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Winwaloe
-4th July 2003, 12:02
This part of the forum seems very under used and that is a great shame. Let's try and get something going. What do you think of the LPJS v Premier Series? - What about the standard of junior fencing? - what are the "best" clubs? - Any thoughts on the standard of refs at the junior comps? - Do the high and mighty of British fencing take enough interest in all levels of junior fencing? - Any thoughts/comments on these or other subjects/issues?

PM1
-4th July 2003, 21:26
The LPJS is an excellent introduction to compeitivr fencing for yp's of all ages, and it now seems to cover most areas of the UK - well done LP. It's what really encouraged my boy (and me) in his fencing.

Depending on your weapon, there is a good cadet series of nominated events (we do epee), and a well run system.

My big beef with Yorshire region is that it doesn't do enough to encourage its youth. More needed - can comp organiswers take note, please????

Rdb811
-4th July 2003, 22:07
I don't think there's a problem with junior fencing - although it has to be said that the standard isn't very good.

Chris Morgan
-8th July 2003, 19:16
I have to agree that the LPJS is a excellent introduction to youth fencing. Most competitions are well run in a friendly background.
After the BYCs i was picked to attend a english youth session, they explained to me about the LPJS and i attended my first LPJS competition. I was very pleased with the organisational skills of the competition runners and the turnout of the fencers. That started me on my fencing career. I strongly suggest anyone who is under 17 to try any of the tournaments the LPJS has to offer.

C Morgan

3 Card Trick
-8th July 2003, 19:47
Originally posted by Rdb811
I don't think there's a problem with junior fencing - although it has to be said that the standard isn't very good.

Not sure what you have been observing lately if you come to that view.

Rdb811
-8th July 2003, 22:03
The obvious answer is your son :grin:

(who beat me) .


The epee cadets at the Wrexham Open etc.

PM1
-8th July 2003, 23:00
Rdb811 - going to pm you re the Wrexham etc - this comment has come up on that thread, with no explanation - need to know more.......

Rdb811
-8th July 2003, 23:50
Originally posted by Rdb811
The obvious answer is your son :grin:

(who beat me) .




Ooops that really wasn't very worthy of me - sory.

3 Card Trick
-9th July 2003, 16:25
I shall refrrain from getting personal, suffice to say do you live in a glass house!!!

Winwaloe
-10th July 2003, 07:49
Umm - If this is the best the fencing world can come up with re junior fencing we seem to have a problem!

tigger
-10th July 2003, 10:10
Umm - If this is the best the fencing world can come up with re junior fencing we seem to have a problem!

A good point well made!

As a coach, LPJS organiser and competitor on the senior circuit, I think there's a lot wrong with junior fencing. In sabre (which I know most about) the cadet ranking system works quite well, as any tournament counts towards a ranking. This means there are a lot more sabreurs ranked in the cadets than other weapons, and it's nice for the younger ones to feel they have a british Ranking. Unfortunately down at under 14 level there is a tiny number of competent sabreurs. I would say there are only 4 or 5 boys and 2 or 3 girls who you could consider to be good, competent sabreurs with potential for the future. And that might be a bit generous! I think there should be an official British Junior Series (whether that's LP, Premier or a combination of nominated events from both doesn't matter) with standardised rules. This would give an official British Ranking in all weapons/ages. Some people probably think "too much pressure" etc, but from what I've seen the pressure generally comes from the juniors themselves, many of whom are very hungry and motivated.

The standard of reffing in sabre is generally appalling. At the British U14s one semi-final was a farce (fortunately not involving any of my guys!) as the ref had no idea (literally) what the diff between simultaneous and tempo was. There are 1 or 2 people who turn out selfelessly all the time to help, and well done to them! I think generally the comps I've been to are well organised.

The biggest problem is that there is no national structure for juniors who have top-class potential. By the time they're 16 or 18 it's too late. We need to be picking the best 10 or 11 year olds and making sure they're getting the right training immediately. A national junior training camp every quarter should be held, and should be by invitation only to the top juniors and their coaches. It's important that the coaches are involved, and can get feedback themselves. The camp should consist of not only training, but advice on competition preparation and psychology, nutrition, avenues of funding, and offering help to coaches with students who have world-class potential.

Maybe a pipe dream, but I believe it's perfectly possible.

aao
-10th July 2003, 10:37
At epee at least, unfortunatley the standard of the vast majority of our Juniors and cadets is very poor (look how the fair in any of the major opens, virtually none even make the 64!) there are of course a few exceptions but the overall standard if anything seems to be declining.

To be honest I think one of the problems is the LP junior events and things like the public schools, not because they are badly run or anything like that but simply because it allows the vast majority of our young fencers to compete in a sheltered environment where the standard is miles away even from the open circuit. This is compounded by the fact that alot of juniors restrict themselves soley to these competitions so have a very inflated view of their own abilities when they do well, and as result don't think its neccessary to put in the effort required to become genuignely good. By the time they actually start entering the opens at 16/17 its already too late.

Also nominating events like the wrexham Open doesn't really help as it was essentially a non entity of an open with the nif being provided the presence of 6 epeeists. Bear in mind these events are used to select for internationals where the standard is considerably higher than at wrexham!

Rdb811
-10th July 2003, 12:10
The junior/cadet sabreurs on the circuit are of a much higher standard than the junior/cadet epeeists, from experience.

Prometheus
-10th July 2003, 12:59
I think this is an excellent point as I have a couple of fencers who are doing well in the LPJS one of whom is U9. It would be useful (my first time as a cadet coach) for some support/guidance on their direction that a junior squad training would provide....

I hope this comes out correctly as this is the first message I have posted :)

frazzled
-10th July 2003, 13:53
Originally posted by aao
By the time they actually start entering the opens at 16/17 its already too late.


