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Thread: British Championships

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav View Post
    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.
    Seem to remember there was also an issue with refs having to be employed by BF if they were paid and tax etc having to be paid. Maybe I'm wrong but it would certainly have put up cost and admin.
    Last edited by Mini Musketeer; -17th April 2018 at 13:37. Reason: spelling

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mini Musketeer View Post
    Seem to remember there was also an issue with refs having to be employed by BF if they were paid and tax etc having to be paid. Maybe I'm wrong but it would certainly have put up cost and admin.
    I'm no expert but surely you'd just treat them as contractors?
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  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gav View Post
    I'm no expert but surely you'd just treat them as contractors?
    Yes, you could just treat them as sole trader (or ltd depending on whether they want to) contractors. I can't imagine that this would be an issue from a legal point of view. (Although not my field)

    Would be surprised if BFA thought there was an obligation to retain refs under a contract of employment.

    Might be worth considering the creation of a body to protect the rights of referees. Something similar to a union which would lobby and make decisions on behalf of the membership.

    If a competition doesn't pay enough then simply order the membership to boycott. This would drive up standards and force the market to adapt.

    I'm not a referee, I don't intend to be one any time in the near future. But if I was one and I wanted to be rewarded for the hours I put in, that's what I would do.

    I understand that this would never happen in practice but it's a fun idea don't you think?

  4. #24
    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Could someone outline/hypothesise on how the money (£24,986) would have been spent.
    Lets say 80 volunteers having travel, meals & hotel paid for 2 nights, that will be 10K-15K + maybe to start with. Payment to cover Armourers costs.

    Venue many thousands (big London venue) means lots of £££££

    Kit hire, a good few more thousands going to LP, to cover transport, hire charges etc.

    First Aiders probably £1000+ for the weekend to put a plasters on (not like we did not have 20+ qualified Doctors in the venue at any point of the weekend.

    Staffing to deal with all the costs etc in the run up to event. Cut going to Sport80 off the entry fees.

    Medals, sundries and all the rest.

    Yes easily get to £26K in my mind. Hopefully did not run at a loss this year..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Lets say 80 volunteers having travel, meals & hotel paid for 2 nights, that will be 10K-15K + maybe to start with. Payment to cover Armourers costs.

    Venue many thousands (big London venue) means lots of £££££

    Kit hire, a good few more thousands going to LP, to cover transport, hire charges etc.

    First Aiders probably £1000+ for the weekend to put a plasters on (not like we did not have 20+ qualified Doctors in the venue at any point of the weekend.

    Staffing to deal with all the costs etc in the run up to event. Cut going to Sport80 off the entry fees.

    Medals, sundries and all the rest.

    Yes easily get to £26K in my mind. Hopefully did not run at a loss this year..

    Chris can you please explain why 80 people would be needed.

    Merseyside has a committee of about 12, 4 fantastic armourers. And a number of Refs.
    They run not one but two rounds of Poules with no cut and finish at a reasonable time.

    Fencers and the commitee do put the 18 metallic pistes out. But if you add 25-30 refs itís still no where near 80.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    Chris can you please explain why 80 people would be needed.
    Typo should have been 60 as per Alex S earlier post (over 50 Volunteers mentioned)..

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    Merseyside has a committee of about 12, 4 fantastic armourers. And a number of Refs.
    For Elite Epee, I set up the venue, we have one person running computer and we have one Armourer on the day and one referee per piste, works perfectly. But that is not the British Championships or the way it runs.

    With 30 odd pistes, at 1 referee per piste that is 30+ before you start with anything else. There also seemed to be quite a high number of Armourers in the far corner of the hall, not sure how many (could easily have been 8+). There were a number of floor walkers and not sure how many as part of DT/computers. And probably others behind the scenes we were not fully aware, getting to 50/60 is pretty easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    They run not one but two rounds of Poules with no cut and finish at a reasonable time.
    Format of event should not effect manpower that much, just number of pistes used.

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    Fencers and the commitee do put the 18 metallic pistes out. But if you add 25-30 refs itís still no where near 80.
    There was a request to identify how the money from entry fees may have been used. I was just giving an idea in a vague way of those costs. Just pressed 80 rather than 60 on my iPhone and didn't pick up my typo..
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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Typo should have been 60 as per Alex S earlier post (over 50 Volunteers mentioned)..



