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Thread: B.u.c.s overhaul

  1. #61
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    There is a lot of “luck” in university fencing.

    Luck in having one or two world class juniors turn up at freshers.

    Luck in having a university that includes athletic clubs in the admissions process.

    Luck in having facilities, coaches, grants etc that can attract higher level fencers.

    Or indeed lucky enough to join a fencer programme at y1 that will help them become strong team players by Y3/4.

    For a coach, the bottom line is that you have to work with what you get at the beginning of each academic year.

  2. #62
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    Hello nick, cesh, thank you S.A.D

    I don't have fixed proposals - it's more w.i.p

    For example ; as our sport can be characterised as extremely technical and tactical it can be said that these elements ennable women and men to compete quite evenly, as, our sport doesn't rely in %terms so much on physical attributes / athleticism : mixed teams I think are a good idea to consider ! This would also help smooth out the promotion and oscillation between leagues annually : or it could be part of different format / new format

    Regional single weapon mixed team events leading to annual event !
    'Regional single weapon mixed team events leading to annual event', Why don't you organise it and hire halls etc, invite the London Unis to attend and take the risk on your own suggestion, but separately to the current set up and if it works you will have a group of influential universities supporting your proposal going forward.

    If you had started the thread with 'I don't have any fixed proposals but feel that the current set up has some issues (listed), does anyone have any ideas how BUCs fencing could be adapted to improve things' I suspect you would have had people come in with ideas to be discussed and debated or others saying they really like the current set up, but subtle changes could improve it.

    To annually suggest the same 'unworkable' option and expect not to get shot down every year is pretty naive.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  3. #63
    Senior Member pavski's Avatar
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    So-

    same time next year then everyone?

  4. #64
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    I feel like I'm going to regret reviving this thread in any way but here goes...

    from what I've read, Plenty believes that BUCS fencing is broken beyond repair. Cesh et al believe that BUCS fencing is kinda alright.
    As far as I can tell nobody is saying that BUCS fencing is perfect...
    I understand many of the respondents on this thread disagree with Plentys assessment, and disagree with his proposed approach to improving the situation.

    This being said as a couple of questions to all who have battled through the debate before;

    Assuming that BUCS fencing isn't perfect.
    -What do you think would improve it?
    -Also what have you managed to do successfully in BUCS in the past few years that other clubs could try, in order to either a)increase participation in the sport of fencing or b)retain fencers in the sport when they go to Uni?
    Jason Nesmith : You WILL go out there.
    Alexander Dane : I won't and nothing you say will make me.
    Jason Nesmith : The show must go on.
    Alexander Dane : ...Damn you.

    Next Competition:t.b.d.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by pavski View Post
    So-

    same time next year then everyone?
    So accurate.

    *Round of applause*

  6. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I feel like I'm going to regret reviving this thread in any way but here goes...

    from what I've read, Plenty believes that BUCS fencing is broken beyond repair. Cesh et al believe that BUCS fencing is kinda alright.
    As far as I can tell nobody is saying that BUCS fencing is perfect...
    I understand many of the respondents on this thread disagree with Plentys assessment, and disagree with his proposed approach to improving the situation.

    This being said as a couple of questions to all who have battled through the debate before;

    Assuming that BUCS fencing isn't perfect.
    -What do you think would improve it?
    -Also what have you managed to do successfully in BUCS in the past few years that other clubs could try, in order to either a)increase participation in the sport of fencing or b)retain fencers in the sport when they go to Uni?
    The BUCS fencing programme is the largest functioning competitive fencing league in the UK. It self funds, it attracts new competitors and it distributes competition throughout the country.

    The organisers of BUCS have done a far better job in creating a national fencing infrastructure than have our friends in the BFA as such we should probably look to take notes from it rather than criticising it.

    Nothing is without problem but the BUCS fencing ecosystem is comparably top notch.

  7. #67
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    The BUCS fencing programme is the largest functioning competitive fencing league in the UK. It self funds, it attracts new competitors and it distributes competition throughout the country.

    The organisers of BUCS have done a far better job in creating a national fencing infrastructure than have our friends in the BFA as such we should probably look to take notes from it rather than criticising it.

    Nothing is without problem but the BUCS fencing ecosystem is comparably top notch.
    Interesting perspective, didn't answer either of my questions though

    Assuming that BUCS fencing isn't perfect.
    -What do you think would improve it?
    -Also what have you managed to do successfully in BUCS in the past few years that other clubs could try, in order to either a)increase participation in the sport of fencing or b)retain fencers in the sport when they go to Uni?



    Jason Nesmith : You WILL go out there.
    Alexander Dane : I won't and nothing you say will make me.
    Jason Nesmith : The show must go on.
    Alexander Dane : ...Damn you.

    Next Competition:t.b.d.

