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Epeecurean
-20th March 2004, 12:22
Keith,

As President of the BFA and a qualified international referee who has attended several FIE seminars and authored the "FIE Guidelines for Refereeing", could you give us your opinion as to the article authored by Bill Oliver of the US Fencing Officials Commission?

Andrew McLeod has brought up the issue in the thread in this forum called "fencing.net", but you can also find the original article by Bill Oliver at:

The Attack in Foil (http://www.fencing101.com/content/view/163/35/)

and the ensuing debate on:

fencing.net thread on the article (http://www.fencing101.com/vb/showthread.php?t=10352&page=1&pp=30)

Many of us are troubled by a re-interpretation of the rules that seems to directly contradict the FIE's instructions as to how to referee. If you could address this issue and clarify the FIE's instructions it would be very helpful to improve the standard and consistency of refereeing in this country.

We appreciate your presence on fencingforum.com and the information you provide.

Thanks and Best Regards,

Epeecurean

Barry Paul
-25th March 2004, 16:34
Your fans need to Know. Barry Paul

Epeecurean
-25th March 2004, 16:50
Too touchy a subject I suppose. Prolly would violate some code of conduct between FIE refs. ;)

Thanks for bumping it up to the top though Barry. I was tempted to do it myself but it looks better if someone else does it.

Barry Paul
-25th March 2004, 17:28
Hi

Keith.A.Smith
-25th March 2004, 21:36
Dear All,

Wil read article carefully and get back to you all.

I am going to Bulgaria on Tuesday and will have to sit through another FIE seminar and will ask their views also.

On initial reading I agree with some of it and also disagree with some of it.

The rules say that the initial offensive action has priority provided it is continous and threatens the target. If you bend your arm during the attack you lay yourself open to a counter attack, provided it commences before you start to extend your arm again.

Keith

Epeecurean
-26th March 2004, 05:36
Thank you for your efforts Keith -- much appreciated!

Cheers,

Epeecurean

gbm
-2nd April 2004, 19:54
Bill Oliver has made a reply on the fencing.net thread. Personally I think what he has said is outrageous...

Prometheus
-3rd April 2004, 10:20
Goodbadandme, I read the thread and your replies. What is apparent is that your views display quite a different viewpoint of foil fencing from that of the majority of experienced fencers and officials in the sport.

Unfortunately your way of looking at foil is one of inflexibility where creativity and experimentation would be considered as bad thing.

In many parts of human life you have theory and practice. In Law you may have statutes which although apparently concrete and inflexible are then interpreted by the courts to reflect the context of individual situations. I would use this analogy for the foil rules.

For me the possibility of imaginative and unpredictable actions are as much part of the attraction of the weapon as is the necessity of a framework that the rules create. I don't believe it should be as rigid as you see it.

To remove this interpretation would be to remove much of the tactical part of the weapon and reducing it to a simpleton level that would quickly make it a failure in fencing.

I suggest that you develop some imagination and start pushing the boundaries of the weapon for yourself instead of suggesting it should be reduced to a sterile and stale pursuit of some small band of troglodytes.

gbm
-3rd April 2004, 10:47
I just think that while fencer can do whatever they like, referees should just apply the rules. I have no problem with fencers using what my coach calls the 'Big I' for intimidation. I have no problem with bent arm attacks. I do have a problem with flicks, but so do the FIE so I'm not on my own there. I just think that maybe referees should actually apply the rules and not just ignore them? I just think that ROW should not be given to actions where the arm is bent and thus are not attacks under the rules.
What wrong with wanting referees to follow the rules? I really don't care what fencers do, they can invent all sorts of actions if they want, I just want referees to actually apply the rules and not some 'tactical sense'! Tactics is for fencers and coaches, not for referees.

Australian
-3rd April 2004, 10:47
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Bill Oliver has made a reply on the fencing.net thread. Personally I think what he has said is outrageous...

Bill Oliver, for the most part, accurately reflects how foil is refereed at the world level today - and there isn't much you can do about it.

gbm
-3rd April 2004, 10:59
But I can try :)

If I don't, then what does that make me?

PS Sergei Golubistky said:
"In the end of my career I returned to touching technique,while right after Junior age preffered flicks (at that time it was hot, it was a "new wave"). For the present Senior and Junior generation the fencing is good the way it is. But they didn't see "the good old fencing" (I did. I even fenced with Romankov from 1989 thru 1991 for the USSR team.) It's very popular these days complain about "oldies" which don't understand anything in modern fencing.

I'd say that fencing 10, 20, 25 years ago was much more interesting than nowadays. Fencers like Gregory, Cerioni and others agree with me. So,assuming all this, I guess, some changes have to be done in today's foil fencing."

Prometheus
-3rd April 2004, 11:49
You seem to believe that a bent arm and the flick are one and the same. They're not.

You're being too simplistic for what is (thankfully) a complicated interaction, not only of bladework but tactics.

'Big I'? more like Big I ams :)

gbm
-3rd April 2004, 13:28
I never said that! Did I?

I said I didn't have any problem with bent arm attacks, I just didn't expect them to get ROW.
A flick should indeed not have a bent arm but an extending arm if it is to have ROW. I disagree with flicks not for ROW reasons, but for others...