My kiddo is a Pentathlete so has five disciplines to train for. He manages to fit in one fencing lesson per week and one two hour session of free fencing if he is lucky. He is, however, very fortunate in that his good old mum, me, can afford to send him to Hungary for three weeks per year to train at with Gagor Bognar in Honved, Budapest.

We go to as many opens as possible to get experience of fencing different people. I was led to believe that is the only way to get better.

Are we doing it wrong? Is it better to stay within the confines of the club to perfect technique before entering opens?

pinkelephant
-10th July 2003, 14:04
Originally posted by aao
At epee at least, unfortunately the standard of the vast majority of our Juniors and cadets is very poor (look how the fair in any of the major opens, virtually none even make the 64!) there are of course a few exceptions but the overall standard if anything seems to be declining.


Also nominating events like the wrexham Open doesn't really help as it was essentially a non entity of an open with the nif being provided the presence of 6 epeeists. Bear in mind these events are used to select for internationals where the standard is considerably higher than at wrexham!

But look at the difference between men's epee and the other 5 weapons. In the first place, there is more of a height discrepancy between Cadets (particularly young male ones) and Adult Men's Epeeists - and when they are still learning the trade it DOES matter. Also to make the last 64 of a major Open at Men's Epee you often have to be in the top 50% of a strong (and tall) field. This is not the case with the other weapons, and is precisely the reason for nominating competitions like Shropshire and Wrexham - they are the only "half-way house" between LPJS and major Opens. It's also the reason we should mourn the passing of Tyneside.

Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that 13 year olds should fence at Bristol, Essex etc and not LPJS? What a way to demoralise youngsters and put them off the sport for life. They are not all going to make representative teams, but without them there would be no competition at all - they ARE the future of the sport.

By the way, Wrexham is not nominated for actual World Championship selection - it is only nominated for the "B list" which is where the selection of the 16 to go on foreign trips comes from. It is largely how they perform on those foreign trips which governs who will be selected.

Winwaloe
-10th July 2003, 14:24
RE a good point well made

Thank you Tigger and delighted that the words of wisdom come from God's very own land - Gra'massy! - - There is a lot to do at the junior end. Although a sabreur I coach mainly foil. The younger foilists are fairly well looked after thanks to the foil committee and a parent or two that have taken a very strong interest in trying to get the whole thing organised. The main problem seems to be the rather disparate state of organisation within British fencing. Remedy? - I have no idea!
A structure on the lines you suggest, in all three wapons, would be good but who can/will organise it. Perhaps these postings will gain an "official" response?

aao
-10th July 2003, 14:42
Originally posted by pinkelephant

Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that 13 year olds should fence at Bristol, Essex etc and not LPJS? What a way to demoralise youngsters and put them off the sport for life. They are not all going to make representative teams, but without them there would be no competition at all - they ARE the future of the sport.

By the way, Wrexham is not nominated for actual World Championship selection - it is only nominated for the "B list" which is where the selection of the 16 to go on foreign trips comes from. It is largely how they perform on those foreign trips which governs who will be selected.


Actually yes I am, some of the best u15 fencers I've come across are those who actually have the courage to enter the opens such as Patrick Mcglone who as far as I'm concerned is miles ahead of most of the people in his age group. Also people like Lukas Kuhlmey have made good progress since entering the opens. Our current top juniors too are the ones who have been doing opens for quite a few years now e.g. Nick Perry, Jon Bradley, Tom Bennett etc. Interstingly these are also the only fencers who seem to able to achieve anything internationally.
I take your point about discouraging the youngsters when they enter the bigger opens but failure is a part of any sport and it is very important to learn at an early age how to deal with it and use it to motivate yourself to do better. Letting the cadets/Juniors think they are genuignly good and then sending them off to internationals to get whopped is far more damaging in my humble opinion.

pinkelephant
-10th July 2003, 15:17
But the people you mention ARE also doing LPJS. There are also many, many of the cadets, who you obviously haven't studied much, who HAVE had the courage to do the large Opens, from a young age, and were consistently outside the last 64 but within the top 75%, e.g. 90th in a field of 130, at an age of 14 or 15. In a field of 80, say, in one of the other weapons, this ratio would place them comfortably within the L64 and therefore scoring points. Tom Bennett in fact still did a LPJS even after the Worlds, and so did some of the others who are officially still cadets until 31/12/03. The standard is much higher than you think, and more importantly THEY HAD FUN.

Another point. One of my pupils didn't enter Opens until he was 15 because of his physical size - widthways, not heightways. I and his coach did not feel it was safe to put him in with large adults (and please do ask Lukas about his experience at Hereford and Worcester to confirm that we were right - male chest guards did not exist at the time). In his last cadet year my pupil did well enough to be selected for Cadet foreign trips, and he did NOT get whopped - he made the last 64 at Pisa. Not anywhere near team selection, granted, but it has given him the confidence and the determination to continue at Junior level. The more we encourage youngsters like him, the better the grass roots standard will get.

pinkelephant
-10th July 2003, 17:27
And another thing. Domestically, Men's Epee is chock full of wily old b*****s who used to be extremely good (many of them internationals) and are absolutely determined not to let some whippersnapper have an easy ride. Graham Paul, Nick Bell, Jon Stanbury, Steve Lavington, Howard West, George Liston ......................

How often does this happen at the other weapons? Richard Cohen once in a blue moon. Janet Cooksey. Who else?

Barry Paul
-10th July 2003, 17:33
I hope you are not calling a senior international member of the board a 'wily old b*****s' I am shocked Barry Paul

3 Card Trick
-10th July 2003, 17:44
Isn't that the dictionary definition of a senior board member.

jamesthornton
-10th July 2003, 21:17
Originally posted by Rdb811
The obvious answer is your son :grin:

(who beat me) .




i feel that this is a very unjust opinion and am hurt by this comment from someone who i dont even know. if you were someone i knew maybe i would take this as a joke and laugh it off, but you are not and so i am deeply offended. i haven't been on the forum in recent months because i have been taking my GCSE examinations and if i had read this earlier would have replied sooner.

