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Thread: Observations and problems on the horizon...

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    Default Observations and problems on the horizon...

    I for one would like to repeat others praise on the Fencing Forum in the direction BF took in allowing full squads to compete at the Senior European Championships, even though I did not agree with it being funded especially in the economic situation our governing body finds its self in. I would also like to illustrate to other Senior Woman Foilists that BF have in action a selection process that excludes Senior fencers at this time and this was not published anywhere to inform the wider membership. I was informed by BF that Individual Weapons could not be correlated, but at the time the selections were made it was very difficult not to make comparisons with every weapon bar Woman's Foil. All weapons selected 1st down to 4th as the Squad with the 5th fencer as NTR (Men's Foil 5th place was a member of the Team but not Squad due to Kruse no longer participating in Team Events); apart from Woman's Foil where 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th were selected as the Squad with 2nd place being NTR, this was due to BF's selection policy where individuals had to be U23 the following Season. I personally do not agree with this selection criteria especially for a Senior Event. Now I can only presume this benchmark was thought up on a whim; because all Season no U23 Squads were sent to the U23 Circuit and we didn't have an U23 WF Team at the U23 European Championships which were held three weeks after the published Senior Squad Lists.

    Some may see this move as positive, thinking of the future, the progression of youth fencers. But this system has played out year after year in BF always wrapped up in some new campaign, WF in particular seems blighted by this. Time and time again I've witnessed the push for youth over experience this is how we find ourselves in a domestic desert where there are no successful Senior fencers. Athletes at 22 are not a consideration, they're moved aside and with that simple action leave the sport. We have no experience, or depth in this weapon because of this simple mismanagement. Yes youth should be brought on and nourished, but in specific age groups especially if that is going to be one of the selection criteria not stepped up into Senior Events at the cost of actual Seniors in better positions. Perhaps then we might start retaining athletes in this weapon and like other European Countries have Woman Foilists in their late twenties and early thirties competing at high levels abroad and supporting our domestic circuit at home.

    Now some of you will probably be thinking this is just all sour grapes on my part and it's just another annoyed parent, funny we do get lot's of them in this sport! But in all honesty I could not find any information on the BF website informing other Woman Foilists that discretionary positions would be allocated to a selected U23 group of fencers last season and 2018/19 over other athletes regardless of ranking. So with that news now out to the wider masses and Senior Woman Foilists now armed with the knowledge that they will have to qualify for Championship representation as discretionary allotment does not apply to them I can move onto other problems I have noticed that will effect athletes.

    I am aware that this next problem has been highlighted before on the Fencing Forum and I completely share the concerns of other members especially now they're exacerbated with non-qualified fencers returning from Championships with points for winning a couple of Poule fights. Certainly any fencer who won a DE should retain their well earned points and congratulations to them. But it really is about time that points for turning up to events should not appear on the GB Ranking Tables! It has been suggested before on the Fencing Forum that World Cup or Grand Prix points should only be earned if an athlete is promoted into L64 by winning their Poule or wins their 1st DE. This would eliminate lucky days at the office with easy Poules and make sure points were rewarded to athletes progressing through an event and not just making up numbers. The major problem we are faced with now is athletes with discretionary places to the European Championships have returned with points and because our Ranking System is rolling this protects them for the whole season unless fencers below actually qualify for the event. Therefore discretionary places to the European Championships in 2018/19 could be acquired by athletes on the basis they were discretionary this season! Obviously the discrepancies will vary from weapon to weapon, but as we all know by now I'll be using WF to illustrate. 8000pts was the amount obtained for not progression in the DE's, now to highlight this and place it into context, an athlete would have to win the GB Nationals two and a half times, or achieve 2 L64's at a World Cup. Athletes need to start winning their points and places on the Rankings, the dividend of these cheap points don't just effect the very top of the Table but cascade down the system. Athletes attempting to reach the level for WC Squad selection using the domestic circuit and Satellites are hampered by fencers already on the system collecting the just made the cut points at the higher World Cup and Grand Prix events. This system does not depict talent, but emphasises the ability to travel.

