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Thread: Observations and problems on the horizon...

  1. #21
    Senior Member Jon Willis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Jon. Whilst I appreciate you arenít 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?
    I'm a fully paid up member of British Fencing but not a member of the governing body, I just run BF competitions as a volunteer with a great team of other volunteers trying to paper over the cracks.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Jon Willis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokers View Post
    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?
    Because the British Fencing Talent Pathway manager asked me to move it because of the U20 Foil BRC clashing with a U23 EFC event they wanted to use as a international event instead of a Junior World Cup. The British Men's Team Foil Champs also had to move.

    This years U20 & U17 calendar has already been a source of much dissatisfaction and this move has added to that.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    I'm a fully paid up member of British Fencing but not a member of the governing body, I just run BF competitions as a volunteer with a great team of other volunteers trying to paper over the cracks.
    Thanks for clarifying Jon.

    This is as I suspected. Are you in a position to advise on who makes the decisions regarding ranking systems and calendar management. Would love to have a word.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    I'm a fully paid up member of British Fencing but not a member of the governing body, I just run BF competitions as a volunteer with a great team of other volunteers trying to paper over the cracks.
    Also thank you very much for all your work. And the work of other volunteers in an imperfect system.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Jon Willis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    Thanks for clarifying Jon.

    This is as I suspected. Are you in a position to advise on who makes the decisions regarding ranking systems and calendar management. Would love to have a word.
    I promise you I'm not your man. I would love to have the job of creating a new national calendar. I just work for Leon Paul trying to do the best I can within the current system.

    So while I'll talk fencing, competitions and calendars to pretty much anyone, you would be wasting your time if you wanted to talk to someone who can change things.

  6. #26
    Senior Member danKew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    This years U20 & U17 calendar has already been a source of much dissatisfaction
    It's going to be an interesting and challenging few months for sure.

  7. #27
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    Speravi in te LB(58)LVIII, for our little soupcon of Latin.

    Quote Originally Posted by LifeBeginsAt58 View Post
    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.
    I completely agree LB58 there is no balance to the system at all anymore, the collapse of the Domestic Circuit through mismanagement as left a massive unbalance to the points available to athletes and as you and I have both said the Points without DE progression or "just made the cut" points is a true distortion between fencers and can not illustrate or compare ability from one sportsperson to the next.

    Quote Originally Posted by LifeBeginsAt58 View Post
    Perhaps things could be helped by changing ranking tables from the 3 domestic/ 3 foreign results to a bigger split (say 4/2)
    I think that solution may have had its place in the past but as I said previously I honestly think in some weapons we have departed from a situation that is salvageable. Also with the existence of cheap "just made the cut" points it would not effect the fact that non-qualified discretionary athletes hold 8000+ Pts from the Euro Championships. In total fencers could hold 8000+ & 3000+ Pts on their Ranking without a DE won or progression in a Competition. These points and the desolate domestic scene make the whole structure of the Rankings a pointless joke!

    I probably find myself in agreement with Jon Willis,

    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.
    this is the time for a major innovation concerning our Fencing Calendar at home - how it's managed, how it's used, what it's providing, and the protection of it. Also a proper modification to the Rankings in parallel with the importance of domestic fencing which would highlight talent and not the travelling exploits of an individual.

    This I honestly believe requires seen to Now before the new season begins before our laughable situation gets even worse!

    Quote Originally Posted by LifeBeginsAt58 View Post
    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"
    Couldn't agree more LB58, BF's foolish choices in using non-progression points from WC's and now Championships have made the unbalance so substantial that the British Domestic Circuit has become irrelevant. The ever decreasing British Circuit is all most an extinct entity in some weapons, and this appalling situation can be layed to rest at BF's door too, mismanagement, non-protective actions whether they be the engineering of a poor Ranking structure or as you said the clash booking of weekends hampering or destroying long standing important domestic competitions.

    It's a sorry scenario to be in but choices have been made, decisions taken, some effect individuals and others effect the sport in it's entirety and we have been left in a bit of a mess...

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  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not quite a Vet View Post
    Speravi in te LB(58)LVIII, for our little soupcon of Latin.



    I completely agree LB58 there is no balance to the system at all anymore, the collapse of the Domestic Circuit through mismanagement as left a massive unbalance to the points available to athletes and as you and I have both said the Points without DE progression or "just made the cut" points is a true distortion between fencers and can not illustrate or compare ability from one sportsperson to the next.



    I think that solution may have had its place in the past but as I said previously I honestly think in some weapons we have departed from a situation that is salvageable. Also with the existence of cheap "just made the cut" points it would not effect the fact that non-qualified discretionary athletes hold 8000+ Pts from the Euro Championships. In total fencers could hold 8000+ & 3000+ Pts on their Ranking without a DE won or progression in a Competition. These points and the desolate domestic scene make the whole structure of the Rankings a pointless joke!

    I probably find myself in agreement with Jon Willis,



    this is the time for a major innovation concerning our Fencing Calendar at home - how it's managed, how it's used, what it's providing, and the protection of it. Also a proper modification to the Rankings in parallel with the importance of domestic fencing which would highlight talent and not the travelling exploits of an individual.

