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Thread: Light Turnout for 2012 SN Quals

  1. #41
    Senior Member dberke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misha View Post
    Discussing by some "very knowledgeable people" does not make it legal!
    Exactly... the "very knowledgeable people" apparently weren't knowledgeable enough to know the actual rules regarding qualifier formats as mfp and misha have quoted!

    There are many areas where the proper procedures are poorly documented by the USFA. However, this is one area where the rules are pretty explicit.

    Since these events are qualifiers for the national championships, we can't have divisions just make $#!+ up based on someone's opinion of what is fair or not. There's already enough flexibility in the allowed formats to give divisions reasonable choices. What NorCal is doing is clearly beyond the allowed formats.

    As we saw earlier this season with the problems at the JO Qualifiers in Utah, the USFA is paying attention to improperly run qualifiers. I strongly suggest that the EC for the NorCal Division take note of that and run their Div II/III/Y14 qualifiers in accordance with the written rules to avoid problems.

    Dan
    Last edited by dberke; 02-28-2012 at 06:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjefferies View Post
    Think about why we have classifications etc. It's an imperfect mechanism to remove luck as the major factor in how fencers place. If you did not have some leveling mechanism then you could have a pool made up of all experience fencers and another pool made up of all novices. The winners of the two pools would be rated as equal. (ok there's number of victories and indicators but you see what I mean). Other nations use standings as the leveling mechanism. But given the geographic spread of fencers and their number in the US the classification system was created. It has a side feature of having some sort of bragging rights etc.

    Oops sorry didn't really answer the question. Like I said I'm down with a cold. But as all fencers know even with the leveling mechanism of classifications it's still possible to get an "easy" pool. "easy" being relative of course. So if you are lucky you'll get a pool of people who will be over awed at your particular best move or who are willing to attack when you are most ready. Hence awarding the coveted "qualified" status based on results in the pool is rather like awarding based on your luck in drawing the pool. Or so the argument goes. Way back when, tournaments were all pools. When there's only 15 or 20 or so it's maybe possible. But when you have 30 fencers that's 29x28?? bouts. Anyway the reason for having a system of pools followed by DE's is to make a tournament feasible. Still final placement does have an element of luck in it.
    So you go from rewarding "luck" over a series of bout, to rewarding "luck" over one bout. You have to agree that there are times when fencer A can beat fencer B, but not fencers C, D, or E (none of whom can beat B)?

  3. #43
    mfp
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    Quote Originally Posted by misha View Post
    Sheesh...

    So if we get enough votes in Division meeting we can have 1 touch bouts instead of 5 touches?!
    And may be change timing and target area while we are at it....
    Hey, maybe even get the Division EC to vote to ignore the USFA's explict rule on strip length for qualifiers and make up some weirdo "short-strip rule". One that changes every time you hear it.

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  4. #44
    Senior Member Mauler's Avatar
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    I was at the NorCal Division meeting when the matter was voted on couple of years ago (rewording and clarification of the existing rule they had). There were only two representatives present who were in charge of a competitive sabre program, one of whom operated out of an extremely limited floor space. So my concerns fell on deaf ears.

    At the time, I had no prior knowledge of the localized history of that particular rule. For clarification, and in an attempt to avoid unintended consequences, I wanted to double-check with those present that the implementation of this rule is surely meant only for Foil and Epee, not Sabre. There was a blank stare, as if wondering why does it matter?

    In Sabre, however, such a notion is a critical game-breaker for modern Sabre -- a combination of a few blade/foot preparations could easily use up entire length of a strip! Implication of a location-based strategy is prevalent in every single touch, unlike the other two events. Artificially pausing the bout mid-phrase, and reinitializing the bout at 2 m warning line brings the Sabre game back to the days of cavemen, and it would bring nothing but absolute disservice to the athletes who take their training and competition seriously! And to think, there was another sabre coach in that room who couldn't figure out why this is such an issue.

    But then again, we are talking about a Division leadership that's totally disconnected with most of what goes on within its boundaries. There are plenty of fencing experts in this town, but they mostly bypass the Division (i.e. qualify and compete via other means). I haven't lost hope yet, as I pour thousands of my own dollars into bringing back legitimacy to the local tournaments, ensure that qualification events are run properly, and groom quality referees.

    As for the weird qualification format (which I have encountered only here, out of 36 states), it was implemented long before I moved to CA. But knowing the personalities involved, I have a feeling that I understand how it came about:

    Given,

    • There are not enough qualified referees available/present for the qualifying event.
    • Tournament staff is largely volunteer based, and lack the training/experience required to operate qualifying events.
    • There is no infrastructure that can rectify this situation (i.e. no active referee training, no BC staff training, no general public's demand to improve things, etc).


    Then it creates for a greater frequency of "accidents" in these qualifying events. The host screws up on pool assignments, a "referee" who has no business working at a qualifying event screws up a pool/tableau badly, affecting an outcome of the entire event. Age-old dilemma. To which, the simple solution already exists and has been proven time and time again. However, for whatever the reason, powers-that-be of this Division decided such options are not reachable for them. Hence the make shift fix (i.e. weird format) which adds in a little bit of buffer against screw ups. We all have heard arguments before in favor of double-pool, repechage at national events.