    I know I already touched on the Domestic Circuit in Britain and I am aware some of our weapons have a thriving scene not only in participation but with new elite circuits. However I've witnessed the decimation of Woman's Foil, participation numbers have crashed and perhaps lately we've seen a slight recovery, but of course mismanagement of the weapon does not help. Competitions are now thin on the ground, some have disappeared of their own accord. But others have been pushed aside by our NGB, this Season we have no Essex Open thanks to BF taking over their weekend of 40 years or so. This was still one of the larger events for WF and essential for our domestic scene. With this events departure this year the Woman's Foil Domestic Circuit probably has four worthwhile events for athletes searching for points - Scottish Open, Welsh Open, Birmingham International, and the Nationals. It's hardly a system to be proud of and it certainly makes it harder for fencers to make an impression on the flawed Rankings. But not to panic aspiring athletes can then turn to the Satellite Circuit to endeavour to make their progression up the Rankings. Alas an even higher power than BF has made this a system enhancing again the ability to travel over talent placing all Satellites in the first 7 weeks of the fencing calendar. Also remembering that to even get close to just made the cut points from a World Cup a fencer would have to at least get a L8 or better at a Satellite.

    So after my rant I wish all fencing athletes good luck especially female fencers in foil, points are hard to find, the Ranking System doesn't work and you'll find it particularly difficult to make through roads in it. Yes I'm still a bitter parent but also a lover of the sport in which I've participated in and watched some of my children grow up in. My concerns for the sport are genuine and not just blinkered to my own daughter. Our Ranking System is flawed and has been for some time and requires adjusting, this Seasons WF circuit at home is a disgrace and nothing to be proud about. The next level for fencers to compete in is the Satellites and to have all of these at the beginning of the Season is simply an absurdity.

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    Not sure who you are NQAV but thanks for raising your concerns. Looking at WS numbers are tiny and the future looks bleak!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not quite a Vet View Post
    apart from Woman's Foil where 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th were selected as the Squad with 2nd place being NTR, this was due to BF's selection policy where individuals had to be U23 the following Season.
    Wait, WHAT?! Curtis is 26, Aliya is 24, Kat is 27, Julie 31, Phil and Paul 24 and Greg 46!
    FIE

    https://www.britishfencing.com/senio...ionships-2018/

    If this is the reason given for non-selection it sounds strongly like BS to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Not quite a Vet View Post
    It has been suggested before on the Fencing Forum that World Cup or Grand Prix points should only be earned if an athlete is promoted into L64 by winning their Poule or wins their 1st DE.
    Yep - shouldn't be any domestic points for a L128, should be at least L96 and you should have to win a DE or get a bye from your poule results.
    It looks like BF are considering ways to make changes to the rankings system, as we saw from their consultation on their proposed "make everyone do the U23 circuit" craziness, but presumably as nothing else has happened about that, they've decided to rethink. Would be definitely beneficial if we could make that change, but leave the mostly non-discretionary selection for WC/GP that we had last season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Not quite a Vet View Post
    But others have been pushed aside by our NGB, this Season we have no Essex Open thanks to BF taking over their weekend of 40 years or so.
    Calendar is becoming increasingly ridiculous at the moment. In WS we see the LP clash with the Welsh, which also clashes with the Orleans WC.
    There's also no central Calendar with all the events on. We were talking about this yesterday, to see the full list of Domestics only, you have to check:
    • BF Events Calendar
    • Allentries
    • Sport80
    • LP Centre Competitions
    • Individual websites such as Welsh Open

    This is caused by BF trying to monetise their position by introducing Event licensing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Not quite a Vet View Post
    Alas an even higher power than BF has made this a system enhancing again the ability to travel over talent placing all Satellites in the first 7 weeks of the fencing calendar.
    Don't get me started - after November there's nothing until Easter of any size in MS, but the first 3 months are ridiculously congested.
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

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    Chris Howser cesh_fencing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    There's also no central Calendar with all the events on. We were talking about this yesterday, to see the full list of Domestics only, you have to check:
    • BF Events Calendar
    • Allentries
    • Sport80
    • LP Centre Competitions
    • Individual websites such as Welsh Open

    This is caused by BF trying to monetise their position by introducing Event licensing.
    Key point is that if it is not on the BF list, it is not licenced (as the licence feeds the BF event calendar), so it is not insured by British Fencing Insurance.

