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Rhubarb
-18th June 2003, 14:56
Mostly by 'senior' fencers who having been around a bit... get the wrong end of the stick regarding how/why they are being given as hit or a hit(mostly by their contemporaries), and proceed to foist the practice on an unsuspecting public as the 'official' version, or 'that's what the FIE do'............Eh NO!!!!

Cheetara
-18th June 2003, 15:48
I'm confused :confused:

Boo Boo
-18th June 2003, 16:19
If a senior fencer goes to a lot of A-grades or trains with people who do, then they probably (although not always ;) ) have the RIGHT end of the stick.

As was discussed on another thread here, refereeing conventions should come from the top down - i.e. from referees and fencers who spend quite a lot of time at A-grades. The conventions then perforate down through national competitions to clubs (hopefully). Fencing is always evolving and fencers need to evolve with it (if they want to do well at competitions, that is). Although, at the end of the day, you need to align your fencing with the perception of the person who is refereeing you in competition (being right in your own opinion is no good if you are wrong in the referee's opinion...)

Have some very nice digital video footage from the two semi-finals and the final of the New York foil A-grade last weekend: shame there is no easy way to show it to people... (quite a variation in fencing styles: Polish, French, Romanian and Italian).

Boo

ihunter
-18th June 2003, 16:26
Boo, do you know who refereed those fights?I can probably find out through my contacts but if you have that info?!

Boo Boo
-18th June 2003, 17:34
Sorry Ian, was too busy watching the fencing and listening to the commentary etc.etc. I heard the names of the referees, but didn't really recognise them.

Grand Central Station was a good - if too small (it used a side hall) - venue for the for the finals: very impressive.

Boo

Gav
-19th June 2003, 06:44
I'll have to disagree with you slightly here Boo Boo. Yes, rules information should come from the top, but not from other fencers.

As was discussed on another thread here, refereeing conventions should come from the top down - i.e. from referees and fencers who spend quite a lot of time at A-grades


Even those fencers at the top of their game get the wrong end of the stick. People should be kept informed of the current state of play rules-wise. The internet is great for this purpose. I also believe that we should instill the correct concepts (fencing theory if you will) into beginners through teaching them the rules in addition to technique. Nothing intensive just enough to enforce the basics.

Gav
-19th June 2003, 06:55
fencing theory if you will

Should have read "fencing-rules theory if you will".

And perhaps while I'm here I may as well say that people should take responsibility to keep informed not just wait for information to pass down to them for 'up there'.

Boo Boo
-19th June 2003, 08:54
Originally posted by Gav
I'll have to disagree with you slightly here Boo Boo. Yes, rules information should come from the top, but not from other fencers.


Yes, as I said, information/interpretations should come from both referees AND fencers...

Unfortunately many clubs do not have a top class referee refereeing/fencing there (none of the four clubs I regularly fence at do...) and quite a few of the club members do not fence competitively. So the only contact many people have with the way in which rules are applied nationally/internationally is through the senior fencers in their club.

You are right that the internet is a very valuable resource, but - as quite a large number of threads here demonstrate - it is very difficult to discuss interpretation in words (without actually seeing what is going on).

Agree totally about beginners being taught the rules: there are a shocking amount of people who don't have a clue: "my light came on first", "I know your attack was off-target, but my counter was good, so it is my hit"... and a guy - who has been fencing for about 5 years - who believes that the hit should go to the person whose arm was DEAD straight first... The earlier you teach rules, the better :)

Agreed about people keeping themselves uptodate, but most don't want to ("they didn't allow flick hits in my day"....) - some clubs are like little time warps.

Boo

bydande
-21st June 2003, 21:15
For what its worth here is my experience after doing the refereeing course at Inverclyde. Had the course - which I was happy to see confirmed my interpretation of the rulebook - then did the exams - passed Epee and Foil at the higher Grade 3 - then had to do the practical refereeing test - and thats where the fun stopped.

