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haggis
-29th May 2006, 14:08
Does anyone know when the GB teams for the Europeans are announced?

Regards

Haggis

Boo Boo
-29th May 2006, 15:43
Does anyone know when the GB teams for the Europeans are announced?

Don't know, but selection should have been a couple of weeks ago...

Boo

Threestain
-2nd June 2006, 16:45
Here you go:

http://www.britishfencing.com/eurochampsteam06.html

kingbob
-2nd June 2006, 17:23
As you can see we have an exellent Womens Foil team.lol.

Boo Boo
-2nd June 2006, 19:04
As you can see we have an exellent Womens Foil team.lol.

Well you could say that there is NO WAY that our WF team will loose... ;).... although I think that is the idea :rolleyes:

Highlander
-4th June 2006, 15:12
Why oh why oh why

Everytime a big event comes up and the same idiots send less than half a team.

Can someone please tell me how,who and what we need to do to force this situation.
99% of fencers want to send a full team.

perhaps we could have a ballot for all BFA members?

Some ideas please.

Disillusioned fencer

Red
-4th June 2006, 21:07
Can anybody out there explain the logic behind the complete lack of fencers going?

pinkelephant
-4th June 2006, 22:00
Can anybody out there explain the logic behind the complete lack of fencers going?

http://www.britishfencing.com/seniorrankingscheme.htm

The qualifying standard is 2 x L64 in Senior A grades, povided those are of a sufficiently high standard and the fencer reaches the top 50% of those competing.

rory
-5th June 2006, 09:38
http://www.britishfencing.com/seniorrankingscheme.htm

The qualifying standard is 2 x L64 in Senior A grades, povided those are of a sufficiently high standard and the fencer reaches the top 50% of those competing.

Or 1xL32, same rules apply. (Katie Hendra, for instance, has a 32 at London as her only A-grade result, and is selected)

Keith.A.Smith
-5th June 2006, 20:20
Dear Highlander,

As one of the idiots who sits on the IC I thought I would reply.

We have a lower qualifying standard for the European Championships and that is 2 x L64 or 1 xL32 in a A grade provided you make the top 50% of the competition.

The European Championships is not an outing but a serious and competitive event. We thus want to send fencers who have in theory a chance to succeed.(all fencers of whatever standing can have an off day at a major championships). Please note that as of 2006/7 they will be tougher still as the FIE have awarded GPO points to the European Championships and so in 2007 they will be a key Olympic Qualifier.

We had a phase of many years when we sent anyone to championships and basically they achieved little or nothing. Since 2000 we have had much better results (including 2 Junior European Champions, MFT 6th, WS team 4th etc) because we have sent fencers who have some pedigree and have achieved some A grade results. Only this past weekend James Taylor clinched his place by making the top 64 in the Men's epee in Lisbon.

We wish to reward those who achieve. The A grades can give people the chance for expereince and qualification but the European and World Championships are for those who have qualified.

To be blunt it is not up to the fencers to decide who goes. I agree the membership can change the Board and President, give back the 880,000 per year we have negotiated from UK Sport and organjse a travel agency once again. Or we can try to gain the best possible results at high level.

Your choice!!

Finally I note once again I am prepared to defend my position and that of BFA under my own name and not simply call peole idiots under the cover of anonimity.

Keith

Boo Boo
-5th June 2006, 20:34
and organjse a travel agency once again.

Does the BFA still use "West End Travel" or have they changed travel agencies?

Boo

Foilling Around
-5th June 2006, 21:14
The fencers who go to the Europeans and Worlds are funded by BF and the grants they get from UK Sport etc. I feel that it is quite right that tough selection criteria apply to those who wish to take advantage of that funding.

There is an argument to say that those who achieve the criteria hould funded, but that a lower "B" standard should be set to allow people to fund themselves where not enough achieve the "A" standard. Keith's argument would be that this is encouraging "fencing tourism" - "Hey, I may not be good enough at European/World standard, but I'm the best you've got and I'm rich enough or can get enough sponsorship so let me go anyway."

