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Robert
-16th March 2004, 10:52
Srb raised this in the Edinburgh thread. I though it might deserve a thread of its own. Are you happy with the present system for awarding ranking points for opens?

I think there are a number of faults:

1, The fixed scale of points means a small competition awards more points than a large one for the same performance. This happened at Wrexham and York in 2003.

2, The presence of a few high ranked fencers can give a competition a higher NIF than it really deserves. This happened at the Sussex Open.

3, The 75% rule can allow people to slip in to points without winning a DE. This happened at Edinburgh at the weekend.

4, The differential between the bottom comps and the top is very large (in some cases the NIF is a hundred times higher) whereas the differential between first and last place is only 14 times. (Compare Nottingham, Merseyside, and Invicta with Bristol or Colchester).

5, You are allowed six comps on your rolling rankings, but only 69 fencers had a full quota at the start of the year. And only 123 had 4.

None of these things seem to cause a problem for the top 50, but they are a problem further down the rankings. Do people think the listings need a change or perhaps nobody really cares?

Robert

randomsabreur
-16th March 2004, 11:14
Slightly less loaded questions on the poll might get a better spread of opinion, sounds like one of those political surveys where anyone who does not share the poll writer's opinion is made to look like a raving nutcase, or worse.

My own opinion is that the current system works OK, a small tough competition is very difficult to get points in while a large weak one is easier to get points in for most people.

If we really needed to change things, potentially an additional multiplier of the no. of entries divided by 10 could change things but that brings a random element into the no of points a competition can give (If a comp has a load of unranked fencers doing their first competition that could make it a lot stronger than it really deserved to be and would provoke even more protests)

1 really good result can be worth 4 or 5 times weaker results, so the rankings are probably fair that way.

But I am in the top 50, so my opinion is clearly worthless the way the questions have been phrased

Robert
-16th March 2004, 11:14
Is is true that the NIF for the Men's foil was 30, although there were only 37 competitors?

This means that 28 fencers could have got points. So you could come 28th without winning a D.E., and still get 154.8 points.

If you win a competition with a NIF of 7, you will only get 140 points. So the winner of the Invicta (which took place on the same weekend, and ran from an incomplete 128) would have been better of going to Scotland, and just turning up on the piste.

Surely this system is wrong?

srb
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, because it is harder to get the points in the tougher, smaller competition because it is harder to win fights in the poules to get the higher seeding. With a number of NIFs and not many others, much harder for lower ranked fencers to get hits and wins in the poules, there must have been some pretty tough poules at the Edinburgh. The NIF system seems to me to be as good a way as any to rate the strength of a competition, any rating system can be accused of being unfair.

RandomSabreur


RandomSabreur,

The Edinburgh was very unusual. Because of the numbers (37) it was almost all poules of 6. In order to get that 28 slot you needed to win one fight (5-1) and have one close fight (3-4) against two people who were competent but outside of the top 200.

The individual who came 28th (which we think was the cut-off point for the points at Ediburgh) also came 60th at Invicta (which was the cut-off point).

It was this that led to some discussion on the Sunday that there might be some minor problems with the ranking system.

Robert

Robert
-16th March 2004, 11:17
Originally posted by randomsabreur
Slightly less loaded questions on the poll might get a better spread of opinion, sounds like one of those political surveys where anyone who does not share the poll writer's opinion is made to look like a raving nutcase, or worse.


Sorry, they were meant to be tongue-in-cheek rather than loaded. Just think about them as Yes, No, and Not broken enough to be worth fixing.

Robert (who will now add lots of Smilies to indicate that not everthing he says should be taken seriously)

:) :grin: ;) :tongue: :o :cool: :eek: :rambo:

Marcos
-16th March 2004, 11:27
tbh I think the UK rankings work well, and the ppl that maintain them do a great job.

In the UK you do get the bizarre situation where ppl are happier coming 50th in a comp like Bristol than winning a smaller comp. In fact, you could be in the top 10 of the UK ranking without ever winning a competition.

So I would agree that you should have a greater differential between 1st and 64th to reward winning. Otherwise the system works OK as it forces fencers with some ambition to fence against quality rather than quantity.

(the previous season's NIF count is a help to those planning their progression by attending the right comp for them)


Just life that whenever you have a system ppl will work out how best to approach it.


