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Thread: British Championships

  1. #1
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    Default British Championships

    Is there a link to the live results for the British Championships this weekend?

    Good luck to everyone competing.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Thanks for the link.

    Good to see entries up this year, with 50 in WF, 55 in MS and 98 in ME.

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    Very good to be able to watch all the title fights.

    Congratulations to the 6 British Champions.

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    What was great were the timings, venue, layout and general organisation. The gala finals were also well run and nice not to have to wait around for hours for them to take place (sabre fencer here).

    But I can't believe the lack of video replay. We had this in 2015...yet 3 years later we have fallen behind. What happened with this?!

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    I like the venue and thought the organisation and live results were good.
    No complaints with any of the refereeing I got, but there was some significant unhappiness from some of the other fencers about some of the refereeing they had. I'd really like to see the referees get a per diem to allow us to attract the top referees again, apparently they only got expenses this time.

    As I said last year, we shouldn't have sabre on cloth pistes, unless they are taped down the *whole way* along, not just at the ends. We change direction harder and we saw lots of injuries last year due to this (not aware of any this year).

    And to agree with the above, we need video replay if at all possible from semi-finals.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    apparently they only got expenses this time.
    No one has been paid at the Senior Nationals, Cadet & Junior Nationals, BYCs, or any other BF run event for years now... it's not a case of this time, it's a case of us all working for free for several years.

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fa266 View Post
    But I can't believe the lack of video replay. We had this in 2015...yet 3 years later we have fallen behind. What happened with this?!
    Cost I suspect..

    It is a nice to have, but in reality only benefits a handful of fencers over the weekend.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Senior Member Jon Willis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fa266 View Post
    But I can't believe the lack of video replay. We had this in 2015...yet 3 years later we have fallen behind. What happened with this?!
    Video replay equipment was broken at the last EYCs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savin.A View Post
    No one has been paid at the Senior Nationals, Cadet & Junior Nationals, BYCs, or any other BF run event for years now... it's not a case of this time, it's a case of us all working for free for several years.
    Why don't any ref's get paid?


    Also are there any photos from the day?
    Foilist

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Savin.A View Post
    No one has been paid at the Senior Nationals, Cadet & Junior Nationals, BYCs, or any other BF run event for years now... it's not a case of this time, it's a case of us all working for free for several years.
    I'm sure there are valid reasons but I am incredibly surprised to see that the refs don't get paid. I can understand with other competitions where the entry fee is lower and the margins are smaller. I was working on the assumption that the £62 entry fee was so high in order that a good standard of referee could be provided. You could provide a well paid referee on the entry fee for every two fencers who have entered.

    I'm sure if you asked fencers what they would prefer: Televised finals (only watched by fencers not paying the entry fee) OR our referees being paid for their time they would chose the latter.

    It's a crying shame that we have referees who have put a lot of their volunteer hours into the sport even to find that they are not rewarded even at the very highest level in the UK.

    On a slightly different point, especially in sabre, poor refereeing can have a massive effect on your day, please listen to feedback on individual referees and perhaps consider selection for the next event.

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    I think someone did the maths a while back and the answer was that the entry fee would have to be much higher - around £100(? not sure if I remember correctly) - for refs et al to be paid.

    We don't value the sport, so we don't pay and yet we expect everything to be laid out for us.

    Personally speaking, way before we get video replay, I'd prefer to see people who give up their time to help run the event get paid.
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    Hi all,

    I thought in sabre the atmosphere was more relaxed and friendly than I have ever known it at nationals.

    Also I really enjoyed watching (when not reffing) some very high quality fencing over the week-end.

    I would also like to endorse hokers's point about carpet pistes and sabre.

    Having got that out the way, a few points and thoughts about the never-ending debate on paying refs (and other volunteers).

    As Savin pointed out this is nothing new. British refs haven't been paid for reffing national events (indeed for EFC events neither) for years. The reason as far as I understand it is simply cost. There are well over 50 helpers at these competitions (many more at e.g. BYCs). It already costs a huge amount to run nationals etc. (refs and other helpers already cost BF a lot in hotels, accommodation, food, etc.). We would all love to be paid, but there is no money in the bank, so the only options to raise the money needed are:
    - sponsorship: I'm sure BF are trying;
    - raising entry fees;
    - raising the general membership costs.
    Given just how much push-back there always is against the latter two (see even the comments about BF offering free membership initially to see how resistant some people are to any change)...

    In any case TBH I don't think the payment (or lack of it) is the issue (in sabre anyway). In fact most sabre refs I speak to are as happy with BF as they have ever been and feel as well treated as at any time in the recent past. Sure we would like to be paid, but we know the deal and are willing to put up with it.

    I suspect the simple fact is that there just aren't enough referees. I can only really think of two referees (sabre still) who weren't there this week-end - every one else was, either refereeing, or fencing, or coaching - and they have both refereed for BF in the recent past so I doubt it was an issue of payment.

