a petition objecting to its implementation. The members should have been fully consulted before changing the system. They now seem to have changed the system without any proper consultation. My own view is that there was nothing much wrong with the previous system.
There is one particular issue that is rather close to my heart, although I do confess a conflict of interest. I believe that a current world champion should automatically qualify. It seems to me that some one who wins the world championship deserves this privilege, and everyone I spoke to appeared to agree.
At least with the previous selection system there was a discretionary place that could have been available for a world champion. Now that discretionary place has been removed. This is particularly harsh for the older categories. If they are not able to take part in the age group competitions for some reason, (perhaps illness), and then they have to qualify by fencing in the open competition with all the uncertainty of direct elimination. A bad draw could make qualification almost impossible. Now with the suggested system there would no discretionary place, I cannot see the logic of all this, and despite requests I have not had an explanation from the committee..
Graham

Geoff Silverman
-29th October 2011, 08:22
I agree. I consider current World Champions deserve automatic selection. Discretion was only exercised by the selectors for one place in strictly limited circumstances (e.g injury/illness at date of qualifying event) and then subject to scrutiny by the Committee. It had to be justified and there was an appeal process. I fear the removal of this discretion may produce a weakened team. The old system worked well enough.

marg
-30th October 2011, 06:18
I was interested to read Graham’s comments. I too believed after the obvious strong feelings expressed at the Worlds in Croatia that the committee would put on hold any changes to the Vets selection policy without proper consultation with the membership.
The Vets open circuit idea is now being trialled for the year but will not be used for selection . It will be interesting to see if that takes off. I do believe that it’s great for Vets to have more opportunities to fence each other if they want to and the circuit may fulfil that role, but to get the strongest team with the best medal hopes to the Worlds there needs to be a different approach. At the Worlds we topped the medal table with 4 golds, 4 silver and 5 bronze beating USA into 2nd place. Fantastic result from a team qualifying from the existing selection policy.

graham paul
-31st October 2011, 00:02
Is any of the committee prepared to put the case for not allowing world champions to automatically defend their titles, or at least not sticking with last season system of allowing a discretionary fourth place? (Please do not bring out the old chestnut of transparency, last season's system was well defined and transparent).

Stormtrooper
-31st October 2011, 14:31
This is the first time I have used ‘The Forum’ but I feel strongly that the selection issue is so important that a dialogue between members of BVF is essential. I agree completely with the comments made by Graham , Tierce and Marge. I see no need for a change to the old system. However others may disagree and their opinions should be heard. I suggest that the fairest way to achieve this would be to circulate a short questionnaire to all members. The results would then be published and the consultation period would continue. I intend to table a motion at the next AGM proposing that no changes to the selection procedure can be made by the committee without proper consultation with ALL of the BVF membership and the publication of their views. The motion has been sent to the secretary of BVF and reads as follows;
"I am concerned that the committee has changed the Selection Rules against the wishes of a significant cross-section of the membership”. Therefore I propose:

1. That the rules of selection published in March 2010 continue to be used.

2. That the membership be surveyed and the results published before ANY changes are implemented by the committee to the Selection Rules.

3. That any change must be supported by a clear majority (60% of those voting) of the membership.

Richard

Chris Reynolds
-31st October 2011, 15:06
Is any of the committee prepared to put the case for not allowing world champions to automatically defend their titles, or at least not sticking with last season system of allowing a discretionary fourth place? (Please do not bring out the old chestnut of transparency, last season's system was well defined and transparent).

Graham, putting aside the rights and wrongs of selection, do you know if the BVF committee frequent the forum? Otherwise you're just shouting into an empty room!

I know next to nothing of the history of this decision and as a middle-standard mid-forties foilist it's unlikely to directly affect me but on the face of it a discretionary place doesn't seem a bad idea (it was needed to get Liverpool into the champions league a few years back http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_F.C._2005%E2%80%9306_UEFA_Champions_Leag ue_qualification) but presumably there were reasons it was dropped? As an over-analytical type I can see a boundary condition where last year's World champion moves age groups and we are blessed with two World Champions in the same Age Group, the only answer would be a duel for the discretionary place!

Some form of consultation with the members may well be the most appropriate course of action.

graham paul
-31st October 2011, 16:21
Graham, putting aside the rights and wrongs of selection, do you know if the BVF committee frequent the forum? Otherwise you're just shouting into an empty room!

I know next to nothing of the history of this decision and as a middle-standard mid-forties foilist it's unlikely to directly affect me but on the face of it a discretionary place doesn't seem a bad idea (it was needed to get Liverpool into the champions league a few years back http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liverpool_F.C._2005%E2%80%9306_UEFA_Champions_Leag ue_qualification) but presumably there were reasons it was dropped? As an over-analytical type I can see a boundary condition where last year's World champion moves age groups and we are blessed with two World Champions in the same Age Group, the only answer would be a duel for the discretionary place!

Some form of consultation with the members may well be the most appropriate course of action.

I have emailed Frank with a request for an answer on the Forum.

I have not been able to find out the reason the discretionary place was dropped, and can think of no rational reason for it being dropped.

I am not sure that a fencer has ever won the Worlds in their last year at that age group, but it would be great to have the problem! There are clearly a number of possible solutions.
Graham

marg
-31st October 2011, 17:03
As an over-analytical type I can see a boundary condition where last year's World champion moves age groups and we are blessed with two World Champions in the same Age Group, the only answer would be a duel for the discretionary place!

