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Thread: Selection choices- option A

  1. #1

    Default Selection choices- option A

    Option A (a ranking system from 3 identical qualifying events taking best 2 results) may superficially be attractive to fencers wanting more competitions. but it has a number of very significant problems.
    Financially it has the potential for being disastrous for BVF. This season there were a total of 246 entries for the Manchester Nationals competition, however the total for Bletchley was 156. As a consequence of this, BVF made a loss of £2700 on the competition. The fall off in entries was either an indication that many members were not happy with the new format and were voting with their feet, or the good attendance at Manchester was due to it being the ‘The British Championship’. Either way the prospects of a high attendance at next years 3 competitions are rather poor. The options would appear to be to increase the entry fee (£30 has been suggested), and/or not have any referees, hence relying on self refereeing for a selection competition. I believe either option will lead to a downward spiral in entry number and even more losses. This is one of the reasons why I voted for option C to be included in the vote by members and it may well have influenced other committee members.
    Due small numbers for each event combined with the suggested points system, in which the grading of the competition is only determined by the number of competitors and not their strength, a fencer winning the first 2 competitions could, in principle, still not qualify. Whilst this is an extreme example it does demonstrate that most fencers will have to go in for all 3 events to have confidence in qualifying.

    As with my previous post I unable to put this onto the Veterans Facebook page, and so I am happy for any member to paste this in to Facebook.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Have to say that I think the 3 options that have been given to the BVF membership are pretty good.

    I look forward to the result and the membership being able to put everything to bed on this issue for a couple of years.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  3. #3

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    Hugh Kernohan has posted on FB a criticism of the suggested points scheme under option ‘A’. The first part is copied below-There’s so much to argue over in this but the working party and the committee have distilled it down to a simple choice. However I think there is a deep flaw in the proposed ranking system in Option A. Using the size of the entry to determine the strength of the competition means that success in larger competitions is disproportionately rewarded. This undermines the purpose of the scheme to measure a fencer’s quality by their performance in nominated events.
    A competition with 32 entrants in an age category is not twice as hard as one with 16. To win the smaller requires victory in four DE bouts. To win the larger requires victory in five DE bouts. Therefore the larger competition can be considered 25% harder at best.


    I agree with Hugh, however there is another aspect that I think should be considered. There is only a relatively small pool of fencers, particularly in the older categories. Most of the stronger fencers will enter all 3 competitions to try to qualify, so any extra fencers in a competition with a larger entry are likely to be the weaker ones. Hence the strength of the competition of double the size will be much less than the 25% stronger suggested by Hugh.

    There are other aspects of the Working Group’s report which I take issue with. There were 76 submissions covering a wide range of issues and the replies were inevitably very unstructured. As has been mentioned on FB, a statement in the report said that the ‘A majority of respondents did not want the Nationals to be used for selection.’ I could only find 3 submissions explicitly stating this, but the report raised this number to 26 by interpreting statements such as I liked the format, (almost certainly referring to having DE as opposed to the overall system), as showing that they did not want selection from the Nationals. There was even reply B12 (part of the 26), which clearly wanted to go back to the previous system and included ‘Overall the old system seemed fairer and produced less anomalies and difficulties.‘

    It strikes me that the replies were interpreted to produce the results that were wanted by whoever penned the report and in particular that they did not want the Nationals used for selection.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    And why should an overall veteran championship count for selection?

    I see no reason for it having to be included if it's format differs from 'selection' events.

    I do think any of the choices are compromises, but compromise is usually the best way to get to the middle group that fits most.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    And why should an overall veteran championship count for selection?
    In the Worlds or the European teams our veteran fencers are likely to be up against fencers who are of a higher standard than at least most of the fencers in their age category. For this reason it makes sense to be using a competition of higher standard than the age group championship.
    It is exactly the same with all teams selected by British fencing (Cadet, Junior, U23 and Senior). Although the relevant category British championship is sometimes taken into account, it is results in competitions of a much higher standard that are crucial to selection.

