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27ab1c
-30th September 2005, 10:24
What do you all think about the value of LPJS under-17 and, to a lesser extent, under-15 competitions?

My daughter has become somewhat jaded with LPJS events in her first year in under-15s. She's doing reasonably well but finds she meets the same people in most events she attends - people who are now also entering opens - and she would prefer to meet up with her mates at opens where she gets the chance to fence a greater variety of people and with the lure of senior (or cadet) ranking points.

However, from the point of view of those less-experienced teenagers in our club, I can see the value of LPJS - until they come up against a cadet international who happened to fancy picking up a medal on a free weekend.

Baldric
-30th September 2005, 10:45
The reasons that you describe (plus calendar congestion) are the same as those that caused Baldric Jnr to stop going to LPJS, although she sometimes turns up to ref.

The ideal solution would be to grow the bigger LPJS older sections into proper Cadet competitions. (Perhaps Eton, Sherwood, Cambridge?)

This seems to be more or less what Epee has done.

27ab1c
-30th September 2005, 10:49
... with cadet ranking points attached.

Suddently it becomes more attractive.

randomsabreur
-30th September 2005, 11:54
Alternatively, or for starters at least, foil could have an "international selection" ranking list in the same way the other weapons do, and give points for LPJS on that. At sabre all LPJS are nominated for the general ranking list, and so far as I know, at epee, certain of the bigger ones are. At sabre, the U15s and the U13s are generally the biggest, although U11 isn't bad for size. Highest standard fencing is often in the U15s. U17 is generally very small.

Foilling Around
-30th September 2005, 11:58
This will turn into the same debate we have had elsewhere about a cadet circuit.

I have been running LPJS events for well over 10 years now and the value of the older events has diminished over the years in some weapons.

Reform of the under 17 fencing scene is both integral to and dependent on building up the base of young fencers in Britain.

27ab1c
-30th September 2005, 12:23
But back to my point: around a quarter of the top 100 women in the foil rankings (and the top 50, and the top 20) are under 17. However, only two of the top 100, as far as I can see, continue to regularly fence LPJS events.
So should there be higher rewards for entrants in LPJS under-15 and under-17 foil competitions, as randomsabreur says happens at sabre and to a lesser extent at epee? Or perhaps they should be afforded a sort of 'youth intermediate' status at foil to make it clear they are not very strong competitions. I tend towards the former, as I'm a fan of the LPJS, although my daughter disagrees and would scrap the age groups for anyone old enough to enter opens (this may just be a wish to get more kids into opens whom she can beat and increase the NIF by virtue of sheer numbers, however!).

AMC
-30th September 2005, 12:53
Originally posted by 27ab1c
But back to my point: around a quarter of the top 100 women in the foil rankings (and the top 50, and the top 20) are under 17. However, only two of the top 100, as far as I can see, continue to regularly fence LPJS events.
So should there be higher rewards for entrants in LPJS under-15 and under-17 foil competitions, as randomsabreur says happens at sabre and to a lesser extent at epee? Or perhaps they should be afforded a sort of 'youth intermediate' status at foil to make it clear they are not very strong competitions. I tend towards the former, as I'm a fan of the LPJS, although my daughter disagrees and would scrap the age groups for anyone old enough to enter opens (this may just be a wish to get more kids into opens whom she can beat and increase the NIF by virtue of sheer numbers, however!).
I have supported the LP series for as long as I can remember!
The U9/11/13 are ideal for introducing children into competitions. But if you are one of the top fencers moving into the U15 group it does not help your fencing when some of your less experienced opponents are doing BIG blade movements, in fact if you stay too long in the series it can make your fencing worst.

randomsabreur
-30th September 2005, 14:11
Originally posted by AMC
I have supported the LP series for as long as I can remember!
The U9/11/13 are ideal for introducing children into competitions. But if you are one of the top fencers moving into the U15 group it does not help your fencing when some of your less experienced opponents are doing BIG blade movements, in fact if you stay too long in the series it can make your fencing worst.

And you don't get inexperienced adults doing big blade movements in opens? You basically need to deal with whatever opponent comes along...

It seems that the problem is more pronounced in older categories of the girls' events than it is in the boys' events. A quick glance at the LPJS results (for foil) suggests that at U15 level there are about 3 times the number of boys than there are girls, while at U13 level the categories are more equal in size. I would submit (too much advocacy training lately) that this is more to do with the differences in the rates of physical development of the two sexes. There is relatively little difference in height between girls of 13 or 14 and adult women, while there is a generally a substantial difference between a 14 year old boy and an adult (21 in this context - given that boys generally continue to fill out until about then) man.

This has the following effect: Girls of about 13 or 14 are, given equal experience and technique, more than capable of holding their own against seniors, while boys of a similar age may lose to someone whose technique is markedly inferior because the technique gap is not quite sufficient to overcome a reach differential of up to a foot, and potentially also a marked difference in power. Obviously there are exceptions (e.g. minimelia), but in general, the disadvantage means that young cadets (i.e. U15s) are not generally competitive (i.e. L16 standard) in the men's weapons although a 6 foot tall 14 year old could well be an exception.