There are plenty of A grades for fencers to earn their place. In fact A grades can be more difficult than the European Champs as the stonger nations in depth can only send 3 fencers.

Unfortunately no-one at WF has achieved results which suggest that UK Sport money should be used to fund them.

The problem comes when we have a couple of good fencers, but not enough to make up a team. Should we send a third fencer to give the qualified fencers the experience of the team events.

I make a distinction in this regard with the Cadet and Junior World Champs where I think we should send full teams to both. All fencers fund themselves at the younger age the experience is invaluable.

tigger
-6th June 2006, 08:43
No-one is arguing that the BFA has done well to obtain new funding, or that many good things have happened over the last few years!

Personally I think the problems arise when there is inconsistency or lack of continuity or lack of transparency

Last year Neil Hutchison and Alex O' Connell didn't achieve qualification for the Worlds. Both went to the worlds (In my opinion a good decision) on the basis that they were young talents and the future of GB sabre (which I agree with).

Both fenced very well, Alex making it through the L128 and giving one of the world very best sabreurs a big scare in the L64. Unfortunately 9 months later neither is considered good enough to go to the Europeans...are they no longer the talented yougsters and the future of GB sabre that they were a few months ago? has policy changed? Did they have specific targets to meet this year to continue to be given some leeway? Both have 50% qualification during a time when Alex is compleing his A levels and Neil has his finals and so neither was able to complete a full programme (or anywhere near) of World Cups.

I consider it a very odd decision not to send these two talented young fencers, and give all three of our best sabreurs the opportunity to gel as a team.

Jon Salfield (my real name!)

JulianRose
-6th June 2006, 11:32
Jon Salfield (my real name!)

Thanks Jon. i think i had managed to guess this already.

mendacious dog
-7th June 2006, 10:31
I think its quite a tough situation for all concerned. As Keith says there is a commitment by the BFA to send fencers who have a chance of succeeding, but then again as he points out everyone can have an off day and thus its surely possible that a British fencer could put out a very high seed over 15 hits (and thus get a great result). Note that the definition of 'success' at the Europeans is not exactly concrete in this instance... L64? L32? L2...?

Fencers themselves would argue that if they dont get the chance to go to big competitions such as the Europeans then they will never get the chance to prove this theory right, but of course the BFA cannot afford to subsidise fencing tourism at any of the weapons.

However, recent domestic competitions have illustrated that British fencers are willing to spend more money on entry fees if they will get a cash prize for winning. Is it possible for us to organise the British Championships (or some such large competition) such that instead of a large cash prize the winner or final two get the chance to travel to the Europeans/Worlds...? This way the victors would have proved that they can pull out a good result on any given day, and the fencing community as a whole would feel that there is at least some way of getting to the party.

Of course problems might occur when the two finalists are both already qualified, but I guess we cross that bridge when we come to it!

Any comments?

Woooooof

(Chris Farren if you want me to be un-anonymous)

cesh_fencing
-7th June 2006, 14:07
I agree with Chris, a place in the Worlds/Europeans for our National Champions will make the Nationals even more prestigious.

I am sure there are not many sports that will not even send their National Champion to these events (especially if a full team has otherwise not qualified). That person has proven their ability and especially their ability to peak for important events.

I am not saying this for myself as it would not be put into force for this year, however it would be a great carrot for competitors.

pinkelephant
-7th June 2006, 15:11
I don't think it would be right to select on the basis of one competition - especially when that competition is by definition against only domestic fencers whereas fencing internationally is vastly different. We all know about the vagaries of the DE system where one person can get a relatively easy ride through and another can meet their particular Nemesis very early on (Cadman/Lane in the 128 at Bristol, for example). This is particularly so when the National Championships is a full 12 months before the European Championships - a lot can happen in that time.

Threestain
-7th June 2006, 18:58
I believe that the vagueries of the DE system are reducing, mainly due to improved performance in the poules by the top tiers of fencers (which is shown by improved performance overseas), and the huge size of competitions, which reduce the competitiveness of the poule rounds for the top fencers. Bristol was an exception, mainly due to the fact that I had food poisoning and should have stayed in bed. Whilst I managed to fence in the DE, it would not have taken someone of Tom's calibre to knock me out!