In Ireland (where the ranking system is just 2 seasons old) we have fixed points for where you come, with a slight variation for size of comp. Only Irish comps and the NI Open are counted.
(the winner of a comp with 40 entries gets 60 points, whereas the winner of a comp with 20 entrants gets 45 points).

The idea is that the bigger the entry the harder the competition but unlike the UK system it doesn;t take into account the quality of individuals concerned.

Objective of the ranking is to get as many ppl as possible to all the Irish comps - otherwise the top fencers would just do the 2 or 3 big comps in Dublin and not support regional development of the sport

Boo Boo
-16th March 2004, 11:27
In general the system works...

1. No.... this is not the case - most people get a lot more points for a considerably lower place in a larger/stronger competition than winning a small competition (providing they finish in the L64/top 75%). Although yes, it may be easier for weaker fencers to get some points at smaller competitions (since a L64/top 75% at larger competitions may be very hard to achieve....)

2. Many fencers would be grateful for this: makes the competition harder to win, but increases the "value" of that competition. A lot of organisers would encourage the high NIFs to attend their competition - it may encourage that competition to grow in strength and size in future years... (high NIFs attract other high NIFs).

3. Yes, but enforcing a "must also win a DE or have a bye" would be very nasty for women's competitions (WF and WS entry numbers are often around the 50/60 mark) - if this was enforced women would have to achieve a 32 to get points (making it harder to get into the rankings for a lot of women...). Not good for less experienced women fencers...!

4. Not sure I get this point... it makes sense for there to be a HUGE variety of strengths of competition - not every novice/club level fencer wants to be trampled into the ground at the Welsh/Bristol. They aren't really interested in their "national ranking" - they want to have fun and maybe gain experience. Stronger fencers - who do care about points/rankings - tend to pick their competitions more wisely (sometimes doing the smaller ones for fun/practice...). There is a place for every strength of competition...

5. Seems fair to me - used to be only four domestic competitions count - counting six requires consistency across more competitions (it's more difficult to fluke rankings...).

Rankings mainly matter for the top 50 or so - since rankings are used for team/squad selections. From my comments above, you will see that I think the current system actually has some advantages to lower ranked fencers... (allowing them to pick up points at weaker competitions).

If you look at the American system (where you have to be a certain standard to even enter Division 1 competitions - the only competitions which even count towards national rankings...), then I think the British system is a lot fairer to less experienced/weaker fencers...

Boo

aao
-16th March 2004, 11:36
Personally i like the current system (but then again I'm in the top 50 as well) but to answer Roberts points.....



Originally posted by Robert


I think there are a number of faults:

1, The fixed scale of points means a small competition awards more points than a large one for the same performance. This happened at Wrexham and York in 2003.



not actually true, a small competition only awards more points than a big competion if the nif at the comp is higher. Doing well at any comp is only of any use for the rankings if the nif is high. A couple of years ago I turned up to the nottingham open which had around 80 enteries but a nif of 3, funnily enough by the end of the comp pos 1-3 were filled by the 3 of us who had a nif. the comp was relatively easy and none of us had to fence particularily well to get there so none of us deserved more than the small amount of points that we got.


[i]

2, The presence of a few high ranked fencers can give a competition a higher NIF than it really deserves. This happened at the Sussex Open.

[/B]

not really the sussex for example at epee has a relatively low nif of around 25 this means that even if you win it you will only get around 500 points roughly equivilant to a 32 at a big open. to get a nif of 30 you probably will have around 8 or 9 ranked fencers and they will probably end up filling 5 or 6 of the L8 places. getting a 16 at sussex will therefor give 200 points which would probably be a fair reflection as its only a few more points than you would get for a 64 at a big comp.


[i]

3, The 75% rule can allow people to slip in to points without winning a DE. This happened at Edinburgh at the weekend.

[/B]

here I actually agree people should have to get through 1 round of DE and be in the top 75% to score points


[i]

4, The differential between the bottom comps and the top is very large (in some cases the NIF is a hundred times higher) whereas the differential between first and last place is only 14 times. (Compare Nottingham, Merseyside, and Invicta with Bristol or Colchester).

[/B]

and your point is?????? the difference between 1st and 64th is about 14times not 1st and last! very important difference.