    I would not want to be the organiser taking that liability risk, if something goes badly wrong..
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Just added to your rep Alan!

    Sometimes one has to ask if those making policy actually consider its consequenses.

    P N-M

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Key point is that if it is not on the BF list, it is not licenced (as the licence feeds the BF event calendar), so it is not insured by British Fencing Insurance.
    None of the BRC cadet & junior epee events are listed ... surely they must be licenced? Miller-Hallet??

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    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    Wait, WHAT?! Curtis is 26, Aliya is 24, Kat is 27, Julie 31, Phil and Paul 24 and Greg 46!
    If this is the reason given for non-selection it sounds strongly like BS to me.
    When the Squads were announced my daughter instantly appealed to no effect, firstly advised it was to be an U23 Squad, she immediately pointed out she was still under 23, then she was informed it was an U23 Squad for the following Season. Don't get me started hokers, I checked the selected Squads for other weapons, quickly I discovered there obviously was no age restrictions to any other weapon and in actual fact the Top 4 had been selected across the board except WF.
    So believe me when I say I completely concur with your conclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    Yep - shouldn't be any domestic points for a L128, should be at least L96 and you should have to win a DE or get a bye from your poule results.
    This is a practical and common sense solution, athletes already in the selection zone for WC's & GP's should not earn protection points just making the cut, this would allow other fencers to attack their position on the Ranking Table and earn places to the following event. It would make the Rankings flow, encourage more fencers to compete in the Domestic Circuit or at Satellites. There would no longer be an unfair safety net for the WC Circuit selected and if they weren't earning points through progression, they would have to protect their positions with points obtained from other competitions (preferably from a strong Domestic scene).

    Also as I pointed out, the "made the cut points" handed out to athletes from the European Championships is frankly ludicrous, fencers are now sitting with enough points on their Rankings to protect them for a whole Season. To the level that another athlete would have to actually qualify for the Euro's to pass them, but in WF as an actual Senior it looks like that would be required anyway as the discretionary positions are already booked.

    The Rankings are a joke as they stand, excluding Satellite Points, if you look at WF only the Number 1 fencer should be in possession of WC or Championship Points - L64 & 1st DE victory at the Euros. All other points are participation not progression points and that includes my daughter.

    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    Don't get me started - after November there's nothing until Easter of any size in MS, but the first 3 months are ridiculously congested.
    It is an even worse scenario than I feared then, I was under the impression that it was only WF that was experiencing the obliteration of it's Domestic Events. Since my daughter's burgeoning competitive career which now spans just short of a decade, WF events have simply dissipated. There used to be a safe "big 6" competitions closely followed by another 6 or more medium sized events where valid Ranking Points were available and could propel a fencer up the National Ranking Table. This just isn't possible anymore and with these "made the cut points" being rewarded it makes our Domestic Circuit irrelevant and weaker and weaker.
    Now athletes only other avenue is Satellites. But with them squeezed into a 7 week window at the beginning of the Season it is a system which illustrates the ability to travel rather than success and God forgive any poor fencer who is injured in the first month of the Season. This system is duplicated by our own Ranking Table and it's "made the cut points" too, the ability to travel and receive participation points from WC's does not measure athletes fairly, and rather than illustrate ability it protects fencers who aren't progressing at competitions or supporting our Domestic Events.

