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Gav
-8th February 2006, 08:24
One of the guys on Fencing.net has posted a 'flowchart' to explain passivity. I thought the rule was mostly easy to understand [apart from team matches] however I am reproducing his post here to be discussed.


originally by KD5MK
The last time passivity came up here, the existance of a flowchart to explain how to apply the rule was mentioned. Somebody (peet?) roughly said "it's a silly game that has a rule that needs a flowchart to implement. But it's also a silly game that has a rule that you have to actualy play the game".

In any event, I have obtained the flowchart (thank you Damon Scaggs) and converted it to a PDF, so here it is for everyone's benefit

Hudson
-8th February 2006, 08:31
Even still not everyone knows about the rule and some that do don't know it properly.
Saw a case on Sunday at Slough where the fencers thought the ref had to give a warning that he was going to call passive fencing.
Only called it once myself but come close a few times. I now have my own set of guidelines in my head about this rule now.
I would be interested to know what others would call for passive fencing.

For me its no clear offencive action from both fencers. (Just tapping eachothers blade dose not count as offfensive fencing) If this goes on for around 40-45 seconds i'd concider calling passivity. Many not seem long but to me when in a fight 20 seconds is a long tme to do nothing.

pinkelephant
-8th February 2006, 09:04
Unfortunately the flow chart is WRONG, as indeed is the term "passivity" - it is now "non-combativity".

When both fencers make clear their unwillingness to fight :

For the first time during a direct elimination bout, the referee will award a warning (yellow card) against each of the two fencers and will proceed to the next period, without the minute rest.

For the second time during a direct elimination bout, the referee will award a penalty hit (red card) against each of the two fencers and will proceed to the next period, without the minute rest.

For the third time during a direct elimination bout, the referee will exclude both fencers from the competition (black card) and they will be suspended from the remainder of the tournament and for the following two months of the current or forthcoming active season.

However, when both fencers make clear their unwillingness to fight for the first or second time during the third period of a direct elimination bout, the referee will award a warning (yellow card) or a penalty hit (red card) respectively against each of the two fencers and will proceed to the last minute of the time allowed for the bout. This minute, which will be fenced in its entirety, will be decisive and will be preceded by a drawing of lots to decide the winner should the scores be equal at the end of the minute.

6. Team competitions
When both teams make clear their unwillingness to fight:

For the first time during a match, the referee will award a warning (yellow card) against both of the teams and will proceed to the next bout.

For the second time during a match, the referee will award a penalty hit (red card) against both of the teams and will proceed to the next bout.

For the third time during a match, the referee will exclude both teams from the competition (black card) and they will be suspended from the remainder of the tournament and for the following two months of the current or forthcoming active season.

However, when both teams make clear their unwillingness to fight for the first or second time during the ninth bout of a match, the referee will award a warning (yellow card) or a penalty hit (red card) respectively against both teams and will proceed to the last minute of the time allowed for the bout. This minute, which will be fenced in its entirety, will be decisive and will be preceded by a drawing of lots to decide the winner should the scores be equal at the end of the minute.

The flow chart is wrong in that one now proceeds to the next period WITHOUT a minute break, one DOES award cards in the final period, and the penalty for a third offence is a BLACK card each.

J_D
-8th February 2006, 11:40
Having been carded for passivity in the poules at last years Nationals, I'd like a little more clarification if the reasoning was sound in that case:

Recently qualified FIE ref. Both fencers moving, working distance, with some feints to start to see how the other reacts. after 22s, the ref calls halt and cards both for passivity.

Does this sound correct?

pinkelephant
-8th February 2006, 11:55
Probably. But it no longer exists in pool fights - something M Roch has overlooked,no doubt. As with all these things,you really need to see it to comment.

kd5mdk
-8th February 2006, 19:03
The chart is not wrong. It is merely designed for use in the US, which applies different rules. I did fail to note that in my original post.

3 Card Trick
-8th February 2006, 20:28
The chart is wrong, and if the US are using the out of date rule, then they are wrong too. This rule has changed so many times in the last twelve months that having an out of date rule showing in a rule book is forgiveable, not applying the latest version is not.