[i]

5, You are allowed six comps on your rolling rankings, but only 69 fencers had a full quota at the start of the year. And only 123 had
4

[/B]

actually not a true reflection as you will find alot of fencers have actually attended 6 or more comps but haven't been able to get into the top 64 of all the comps they have attended so as a result only show 3 or 4 results. You used to be able to score from 4 results which used to mean that if you managed to get 2 good results you were guaranteed a place in the top 50, it also tended to make alot of fencers be ranked far higher as a result then their actual ability or perofmance throughout the season merited.


If you want to be in the top 50 there is plenty of opportunity to do so, but it does mean you have to be of a relatively good standard at epee at least around 1500 points will get you there that is equivilant to about 2 L32's and a few L64's at the bigger opens and anybody who wants to be in the top 50 should realy be able to achieve that.

Also I have yet to come across as system that actually works better, in Turkey for example you are awarded a fixed number of points for your final position irrespective of who and how many people attended the comp (also all comps count). This is in my view far less fair as for example a competion like this weekends which had all the top fencers and around 70 entrants earned me 20 points for coming 2nd wheras a the competiton before this which had about 30 fencers and alot fewer of the top guys earned the fencer who came 2nd exactly the same amount of points, which basically means that i would have to turn up to every comp during the season to remain in the top 5 no matter where or when it occurs.

Marcos
-16th March 2004, 11:47
sounds like Ireland and Turkey have pretty similar systems

aao
-16th March 2004, 11:53
yup but we have a couple of worrying twists, one doen't even vary the points for size of comp and the other is that using a system that i really don't understand I actually will get docked points for attending A-grades europeans etc and not getting better than a 64 or something! :dizzy:

oh and winning the worlds is only worth about 50 points! :upset:

(not I grant you an immediate concern!!)

randomsabreur
-16th March 2004, 11:59
I have to admit that I aim for different things at different comps. Big ones like the bristol - aim is points, prizes are a bonus, smaller comps like Cambridge Winter, chances of counting the competition are not good but the aim is to try and get some sort of a prize.

My impression is that if points are equal, it is equally difficult to get the result. To get into the 64 of a big ME competition, you have to win probably about 3 poule fights out of 6 and win 1 or 2 DEs. To get a 16 or similar, at a less tough comp, realistically, the poule will be easier, so it will be easier to get more victories and give yourself and easier ride through the DE.

I am sure that if you worked out the calorie burn of someone in a poule at say Invicta, and at Edinburgh the amount of calories burned by the same person would be a lot more at Edinburgh as you would have to work harder to get each hit

pinkelephant
-16th March 2004, 12:47
With an entry of 37 you would have to come 27th, not 28th, to score points. 75% of 37 is 27.75, so at position 28 you are OUTSIDE 75% of the entry.

The getting through a round thing was abolished a few years ago for the following reason:

Competition A has 64 fencers. There is a complete tableau of 64. To get through a round you have to be in the L32, i.e. in the top 50%.

Competition B has the same 64 fencers plus one person doing their first competition, i.e. 65 in total. The DE has an incomplete L128, consisting of one fight. The first 64 fencers therefore "got through a round" (63 of them by virtue of having a bye). The top 48 fencers now score points instead of the top 32, yet it is essentially the same competition.

It was to remove this anomaly that the rule was changed. To get into the top 75% of any competition you would have to win at least one pool fight, and have a pretty good indicator.

The only change I would like to see is the points extended downwards to encompass, say, the top 96. At the moment there is no parity between the weapons - at all the women's weapons and usually MS you would be in the L64 by being in the top 75%. However, nearly always at ME, and increasingly at MF, there are entries of more than 128 - to score points you therefore need to be in the top 40% or so just to make the L64. The Cadet epee system does in fact award points for the L96 at larger Opens (subject to the 75% rule of course.

Rdb811
-16th March 2004, 12:56
Originally posted by pinkelephant

It was to remove this anomaly that the rule was changed. To get into the top 75% of any competition you would have to win at least one pool fight, and have a pretty good indicator.



Actually it's two fights, from long experience. The fact you don't need to get through a DE does encourage people.

Rdb811
-16th March 2004, 13:00
I suspect no system is going to be perfect and the present one is pretty good. The only change I'd made would be to add NIF's for the total number of entries as there are some large competitons (Salop) which have only 1 NIF but a huge number of fenecrs - say 0.1 NIF per entry ?

srb
-16th March 2004, 13:07
As I inadvertently started this thread I thought I'd better comment.