Some form of consultation with the members may well be the most appropriate course of action.


This is an interesting scenario. It is possible but as Vets move through an age group it becomes increasingly difficult. However, you have given a solution and i like that idea! Certainly only one discretionary place should be available. I strongly feel that winning a World Title should at least allow you a given chance to defend that title the following year.

On the selection issue, I really do believe that the idea of the Vets circuit is a good one to increase participation and fun for fencers over forty and I thank the committee for coming up with new ideas but a series of Opens is not the answer to the serious job of selecting for age group representation at World level. I welcome the discussion at the AGM.

Geoff Silverman
-31st October 2011, 17:36
If the current World Champion is unable to defend his/her title due to moving up an age category, then the automatic selection should not, in my view, apply as this could cause unfairness to those seeking selection in the older group; subject to that I stand by my previous reply.

Stormtrooper
-1st November 2011, 12:11
For everyone’s information.

The following is taken from the BVF minutes of a committee meeting which took place on Sat 2nd April 2011.

5c. Selection Process: Discussion on proposed BVF ranking system based on the BFA system. It was agreed that any proposed new system would be fully aired with BVF members before decisions are made. FM proposed we continue to investigate this. MS seconded.
Action 275 DS/JS

It appears that by changing the selection process before any consultation with the membership the committee has gone against its own wishes.

graham paul
-1st November 2011, 15:35
Interesting Richaerd, if you look at the minutes for June meeting it says-
':JS proposed that we publish the draft selection procedure for all age groups on
the website.'
However if you go to the website it still has the 2010 selection procedure, with a note sayng that a new scheme was under discussion!
Graham

Stormtrooper
-1st November 2011, 22:10
What we have here is a lack of communication ! (Can anyone name the film?)

Peter Pan
-1st November 2011, 22:24
What we have here is a lack of communication ! (Can anyone name the film?)

Rod Steiger, In The Heat of The Night

Geoff Silverman
-2nd November 2011, 08:15
Cool Hand Luke.
But seriously, consultation with the membership is a must.

Stormtrooper
-2nd November 2011, 08:43
Cool Hand Luke.
But seriously, consultation with the membership is a must.

Correct . Well done Tierce . I am impressed. You win a cigar !
I agree, consultation with ALL the membership is a must !

Highlander
-2nd November 2011, 23:31
I have emailed Frank with a request for an answer on the Forum.

I have not been able to find out the reason the discretionary place was dropped, and can think of no rational reason for it being dropped.

I am not sure that a fencer has ever won the Worlds in their last year at that age group, but it would be great to have the problem! There are clearly a number of possible solutions.
Graham

Graham
I think it incredible that you should have a go at any decisions made by the Vets commitee and wanting a discussion about their changes when:
Your commitee (the international commitee) scored the biggest own goal in history, when you decided it was a good idea to leave half the GB fencing team for the Europeans AT HOME.
I think you should climb down from your position and let the Vets commitee make their decisions because from where I'm sitting, they are a dam site better than yours, or push your position and stand down from the international commitee because you can't have it both ways.

MisterBurns
-3rd November 2011, 01:16
However if you go to the website it still has the 2010 selection procedure, with a note sayng that a new scheme was under discussion!
Graham

The 2010 rules are on the website with a note because new rules have not yet been formally agreed by the committee. The outline of the changes have been circulated in a letter to members and I expect the replacement rules document to be formally presented at the next committee meeting.

Geoff Silverman
-3rd November 2011, 08:24
I'm sorry, but this is nonsense. The last letter to the membership from the Chairman of the Vets' Committee dated 28th October stated that the Committee has " determined the selection process for the European Team Championships. The selection process for the coming season is therefore laid out below." What follows is not "an outline of changes" but the new Rules in their entirety for selection for the 2012 World Championships and for the 2012 European Championships. There is not the slightest suggestion that these new Rules are up for discussion in Committee or for consultation with the membership.

Stormtrooper
-3rd November 2011, 09:05
Highlander. Do you agree that the wishes of all of the membership of BVF should be canvassed before any changes to the selection procedure are made?

Highlander
-3rd November 2011, 09:55
Highlander. Do you agree that the wishes of all of the membership of BVF should be canvassed before any changes to the selection procedure are made?


Yes
It would be good to be consulted on everything that affects selection as selection is a very contentious issue in all age groups. This should be a BFA agegroup wide debate and has to centre around sending full teams first and then sorting out a criteria to be selected.

But to have someone who has is part of a committee that has made some astonishingly bad selections in the past and the committee that prevents fencers like Keith Cook participating in internationals when he is current British champion and ranked 4th thus preventing him from pushing the guys on the foil team for their place appear upset and unhappy at a selection is abhorrent.

My point was:
You can't have someone who has been part of a flawed useless and unpopular selection process, pleading for another selection policy just because it affects him.

What about all the fencers his committee has prevented from representing GB and us fellow fencers.

At least the Vets policy sends full teams!

graham paul
-3rd November 2011, 13:56
Graham
I think it incredible that you should have a go at any decisions made by the Vets commitee and wanting a discussion about their changes when:
Your commitee (the international commitee) scored the biggest own goal in history, when you decided it was a good idea to leave half the GB fencing team for the Europeans AT HOME.
I think you should climb down from your position and let the Vets commitee make their decisions because from where I'm sitting, they are a dam site better than yours, or push your position and stand down from the international commitee because you can't have it both ways.

