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Boo Boo
-22nd August 2004, 19:43
ATHENS, 22 August - The International Fencing Federation (FIE) has exlcuded a referee on the last day of the Olympic Fencing competition. The Executive Board of the FIE has suspended Joszef HIDASI (HUN) for the next two years and exluded him immediately from the list of referees of the Olympic Games.

The Executive Board and the Delegates of the referee commission have reviewed the video tapes of the Men's Foil Team gold medal match,where HIDASI was the referee.

According to an official statement of the FIE there where clearly four mistakes in the second bout and two mistakes in the fifth bout of the gold medal match. Each time the referee gave the points to the wrong athlete.

"These mistakes are heavy and against the good reputation of our sport", said Rene ROCH (FRA), president of the International Fencing Federation.

(reported on http://www.athens2004.com/ )

Chris
-22nd August 2004, 22:07
The team foil fencing is one of the few events that I managed to watch... I thought I just wasn't following the rules of right of way properly!

Eddie
-23rd August 2004, 10:35
Originally posted by Boo Boo


"These mistakes are heavy and against the good reputation of our sport", said Rene ROCH (FRA), president of the International Fencing Federation.

(reported on http://www.athens2004.com/ )

makes it sound like he was cheating!

gbm
-23rd August 2004, 10:55
I'd be very happy if I could referee a 45 point team match with only two mistakes personally!

rpryer
-23rd August 2004, 11:10
He made six mistakes according to the FIE, and as the match finished 45-42 that could have been significant.

gbm
-23rd August 2004, 12:01
oops... I misinterpreted it.

Australian
-23rd August 2004, 14:09
Originally posted by goodbadandme
I'd be very happy if I could referee a 45 point team match with only two mistakes personally!

apparantly they were absolute shockers.... i still haven't seen the footage tho

Rhubarb
-24th August 2004, 07:57
Eddie and GBM! Its nice to encounter folk that think well of people. BUT cheating is exactly what the referee has been convicted of. Some will say the sanctions are amazingly light!!!! Where that leaves us in the eyes of the IOC, the organisers of the next olympic men's team foil championships* and the majority of enthusiasts within the sport is something I look forward to hearing about from the FIE.





*bearing in mind it was the chinese who were sc****d. AGAIN!!

Robert
-24th August 2004, 08:10
Originally posted by Rhubarb
BUT cheating is exactly what the referee has been convicted of. Some will say the sanctions are amazingly light!!!!

That isn't true. The FIE and Chinese have implied they think it was cheating but the official line was incompetence. And 6 errors isn't that many.

Robert

Rhubarb
-24th August 2004, 08:47
of course the 'official line' is incompetance. Dishonesty can't be proved to any legal requirement but consider. No one gets sent home AND suspended from competitions for 2 years for making 'mistakes'. I saw no mention of a 'training need', just a ban. Come on get real!!!

Rhubarb
-24th August 2004, 08:55
And to add, 6 mistakes would appear to be OK to the 'average' ref
This was an OLYMPIC FINAL and this guy is one of the BEST foil refs around. 6 mistakes too many I think and more importantly so do the FIE.

Boo Boo
-24th August 2004, 09:53
Originally posted by Rhubarb
And to add, 6 mistakes would appear to be OK to the 'average' ref
This was an OLYMPIC FINAL and this guy is one of the BEST foil refs around. 6 mistakes too many I think and more importantly so do the FIE.

That's exactly what I was thinking...

...seem to be an alarming number of mistakes being made by referees/judges across a range of sports in the Olympics this year :upset:

Boo

Rhubarb
-24th August 2004, 10:05
I think its called corruption. And its very bad news for sport.

Boo Boo
-24th August 2004, 10:14
Originally posted by Rhubarb
I think its called corruption. And its very bad news for sport.

About as bad news as the drugs problem (although, have no idea whether that is much of a problem in fencing...) - so many sports seem to have had people banned either at the games or in the run up to it...