I fence both for competitively, and for fun. So I support my local competitions (County & Section) as well as fencing in National Opens. Because of other commitments I wasn't able to fence in the big 6 foil competitions this season, but having realised the effect this can have on my ranking, you bet I will make every effort to fence in all of them next season, including the Leon Paul.

I fenced at the Invicta as I had points to protect. I had toyed with the idea of going to Edinburgh instead. Not just to fence, but to also see some old friends of mine, like Haggis, but this year it wasn't to be.

Anyway, the point I was making, is that if you choose your 6 competitions carefully, you can get reasonably high in the national rankings without winning any DE fights. I don't have a problem with small competitions, with either a high or low NIF.

For instance I will fence at the IoW this year. The venue is terrible, the NIF will probably only be 1, but it is a nice good fun competition. The standard of fencing will actually be pretty high considering, as a number of local fencers who are just outside the 50 will probably go (myself, Graham Reid, Pat Robbins, Dave Taylor etc.)

Its just that I feel that to get points, you should have to at least win a fight past the seeding stage. Well I did think this until I saw Boo Boo's comments about the number of entrants in WF. Now I'm not so sure.

I suppose, if the fencers are good enough, they will choose the right competitions, get the results, so get the points, and be ranked at the appropriate level.

The downside is that it encourages people to pick and choose competitions, and it might discourage people to fence at county level, and at the smaller Opens. Once a NIF for competition drops, there is a risk of a downward spiral until there are no entrants. Isn't this what has effectively happened to the Ashton Open?

srb

aao
-16th March 2004, 13:09
yes but to be honest the standard of fencing in this country isn't really that good, making it even easier for people to go and score points by awarding points down to a 96 would just give people a false sense of achievment.
If you are genuignly a competitive fencer who is after ranking points then you should be able to get to the L64 of at least some of the big opens.
(and before anybody says something along the lines of...oh but you're in the top 50 you would say that) i would point out that i do get knocked out in the 128 of major competitions on occasion and generally have deserved to be when its happened. The same is true of virtually every fencer in the top 50 .

As for the 75% thing you're right it should be top 75% and have got through a round of DE. The only comps where I would be tempted to suggest that the top 96 should be elegible for points are A-grades where you often will have had to qualify out of the poules with at least 2 victories and have won at least 1 de fight to get into the 96 but even there I'm not convinced the system is worth changing

srb
-16th March 2004, 13:12
Originally posted by pinkelephant
With an entry of 37 you would have to come 27th, not 28th, to score points. 75% of 37 is 27.75, so at position 28 you are OUTSIDE 75% of the entry.



pinkelephant,

If you used a calculator to check my mental maths, I might be forced to give you a 'pendant's' card. If not, I'll leave the card firmly in my back pocket, and you can have a house point!!!

:grin: srb

aao
-16th March 2004, 13:16
Originally posted by srb
Once a NIF for competition drops, there is a risk of a downward spiral until there are no entrants. Isn't this what has effectively happened to the Ashton Open?

srb

The Ashton is probably a bad example as its downfall was very much self inflicted as the comp was badly run on the few occasions I ventured up to it which tended to discourage any of the nif'd fencers from going back.

Comps like the Tyneside have unfortunately suffered from this fate as well but a little bit of rescheduling might have saved them for example from now until the Miller Hallet epee at the end of June there is only 1 major tournament (Birmingham) ok there are events such as the 5 nations and Winton/excalibur but no actual opens of any note (not even any easily accesible A-grades until May!) ((I defy anybody to tell me that Bogota and Vancouver are easy to get too!!))

Robert
-16th March 2004, 13:16
Originally posted by pinkelephant
With an entry of 37 you would have to come 27th, not 28th, to score points. 75% of 37 is 27.75, so at position 28 you are OUTSIDE 75% of the entry.


I thought this too. But I was on the cusp at Wrexham last year, 31 entries, I was 24. 37 * 0.75 is 23.25, so I assumed I had missed points. It turns out it is rounded up, so 24th gets points as well. So that is why we think 28th was the cut-off at Edinburgh (I say think because I cannot remember for certain that there were 37 and not 36).