I'm trying to bring simplicity to chaos...

I don't (as I have said before) have any problem with any action in fencing, even an 'attack' with the point aimed at the ceiling. I just think that ROW should only be given to things that fall under the rules (points at the ceiling and bent arm attacks do not).

Are there no tactics in epee because there is no ROW? Is there no imagination or creativity?

Australian
-3rd April 2004, 15:19
Originally posted by Prometheus
You seem to believe that a bent arm and the flick are one and the same. They're not.


i fell into that trap too...

i don't think he does tho. Read it over with that mentality and it is just a complaint about the marching bent arm attacks being given right of way - which any foilist can associate with

gbm
-3rd April 2004, 16:20
:)

I'm not the best person with words sometimes. Sometimes I struggle to get my meaning across. At least Australian understands me...

Epeecurean
-4th April 2004, 10:30
Originally posted by Prometheus
Goodbadandme, I read the thread and your replies. What is apparent is that your views display quite a different viewpoint of foil fencing from that of the majority of experienced fencers and officials in the sport.

Unfortunately your way of looking at foil is one of inflexibility where creativity and experimentation would be considered as bad thing.

In many parts of human life you have theory and practice. In Law you may have statutes which although apparently concrete and inflexible are then interpreted by the courts to reflect the context of individual situations. I would use this analogy for the foil rules.

For me the possibility of imaginative and unpredictable actions are as much part of the attraction of the weapon as is the necessity of a framework that the rules create. I don't believe it should be as rigid as you see it.

To remove this interpretation would be to remove much of the tactical part of the weapon and reducing it to a simpleton level that would quickly make it a failure in fencing.

I suggest that you develop some imagination and start pushing the boundaries of the weapon for yourself instead of suggesting it should be reduced to a sterile and stale pursuit of some small band of troglodytes.

The bent-arm unparriable 'attack' is oh so imaginative and creative...but only in the same way Enron's accounting is. :)

This abhorrent aberration ("tis not natural") is a degeneration of foil fencing into "a series of tough-to-call accidents when two fencers' tactics collide". The FIE (somewhat belatedly) is trying to restore foil's identity as a thrusting weapon with clear right of way through technical changes and (hopefully) stricter enforcement of its instructions to referees. This won't turn foil into a sterile and stale pursuit, as you say, but bring back a more "coherent back-and-forth conversation" of the blades, i.e. the return of the phrase, more varied actions and greater tactical depth.

A game of ridiculous bent-arm marching 'attacks' which draw out the 'counter-attack' and then finish with a fly-fishing flick to the base of the back is, tactically speaking, very two dimensional.

I'm with Andrew, Barry, Sergei & Alexander on this one.

Cheers,

Epeecurean

gbm
-4th April 2004, 10:56
:)

It makes me so happy to know it's not just be and the FIE that want to see some actual thrusting and parrying in foil. ;-)

I reckon foil will be recognisable as foil again in 10 years or so...

Prometheus
-4th April 2004, 18:25
Originally posted by Epeecurean
A game of ridiculous bent-arm marching 'attacks' which draw out the 'counter-attack' and then finish with a fly-fishing flick to the base of the back is, tactically speaking, very two dimensional.
Cheers,

Epeecurean


I actually agree, but was referring to how Goodbadandme has stated his replies on the American thread not the bent arm per se.

Read first before pontificating.

nahouw
-4th April 2004, 20:46
Originally posted by Prometheus
You seem to believe that a bent arm and the flick are one and the same. They're not.

You're being too simplistic for what is (thankfully) a complicated interaction, not only of bladework but tactics.


Like Prometheus has said, a bent arm and a flick are not one in the same. When I referee, I apply the rules consistently and correctly -- I am cognizant of timing, distance, and arm position of both opponents -- sometimes the fencer flicks correctly within ROW conventions, and at other times not -- the fencers do not complain about my calls, because I give the explanation of their error, and then they are cognizant about their error in execution and adjust themselves accordingly.

It is just a matter of referees recognizing the complex interaction and just applying the ROW conventions correctly, and explaining the phrase appropriately.

nahouw
-4th April 2004, 21:33
Originally posted by Epeecurean
The bent-arm unparriable 'attack' is oh so imaginative and creative...but only in the same way Enron's accounting is. :)

This abhorrent aberration ("tis not natural") is a degeneration of foil fencing into "a series of tough-to-call accidents when two fencers' tactics collide". The FIE (somewhat belatedly) is trying to restore foil's identity as a thrusting weapon with clear right of way through technical changes and (hopefully) stricter enforcement of its instructions to referees. This won't turn foil into a sterile and stale pursuit, as you say, but bring back a more "coherent back-and-forth conversation" of the blades, i.e. the return of the phrase, more varied actions and greater tactical depth.

A game of ridiculous bent-arm marching 'attacks' which draw out the 'counter-attack' and then finish with a fly-fishing flick to the base of the back is, tactically speaking, very two dimensional.