  8. #68
    Senior Member pavski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    So accurate.

    *Round of applause*
    I thenk yew!

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    The BUCS fencing programme is the largest functioning competitive fencing league in the UK. It self funds, it attracts new competitors and it distributes competition throughout the country.

    The organisers of BUCS have done a far better job in creating a national fencing infrastructure than have our friends in the BFA as such we should probably look to take notes from it rather than criticising it.

    Nothing is without problem but the BUCS fencing ecosystem is comparably top notch.
    Um,


    I think that university fencing clubs kind of developed organically over last 100 yrs or so and ‘the BUCS fencing programme ‘ is what evolved to manage inter uni matches ! I humbly suggest It’s not the other way round.

    The second paragraph seems to imply that bucs are serving the interests of the sport ‘far better’ than bf. In some aspects i am sure you are right..but bfa have left bucs to its own devices for a long long time and as you acknowledge there is potential for improvement.

    The third para...in comparison to what ? The USA , ha ha.. France ? LetÂ’s rationalise the debate.

    Has anything been done about the proposal to spread out ranking points at the Bucs individuals for example. What strategy papers ( or indeed any type of strategy proposal ) has been produced in the last 5yrs. In short, apart from running the show , albeit bigger, whatÂ’s changed or has been planned for change and what consultations and comparative studies undertaken?

    Kind regards
    Mark

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Interesting perspective, didn't answer either of my questions though

    Assuming that BUCS fencing isn't perfect.
    -What do you think would improve it?
    -Also what have you managed to do successfully in BUCS in the past few years that other clubs could try, in order to either a)increase participation in the sport of fencing or b)retain fencers in the sport when they go to Uni?


    Just this

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    Um,


    I think that university fencing clubs kind of developed organically over last 100 yrs or so and ‘the BUCS fencing programme ‘ is what evolved to manage inter uni matches ! I humbly suggest It’s not the other way round.

    The second paragraph seems to imply that bucs are serving the interests of the sport ‘far better’ than bf. In some aspects i am sure you are right..but bfa have left bucs to its own devices for a long long time and as you acknowledge there is potential for improvement.

    The third para...in comparison to what ? The USA , ha ha.. France ? LetÂ’s rationalise the debate.

    Has anything been done about the proposal to spread out ranking points at the Bucs individuals for example. What strategy papers ( or indeed any type of strategy proposal ) has been produced in the last 5yrs. In short, apart from running the show , albeit bigger, whatÂ’s changed or has been planned for change and what consultations and comparative studies undertaken?

    Kind regards
    Mark
    1) Never said it was. Doesn't really say anything to the point I made but thanks for the history lesson.
    2) I think BUCS probably does serve the interests of the sport better than BFA. I only say that it's not perfect because nothing is perfect. Nothing achieves that perfect 5/7 score we all dream of. I don't think we need a long and protracted debate about how to change something which is functioning very well AND in the interests of the sport. Which cannot be said for almost any other aspect of the British Fencing Ecosystem.
    3) In comparison to any other comparably funded University fencing leagues. I don't have time to do the research into figures because I am THAT confident that you won't be able to objectively refute this point.
    4) To your last paragraph, the above all ring true. Why push for such dramatic change in such a successful and well rounded programme?

    And to other points above, Uni clubs don't want to link with local clubs because most universities have rules against their clubs accepting outside members, this is because they are subsidised and also to protect the students. I think it's also because in the end it's not a fair trade.

  12. #72
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    1) Never said it was. Doesn't really say anything to the point I made but thanks for the history lesson.
    2) I think BUCS probably does serve the interests of the sport better than BFA. I only say that it's not perfect because nothing is perfect. Nothing achieves that perfect 5/7 score we all dream of. I don't think we need a long and protracted debate about how to change something which is functioning very well AND in the interests of the sport. Which cannot be said for almost any other aspect of the British Fencing Ecosystem.
    3) In comparison to any other comparably funded University fencing leagues. I don't have time to do the research into figures because I am THAT confident that you won't be able to objectively refute this point.
    4) To your last paragraph, the above all ring true. Why push for such dramatic change in such a successful and well rounded programme?

    And to other points above, Uni clubs don't want to link with local clubs because most universities have rules against their clubs accepting outside members, this is because they are subsidised and also to protect the students. I think it's also because in the end it's not a fair trade.
    I'm aware that most universities have rules against accepting outside members. I agree that it's not a fair trade, the University gets all of the benefit of getting experienced fencers to train against, potentially a larger store of equipment to borrow from for events, a pool of local referees etc who may be able to help with matches, a base level for the club year on year, the local club gets... an extra night for their experienced fencers to fence each week for at most 30 weeks of the year and more commonly 20-23. As for "Protecting" students, the suggestion there is that a city club that is open to everyone poses more of a risk to fencers than a university club ie that normal fencers are more likely to do harm to student fencers. I don't think there's any evidence to support that view point. Yes university clubs are subsidised, that being said if the fencers from outside pay a sub then that's further support for the uni club.
    Jason Nesmith : You WILL go out there.
    Alexander Dane : I won't and nothing you say will make me.
    Jason Nesmith : The show must go on.
    Alexander Dane : ...Damn you.