It is a pity that the author of this attack is too cowardly to put their real name to their post, too ignorant to know that that I was not at the meeting when our European team was selected, and that the IC no longer exists, and probably lacking in the common decency to apologise.

Highlander
-3rd November 2011, 14:47
It is a pity that the author of this attack is too cowardly to put their real name to their post, too ignorant to know that that I was not at the meeting when our European team was selected, and that the IC no longer exists, and probably lacking in the common decency to apologise.

Jeff Kiy
Most people Know I'm Highlander I have never feared adding my name to any post.
So cowardly ? no

Graham
Are you saying that you had nothing to do with international selection for the season 2010/2011?

If you have had nothing to do with preventing people fence (by non selection) in A grades and European/World championships then I will appologise unreservedly.

Jeff Kiy

Geoff Silverman
-3rd November 2011, 15:40
This raises many issues:
1. I'm glad you agree that consultation is at least desirable, if not necessary.
2. The BFA don't want to know; the Committee, as far as I am aware, did try to involve BFA after the change of format of the last Nationals, but the BFA's response was that the Vets should just get on with it without involving BFA.
3. We are not just talking about team selection but selection of individuals for the World Championships: if you are simply referring to the European Team Championships, how can you select a squad (and send it) without selection criteria?
4. I don't know anything about the International Committee at BFA or its decisions; presumably it was a decision of the Committee rather than that of its Chairman. If it were simply a matter of pointing out some alleged hypocrisy on Graham's part in raising a matter of significant interest to a number of Vets, in respect of which he was adopting a contrary position with another hat on, I might understand. But that is not the case here. He has referred to a significant number of GB fencers at the recent World Championships taking the view that the current selection rules are objectionable, contrary to the interests of GB and ought to have been put to the membership for discussion before being imposed on the membership. That really is what this thread seems to me to be about; not personal issues.

Stormtrooper
-3rd November 2011, 15:53
HUSSAR ! Tierce. It is not about personal issues. Let’s not get side-tracked. It must be about the willingness of the committee to listen to the wishes of the membership. I appeal for more members to sign up to FF and let their opinions be known.

Saxon
-3rd November 2011, 16:07
HUSSAR ! Tierce. It is not about personal issues. Let’s not get side-tracked. It must be about the willingness of the committee to listen to the wishes of the membership. I appeal for more members to sign up to FF and let their opinions be known.

Appealing on the forum for people to sign up on the forum.
Riiiiight...

Stormtrooper
-3rd November 2011, 16:10
To contribute , not just view !

graham paul
-3rd November 2011, 16:59
Jeff Kiy
Most people Know I'm Highlander I have never feared adding my name to any post.
So cowardly ? no

Graham
Are you saying that you had nothing to do with international selection for the season 2010/2011?

If you have had nothing to do with preventing people fence (by non selection) in A grades and European/World championships then I will appologise unreservedly.

Jeff Kiy

So you are saying no one who had anything to do with international selection in 1010/2011 should comment on selection for the Vets- pathetic.
However this is getting away from the subject, as has been pointed out. If you want to start a separate thread on my role on the the old IC committee then do so.

Highlander
-3rd November 2011, 22:51
So you are saying no one who had anything to do with international selection in 1010/2011 should comment on selection for the Vets- pathetic.
However this is getting away from the subject, as has been pointed out. If you want to start a separate thread on my role on the the old IC committee then do so.

Yes I do belive someone who was involved with very contentious decision making on one committee should not comment on
another just because it affects them. People in glass houses should not through stones.

I will start a thread on the international selection as you have said.

Jeff

Munisai
-4th November 2011, 09:41
It was never clear to me that the "old" system was broken. Perhaps someone would explain the rational for changing it?

For the record, I dislike the proposed changes because they heavily advantage fencers that turn up to at least 4 competitions a year. This is clearly an issue for many fencers who are short of either time or money (or both). They also select the older age groups based on their performance against younger vets. This doesn't seem right when selection is mainly for age group competition.

Regards, Keith.

Saxon
-4th November 2011, 10:02
...when in the opposing case one could be selected for fencing at one specific event where no-one else turns up? I'm the current 40-49 age group sabre champion (which may have qualified me for something, I don't recall...), and with all due respect to everyone else there, my hardest match was against a foilist.

As to fencing younger vets, what is the problem with this? Surely practising (and performing) against numbers of younger, potentially fitter and faster fencers is more of an absolute indication of ability than beating the other three fencers in your age group. One of the reasons GB women's sabre started so well was that they were fencing and succeeding against the men in mixed events where much of the rest of the world ran separate women's events.

I don't have any particular problem with a current World Champion automatically qualifying. On the other hand World Championship attendees are a pretty self-selecting group and therefore may not be offering an entirely unbiased cross-section of BVF membership in their responses. Especially if (and I don't know if this was the case) they are being asked by a World Champion trying to gain support for his/her argument with the BVF selection committee.

Stormtrooper
-4th November 2011, 10:26
For everyones information;

There will be a meeting of the British Veterans Committee on 19th November 2011.

I urge every member of the Vets to email the committee making their opinions known on the present situation.
My stand has not changed since Porec and still remains that the full membership should be consulted BEFORE any changes are made to the selection process. In my opinion the best way to do this would be to issue a questionnaire so that the results could be published and a consultation period undertaken. Until this consultation has taken place I request the committee to revert to the selection system published in March 2010.