    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    I see no reason for it having to be included if it's format differs from 'selection' events.
    Not sure what you mean by this? The format for the Nationals is close to the Worlds. I see no problem with havig the format for the age groups to be different.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    In the Worlds or the European teams our veteran fencers are likely to be up against fencers who are of a higher standard than at least most of the fencers in their age category. For this reason it makes sense to be using a competition of higher standard than the age group championship.
    It is exactly the same with all teams selected by British fencing (Cadet, Junior, U23 and Senior). Although the relevant category British championship is sometimes taken into account, it is results in competitions of a much higher standard that are crucial to selection.


    Not sure what you mean by this? The format for the Nationals is close to the Worlds. I see no problem with havig the format for the age groups to be different.
    This is where our views differ, I actually feel that keeping within age-groups for veterans is a good thing, as otherwise selections come down to much to luck on whether you draw someone in your category or not in the des. Especially with cat 1 not eligible for worlds, what would stop a teammate throwing a de to let their clubmate win so qualify at someone else's expense.

    Ultimately if categories are kept apart for selection purposes, all has to be faiir.

    Regarding formats, I mean the worlds are split by category so it is right that selection events are too.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    This is where our views differ, I actually feel that keeping within age-groups for veterans is a good thing, as otherwise selections come down to much to luck on whether you draw someone in your category or not in the des.
    I fail to see any logic to your argument. The fencers you meet in the DE are the result of the seeding which is based on 2 rounds of poules. The age is irrelevant. I can think of plenty of fencers in category 1 & 2 that I would prefer to have to beat rather than some of the cat 3 and 4 fencers.
    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Especially with cat 1 not eligible for worlds, what would stop a teammate throwing a de to let their clubmate win so qualify at someone else's expense. .
    There is always the chance of a club mate throwing fights. It could happen in all the schemes, but particularly in A, if a fencer does well in the first 2 competitions. The Nationals will probably be part of the European team selection hence they will be significant to cat 1 every other year.[/QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Regarding formats, I mean the worlds are split by category so it is right that selection events are too.
    Again Cadet & Junior worlds are clearly separate competitions but BF still use senior competitions as part of their selection schemes. I have never heard the suggestion that we should not count senior results for their selection.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    I fail to see any logic to your argument.
    You may not see the logic that I do. There is no point repeating myself..

    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    The Nationals will probably be part of the European team selection hence they will be significant to cat 1 every other year.
    But every other year there is the issue!!

    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    Again Cadet & Junior worlds are clearly separate competitions but BF still use senior competitions as part of their selection schemes. I have never heard the suggestion that we should not count senior results for their selection.
    Factually incorrect. Cadets do not use Open senior events in any way for selection. The only age-group move ups are 1 age category. So Cadets to Juniors and Juniors to seniors. Cat 1 to Cat 4 is probably the equivalent to England Under 15 selection using senior Opens as selection events, which they certainly do not.

    As I have said before, we have been given 3 very different options regarding selection systems by BVF for members to vote on. You have your vote and should use it.

    I have already voted for the first option (A) as that is my preferred option, but if members in general decide they would prefer another option I will accept and work within that system.

    I just hope that the moaning, groaning and public airing of dirty laundry currently occurring will stop as at the moment it is not helping anyone in the BVF community.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Factually incorrect. Cadets do not use Open senior events in any way for selection. The only age-group move ups are 1 age category. So Cadets to Juniors and Juniors to seniors. Cat 1 to Cat 4 is probably the equivalent to England Under 15 selection using senior Opens as selection events, which they certainly do not..
    You are correct that the current cadet selection does not use Senior competitions, but they have done in the past. In any case this does not change the principle, Cadet, Juniors and U23 all use competitions of a ‘higher’ category for selection. This makes sense as the competitions that are being selected for are of a higher standard then a competition that has only the fencers eligible for selection.

    As regards the standard of categories which do vary considerably. The committee has discussed this and will probably only select fencers from the Nationals that have reached at least the top 50%. If no fencer qualifies then the selection system will become equivalent to ‘B’. However looking at our top cat 4 fencers, I would expect qualifiers in all events.