    Thank you very much Paul, the selection process for the Senior Europeans was a shocker and to impose criteria on one weapon and not others was to us ludicrous! Especially when the specified age group has it's own Circuit & not only that it's own European Championships. It was also a major problem for me that BF did not publish this agenda so other Senior Athletes were aware of the changing criteria.
    With the Domestic Scene suffering from mismanagement from above and a Ranking System that doesn't support it, I can only see a decline in participation. The "made the cut points" are encouraging non-participation at home and giving athletes a free pass for this new Season. They stagnate the Rankings and prevent the movement of progressing fencers and only highlight where the top fencers have been not where they've been successful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not quite a Vet View Post
    It is an even worse scenario than I feared then, I was under the impression that it was only WF that was experiencing the obliteration of it's Domestic Events. Since my daughter's burgeoning competitive career which now spans just short of a decade, WF events have simply dissipated. There used to be a safe "big 6" competitions closely followed by another 6 or more medium sized events where valid Ranking Points were available and could propel a fencer up the National Ranking Table.
    The only reason the Men's Elite Epee Events Series exist is because a Men's Epeeist, following a bit of nudging from other Men's Epeeists decided to run some top quality Men's Epee event to try to improve the quality of competition for Men's Epeeists. The support of these events has been very positive (now 7 a year including our new Millfield event) with many of the more centrally based events having 35+ of the top 50 Men's Epeeists attending (NIF of 250+) and these events often making up 5 out of the top 6 ranked Opens each year for Men's Epee.

    With a decent NIF, these events are quite influential for the GB rankings, though decent International results will always dominate the points.

    We have tried the same for Women's Epee, but with far less success, I think that is because a Women's Epeeist is not the driving force behind it.

    Why do you not get a big chunk of the Women's Foilists together to agree a time and place and run a single weapon Women's Foil event. Once one goes well, chose a date and time for the next.

    It is easy to say that a weapon is not being catered for, but also sometimes the best way to improve the situation is for those doing a weapon to actually take up the initiative and do their own thing..

    If you really do not want to do it yourself, the top 20/30 of the women's Foil need to set up a group and decide which events that they all want to attend. If they all turn up to an event then it becomes one of their new big 6!!

    The problem comes when some fencers turn up, some do not, then it becomes less influential in the rankings.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    On the topic of selection: Just browsing the teams selected across the other weapons and genders it doesn't seem like there is a prohibition on fencers over the age of 23. It seems strange that any selection body would make their selection on the basis of youth but, given some of the other decisions made by the NGB I wouldn't be entirely surprised. In this case it seems that your daughter has either fallen victim to a strange (one-off) selection criteria or the selection team is making excuses.

    I actually liked a lot of the suggestions in the recent shake-up proposal around selection for WC/GP. I thought that the setting of 'minimum standards' for athletes wishing to compete at this level was broadly a good suggestion. What I did not agree with were the seemingly arbitrary rules favouring Junior athletes. I think the NGB is trying to take inspiration from countries such as Italy and Germany who throw a couple of juniors into the big leagues in order to prepare them for things to come. The UK does not have a fencing infrastructure as advanced as these nations and it is therefore inappropriate to follow this lead. I can go into more detail on why this is at request. It is widely agreed that the role of youth in sporting prowess is diminishing, this is reflected in most widely followed sports and should be reflected in our approach to fencing in the UK.

    On the topic of the ranking system: Yes, it's broken. It has been for quite some time. Unfortunately due to declining numbers of fencers this has become more apparent in recent years as the fencing population is essentially split into those who can attend WCs and those who cannot. The reward for low finishes (attendance) at WC means that a place in the national squad is essentially a place for life assuming that you have the financial means to travel extensively.

    The increased 'divide' between team an non has come about as a result of two factors. Firstly that the reward for attending WCs is disproportionate to the domestic skill of the fencer. If a fencer can get 1000 points from a domestic competition, then they will likely be able to attain 3-4000 from an international, this if you are given the opportunity to go on internationals you increase your ability to gain points by 3-4 fold. If the rankings were a pure reflection of skill and merit then a fencer would have scope (barring at the highest level) to achieve equal points from domestic and international finishes.