As the way that Enron's accounting was "creative", the rise of the flick was also "creative", and even though there are the rules of ROW, they do not limit fencers, and their creativity is perserved -- which since fencing is an art, the preservation of creativity must be allowed. However, when "creativity" is copied and turns into the norm, other issues arise that must be quelled .

To the point of "creativity" impinging on the correct application of the ROW rules and a sound basis of a martial arts framework, this is why we have a problem today.

An article that I have written on this subject will be appearing in the FIE magazine. The FIE has not previously been able to restore foil fencing, because any attempts to artificially do so, would have impinged on true creativity. In my article, I provide a discussion of the history of fencing, the basis for the martial arts aspects of fencing, the degree and level of athleticism in fencing compared to the old days, and the efficacy of our scoring equipment. My article provides a solution to the FIE which will bring foil in line with ROW conventions, ease refereeing problems, and enhance spectator friendliness.

Prometheus
-5th April 2004, 00:45
An article that I have written on this subject will be appearing in the FIE magazine

I look forward to reading it!

Prometheus

Epeecurean
-5th April 2004, 08:28
Originally posted by Prometheus
I actually agree, but was referring to how Goodbadandme has stated his replies on the American thread not the bent arm per se.

Read first before pontificating.

Prometheus, you are being obtuse. Goodbadandme has several replies on the fencing.net thread, you don't refer to any specific reply nor do I. Nor is this a debate of whether a flick=bent-arm which should be obvious to anyone.

However, it is clear that you favour BOliver interpretation and believe it to be more creative and tactically rich. My post was directed towards that.

Epeecurean
-5th April 2004, 09:30
Originally posted by nahouw
Like Prometheus has said, a bent arm and a flick are not one in the same.

Who here has said that they are the same??


Originally posted by nahouw
It is just a matter of referees recognizing the complex interaction and just applying the ROW conventions correctly, and explaining the phrase appropriately.

No disagreement on that in principle, but there doesn't seem to be agreement on how to apply the ROW conventions correctly.

Epeecurean
-5th April 2004, 09:40
Originally posted by nahouw
As the way that Enron's accounting was "creative", the rise of the flick was also "creative", and even though there are the rules of ROW, they do not limit fencers, and their creativity is perserved -- which since fencing is an art, the preservation of creativity must be allowed. However, when "creativity" is copied and turns into the norm, other issues arise that must be quelled .

To the point of "creativity" impinging on the correct application of the ROW rules and a sound basis of a martial arts framework, this is why we have a problem today.

Yes, why can't fencers express their creativity within the bounds of right of way? I would say that as long as there are fuzzy interpretations of the rules (or in the case of companies, loopholes in the tax code), that fencers have an incentive to exploit these discrepencies rather than focusing on true creativity.


Originally posted by nahouw
...My article provides a solution to the FIE which will bring foil in line with ROW conventions, ease refereeing problems, and enhance spectator friendliness.

That would be the ultimate hat-trick! I too look forward to this article. When will it come out?

Cheers,

Epeecurean

Prometheus
-5th April 2004, 09:41
Originally posted by Epeecurean
Who here has said that they are the same??

Almost implied by everyone, which is what my reply was about. To differentiate between actions used tactically and then as you rightly point out the ones where the president is asked to accept as ROW by pressure from Feds and teams etc.


Originally posted by Epeecurean
No disagreement on that in principle, but there doesn't seem to be agreement on how to apply the ROW conventions correctly.

Doh! I knew I was missing the point:rolleyes:

gbm
-5th April 2004, 11:02
Originally posted by nahouw
As the way that Enron's accounting was "creative", the rise of the flick was also "creative", and even though there are the rules of ROW, they do not limit fencers, and their creativity is perserved -- which since fencing is an art, the preservation of creativity must be allowed. However, when "creativity" is copied and turns into the norm, other issues arise that must be quelled.

To the point of "creativity" impinging on the correct application of the ROW rules and a sound basis of a martial arts framework, this is why we have a problem today.

An article that I have written on this subject will be appearing in the FIE magazine. The FIE has not previously been able to restore foil fencing, because any attempts to artificially do so, would have impinged on true creativity.

I believe this is why the FIE is going for a change in the technology, rather than a restrictive 'you cannot do a flick' rule.


In my article, I provide a discussion of the history of fencing, the basis for the martial arts aspects of fencing, the degree and level of athleticism in fencing compared to the old days, and the efficacy of our scoring equipment. My article provides a solution to the FIE which will bring foil in line with ROW conventions, ease refereeing problems, and enhance spectator friendliness.

Will it be downloadable off the FIE site? I would very much like to read it.

PS I believe flicks can have ROW, if they are executed properly. I just wish they were impossible to execute.
As an entirely separate issue, I believe that the rules are not being applied strictly enough to bent arms losing ROW (as the FIE say in there refereeing guidelines), and that the Bill Oliver article is both incorrect and unhelpful.
There was a bit of confusion in the fencing.net article where people said that flicks were attacks done with bent arms (not true), therefore it was possible to attack with ROW and with a bent arm (also not true).
Removing flicks from the game will remove this argument and hopefully thus prevent a lot of 'bent arm attacks' finished with flicks from counting, as Golubitsky describes in his first fencing.net interview, but they are separate issues (flicks being silly and bent arms not losing ROW).

nahouw
-7th April 2004, 17:33
Originally posted by goodbadandme


Will it be downloadable off the FIE site? I would very much like to read it.