Highlander
-8th June 2006, 09:46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith.A.Smith
To be blunt it is not up to the fencers to decide who goes. I agree the membership can change the Board and President, give back the 880,000 per year we have negotiated from UK Sport and organjse a travel agency once again. Or we can try to gain the best possible results at high level.

Your choice!!

Keith
This has nothing to do with the money you have raised. It has to do with sending a full team. It realy is simple, all those who reach the standard get funded and those who don't reach the required standard don't get funded.

We then have a full team in every weapon consisting of the best fencers in Britain who can gain experience and bring it back for everyone to learn from. Keith one of the problems is people like Kruise have done fantastic on the world stage but noone at home benefits from his experience due to the fact he never competes against anyone in the Britain. What we need for us to improve as anation is more and more fencers having experience on the world stage and comming home and fencing in open competions talking about their experiences and probable fencing with a different style aswell.

To conclude Keith.
Sending a full team would not cost British fencing anymore money. The results would at least be the same as sending less than half a team. But would probably increase our overall world ranking as a nation. So what Keith is the downside.

Threestain
-8th June 2006, 16:44
why would anyone who is competitive in the way Richard is, hinder his development by competing in the open competitions? Other than for the love of the game of course. Hopefully, now we have hugely over-subscribed opens, and moves are underway to create a better system (with tiering etc, or whatever actually appears after the review), which will encourage people to compete domestically (if it doesn't interfere with/improves their schedule), without the fear of damaging their technique.

However, I do feel that full teams should be sent whenever possible, as this is the only realistic way to qualify for the olympics, and merely turning up in the team event is a start which gives points. Then gradually improvements will come. Maybe in time for the other weapons at 2012 to have a prescence.

Aer
-8th June 2006, 16:48
Hopefully, now we have hugely over-subscribed opens, and moves are underway to create a better system (with tiering etc, or whatever actually appears after the review), which will encourage people to compete domestically (if it doesn't interfere with/improves their schedule), without the fear of damaging their technique..

A tad OT but even so.... whats happening with this review?

Australian
-8th June 2006, 18:06
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith.A.Smith
To be blunt it is not up to the fencers to decide who goes. I agree the membership can change the Board and President, give back the 880,000 per year we have negotiated from UK Sport and organjse a travel agency once again. Or we can try to gain the best possible results at high level.

Your choice!!

Keith
This has nothing to do with the money you have raised. It has to do with sending a full team. It realy is simple, all those who reach the standard get funded and those who don't reach the required standard don't get funded.

We then have a full team in every weapon consisting of the best fencers in Britain who can gain experience and bring it back for everyone to learn from. Keith one of the problems is people like Kruise have done fantastic on the world stage but noone at home benefits from his experience due to the fact he never competes against anyone in the Britain. What we need for us to improve as anation is more and more fencers having experience on the world stage and comming home and fencing in open competions talking about their experiences and probable fencing with a different style aswell.

To conclude Keith.
Sending a full team would not cost British fencing anymore money. The results would at least be the same as sending less than half a team. But would probably increase our overall world ranking as a nation. So what Keith is the downside.



the point is that the europeans and world championships are not about getting experiance. They are there for the highest level athletes to get good results. Therefore only the people that have met the qualifying standard should go.

As far as i know full teams are sent to Grand Prix events and some senior world cups. This is where you get the experiance.

Threestain
-8th June 2006, 21:31
European Championships do not count towards world ranking and so there is no benefit in sending a team to make up numbers. I was refering to the Grand Prixs, which this year have been well attended which is good - both in terms of getting a team together and ranking.

People seem to be treating the Europeans much like any other comp. It's not in the same way that the European Champs in football are not the same as Premier League. Its the only competition where the top 16 ranked fencers have to compete in the poules. This makes the poule rounds very tricky both for you and them. It also leads to incredibly arbitrary DEs, all of which are tough, and seeding doesn't matter - if you're number 1 in the world, you never do poule fights, so you might well end up 2/6 scrape through to the DE and annihilate some poor guy.