Rdb811
-10th July 2003, 22:34
Please accept my apologies - the above was very crass of me and I have no idea why I said it , especially as the comment is utter rubbish.

PM1
-10th July 2003, 23:09
What on EARTH are you lot doing,other than demoralising those young people aged from 13 upwards??? PLEASE remember that no one can enter an open unless they are 13 on 1st Jan, ie in the middle of the season. Many fencers come to epee after several years of foil, so if they don't start fencing until they are 9 or 10 or are at senior school, they are at an experience disadvantage immediately.

It must be a natural progression to move from school comps to LPJS in varying parts of the UK to gradually into the easier opens as well, before the toughies. My son and his friend expect to get hammered at the Senior nationals, but are going for the experience. There are no ranking points for cadets. He is 15 this month, and only 2 years into epee. He went on all 3 foreign cadet trips last season and is well placed for Worlds contention this year. He knows he has to step up a gear this coming season, and wants to do so. He can't train with a coach every night because it isn't humanly possible - he has GCSE's to study for, and a childhood to experience. He is PROGRESSING and developing technique and tactics, and no one should EXPECT him to be brilliant at this age or development.

Some of you are expecting too much too soon from our young fencers. Don't put them off, PLEASE, but encourage them. They sacrifice enough, don't make them suffer your disdain as well.

As for catching them young - there's no money, and is therefore self financing. There is an embyonic Tomorrows Achievers of England set up: at the moment, foil is running this well. I am trying to pick up and run with epee, but am having difficulties: I'm looking at setting up a northern group and cascading it down to a midland and then southern group, as it's very difficult to arrange a weekend with facilities in the middle, and the season is very busy. Bela Kopetka has agreed to be involved with the coaching. This scheme has run for epee before, but as ever, we are volunteers with busy lives and running around doing nine million things at once becomes very waring. I understood that BArry Flood (Durham) was setting up a TA for young Sabruers, but know nothing more re that one. I'll ask Ismay this weekend.

PLEASE - support our young fencers: lose them and the future of fencing is worse than you want to imagine. They receive zilch money, and depend on parents. I assume you were all young once........

tigger
-11th July 2003, 08:39
I think it's very difficult to say whether a fencer is too young to fence in an open. At 13 children can be at wildy different stages of development mentally, physically and technically (as we can be at 30 for that matter:grin: ) I coach an outstandingly talented 12 year old who is desperate to fence in opens, and would have a good chance of 64s in the major events even at 12. (I'm talking about Welsh, Bristol, Birmingham etc). I coahc plenty of 1 year ols who wouldn't get a hit. Maybe there should be some other criterion for entry to an open? Perhaps if there was an official national junior ranking, U13s could enter opens if they were say in the top 8 U15s (or something). Just a thought. It seems that the different weapons vary so wodely in there organisation that there is no real structure of any kind. In sabre I feel that the rankings are well organised (counting LPJS points in all age groups towards cadet ranking encourages the youngest fencers), but sabre training is generally poorly organised. Whereas I get the feeling that foil training is better organised, whilst the ranking system is less accessible for the lower age groups. Again it comes back to the point that we need a proper standardised structure for all weapons and all ages.

Also a National junior development officer? We may have one already, but if so I have no idea who it might be!! This post could be responsible for standardising rankings, competition and selection formats and arrangin 6 wpn training camps. Just a thought...

tigger
-11th July 2003, 08:41
I coahc plenty of 1 year ols Of course when I say that I mean 'I coach plenty of 12 year olds'....even I wouldn't start them that early :grin: I'M IN A HURRY OK??

pinkelephant
-11th July 2003, 10:24
There are always exceptions - Dominique Stowell is the obvoius one - she won her first Open in the first year she was allowed to compete in them.

It is actually size which is the problem, not fencing ability alone. For this reason I will never mix age groups in a kid's competition - genders yes, age groups no. Our younger son fenced in his first Open (Essex) when still 12 - not just because of his fencing ability, but because he was large enough (widthways at least) NOT TO GET HURT. My elder son, on the other hand, being tiny, did not do Opens until he was nearly 15 and growing. If we could leave it to the common sense of the parents and coaches it would be fine - unfortunately we can't, and as an organisation we have a responsibility to look after the safety of our youngsters.

Rdb811
-11th July 2003, 10:38
Perhaps we should have some kind of giant sifter to weed out the minnows.

Might I suggest letting the smaller lads continue with foil until they 'bulked up'.

PM1
-17th July 2003, 00:36
Tigger's idea of a standardised structure applied to all weapons has to be the best solution. Cadet epee nominate 4 of the LPJS events as ranking for overseas events, at under 13 upwards and possibly under 11 now (3CT, help??). I don't think foil or sabre do, but it would be a good system. The Premier series could be used too, but as I understand it it is foil only and concentrated in the South east, which probably puts those north of Watford off attending.
I'm not sure what the other home countries do - what is teh JEX system?? for instance, and even if that is only about training (only, she sez), what do the youngsters get out of it/have to put in to it??
Whichever system is chosen, chosen it surely should be. I bang on about youth fencing and lack of encouragement and organisation generally, but it has to come from the top. Come on Keith, do I really need to badger you ????;) ;)

tigger
-17th July 2003, 08:34
In sabre all LPJS results count towards GB Cadet ranking, whereas in foil none of them do. This is ironic as the sabre LPJS competitions are usually quite weak, whereas many of the foil ones are very strong. I think the example of Dominique is a good one - a potentially world class fencer, and she has had the opportunity to gain early experience. If you're sending kids to foreign cadet events before they've fenced our better seniors they'll get a serious wake up call! If we had a higher quality and more numerous bunch of kids on the circuit there'd be no need to put the better ones into opens to gain experience, but sadly that's not the case.