    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    As I have said before, we have been given 3 very different options regarding selection systems by BVF for members to vote on. You have your vote and should use it.
    I have already voted for the first option (A) as that is my preferred option, but if members in general decide they would prefer another option I will accept and work within that system.
    Agreed
    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    I just hope that the moaning, groaning and public airing of dirty laundry currently occurring will stop as at the moment it is not helping anyone in the BVF community.
    I am not sure what you are referring to, but this season the annual increase in membership has stalled. I believe that we need to improve communication between members and the committee. Most members are not really interested in selection, but need value for money for their membership and want enjoyable competitions.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    In any case this does not change the principle, Cadet, Juniors and U23 all use competitions of a ‘higher’ category for selection. This makes sense as the competitions that are being selected for are of a higher standard then a competition that has only the fencers eligible for selection.
    One grade higher (as I count U23s as a subset of seniors), this is the important issue.

    At the Commonwealth Veterans in Scotland I actually felt a bit uncomfortable fleching 5 times for a 5-0 win against a reasonably good Aussie over 70 fencer (though I did hit fairly gently), however as it was a fully mixed event I was not going to go easy on anyone as I wanted to get the best seed I could.

    Mixing age-groups to run Vets events where Cat 4s can do the Cat 3, Cat 3 can do Cat 2 and Cat 2s can do Cat 1s etc is just not very viable logistically, so the whole mixing idea falls apart IMHO.

    All in all, whatever our personal views we should be looking forward to some resolution from the vote and support the scheme from then onward.

    Suggesting tweaks privately to the committee would be the way to go in the future, and if the majority of the committee goes for the idea great, if not we all have to accept the majority vote and not plaster on facebook and the forum, as that is how committees should work.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    At the Commonwealth Veterans in Scotland I actually felt a bit uncomfortable fleching 5 times for a 5-0 win against a reasonably good Aussie over 70 fencer (though I did hit fairly gently), however as it was a fully mixed event I was not going to go easy on anyone as I wanted to get the best seed I could.
    Chris,
    You seem to be arguing against having an ‘Open’ Nationals. If you had bothered to come to the last AGM you would have seen the overwhelming vote (37-4), against the committees decision to axe the Open Nationals. In particular, our oldest fencer, Austen Moore, (now 90), spoke against the committees decision and stated how much he enjoyed fencing the younger fencers in the Open Nationals.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    Chris,
    You seem to be arguing against having an ‘Open’ Nationals. If you had bothered to come to the last AGM you would have seen the overwhelming vote (37-4), against the committees decision to axe the Open Nationals. In particular, our oldest fencer, Austen Moore, (now 90), spoke against the committees decision and stated how much he enjoyed fencing the younger fencers in the Open Nationals.
    As a stand alone event, yes. As part of selection no.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    As a stand alone event, yes. As part of selection no.
    Chris,
    When in a hole stop digging.
    You have conceded that it is OK for all veteran fencers to take part in the Veterans Open Nationals, (as voted for by the vast majority at the AGM). You have admitted that all selections of fencers by British Fencing use some competitions of a higher standard than the group being selected, (The Senior team use ‘A’ grades, the Junior team use Senior competitions etc). It is clear that in all Veteran events there are category 4 fencers that would be expected to make the top 50% of the Open Nationals and probably much higher, yet you stubbornly insist that the Nationals should not used for selection.

    As to option A; yes it would work. However it means that BVF has to organise 2 extra competitions, fencers who are keen to qualify will have to chase round the country to 3 competitions (because of the proposed NIF system competing in 2 competitions would not be a safe option). Many of them will be fencing the same small number of fencers with little benefit to their own fencing.

    Alternatively we have option ‘C’ which historically has worked well and picked the strongest team.

    Option ‘B’ has the disadvantage that there is no second chance if a fencer is unable to attend the age group selection event, and the Nationals will lose some atmosphere and some numbers if selection is not involved. If an event category was so weak that no fencer reaches the top 50% of the Nationals, then option ‘C’ would effectively become option ‘B’ for that event as the committee were in broad agreement that there would be a threshold standard to be selected from the Open Nationals.

    Chris, if this has persuaded you to change your vote (I have my doubts!), then John Mason will still accept a subsequent vote and only your last vote will count.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    When in a hole stop digging.
    And as usual you have used part of what I have said and not the important points of what I have said.

    Option A would be a huge step forward in my opinion and make selection far less of a 'luck on a single' day selection scheme.

