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Winwaloe
-31st January 2005, 09:44
Reasonably important comp. Starts off as one pool of 11 fencers, then split into two pools, at end of pools and with no (repeat NO) prior warning/notification organisers decide to promote only top 8. Fair - Unfair ? - - Opinions please!

jasonf
-31st January 2005, 10:32
Any reasonably important comp will probably contain a weasel worded "get-out-of-jail-free" clause

This is the one I use:


The organising committee reserve the right to change the format of the competition as required.


The rule book a subset of competions must follow a specific format, and unless this competition happens to be on that list, DT can probably get away with whatever it likes.

Gunslinger
-31st January 2005, 10:41
Its just not cricket... is it?:mad:

jasonf
-31st January 2005, 10:42
Of course, assuming that the pools are perfectly seeded, the fencer who achieves one victory in the larger pool has every right to be annoyed, as they have just missed out on a close DE fight, against a potential beatable opponent.

Personally, I'd only consider this fair, if the pools are even. How much difference is it going to make with three extra fights?

vil
-31st January 2005, 11:10
Pretty much the same thing happened at the Miller Hallet, in the ME team event. The organisers had originally said they'd put the top 16 teams (there were 21 teams IIRC) through to the DE after the pools, but changed their mind at the last minute and only promoted the top 8. To be fair, it was already about 4pm when the pools finished so it was a practical decision.

So I guess it's up to the organisers really. I'd say it was fair if it was a decision taken for some practical reason. I'd say it was unfair if it meant that a clubmate of the organiser didn't have to fight a DE which they might have lost. But either way, because of that weasel clause that jasonf mentioned, they're within their rights to do it.

jasonf
-31st January 2005, 11:33
21 teams nicely splits into three poules, and whether you promote 5,5,6 or promote 3,3,2 some of the promotions are bound to be based on indicators so there really isn't much difference. Also an extra round of relay to 45 would take a significant amount of extra time.

For a local team competition I've done the same thing to save time - especially if the time the venue is booked for is limited.

The trick is to say that the format will be "poules followed by DE", and only anounce the numbers promoted after the poules :grin:

randomsabreur
-31st January 2005, 11:44
The formula should always be published before the competition starts, and should not be changed during the day, unless circumstances themselves change e.g. power cut in gym without windows so there is a long break outside the control of the organisers. Splitting into uneven poules is definitely unfair, particularly if only 8 are going to be promoted, because the seeding is always a complete mess when there are only 2 uneven poules and who gets through will come down to who got the small poule

Winwaloe
-31st January 2005, 15:51
Thank you randomsabreur (it was a sabre comp that prompted the question). We also now know to watch out for the crafty fox when entering a comp he is running. Yoiks, Tallyho and a hunting we will go!!!

Rdb811
-31st January 2005, 17:41
It takes between 45 and 75 mins to get through a team match - so I don't think jasonf's three team pools of 7 is remotely feasable - the Miller Hallet ended up with nearer thirty teams.

I've had to change competition formulae in the past when I've realised it was going to overshoot - but this should only be done if there is a full DE.

jasonf
-1st February 2005, 08:42
Originally posted by Winwaloe
We also now know to watch out for the crafty fox when entering a comp he is running. Yoiks, Tallyho and a hunting we will go!!!

The case in point was an eight team competition, where after the poules, the seeding was such that the first round would have repeated matches which had been run in the poules (and hadn't been remotely close.)

The points to emphasise are that:
a) The poules were even - no one was disadvantaged.
b) Extra rounds at a team comp take significantly longer than at an individual competition.
c) The level of the competition was not in the 'reasonably important' range.

Gunslinger
-1st February 2005, 08:47
Oh well, (insert swear word) happens!!! Another weekend another comp!!;)

jasonf
-1st February 2005, 10:04
Originally posted by Gunslinger
Oh well, (insert swear word) happens!!! Another weekend another comp!!;)

At least its not such a massive change as at one recent local comp I know where the format changed from poule plus DE to two rounds of poules to erm we're running out of time, lets forget the seedings from the first poule, and fence off random fencers for a DE instead!

Who'd let themselves get roped in to organising a competition eh Winwaloe.

Rdb811
-1st February 2005, 13:10
Originally posted by jasonf
The case in point was an eight team competition, where after the poules, the seeding was such that the first round would have repeated matches which had been run in the poules (and hadn't been remotely close.)

The points to emphasise are that:
a) The poules were even - no one was disadvantaged.
b) Extra rounds at a team comp take significantly longer than at an individual competition.
c) The level of the competition was not in the 'reasonably important' range.

I think this might be a feature of setting the DE's based on seeding.

Eight teams is the optimal size for a team competition - two pools of four takes three 'bounds' and then a final between the two takes a fourth (running on four pistes) - adding a semi-final (each between the winner of one pool and the second team in the other) adds another for a total of five and avoids any problems with the seedings - if not you have to disregard the second place result.

Be very careful when explaining this - while obvious to anyone who has followed a football competition, it is utterly baffling to most fencers ("pools of four promoting to a DE of 4") or indeed croquet players ("American blocks").

By contrast, nine teams is an utter nightmare. Either you end up with pools of five and four, which take foreever, or three pools of three whoch has one team sitting out and then a problem with the DE - either you promote eight teams or accept that one of the second placed teams from the pool has got through to the DE because of seeding / poor opponents and not ability.

jasonf
-1st February 2005, 13:45
Originally posted by Rdb811
I think this might be a feature of setting the DE's based on seeding.

Two poules of 4 should be distributed 1,4,5,8 and 2,3,6,7. Assuming alll fights go according to seeding, and indicators are disitributed accordingly, the DE will repeat fights in the pool round.

Of course what normally happens is you get one of those poules where three teams beat each other (or even worse, every team wins twice) and you're left looking at all the indicators, and wondering whether that funny squiggle on the poule sheet is an extra vital hit, or merely where someone started filling in the wrong box and then crossed it out again.




By contrast, nine teams is an utter nightmare.

Agreed, team competitions with an odd number of entrants should be banned.
My usual way around this is to even the numbers up by entering a scratch team from the organising committee (sometimes only consisting of a couple of fencers)

jasonf
-1st February 2005, 13:53
Originally posted by jasonf
(or even worse, every team wins twice)

Hmm. May be that's where I'm going wrong with the poule sheets. I meant two win twice, two win once, honest!

Rdb811
-1st February 2005, 15:04
Originally posted by jasonf
Two poules of 4 should be distributed 1,4,5,8 and 2,3,6,7. Assuming alll fights go according to seeding, and indicators are disitributed accordingly, the DE will repeat fights in the pool round.

Of course what normally happens is you get one of those poules where three teams beat each other (or even worse, every team wins twice) and you're left looking at all the indicators, and wondering whether that funny squiggle on the poule sheet is an extra vital hit, or merely where someone started filling in the wrong box and then crossed it out again.


In theory it should be 1,4,5,8 and 2,3,6,7 to even the two pools - otherwise one pool is stronger than the other.

The problem is if the seeding is wrong (on one of the croquet web sites there is a long discussion involving the percentage chance of getting a "wrong result" based on the format of the competiton).


Originally posted by jasonf

Agreed, team competitions with an odd number of entrants should be banned.
My usual way around this is to even the numbers up by entering a scratch team from the organising committee (sometimes only consisting of a couple of fencers)

I try to have a scratch team ready for such an eventuallity - something the organisers of the Nationals might want to take on board.