    An easy solution would be to reserve international points for a L64 or for where the fencer had at least won a DE. I would actually like to see a reduction in the awarding of points for the bottom 50% of competitions altogether but I understand that this is a contentious issue. To your assertion that the ability to travel gives a fencer more opportunity for points, whilst I agree I also note that this is also the case in the domestic circuit. If you can hit the big comps you are likely to get a decent ranking, this is a fact of life in most sports so I don't think there is a reasonable solution to this at national qualification level.

    On the topic of competition timetable/ participation: Participation is down significantly across certain weapons in the UK. I have elaborated on why I think this is in detail in former posts (not enough investment in grass roots/ introductory fencing, not enough incentive/ achievement outside of national team).

    I agree that BF now needs to seriously think about how it structures the competition calendar. If the insurance is the issue, simply take the position that competitions must have insurance and be a BFA affiliated competition in order to count on the BFA rankings. This would allow smaller comps to run without this obligation (considering that their draw is not ranking points in the first place due to the above discussed ranking system) and allow athletes 'chasing' a ranking to have a set number of competitions each year to target which are listed on the BFA website. This suggestion will draw ire from competition organisers on this forum but I think it would benefit fencers, rankings co-ordinators and organisers alike.

    Please do discuss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cesh_fencing View Post
    Why do you not get a big chunk of the Women's Foilists together to agree a time and place and run a single weapon Women's Foil event. Once one goes well, chose a date and time for the next.
    A cynical person might suggest that, the status quo being what it is, it is not in the interests of the top ranked women's foilists to attend domestic competition because they have nothing to gain by doing so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    A cynical person might suggest that, the status quo being what it is, it is not in the interests of the top ranked women's foilists to attend domestic competition because they have nothing to gain by doing so.
    Well then they are cutting their own throats as a strong domestic circuit can only be beneficial to their performances longer term and as most are fairly young, they are not doing themselves any favours.
    Oundle, Peterborough & Stamford Fencing

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    Quote Originally Posted by danKew View Post
    None of the BRC cadet & junior epee events are listed ... surely they must be licenced? Miller-Hallet??
    There is a fault with the Sport80 registering process. I've been waiting for this issue to be fixed for about a month now. As soon as it's sorted I'll get all the Leon Paul events registered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LP Fencing Centre View Post
    There is a fault with the Sport80 registering process.
    Have they tried turning it off and on again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    A cynical person might suggest that, the status quo being what it is, it is not in the interests of the top ranked women's foilists to attend domestic competition because they have nothing to gain by doing so.
    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    A cynical person might suggest that, the status quo being what it is, it is not in the interests of the top ranked women's foilists to attend domestic competition because they have nothing to gain by doing so.
    I agree with general sentiments of thread - NQAV 's daughter I feel has been wronged - the above quote sums it up really.

    IMO I would prefer to see all those selected for overseas having to consistently earn primacy by competing domestically ... I.e bf should go so far as to remove all overseas earned points ! Radical I know. It would build strength and depth of domestic circuit and permit challenge.

    I can see bf point of view as in current impecunious climate they are looking at those who can consistently field themselves abroad, plus with older fencers they ware understandably nervous about their future as regards other ( non fencing ) life choices... Thus they targeting prospects for 2024 ( ostensibly in expectation of funding coming back on stream after 2020 . This on basis that statistically we have highest medal chance in half a century ).

    However IMO and personally, I think this has on balance a deleterious effect on the longer term participation and overall quality of domestic circuit -- It is on balance of higher benefit to common good that fencers who regularly compete abroad should fight domestically as frequently as possible , thus their sophistication is by osmosis transmitted to the field. However, If the removal / diminishment ( of whatsoever degree is decided ) of their overseas points were to have the effect of dis-incentivizing them from travelling abroad how would you address this ?
    M

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    Default primum non nocere

