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Thread: When did we lose it?

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    Guys, let's put this into perspective.

    British Fencing is losing 10,000 -20,000 a year on events without including staff costs. That is unsustainable.
    Does this justify a lack of transparency?

    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    1. Raising revenues, by increasing the number of entries, and increasing the price per entry. The entry for the British Youth Championships will be 35. That compares with the entry fee for the England Youth Championships of 33.
    Where or how do you account for the 30 poll tax (10 on three parents)?

    The 35 is a portion of a total fee of 65.
    The 35 portion (quoted) has increased from 24 which is 45% increase (yes a +45%)
    The levy has changed to 30 from 28 which is 7% increase

    The total fee has gone from 52 to 65 which is +25%

    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    The hope is the number of entries should go up given the selection criteria have been relaxed from one in four to one in three entries qualifying.
    Why have the qualifiers at all? If we are so confident the 35 is the correct number we only have to double the number of entries at the BYC to increase the entry revenue. Or are we in denial about the existence of the 30 levy. In any case +45% should be more than enough to cover the losses on Championships that in 2017 didn't exist? or do they exist now? Who knows?

    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    2. Reducing costs. BF is looking at all aspects of running competitions to make sure that it continues to provide quality events, while keeping costs as low as possible.
    Yes - Where is the evidence for this? I see plenty on the other side of the equation. Hidden in poll tax increases and the less hidden +45% increase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Francophile View Post
    Compare this with the NAC in Kansas run by the US Fencing Association next month. There is a registration fee of $75 and an entry fee of $95 - total of $170 - that's 130 in sterling. The USFA makes more than $600,000 a year from its competitions.
    Given we are looking at a fee of 65 (half of the 130 quoted) why isn't the profit on events $300k per year ? ....
    Funny that.

  2. #22

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    A quick back of the envelope calculation.

    There were 1004 entries at the BYC's last year.

    So, even if you ignore the poll tax element of the BYC fee structure.
    If next years BYC has the same number of entries that equates to 35,140 in direct entrant fees.
    (the qualification ratio has changed from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3 - so number of entries is expected to go up)

    This is extra 11,044 if the number of entries next year remains at 1004.

    There are some who applaud a 45% increase in fees. because one aspect of the fee structure look optically like the EYC entry fee.

    At the regional qualifiers each of those 1004 entries had up to 3 entries locally. So, an extra 3012 entries at the regionals are also all being charged the poll tax.

    4016 entries at the regionals each charged 10 which is an income of 40,160.
    That is an extra 12,048 on last year (+7%). (12k is an interesting number in the BF accounts)

    There are some who think this 10 charge doesn't exist because its up to the regions how they collect/charge it.
    Shouldn't be in the equation because the Regions paid it.

    In any case without doing a proper analysis on regional entry levels and expected additional entries at the BYC's the total extra income raised is 23,092

    There are some who will continue to hide behind a claim made some years ago that events lost money. And that even now they loss between 10k to 20k but provide no recent evidence that the BYC's went from a net contributor to a loss maker and no evidence that costs have been looked at and addressed where possible.

    It has been said to me that the BYC's are not a grassroots initiative. They may or may not be true - I don't know. but I would hazard a guess that the regions are run by grassroots volunteers and they view their qualifiers as a grassroots event. A grassroot movements should be transparent to their own constituents on all activities they promote irrespective of whether the activity in question is or is not a grassroots initiative. Both the 10 and the 35 entry structure and make transparent the percentage changes.

  3. #23
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    Default [QUOTE=Nick;323359]So has the devolution efforts of the BFA failed?

    I think the devolution has been a success. From what I see coach, referee and armourer courses have increased. Certainly in South West we have more local competitions.
    What has failed is the COMMUNICATION link. There is now a Regional Digest and a Club Digest and of course, a general email. Not one of these was used to explain the financial crisis the BF faces. A little explanation(or transparency) goes a long way to avoiding responses such as those to the BYC fee increases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akster View Post
    Does this justify a lack of transparency?