Geoff Silverman
-4th November 2011, 11:05
I agree; after all this is what the minutes of the April Committee meeting say : "c. Selection Process: Discussion on proposed BVF ranking system based on the BFA system. It was agreed that any proposed new system would be fully aired with BVF members before decisions are made". The new system has not been "aired" with the members; it has simply been imposed.

graham paul
-4th November 2011, 11:12
For everyones information;

There will be a meeting of the British Veterans Committee on 19th November 2011.

I urge every member of the Vets to email the committee making their opinions known on the present situation.
My stand has not changed since Porec and still remains that the full membership should be consulted BEFORE any changes are made to the selection process. In my opinion the best way to do this would be to issue a questionnaire so that the results could be published and a consultation period undertaken. Until this consultation has taken place I request the committee to revert to the selection system published in March 2010.

I agree with the above, with 1 exception. The 2010 scheme was incorrectly drafted. It said that the highest placed fencer from each age group in the National championships would be selected. It should have added that if this fencer was already selected from the Age groups, or unavailable, the selection would go down the results list until a fencer was selected.
I urge the committee to correct this mistake, and keep the rest of the selection scheme unchanged.
Please email the committee with your views, which you may also copy to me or Richard Bonehill.
Graham

marg
-4th November 2011, 11:13
...when in the opposing case one could be selected for fencing at one specific event where no-one else turns up? I'm the current 40-49 age group sabre champion (which may have qualified me for something, I don't recall...), and with all due respect to everyone else there, my hardest match was against a foilist.



There is little incentive for the Age 40-49 fencers to compete as there is only one thing to aim for which is to get into the European teams .However having said that the Italian vets are so keen to get into the Vets competitions that they run a 35+ group to get them ready for the Vets. GB vets are a long way off this as we do not have the membership in this age group. Many vets of your age group are still active on the senior circuit and i think that is the best possible preparation for you.

marg
-4th November 2011, 11:57
.

As to fencing younger vets, what is the problem with this? Surely practising (and performing) against numbers of younger, potentially fitter and faster fencers is more of an absolute indication of ability than beating the other three fencers in your age group. One of the reasons GB women's sabre started so well was that they were fencing and succeeding against the men in mixed events where much of the rest of the world ran separate women's events.

I don't have any particular problem with a current World Champion automatically qualifying. On the other hand World Championship attendees are a pretty self-selecting group and therefore may not be offering an entirely unbiased cross-section of BVF membership in their responses. Especially if (and I don't know if this was the case) they are being asked by a World Champion trying to gain support for his/her argument with the BVF selection committee.

Have you really thought this through? Have you considered if a 70 year old fencing against a 40 year old, just hot off the senior circuit, is good practice? I think not. Could be demoralising, de motivating and not what they came into the Vets for.

World Championship attendees are a pretty self selecting group !!!!!!!!!!!! I was in Porec and had to qualify to get there as did everyone else who was there. It is true that some of the same people seem to make the team each year but this is due to commitment to training, hard work and consistently good fencing in order to qualify.

I would like to see the World Champion automatically qualify as a reward for winning. This is not a new arguement of Graham's this has been around for quite a while. But this is the first time it has come to the forum and to your knowledge.
It would be interesting to know what other countries do.

Saxon
-4th November 2011, 15:21
Have you really thought this through? Have you considered if a 70 year old fencing against a 40 year old, just hot off the senior circuit, is good practice? I think not. Could be demoralising, de motivating and not what they came into the Vets for.
Yep - The best 70 year olds will give most a run for their money and you will get a more accurate seeding and therefore selection criteria when they fence a range of abilities. The Vets is a friendly group, but in the end when you are selecting for the World Championships, the only fair thing to all is to have the most accurate seeding possible.


World Championship attendees are a pretty self selecting group !!!!!!!!!!!! I was in Porec and had to qualify to get there as did everyone else who was there. It is true that some of the same people seem to make the team each year but this is due to commitment to training, hard work and consistently good fencing in order to qualify.
I think you misunderstand. Self-selecting in the statistical sense - in that that they are not a good representation of the cross-section of the BVF (or even those BVF who are actively trying for selection). They have *already* qualified. Asking the current qualifiers if they are happy with the status quo or prefer to got with some "new" rules? You know the answer before you ask the question...

minniemouse
-4th November 2011, 16:25
This is my first post, which is an indication of my strength of feelings on the issue that has been raised. Members have been encouraged to make their comments on the forum.

Having read this thread I agree with most of the comments already made. I cannot see why the Committee would introduce an entirely new scheme without proper prior consultation with the members, and ignore their own decision which is in their minutes i.e. to consult the membership first.

It is now too late to make radical changes. I support Graham’s proposal to keep the current system with the correction that ensures only 1 fencer is selected from the Veteran championships and three from the age groups. A discretionary place should remain, as in the current system, which would be taken, on the rare occasion that it is necessary, from the third place of the age groups.

However I do feel very strongly that World Champions should automatically qualify for the following year. I was in Porec for the World Championships, and everyone involved in the discussion around the petition, which over 30 team members signed, seemed to agree. I now understand there will be a Committee meeting on 19 November and let us hope that a sensible solution comes out of it.

Veteran fencing is a wonderful thing for fencers wishing to continue their sport, and it is great that more Vet competitions are being organised. But as someone stated, not everyone has the time or money to compete in many competitions, and Veteran fencing for fun and good exercise and camaraderie should not be confused with the selection of a team to represent GB and to win medals.

graham paul
-4th November 2011, 16:45
Yep - The best 70 year olds will give most a run for their money and you will get a more accurate seeding and therefore selection criteria when they fence a range of abilities. The Vets is a friendly group, but in the end when you are selecting for the World Championships, the only fair thing to all is to have the most accurate seeding possible.