Structure should be roughly:

BFA Youth Developemnt Offficer who oversees:
- Quarterly squad training for all 6 wpns. This would include: 3 days hard training with our SENIOR and JUNIOR National coaches; working with the fencers on tactics, psychology etc; perhaps someone from the big wide world talking about their Olympic experiences etc. Training could be rotated around differnet regions. EG Scotland, North, Midlands, South (Not necessarily London!)
- Standardisation of ranking and selections systems.
- Introduction of a minime ranking (U15). Recommendation that any U13s in the top 10 of the minimes be allowed to compete in opens
- Clarification for both parents and children as to how to go about being selected for Cadet 'A' grades etc, and which officials to talk to about different issues.
- Training programmes developed for the most promising fencers alongside their current coaches
- The building of a team spirit among the fencers. A positive team atmosphere at a competition can bring about surprising results
- Development of a welcome pack for new fencers and parents at the training camp
- Squad training could include,say, the top 20 cadets and top 20 minimes in each weapon
- workshops for parents on fundraising, obtaining, lottery, local authority or other funding

And anything else I can think of! It would have to be a funded part-time post if it was to be done properly. But it would be a cheap investment in the future of British Fencing. If we already have a youth development officer does anyone know who it is?

PM1
-18th July 2003, 00:26
I thought we did have a development officer, or was that one of the regional posts that not all regions have??

In any event, I'll vote for Tigger's plan - bring it on!!;) ;)

3 Card Trick
-18th July 2003, 06:04
How about re-arranging the BYC's as well.

Drop U18 (we've got a Cadet Championship for U17) and then extend downwards using the U15/U13/U11 formula.

Now that the GB Cadet Champs has really matured the old "Schools" Age categories seem a bit anachronistic.

tigger
-18th July 2003, 08:52
That's true - the age groups are all a bit of a mish-mash. We have British Cadet (U17) and Junior (U20) champs, British Youth (U18, U16, U14, U12, U10), LPJS (U17, U15, U13, U11, U9), English Youth (U18, U16), Regional Age Groups (U18, U16 etc). Not sure what system the premier series uses. And I think different counties have different methods of seperating their age group championships. All the different systems have developed over the years, but it's time to make it all uniform. Do away with even numbers I say! (except for Junior U20!). We should have British Junior (U20) champs, Cadet (U17), Minime (U15), U13 (I think there's a word for it!) and U11 (Dunno wot this is called). This would also reduce the number of national champions! We could hold U20 and U17 as we do now on 1 weekend, and all the others together on a seperare weekend (much like the GB youth champs at the moment). This would give us a more meaningful basis for a ranking system too - using LPJS, premier series and British Championship results you could have an official U15, U13 and U11 ranking.

3 Card Trick
-18th July 2003, 13:57
Tigger - Benjamine and Pupille are I think the other categoties.

I was beginning to think I was banging a brick wall about age group rationalisation.

perhaps we should have a poll????

FencingFreak-J
-18th July 2003, 15:47
Me and my friend emily want to start fencing but we wpondering is it dangerous and like can you have you legs cut off or when you use the sword points it pokes you and hurts

can someone please awnser:transport

hokers
-18th July 2003, 20:23
I've been fencing for 12 years now, pretty regularly, and competing, and the worst I've been hurt was a twisted ankle. Occasionally you might pull a muscle, and now and then a hard hit leaves a bruise, but there is no chance of having your legs cut off, none of the weapons are sharp...

Go along to your local club and have a go, you'll enjoy it. Its worth sticking with it for a few weeks to get a good idea if you like it. Don't worry about any horror stories about injuries, these are REALLY rare, if you follow the safety rules, you'll be fine.

Good luck
hokers

Barry Paul
-18th July 2003, 21:39
Hold on before you try and change the age groups. the leon paul junior series was developed to give young fencers a chance of enjoying competitions and fencing outside their own club. The events are meant to be fun with two rounds and plenty of fencing during the day. The premier series was formed because certain coaches wanted a more realistic big boys event with one round direct elimination and lot of pressure. Other outside bodies high jacked the points won in the Leon Paul series because they had no other way of ranking.
The Leon Paul Junior Series will remain a fun introduction to competitive fencing. Barry Paul. MD leon Paul

PM1
-18th July 2003, 22:24
3CT - benjamine and pupile it is, at least in France.

Barry - don't think the idea is to change what is a fun system of fencing, but learn from it and use it to full advantage. I'd definitely support you on that one, and indeed, I think that rather than highjacking the LPJS for ranking, it is used for the very purpose of encouraging younger, less experienced fencers, and gets feet on the national ranking ladder quicker, and thus not just LPJS ranking, but also points towards the next goal of GBR rep abroad.

It hurts me to say this, but could we consider coming more into line with the european and I suspect FIE age groups, thus losing those even numbers (except the magic 20).

I get the inoression that Tigger has been thinking about this for sometime, and I know 3CT has.

A poll would be interesting, but I bet you it would be entered by the oldies, not the newbies or relevant age groups. But hey, give it a whirl.

There's an AGM coming up in September - tigger/3CT, going to raise a motion???;) ;)

3 Card Trick
-19th July 2003, 10:21
Originally posted by Barry Paul
The Leon Paul Junior Series will remain a fun introduction to competitive fencing. Barry Paul. MD leon Paul

Right on. Plus LPJS does use the right age groups.

It's the BYC's/EYC's that have become a bit of an anachronism and that is what I would like to see tidied up.

As far as I am concerned the LPJS rocks and long long may it continue to thrive.

As to PM1's comment re the AGM I think that it is alreaady going to be pretty full. I guess a change to the BYC's is going to be a board matter.


:)

Barry Paul
-19th July 2003, 18:56
There is a reason fo the BYC having a diferent age structure, some thing to do with school years? Who knows? Barry Paul

randomsabreur
-19th July 2003, 20:05
On the French system for age groups, add Poussin for U9.