[/B]

It's in the most recently mailed issue. You can also find a PDF on the FIE website.

gbm
-7th April 2004, 23:07
Is that the May issue which will have the English translation of the rule changes in it, or is it something between January and May that the FIE have not put up yet, or is it in the January one and I just can't see it for looking? (I'm not an FIE member, so I don't know when d'escrime comes out).

gbm
-7th April 2004, 23:13
Or are you Carol Donahue?

nahouw
-8th April 2004, 23:30
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Or are you Carol Donahue?

Yes :)<g>

Robert
-10th April 2004, 20:46
Originally posted by Epeecurean

A game of ridiculous bent-arm marching 'attacks' which draw out the 'counter-attack' and then finish with a fly-fishing flick to the base of the back is, tactically speaking, very two dimensional.

I'm with Andrew, Barry, Sergei & Alexander on this one.

Cheers,

Epeecurean

It will be interesting to see what effect the new timings have on this.

To be honest I don't care what happens at the international levels. Nor do I want to see the flick riposte or direct flick attack removed. What worries me is this situation...

Club fencer goes to comp for first time. Oponent walks down the piste with arm pulled back and point less threatening than the club fencers on-guard position. So the club fencer retreats a bit and decides to lunge (anyone else remember the first time you did this?). When the club fencer does this (even quite a competent one) it doesn't even cross their mind that the oponent could have priority. The oponent then flicks to back (because the lunge has put the target too close to get the ridiculous pointing at ceiling blade in for a direct hit), they get the point.

Now I still do this when I'm tired and worn out and don't care because simply put I won't miss with my lunge, my oponent might.

But how much effect do the new timings/tip have to have? If they reduce 90 degree+ bend non-sticking flicks to only 33% effective this attack becomes completely useless. Oponent does marching attack, club-fencer lunges. Score finishes 15-8 to the club fencer.

If this happens, then a lot of the moaning about the flick will simply go away. It is this scenario that offends all the famous names Andrew points to, and upsets the FIE because it is basically bloody awful to watch.

It also removes the 'Bill Oliver problem' because you need to keep the point somewhere it can deliver a less than 90 degree flick (the only type that will actually stick reliably) and therefore you need to have your blade somewhere it can be found and so breaks of time become obvious. (It doesn't solve bad presiding, but at least the job is easier).

Despite what Prometheus says people are unhappy with flicking up and down the whole structure of foil fencing, and at the moment they are in the ascendent.

Robert

Robert
-10th April 2004, 21:43
Originally posted by nahouw
An article that I have written on this subject will be appearing in the FIE magazine. The FIE has not previously been able to restore foil fencing, because any attempts to artificially do so, would have impinged on true creativity... My article provides a solution to the FIE which will bring foil in line with ROW conventions, ease refereeing problems, and enhance spectator friendliness.

uugh.

Sorry Carol but I didn't like it at all and the solution (single lights) doesn't live up to what you say. I like the proposed changes better.

A few questions:

Would you alter the block out time?

If you do this would make it much more like epee. If you didn't this would seem to make it necessary to deliver all actions with pris de fer, which while it would preserve foils seperate identity would also radically transform it.

Would you keep the off-target light?

Your proposal seems to do nothing about the flick, which is Roche's main complaint. I presume that you feel flicks would be impossible because they almost guarantee a succesful counter attack?

I'd be interested to know how you see it but I can imagine larger guards, shorter blades and all actions being with engagement. While I can see how this would be quite an entertaining weapon in its own right it seems to depart hugely from the character of foil.

Out of curiousity have you tested it at all? Perhaps with mock-tournaments of fencers?

Robert

gbm
-10th April 2004, 22:18
I did also agree with some of the article, but while 'one light only' situations would be good, unless boxes can differentiate between a valid riposte and a invalid remise that arrives at the same time (very very very very difficult, would involve motion capture and some serious computing, maybe 20-30 years away at least?), then you lose the essence of foil, which is to be allowed extra leeway with your actions. A parry-riposte is not required to actually make the riposte land before the remise (like in epee) but merely to carry the 'convention' that once parried, you have priority. Which you cannot do by machine yet.
On the other hand, if you merely prevent double lights from occurring, not by making them impossible, but by making at least the top fencers not get double lights in the same way they rarely get white lights, then this is good. For example, cutting down the blocking time to around it's new levels, much higher than epee, so that a remise made after the phrase has finished won't light, then you prevent these double lights (good). If you remove the flick, bring more order to footwork (since distance is now critical, and shift the balance more evenly between the fencers, then you will get less desparate last-minute counter-attacks, and thus less double lights. Which is also good. If you shift the game so there is more control, then you will get less double lights, as when attack are finally launched to hit, there will probably be an attempt to parry rather than a counter-attack if the attack is more obvious than the vacuous marching attack that is extended over a period of time. When the attack does come, either the attack will hit, or the parry riposte will hit. If you improve refereeing so that nearly all attacks are correctly executed i.e. no more bent arms, then all stop hits must arrive a period of fencing time before. These are obvious, and the blocking time will likely make these one light actions. Attacks on the more 'normal' preparations e.g. derobement of beats will probably still porduce one-light actions in good fencers (who will not carry on with the attack after being derobed, but will attempt to parry, and if they succeed, probably succeed with the riposte).
In this sense, one light actions are precipitated by good, clean fencing. While the beginners will still remise, the best fencers shouldn't.

nahouw
-11th April 2004, 00:00
Hi Robert,

Yes, I think that the new blockout timings and modified foil tip are a step in the right direction. I think that with these new blockout timings, we will wind up seeing more one-light actions anyway, and not have the need for the proposal I have presented.