    Given we are looking at a fee of 65 (half of the 130 quoted) why isn't the profit on events $300k per year ? ....
    Funny that.
    Oooops, basic economic flaw I'm afraid, If I buy something for 10 and sell if for 20 I make a profit of 10. If I sell the same item for 10 I make 0 profit. In other words, if we charge half what the Americans charge but costs are broadly the same it is the profit that is reduced to 0, the costs don't go down, your profits do.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by grizz View Post
    Oooops, basic economic flaw I'm afraid, If I buy something for 10 and sell if for 20 I make a profit of 10. If I sell the same item for 10 I make 0 profit. In other words, if we charge half what the Americans charge but costs are broadly the same it is the profit that is reduced to 0, the costs don't go down, your profits do.
    Thanks grizz for answering this question and your explanation. The $300k question wasn't too high up on my list of questions but your answer got me thinking nevertheless.

    If we had a cost breakdown of events cost in the 2018 accounts would we know how close we are to $300k in 2019? Wouldn't it be great if we got a break down in 2019?

    Depending where you sit on the following. Either the regions are collectors of the levy and should shut up and collect the tax or they are substantial funders the BYC's. Perhaps the chairs will have more luck finding out where the 12,000 is going? Or at least see if all parties can agree that 2019 is the year we try to work out how close we got to $300k.

    There are a few other questions but maybe this one might be most relevant to the $300k question.

    I understand that BF is looking at all aspects of running competitions to make sure that it continues to provide quality events, while keeping costs as low as possible. Where is the evidence for this? It might help to answer the above as I see plenty on the other side of the equation.

    However, you are right in summary. If charging 10 yields 0 profit (the BYC was in the net contributor bucket in 2017) we should try to get the regions to levy 20. There are regions who run their qualifiers to break even at 17 per entry. If we could squeeze their costs to say 15. They could charged 35 per entry in the qualifiers and then they would be comparable to BYC's direct entry fee and the EYC's 33. I am assuming the EYC's break even at 33?

    Charging 95 for each BYC entry would be even closer to 130. At this point we would beyond any discussion of $300k; we would be targeting $600k. Can you imagine how awesome that would be. Now that would be funny. But maybe the number of entries is important? perhaps grassroots means trying to have more fencers at the qualifiers that are being run by a set of grassroots volunteers? Remember the folks we were told were critical to the success of sport but now feel like the have been "kicked in the teeth".

    I am really not too sure any more but perhaps transparency from all parties involved would clear up the confusion.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    As someone that missed most of my youth fencing and junior years through injuries and lack of available clubs I'm curious as to what the difference is between the BYC's and Cadet and Junior Championships. To me it sounds like we're doubling up on a National championships?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    As someone that missed most of my youth fencing and junior years through injuries and lack of available clubs I'm curious as to what the difference is between the BYC's and Cadet and Junior Championships. To me it sounds like we're doubling up on a National championships?
    Bycs are an age group championships u12, 14,16,18 where there are qualifiers in each region and the top so many from a region can go. Cadets is under 17 and juniors is under 20. Could argue under 18 byc is doubling up, but that tends to be reflected in fewer top fencers entering that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabeares View Post
    Bycs are an age group championships u12, 14,16,18 where there are qualifiers in each region and the top so many from a region can go. Cadets is under 17 and juniors is under 20. Could argue under 18 byc is doubling up, but that tends to be reflected in fewer top fencers entering that
    The other difference is anyone resident in Britain can enter the BYC, so includes foreign students at British Boarding Schools and foreign nationals living in Britain. The Cadet & Junior Nationals are closed and require a UK passport.

    The U16 & U18 in theory overlap however as stated above have a wider eligibility criteria and for fencers who started later gives them an accessible National age-group competition where they are guaranteed a DE unlike the U20 Junior Nationals.

    The BYC due to its scheduling always has a mix of ages and weapons each day, for many fencers it is a chance to watch other weapons and younger fencers to see some of our top Cadets and younger Juniors fence. This can be great inspiration for younger fencers. For the fencer from a small club instead of being on their own they are then part of a region which can bring friendship and support.

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    I think, as is often the case in our country, we are looking at this the wrong way. We are always looking to keep costs down rather than focus on quality first. When Baldric ran the EYCs the planning went like this, what does a high quality competition look like? How much will it cost? How do we find the money? Don't compromise on the quality!