Hudson
-8th February 2006, 21:01
To clear up things as i'm not sure. What is the current wording of the rule?

Australian
-8th February 2006, 21:04
Originally posted by 3 Card Trick
The chart is wrong, and if the US are using the out of date rule, then they are wrong too. This rule has changed so many times in the last twelve months that having an out of date rule showing in a rule book is forgiveable, not applying the latest version is not.


The US take a much longer time to update their own rulebook. This flowchart is correct for their competitions.

pinkelephant
-8th February 2006, 23:11
Originally posted by Hudson
To clear up things as i'm not sure. What is the current wording of the rule?

Read my post above - pasted in direct from the English version on the FIE website - which, of course, anyone who is actually interested in the rules could easily look up for themselves.

3 Card Trick
-9th February 2006, 09:33
I can only repeat PE's post. The current rule is to be found on the BFA website in the latest updates and is available on the FIE website. I don't really care if the US have not seen fit, or had time, to update their "Unique" version of the rules. What is being put forward from across the pond is now out of date and therefore WRONG.

The whole point in having the rules put on the web was to ensure that the up to date text was made available as soon as possible. Anyone reading this thread has access to the up to date text and by definition is capable of looking it up. Please use the information that people are taking the trouble to make available to you.

Gav
-9th February 2006, 10:23
Shall I pull this? I admit that I didin't properly grasp that this was out of date. I also have to admit to a certain amount of irritation. What is the point of having a governing body (no matter how unpopular) if some areas decide to apply their own local variations of the rules? This is a constant bugbear with me. It is irritating to see, and experience, the daft ideas that creep into people's heads as a result. If I have inserted another daft idea then I am slightly irritated - yes irritated - with myself!

J_D
-9th February 2006, 10:30
Originally posted by Gav
Shall I pull this?

I'd leave it Gav, if nothing else it highlights the situation and should remind people that our sport and its regulations are 'dynamic' and therefore we need to update ourself frequently!

annacattiva
-9th February 2006, 11:06
In defense of my local governing board (the USFA) what happens is, I believe, not that they decide to have their own rules, but usually just wait until the next meeting before adding any new rules to the U.S. Rulebook. One advantage of this is that we get to see any problems that arise from new rules before we need them. Another advantage is that the rules, say, for passivity, don't change every five minutes. There are advantages and disadvantages both ways. I think the problem here is not that the U.S. works this way, but that the rules for this keep changing and seem to get more and more complicated.

Anna

pinkelephant
-9th February 2006, 11:07
3 CT has just pointed out that the English version on the FIE website is lagging behind - the BFA website is more up-to-date (December version rather than November, which includes the bit about a 2 month suspension). It is the latest version which is posted above, however, just my information on where to download it which is wrong).

pinkelephant
-9th February 2006, 11:10
Originally posted by annacattiva
In defense of my local governing board (the USFA) what happens is, I believe, not that they decide to have their own rules, but usually just wait until the next meeting before adding any new rules to the U.S. Rulebook. One advantage of this is that we get to see any problems that arise from new rules before we need them. Another advantage is that the rules, say, for passivity, don't change every five minutes. There are advantages and disadvantages both ways. I think the problem here is not that the U.S. works this way, but that the rules for this keep changing and seem to get more and more complicated.

Anna

I hope the USFA applies the correct international rules for their FIE competitions, whatever they do domestically - otherwise they could be in deep water with the FIE observer.

Foilling Around
-9th February 2006, 12:06
Bl**dy stupid rule in the first place. A rule designed to get back at fencers who were annoyed at M. Roche's timings changes cannot be a good one.

It must be a first in international sport, a rule designed in a fit of pique!

You can't even argue that it is designed for TV because it must surely confuse no fencers.

Imagine the converstaion.
"OK now I understand the bout lasts 3 lots of 3 minutes or until one fencer scores 15 hits."

"That's right, unless the fencers decide not to fight each other in which case the fight is made shorter."

"OK so how much shorter?"