Australian
-8th June 2006, 23:26
European Championships do not count towards world ranking and so there is no benefit in sending a team to make up numbers. .


actually they do now...

Threestain
-9th June 2006, 09:15
Really, I must not have paid attention this year then. Fair enough. Tricky to see how a closed competition will count for world ranking points. Difficult enough when just going for prestige...

Boo Boo
-9th June 2006, 11:35
Really, I must not have paid attention this year then. Fair enough. Tricky to see how a closed competition will count for world ranking points. Difficult enough when just going for prestige...

All the zonal championships will count for world ranking points (so the "Asia Games" and "Pan American Games" etc. will too)

Boo

Keith.A.Smith
-9th June 2006, 14:56
Derar All,

The European Championships will not count till the 2006/7 season, so next year very important for Olympic Qualification. They will count like a GP event.This is the last year of the Continental Championships being free of FIE control.

Keith

Highlander
-9th June 2006, 20:40
Keith would you please point out the downside of sending a full team from my previous post?

Highlander

haggis
-9th June 2006, 22:32
Keith would you please point out the downside of sending a full team from my previous post?

Highlander

If you had been paying attention to Keith's many previous posts on this matter on this forum over the last couple of years or even Australian's neat summary 4 posts earlier you wouldn't need to bother with your pursuit of Keith's response.

To give a short and less diplomatic response to your question: Britain no longer sends fencers to World Championships and Europeans who have no chance of achieving a worthwhile result. UK Sport gives us hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to pursue this demanding but worthwhile qualification standard. Clear??

regards

Haggis

p.s. please pm me if this isn't clear enough

Highlander
-11th June 2006, 12:41
Haggis

It is clear what the policy is.
But the policy has to be changed and it IS about getting experience and I would like to hear it from the Keith what is the downside. Keith has answered a previous point this is a direct question:
What is the downside of sending a full team with no extra expence to British fencing to the world and European championships?

Highlander

Threestain
-11th June 2006, 13:34
why has this policy got to be changed?

a) you do realise that over the last few years we have made SUBSTANTIAL improvements across the board in terms of results and standards.

b) funding only comes if results come. It is not impressive to say 10% of our team made it out of the first round if 2 out of 20 do. It is more impressive to say 100% made it out of the first round if it's 2 from 2. Finite resources mean you have to earn the money first. Even if you only fund the qualified members you can't really turn around and say - look these are the ones we fund they did well, but these others, who we sent and therefore reckon are just as good did rubbish. Doesn't look good does it?

Just look at Scottish and English rugby this weekend - sides in transition and all that - still looks bad to get whipped abroad.

Foilling Around
-11th June 2006, 15:28
Haggis

It is clear what the policy is.
But the policy has to be changed and it IS about getting experience and I would like to hear it from the Keith what is the downside. Keith has answered a previous point this is a direct question:
What is the downside of sending a full team with no extra expence to British fencing to the world and European championships?

Highlander

Pardon me, but I object to someone not being good enough to make the grade, but being able to pay their own way, what about those who can't afford to.

Let's face it, even making L32s to qualify for E and W Champs is actually just going for the experience. If you are not making L16 or L8 then you are not in the realms of medals.

Getting experience to gain the right to go to the Champs should be through A grades (at adult level). We are not in "Eddie the Eagle" territory here - you are the best we've got so even though you are not up to world standard you can go anyway.

Australian
-11th June 2006, 16:07
a post from Keith from a while ago addressing a similar issue:


Dear All,

I think getting experience at A grades and Cadet internationals is one thing but going to a full world championships just for the experience is not necessarily the best of ideas unless there are clear grounds for sending the person such as age, potential etc.

We have rather more world and european championships than many sports. Many do not have a world championships every year as we do nor a european championships each year either.We do have 14 A grades or GP at senior level per weapon to allow for experience and aslo many B grade internationals.
At cadet level entries to internationals are not limited (except by logistics) and from next season Junior /SeniorA grades will be open to 12 fencvers per country, so plenty of experience can be gained.