    The above approach meant that quality was never compromised and lead to the best youth event of the year, at the time we were more expensive than most comps but people were happy to pay for it. By way of example, hands up how many parents would pay an extra 10 per comp to ensure that there were the best possible referees and plenty of them? BF often refuses to pay referees a reasonable rate and thus always struggles to attract sufficient high quality referees. When Ray ran the EYCs we had the best of British and many top quality European referees in attendance. In effect an extra 10 would only add a further 100 per year to most parents fencing costs, a small price to pay for a far better experience for their children.

    In regard to the BYCs a simple quick fix would be to drop the U18s (most young fencers don't bother going) and add in the U10s. There would be loads of little kids that would want to enter, both at regional and national level and thus increase income dramatically.

    Jed

  10. #30
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    The cost of fencing is something I always find to be a fascinating question. Compared to things like Equestrian events, our membership fees, equipment and training costs and competition entry costs are astoundingly low. That being said, if you misuse a little money in your sport then the question comes of how much you would misuse if you had a lot of money. I am also aware that Equestrian events attract a lot more money from sponsorship and trade stands at events. I've said it before and again. As long as competitions have one shop/manufacturer represented we will not see growth in fencing. There is no real competition between manufacturers to force them to raise their standards, we are lucky in many respects that the standards of Leon Paul have been so consistently high. It blows my mind though that each fencing competition isn't setting aside a space for trade stands. They could be selling food, clothing, fencing related toys, services like massage or physio. You could have personal trainers gyms bringing along a stand particularly from some of the national chains like Fitness First or theGym. If I even visit a dog show with my partner, there are trade stands left, right & centre and then they sell programs for the format of the day so you know what is going on and who is entered. Yet again those programs could also contain paid adverts. While this was more of the topic of the other thread I posted, as fencers if we want the sport to get better we have to stop reaching out our hands to the BFA for the money and start figuring out ways to draw in more money to the sport. I was reminded yesterday that Emil Beck at Tauber pestered Adidas and Mercedes Benz until they gave them sponsorship.
    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.
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    Next Competition:t.b.d.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    The cost of fencing is something I always find to be a fascinating question. Compared to things like Equestrian events, our membership fees, equipment and training costs and competition entry costs are astoundingly low. That being said, if you misuse a little money in your sport then the question comes of how much you would misuse if you had a lot of money. I am also aware that Equestrian events attract a lot more money from sponsorship and trade stands at events. I've said it before and again. As long as competitions have one shop/manufacturer represented we will not see growth in fencing. There is no real competition between manufacturers to force them to raise their standards, we are lucky in many respects that the standards of Leon Paul have been so consistently high. It blows my mind though that each fencing competition isn't setting aside a space for trade stands. They could be selling food, clothing, fencing related toys, services like massage or physio. You could have personal trainers gyms bringing along a stand particularly from some of the national chains like Fitness First or theGym. If I even visit a dog show with my partner, there are trade stands left, right & centre and then they sell programs for the format of the day so you know what is going on and who is entered. Yet again those programs could also contain paid adverts. While this was more of the topic of the other thread I posted, as fencers if we want the sport to get better we have to stop reaching out our hands to the BFA for the money and start figuring out ways to draw in more money to the sport. I was reminded yesterday that Emil Beck at Tauber pestered Adidas and Mercedes Benz until they gave them sponsorship.
    I don't think that the lack of competition in suppliers is the cause of low numbers in fencing. I think it is the result of it. I doubt kit stands at competitions make a great deal of money so I think it would be difficult to get two to go along. And as for fitness first, I don't know if this was some kind of joke or just wishful thinking but I don't know where the business rationale would be, signing up to a gym is based on location and preference, not on who approaches you at e fencing competition.

    Coming back to my original point, most of the woes bemoaned above come from not having enough interest in the sport. The market for competitions, equipment and (potential (sponsorship) is so low because nobody does fencing. Realistically you are pitching to an audience of under 5,000 people in the UK therefore nobody is interested in putting in investment as a third party business prospect.

    The businesses which do operate off of fencing in the UK would be well placed to encourage higher participation in the sport. I could see Leon Paul or Allstar sponsoring a range of salles/ school clubs to encourage kids to take up the sport with the view that they would reap the benefits in sales later down the line. I could also see certain professional services companies sponsoring events given the relatively wealthy demographic which fencing appeals to. That being said, time and time again the level of investment and return on said investment will come down to how many people we have on the books. At the moment we are a tiny minority sport which is fading further still into the realms of elitism.