"That depends on when they refuse to fight each other"

"So what happens to the fencers who refuse to fight?"

"That depends on how often they refuse to fight each other."

OK, I'm off to watch football, at least even a boring 0:0 draw still lasts 90 minutes!!

kd5mdk
-9th February 2006, 17:25
Originally posted by pinkelephant
I hope the USFA applies the correct international rules for their FIE competitions, whatever they do domestically - otherwise they could be in deep water with the FIE observer.

Not having heard of any problems yet, I imagine it is rather like the BFA and 350N breeches.

MatFink
-9th February 2006, 17:38
Maybe the US rules are behind for the sake of TV. I watched the superbowl, and there was more commercial break than game. Every little pause was an excuse to sell something. Maybe if fencing wants to get on to tv in the states then the more opportunities to stop the action the better.

But seriously 3CT and PE have a good point. If you don't fence to the same rules of theory in home events what chance do you have abroad when they start throwing cards about and you don't know why.

The 350N thing is also a good point, but one of material, so less likely to catch out a fencer in quite the same way.

annacattiva
-10th February 2006, 09:50
BE- yes, they do apply the FIE rules at FIE competitions.

MatFink- I see no way that the US rule differences could be used for TV; first of all, nobody in the US that I know of broadcasts fencing. And yet again, we're not talking about having insanely different rules in the US. They just don't update the rules every time the FIE sneezes. So we're not talking about the US deciding that there will be a five-minute break in the middle of DE bouts in order to have a commercial break. As for competitors getting confused about rules- I imagine that anyone fencing at that level is perfectly able to keep track of the (very slight) differences. Passivity or non-combativity is a penalty under both sets of rules. Erm... don't do it and it doesn't matter which card you won't get.

3 Card Trick
-10th February 2006, 09:57
The rule existed before the incident which upset Mr Roch. It was a legitimate tactic at epee where you often sped to the last period when things really hotted up.

The current rule is the best compromise between the legislators and mr Roch that could be decently managed.

It is a shame that a rule designed primarily to deal with a situation prevalent in epee, got "Shanghaied" by a bunch of foilists. But, hey, it only takes a room full of foilists a nano second to work out how to swing things around for their convenience, trust me I was one once.

rory
-10th February 2006, 10:11
Originally posted by annacattiva
MatFink- I see no way that the US rule differences could be used for TV; first of all, nobody in the US that I know of broadcasts fencing.

And they say Americans dont understand irony.

Twohat
-10th February 2006, 11:26
Its a pity that the rules don't define "unwillingness to fight". It is open to wide differences of interpretation by referees. I know that referees like 3CT and PE will interpret it properly, but I have seen cases where other referees have called it when the two fencers are actually fencing, just noone has managed to find an attack for some time. At epee it is quite possible to feint, parry, and probe for ages without seeing a safe opportunity to go for a hit - in my view this isn't non-combativity, it is fencing, and referees are wrong to call a halt for it. I suppose we just have to make sure we throw a lunge in from a safe distance every now and then to satisfy these referees?

3 Card Trick
-10th February 2006, 11:42
The change of the heading for the rule from "passivity" to "non combativity" was in part to avoid incorrect calls from inexperienced and/or bored referees. I think "unwillingness to fight" is a pretty clear statement. I'm not sure that it really needs any more clarification.

If anyone is in any doubt they should ask for the views of our experienced international referees, not try to guess their way through. We are usually at most domestic Opens and some of us are approachable, I think! :)

haggis
-10th February 2006, 12:12
Originally posted by 3 Card Trick
If anyone is in any doubt they should ask for the views of our experienced international referees...We are usually at most domestic Opens and some of us are approachable! :)

With caution...and armed with a sharpened stick in case things turn nasty ;)

3 Card Trick
-10th February 2006, 12:13
Ouch Boss, I can feel that sharp stick right now.

annacattiva
-10th February 2006, 14:23
Originally posted by rory
And they say Americans dont understand irony.

No, perhaps someone could come sail over and explain it to us sometime over tea.