... I was watching one athletics race, yesterday, when the commentator said that a certain athlete shouyld have a good chance of winning the event "because all of the world championship medallists from the event had since been banned for drugs use"

Boo

Gav
-24th August 2004, 11:34
I saw a really good documentary about Ben Johnson. He was sitting there talking about what happened to him and he came out with what I think is the best quote about the state of preffesional Athletics,
"I was the one that got caught." Which makes all the bleating about him cheating by his fellow athletes at the time all that harder to swallow (from my point of view). The sad thing about Johnson was that he was a talented athlete but he just couldn't beat his contemporaries - because of the drug issue. His coach was the one who suggested they go for it and they did - Johnson felt like he had no choice.

The implication is that ALL top athletics athletes are [possibly] guilty of taking some kind of banned substance, however they are surrounded by a good support team who know how to monitor the dose so that he/she can avoid the testers. I think that the reason that we are seeing so many people fail this year is because of the new teting regimes that are in place. Either you allow people to take what they want (and apparently the original Greeks would have been baffled by our refusal to take anything that would give us an advantage) or you don't. If you don't then you need to be clear about the drugs that are/aren't allowed then make sure that the testing is rigorous. The problem is that this is an arms race. The testers are trying to keep up with the speed of research across a number of fields.

Boo Boo
-24th August 2004, 11:39
Very well put, Gav.

I loved the story about the two Greek sprinters (early in the Games) - that just seemed like a farcical adventure in trying to outrun the testers... (very "whacky races")

Boo

Robert
-24th August 2004, 12:59
Originally posted by Gav
(and apparently the original Greeks would have been baffled by our refusal to take anything that would give us an advantage)

So would athletes earlier this century who openly used what they believed to be performance enhancing drugs. And a lot of commentators see no difference between a steroid and a carbon fibre bike that 90% of the other competitors cannot afford.

The Hellenes would also have not understood why we award silver and bronze, or why we cheer the athlete who limps across the line with a torn hamstring. But that is the difference between the amateur ethos that the modern olympics were founded under and the 'win at all costs' that the Greeks believed in and which seems to constantly nag at the edges of modern sports.

Robert

Gav
-24th August 2004, 13:28
Originally posted by Robert
So would athletes earlier this century who openly used what they believed to be performance enhancing drugs. And a lot of commentators see no difference between a steroid and a carbon fibre bike that 90% of the other competitors cannot afford.

The point about the bike is a good one. I can't see the difference either.



The Hellenes would also have not understood why we award silver and bronze, or why we cheer the athlete who limps across the line with a torn hamstring. But that is the difference between the amateur ethos that the modern olympics were founded under and the 'win at all costs' that the Greeks believed in and which seems to constantly nag at the edges of modern sports.


And lets not forget that the amateur ethos was used to promote elitism - social elitism not athletic.

We are moving closer to the Hellenic idea's of competition. I think that sport would be better for it. If it wasn't for the health and exclusivity issues that performance enhancing drugs would bring to the Olympics then I wouldn't see a problem with them either.

I also don't think that the 'win at all costs' would preclude cheering on an athlete who limps across the line n the modern environment. Maybe the Greeks couldn't understand it but hey wold have understood the perserverence [at all costs] aspect. Greek myths are littered with people triumphing against the odds. And don't forget the spartans...

reposte
-24th August 2004, 14:13
Robert, as a student of History and Literature I can tell you that both we and the Hellenes would have found it difficult to fathom many issues involving the other's concept of competition, and I dare say that the advantage is not to the Hellenes.

I assure you that in the Greek mind cheating is a much more acceptable method of aquiring an edge to a competition, a part of the concept of "Methis" which translates beautifully to "Cunning Intelligence".

There is little fruit to be gained by comparing eras, although it is always pleasant as an intellectual exercise.

As for the referee, I only managed to watch a streamed version of the final, with degrading quality as the match proceeded, so I wasn't struck so much by the refereeing, however I do think I managed to get a couple I disagreed with.
However I think we ought to bare in mind that there could always be (and indeed most of the time there is) clandestine machination to which we are not aware of.
Someone at FIE may have a problem with that particular director for example.

I know Loic Attelley got caught a couple of years ago and got away unsanctioned, and that Flessel excluded herslef from the Lisbon WC on the same grounds, but I always took pride in being a part of a sport in which there is no drug that can award you victory save a drug which helps make better decisions, in which case everyone should use it...
Am I naive? Am I simply uninformed? I would appreciate any informed replies on this matter, drugs in Fencing.
Thanks.

reposte
-24th August 2004, 14:15
And don't forget the spartans...