I think you misunderstand. Self-selecting in the statistical sense - in that that they are not a good representation of the cross-section of the BVF (or even those BVF who are actively trying for selection). They have *already* qualified. Asking the current qualifiers if they are happy with the status quo or prefer to got with some "new" rules? You know the answer before you ask the question...

Whilst some 70 year olds may be able to give the average 40 year old a run for their money, I do not think this applies very often and particularly to Women's sabre, where the fencers have only started fencing sabre relatively late in their careers.

As to your second point, you are wrong! I was in Porec and I think that the principle of having a 'circuit' is quite a good one. However the date was so close to the first competition, the scoring system was so flawed and there were too many competitions required, that it would have been a disaster if it had been implemented.

The system used should be decided on by people that are not actually competing for a place, but everyone should have an input. If we allowed a simple vote of everyone competing and accepted a majority, a system where no one could qualify if they had been to world championships might be passed.

Graham

Stormtrooper
-4th November 2011, 20:46
[QUOTE=minniemouse;255539]This is my first post, which is an indication of my strength of feelings on the issue that has been raised. Members have been encouraged to make their comments on the forum.

Hi Minniemouse. Welcome to the FF. Your imput is very much apreciated.

Foilling Around
-4th November 2011, 21:48
I am an occasional fencer in veterans events and I have not fenced in one since the L8 at the worlds in Moscow a couple of years ago. If I had been lucky enough to have won as few more fights I would have expected to be allowed to defend the title the next year.

Of course the current World Champions should be able to defend.

MisterBurns
-8th November 2011, 14:06
The 2010 scheme was incorrectly drafted. It said that the highest placed fencer from each age group in the National championships would be selected. It should have added that if this fencer was already selected from the Age groups, or unavailable, the selection would go down the results list until a fencer was selected.


Is it more consistent to select ALL the fencers for the World Championships from the Age Group Qualifiers, after all the title of the competition says what it is for. Why select someone from another competition just because it exists? If someone could not make the AGQ because of illness or injury then they can apply for a discretionary place.

Geoff Silverman
-8th November 2011, 17:25
It's certainly a point worth considering. Historically the Nationals took precedence, until the Age Groups rather reduced their relevance for the purpose of selection for the World Championships; however, the Nationals retained their relevance when it came to selection for the European Team Championships. The Committee minutes record that it was suggested the Event Manager should be a selector, but no decision appears to have been made: this, I imagine, might also be fairly contentious given that the exercise of (limited) discretion was thought to produce a weakened team and led directly to the decision to revise the selection rules. I really do feel that the membership should be involved in the whole discussion surrounding the selection rules, discretion and who should be the selectors.

Stormtrooper
-8th November 2011, 21:03
It's certainly a point worth considering. Historically the Nationals took precedence, until the Age Groups rather reduced their relevance for the purpose of selection for the World Championships; however, the Nationals retained their relevance when it came to selection for the European Team Championships. The Committee minutes record that it was suggested the Event Manager should be a selector, but no decision appears to have been made: this, I imagine, might also be fairly contentious given that the exercise of (limited) discretion was thought to produce a weakened team and led directly to the decision to revise the selection rules. I really do feel that the membership should be involved in the whole discussion surrounding the selection rules, discretion and who should be the selectors.

I completely agree. I sincerely hope that the committee are noting the strength of feeling against ANY changes before a proper period of consultation is entered into with all the membership. They will certainly gain the respect of all Veteran Fencers if they decide at the meeting on the 19th November to keep the status quo (March 2010) until they survey and consult the membership.

graham paul
-9th November 2011, 07:19
I completely agree. I sincerely hope that the committee are noting the strength of feeling against ANY changes before a proper period of consultation is entered into with all the membership. They will certainly gain the respect of all Veteran Fencers if they decide at the meeting on the 19th November to keep the status quo (March 2010) until they survey and consult the membership.

Again I agree with Richard and if the committee are unable to reverse their decision, I would suggest that the best date for the inevitable EGM would be the Friday before the Age group championships, as clearly after the Age groups would be too late.

Graham

graham paul
-9th November 2011, 18:04
Today Dave Sweeney, on behalf of the committee, sent around a survey in the form of a number of questions for members. He seems to have missed some members out. The ones I know about are myself, Janet Cooksey and Richard Bonehill, but there may be others!!
The first questions asks-
‘Would you like to keep the system as it is, ie based on the Age group championships and the National Veterans Championship’
This question is totally ambiguous and misleading. The current system, as defined in a recent email from the committee, selects 2 from each competition, with no discretionary place. However many people will think that the question refers to last years system with 3 from th Age group and a discretionary place, by choosing this option they will be supporting a system that no one on the Forum has supported.
This question, at best, is another example of muddled thinking, or at worst a duplicitous attempt to demonstrate a false impression of their members views.
Only the committee knows how this ‘mistake’ has come about, and I would suggest that they correct it. If they still feel that they do not understand the views of what appears to be the vast majority of the members, then they should send out a correctly worded survey to ALL members Replies should be copied to more than one person.
Graham

PLS-F
-9th November 2011, 18:21
If there is to be a survey it should go to ALL members, I too have been missed.