If you remember back to the 1980 Olympics, most fencing federations had articles reporting on the Olympics in their federation magazines that were complimenting the high level of technique that was exhibited in those games -- the comments were that the vast majority of touches rendered were all rendered via one-light actions. It was a high point for fencing, and before the rise and popularity of the flick.

As to your point that altering the blockout times will make foil more like épée, this is an incorrect perception. In épée, with a 40ms blockout time, more than half the time, a fencer who will follow R-O-W conventions and parry-riposte will wind up with a double touch. Both foil and sabre will have new blockout times that are quite greater than the 40ms blockout time of épée (orders of magnitude of 3 or 5).

Of course, I would keep the off target light. Why should that change? By keeping the off target light, this will not have an impact on high level competitors -- they generally never have off target lights. However, for lower level competitors, this would remain as a good tool to help them work on point control.

My proposal DOES do something about the flick. If the flicker is able to within the right distance and timing to CORRECTLY execute a flick upon his observation of his opponent's reactions with one-light, he is totally correct in his action. My proposal alleviates the most controversial issue about the flick -- when the flicker withdraws his arm so much so that his point is so put off line, and the opponent upon recognizing it stop thrusts correctly (in regards to R-O-W) into the preparation, and 2 lights come on -- the referee usually awards the touch to the flicker. Of course, the reason this happens is that you don't have a strong referee who will enforce R-O-W conventions. When you do have a referee who WILL enforce R-O-W conventions, the flicker will adjust and make his flicks correctly.

All this proposal will do is make fencers fence smarter and cleaner on their technique. Since 1980 the fencers have gotten into a habit of provoking more two-light actions, and it has been harder on the referees. The referees are then harassed by both the fencers and the coaches.

As far as to testing this this idea, by observation, many of the gyrations that fencers have implemented have been only to make a one-light touch for themselves to counter-act the referee's lack of enforcing R-O-W. They do this because you have to fence the referee -- and you have to do what you have to do in order to counter-act a bad referee.

As to my personal experience, I once had a pool bout in a World Cup in which I had several members of FIE commissions observing the referee. The final score of the bout was 5-4 against me. The entire exchange of the bout consisted of the same phrase -- I attacked in her preparation and then followed with a parry to block her late continuation. When 2 lights came on, due to the long lockout time, my opponent got the touch; when 1 light came on, I got the touch. Same phrase for 9 times. If we removed the double lights, the score would have been 4-1 for me.

nahouw
-11th April 2004, 03:13
Hi goodbadandme,

I think that the technology exists today to implement, HOWEVER, it is quite cost prohibitive at this time (changes in boxes and competitors' equipment and maintenance of such). I agree with you that it will take at least 20 years before it becomes cost effective to implement.

In the interim, we rely on the referee to make these determinations. That is part of the problem. Some (unfortunately, surprisingly many) referees will give credence to a fast remise over a properly executed riposte. As often as Christian Vidosa (FIE Triple-A rated referee) has given his famous pencil demonstration, even though the fast remise hits first, it does not have R-O-W., still fencers do not get it. Christian is a very good referee who will take the time to explain this to the fencers. Many fencers after seeing Christian's demonstration do have a better understanding of R-O-W.

The referees that give credence to the fast remise over the properly executed riposte is what causes problems. By going to a one-light scenario, this alleviates the bad judgement calls by the referee. The vast majority of fencers who have been subjected to a referee who didn't see their riposte (or, more often, counter-riposte) will be very happy by this scenario -- even though you know that you are right under R-O-W, if the referee is inclined to give your opponent a touch, you would most definitely rather have it thrown out as opposed as being accrued against you.

Robert
-11th April 2004, 09:41
Originally posted by nahouw
I think that the technology exists today to implement, HOWEVER, it is quite cost prohibitive at this time (changes in boxes and competitors' equipment and maintenance of such). I agree with you that it will take at least 20 years before it becomes cost effective to implement.



Carol, You didn't seem to answer my questions at all. Your article talks about only 1 light actions counting. The assumption that I am sure a lot of readers will take away is that you will simply not seperate two light actions.

Here you seem to be suggesting that you will alter the technology to ensure that only 1 light comes on. How?

The present 0.3s isn't going to do it. In their summary of the testing results the FIE made that clear. So how do you intend to do it?

- Reduce the block out time so low only 1 light comes on?
- Fit fencers with additional sensors to create 'machine priority'?
- Only award single lights, replace fencers on guard for all others?