I have been reffing around the sabre LPJS series lately, and the biggest thing that has struck me is the weakness of most of the girls' competitions. Some of the U11 boys would heavily beat the U13 girls, the U13 boys , or at least a few of them, especially Tigger's pupil,would take out most of the U15 and U17 girls with a few notable exceptions. The U15 boys seems to me to be the toughest age group with the largest numbers of strong competitors, and for some reason organisers keep on landing me with this

I think that the sabre system of nominating all competitions for the rankings at all levels is a good idea, as it makes it easier for good cadets to rise quickly up the rankings as they improve (e.g Katie Hendra)

PM1
-19th July 2003, 22:57
3CT - shame about the AGM agenda being full, but it could be AOB and the board take it on - just me being pushy, possibly, but what's new......

I used to think LPJS was out of step, being odd years, but I now see you're more in line with FIE. Don't understand why BYC/EYC is even years, and no idea what it might have to do with school years, unless you mean academic terms, ie like the GBR season starting in September, when FIE ages seem to be from 1st Jan - is that right? Even so, I can't see where it fits in in that respect....feeling like a bear with exceptionally small brain tonight (down to a bottle and a half of exceptionally good Merlot and an Elton John concert, possibly).....and a hog roast - oh, but I thought of several people who could have replaced that poor, innocent piggie.......so if someone could enlighten me, I would be grateful - all in the cause of making things just a LITTLE more sensible, you understand.;) ;)

3 Card Trick
-20th July 2003, 08:07
PM1 - it used to be called the Schools Champs, and then they had to change it to allow U18 not at School and for a while had two titles, School and U18.

It was the big event of the year apart from he U20's.

Then along came the late Brian Pitman and introduced a Cadet Comp.

Then over time the Junior and Cadet became the most mportant comp.

Now we have just too many GB Titles (even local newspaper editors spot that) and age grops that don't fi with what he rest of the FIE is up to.

The LPJS has always been FIE age groups.
o n one has really addressed the fact that with the rise of the Junior and Cadet Champs the BYC's needed to be revisited and overhauled.

We probably need to revisit he whole Junior Home International Age groupings as well.


S

PM1
-20th July 2003, 11:39
Thank you, dear calm 3CT - ever the helpful and informative soul;) ;)

Surely the first to change must be the Junior Home internationals: by their very nature, they should refelct what is going on internationally i.e., FIE compliant (that's not the word I mean, but I can't find me Thesaurus, but I hope you understand).

I seem to remember someone saying that the odd years of LPJS allowed kids to fence across the BYC age bands, and so increase their exposure to older fencers, gradually, but I could have been dreaming. I'd rather we had one system of age banding, so as not to confuse and to be logical......it fencers are going to fence on the international circuit, let's do it properly from the start here, at least from 13.

Ramble over....;) ;)

randomsabreur
-20th July 2003, 12:57
The LPJS competitions have a major advantage over opens for the kids!!!!!!! They allow the children to gain experience of the most important thing for a competitive fencer, winning whether it be poule fights, DEs or even competitions. If you look at a list of competition winners, there are very few names on it and very few of them are cadets, so it is important for children to be able to gain some confidence early, and carry that through to future competitions.

By all means, kids should do opens as well but that should not be all that they do.

In France, you have to have a special doctor's certificate to let you fence up an age group (2 years) and to go up 2 age groups you need several. That does not seem to harm ther development of French fencers

3 Card Trick
-20th July 2003, 14:04
The LPJS is great for kids and long may it continue.

Commom sense must be used in deciding when a young fencer is ready for Opens.

pinkelephant
-20th July 2003, 15:28
I know this is off topic, but can I just apologise for 3 CT's typing. The dog walked over the keyboard and removed 3 keys. Have you ever tried not using T, I or U? :upset:

PM1
-20th July 2003, 23:20
AAAAAhhhhhh - thanks for that - I thought he was trying out the touch typing and missing the relevant keys. Should have known better........;) ;)

And the series is a seriously good introduction to competitive fencing, especially when outside your own area. We went marauding to Bude for tigger's foil comp 2 years ago, and had the most amazing welcome. Me boy was delighted with meeting up with/talking to/being reffed by/being commended by Rob Brunigies, and then winning a comp specific t shirt and chocs. He did it the next year and took 2 mates along. I'm told the welcome was just as warm. Added to that, boy helped out a newbie girl (surprise), and her mum was so impressed she emailed school and told the headmaster how gentlemanly he was, and a credit to the school, blah blah. But that's a mark of LPJS - everyone helps everyone else, and has good fun to boot.

Not all have trophies, so some of us are going to donate from this year, Baz. Warwick epee has, but we've picked up no others, so Harogate will have an<15 and an <13 boys for next year. Might even do the same for Arnold, if that would be welcome????? They like the medals, tho, and the certifs are a good idea, too - something for everyone.....;) ;)

tigger
-21st July 2003, 10:04
Nice to hear we're so lovely and welcoming in Cornwall:grin:

The idea wouldn't be to change LPJS, Barry, but to utilise it and its strengths. There needs to be uniformity and clarity at all levels (there's a thread on just such a subject on sabre 'a' grade selection). It's confusing enough for me as a reasonably experienced fencer and coach, so god knows what it's like for newbies coming into the sport.


the U13 boys , or at least a few of them, especially Tigger's pupil,would take out most of the U15 and U17 girls Random sabreur, the aforementioned pupil takes out most of the adults in our club, and would probably take out a few in the top 50...I hate talented people ;)

Winwaloe
-24th July 2003, 11:13
The "best" foilist I coach (12 yrs old) now prefers to fence u15 cat and as many adults as possible - Why ? - he tells me it is more fun and he learns a lot more -

Barry Paul
-24th July 2003, 12:04
Some time ago before the mists of time the only Childrens events were the ones in the Leon Paul Junior Series. Selectors started using LPJS results as rankings, shortly after LPJS were being told by selectors/ parents that we should run our competitions differently and it was not fair because ?????????.