    With hindsight all that money pumped into the pathway programme, which realistically has given us no world class athletes (Richard was world class before and James is not IMO), should have been pumped into encouraging fencing uptake across schools and youth clubs, the development of a more comprehensive regional competition base and the retention of participants.

    This would have given us a strong base on which to thrive in the coming years, as it is we are left with a handful of fairly disillusioned 20 somethings who will soon realise that with the funding cuts there is no viable way for them to continue the sport at a high level.

    I implore anyone who might see this so invest in the future of our sport because frankly, the present ain't great. We need to bring in and retain young participants and appreciate that this sport CANNOT run on the achievements (or lack of) of a few at the TOP.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    I agree the allocation of funding to performance programs was a mistake and effectively was an attempt to teach fencers to fleche before they have learned an enguarde position, hopefully it's a lesson learned by the BFA. Moving on.
    I agree participation in fencing is low.
    I agree that we have a finite market as a result and as such are not particularly attractive to sponsors and other businesses.
    The reason I think in terms of these sorts of stands is that we won't ever turn fencing into a sport that can be televised until we get people watching it live. - As I see it the limiting factors for watching live fencing is that A)Public don't know the rules, B)It's very fast. C) in between rounds there can be a lot of downtime.
    In a program you can explain the rules answering problem A). In the downtime between rounds you can give spectators something to do like shopping at stands, this has a duel purpose in that it gives bored parents something to do at competitions which may result in them being more likely to give up their weekend. You could also have free/low cost taster sessions running alongside which gives the public a chance to appreciate what is involved. Part of the reason I mention national chain gyms is that they generally have a policy of show up at every trade fair/expo possible to recruit members to the organisation but they are really just one example.
    The other point in inviting multiple kit manufacturers etc is that it creates a buzz and at least the illusion of an active and thriving sport.
    Sadly fencing does better when televised because of slow motion replays and commentary (if you have a decent commentator) but it's a chicken and egg situation. Ultimately the point is to get more money, and more fencers into the sport. Sponsors are only interested in the big results, what they sport needs is grass roots development. As a question, which was the last open in the UK that went onto any of the free "What's on" websites as something that people could spectate at?
    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.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I agree the allocation of funding to performance programs was a mistake and effectively was an attempt to teach fencers to fleche before they have learned an enguarde position, hopefully it's a lesson learned by the BFA. Moving on.
    I agree participation in fencing is low.
    I agree that we have a finite market as a result and as such are not particularly attractive to sponsors and other businesses.
    The reason I think in terms of these sorts of stands is that we won't ever turn fencing into a sport that can be televised until we get people watching it live. - As I see it the limiting factors for watching live fencing is that A)Public don't know the rules, B)It's very fast. C) in between rounds there can be a lot of downtime.
    In a program you can explain the rules answering problem A). In the downtime between rounds you can give spectators something to do like shopping at stands, this has a duel purpose in that it gives bored parents something to do at competitions which may result in them being more likely to give up their weekend. You could also have free/low cost taster sessions running alongside which gives the public a chance to appreciate what is involved. Part of the reason I mention national chain gyms is that they generally have a policy of show up at every trade fair/expo possible to recruit members to the organisation but they are really just one example.
    The other point in inviting multiple kit manufacturers etc is that it creates a buzz and at least the illusion of an active and thriving sport.
    Sadly fencing does better when televised because of slow motion replays and commentary (if you have a decent commentator) but it's a chicken and egg situation. Ultimately the point is to get more money, and more fencers into the sport. Sponsors are only interested in the big results, what they sport needs is grass roots development. As a question, which was the last open in the UK that went onto any of the free "What's on" websites as something that people could spectate at?
    I don't understand what you are arguing for here.... are you saying that fencing events should be televised, open to the public and have beginner sessions running alongside them as well as boutique stores for the public to shop at? (fantasy world). Fencing events will not be attended by members of the non-fencing public, it will not happen. The sport is takes years to understand as a participant let alone a layman.

    The idea that fencing will be able to benefit from being televised in the next 20 years (minimum) is also a fantasy. We all want to be on TV but if there's nobody to watch then that simply will not happen. Please can people stop harping on about how we can make our sport more attractive to TV and start addressing the core problem that our participation rate is ridiculously low.