If it is the first it becomes epee.

If it is the second, and that seems to be the gist of what you are saying then in principle it isn't too hard we only have four arm states (extended/retracted, extending/retracting) and four blade contacts (forte/forte, foible/foible, forte/foible. foible.forte) to measure and you could program a machine to calculate priority. That would be wonderful BUT how exactly would you make those two measurements?

The problem is you're solution as presented in the article is the third of these. And that is why I asked if you had tested it (perfectly possible as it requires no change to the boxes). And I suspect this version of you're solution creates a new sport (in which pris de fer, engagement, and ceding parries are the norm). You complain about fencers twisting and turning to only get one light on, what do you think will happen if only one light exchanges count?

Robert

P.S I'm sorry that I am restating so much but you didn't seem to understand my first posting.

gbm
-11th April 2004, 11:44
I think she is suggesting a fourth solution - change the technology not so that the same fencing is registered differently, but so that the fencing itself is changed and brought back to the 80's (prior to the flick and as much ROW confusion?) where most actions were one light actions. By cleaning up fencing (getting rid of the flick and dubious 'marching attacks'), then the fencing becomes 'better'.
There are only two circumstances where there will be a double light, after all. One is simulataneous attacks, which neither fencer gets (easy to understand).
The other is where one fencer makes a mistake (hard to understand). Really with Olympic level fencers, if they are making mistakes then there is something wrong. My coach tells me that if the attack is genuine, either the attack or the parry-riposte will hit. But nowadays, with the 'flick' and the 'unparryable attack', there is great confusion in what and when the attack is, which leads to mistakes.
There shouldn't be mistakes at international level! Especially not stupid ones like counterattacking a valid attack. Where there are mistakes, they should be tactical mistakes; they should cause one-light actions, because the fencer will be, for example, attacked unawares, and as they are unprepared their parry will fail and they will be hit. Fencers should lose because their action is slightly less well-executed than their opponents.
And as for the technology being available, I think while this is sort of true, the real cost would be millions of pounds of development which would take years, and is simply way way too difficult at the moment. Although as I will still be fencing in at least 40 years time, I'll get to play on it, and all the junior fencers who'll laugh at all the 'oldies' from the terrible days of 'reffed ROW'. "How could a referee decide who was attacking! It must have been really bad. You don't understand modern foil, though".

And what is this pencil demonstration?

Robert
-11th April 2004, 13:36
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I think she is suggesting a fourth solution - change the technology not so that the same fencing is registered differently, but so that the fencing itself is changed and brought back to the 80's (prior to the flick and as much ROW confusion?)

That makes no sense. You seem to be suffering from a similar problem to Carol. You are saying 'wouldn't it be great if the effect of a change was X'. Well yes but what is the actual change?

Robert

gbm
-11th April 2004, 18:32
I don't know what Carol Donahue was intending, but I think the FIE changes will already do this.
Decreasing the blocking time will only remove two light actions which
a) are never given in practice (when the time difference is long) and
b) are well out of time
Purely makes it easier for everyone to understand.
Removing the flick, on the other hand, will (hopefully!!) shift the balance of the game back more evenly, and remove to a large extent the 'mad rush arm waggle' attack. Firstly, flicks are used to pretend that a fencer was making a continuous attack, when in fact they were drawing a counter-attack. This leads to double lights; preventing this prevents double lights.
Also, flicks let you hit easily if you overrun in a marching attack. Removing them will make marching attacks less viable, it will make distance longer. Thus attacks will be less likely to succeed; more preparations and counter-ripostes? The more 'classical' (80's?) style which leads to less double lights, since the quality of fencing actions is better (more precise, less vague). Basically removing flicks will reduce confusion over the attack; this confusion leads to double lights.
I think what the FIE is saying is that fencing was better in the 80's. It has since then gone wrong (flicks, ROW being abused). Thus the FIE is trying to remove the erroneous abuse of the box which has messed up fencing by 'resetting' fencing to what was done in the 80's (i.e. actual fencing, not aggressive fly-fishing).
When the inevitable reply comes of 'since when has going backwards been evolution', I would say that fencing has been going wrong for 20 (or however many) years. That isn't evolution either.
I think that if fencing as a whole does not remember where it comes from, it is in big danger. Specifically, if fencing continued along its current path, it would either stop being fencing entirely or simply stagnate.
We only do two different weapons in fencing. Foil and epee are really the same basic weapon (a light thrusting weapon) just approached from different viewpoints, and sabre is a light cutting weapon. We don't do broadsword fighting because there isn't the 'art' in the same way. It still needs skill, but 'fencing' wasn't invented until after the gun removed armour, and weapons became lighter and the 'art' could express itself. Real fencing works. If you stray from the reality, then you risk destroying the game. Flicks are a deviant technique - they are unrealistic. Thus they screw up ROW, they let you get away if terrible things, and introduce more luck and thus reduce the effectiveness of skill in the game. If you lose them, then the 'artform' of fencing, which is poised on a knife-edge between the attacker and the defender, is lost. If you shift the game away from the centre, where both attacker and defender have a nearly equal chance of suceeding, then you decrease the 'art' of the game.
Currently, the game is shifted to the attacker. It could do with a bit of a shift to the defender.
If you made it too much shifted to the attacker (say you gave the fencers guns), then this would destroy the balance and the 'art'.
If you shifted it too much to the defender (you made the weapons really really heavy, so you got one swipe which was easily avoided, but left you open to the counter-attack) then you also destroy the balance and the 'art'.
As far as I know, fencing is unique, in the balance between attacker and defender, between athletisicm and mental agility, and in not requiring brute strength or speed but technique and precision, and absolutely good timing.
I seem to have gone off on a tangent though...

gbm
-16th April 2004, 21:29
Just to drag this thread back on target, is there any update from Keith Smith regarding the Bill Oliver article?