We did have to point out to everybody that first and foremost the LPJS was a series of fun competition for youngsters. Use of our ranking results was/is not our major concern worry unless it impinges negatively on the series. These concerns need to be clocked in any suggested revamp of the age group system.

On the question of changing the ages the LPJS dropped the older age group due to lack of interest and and I would agree that British fencing could move to continental age group and drop some of the older groups. I am sure there is a reason for different age groups and age starting times, Private school terms and the change to senior school? Barry Paul.

pinkelephant
-4th August 2003, 10:53
The BYC age groups are a hangover from when it was the National Schoolgirls/boys' Championships. The qualifying date for age groups was then 1/9 instead of 1/1 as it is now. Thus for the last year at school the age was U18 on the relevant 1st September, and the other age groups went down in 2 year blocks.

Now that the comps are not just for those still at school, and the date is different anyway, why not rationalise? There is a national U17 anyway, so BYC should be U15, U13 for all weapons and U11 just for Foil.

Andy W.
-4th August 2003, 22:22
please don't change LPJS!

We only found it this season after two seasons of 'conflict' in the premier series. The difference bewteen the two competitons is as others have already said, one the LPJS is friendly where competitors, refs, armourers and parents of competitors seem to rub along in a friendly atmosphere of self help. The premier series is very much big boys rules but with little boys attitude from some of the coaches and officials involved. Personally, as someone 'over 40' I don't find the spectatcle of a grown man bawling out a 10 year old girl for crying ('cause shes just lost a DE fight where she tried her hardest) edyfying or impressive (it wasn't my child).

Point for debate;
Perhaps if the premier series tried to be a tad more welcoming they may even get more people turning up?

The LPJS is not perfect and the Premier is not all bad, (Bristol is a very honourable exception) but too much pressure too early turns beginners off and I've spoken to too many ex- foilists to have any time for the 'professionals' who seem to think and act as if winning is the only reason for sport. Remember for you to come first you need some else to come second (and a tenth.....)!
:confused:

tigger
-5th August 2003, 11:10
I can honestly say I know nothing about the premier series, but a bit about the LPJS. I agree that the LPJS is spot on, and I have no wish to see it changed. All Sabre LPJS comps are currently used in the cadet ranking, and I believe SOME of the epee ones too. i'm just suggesting that we make the rankings uniform in their approach, and that we have a minime (U15) and other, younger age group national rankings. There would be no need to alter the LPJS in any way for this to happen.

PS Come down to Bude next year - it's fun and friendly and by the beach!! www.jonsalfield.co.uk/series (http://www.jonsalfield.co.uk/series)

PM1
-5th August 2003, 19:36
Tigger - if Rich was still competing at foil, we'd be with yopu at Bude, and it's one hell of a journey down to you, but well worth it (for the clotted cream and pasties, of course!!)
Male Cadet epee use Arnold, Warwick, Bath and Mr Smith's for ranking, and the multiplyer is different for each age group.

I'm all in favour of there being consistency in ranking events, tho' I do understand why every tournament can't be a ranker for every weapon (I think...).

Leave the LPJS as they are, but use them for more purposes...if BP will let us......;) ;)

And under 15 etc national rankings are a good idea and a stepping stone to cadet and Junior (tho' not to be excluded from them)

(on holiday, folks.....and NOT raining at the minute, but brain still soaking......or is that excess of lovely Rev James (yummy brew)):drink:

Andy W.
-6th August 2003, 21:31
Tigger, thank you perhaps we will, we might have come this year but it coincided with the trip to Dieppe which was an experience in itself ( a good one I might add). French are pretty good, we were in Bordeaux the next weekend and it was clear from both events just how much support and money sport in France gets from the local authorities and perhaps more importantly how much civic pride goes into organising a 'local' sporting event like a 9-15 year olds fencing competition. (Obviously the money has to come out of one's taxes to pay for it though!)
Money might be the root of all evil but it is also probably the root of sporting success these days. I've seen discussion elsewhere of extra BFA fees to fund UK fencing success. We've been to the Olympic centre at Upper Heyford, a great site with huge potential seemingly wasting away due to incompetence in the governing bodies. LP seems to be putting time and money into junior fencing to make it enjoyable through the LPJS, whereas Premier the competition seems (to me) to be the be all and end all.

National ranking system is an ok idea, but we find it hard enought to get to three LPJS events and same number of premier series each season (cost, distances and time), so unless there was a point to amassing ranking points at 11 years of age (other than parental vanity as my daughter is only there for the event and the socialising) I feel it might be another stressor we could do without. Its bad enough at some competitons with only medals at stake, I could see people falling out big time if rankings came into the equation as well?

tigger
-7th August 2003, 10:01
Money might be the root of all evil

Correction to your quote - LOVE of money is the root of all evil...very different!

I take your point about travelling, stress etc.

Firstly, there would be no need for a great deal of material change to have an offical ranking in each age group. The LPJS already provides a rough, unoffical ranking. All that would be needed would be to formalise the use of the LPJS into points providers for GB rankings, and change the GB Youth Championships age group so these points can be added too. There may be 1 or 2 other comps that could be used too, but again I'm only familiar enough with sabre to comment.

There are a number of distinct advantage to official age group rankings:

Funding: I think it would be easier to raise funds locally if you could say 'x is the British number 3 U13 epeeist'. In my experience of fund raising, local councils and grant providers in general want hard facts and figures that they can use to justify their spending. Clubs could also say 'we have 2 of the British top 5 U13 sabreurs', or whatever, to help justify grant applications.

Development: It would be a useful (though not the only) tool for the indentification of future talent at an early stage. It would also provide a method for selecting fencers for training camps discussed earlier in this thread.