Robert

Robert
-16th March 2004, 13:46
Originally posted by pinkelephant
The only change I would like to see is the points extended downwards to encompass, say, the top 96

I think this would be a good idea. If you ran the points down to 128 (say at 65 is 1, with -0.01 per place), that would help. But I think there should be a 'shadow' NIF group in each weapon. Where each person is worth 1/2 a point. If you made this group 51 to 150 in Men's Foil then the relative gap between Invicta and Edinburgh would have been closed enough. Also it would help distinguish between the likes of Nottingham, Merseyside, Wrexham, York, Isle of Wight etc (whose NIFs do not really reflect the difference).

You would need to vary the size of that shadow group amongst the weapons (larger at ME, smaller in WS, MS, WE, WF).



BooBoo:
Rankings mainly matter for the top 50 or so - since rankings are used for team/squad selections. From my comments above, you will see that I think the current system actually has some advantages to lower ranked fencers... (allowing them to pick up points at weaker competitions).


I concede this, and I think their is broad consensus that it works well for the top 50. However, I am a lower-ranked fencer and I would rather see a system that better reflects my ability (this one seriously over-rates me) because it gives you more of a sense of achievement.

Robert

randomsabreur
-16th March 2004, 13:50
Cut off point depends on the co-ordinator of the ranking list, I think that Neil says that you can't have part of a fencer, so rounding to the completed whole no before the fraction makes sense.

One anomaly I have noted is that if you have 4 fencers in a comp and you do a DE from L4, everyone gets points, because top 75% =3rd, and you have 2 people who are 3rd!

Maybe on some of the bigger ranking lists (300+) you should have some smaller NIFs (50-100=0.5), maybe if even more on the list could have 0.1 for up to 150.

I think that imposing a getting through 1 round of DE criteria could be messy, because of the anomolies mentioned above, also what would be the position if in a competition of 33, one person retired injured during the poules and there was therefore a DE from 32, even tho' 33 entered. Is this any different from where the same person injures themselves at the end of their last fight, and then scratches from the DE. I don't like the potential anomolies, as whether a person gets points could depend on luck as to who turns up.


As for picking and choosing events, I think I am probably not picky enough, as seem to have lost most of my weekends this year to fencing related events. Basically I do the big opens (Hamlet, Bristol, Leicester, Welsh, Nationals, Birmingham), Then I do the moderate to big ones (size depends on what happens and any cadet/junior international clashes) like Shropshire, H&W etc. Also I try to do any domestic international type things, (Cole, Edinburgh (exams in the way this year, double dose of litigation yesterday so doing Edinburgh would have been pretty stupid). Then I try and do anything within about an hour of home or uni (Slough, Cambridge) I also do counties and regionals if they don't clash with anything else.

OK and I wonder where my life has gone but I try and support local events, or ones run by clubs I am at or have been at. The one big proviso is that the competition should be moderately well run, I should have a chance of getting home for a sensible(ish) time. Generally competitions that die completely have irritated many of the fencers that would otherwise have gone, either through rudeness, or finishing ridiculously late so the journey home becomes a nightmare.

pinkelephant
-16th March 2004, 16:13
Originally posted by Robert
I thought this too. But I was on the cusp at Wrexham last year, 31 entries, I was 24. 37 * 0.75 is 23.25, so I assumed I had missed points. It turns out it is rounded up, so 24th gets points as well. So that is why we think 28th was the cut-off at Edinburgh (I say think because I cannot remember for certain that there were 37 and not 36).

Robert

I think this is about to be rationalised - it was the subject of an appeal in Junior WE this year and the decision was to NEVER go outside 75%. Points were adjusted accordingly.

Rdb811
-17th March 2004, 12:54
Originally posted by Robert
I thought this too. But I was on the cusp at Wrexham last year, 31 entries, I was 24. 37 * 0.75 is 23.25, so I assumed I had missed points. It turns out it is rounded up,

Only in foil - not epee or sabre. :(

Rdb811
-17th March 2004, 12:58
Giving points to the top 75% regardless of getting through the DE encouages fencers - it did in my case.

aao
-17th March 2004, 13:27
Setting reasonable targets is also a good motivator (I don't mean the frankly comical worlds qualifying criteria which exists) but the current domestic ranking targets are fair and reasonable .most fencers should be able to go and score points at some level of competition with the current system dependant on their ability, and if they push themselves most people should be able to at some point score points at the big opens. if they can;t its not because the ranking scheme is unfair but possibly because they are competing at a level which is above their current ability.