    'Creating a buzz' is a phrase which has been used again and again by failed businessmen the world over. Create an enjoyable product which people will want to stick with, not a buzz. The future near term funding of fencing will not come from sponsorship, TV or shopping (seriously what?), it will come from participants, lets stop pie in the sky thinking and start moving towards a sustainable membership base through bringing more people into an enjoyable and inclusive sport.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by FencingMove View Post
    I don't understand what you are arguing for here.... are you saying that fencing events should be televised, open to the public and have beginner sessions running alongside them as well as boutique stores for the public to shop at? (fantasy world). Fencing events will not be attended by members of the non-fencing public, it will not happen. The sport is takes years to understand as a participant let alone a layman.

    The idea that fencing will be able to benefit from being televised in the next 20 years (minimum) is also a fantasy. We all want to be on TV but if there's nobody to watch then that simply will not happen. Please can people stop harping on about how we can make our sport more attractive to TV and start addressing the core problem that our participation rate is ridiculously low.

    'Creating a buzz' is a phrase which has been used again and again by failed businessmen the world over. Create an enjoyable product which people will want to stick with, not a buzz. The future near term funding of fencing will not come from sponsorship, TV or shopping (seriously what?), it will come from participants, lets stop pie in the sky thinking and start moving towards a sustainable membership base through bringing more people into an enjoyable and inclusive sport.

    Are you saying that you don't want events being watched live by members of the public?
    Are you saying that you don't want competitions to be used as a springboard to promote fencing and increase participation in the local vicinity?
    Are you saying that complaining about how money has been misspent in the past is going to move us towards a better fencing culture?

    Every single event I have been to in the past ten years that wasn't fencing related, had an area of stands selling products.
    Every single one of those stands had paid to be there.
    If you have a better idea for how to increase funding at the national competitive level without losing more fencers because the personal cost jump is too high, feel free to lay it out.

    I agree making the sport more televisual is not "the answer" it is however part of the answer. A lot of people don't know fencing either exists or is even an option to them, they also don't know that it can be a real sport.
    As I said before getting people in to watch live is an important first step.
    It's not going to help if clubs all around the country don't turn round and start running beginners courses and advertise them properly.
    It's not going to help if clubs don't start writing press releases about every single competition result they get good or bad and send them in to their local newspapers.
    None of it is going to help if fencing clubs don't do that again and again.
    and none of it is going to help if we keep giving fencers the idea that the NGB will pay for them to compete or train instead of expecting fencers to start effectively and actively pursuing sponsorship at a local level. If you can't find one company to sponsor you then why should the members of British Fencing pick up the tab?
    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.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by jahl View Post
    The other difference is anyone resident in Britain can enter the BYC, so includes foreign students at British Boarding Schools and foreign nationals living in Britain. The Cadet & Junior Nationals are closed and require a UK passport.

    The U16 & U18 in theory overlap however as stated above have a wider eligibility criteria and for fencers who started later gives them an accessible National age-group competition where they are guaranteed a DE unlike the U20 Junior Nationals.

    The BYC due to its scheduling always has a mix of ages and weapons each day, for many fencers it is a chance to watch other weapons and younger fencers to see some of our top Cadets and younger Juniors fence. This can be great inspiration for younger fencers. For the fencer from a small club instead of being on their own they are then part of a region which can bring friendship and support.
    Beyond age requirements and nationality. It is now comparable on the all in entry fee at 65 (was 52 this year).

    This year the Nationals were

    Early bird: 52
    Regular: 62
    Late: 104

    I don't think the Nationals involves spraying 10 levies all over the place or asking volunteers to run a qualifier and collect said tenner. Maybe it should? or don't think there is extra tenner on opens. Referee levies?

    I think there are a lot fewer entries on the Nationals?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akster View Post
    Beyond age requirements and nationality. It is now comparable on the all in entry fee at 65 (was 52 this year).
    However your calculations of presuming every fencer has a ratio of 1:3 paying the referee levy in the region are flawed.

    For many regions especially in sabre and frequently in epee for regions the ratio is often 1:1 giving an entry fee of 45 (35 + 10). Often a region will have 4 or fewer fencers entering the qualifier so every fencer qualifies.