I assure you the Spartans rarely triumphed against all odds.

rory
-24th August 2004, 14:18
a sport in which there is no drug that can award you victory save a drug which helps make better decisions, in which case everyone should use it...

I think you're wrong here. I don't know if anyone's using drugs in fencing, but I woldn't be surprised.
If you take two competitors of equal skill, strength and fitness, and then you give one of them an illegal drug that's going to make him faster/stronger/more alert (caffeine)/more relaxed (so your muscles can react faster), then I'd say that's an unfair advantage.

Now think about this: at world level, there's very little difference between the competitors; a good example of this is Kruse, who's only ranked 50-ish but still made the last 8. If they're all so equal, drugs might make enough of a difference that it tips the balance.

Gav
-24th August 2004, 14:28
Originally posted by reposte
I assure you the Spartans rarely triumphed against all odds.

True but I was making a small joke. Especially considering Paula Radcliffe...

reposte
-24th August 2004, 14:31
If you take two competitors of equal skill, strength and fitness

That's where we disagree. In my view there's no such animal like two fencers of equal qualities.
There is always something different, and the clever fencer is versatile enough to accomodate his strong suits versus his weaker ones.

In fencing Panta Rey and look at Guyart, who made through two much more accomplished fencers (to avert the use of the word better) and who won because he managed to be more versatile then both his opponents just enough to narrowly win the semi and the final.
Cassara and Sanzo where monolitic in their fencing, and to disregard the little fall of attention Sanzo had at the end didn't change their tactics even though it didn't bring about the blitz triumph they desired.

reposte
-24th August 2004, 14:32
True but I was making a small joke

That's just me wanting to show I know plenty about Spartans


Especially considering Paula Radcliffe...

That one escapes me - could you clear it up for me?

stephends
-24th August 2004, 14:36
Originally posted by rory
faster/stronger/more alert (caffeine)/more relaxed (so your muscles can react faster), then I'd say that's an unfair advantage.


Caffeine is a banned substance, is this true????

Also surely Caffine into high doses leads to the shakes, awful for 1s point control

Gav
-24th August 2004, 14:41
Originally posted by reposte
That one escapes me - could you clear it up for me?

Paula Radcliffe was the favourite for the marathon but failed (I would contend that her stregth of will broke down).

Robert
-24th August 2004, 15:52
Originally posted by stephends
Caffeine is a banned substance, is this true????


No, it used to be a banned substance but was recently removed.

In response to Reposte's points:

There are very few performance enhancers which would confer a significant advantage in Fencing. Steroids would give a training edge in building muscle mass but the edge is small as steroids are a rather clumsy performance enhancer.

However, the technology involved is greatly improving. There exists the possibility in the near future of using gene therapy to turn off myostatin production (maximising muscle growth with minimum exercise) or blocking the hormones that cause tiredness. And that leaves aside the increasing knowledge of neuro-chemistry which would be a huge edge for fencers (perhaps allowing them to artificially induce state of synchronized alpha waves).

Robert

P.S And Reposte let me assure you that the discipline of comparative history is contrary to your statement both rewarding and productive.

fencingmaster
-24th August 2004, 16:47
Gav wrote:
And lets not forget that the amateur ethos was used to promote elitism - social elitism not athletic.

We are moving closer to the Hellenic idea's of competition. I think that sport would be better for it. If it wasn't for the health and exclusivity issues that performance enhancing drugs would bring to the Olympics then I wouldn't see a problem with them either.

------------------
Like Gav, my dislike of the use of drugs would be from a moral/health consideration.

A televised statement by an IOC official following a positive test at Athens was that drugs were an anathema because they did not allow athletes to compete on an equal basis.
Do the IOC really think athletes compete as equals - or even qualify as equals? Some athletes qualify only on the basis of representing their continent - so, not only are they unequal they are also being patronised.

I think that the 'equallity' argument is spurious, and it's a pity that the IOC response failed to demonstrate a regard for the well-being of athletes. Or am I being too hard?

reposte
-24th August 2004, 17:30
I think that there is no one truth.
Athletes's well being should by all means be considered a main issue but let's not forget a great number of disciplines whose intensive practice is altogether unwholesome.