To use Sports Council language, the A grades etc are process goals (ie. competitions to gain experience etc) and gthe World Championships, European Championships and Olympic Games are outcome goals (namely where you go to get a good result from all your training and experience gained in A grades). They are only for the very best.

The European Championships are about to become harder in my estimation now that the FIE has awarded them GP points. This will, I think, ratchet up the strenghth.

Keith

Highlander
-11th June 2006, 17:26
I think you are missing the point.

We need people who regularly fence in opens to have expeience of fencing the very best and bring that back with them to improve themselves and others.

It's like someone with little experience going for a job and being told comeback when you have experience and I'll employ you. If noone employs them they can't gain experience. If it does not cost anything to british fencing what is the downside. we have improved some of our world results dispite this policy it can't be because of it. It's all a bit short sighted this policy. Fencing is gaining momentum in this country and we should support that by sending the best fencers we have to the world stage we should not be frightened to have people not quite making the grade first time around they and we can all learn something.

With regards to people who can't afford to go:
Perhaps we fellow fencers could start a fund to help those who have tried to quallify and put effort into home opens be able participate at european and world hampionships. Then we can send a full team which represents us.

Lets not be affaid to change or to have poor results at first on our way to greater improvement.
And lets not be affaid to send a full team.

Highlander

pinkelephant
-11th June 2006, 17:38
I think it is you who are missing the point; you are ignoring the step between Opens and Championships. The experience you are talking about comes from A grades, which are often tougher than the Worlds/Europeans simply because you have up to 8 Italians, French etc. We do not impose a qualifying standard for attendance at those, other than position on the ranking list.

ChubbyHubby
-11th June 2006, 17:38
why has this policy got to be changed?

a) you do realise that over the last few years we have made SUBSTANTIAL improvements across the board in terms of results and standards.

True we may have made some improvements, but is that because of the system or in spite of it?


b) funding only comes if results come. It is not impressive to say 10% of our team made it out of the first round if 2 out of 20 do. It is more impressive to say 100% made it out of the first round if it's 2 from 2. Finite resources mean you have to earn the money first. Even if you only fund the qualified members you can't really turn around and say - look these are the ones we fund they did well, but these others, who we sent and therefore reckon are just as good did rubbish. Doesn't look good does it?


I think this is the real reason why we don't send full teams. Bad PR. Better no results than bad results.

I disagree about having to include the non funded fencers in the stats though. We are not saying "they are just as good", of course they are not otherwise they would be the funded ones!

Threestain
-11th June 2006, 18:24
I disagree about having to include the non funded fencers in the stats though. We are not saying "they are just as good", of course they are not otherwise they would be the funded ones!

So why send them? That is the question that would be asked. Just because you don't necessarily present the data on their competing doesn't mean that someone can't go and look and say - hang on 2 GBR people didn't compete 4 did. Who are they. If they're not good enough they shouldn't go, if they then they should be funded.

I didn't qualify this year for the Europeans, therefore I don't deserve to go. Case closed. Is qualifying tricky? Yes. Is it impossible? No. Does making the required standard have any bearing on results at the Europeans? Yes, it does actually. For two reasons - One: if you qualify and are selected, by definition you have been training and are in the required form etc. in the current season. Two: if you don't qualify, but are selected to make up a team just for the hell of it, this comes as a bit of shock and you won't be as well prepared nor as targeted - it means your training plan and results and future goals are put out of whack. Sending teams to make up numbers reminds me of a phrase: "Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should".

ChubbyHubby
-11th June 2006, 18:44
So why send them? That is the question that would be asked. Just because you don't necessarily present the data on their competing doesn't mean that someone can't go and look and say - hang on 2 GBR people didn't compete 4 did. Who are they. If they're not good enough they shouldn't go, if they then they should be funded.

When I said "funded" I meant the 4 or 5 fencers that are funded by UKSport etc, not fencers going to the WC having their expenses paid.