    It's hard not to be sympathetic with NQAV about the situation experienced by his daughter through BF's idiosyncratic manipulation of the ranking tables in what seems an ad hoc and singular selection process for WF that differs substantially from that employed by the other 5 weapons.
    More importantly, it has, I believe highlighted the problems of how points allocation of non-domestic competitions can adversely affect or indeed even distort domestic ranking to where poule results alone (no DE) from one competition gain as much, or more, than would be possible from doing well at the top half a dozen domestic events. This does not bode well for the future health of our domestic fencing scene which has already seen many once thriving and well-attended Opens go the way of the Dodo in recent years.
    Perhaps things could be helped by changing ranking tables from the 3 domestic/ 3 foreign results to a bigger split (say 4/2) for our home-grown events but BF haven't been particularly helpful this past few years with protecting certain 'big' domestic events - e.g. this years Essex Open. Currently, it would be difficult to pencil in many potential 'big' domestic Opens. The British is probably safe as that's a BF baby ; the Birmingham maybe; although what guarantees do any organisers have that our lead body wouldn't dream up a new, wizard competition that would stymie that?
    British fencing does seem very good at coming up with new initiatives but, IMO, it doesn't pay much heed to that old medical aphorism
    "primum non nocere" - "first do no harm"

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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    On the topic of selection:It seems strange that any selection body would make their selection on the basis of youth but, given some of the other decisions made by the NGB I wouldn't be entirely surprised. In this case it seems that your daughter has either fallen victim to a strange (one-off) selection criteria or the selection team is making excuses.
    Unfortunately the U23 Criteria was the only justification she was given, but with the added information that this was all done with the following Season in question (fencers were picked who would be U23 next season) means it will not be a one-off choice for BF but rather a programme for the 2018/19 Season. However at least now with "just made the cut" points awarded to non-qualified discretionary athletes at the European Championships the Rankings have now been engineered to show the selected Squad at the Top! This is in no way full representation of the membership and was not disclosed to other Senior Athletes competing at the top of the Rankings.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    On the topic of the ranking system: Yes, it's broken. It has been for quite some time. Unfortunately due to declining numbers of fencers this has become more apparent in recent years as the fencing population is essentially split into those who can attend WCs and those who cannot.
    The increased 'divide' between team an non has come about by the reward for attending WCs is disproportionate to the domestic skill of the fencer.
    I honestly think our Domestic System has passed the "crash point" in some weapons; in WF we now have a multitude of small Opens, followed by the Scottish & Welsh Opens which historically have been known to be hit or miss concerning Nif Pts, then we have the Birmingham International & Nationals both of which sit in April practically the end of the fencing season. Movement of athletes on the Rankings this year will be few and far between, with the fencers in 2nd to 4th basically having a free pass for the entire year (other competitors will actually have to achieve Euro Qualification to catch up, 2 x L64 or L32). In theory it would be possible not to fence the entire season at home or abroad and still get discretionary selection for the Euros.
    As for the travelling divide, this is a serious problem especially with the collapse of our mismanaged home-scene. Previously the Rankings would have worked with the absence of "just made the cut" points. Obviously when I say previously I am going back a few years but the ratios of points seemed to be in balance, but that was with a much healthier Domestic Season. When our competitions were a "Big 6" in number followed by a good selection of rewarding Opens, without free non-progression points the arrangement would have worked -

    Small Opens were there to introduce local fencers to the competitive scene and getting athletes venturing on to the Rankings where there was usually a drive for similar events and then the demand for more.
    Then we had the middle sized events like the Allstar Cup or Leeds Open etc where winning would reward an athlete comparable points to a L16 of one of the "Big 6".
    Then we had the "Big 6" where more experienced fencers were competing for major points and with them advances in the Rankings, less experienced would be hoping for L32's or L16's but this would still have major effects on their placings.
    Winning a "Big 6" was just short of a L4 at a Satellite, then winning a Satellite was rewarding half the points an athlete could get winning their 1st DE at a World Cup or Grand Prix.
    The step up in the points rewarded without "just made the cut" points were in a ratio that balanced the system and showed the differences in achievements from event to event. The difficulty levels from each competition were in my opinion illustrated well.
    But unfortunately with the utter collapse of our home season this can not be the case now. Now we have an even worse situation of those who can and those who can't, the wisdom of having all the Satellites crushed together at the beginning of the fencing calendar is madness. But if any aspiring athlete wishes to climb the Rankings this year then this is probably their only option as there is no route for solid progression domestically.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    An easy solution would be to reserve international points for a L64 or for where the fencer had at least won a DE.
    This is a very wise move which is shared by quite a few already including myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    On the topic of competition timetable/ participation: Participation is down significantly across certain weapons in the UK.
    I agree that BF now needs to seriously think about how it structures the competition calendar..
    Something has to be done about the non-existent competition calendar in some weapons; as it stands in WF there is two larger events - perhaps guaranteed - at the end of the fencing year in April which realistically is pretty pointless. Movement unless competing in Satellites will be utterly stagnant therefore selection timetables & procedures for WC's are now meaningless.
    There is a structural problem emanating from the NGB itself, the clash hosting of events with long standing Opens is ludicrous. The loss of such competitions by the actions of BF are criminal towards our sport, in the climate we find our domestic scene in this is a self destructive move by BF with no regard to the future!