Epeecurean
-21st April 2004, 07:55
Yes, no update from Keith just yet, though he has been active in some other threads in this forum. I see that in one of his posts he says he plans to update the 'how to referee' instructions based on the FIE meetings at Plovdiv, so perhaps he will address the issue there.

Cheers,

Epeecurean

Epeecurean
-21st May 2004, 13:39
Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
Dear All,

Wil read article carefully and get back to you all.

I am going to Bulgaria on Tuesday and will have to sit through another FIE seminar and will ask their views also.

On initial reading I agree with some of it and also disagree with some of it.

The rules say that the initial offensive action has priority provided it is continous and threatens the target. If you bend your arm during the attack you lay yourself open to a counter attack, provided it commences before you start to extend your arm again.

Keith


Originally posted by Epeecurean


Yes, no update from Keith just yet, though he has been active in some other threads in this forum. I see that in one of his posts he says he plans to update the 'how to referee' instructions based on the FIE meetings at Plovdiv, so perhaps he will address the issue there.

Cheers,

Epeecurean

Keith, how is the Plovdiv update coming along? Will you be addressing this issue specifically?

Cheers,

Epeecurean

Keith.A.Smith
-22nd May 2004, 12:33
I did an update a little while back it is being incorporated into the BFA Refs Guidelines by another volunteer at present.

Keith

Barry Paul
-22nd May 2004, 13:16
Some statements on this thread are wrong, foil fencing changed ( for me was ruined) 30/25 years ago, when the F.I.E. allowed fencers and coaches to decide what an attack was. All this talk about flick hits being the ruination of fencing has not understood the history, Flick hits came about because attacks were incorrectly refereed. If you could get away with advancing with absence of blade why not throw in a flicked hit in the processes.

None of this apparatus tiiming changes, the new points (this will never be taken up) heavier springs is necessary unless you want to change foil into epee. Just define the attack more clearly, insist referees follow the rules and foil can be returned to a game in which attacks can be parried, and flick hits are just one movement of many. Barry Paul

gbm
-22nd May 2004, 14:13
If what you are saying is correct (I wasn't there, obviously), i.e. that the poor refereeing led to flicks and not the other way round, then I believe foil is doomed, as I have no faith in there ever being reliable refereeing in foil. Not that there aren't any good referees, just that there are so many more bad ones. Plus, how can we ever expect spectators in a sport where it it is as difficult to referee at the world level as it is too fence (slight exaggeration possibly)?

dunastor
-22nd May 2004, 15:16
Look at the difference between the explanation of RoW in foil and sabre. The FIE rules are the same for both weapons, only the way of reffing has caused the difference in practice of both weapons.

The obvious solution is to referee the RoW of foil like in sabre bouts :grin:

uk_45
-22nd May 2004, 16:53
You mean going forward gives ROW

gbm
-22nd May 2004, 17:30
Actually I think all budding foil referees should be made to referee sabre first. Cos' sabreurs will tell them that they are wrong, whereas foilists will agree with them.

uk_45
-22nd May 2004, 18:50
The ROW rules are pritty much the same but things happen faster

dunastor
-22nd May 2004, 19:25
It's not the same.

A fair part of what in sabre is preparation is in foil part of the attack.

Luckily it's less not done to give an attack in prep in foil nowadays, but still...

If one should ref like sabre at foil, you get everybody all over you...

Threestain
-22nd May 2004, 23:59
And don't forget tempo...

Epeecurean
-23rd May 2004, 08:57
Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
I did an update a little while back it is being incorporated into the BFA Refs Guidelines by another volunteer at present.

Keith

Cool, thanks.

J_D
-23rd May 2004, 16:45
Today I had the pleasure of attending a referee's course run by the SW region. Our Region intends to finance and run simliar courses in the near future. OK, to take the actual exam incurs a charge, but the course itself doesn't: this is due to a policy discision at region level.

My point being that if the other regions followed a similar policy of providing refereeing courses, then more fencers would be instructed in the correct interpretation of ROW etc.

So, you guys out there, find out about what happens at your regional level, attend the AGMs and lobby for something similar!

gbm
-23rd May 2004, 19:01
On June 5th (or 6th?) I'm going to a one-day refereeing course, which is under Welsh Fencing and for Welsh Fencing members only. It costs £10 for me to take the course; I don't know about any exams. It will be with Peter Huggins and Pat Casey.