    This I honestly believe requires seen to Now before the new season begins before our laughable situation gets even worse!



    Couldn't agree more LB58, BF's foolish choices in using non-progression points from WC's and now Championships have made the unbalance so substantial that the British Domestic Circuit has become irrelevant. The ever decreasing British Circuit is all most an extinct entity in some weapons, and this appalling situation can be layed to rest at BF's door too, mismanagement, non-protective actions whether they be the engineering of a poor Ranking structure or as you said the clash booking of weekends hampering or destroying long standing important domestic competitions.

    It's a sorry scenario to be in but choices have been made, decisions taken, some effect individuals and others effect the sport in it's entirety and we have been left in a bit of a mess...
    As the NGB has a policy of not engaging on the forum might I suggest drafting an open letter? PM me, I would be keen to help in the draft.

  9. #29
    ***** Legend hokers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Willis View Post
    Because the British Fencing Talent Pathway manager asked me to move it because of the U20 Foil BRC clashing with a U23 EFC event they wanted to use as a international event instead of a Junior World Cup. The British Men's Team Foil Champs also had to move.
    So the slot that the LP sabre would have had was taken by the Foil team champs? Who gets to decide that priority?

    WS in both those events is going to be small now, as the top 12 will probably go to Orleans, as it's one of the cheapest A-Grades to get to. What are they left with as 6 strong domestics? We started this thread talking about the damage done to the WF domestic circuit by discretionary selection but it looks like WS may be hit pretty badly too.

    We HAVE to allow some progression for fencers ranked 11-30 to be able to compete with the the top 10 without being selected themselves. The answer cannot just be satellites, we have to build a strong domestic base again.

  10. #30
    Moderator Gav's Avatar
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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.
    I proposed we do this a couple of years ago and wrote in with a couple of suggestions.

    Nice to know I'm not alone (makes a change).
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  11. #31
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    Having had a couple of years break from fencing it's nice to see that not much has really changed. To me it seems that the BFA are still trying to put the cart before the horse. Individual fencing bouts really aren't televisual so fencing doesn't get coverage. Team events are much more televisual as the scores work back and forth. I think it's great that the BFA are focusing on team events internationally but they need that focus domestically as well. Team competitions, limited to one team per club. Teams are more likely to get sponsorship than individuals. Once that profile is raised it opens the doorway to sponsorship for individual fencers and raises the prospects of everyone. Add in the fact that the University fencers in the 18-22 range fence primarily team events, it just seems daft to me that this doesn't get utilised to give fencing a foundation in this country. I also agree that the calendar looks a mess.
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  12. #32
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    So one of my concerns before the Season started was the concentrated mini season of Satellites compacted into the space of 8 weeks. I still hold onto the position that it makes participation extremely expensive for individuals and may financially exclude some athletes. Also any athlete dealing with injury at the begining of the Season will completely miss the Satellite Year.
    But I must recant my full rejection of this new system, because of its intensity and week to week running it does produce some benefits. A properly run NGB could use it as a measure of its Athletes, a proper competitive set of results which illustrates how fencers are doing before the WC & GP Season. Because participation isn't selected it could highlight fencers out with the selection zone worth giving a promotion to the selection of WC Squad. This is definitely useful especially considering our Ranking system is broken and domestically all most impossible to break into a protective selected system.
    The other main benefit I have personally witnessed from the new setup is because of its week to week condensed layout it allows athletes to learn so much more and take on so much more from competition to competition. Skill sets and habits from opponents are picked up and retained so much easier and makes it better for athletes to compete and learn on the job.
    My daughter certainly has benefited from this, fair enough she missed Turkey as it clashed with the Scottish, and Cancun was just too expensive especially on a Commonwealth Year.
    But the rest of the circuit she attended and this has undoubtedly improved her fencing, and I believe it's the intensity week to week submersion of it all that has produced a beneficial learning curve for the competing athletes.
    Now don't get me wrong there has been ups and downs but even from the downs lessons have been learned and it's small margins that require adjusting. eg.
    Amsterdam 3rd great day fencing narrowly losing in the Semi
    The 2 downs were Bucharest and Bratislava, both L32's, but again so much learned and more importantly easily carried through to the next event, one she lost 15/12 to the World No18 who was having a bad day the other just missing the mark 14/12.
    Copenhagen was a L16 just losing to an Argentinian 14/13, picked up on her style though and new what to do next time which was the following week in Barcelona L8 here beating the Argentinian 15/7 from the previous event. Then at the Barcelona Int Open the next day another L8.
    There has been a great improvement on Poule Results too and I have to say I think it's all down to the mini Season, it's allowed Chloe to immerse herself in the events learn from mistakes, pickup on opponents, and develop her own skill sets from the week to week competitive fencing.
    I would recommend it to all aspiring fencers trying to make headway in the Rankings, but I still have misgivings to it's cost unfortunately, I do believe sport should attempt to prevent exclusion via economics at all cost...

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