    Also in reference to a previous comment of yours on Trade Stands. I do not know the conditions the EIS have the BYC but many Sports Venues do not allow any 3rd party selling of food and drink on their premises, they expect you to use their facilities. British Fencing do have a merchandise stall at the event raising additional funds. With regard to suppliers stalls, often the supplier at the event is also a Sponsor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jahl View Post
    Also in reference to a previous comment of yours on Trade Stands. I do not know the conditions the EIS have the BYC but many Sports Venues do not allow any 3rd party selling of food and drink on their premises, they expect you to use their facilities. British Fencing do have a merchandise stall at the event raising additional funds. With regard to suppliers stalls, often the supplier at the event is also a Sponsor.
    I'm a firm believer in the phrase "don't ask, don't get". I'm aware that often the supplier at the event is the key sponsor and is providing the scoring apparatus, pistes etc. This has been the model of competitions for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately this model is clearly not working anymore. Competitions are closing down or having to raise prices which is resulting in fewer competitors and fewer competitions. If the model isn't working then we have to ask why not? Then we need to look at other models around the world to see what works in other places and identify what key features can be taken on board in the UK, similarly we need to look at the events run by other sports and identify what works for them and see if there is anything we can apply to our situation.
    The easy answer is to raise prices, therefore more money to run competitions. However that results in fewer competitors, it reestablishes the idea of fencing as an elitist sport that the BFA I believe is trying to avoid. You then get a drop in fencers generally as they can't be bothered to train if they can't afford to compete which results in a drop of BFA memberships which means there is even less of an ability for the BFA to operate.

    So we can't just raise the cost of entering a competition. Although that seems to be happening anyway.

    as a side note I will say that from what I've seen, competitions have overall improved in how they are run etc, not that long ago all the pistes were a bit of tape on the floor, fencer refereed with the possible exception of the last 8. You would see maybe four or five referees at one of the big competitions. From what I have seen, there is now a tendency for metallic pistes and referees for almost every DE.
    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.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Are you saying that you don't want events being watched live by members of the public?
    Are you saying that you don't want competitions to be used as a springboard to promote fencing and increase participation in the local vicinity?
    Are you saying that complaining about how money has been misspent in the past is going to move us towards a better fencing culture?
    I would love all of the above to happen. I would also love world peace to be declared tomorrow, a cure for cancer, an end to hunger and to receive my letter from Hogwarts.

    However, like the above (with the exception of my letter from Hogwarts), televised fencing, members of the non-fencing public attending competitions, fencing as a shopping experience and large scale sponsorship from thin air are not going to happen within the next 10-15 years.

    I would therefore suggest focusing on expanding our participation through capture and retention rather than shooting for pipe dreams.

  19. #39
    Senior Member Nick's Avatar
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    On a side note, does anyone know how much the BFA saved each year by getting rid of the membership cards?
    This is something I've been thinking about for some time. I wonder if we may have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.
    At competitions the BFA cards were a nuisance. People forgot them or they might have just run out of date and it was another thing to worry about...

    but

    It gave a tangible return from your membership of British Fencing. If you were a coach it showed it. For me it lived in my wallet and every time I saw it was a reminder that I was a member of British Fencing and got me thinking about fencing straight away, and I remember friends spotting it and asking what it was. I remember young fencers being excited when they got their first BFA card because they were now a "real fencer".. I wonder how many people started fencing because they saw a BFA card in a friends wallet.... Psychologically I wonder if getting rid of the cards was a mistake.
    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.

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    It gave a tangible return from your membership of British Fencing. If you were a coach it showed it. For me it lived in my wallet and every time I saw it was a reminder that I was a member of British Fencing and got me thinking about fencing straight away, and I remember friends spotting it and asking what it was. I remember young fencers being excited when they got their first BFA card because they were now a "real fencer".. I wonder how many people started fencing because they saw a BFA card in a friends wallet.... Psychologically I wonder if getting rid of the cards was a mistake.
    From a personal perspective the scrapping of cards has had absolutely no effect on how I associate with the sport. The 'psychological impact' of not having a physical membership card is negligible.

    I strongly believe that nobody would consider whether or not to become a member of the BFA based on whether or not they received a piece of card in the mail.

    I actually think there is a strong case for getting rid of the physical copy of 'The Sword' magazine unless requested as this, no doubt generates massive cost with little value added. I suspect in most households the magazine goes straight from letterbox to bin without being read.

    Seems to me like you are quite a big fan of form over function in your appreciation of the sport.

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