J_D
-23rd May 2004, 19:38
well, you'll be in good hands then, don't forget your rulebook though

gbm
-23rd May 2004, 19:43
I haven't got one...

Maybe I should print one off.

uk_45
-23rd May 2004, 21:25
Originally posted by goodbadandme
On June 5th (or 6th?) I'm going to a one-day refereeing course, which is under Welsh Fencing and for Welsh Fencing members only. It costs £10 for me to take the course; I don't know about any exams. It will be with Peter Huggins and Pat Casey.

Thats not the one before the Wrexham is it cos i thought that was mike thorton. Im going to that one (have no choice)

gbm
-23rd May 2004, 21:54
No, the one you are talking about is the Friday night before Wrexham. The one I'm talking about is in Newport the weekend before. There's an armoury course on the other day.

uk_45
-23rd May 2004, 22:00
cool yu coming to the prior wrexham one, you know where the info is?

gbm
-23rd May 2004, 22:19
No, because I'm driving up in the morning rather than staying I think (it's only < 3 hours away, 9:30 start... fun).

Barry Paul
-24th May 2004, 07:04
It was not poor refereeing, eventually most of the referees were singing from the same song sheet, it was just the wrong one. Top fencers,coaches and referees all decided/agreed to have an interpritation of the rules which was both wrong and lead to the present state of foil. Barry Paul

uk_45
-24th May 2004, 17:41
Nice way to say it.

Goodbanandme: We did the drive from here to cardiff a while back and it really takes it out of you. it's really a 4:30 start.

gbm
-24th May 2004, 18:10
I'm 1/2hr closer than Cardiff, and the AA tell me it's 3 hours and 4 mins...

Keith.A.Smith
-26th May 2004, 19:10
Just so you know this foil debate is also going on under foil.

Keith

uk_45
-26th May 2004, 21:03
oh ok u going up through wales or M5

gbm
-26th May 2004, 22:14
http://www.greenflag.co.uk/routeplanning/directions.asp?AD2_O=&AD3_O=NP18+1NQ&AD4_O=GBR&AD2_D=&AD3_D=LL14+3HL&AD4_D=GBR&AD2_1=&AD3_1=&AD4_1=GBR&AD2_2=&AD3_2=&AD4_2=GBR&PCT=FAST&DU=MI&driveStyle=imageDrive&PDT=ST

uk_45
-26th May 2004, 22:17
better route than we took

gbm
-26th May 2004, 22:21
Why, where did you go?

uk_45
-26th May 2004, 22:24
M5, and we got confussed on the way back and went via swansea n london

gbm
-26th May 2004, 22:26
Yeah, that would be slow...

DanInMI
-5th June 2004, 05:00
Originally posted by Barry Paul
Some statements on this thread are wrong, foil fencing changed ( for me was ruined) 30/25 years ago, when the F.I.E. allowed fencers and coaches to decide what an attack was. All this talk about flick hits being the ruination of fencing has not understood the history, Flick hits came about because attacks were incorrectly refereed. If you could get away with advancing with absence of blade why not throw in a flicked hit in the processes.

None of this apparatus tiiming changes, the new points (this will never be taken up) heavier springs is necessary unless you want to change foil into epee. Just define the attack more clearly, insist referees follow the rules and foil can be returned to a game in which attacks can be parried, and flick hits are just one movement of many. Barry Paul

Barry I agree. The ONLY problem with the flick is the reluctance of referrees to properly call absence of blade as "attack in prepartaion."
By making these changes the FIE is attempting to take some of that decision away from the referree because they are not calling it correctly. (it seems ridiculous to me to say that a fencer is attacking when th defender has no blade to parry)
I don't think that these changes will turn foil into epee, there will still be double lights and referees will have to determine who had RoW, but there will be fewer double lights whn one fencer is attacking with absence of blade.

Epeecurean
-30th September 2004, 14:01
Re: Foil


Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
Dear All,

Wil read article carefully and get back to you all.

I am going to Bulgaria on Tuesday and will have to sit through another FIE seminar and will ask their views also.

On initial reading I agree with some of it and also disagree with some of it.

The rules say that the initial offensive action has priority provided it is continous and threatens the target. If you bend your arm during the attack you lay yourself open to a counter attack, provided it commences before you start to extend your arm again.

Keith


Originally posted by Epeecurean

Yes, no update from Keith just yet, though he has been active in some other threads in this forum. I see that in one of his posts he says he plans to update the 'how to referee' instructions based on the FIE meetings at Plovdiv, so perhaps he will address the issue there.

Cheers,

Epeecurean


Originally posted by Epeecurean

Keith, how is the Plovdiv update coming along? Will you be addressing this issue specifically?

Cheers,

Epeecurean


Originally posted by Keith.A.Smith
I did an update a little while back it is being incorporated into the BFA Refs Guidelines by another volunteer at present.

Keith

Hi Keith,

Any news as to when the update to the BFA Refs Guidelines will be complete? Your last post dates from May so I'd've thought it'd be done be now? By the time it comes out, it probably will be in need of another update!

Perhaps you could revisit the original question of the thread and let us know your thoughts on Bill Oliver's interpretation of the rules? :confused:

Thanks in advance,

Epeecurean