Equal grounds are a bit dodgy but I think the point here would simply be a result which reflect truthfully the natural abilities of the human body in disciplines where physical achievement is quantified.

Rhubarb
-25th August 2004, 08:03
yes but what about 'bent' judges and referees and the general stink of corruption?

Gav
-25th August 2004, 08:43
Originally posted by Rhubarb
yes but what about 'bent' judges and referees and the general stink of corruption?

Terrible. I thought that that was one of the reasons that electronic scoring was introduced...

Rhubarb
-25th August 2004, 08:57
electronic scoring is fine. The ALLOCATION of hits (ROW) in the 'conventional' weapons will see us thrown out of the Olympic movement unless we get a grip. Few sports empower the referee like fencing, the lack of justification for decisions and awarding of hits at foil and sabre is outrageous. I foresee a move to score these weapons like boxing, using multiple judges, in a real time environment where some degree of concensus is required, with the referee you see ,only in charge of stopping and starting the fight and imposing piste rules.

stephends
-25th August 2004, 09:39
Wow wow wow sweet child of mine,other judges had there problems in other sports too, I seem to remember hearing questions being raised about the gymnastics judges and some of the boxing judgements have seen a bit iffy (I'm just a interested outsider) many hits being given to the greek fighter over his opponent when they weren't diserved.

stephends
-25th August 2004, 09:44
Is there a consensus that it was a 'bent' or currupt judge. If this is the case then grand questions need to asked and disapline needs to be applied

However if he was just incompetent, well surely who ever put him there in the first place must take some of the responsiblity, I assume the F.I.E. have some say in the judges that go to the olympics (Though really I have no idea if this is true).

Arturo
-25th August 2004, 10:18
Interestingly, the removal of the Hungarian referee has received no press coverage whatsoever in Hungary, despite a lot of fencing coverage, and there isn't a whole lot being said about their drug cheats also.

But then, considering how positive they like to be about their sporting achievements, it's no real surprise.

Teme
-25th August 2004, 10:36
With the help of babelfish and the Italian Fencing Federation's site (and info-escrime, too) it appears things may indeed not be as they seem to be.

The sequel of events appears to be following:
- during the men's foil final between Italy and China Italian member of IOC, Mr Pescante overhears Mr. Roch's discussion with a member of Chinese delegation, during which Mr. Roch wonders how much the 'cheating Italians' have paid to the referee.
- after the final has ended, Mr. Pescante confronts Mr. Roch and tells him he's not 'fit to preside the international federation'. Mr. Roch denies having said what he's accused of.
- Mr. Di Blasi, president of Italian Fencing Federation hears about the incident, goes ballistics and arranges the Italian Olympic delegation to write a letter to FIE demanding an apology from Mr. Roch, otherwise the matter will go to IOC's Ethics Comission.
- FIE's Refereeing Commission (called together so hastily that the Italian member isn't present) overviews videotape of the men's foil final and comes to the conclusion we already know -- before the complaint by the Chinese has even arrived.
- Mr. Fäber, the FIE press officer, implies to faul play between the Italian team and Hungarian referee.

The above is, of course, my error-prone interpretation from the Italian view. They were, after all, also implied to be guilty of faul play.

Needless to say, I'm waiting further developments with interest.

Which ever way it turns out to be, it's bad publicity for the sport :(

Epeecurean
-25th August 2004, 13:42
Interesting, so the Italian take on events is that Roch convened the referee's commission to review & make a decision on the refereeing in final in order to forestall charges of slander against him.

I wonder if the Italians still plan to go to the Ethics Commission of the IOC.

Gav
-25th August 2004, 14:27
Even if all of that is true some of the ref's decisions were pretty suspect.

tigger
-25th August 2004, 17:19
Sadly it seems not to be unusual at the top level in fencing. One top sabre ref was removed from the Olympic list and banned after being caught acepting a bribe at a World Cup team match, and then reappeared a couple of months later reffing at the Europeans...

reposte
-26th August 2004, 06:16
Don't tell me it was Erhardi....?