Internationals: It could be possible to develop international matches in all age groups - GB vs France say, holding U11, U13, U15 and U17 all at once. Certainly in sabre, minime squads are selected for foreign trips, and an official ranking would provide a fairer basis for selecting these squads.

Opens: A ranking would help greatly in identifying U13s who are able to hold their own in open events (again this was discussed earlier in this thread), and there could be exceptions to the U13 rule for say the top 5 U13s in each weapon to enter opens.

Keith.A.Smith
-9th August 2003, 22:53
Dear All,

Just navigating my way around this forum and have come across the Youth Section.

I started with the enormous help of Barbara Paul the LPJS Epee series with the Whitgift epee event. I now run this and also a sabre individual and team on the following day and the kids love LPJS competitions.

In the past the foil series went through a very nasty period when used directly for selection and certain coaches got a little over excited and Barbara despaired.

The aim of the series is to give kids a good days fun. Some of course take it more seriously than others but usually the atmosphere is good, parents etc are supportive and people volunteer to referee.The series was originally only for foil and has grown enormously and British fencing owes LP a great debt of gratitude for what they have done.

The BYCS pre-date the LPJS and were the only Youth event. They incorporate a regional qualification system, which some feel is very important to fencing and others do not.I iamgine the ages were based on school ages and ceratinly the date line used to be 1st September. The Under 18 competition was to give kids in their last year of school something to fence in.

Youth fencing is administered by the BFA Youth Committe set up before my time and only really responsible for the BYCS and the Junior Home International. The latter used to be a really big deal and then next stage was the World Youth. There was no Cadet Worlds in their own right till 1992 in Bonn. (I know as I was the Team Manager).

The weapon committees have the responsibility for looking after all levels of fencing in their weapon.

Rankings. All the weapons have to use the same World Championships selection system as it is set by the BFA International Committee. However, sabre also run a national ranking list which includes all events, so that everyone can get on the list. Men's epee have a secondary list incoporating more events to allow for selection for Cadet internationals but not for the world championships. In reality those selected for the cadet worlds and even more so the Junior Worlds require good open and international results. Indeed at Junior level you have to achive a last 32 at a FIE A grade to qualify.

In one of the reports someone asked do the BFA estrablishment care about Youth Fencing? We have now organised all the BYCS at foil onto one wekend and have an epee and sabre weekend. With the greatest respect to some regions, this is much better organised than we sometimes had in the past. My thanks to Steve and Ismay Cowen for this. I also instituted a combined Cadet and Junior weekend, as I hasd run the epee and sabre for several years and the foilists said could they join in. I hope most people feel this combined weekend is a success. Not all Board members attend Youth events but many do and all are conscious that youngsters are quite naturally our future.Jon Salfield talk about the lack of referees and some appalling sabre refereeing at the BYCS. I think this is a continual problem. We need somehow to encourage people to referee. I know that at the BYCS I did all the sabre finals bar one, which is ludicrous. However, the small band who do travel to competitions do work extremely hard.

Jon Salfield talks sensibly about a Youth Manager to organise training etc for all 6 weapons. We have discussed this at the International Committee. To do it properly would require a budget and a salary for the Manager. At present we do not feel we have the available cash and are slightly caught in a cleft stick. We now soend 132,000 per year on Internatioanl fencing. When I tok over in 2000 it was 60,000. We have gained extra funding from UK Sport and the BOA because of our improved international results (at Junior Level the results have improved enormously over the past 3 years) but we need to maintain this level to keep our funding. We are trying to get 40,000 from Sport England for Potentail Internationals and if this ever arrives it would pay for a manager and training. WE are in the hands of our political masters on that one.I totally support the idea but at present we cannot afford it.

Questions.

1. Who is in favour of changing our age groups to Under 11, Under 13, Under 15, Under 17, Under 20?

2. Would you make entries open or by regional qualification? If you abolish regional quailification might this not hit regional funds and also regional fencing?

3. What would you say to those Under 18 fencers who have lost their GB Championships and are not good enough for Under 20 standard fencing.

4.If you count all LPJS competions and the GB equivalent age group for a National Ranking at say Under 11, Under 13, Under 15 etc, how do you preserve the friendly nature of what Barry has said he wants mainatined?

5. Do you feel LPJS is really tough enough at Under 17 level to count for anything other than the series? ( in the past the argument was if you wanted to go to ther World Champs you had to try and make your mark in Opens and Cadet Internationals)

6. Would you be in favour of us establishing an Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15 National ranking based on the LPJS and the equivalent GB Championships?

These questions are not meant in a negative way. I am genuinely interested to se what people have to say.

Hope this email is not too long.

Keith

PM1
-9th August 2003, 23:48
Keith - brilliant posting!!! Thank you. I second your comments about Steve and Ismay, and all those wonderful refs, God bless 'em....

As for your questions, my immediate and mostly unconsidered responses (as mum to a just 15 year old) would be:

1. Yes - if this is for BYC's - the <17 is fine, how about an <19?. I think the moot question is qualification date - if it's 1st Sept, <19 should cover all yr 13s.

AND whether this comp is still seen as a comp seperate from Cadets and Juniors. If it IS, then <11, <13, <15, <17, <19. Qualification date same as PSC.


2. Regional qualifications for BYCs - if nothing else, regions have to hold ONE competition for their youth...

3. If they are still at school/6th form college, they could do the <17/<19. That's if this is run as a seperate comp, etc

4. easy - you don't count them all - even the LPJS system doesn't require a fencer to go to all the comps for a particular weapon. In epee, 4 are nominated for overseas comps rankings, and thier multiplyer is different for each age group, and always no more than .5. LPJS uses the best 4 results, so if you go to 8, only your best 4 results are used. Anyway, people are there for the craic as well as the competition.....

5. No, not tough enough at <17, but probably because at that age the fencers who are going somewhere may be just that - somewhere else competing!! Not many LPJS comps do <17. Or <9 for that matter.