Stormtrooper
-9th November 2011, 18:43
Today Dave Sweeney, on behalf of the committee, sent around a survey in the form of a number of questions for members. He seems to have missed some members out. The ones I know about are myself, Janet Cooksey and Richard Bonehill, but there may be others!!
The first questions asks-
‘Would you like to keep the system as it is, ie based on the Age group championships and the National Veterans Championship’
This question is totally ambiguous and misleading. The current system, as defined in a recent email from the committee, selects 2 from each competition, with no discretionary place. However many people will think that the question refers to last years system with 3 from th Age group and a discretionary place, by choosing this option they will be supporting a system that no one on the Forum has supported.
This question, at best, is another example of muddled thinking, or at worst a duplicitous attempt to demonstrate a false impression of their members views.
Only the committee knows how this ‘mistake’ has come about, and I would suggest that they correct it. If they still feel that they do not understand the views of what appears to be the vast majority of the members, then they should send out a correctly worded survey to ALL members Replies should be copied to more than one person.
Graham

Those who know me understand that my one concern on any new selection process is that the wishes of all the membership should be consulted. (Whatever their opinion) As far as I am aware this is an ‘unofficial’ survey which has been sent to selected members of BVF. It therefore has no validity what-so-ever. The committee must disregard it completely. I cannot believe that if any member who had been sent the survey realised it was not sent to all of the membership they would have agreed to take part.
If the committee has agreed to this survey being issued than I have to ask them WHY? It has no purpose and is indefensible.

marg
-9th November 2011, 18:44
If there is to be a survey it should go to ALL members, I too have been missed.

Me too. I think this survey is not really a proper survey so I don't think it should be regarded as such.

Geoff Silverman
-9th November 2011, 18:57
If it went out by email, then I too have been missed.
I would hope the questionnaire addresses all the issues raised in this conference:
1. Automatic selection of current World Champion to defend his/her title.
2. The qualifying criteria for selection to represent GB at the World Championships.
3. A discretionary place for the World Championships (in limited circumstances - which should include an appeals process).
4. Whether Event Manager should be a selector (as this must necessarily involve exercise of discretion for the European
Team Championships).
The questionnaire must be framed unambiguously.

PLS-F
-9th November 2011, 18:58
I suspect that those of us who were not included are the members who had already expressed our opinions in writing to the committee, the justification of the "survey" may be that it is an attempt to find the opinions of the silent ones.

horus
-9th November 2011, 23:07
I suspect that those of us who were not included are the members who had already expressed our opinions in writing to the committee, the justification of the "survey" may be that it is an attempt to find the opinions of the silent ones.

I've been silent on this to date, but still haven't been asked. It seems we need an alternative conspiracy theory as to how this was cobbled together as a new policy....

Saxon
-10th November 2011, 09:43
Those who know me understand that my one concern on any new selection process is that the wishes of all the membership should be consulted. (Whatever their opinion) As far as I am aware this is an ‘unofficial’ survey which has been sent to selected members of BVF. It therefore has no validity what-so-ever. The committee must disregard it completely. I cannot believe that if any member who had been sent the survey realised it was not sent to all of the membership they would have agreed to take part.
If the committee has agreed to this survey being issued than I have to ask them WHY? It has no purpose and is indefensible.

Agree entirely, however you can't have it both ways. The petition described in the thread's original post is similar. A canvass of opinion from a selected group, "virtually" all of whom signed it. This was my original intention when posting on the self-selection of respondents, which BVF has now neatly emphasised with their 'survey' (and no, I haven't received one).

Both these methods are invalid if the intention is to produce a verifiable balance of opinion on whichever issue is under question. If, as you say, the committee "must disregard [the 'survey'] completely", they also must disregard the World Championships petition completely.

On the other hand, the committee are there for a reason. The reason being that it is not feasible to ask everyone about everything. In general, committee members are expected to gather opinion (or not) and represent it (or their own) during policy discussions. Sorry to bang the old drum again, but to be honest we should all be grown up enough by now to realise that if we are not happy with the way committees function it is our responsibility either to replace them and do something about it, or simply to put up with it.

So they have made an unpopular decision, the origin and reasoning for which are not immediately clear. Presumably the substance of the discussion was minuted and should be available for examination? Presumably there was an appropriate majority of those present? Presumably, in the face of opposition, there is the possibility to re-visit the discussion?

If you have problems with how the committee does things, then you have to play by committee rules to get them to change. This forum is not really the place to insist on that change. Rather it is somewhere to gather your argument and support before using item 14 of the BVF Constitution to call an EGM for a discussion and vote.

Personally I have always thought it mildly ridiculous to select for World and European Championships based on a one-off competition, and subsequently entertain appeals from fencers who didn't make the event for one reason or another. Having fenced Opens for years (as have most or all of those who should realistically be expected to qualify), is it really too much to consider that performance through a series of events (however limited) is a better proof of ability and right to represent your country? As to existing World Champions getting an automatic right to defend, I don't have much feeling one way or the other. Does any other country do it?

Geoff Silverman
-10th November 2011, 12:02
Agree entirely, however you can't have it both ways. The petition described in the thread's original post is similar. A canvass of opinion from a selected group, "virtually" all of whom signed it. This was my original intention when posting on the self-selection of respondents, which BVF has now neatly emphasised with their 'survey' (and no, I haven't received one).