    I personally feel the old system (C) is not fit for purpose and I certainly did not like the 'Age-group Champs format (poule unique is just horrible).

    As I have said, everyone has their personal preferences, I have not tried to insult you on your choice, just put my thoughts.

    I hope that anyone with a rational mind would respect that people have differing positions on many issues, it does not mean any of those positions are right or wrong, just different.

    I will respect the decision of the membership and if your viewpoint is upheld will live with it.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    As I have said, everyone has their personal preferences, I have not tried to insult you on your choice, just put my thoughts.
    Chris,
    Firstly I must thank you for actually be willing to debate the issues. Strangely enough, you always seem to come up with the opposite to my view. You seem to imply that I have insulted you, which was never the intention. However you have certainly made some ‘robust’ comments concerning me. For example in your forum post on 7th of June in the ‘International Results’ thread, you accused me of wanting to cause chaos in the Vets.
    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    And as usual you have used part of what I have said and not the important points of what I have said.
    Unfortunately one of the authors of the Working Group posted on FB an abbreviated and therefore very misleading version of Option C. I have posted a more complete version of option C in the forum. It was also stated that using the Nationals for selection was illogical. I have tried to show why it is not illogical. I am unable to post on FB and the author of the post seems to be hiding behind this and has not come on the Forum. You seem to agree that using the Nationals for selection is illogical, and this is why I have concentrated on showing why it is not only logical but standard practice to use competition for selection which do not only have the fencers competing for selection.
    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Option A would be a huge step forward in my opinion and make selection far less of a 'luck on a single' day selection scheme.
    I have no great personal preference for the options. I do not believe my chances of selection are significantly different under the 3 options. For me option A is no problem, as I am mobile and live in the middle of the country so having to travel around the country to 4 competitions is no great hardship. I am trying put forward the option that is best for Veterans fencing.

    I believe that unless option C is chosen by most fencers, great harm will be done to the BVF. The committee have agreed that each category and gender will be looked at separately as regard the choice of options. Many of the ladies cat 4 on rely on public transport and struggle with their kit. Their numbers in the last age group competitions varied between 2 and 4. This group are likely to go for option B or C as will some of the other older categories. This will mean that if some categories go for option A we will split the selection methods between categories. This will be detrimental organisationally, financially, and socially.
    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    I personally feel the old system (C) is not fit for purpose and I certainly did not like the 'Age-group Champs format (poule unique is just horrible).
    Again I am not personally concerned whether a selection competition is run with DE or a poule. However it is very clear that a poule produces more reliable selection results. You are probably too young to remember that DE was only introduced by the FIE because there was so much cheating at international level. Before that poules were used for the vast majority of competitions.

    As you have said it is sometimes necessary to compromise, and I believe that option C is the option that all categories could accept. It is a great shame that the working group did not even consider the different categories requirements, and the feedback presented in the report was not labelled with category and gender.

    As I have said before, we should be looking far more at increasing participation and standards. Hence we should go back to the previous simple system for selection, which we know works and look at developing an all encompassing ranking scheme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    However it is very clear that a poule produces more reliable selection results. You are probably too young to remember that DE was only introduced by the FIE because there was so much cheating at international level. Before that poules were used for the vast majority of competitions.
    I am more than old enough to remember poules going on all day. Was horrible. The format at the BVF of poule unique totally puts me off the competition. Did it one time and will not do it again unless I really need to.

    You say that it was stopped due to cheating at International level. I remember listening to fencers discussing the best way to get both of them promoted at the expense of someone else in the poule in UK events. It is just the most easily corruptible way of running any event.

    You say it creates the most reliable selection results, I do not agree, in addition why have a selection event with fights to 5, when the events they are being selected for (Euro/Worlds Individuals) are to 10 hits.

    It is totally illogical to have a selection event in a totally different format to the events you are selecting for.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    I think this has been discussed to death.

    BVF has sent a huge amount of information to ensure memberships are well informed prior to voting. I read what was sent out, not what may or may not be posted on facebook or the forum as that was not the official info.

    I suspect others from the BVF committee are not posting on the forum as usually committees have agreements/rules to act as a committee and when an issue is put to a vote like this subject, that they will not comment with their personal view as they are working as a combined block and as official documentation was sent to members, there is no need to comment.