Where is the he anyway? I only thought I've seen him through the stream at the Europeans but I didn't get as much as a glimpse of him at the Havana or the Olympics. I thought he was the top man in sabre and foil...

Rhubarb
-26th August 2004, 08:11
I think you mean Erdey, who was.allegedly, caught out at the gp sabre world cup at Shanghai. I couldnt possibly comment ,but his immediate reward was to get 5 or 6 gp gigs on the FIE list for next season. Its a funny old game!!!!!?

clockity
-26th August 2004, 13:00
There's an article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3599776.stm) on the BBC's website detailing various discrepancies that have occured at these Olympics. It implies that the majority of referees at the Olympics are volunteers.

DrillerNic
-26th August 2004, 13:23
There are errors and examples of refereers decisions having a massive influence on the outcome in almost all sports (England football's exits from various European and World Cup tournaments, ditto Italy and so on). Fencing is closer to football or Rugby etc where the referee doesn't judge the performance as in gymnastics and diving etc- I've read some mutterings about how any sport that is 'judged' can really be a sport...

As for drugs- well, it does seem an artificial line between performance enhancements with drugs and performance enhancenments with stuff like the training in a compression chamber (ie train at high altitude, recover and sleep at low altitude), carbon fibre bikes, slick skin suits that aren't open to everyone, but drugs are a health issue and also, the line has already been drawn- if the IOC etc give up and start allowing performance enhancing drugs, there would be a lot of law suits by athletes that had been banned in the past.

But if we want to stop the use of drugs, maybe as well as being banned for 2 years or whateve, maybe all past medals etc should be taken away unless you can prove you were clean? For example David Millar has admitted that he won the rainbow jersy in cycling while he was on the juice; should he be allowed to keep the medal? Kenteris came from nowhere internationally to win gold in 200m in Sydney, and there have been suspicions around him and his coach for some time (his coach was convicted of suplying steriods, Kenteris has been absent for out of competition testing "by mistake" in the past and one one occasion, a tester was chased away from Kenteris' training camp by his coach); should the sydney gold medal be given back?

fencingmaster
-26th August 2004, 13:45
links
http://www.theage.com.au/olympics/articles/2004/08/23/1093113076693.html
Faerber said the FIE would not reallocate the medals and would not conduct an investigation for any foul play.

"Why? If we ask him if he took money and he says not, what can we do? We don't have the authority to investigate his bank accounts. And we don't have any evidence that there was anything wrong," he said.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5792691/
Hidasi “was a very good referee” in the individual portion of the Olympic tournament, Faerber said. “But this was so obvious now with these six mistakes” that action had to be taken.

The global mail ....
Joszef Hidasi made mistakes in six scoring decisions -- all in favour of Italy, International Fencing Federation spokesman Jochen Faerber said. The Italians beat China 45-42 on Saturday to win the gold medal.

But Faerber said the result will stand. "In our rules . . . you cannot protest late," he said.

Perhaps now we need a 'third umpire' as in cricket!

Foilling Around
-26th August 2004, 14:45
Wow! This has got to be the deepest thread so far, moving as it is towards a philosophical discussion on the nature of truth!!

From a fencing point of view drugs cannot guarantes improved performance.

Runners and weightlifters are actually competing against themselves in terms of times and weights.

Fencers compete directly against other human beings. In addition size and strength are not prerequisites for success.

Technique, tactics, psychology and clashes of styles are al so important.

Upper or downers may help individual fencers who have particular motivational problems or nervous problems in competition. In general, however, I don't believe drugs would help.

haggis
-26th August 2004, 15:05
Plenty of anecdotal evidence that some countries' fencers systematically used amphetamines (to increase aggression and combat fatigue) during the 80s and 90s on the basis that drug testing was extremely rare at World Cups.

The nature of truth? The truth is that Italy won. Rene Roch creating a faux-scandal to cover his back? Surely not...:rolleyes:

Regards

Haggis

fencingmaster
-26th August 2004, 17:06
......and what is a performance enhancing drug?

At a World Championships some years ago, I saw a west european team taking oxygen immediately before their fights (provided by the team official). AS far as I know it's not a banned substance!!!