    There is now some work being done on pathways etc which in the long run will if it works lead to a much healthier situation, but that is a long term solution and is going to take time. In the meantime quite a few of us are aware that there is a short-term gap (in quantity rather than quality; I will argue that our better referees are of a suitable standard - it is just that there aren't enough), but I'm no wiser as to what the solution might be.

    Oh and I would have loved video replay from the semis BTW. Possibly not as much as £100 but not that far off.

  14. #14
    Senior Member ChrisL's Avatar
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    I think everyone agrees that paying refs would result in more and higher quality referees, that is not the discussion really.

    When payments stopped in 2013(?) they were initially stated as a temporary measure that would be returned to normal within a year but have since become the longer term norm. There was some significant ineptitude in BF's spending several years ago which left them significantly down in their ability to afford large events which were generally as I understand money losers.
    While the general budget for the year for BF is public I'm not aware of the budget for events being so and as such I'm not sure whether they make or lose money and to what extend the deficit/profit exists nor whether they are still trying to fill a gap in BF finances or simply break even at all.

    I'm not convinced a £100 entry fee would be necessary (approx. 50 refs + armourers? I think less, *£50 = £2500 which on overall entry of 403 that's £6/entry).
    However it would require an increase apparently on current costs and across multiple competitions.

    This is because a referee isn't made in a single competition and they are not instantly high level. If there is a true desire to improve refereeing in British Fencing it would be awesome, its a tough thing to do. However if you want to lobby for a payment for refs it should probably be noted that it would take several years of these increased costs across several competitions to see the long term improvement.

    I do believe providing payment would make it much easier to find refs but its not the easiest pill to swallow.
    However I think it does work and the refs are out there. For example (without knowing myself how many will be there), compare the number of referees at this unpaid BYCs in a few weeks with the paid EYCs a few years later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    I'm not convinced a £100 entry fee would be necessary (approx. 50 refs + armourers? I think less, *£50 = £2500 which on overall entry of 403 that's £6/entry).
    Chris your Maths is a little wonky here...

    £50 per day surely, so £100 per volunteer.
    I am fairly sure once you have factored in refs, armourers, DT, floor managers, announcers, voluntary officers (safeguarding, medic, etc.) and just general helpers you end up with more than 50 volunteers (and significantly more for a larger event e.g. BYCs).
    I'm not sure whether £100 entry is the correct calculation, but realistically you are looking at at least £15-20 extra per entry (possibly more) and that's with entries pretty much reaching their limits in all weapons.

    I'm not saying it can't be done, and I agree with Gav's general point that people seem to want more and better whilst paying the same or less (although I don't think this is particularly inherent to fencing) but you have to be realistic and say it's more than a few quid.

    And I maintain that the post-2012 exodus, lack of succession planning and general poor treatment of referees were all far bigger contributors to the current shortage of referees. I also genuinely think the situation is improving but it's going to take time.

  16. #16
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    Suspect this has been suggested before?

    Perhaps consider explicitly stating a "ref levy" of say £5 per entry. I think this would raise £35 for most poules with a ref probably doing atleast two poules during a day that would probably gets you close to the target for all volunteers.

    I also don't think this needs to be tried at a National.

  17. #17
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    Quote
    And I maintain that the post-2012 exodus, lack of succession planning and general poor treatment of referees were all far bigger contributors to the current shortage of referees. I also genuinely think the situation is improving but it's going to take time.[/QUOTE]

    What ever the price is, we have to pay people for their time.

    Using up the good will of very kind individuals is short sighted and has to eventually run out.

    The Merseyside Open pays its Refs. Although not a full accompliment for all pistes, it does try to do the right thing but the entry fee is only £30 if it was £60, Iím sure they could have provided payment for all 18 pistes and anyone else who volunteers and make a small profit.
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  18. #18

    Default Y'all are preaching to the converted

    Chatter on the forum very rarely translates into action in the real world - especially when talk about money comes up.

    It's all very well and good to say "oh yes this is what people should do, I'm sure that we'd all be happy to pay this much". Until people actually start paying, you're going to be fencing at competitions that run on the ever-dwindling philanthropy of volunteers which means everyone is going to have to expect a little bit of variation in the quality of service provided.

    (NB: I am not suggesting that "I'm a volunteer" means "I can be bad at the thing I'm volunteering for" but if you need x people to run a competition and fewer than x highly skilled people volunteer, you're going to get the remaining spaces filled up by less experienced people that are still developing their skillset)

  19. #19

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    In the knowledge that we don't have accurate figures available.

    Could someone outline/hypothesise on how the money (£24,986) would have been spent.

    I'm sure we have a few people on this forum who have organised larger competitions and can lend a hand in helping us to figure out where the big spends are in organising a fencing competition. I just cannot fathom how it would cost this much to run nationals.

    Thanks in advance.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ChrisHeaps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    Video replay equipment was broken at the last EYCs
    What's up with it Jon? We have quite a few engineers of one type or another in the community who may be able to help.

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