    This whole issue is personal opinion on what is best for BVF members in the long-term. You have your views, I have mine, they may differ, but we are looking at things from a differing age and background within fencing, so they are likely to differ.

    I like the fencing structures/formats that I am used to and I see how they work. You are used to the current BVF system, which you see as a working system, I see flaws in that system which puts me off fencing in some of those events, which I think puts off some other Veterans from attending as well.

    Anyway, signing off as this is a discussion that we will never agree on as we are looking from very differing viewpoints.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    BVF has sent a huge amount of information to ensure memberships are well informed prior to voting. I read what was sent out, not what may or may not be posted on Face book or the forum as that was not the official info.
    I suspect others from the BVF committee are not posting on the forum as usually committees have agreements/rules to act as a committee and when an issue is put to a vote like this subject, that they will not comment with their personal view as they are working as a combined block and as official documentation was sent to members, there is no need to comment.
    Chris you normally seem to be extraordinarily well informed as to what is decided at committee meetings, so I am rather taken aback by this. Yes the committee often does prevent its members giving their own views, but not in this case where the committee is putting forward 3 options. In fact you have been involved in a number of exchanges on Face book with Duncan Rowlands, a leading committee member, who has given his opinion on the Options, which seem very close to yours. In case you have forgotten let me quote some of them from Face book 8th August-
    Duncan Rowlands (Describing Option C)
    …………………….
    For the European Teams selection is solely from fencers’ positions in the National Championships.
    Opinion: The use of a mixed age group event to select for separate age group events (which the Worlds and the Euros are) is illogical and seriously flawed.
    Then much later-
    Chris Howser Surely Option A does not discount an additional overall Veterans Nationals in later years, if venue, date and staffing was available? That could create the best of Option A + one event that fencers can choose to attend or not to decide the 'Overall Vets Champions'? Agree we need to let this current change set in, but it could be something for the future.
    Duncan Rowlands Both option A and option B would be accompanied by a non-selection 'old-style' nationals, so an overall national champion would exist alongside the category champions.
    Chris Howser Sounds good
    ……………………………..
    Many more posts later then-
    Duncan Rowlands Yes, if option A then there will still be a non-selection old style nationals
    Chris Howser perfect.

    You certainly seem to be using information on Face book to make your decision. (I am sure that the alternative, that this this exchange was all rehearsed and you had already made you decision was not the case).
    In fact it was Duncan giving a very misleading version of Option C that prompted me to post on the Forum. He seemed to have forgotten that under Option C the committee had decided to go back to having the age groups early in the year, and so that the results could be used for the European team selection. Perhaps Duncan has not seen any of this thread? You could point it out to him and ask for his reply? He could also explain why a system that worked well for years, (particularly before the age group date was changed to May) is illogical and seriously flawed. Duncan appears to think that if he states something, then it must be true and there is no need to give any explanation.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham paul View Post
    Chris you normally seem to be extraordinarily well informed as to what is decided at committee meetings, so I am rather taken aback by this.
    Firstly I have no inside line to the BVF committee and have not had any real direct discussion with any of them specifically on this subject outside what was put on the BVF facebook page and what was sent out to all members, which is all open for viewing by all BVF fencers.

    If you feel that I am well informed, obviously BVF has done a very good job of distributing information and I have then made assumptions on my experience within committees to make educated guesses on other things.

    As I said, I am bowing out of this discussion as the subject has been well discussed and now things are getting silly..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Firstly I have no inside line to the BVF committee and have not had any real direct discussion with any of them specifically on this subject outside what was put on the BVF facebook page and what was sent out to all members, which is all open for viewing by all BVF fencers.
    .
    Apologies Chris I never meant to imply that there was any problem in you being so well informed about the activities of the Veterans committee. After all it is not a secret society!
    It was just with your understanding of the committee and the fact that you had discussed the issues on Face book with Duncan, who gave his opinion on the Options; I was very surprised that you had not realised that committee members were free to express their own opinions.
    As you have said, we are unlikely to agree, so unless Duncan would like to explain why using the Nationals is illogical and seriously flawed or there are any other questions to raise we have probably covered most of the issues.

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