An article "Oxygen (Supplemental) And Exercise " can be found here..http://www.sportsci.org/encyc/drafts/Oxygen_breathing.doc

from summary "When used prior to exercise, oxygen may augment performance provided that the interval between oxygen breathing and exercise is brief, and the exercise period is short"

As to the use of amphetamines, unfortunately those anecdotes were supported by the observed performance and personality variances of a small number of fencers.

....
Regarding the refereeing...could we not go full circle with the referee giving 1½ votes and two judges each giving one. Nowt but clogs and clogs....

gbm
-26th August 2004, 17:13
Originally posted by Teme
The sequel of events appears to be following:
- during the men's foil final between Italy and China Italian member of IOC, Mr Pescante overhears Mr. Roch's discussion with a member of Chinese delegation, during which Mr. Roch wonders how much the 'cheating Italians' have paid to the referee.

Presumably Mr. Roch was right after all...
(PS Has anybody scrutinised the footage and come to the same conclusion as the FIE Referees Commission?)

gbm
-26th August 2004, 17:36
This has probably generated a lot more publicity for fencing than it would otherwise have got! (Do you think it's all an FIE publicity scam?)

reposte
-26th August 2004, 18:48
Someone here mentioned that Hidasi was goodon the individuals, not true.

There were many dubious decisions (well, maybe not many but at leat two) at the final IMO.
Luckily they didn't change the outcome even though they were for Sanzo.
Example
Sanzo's last touch is clearly Guyart's.

I can't believe that Erdey was formally accused of bribery... I never heard anything about it....

tigger
-27th August 2004, 07:24
No comment...;)

fencingmaster
-27th August 2004, 07:56
Reposte, I quoted the FIE spokesman as reported on the link given

Hidasi “was a very good referee” in the individual portion of the Olympic tournament, Faerber said. “But this was so obvious now with these six mistakes” that action had to be taken.

I quoted that piece because to me there is some ambiguity in the words as reported!

reposte
-27th August 2004, 08:18
I didn't mean as a personal criticism rather as an personal view

fencingmaster
-27th August 2004, 13:03
reposte, sorry if my short posting gave the wrong impression, I only intended to draw readers attention to the issues arising from FIE spokesperson and to sources of information because of the lack of reporting in GB.

regards

fencingmaster
-27th August 2004, 13:21
reposte....your mailbox is full....cannot send you a pm

3 Card Trick
-27th August 2004, 16:59
The Italians and the Hungarians have drawn the battle lines with the FIE over the allegations of corruption.

The Italian Foil coach has pronounced that Arthur Cramer is not technically competent to judge the correctness oe otherwise of the refereeing decisions at foil or sabre. The Italians believe that it was Mr Cramer who made the video analysis.

The Italian member of the IOC remaions adamant that he heard Mr Roch make the comment which Mr Roch denies making.

The FIE arbitrage met after being hastily convened and the Italian member was neither informed nor present - according to the FIS.

Jeno Kamuti is defending Josef Hidasi.

As to the various comments flying around about hits, I note that little or no mention is being made of the fact that in the Team Final there were two referees. The Italians believe that both made mistakes and that they went both ways.

For those who have not checked, the other referee was Piotr Kielpikowski of Poland.

fencingmaster
-27th August 2004, 17:58
Whatever the truth (Wow! This has got to be the deepest thread so far, moving as it is towards a philosophical discussion on the nature of truth!! - FA) and whose truth, the whole affair can hardly inspire confidence of judging at the conventional weapons.

Sadder still is that 3CT post implies that whilst the FIE questions the competency of a referee, some National Federations do not have confidence in FIE's competency to judge!

What I think is really damaging is that this event has displayed that the FIE has no clear procedure for appeal (with the ref having far more authority than those in other sports), none for remedy or arbitration, nor apparantly no procedure for enquiry.

As I posted earlier, perhaps there is a case to be made for a 'third umpire' or assistant judges at this level. After all, referees have been assisted by 'arm judges' so there is a precedent.

3 Card Trick
-27th August 2004, 23:39
There are "assesseurs" appointed for all major bouts. They are there to assist the referee with regards to any infraction to the rules. The real problem is that they cannot give any input with regard to ROW as "FencingMaster" points out.

However, I don't think we are any better or worse off than say Judo or Boxing where I still hear the "experts" carping at some of the calls.