Comments?

AMC
-30th September 2005, 14:57
Originally posted by randomsabreur
And you don't get inexperienced adults doing big blade movements in opens? You basically need to deal with whatever opponent comes along...

It seems that the problem is more pronounced in older categories of the girls' events than it is in the boys' events. A quick glance at the LPJS results (for foil) suggests that at U15 level there are about 3 times the number of boys than there are girls, while at U13 level the categories are more equal in size. I would submit (too much advocacy training lately) that this is more to do with the differences in the rates of physical development of the two sexes. There is relatively little difference in height between girls of 13 or 14 and adult women, while there is a generally a substantial difference between a 14 year old boy and an adult (21 in this context - given that boys generally continue to fill out until about then) man.

This has the following effect: Girls of about 13 or 14 are, given equal experience and technique, more than capable of holding their own against seniors, while boys of a similar age may lose to someone whose technique is markedly inferior because the technique gap is not quite sufficient to overcome a reach differential of up to a foot, and potentially also a marked difference in power. Obviously there are exceptions (e.g. minimelia), but in general, the disadvantage means that young cadets (i.e. U15s) are not generally competitive (i.e. L16 standard) in the men's weapons although a 6 foot tall 14 year old could well be an exception.

Comments?

Yes I agree with the above, however if you are in the U15 group and can win most of your fights you do not gain anything by staying on. And no :( I don't have an answer to the gap between LP and opens.

PM1
-30th September 2005, 20:20
Originally posted by AMC
Yes I agree with the above, however if you are in the U15 group and can win most of your fights you do not gain anything by staying on. And no :( I don't have an answer to the gap between LP and opens.

..the answer may be a cadet circuit ( not going into it here, blah blah.)

As for ranking points coming from LPJS (a series I remain a firm fan of), my view is that all weapons should nominate all comps to rank. No favourites, none left out. As much of the country as you like is covered, and even newbies get onto the cadet list. barry has stopped giving "big" prizes to <17 now. But don't drop them, as there will still be some people who start to fence pre GCSE's, and they could do with comps.

We have to work on the middle ability group of young fencers: the newbies have LPJS, the "elite" (not the funded ones) have the international squads, but the middlies have nowt at the moment specifically to bring them on (except TA's). There are ideas out there, and some of us are working on them. More ideas always welcome.

But uniformity in applying LPJS results to cadet ranking points accros the series and weapons could be a nice gesture...

rugmike
-2nd October 2005, 10:25
Idon't think there's a huge amount wrong with the older sections (sabre, anyway) - I was once told, by an LPJS organiser. when I asked if he realised his event clashed with a "foreign" trip -"the series isn'nt meant for anyone good enough to go on an international"! Thats all the Kenten U-11's out , then!
So any 13's up brave enough to take on a cadet or open, then leave the field clear for fun/social fencers.
Most sabruers little'uns love doing a cadet - I can still see a certain 6'3'' facing up to one of our -4'ers. AND he didn'nt get the first hit! He talked about it for weeks !
And as the U-15ers get more size/confidence/skill they will do a cadet instead of a LPJS quite happily.
U-16'ers frequently make the last 32 at big opens, let alone minor ones, and even the L16 isn't unheard of.

PM1
-2nd October 2005, 17:21
Originally posted by PM1
[B
But uniformity in applying LPJS results to cadet ranking points accros the series and weapons could be a nice gesture... [/B]

..by that I mean by weapon captains of course, not LP, since LP have noting to do with who nominates which comp for which weapon (and would probably rather they weren't at all, since what they want the series used for is something like encouraging kids to fence....)

randomsabreur
-3rd October 2005, 11:36
But having them nominated means that you are encouraging people to fence. It is nice to be able to say that "I am 5th U11 in GB". It's not as though it is worlds nominated, just for the general international selection ranking.

Given that the large majority of the U11s and U13s who were active last year will have been selected for Kenten, it is likely that any LPJS that clashes with Kenten will not have many entries in the younger age groups. Most will go on their one international trip for the year.

Winwaloe
-3rd October 2005, 11:59
Can only comment on foil as Winwaloe primus has decided that A) he is a sabreur and B) comps are too much bother.

However, Winwaloe secundus (14) has dropped the LPJS in favour of opens etc. Reasons for doings so are new competition, senior competition, the opportunity to fence some of the best in the land and, perhaps, mainly the opportunity to build on experience and learn more. With age groups he knew he would always have a problem with two of his peer group as he really could not beat them. With the others he took his chances.
Opens have also opened up a whole new world to him (and with regards to modern foil, me as well).
He is now learning skills and attitudes that he would not have gained had he simply stayed with LPJS (or Premier). A long way to go, for both of us, but progress is there.

Looking at the results in the boys u15's there seems to be a few of the more usual names missing and this may have opened up opportunities for others. No surprise to see JD at the top!

I think that the youngsters do get tired of fencing the usual people. I recall one fencer who invariably predicted, at the start of the comp, the final results for his age group. He was really quite accurate.