Both these methods are invalid if the intention is to produce a verifiable balance of opinion on whichever issue is under question. If, as you say, the committee "must disregard [the 'survey'] completely", they also must disregard the World Championships petition completely.

On the other hand, the committee are there for a reason. The reason being that it is not feasible to ask everyone about everything. In general, committee members are expected to gather opinion (or not) and represent it (or their own) during policy discussions. Sorry to bang the old drum again, but to be honest we should all be grown up enough by now to realise that if we are not happy with the way committees function it is our responsibility either to replace them and do something about it, or simply to put up with it.

So they have made an unpopular decision, the origin and reasoning for which are not immediately clear. Presumably the substance of the discussion was minuted and should be available for examination? Presumably there was an appropriate majority of those present? Presumably, in the face of opposition, there is the possibility to re-visit the discussion?

If you have problems with how the committee does things, then you have to play by committee rules to get them to change. This forum is not really the place to insist on that change. Rather it is somewhere to gather your argument and support before using item 14 of the BVF Constitution to call an EGM for a discussion and vote.

Personally I have always thought it mildly ridiculous to select for World and European Championships based on a one-off competition, and subsequently entertain appeals from fencers who didn't make the event for one reason or another. Having fenced Opens for years (as have most or all of those who should realistically be expected to qualify), is it really too much to consider that performance through a series of events (however limited) is a better proof of ability and right to represent your country? As to existing World Champions getting an automatic right to defend, I don't have much feeling one way or the other. Does any other country do it?

This confuses the nature of a Petition and a Survey and their respective functions;
A petition is simply a request or demand. It can be from one individual or several; the more names it carries the greater the weight it attracts. If it is signed by a significant number of a particular section of the membership and the subject matter of the Petition relates to that section it should be given greater respect than from a section largely unaffected by it. It is not intended to produce a balance of opinion and, therfore, cannot be said to be invalid.
On the other hand, a Survey seeks to obtain a range of opinion from those surveyed from which to draw conclusions; the narrower the section surveyed the less the range of opinion obtained and, therefore, the less its validity to the broader section.
They serve entirely different functions.
The Forum is the means by which opinions can be aired and exchanged. These opinions might lead to a Petition; the Petition might lead to a Survey. The Survey might lead to the change demanded by the Petition.
The Committee is there to run BVF: you are right that if the members are unhappy with the Committee they can change it come the AGM. But the Committee should not make fundamental changes which affect the whole or a significant section of the membership without consulting those affected by the proposed changes.
Here the Committee recognised its duty to consult and decided to do so; what it has done is go back on that decision and effect a change without consultation: that is what I and those who signed the Petition and most of those contributing to this discussion are complaining about. The minutes are there on the website to be read: they offer no assistance on "the substance" of the discussion.

graham paul
-10th November 2011, 15:04
Well said Tierce.
Graham

Stormtrooper
-12th November 2011, 10:10
It appears from Frank’s latest email (10/11/11) that the committee intends to issue an official survey to all BVF members. If they agree on this course of action at their meeting on the 19th November then I welcome and applaud their decision 100%.

There remains one sticking point which is the amended rules which are in place at present. If the committee agree to shelve the new changes (2 & 2 rather than 3 & 1 at the Age Groups and National Championships) and revert to the original selection procedure published March 1010 then the ‘decks will be clear’ and we can move forward to a healthy and wide spread debate.

I look forward to reading all the views of all of the membership.

Geoff Silverman
-12th November 2011, 10:44
It appears from Frank’s latest email (10/11/11)
I haven't had this; but agree with what you say.

Stormtrooper
-16th November 2011, 08:41
Just to remind everyone that there is a committee meeting on the 19th November. If you agree please email the committee with the following requests ;

1. That the rules of selection published in March 2010 continue to be used.

2. That the membership be surveyed and the results published before ANY changes are implemented by the committee to the Selection Rules.

Many thanks.

graham paul
-16th November 2011, 09:59
Just to remind everyone that there is a committee meeting on the 19th November. If you agree please email the committee with the following requests ;

1. That the rules of selection published in March 2010 continue to be used.

2. That the membership be surveyed and the results published before ANY changes are implemented by the committee to the Selection Rules.

Many thanks.

I agree with Richard and feel that it is worthwhile looking at how we arrived at the current situation-

In both April and July, the Veterans’ Committee (VC), minutes stated that members would be consulted before any new selection scheme was implemented.

In August Jenny Morris suggested to the VC that World Champions should be automatically selected to defend their titles. Dave Sweeney (DS) proposed a motion to the VC rejecting this proposal. At the World Championships in Porec, DS told a number of fencers that he was now in favour of current World Champions having automatic selection. At the following VC meeting DS appears to have changed his mind yet again. More muddle?

At the same Championships, the publication of a new selection scheme that the VC intended to implement, with a Vets’ ranking series of competitions, caused massive consternation and annoyance among the competitors, which led to a petition being signed by almost all the team members, objecting to the scheme and requesting that the old 2010 scheme to be continued pending further discussion.

In the middle of October, the Committee decided, at their meeting, that they would not go ahead with ranking series, but again without consulting the membership, they decided to scrap the discretionary place, and award 2 places from the Veterans’ Championship and 2 places from the Age Groups. Consequently a number of members have objected, some of them on the Vets’ Forum. The chair Frank Mills (FM) then said that the VC would reconsider the scheme on the 19th November.