I enjoyed the Epee refereeing - nice people, no complaints and generally got the impression that everybody was happy to have an impartial referee. I felt appreciated so as a result, I am happy and keen to continue Epee refereeing and even try to get a higher refereeing qualification.

Foil was a different matter though. The lower fencers seemed happy with my presiding (no complaints anyway), the top fencers also seemed happy (again no complaints anyway) but the group of fencers that were better than most but not as good as the best - they were no fun at all. This marzipan layer of fencers queried decisions and generally made me feel unwelcome. So although I passed the foil refereeing course (MT seemed happy with my decisions) I am not sure whether I want to do any adult foil refereeing in the future - it just doesnt seem worth the hassle.

So in future I will probably just stick to helping out with the refereeing of kids foil competitions that my children compete in. The kids at least appreciate you making the effort to turn up and help.

So the point of this story? Well I think its that the best fencers tend to know the rules because they are used to fencing at the higher levels. The lower fencers might not know the rules but at least accept that the referee knows better than them. The marzipan layer of good - but not brilliant - fencers are the trouble. These are the fencers who are responsible for the spreading of local rules - because they might be the best in their clubs where everybody listens to what they say. They are used to getting their way at their clubs and lower level competitions and so make the greatest fuss when things dont go their way in other competitions.

Just a thought/ observation - from a newbie ref.

Boo Boo
-21st June 2003, 21:50
Originally posted by bydande
So in future I will probably just stick to helping out with the refereeing of kids foil competitions that my children compete in. The kids at least appreciate you making the effort to turn up and help.


Hhhmmm, most kids are normally okay, its the parents (okay,, usually Dad's) you have to watch out for... "what do you mean that wasn't my little Harry's hit? My little Harry couldn't possibly loose, must have been done by the ref!"

Boo

Winwaloe
-23rd June 2003, 10:36
The real issue is that there just not enough trained and qualified refs to go around so comp. organisers have to fall back on what is available. I was asked this year to ref at the Brit Youth Nats. I declined on the basis that 1) I had fencers to look after and 2) I did not think my standard of refeeing was high enough. By the end of the day I realised that on 2) I had taken the wrong decision (my top seed being knocked out by some of the most unusual decisons I have ever seen - and yes we have spent time working on single lights!) - So should I have refed or not? - I still think no. Top/ ex top fencers are not always the best refs e.g - top fencer who refs standing at one end of piste talking to mates. Ex top fencer who insists something is in the rule book and when asked to find it declares it is in his (15 yr old?) copy. Othere refs who say, ah yes, but the rule doesn't really matter, it's the convention from France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Mongolia or wherever!
As I learnt many years ago - aim for single lights !!

Cyranox11
-24th June 2003, 10:14
Haggis,
The reason that the Marzipan lot are so yuck to referee is that theses are the people who know wnough of the rules to be dangerous, are competitive enough to want to do better AND feel (rightly or wrongly) that when fencing a 'better' fencer the 'better' fencer gets the doubtful calls and they get annoyed at this!
As I read in By the Sword (a Hungarian coach to his younger pupil): 'You spend half your career earning areputation and the other half enjoying it'.
Certainly not all refs 'reward' established fencers in this way, but it does happen!

Cheetara
-24th June 2003, 11:49
Bydande,

I understand completely what you are saying about marzipan fencers it happens in sabre too.

I've done a couple of epee competitions and the whole atmosphere was so much nicer in the poules than in similar sabre comps. Maybe just because I didn't care too much if I won or lost but I think it was more to do with the fact that there were much less likely to have dodgy presiding decisions.

When it comes to experienced fencers some of these argue about rules. If a blade breaks preventing a parry working, and so one light appears on the box, does this hit count?

Mantis
-24th June 2003, 12:03
Originally posted by bydande
So although I passed the foil refereeing course (MT seemed happy with my decisions) I am not sure whether I want to do any adult foil refereeing in the future - it just doesnt seem worth the hassle.