It seems to me that we have only two ways forward. Trust in the honesty of our referees or take forever over decisions like in American Football where a game lasts about three times as long as the actual playing time.

I remain greatly troubled by the apparent stand off between an IOC member being categoric that the FIE President said something in his hearing and the FIE President being categoric that he didn't. One must be mistaken and it does neither our sport nor the FIE any service that the matter does not seem capable of any resolution.

Robert
-28th August 2004, 09:05
Originally posted by 3 Card Trick
Trust in the honesty of our referees...

... One must be mistaken...

On these two points. It is hard to trust the referees if they aren't honest, and the information that is filtering out seems to point that way.

The debate over what Roche said is part of the problem. One of them might be mistaken but it seems more likely that one of them is telling a lie.

In the end what is really needed is a technical solution. Epee boxes make just as many stupid decisions as foil refs but at least they make the same stupid decisions consistently. Eventually we need a box that assigns the point in sabre and foil.

Robert

Arturo
-28th August 2004, 09:37
How about a sensor on the fencer's body and a sensor on the fencers arm (or guard)? Changing distance between the two sensors would give an indication of when the arm is going forward, rather than just the body.

This would at least take out the 'who started straightening first' problems, as it would be clearly indicated by the apparatus, and most of the dodgy hits I saw in the Olympics seemed to stem from this problem.

Come on LP, lead the way with some funky new box technology.

gbm
-28th August 2004, 11:46
Originally posted by Arturo
How about a sensor on the fencer's body and a sensor on the fencers arm (or guard)? Changing distance between the two sensors would give an indication of when the arm is going forward, rather than just the body.

This would at least take out the 'who started straightening first' problems, as it would be clearly indicated by the apparatus, and most of the dodgy hits I saw in the Olympics seemed to stem from this problem.

Come on LP, lead the way with some funky new box technology.

Wouldn't require you to threaten with the point though, and so could cause more trouble than good. What we need is a slow motion replay for the referee and spectators that plays immediately after each hit.

reposte
-28th August 2004, 11:59
What we need is two side judges whose job is to affirm or negate the head judge's decision, or, which is I think a good balance between director's needs and fencer's, a threesome or couple of directors's comitee that we'll reach decisions on the spot, each fencer given one, two or three appeal options whenever he senses a touch is awarded wrongfully or disputes a rules interpretation.

Robert
-28th August 2004, 12:42
Originally posted by goodbadandme
Wouldn't require you to threaten with the point though, and so could cause more trouble than good. What we need is a slow motion replay for the referee and spectators that plays immediately after each hit.

I've mentioned this before. Yes, there are big technical hurdles to an integrated computer priority but they aren't that serious. At the moment human judges don't require the point to threaten the target. A computer could apply arbitrary, and thus fair, rules. Say 'line of blade must be within 10 degrees of line of arm'.

The problem with the slow-mo is that judges just will not apply arbitrary rules, they insist of using their own judgement, and this is where problems occur.

Robert

Robert
-28th August 2004, 12:46
Originally posted by reposte
each fencer given one, two or three appeal options whenever he senses a touch is awarded wrongfully or disputes a rules interpretation.

I don't like the idea of fencer's having appeals, because it increases rather than reduces the subjective nature of the sport. Back up judges are workable. President makes the call, judges raise their hands if they agree. If both fail to raise their hands the president is over-ruled and the fight restarted. (could even work in a poule at an open).

Robert

gbm
-28th August 2004, 12:53
Do referees at high levels competitions (which is where this would only be workable, at the moment we are lucky to have one referee without judges, let alone three!) really make that many mistakes? Corruption is an entirely different thing to subjectivity, after all (although the first is harder without some degree of the second)...

Foilling Around
-28th August 2004, 12:57
I think we need to wait and see what effect the changes in timing will have for foil at least.

1) it will create more one light situations so negating the need for phrasing.

2) The long complex series of preparations resulting in an attack maybe more easily picked off by an attack on preparation or counter attack without the need to separate lights.
This may result in more direct obvious attacks or feints which really make the opponant attempt to parry, which would make life easier for the referee.

3) The worry of the immediate remise time blocking the slow riposte may result in more "real" parries. rather than wafer thin contacts.

