View Full Version : Newcastle Novices Competition!!!

Shaolin Monkey
-28th November 2005, 11:56
Hello all, after several weeks of general talk with our athletics union, Newcastle fencing club is going to run a novice individual competition on 25th March 2006. Organisation is ongoing but a lot of us are working very hard and will be for some time to try and make this event as big a success as possible.
Currently our coach says that we can have access to metal pistes, new timings boxes, and extension lights. We are also thinking of getting in some qualified refs to preside so that the results are kept as fair as possible as many of our novices have found poor presiding to be a source of great frustration.
The basic idea is to have a competition with as many novice fencers as possible as a good stepping stone between small competitions and larger opens, with a difficulty level that isn't too intimidating, encouraging novices to keep up with the sport by experiencing the scale of a medium sized open.
It has fallen to me to drum up support from people and check the numbers of people that would be interested in such an event.
Provisionally we are thinking of holding an MF and WF competition with a capacity of up to 100 fencers in each weapon. At the moment we are thinking of the competition being for students but that could change to being more open to members of clubs from across the country.
Early days yet, but if anyone who is interested can PM me, particularly any club comittee members who are able to organise large parties of novices to come down to Newcastle for the competition. Anyone who has any feedback or ideas that could be put forward at club meetings for the organisation of the competition are welcome to PM me also.
We have a meeting tomorrow as regards the competition, so I will keep you all posted on any developments. Currently we are trying to decide what constitutes a fair level for this competition, 2 or 3 years experience. Again feedback is appreciated.

-30th November 2005, 01:31
I'd be happy to plug this to my class of beginners at Edinburgh Uni. I think you might be being a bit optimistic with 100 student novices though (particularly in WF) - for comparison the Scottish Student beginners tournament in February will probably struggle to get 30 even for MF - and that's for a well-established competition (admittedly it used to get 50ish several years ago) You can expect to have a lower takeup rate for a first-time comp - although with your location you are of course appealing to a slightly wider audience (realistically, Northern England + Southern Scotland - novices won't generally want to do a comp outside of a day's return drive) If you're really going for numbers, why not open it up to non-students?

I'd suggest 2 years as your experience limit (that's the definition used for the Scottish Beginners mentioned above). There are exceptions, but generally after that most novices have either dropped out of fencing or progressed to a stage where they'd just be humiliating beginners.

Shaolin Monkey
-30th November 2005, 08:25
Admittedly, 100 is a bit optimistic, but we have the capacity to have a competition for 100 fencers and our fencers as they go around regions fencing opens and BUSA matches are going to be plugging the hard sell. There appeared to be quite a few universities at the Warwick that seemed interested, even those as far away as Kent. We are trying to make the competition as large as we can but there is still lots to do organisation wise though it appears that on the day the comp will be run very fluidly behind the scenes.
Last nights meeting had a general feeling that two years experience would be the level, but there was no definite decision on the matter.
Unfortunately a lot of the details in organising the competition are also based upon the level of interest and yet the interest is based on the details of the organisation of the competition. Was chatting with the president of the club last night and he said that after Christmas he would be sending emails to all the clubs he could get hold of the contact details for.
In an effort to aid this process could anyone who is at a university that might be interested in attending the competition anywhere in Britain please send me (PM is probably best) the contact details of their university fencing club so that we can get an estimate of the level of interest, and contact you in the future.

-30th November 2005, 11:07
2 years experience should be the maximum allowed for a newbie. You get quite a few fencers with 2 years that can be quite the mean opposition at regular opens...

...speaking of, when will your 2 year cap be set at? Might want to go myself as well as some of the ladies and lads from Liv Uni :)

Shaolin Monkey
-30th November 2005, 11:20
Am seeing club pres today at BUSA match, will put forward general 2 year feedback to him, will put up the experience cap details up on tinternet as soon as I know whats going on. Silvercross can you give me the email address for whoever at Liverpool deals with this kind of thing as I couldnt find contact details on the BFA site yesterday.

-30th November 2005, 11:24
If it's at the uni, you're dealing with the Armourer (pitty my soul. I fix broken blades from people who have no notion of DISTANCE). You can just send a quick e-mail to the contact e-mail on the webpage (www.liverpool-fencing.com)and it gets passed on to the committee and to the rest of our newbie crop (which is about 15-20 his year). Most of our fencers are around the 1-5 year experience bracket, so I'd say off the top of my head up to 50-60% of us could go (after we tally expenses and stuff). :)

-30th November 2005, 12:39
We had over 70 people competing at Warwick, and more interested, but got to the point where if we had anyone else they'd have been fencing on the roof! :fencingsm I'd suggest 2 years as the cut off point, any more and people are likely to be making appearances on their Uni BUSA team, anyway. I think it falls during our Easter hols, but am sure I can threaten, I mean force, I mean, enthusiastically persuade, quite a few of our novices to mosey on up :) (I can PM our details if you don't still have them).

Shaolin Monkey
-5th December 2005, 12:42
Was that 70 per weapon or 70 in total?
There is a meeting tonight but the feeling that I've been getting is that we will have 2 rounds poules with everyone going through to the DE.

I will bring to the discussion tonight:
2 years being felt as better than 3
When will be experience cut off date eg 2 years by september 2005, January 06 or 2 years before the competition date?

As well as other concepts that I have, i will discuss how we will arrange accomodation for people coming from slightly further afield/ those who want to spend more than just the day of the competition in Newcastle.