(for example I do not currently have any world cup points not because the Fie ranking system is unfair but because the perfomances i have put in at the 2 a-grades i've done this season have just not been good enough, I'm not going to ask for the system to change to accomodate me instead I'll go away and train harder ((or possibly enter events such as Edinburgh where I can score WC points by fencing at a lower level)).

Robert
-18th March 2004, 22:49
Originally posted by pinkelephant
I think this is about to be rationalised - it was the subject of an appeal in Junior WE this year and the decision was to NEVER go outside 75%. Points were adjusted accordingly.

I can confirm, has been rationalised. The cut-off will be 27 (rounded down).

Robert

pinkelephant
-19th March 2004, 10:05
In fact, even in A grades you don't have to get through a round of DE , you only have to get through a round in which fencers were eliminated. So in a competition of 64 fencers with a cut of 25% to 48, all 48 fencers in the DE would score points.

This raises another anomaly which used to happen on the domestic front before the "getting through a round" was abandoned. Competition A, with 64 fencers, all promoted to the DE, would have had only 32 fencers scoring points if they had to get through a round in which fencers were eleiminated. But had the organisers decided to cut after the pools to 48, all 48 would score points. Silly. The anolmaly doesn't arise with A grades, as there is always a cut after the pools.

Boo Boo
-19th March 2004, 10:36
At senior A-grades you do need to get through a round of DE (either by winning or getting a bye) to get British raking points.

Making the cut is not enough to get British ranking points, but is enough to get FIE World Cup points. So you can get FIE World Cup points for a competition (for making the cut), but not get any British points for it.

(although I think this is exactly what Pink Elephant actually said, but without differentiating between British?FIE points...).

Boo
(wondering why this is...)

Marcos
-19th March 2004, 10:51
at the end of the day, no matter what the ranking system, the best fencers will always be at the top...as I said, the good thing about your system is that it encourages good fencers to enter comps where they will fight quality rather than quantity

you need to make sure that the system caters for fencers lower down the scale to give evidence of progression and encourage them to compete...I think the UK system does that

one question - unless you are in the top 100 (say) in the FIE ranking, do you care about FIE points or is National ranking the be-all and end-all?

a thread talking about the Obrero CdN had Tigger saying (and I paraphrase) "just free FIE points that would give few UK points (due to low NIF)"

pinkelephant
-19th March 2004, 16:19
Originally posted by Boo Boo
At senior A-grades you do need to get through a round of DE (either by winning or getting a bye) to get British raking points.

Making the cut is not enough to get British ranking points, but is enough to get FIE World Cup points. So you can get FIE World Cup points for a competition (for making the cut), but not get any British points for it.

(although I think this is exactly what Pink Elephant actually said, but without differentiating between British?FIE points...).

Boo
(wondering why this is...)

Boo is, of course, quite right. However, at Junior level, to get a qualifying result (L32 at a nominated Junior A grade), it's 75% and one eliminating round, not a round of DE. Confused?

Boo Boo
-21st March 2004, 19:04
Yes, confused... lots of "subtleties"...

Boo

michel
-25th March 2004, 23:25
In France, according the weapon, there are between 4 and 9 competitions in which you can win points for ranking.
In these competitions (circuits nationaux), everyone win points, the winner 101 and the last one 1, if the strength factor is 1.
Calculation of strenght factor is complicated, but there is a minimal strength of 0.8, and maximal strength could rise up to 3.2, depending on who fenced the competition.
To know how many points everyone wins, it is based on a formula with logarithms :
PW = S*100 * (1.01-ln(p)/ln(N))
with
PW = points won
S = strength factor
P = position in the competition
N = number of competitors

So, thre is a big differnce between 1st and 2nd, less difference between 2nd and 3rd, and the more you go to the end of the classification, the less the number of points decreases

Rdb811
-26th March 2004, 01:24
The difference varies slightly depending on the number of entries - i.e. number of muppets showing up. Also there is no real distinction (say 62 -60) between 8th and 9th yet you've gone a whole round further.