    For Elite Epee, I set up the venue, we have one person running computer and we have one Armourer on the day and one referee per piste, works perfectly. But that is not the British Championships or the way it runs.

    With 30 odd pistes, at 1 referee per piste that is 30+ before you start with anything else. There also seemed to be quite a high number of Armourers in the far corner of the hall, not sure how many (could easily have been 8+). There were a number of floor walkers and not sure how many as part of DT/computers. And probably others behind the scenes we were not fully aware, getting to 50/60 is pretty easy.


    Format of event should not effect manpower that much, just number of pistes used.



    There was a request to identify how the money from entry fees may have been used. I was just giving an idea in a vague way of those costs. Just pressed 80 rather than 60 on my iPhone and didn't pick up my typo..
    Thanks Chris
    Iím just uncomfortable if organisers of competitions make money while refs etc arenít rewarded for their time and expertise.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    Thanks Chris
    Iím just uncomfortable if organisers of competitions make money while refs etc arenít rewarded for their time and expertise.
    I do not have a clue if BF made a profit on this event, however if they did it would be re-invested into fencing which would not be a too bad a thing, as a chuck of that money goes towards referee development.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

  9. #29

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    Just for clarity. Do BFA pay for travel and hotels for referees?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Just for clarity. Do BFA pay for travel and hotels for referees?
    Yes, of course they do.

    Plus evening meal and food throughout the day.

  11. #31
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    Blimey, it's ground-hog day!

  12. #32
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    Blimey, it's ground-hog day!

    again

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldric View Post
    Blimey, it's ground-hog day!

    again
    The fact that people keep discussing it might be a cue to find a solution. That being said my previous indignation was based on the false assumption that referees would be making a loss when going to the competition.

    Given the prices of London hotels it is completely understandable that BF cannot afford to pay referees as well as providing accommodation and travel.

    This surely must be by far and a way the largest expense for nationals.

    Perhaps consider paying a fixed sum rather than covering costs to naturally (market based) make the travel/ accommodation costs more economic. e.g. those who need to travel from afar and thus raise large expenses claims would either not do the refereeing or absorb some of the cost of travel.

    This might also encourage more local referees.

    Something to think about. £200 for the weekend. Would this lower costs?

  14. #34

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    So I thought it would be useful to provide a bit of context on the BF events programme. BF runs six events a year - senior nationals, cadet and junior nationals, BYCs, Schools Games, the Eden Cup and the Leon Paul Cup.

    Overall, BF loses between £20-30,000 a year on these events. Here is the link to the BF annual report. The relevant page is page 16. http://www.britishfencing.com/upload...16-17-v1.0.pdf. In the fiscal year 2016-17, BF lost £28,385 on events. The loss was higher than expected because of higher than budgeted costs. That compares with an overall deficit for that year from BF of about £6,000.

    BF has made a strategic decision to keep the Eden Cup and Leon Paul Cup, on which BF will always make a loss because the FIE limit how much can be charged for entry fees, and mandates certain standards (such as having FIE referees).

    The BF events are really well run. Jon, Francine and the team have built a justifiably strong record for efficient organisation and delivery - to the extent that they are being asked by other countries to show how they do it! The question is how we can retain these standards, while reducing the deficit which may not be sustainable for BF in the long term.

    Potential answers might include:

    1. Can BF run more events (but they have to be profitable! This season BF has introduced the GB Cup)
    2. Can it increase the number of people participating at its events?
    3. Can it increase how much revenue per competitor it raises from these events?
    4. Can it reduce costs per competitor, while maintaining standards?

    Of course, in an ideal world, the events would generate a surplus overall, helping to fund other activities, such as the elite programme and club development.

    I would be very keen to hear what ideas people have to achieve this...