Happy Fencing


-5th December 2005, 14:54
70 in total (think it worked out as about 42 men and 28 women), as we were restricted by hall size this year. We had a cut off date of no more than 2 years fencing before the competition, and trusted people to be nice and honest!

Good luck with the organising :)

Shaolin Monkey
-6th December 2005, 09:33
Right, summary of last nights meeting.
The experience level will be 2 years or less from the date of the competition. I.e. all of those who started fencing after 25 March 2004 will be eligible.
The competition will be held at Newcastle university sport centre on 25 March 2006 and is likely to become an annual event.
MF and WF only
10 entry fee per fencer.

We are currently trying to sort out:
Accomodation- we are going to talk to some local hotels, quite close to the venue to see if they can offer subsidies/sponsorship. We also have another card up our sleeves but need to get it sorted before we mention it.
Catering- we are going to talk to some local sandwich shops to see if any of them would be willing to set up a stall in the sport centre to save anybody having to go to the shops in their breeches.

There are other ideas such as an armourer and a fencing stall that are being sortedin the near future. It is likely that closer to the date when we get a better idea of how many people we are getting other details, such as how many refs we need to apply for will be sorted.

Shaolin Monkey
-6th December 2005, 09:44
Much more was mentioned at last nights meeting but the above points (wanted to edit this in but was after 5 minutes) are the ones that were agreed upon and can be sorted fairly soon.

If anyone has any other suggestions that they can think of e.g. whatever they have found annoying/lacking at certain competitions, whether you are a novice, intermediate or an advanced fencer, post them up on this thread and I will mention them at the next meeting.

Look out for the mad people at the BUSA individuals who should be handing out flyers with details on at the weekend.

Shaolin Monkey
-25th January 2006, 11:21
We will be having a meeting on Friday to discuss the production of entry forms for the competition and to go through other details, now that christmas has gone, its full steam ahead on the organisation of the competition and I will keep you all up to date on any details that unfold.

-14th February 2006, 10:50
Hey Gang.

Nice to see you guys at the MOFT this weekend.

Just to let you know, could you send me the details of the intermediate when you have them available? I will go ahead and pass them on to the club to see how many of our fencers would be interested.

I just found out as well that that weekend is the North West Regionals for fencing (in Blackpool), which might limit your entries from the NW.

However, I'd still recommend the event for some of our newer fencers, since beginner/intermediate comps are usually a good way of easing into the tournament scene.

Shaolin Monkey
-16th February 2006, 13:27
Greetings to all, a change has occurred in the plans for this competition, instead of it being a two year experience cap, the level has been increased to three. This was for the reason that we couldn't get insurance for fencers without BFA licences. As far as I am aware there will still be a prize for the best novice (person under 2 years experience) as well. The entry forms are finished and should be sent out to universities in the next few weeks. Anybody from a university that does not receive the entry forms, PM me with your e-mail address and I shall forward them to you.
Should be a good laugh so everybody get signed up, entry fee is 10.

Shaolin Monkey
-21st February 2006, 17:36
The entry forms have been put up on our NEW website, the URL for the forms is:

(hope that works)

Happy fencing everyone.

Any questions post them here or PM me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Shaolin Monkey
-17th March 2006, 08:38
Unfortunately, due to lack of interest, we have had to cancel the competition for this year. I think that this is due to several factors, mainly the need for BFA licences for the comp. We may try again next year as the foundations for what would have been undoubtably an excellent competition were laid this year, unfortunately there ws not enough time to finalise all of the details.
If anybody has any suggestions as to factors that they feel would be useful in a competition, no matter how trivial or weird (might regret that one), post them here and we might include them next year.
Many thaks to those who showed teir support this year, I will be around at Newcastle for some time to come so if anyone wishes to use me as a point of contact for the club, feel free to do so.

-17th March 2006, 16:17
Sorry to hear that the competition got cancelled, guys.

It was promoted quite well by all newcastle fencers I bumped into, and I quite liked the idea of a 'best beginner' and 'best overall fencer' trophies. Those were really good incentives for beginner/intermediate fencers to go.

Best of luck with the planning, and keep us informed. I'm sure our coach has already gotten in contact with you guys... (just read his e-mail...he has... :grin: )

Shaolin Monkey
-17th March 2006, 18:10
Was it Liverpool that phoned up our AU asking for a car parking space? Someone did, we just found out today from the guys that run the sport centre, before that we hadn't heard anything from anybody indicating that there was anyone coming which was why we decided that the competition should be called off

-20th March 2006, 16:15
Dunno, unless it was one of our renegade members...

I think our coach has been in contact with you guys about a possible friendly...

Shaolin Monkey
-21st March 2006, 12:23
Yeah I've heard about the friendly, our women's capt sent a very vague email about it (curse my not being in the inner sanctum of the club) as far as I'm aware there is something going on, though what, where, when and involving whom, I do not know. Is it just women or are the men playing as well, and will it be in Newcastle or Liverpool? (either way I'm sure there'd be a decent bit of apres-escrime banter and drinkage)
:starfight :cheers2:
PS Silvercross your PM box is full

-21st March 2006, 14:26
I don't have a clue. Letting coach and some of the other committee members get the details of that one sorted out. Will be available to lend my blade if it is needed (have sword, will travel! :grin: ).

BTW, thanks about the PM box, it has been taken care of. :)