This is very sad - a qualified referee who doesn't want to referee because of a few people who think they know the rules better than anyone else. :(

And then we complain about there not being enough good referees at competitions.

Cyranox11
-24th June 2003, 12:41
OOPS!!
:o
I just realised it was bydande that posted that, NOT Haggis.
I got the avatars confused...
Sorry.

bydande
-24th June 2003, 14:14
Mantis,
I think you could say that we have a shortage of referees because they dont feel appreciated and because we currently have a system that encourages concensus rather than rule based refereeing. Consider the following:

1. You referee a lower level competition in exemplary FIE fashion. You ensure that every fencer is wearing a plastron, you issue yellow and red cards at the correct moments and you correctly judge what is an attack and what is not. The result of this hard work and dedication is you get bad mouthed by 2-3 fencers (who have probably never read the rulebook), nobody says thank you and the organiser gives you a bottle of wine.

2. You referee a lower level competition in "concensus fencer" style. If a fencer doesnt want to wear a plastron - then its his call, you dont issue a single yellow or red card (because you dont want to upset anyone) and an attack is whatever the group or the fencer with his name and country on his lame says it is. The result of this mediocrity is everybody in the pool likes you, nobody says thank you and you get a bottle of wine from the organiser.

Personally, neither option really appeals to me, so for the moment I will stick to only refereeing foil at kids level - because I am there anyway with my own kids. And more referees at kids competitions = earlier finish + home in time for tea. Which is an equation I can handle.

Gav
-24th June 2003, 14:28
If I am refereeing then I don't have a problem with handing out the cards and making unpopular calls. If I get heckled by the bystanders then I would just move them on. I believe that it is necessary to appear knowledgable and impartial but at the same time uncorruptable i.e. not put off by the fencers mums/dads/friends. Noone has ever given me a bottle of wine. :(

bydande
-24th June 2003, 14:39
Gav,
I get given wine all the time
- maybe its a subliminal message that I referee like I'm drunk!:party:

3 Card Trick
-24th June 2003, 14:44
Referee by the rules. Stick to your guns over your decisions. Be totally consistent and above all CALM

Then you can enjoy the wine (if you get any) with a clear conscience.:)

Mantis
-24th June 2003, 14:55
bydande,

I realise now that my post may be read the wrong way. It was not meant as a criticism of you but of the few fencers who think they know the rules. I understand an agree with your decision not to referee certain competition, but I still think it is sad.

I hope you like wine, though. What vintage is the going rate for an open? ;)

3 Card Trick
-24th June 2003, 15:07
I am no longer surprised by the fact that those who take the referee exams often find that they don't know the rules very well at all.

A good referee knows the rules, referees often and is CALM.:)

3 Card Trick
-24th June 2003, 15:24
On the subject of the Rules and their application here is a quote from the Commission d'Arbitrage.

"CAUTION! new international referees: you see from which side the attack comes, thatís good, you have an understanding of refereeing, but that isnít everything, you must also know how to apply the Rules."

bydande
-24th June 2003, 15:26
Mantis,
Well for the Inverclyde Open I got a bottle of Spanish white (vintage unknown) - suitable for barbecues in Scottish Summers (i.e. mixes well with rain water). And I am afraid that I have to admit to taking a chicken sandwich instead of the wine at the LPJS Scottish foil event - gawd I must be geting old.

At the end of the day, I did the foil exam for my kids and the epee exam for myself so the result is OK. I can referee kids foil when my children compete and adult epee when I compete.

bydande
-24th June 2003, 15:39
3 card trick
So I am now a newly qualified referee (thanks to you I think) so how do I hone my refereeing skills?

In the Army I leant to teach through EDIP. Explain, Demonstrate, Imitate & Practice. But how can I do this in terms of fencing refereeing? So far I have just been pushed straight from Explain to Practice!

So now that I have had it Explained to me, where can I see a Demonstration of good refereeing? I am not sure if I could justify travelling to a competition just to watch the refereeing so can I get a video of good refereeing?