6. A qualified "yes". I think for all weapons cadet and juniors that attendance at the nationa champs is obligatory: it can't be for the BYC age groups if they are to be regionally selected, can they?? AND - we'd have to decide which the qualification date is for ALL such ranking comps, as they would have to be consistent.

Just a few ramblings....brain got to be back in gear for work on Monday after 2 weeks off .........ho hum....;) ;)

tigger
-11th August 2003, 22:48
In reply to Keith's questions.

1. Who is in favour of changing our age groups to Under 11, Under 13, Under 15, Under 17, Under 20?
90 % of people I've spoken to

2. Would you make entries open or by regional qualification? If you abolish regional quailification might this not hit regional funds and also regional fencing?
FAIR POINT - QUALIFICATION

3. What would you say to those Under 18 fencers who have lost their GB Championships and are not good enough for Under 20 standard fencing. GET BETTER (OR TO BE KIND, LIKE PM1 U19 EVENT)

4.If you count all LPJS competions and the GB equivalent age group for a National Ranking at say Under 11, Under 13, Under 15 etc, how do you preserve the friendly nature of what Barry has said he wants mainatined? YOU DON'T HAVE TO COUNT ALL LPJS, AND LPJS RANKING IS ALREADY HOTLY CONTESTED AND VIEWED BY MANY AS AN UNOFFICIAL NATIONAL RANKING. YOU COULD FOLLOW THE SABRE LEAD AND HAVE CADET EVENTS (LIKE BRISTOL AND STRATFORD CADET SABRE) WHICH YOUNGER FENCERS CAN DO.

5. Do you feel LPJS is really tough enough at Under 17 level to count for anything other than the series? ( in the past the argument was if you wanted to go to ther World Champs you had to try and make your mark in Opens and Cadet Internationals)
I DON'T THINK LPJS SHOULD COUNT OWARDS U17 RANKINGS. THESE GUYS CAN ALREADY DO OPENS

6. Would you be in favour of us establishing an Under 11, Under 13 and Under 15 National ranking based on the LPJS and the equivalent GB Championships? YES YES YES!

pinkelephant
-12th August 2003, 13:18
Question 2

Most regions do not make money from their qualification event - indeed, in the North West if we didn't have free use of a hall we would lose money. As it is, on our sabre/epee day last year only one poor child didn't qualify, though this was not the case with foil.

With numbers as they are, I would suggest qualification through regions for U11, U13 and U15, with open entry for U17 and U20 - in other words, leave Cadet & Junior Nationals as they are, but change BYC to U11, U13 and U15 only.

As far as using LPJS results for Cadet ranking is concerned, at men's epee the U17 field IS strong at the nominated events, although I know this is not the case at foil. The points are unlikely to affect even selection for foreign competitions, but they DO enable younger/less experienced fencers to get a foot on the ladder, and consequently help a great deal with motivation. I'm pretty sure this is also the rationale behind Men's sabre's use of the LPJS results. It allows U13 and U15 fencers to measure their progress relative to the "big boys" as well.

randomsabreur
-12th August 2003, 17:07
1. Possibly, the one problem is the U18 and U16 etc fit better with other school sports, or at least they did when I was at school.

2. I think that regional qualification is a good idea for the BYC type competition, because it will make people try their hand at a national level competition if they qualify and they may then be encourage to take part in other competitions in the future. Also, qualifying to represent a region is a tangible achievement that can be publicised in a school and can be encouraging in itself.

3. I think that the BYCs and their regional qualifiers are a useful stepping stone for people who have started competitive fencing late. Although the top end is good, there are a large number of less experienced fencers which is not the case in most opens and the U20 nationals, and most people would at least get a few hits. in answer to Tigger, everyone has to start somewhere, and there are no U19 events and the University novices are no good for those who do not go to university.

4. There is already some fierce competition and rivalry in the LPJS events I have been to and all of the MS finals that I have seen have been hard fought. I do not think that, for sabre, anything would change, although I have no experience of the other weapons.

5. The problem seems to me to solve itself by the fact that the NIF counts are never high enough that the results count for the highest ranked fencers. it is a great encouragement for new competitors to see themselves appear on a national ranking list and it can encourage people to keep up the sport.

6. yes, and I would even volunteer to help or referee.

tigger
-18th August 2003, 09:00
If you combine this whole idea with my other proposal of having 2 levels of senior competition then you have a stepping stone for the U17s, U19s to get into senior events. For those of you that didn't read that thread, the idea was to have a premier league and 1st division with promotion and relegation. The major opens would be come premier league events, only open to the top 50, with the smaller opens being division 1 events. This would mean that any people (of any age) coming into open tournaments for the first time wouldn't meet anyone from the top 50 until they made it into the premier league. You could promote, say, the top 10 from division 1 and relegate the bottom 10 from the premier every 3 or 6 months.


. Possibly, the one problem is the U18 and U16 etc fit better with other school sports, or at least they did when I was at school

I'm utterly convinced that to get rid of U16 and U18 would clarify the whole system




With numbers as they are, I would suggest qualification through regions for U11, U13 and U15, with open entry for U17 and U20 - in other words, leave Cadet & Junior Nationals as they are, but change BYC to U11, U13 and U15 only.

Good call

3 Card Trick
-18th August 2003, 09:57
With numbers as they are, I would suggest qualification through regions for U11, U13 and U15, with open entry for U17 and U20 - in other words, leave Cadet & Junior Nationals as they are, but change BYC to U11, U13 and U15 only.

This is what I have been trying to push for two seasons.

As for the inclusion of some LPJS in Cadet rankings it was done at Epee precssely so that the younger fencers could get on the ladder.

Here's hoping.

:)

PM1
-18th August 2003, 21:17
Yup, I'd go with that - BYC's regional entry/ qualification for <11,13,15 etc.

Let's do it :grin: :grin:

Winwaloe
-28th August 2003, 17:08
I agree!