DS, apparently acting alone, sent a questionnaire to around 40 “selected” members. The first choice asked if they wanted to continue with the current scheme, (i.e. selecting 2 from each of the 2 competitions). However many of the recipients might think that DS was referring to the old 2010 system and answer accordingly, giving completely the wrong impression. The other 2 choices were between 2 different types of ranking series. Neither is really relevant, as it must now be too late in the season to be considering a ranking series for 2011-2012.

FM seems to have changed his (or the VC’s mind) again. On the 10th November he said in an email that the VC were going to decide on the 19th on the form of a questionnaire to send out to the members rather than a review of the selection process as previously stated. Another wobble, more muddle and delay. How much longer before we know what the selection system is for 2012?

In summary, the Veterans’ Committee still appears to be in disarray. I think that the majority of members would prefer to keep last season’s system, (3 places chosen from the Age Groups and one from the National Championships with a discretionary place for the rare exceptional case), at least for the coming year. After the AGM in March is the time to be considering future years. It may well be that there will be a feeling among members that it is time for changes in the leadership of the committee.

It is notable that despite 56 posts and nearly 3500 views there has yet been no support or even a defence of the committee’s actions.

Highlander
-16th November 2011, 13:41
"It is notable that despite 56 posts and nearly 3500 views there has yet been no support or even a defence of the committee’s actions. "

The silent Majority!!!!!!!!

Saxon
-16th November 2011, 17:50
It is notable that despite 56 posts and nearly 3500 views there has yet been no support or even a defence of the committee’s actions.

Really.

Okay then I shall try to make some of what I put a little plainer.

I fully support the Committee's right to decide as they have done.

The members have charged them with the responsibility to decide on various matters, selection included and in the end, consult or no, they have made a range of decisions. You may agree with those decisions or not, but you cannot deny their right to make them in the first instance.

Whether or not the substance of the discussions during the meeting was to "consult with the members", the minutes state that the proposed scheme would be "fully aired". That is not necessarily the same thing. If the minutes do not represent the substance of the discussion they should have been corrected prior to the following meeting. If they are passed but are not sufficiently precise or accurate it is the fault of all those present.

If you have a problem with the result of the decisions made, then instead of typing reams and reams of text on here, do as I have suggested, get together with some of your petition signatories and call an EGM to discuss and vote on the matter. To be more true to the substance of what I understand is *your* concern, rather than discuss and vote on the selection itself, the EGM would actually be to vote on a full consultation and vote from the entire membership.

Just in case anyone missed that, the Veterans Committee are there because more members have chosen to put them there (or not bothered to take an opinion) than not. As such, we have given them the right to make the rules as they see fit within the Constitution of the BVF.

graham paul
-16th November 2011, 19:06
Saxon
I agree with the principle that the committee should be making the final decision on the selection format. This should be an 'informed' decision, as the committee appeared to recognise when they minuted that new system would be 'fully aired'! This was not done and their original ranking system had a number of problems that made it almost unworkable. For instance the weighting system was such that a fencer coming 12th in 4 competitions would be ranked above a fencer winning 3 competitions, (assuming equal strengths of each competition).

The committee then appeared to jump out of the frying pan, into the fire, with a new proposal that does not appear to have been discussed with any members either. I wrote to the committee explain my reservations about their new scheme, but in the absence of a reply decided to air my views on the Forum.

An EGM is, of course is an option, but with the limited time available before the Age groups, the sensible course for the committee would be to go back to last year’s system. Then to hold a proper consultation with the members, including a discussion at the AGM and only after this, for the committee to decide on a system which would be based on the conclusions from the consultation.
Graham

Stormtrooper
-17th November 2011, 07:44
An EGM is, of course is an option, but with the limited time available before the Age groups, the sensible course for the committee would be to go back to last year’s system. Then to hold a proper consultation with the members, including a discussion at the AGM and only after this, for the committee to decide on a system which would be based on the conclusions from the consultation.
Graham[/QUOTE

My feelings completely.

Saxon
-17th November 2011, 13:31
It would seem that you already had enough from your petition to require an EGM. Had you done so at the start of this thread you might even have been attending the meeting this weekend.

Geoff Silverman
-17th November 2011, 14:42
"In particular the Association will submit to British Fencing for approval its policies and procedures (if any) relating to:
b)
the process of selection of Association teams and individuals to represent Great Britain;"

Do we know if the new selection process has been submitted to British Fencing for approval? As previously stated in relation to the format of the National Championships, British Fencing didn't want to know; nevertheless it is a requirement of BVF's Constitution that approval must be sought. By implication the new procedure should not be implemented without first having complied with our Constitutional obligations, as otherwise the requirement is meaningless. There is nothing in the minutes to throw any light on the point.
As to an EGM, I'd have thought this would be the last resort,not the first. Let's wait and see what transpires following the 19th.

marg
-23rd November 2011, 16:23
Committee meeting was November 19th. Any news ?

Geoff Silverman
-23rd November 2011, 18:36
Well done the Committee. Thank you. You listened!

Stormtrooper
-23rd November 2011, 19:11
The BVF Committee have announced that they are returning to the selection procedure published in March 2010 and will be issuing a questionnaire to all the members canvassing their views on selection. I applaud their decision and thank them for listening to the wishes of a significant cross-section of the membership.

I also wish to thank all those who signed the Porec Petition. Your opinion was without doubt a very important factor in the committee arriving at their decision. We can now move forward with a clean sheet and I look forward to hearing everyone’s opinion on what changes – if any – the membership would like made to the selection process.

Many thanks for your support.