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    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    I agree with general sentiments of thread - NQAV 's daughter I feel has been wronged.
    Firstly many thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    IMO I would prefer to see all those selected for overseas having to consistently earn primacy by competing domestically ... I.e bf should go so far as to remove all overseas earned points ! Radical I know. It would build strength and depth of domestic circuit and permit challenge.
    As usual my focus and knowledge is only on WF but from others on this thread we have been shown other weapons aren't fairing that great either; the domestic scene needs protected for the growth of fencing, it really is that simple. This suggestion of yours for the full participation of all may be the only way to kick start our Domestic Season

    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    I can see bf point of view as in current impecunious climate they are looking at those who can consistently field themselves abroad, plus with older fencers they ware understandably nervous about their future as regards other ( non fencing ) life choices...
    Understandable but in our case my daughter is fully committed to the sport and has goals she's still aiming for; she may be seen as too long in the tooth at 22 by some, but will be around the sport for quite a few years yet especially as she's a mature student only in 1st Year fully entrenched in the BUCS system. Which by the way supplies more fencing than our Domestic Calendar at the moment. I'm also very sure there are other full Senior Athletes out there with similar drives and passions for the sport along with longtime goals unknown to BF.

    Quote Originally Posted by plenty View Post
    However IMO and personally, I think this has on balance a deleterious effect on the longer term participation and overall quality of domestic circuit -- It is on balance of higher benefit to common good that fencers who regularly compete abroad should fight domestically as frequently as possible , thus their sophistication is by osmosis transmitted to the field
    A strong domestic programme benefits all, Seniors given equal chances and playing fields stay in the sport, the system retains fencers and the youth benefit from competitive Senior Fencers still fencing Domestically & Abroad. I completely Agree.
    But there is a damaging cycle within BF's mantra which grabs youth over experience in WF, it has happened a few times within the weapon over recent years in the hope of producing fruit down the line. I personally have still to witness this transpire. However what is guaranteed is the disfranchisement of the "older" fencer, it nurtures the belief that they're not wanted by the governing body. It inevitably sees talent leave the sport, it produces nothing but a Ranking Table top heavy with younger athletes because the individuals who are 22+ are no longer in the sport.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Jon Willis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Not quite a Vet View Post
    I honestly think our Domestic System has passed the "crash point" in some weapons
    I think the time has come to scrap the current national rankings and domestic calendar and start again.

    The biggest asset British Fencing own is the calendar and it is being massively undervalued.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    I think the time has come to scrap the current national rankings and domestic calendar and start again.

    The biggest asset British Fencing own is the calendar and it is being massively undervalued.
    Jon. Whilst I appreciate you aren’t a member or the governing body (I might be wrong on that) you are probably well placed to tell us whether there is appetite in the decision making community to make this propitiation a reality?

    Who do I speak to about this?

  20. #20
    ***** Legend hokers's Avatar
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    As you're here Jon, can you give us some insight into how come the LP sabre ended up clashing with Orleans and the Welsh Open?

    Is there some directive to keep the majority of domestics in a certain time window?

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