This may be wishful thinking, but lets see.
If it takes some kind of superman/woman with amazing sense of visual perception to referee our sport there has got to be something wrong.

NOTE. Unlike Haggis, I haven't fenced with the new timings so the above is pure speculation.

Foilling Around
-28th August 2004, 14:30
I just found this on the BBC website - nothing new huh!!

"Bizarrely, the fencing competition of the 1924 Olympics actually led to a duel. The Italian team had a row over scoring with a Hungarian judge and matters came to a head at the Hungarian border after the Games. Two duels were fought, and wounds inflicted, before spectators fearing for the participants' lives stopped both."

GrahamWatts
-29th August 2004, 09:54
Having just returned from Athens, I am fascinated by the aftermath of this final.

I watched the entire match live, incidentally surrounded by a mixture of non-foil members of the Italian team and other Italian spectators and US spectators (the US having just lost a match for the bronze medal).

One point that is worth noting is that, unlike normal fencing events, each hit on the finals piste was immediately followed by a large screen slow-motion replay of the hit. This, of course, highlighted and exacerbated the refereeing mistakes that were made. The Italians noticeably used the replays by gesticulating at them to emphasise where they felt that Kielpikowski had made a mistake.

The final left a very bad taste in my mouth and I (along with many others) decided to leave prior to the medal ceremony because I felt that an injustice had been done. It was very clear to me that a succession of hits were given against the Chinese which were either simultaneous actions or where the Chinese had the right of way. This injustice was exacerbated by the fact that the Chinese did not noticeably complain but the Italians made an almighty fuss every time that they felt a hit went the wrong way against them when Kielpikowski was refereeing.

Incidentally, the same FIE Executive that has disciplined Hidasi also issued some form of censure against individual members of the Italian team (Vanni and Montano - for advertising on the podium after the MS final) and the Italian foil coach and another official for entering the field of play without permission and refusing to leave when requested.

Kielpikowski issued a red card against either Sanzo or Vanni (I can't remember which) for feigning injury at a crucial point in the match. It certainly seemed to be the case that Kielpikowski was trying to keep the Italians in check during his refereeing but my recollection is that there were also some questionable hits given by him to the Italians towards the end of the match.

I have no idea about whether the allegations discussed on this thread are true or not but it is certainly true that the general behaviour of the Italian team (and their supporters) in this match was appalling and a dreadful advertisement for fencing - if fencing gets kicked out of the Olympics in due course then it will be behaviour like this that is largely to blame. If it means that the Italians lose up to a third of the medals that they win at the Olympics (across all sports) then that would be rough justice!

Set against this, I would also say that the behaviour of the Chinese was absolutely exemplary - I think that I would have found it to be very difficult to remain so calm in the fact of these problems.



Graham Watts

TBennett
-29th August 2004, 12:55
Then again, Chinese fencers dont usually show too much emotion do they........

gbm
-29th August 2004, 15:27
Originally posted by GrahamWatts
One point that is worth noting is that, unlike normal fencing events, each hit on the finals piste was immediately followed by a large screen slow-motion replay of the hit. This, of course, highlighted and exacerbated the refereeing mistakes that were made. The Italians noticeably used the replays by gesticulating at them to emphasise where they felt that Kielpikowski had made a mistake.

This is what fencing needs to become a popular spectator sport; also I think the referee should be allowed to view the replay to make his decision.


The final left a very bad taste in my mouth and I (along with many others) decided to leave prior to the medal ceremony because I felt that an injustice had been done. It was very clear to me that a succession of hits were given against the Chinese which were either simultaneous actions or where the Chinese had the right of way. This injustice was exacerbated by the fact that the Chinese did not noticeably complain but the Italians made an almighty fuss every time that they felt a hit went the wrong way against them when Kielpikowski was refereeing.

This is what fencing needs to kill itself and destroy any credibility it has gained. The Chinese should definitely be congratulated; the behaviour of the Italians should bring down severe punishments (of course in their defence they could argue that they are 'allowed' to act like that at the World Championships...).

Insipiens
-1st October 2004, 10:44
Was there every any resolution to the Roch - Pescante allegations? Or any follow up?

Has this whole affair just disappeared as the memory of the olympics fades?