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    1. Can BF run more events (but they have to be profitable! This season BF has introduced the GB Cup)
    It is hard to run a high quality national event and make a decent profit. There are (were?) events that made good money in the past, but in many (not all) cases the quality was indifferent or there was some hidden subsidy like a free venue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    2. Can it increase the number of people participating at its events?
    Yes, up to a point. Better marketing, venue choice, but above all by constantly improving quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    3. Can it increase how much revenue per competitor it raises from these events?
    This is the key one. I don't believe that fencers are particularly sensitive to entry prices. What they are sensitive to is the ratio of the overall cost of the event (inc travel, hotel, food etc) in relation to the quality of the experience they get. So by locating and timing events thoughtfully - thus reducing the total miles driven and the number of people who need a hotel - you widen the fencers tolerance for an extra £20 on the entry fee. If a fencer is going to spend a total of £150 on their weekend, it should be a focus to ensure that as little of that money is wasted on Shell and Travellodge as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    4. Can it reduce costs per competitor, while maintaining standards?
    Paradoxically, it is better to increase costs per competitor, so long as you keep a focus on event quality. Thats because there is not a linear relationship between £spent per competitor and the quality gain. Its like the reverse of diminishing returns.

    There is a missing item or two.

    I think we sometimes approach sponsorship in the wrong way - looking for a big-ticket sponsor who will take all our woes away. I was never successful in raising massive sponsorship, but I was able to access a constant stream of relatively small sums - a few £1000 at a time. A few grand, properly targetted, can make a big difference to the standard of the event.

    Don't be afraid to innovate. Competitions* don't have to be poules to 5 followed by a DE to 15. Events don't have to be open to all - you can run an "Open", a "Major" and a "Minor" event all in the same venue.


    *I appreciate this doesn't apply to events run on behalf of the FIE/EFC

  16. #36
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    It doesnít have to be in most expensive city in the country either!

    Cheaper venues and cheaper hotels would save a lot of money.

    I would like to see how much was spent on just these two things.
    And what the difference would be staging it somewhere outside London.

    Not sure why you need 30 pistes too.
    Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highlander View Post
    It doesnít have to be in most expensive city in the country either!

    Cheaper venues and cheaper hotels would save a lot of money.

    I would like to see how much was spent on just these two things.
    And what the difference would be staging it somewhere outside London.
    About 10 years ago, the late Matt Thompson and I did some research based on the postcodes of fencers who entered the EYC, which had been held in Stoke the previous year. By moving the venue to Reading, we calculated that if the same fencers entered, (and all came by car) they would drive a total of 30,000 less miles, and our best estimate was that probably 100 or so less people would have needed to book a hotel room. I am sure that this contributed to the tolerance that entrants had to our fairly aggressive entry pricing policy at that time.

  18. #38

    Default BF Events profits and losses

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldric View Post
    About 10 years ago, the late Matt Thompson and I did some research based on the postcodes of fencers who entered the EYC, which had been held in Stoke the previous year. By moving the venue to Reading, we calculated that if the same fencers entered, (and all came by car) they would drive a total of 30,000 less miles, and our best estimate was that probably 100 or so less people would have needed to book a hotel room. I am sure that this contributed to the tolerance that entrants had to our fairly aggressive entry pricing policy at that time.
    I like your thinking!

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baldric View Post
    This is the key one. I don't believe that fencers are particularly sensitive to entry prices.
    That's quite the assumption. I am personally getting to the point where I'm wondering if the fee is worth it. Jack it up another £20 and I'd probably call it a day with nationals. As millennials take the place of generation X as the general fencing population you will find we become more and more price sensitive. (We don't have that nice little nest egg in the form of a house we bought for 5k which is now worth half a million)

    In MS certainly we would want to see increased participation. But I think that is more a reflection on the dwindling number of sabruers more generally than anything else. That particular problem HAS to be solved by BF stepping up it's priority on our grass roots fencing rather than chasing an impossible dream of creating successful athletes out of our current stock.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    That's quite the assumption. I am personally getting to the point where I'm wondering if the fee is worth it. Jack it up another £20 and I'd probably call it a day with nationals.
    Did you read my next sentence, or indeed my next post? My point was that there are ways of reducing the overall cost to the fencer of the event, which increases their tolerance for a higher entry fee.


    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    As millennials take the place of generation X as the general fencing population you will find we become more and more price sensitive. (We don't have that nice little nest egg in the form of a house we bought for 5k which is now worth half a million)
    The way that human beings distinguish between price and value has been well understood for millennia, - I very much doubt that the shift of a single generation will lead to a change in that process.

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