If you are saying people who qualify should be funded (as in receiving funding for their training, living expenses) by UKSport and people who don't shouldn't, I totally agree with you. It is then up to BF to decide what the qualificiation level should be so the right people get funded.

I was really trying to answer Highlander's question of why full teams aren't sent, the real answer to which is the PR issue, whether they are "good enough" or not, or the "best we have" etc just seems to be a secondary issue.

gbm
-11th June 2006, 18:45
In Britain, where much of the training of competitors comes from competing, have people have gotten confused over what constitutes training? If you looked at the people regularly making L8/16s at A grades (even L32s?), surely most of their training is done with their coach(es) at home. To these fencers, surely the important thing about the Worlds/Europeans is not experience, but their result and nothing but winning? Would they not be training sufficiently frequently that the experience from a single competition is not really that important in their schedule?

At the end of the day, how can sending people to lose 6 fights to 5, no matter how good the opponent, and then get cut, possibly constitute significant experience?

The problem is that the qualifying standards ARE very high - for unfunded, unsupported fencers. The answer is surely not to lower the standard, but to improve the support - ideally making two L64s at A grades shouldn't really be a problem for our top fencers? Whereas for an unsupported fencer I can understand this being very difficult.

ChubbyHubby
-11th June 2006, 18:52
ideally making two L64s at A grades shouldn't really be a problem for our top fencers?

Two L64s is a fair standard to aim for, no question.

But what about I think for the WC a L16 and L32? How many of our fencers can realistically stand a chance of doing that. Not many. How many get close to it? No many. If you apply the L16/L32 standard as a standard for "good enough" then you wouldn't have many countries competing at the WCs!

JulianRose
-11th June 2006, 22:49
Keith

First of all thank you for taking the time to reply. Personally i find this very interesting reading!!

I think i can say i wholely agree with all the major points of this.

One question. Could you explain the selection camps? I am hopeful that i will be asked to attend, but just wonder what the influence on selection is from these camps as the term "selection camp" implies that they will be used for selection purposes? What other factors are going to be taken into account?

I understand if this is not information that is available to all, and look forward to the new structure being up and running.

Jules

Baldric
-11th June 2006, 23:40
Dear Highlander,

Here goes......

........ I know it is tough for those who try hard but do not qualify but life is sometimes hard.Remember some nations even abolished some weapons in their countries to concentrate all their resources a privileged few and some British Olympic Spports have alrady decided to completely write off some disciplines. We will be supporting all weapons.

Best wishes,

Keith

Firstly - GAV! can you please make Keiths post a sticky in the WC section of the forum?

Its not his first posting on the subject, and he must be getting bored with repeating himself.

I must admit that a year ago, I was of the same opinion as Highlander (I think many forum-ites were,) but I am persuaded both by Keiths arguments, and recent track record.

If mistakes were made, it was that this policy was not communicated very well. IMHO, several attempts to communicate it were less than helpful, both at the AGM and in the Sword, although they did help to set the tone. The clearest and most persuasive case has been made by Keith, posting on this thread.

Regards

Baldric

Keith.A.Smith
-12th June 2006, 08:53
Dear Baldric,

Thanks for your post. I have tried to make the case as clearly as I can and also to avoid some of the misinformation which does circulate.

I take your point about communication and Graham Watts as International Manager will certainly be talking to all the fencers involved. He will also be doing an article for the Sword to explain our new approach.

The truth is we have been negotiating with Uk Sport almost continously for thr past year and soe of the discussions have been confidential.

Best wishes,

Keith

Gav
-12th June 2006, 11:43
Firstly - GAV! can you please make Keiths post a sticky in the WC section of the forum?

Surely!

If things need stickifying then PM or email me. I'll jump to it much more quickly.

Ok, a new thread has been created. I've left it open so that people can comment, but if it gets out of hand I will, as threatened close thread.

I suggest that people read [controversial recommendation] the comment before posting any more questions.

Unfortunately the "split thread" admin option is not currently available which means I have moved a post that people have commented upon.