    Next Competition:t.b.d.

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    Ok

    I am in again..( so help me )

    So, in hope thread doesnt degenerate / get derailed again ; to summarise some of the proposals so far ;

    1- to award points more generously at the annual bucs individuals , say L8 or to L16 ( this idea seemed to have some traction and support , specifically from Paul ). For those who dont know, it’s fencingmove, Paul Sibert and a.savin I think are steering group for bucs fencing.
    2- to alter bf membership category / ask bf to designate the main student run open comps ( Leeds Brighton London ) so that there is less financial barrier to entry for students. This idea proposed by fencingmove.
    2- to allow mixed teams in bucs events ( my idea ) on basis that fencers skilled in their weapon can form strong squads ( as its always a lottery what new fencers a uni will have at beginning of any one season and this would help the smaller unis to field a team )
    3- to ask bucs and uni sport depts to permit and facilitate multiple matches on any one day ( already happening )
    4- awarding of bucs points for winning ‘segments’ of matches and an adjusted bonus of the 3weapon result ( plenty proposal , most radical )


    I think there were a couple of other proposals so pls do say if I missed anything.
    Mark

  14. #74
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    Ok

    I am in again..( so help me )

    So, in hope thread doesnt degenerate / get derailed again ; to summarise some of the proposals so far ;

    1- to award points more generously at the annual bucs individuals , say L8 or to L16 ( this idea seemed to have some traction and support , specifically from Paul ). For those who dont know, it’s fencingmove, Paul Sibert and a.savin I think are steering group for bucs fencing.
    2- to alter bf membership category / ask bf to designate the main student run open comps ( Leeds Brighton London ) so that there is less financial barrier to entry for students. This idea proposed by fencingmove.
    2- to allow mixed teams in bucs events ( my idea ) on basis that fencers skilled in their weapon can form strong squads ( as its always a lottery what new fencers a uni will have at beginning of any one season and this would help the smaller unis to field a team )
    3- to ask bucs and uni sport depts to permit and facilitate multiple matches on any one day ( already happening )
    4- awarding of bucs points for winning ‘segments’ of matches and an adjusted bonus of the 3weapon result ( plenty proposal , most radical )


    I think there were a couple of other proposals so pls do say if I missed anything.
    Mark
    Hi Mark, I think these proposals are interesting. Point 1 I think will fail to get traction on the basis that points are treated effectively like olympic medals, to increase the number of medals devalues those that exist elsewhere. Yes the intention is to raise the value of fencing to the Universities, however I'm not convinced that extra BUCS points would be sufficient to cause an increase in the sport being valued. Ultimately the support and funding will follow the interest of the students, so my view is that participation and engagement in the general student populace must be the first step.
    I'm quite keen on the idea of a reduced "student rate" for BFA registered competitions to help reduce the financial burden on students and therefore to encourage existing and new fencers to attend national circuit competitions alongside their University studies. I believe that nominating a small cross section of events may however be a mistake.
    I would argue against the mixed teams idea on the basis that while I recognise that the intention is to allow stronger teams to form, at higher levels the differences in style between male and female fencers are more pronounced. I would then say that you then run the risk of a University that has sufficient experienced fencers to fill a team steamrolling a University that doesn't have any. For me it increases the problem rather than alleviating it. Further I would say that I see a reduction in the number of teams from the split male and female teams to one mixed team, to rather draw attention to waining interest rather than encouraging a renewal of interest in the sport.
    Proposal 4 I find most difficult to balance. In some respects I would love to see a separation of the weapons with Universities gaining victories or defeats against the "Epee team" or the "Foil Team" etc. However I think there is a certain quality that the mixed weapon format brings to the matches as well as the encouragement for fencers to compete in different weapons than they might otherwise favour. For example I coached an experienced Italian foilist for three years who then switched to sabre which they had never had an opportunity to fence in their home club.

    Ultimately we have to question what the purpose of making changes in the BUCS system is. We need to define what the problems are that we are looking to correct and we need to look at BUCS not just in a context of itself but within the context of British Fencing as a whole. Then we have to ask the questions of each solution whether or not the solution actually fixes one of the problems and whether it creates more new problems.
    Jason Nesmith : You WILL go out there.
    Alexander Dane : I won't and nothing you say will make me.
    Jason Nesmith : The show must go on.
    Alexander Dane : ...Damn you.

    Next Competition:t.b.d.

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