Gav
-24th June 2003, 15:43
I think I can answer this one [even though it is technically addressed to 3 card trick].


So now that I have had it Explained to me, where can I see a Demonstration of good refereeing? I am not sure if I could justify travelling to a competition just to watch the refereeing so can I get a video of good refereeing?

Come along to the Nationals and see some of the refereeing in the last rounds.

Watch some of the World Cup matches / Olympics on Eurosport.

Rhubarb
-24th June 2003, 15:47
Bydande: go watch Ian Hunter when/if you get the chance. He's 3 weapon FIE qualified and has recently refereed World junior Finals for the Fie at Trapani. Mike thornton goes up to your neck of the woods as well. These guys are 'pro's' and I would suspect willing to chat and offer advicev on what the standard is/ should be.

bydande
-24th June 2003, 16:00
Gav,
I only have good old terrestrial TV - not sure if the wife would approve of me getting sattelite just to watch fencing and I am equally unsure if the local sportsmans bar is open at the times the fencing is likely to be on.

If you could supply me with a bullet proof story to use on my wife for explaining why I want to spend a weekend away (with all the associated costs - hotel, beer, beer etc ) just so that I can watch last 8 fights then I would be happy to go.

Or have I got it all wrong and eurosport is on normal TV at 4.30am in the morning when I am rightly sleeping the sleep of the good and just.

Rhubarb,
Mike did the course I qualified on and the last time I saw Ian refereeing - I was refereeing another pool at the same time so I didnt get the chance to observe him in action. But yes I do hope to be lucky enough to draw on their experience and knowledge in the future.

Gav
-24th June 2003, 16:13
Bydande:
Re going to the nationals: You could try I'm giving Gav a lift! ;) [I'm having difficulties getting clubmates to go to the nations - unbelievable but true]. You could even ref the pools and get a bottle of wine for the trouble.

Re the bullet proof story: Tricky. I'll have to do some research into that one, there must be pages on the net somewhere with cast iron excuses for the missus!

3 Card Trick
-24th June 2003, 16:24
Most referees are more than happy to share their knowledge with less experienced ones. In fact this is how most of them learned their trade.

But the real trick is to referee as often as you can. You don't get to be a good fencer without plenty of practice and the same goes for referees.:)

As for when you can see good refereeing their will be FIE "B" Grades in Edinburgh early next year.

As for videos - well the Ref Com are working on that, but slowly.

rory
-25th June 2003, 08:18
will be FIE "B" Grades in Edinburgh early next year.

Is that definite?
I take it we're talking about the Scottish Coup Du Nord, but the phrase "B-Grades" (plural) is what's interesting me here - did the organisers manage to getthe foil/epee listed as satellite tournaments too?

I know they were planning to...

pinkelephant
-25th June 2003, 11:20
Originally posted by Mantis
bydande,


I hope you like wine, though. What vintage is the going rate for an open? ;)

My favourite was the bottle of "Old Tart" given to me by Nick Chapman after the Warwick LPJS. Thanks, Nick:moon:

3 Card Trick
-25th June 2003, 14:52
There will be Coup du Nord Epee in Edinburgh next year, check out the latest FIE calendar.

doobarz
-29th June 2003, 23:21
I recently attended a training session at a club I don't normally attend, and whilst my gf berated me for whinging about the refing, and no, the hits I whinged to her about were not one light, I really did feel that it was very poor.

Sometimes hits were awarded the correct way, but the phrasing was all squiffy - is this worse than the hit going the wrong way?

Also, I was moaned at when I refereed for being 'harsh'. I know it's club, but these fencers do go to opens, surely they must be confused when faced with a good referee, who awards hits against them for something they do at club at get?

I was mildly annoyed to not be given hits that were mine, and whilst the referee phrased, the phrasing was, as I mention, squiffy. I think the proximity to the Nationals and my own confidence at present have alot to do with it.

Moan over.