Apologies to MatFink- upon rereading I notice that lovely little "But seriously" which I had skimmed over previously; I'm so used to people (read: harebrained, business-minded novices) coming up with Brilliant ideas like that and people taking them seriously for way too long. Getting fencing on TV has become such a Holy Grail for some that they're willing to entertain the most ludicrous ideas.

3 Card Trick
-10th February 2006, 14:39
Take a tea leaf from the Indians (not the indigenous American ones) who managed up to two hours live TV for each finals night at the Junior Commonwealths.

Clearly we must all try that much harder to persuade the TV moguls that our sport is televisual.

MatFink
-10th February 2006, 14:40
I assume 3CT you mean be finding us around opens you mean both of us. We were a little tight on the ground last saturday.

Its amazing how many people have found this forum but still haven't found the link to your FIE rules on the same page.

(its the second icon from the left next to armoury)

Told you I was a little stirer.

Anna you must fence near me, as I am based in birmingham.

And that enough rubbish from me for a bit. Bye

Winwaloe
-13th February 2006, 16:47
extracted from a post by Gav

"if some areas decide to apply their own local variations of the rules? "


Let's face it that happens most of the time in fencing. I can think of one particular area where I am always convinced that the refs wrote their own rule book years (and I mean years) ago and have kept to it ever since. Then there is the "but that's the way we always call it at our club/section/region (delete where applicable). Then we have the " I've always called it that way, what's the problem?"

My favourite though is "Well we have an international ref/international fencer/former either of these two/ could have been one of those (again delete where applicable) and he/she calls it that way I'm sure (well at least I think I'm sure).

ihunter
-8th March 2006, 21:28
I know what non-combativity is and applied it during the semi Final of the 2005 World Student Games men's epee between Fischer, the olympic champion and Stephan Marek, the world cup leader. At 6-6 in the last period and with 50 seconds left they both took a step back and saluted each other, to promptly receive each a yellow card and an instruction that, after priority had been assigned they would fence out a full minute.
They didnt have a clue what was going on but they were not the only ones.
Our esteemed president M.Roch was heard to ask what was going on? to be told by the DT (including Keith) that the referee was applying the rule HE had introduced 2 weeks previously.
He didn't believe them and only when the rule was shown to him above his signature from the FIE website did he subside.

International refereeing can be such fun.

pinkelephant
-8th March 2006, 21:46
Nice to see you back on the forum Ian. I'm avoiding marking - what's your excuse?!

Bet you've never invoked passivity (as it was at the time) on 2 girlie sabreurs. I have! They were both stood staring at each other like frightened rabbits, too terrified to do anything. The passivity rule put them out of their misery (and mine).

MatFink
-8th March 2006, 22:03
Mr. Roch is not the only one who invents rules.

I remember refereeing the aforementioned Marek against Kulscar, they took passivity on the understanding that they only had to fence one more hit.

Having established that the whole thing was a misunderstanding on their part (the score was 13-13). The only options were to red card both (14-14) and dubious, let them bounce at each other for another minute or so without fencing, force on them a rule they didn't understand (which would have been totally against the spirit of the fight, it was genuine misunderstanding on their part), or just let them go to sudden death.

Having consulted with the DT :transport

We let them fight sudden death, this was the only solution that was in the spirit on the fight, and the intentions of the fencers.

Yes I was in the wrong, but surely what was worse is that a rule was envoked in an 'emergency' situation and two of the top fencers in the world hadn't got a clue it had happened.

Communication of these changes is often slow and confusing. Ian's example is certainly the best. The fact that no one had told Mr Roch the rule had changed (at his request and force through executive no doubt) leaves little chance that the rest of us will be able to keep up to date.

Well done Ian by the way, for being the only person on the planet (ok 3ct was probably there as well but dramatic effect and all that) to actually know the rule correctly when it mattered.

kd5mdk
-15th March 2006, 17:29
Ok, having talked to someone in the know, my understanding is the US will probably implement the FIE rule at the start of the next season, it being considered that a midseason rule change for something that was not at all an urgent issue was a bad idea. Assuming it hasn't been changed again by then.