    While there's some work being done to address these matters, it doesn't help that the Division Chairman (our favorite jjeferies, of San Rafael fame ) keeps trying to subtly shut down/reduce the referee training initiative at every meeting. Always loosely associated with a "friendly reminder" that instead of wasting money on referee training wild goose chase, wouldn't it be nice to hold onto that money until the day USA Fencing obliterates the Divisions so that it can be split up between the EC members (i.e. the clubs). Up-to-date minutes of recent meetings are not made public. Strange rulings behind closed doors. Makes you wonder.
    Last edited by Mauler; 02-28-2012 at 10:45 PM. Reason: Subtle adjustment ;)
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauler View Post
    I was at the NorCal Division meeting when the matter was voted on couple of years ago (rewording and clarification of the existing rule they had). There were only two representatives present who were in charge of a competitive sabre program, one of whom operated out of an extremely limited floor space. So my concerns fell on deaf ears.

    At the time, I had no prior knowledge of the localized history of that particular rule. For clarification, and in an attempt to avoid unintended consequences, I wanted to double-check with those present that the implementation of this rule is surely meant only for Foil and Epee, not Sabre. There was a blank stare, as if wondering why does it matter?

    In Sabre, however, such a notion is a critical game-breaker for modern Sabre -- a combination of a few blade/foot preparations could easily use up entire length of a strip! Implication of a location-based strategy is prevalent in every single touch, unlike the other two events. Artificially pausing the bout mid-phrase, and reinitializing the bout at 2 m warning line brings the Sabre game back to the days of cavemen, and it would bring nothing but absolute disservice to the athletes who take their training and competition seriously! And to think, there was another sabre coach in that room who couldn't figure out why this is such an issue.
    I just want to clarify. Your Division has introduced the Two Meter Warning to the modern fencing game in all three weapons?

    Your Honor, I recommend the NorCal Division be turned over to someone from New Jersey who can manage it better. Also, if one of the factions heads West maybe their Division can calm down too.
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  6. #46
    Senior Member Mauler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5MDK View Post
    I just want to clarify. Your Division has introduced the Two Meter Warning to the modern fencing game in all three weapons?

    Your Honor, I recommend the NorCal Division be turned over to someone from New Jersey who can manage it better. Also, if one of the factions heads West maybe their Division can calm down too.
    Clarification:

    They did not introduce it at that meeting. Rather, the vote was regarding a cleaned up language of an existing implementation.

    1 vote against (me). Everyone else voted in favor. Twilight Zone...
    When you have three Romulan Warbirds blocking the escape route, Worf has an emotional breakdown about his childhood toy, Riker announces he's gay, Data's positronic brain gets a virus, and Geordi quits because he's had just one too many imminent warp core breach.... Just sit back, breathe, and follow these simple steps:

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    Quote Originally Posted by misha View Post
    Discussing by some "very knowledgeable people" does not make it legal!.
    What makes it legal is that the EC from the Northern California Division decided that was the way to run the qualifiers, with a fence off for all qualifying positions. A simple DE round can be done with determination of all places. In fact, the USFA website, among it's forms, has a scoresheet for a DE of 16 with all places determined. Here is the link for it. http://assets.usoc.org/assets/docume...IndDE16All.pdf

    Quote Originally Posted by misha View Post
    The other big problem is that whatever format was used was not published anywhere,
    not on Division website, not on Askfred registration page.[/B] It is absolutely required by the same Operation Manual

    7.5.1 Local Competition Formats
    Whatever format the Division or Region decides to use, it must be announced and posted before the start
    of the competition.
    I wasn't there at the start of this event, but have attended events where the format was not only explained to the fencers at the start of the competition, it was posted at the venue in several places. I don't believe it is required that it be published on the internet as long as it is posted where the fencers can see it before the competition begins.


    Quote Originally Posted by misha View Post
    And the quote from the USFA Rulebook:

    o.28 1. The general classification is obtained as follows:
    1st: the winner of the bout for the 1st place;
    2nd: the loser of the bout for the 1st place.
    2. The two fencers who lose the semi-final matches are placed equal 3rd, when it is not
    necessary to separate them.
    3. When it is necessary to separate them, a bout for 3rd and 4th places will be held
    between the two losers of the semi-final matches.
    4. The remainder are placed, within each round of the direct elimination, in
    accordance with their classification for the composition of the direct elimination
    table.

    5. The fencers eliminated in the round of pools are ranked according to their
    classification in this round and they are placed after those who qualified for the
    direct elimination.

    There is no description anywhere how this bottom 8th of top 16 should be seeded for DEs...
    Do they run additional pool of 8 for seeding and then DEs?
    Do they use rankings? Do they use seeding from original pools? Do they use original DE table?
    Why not use repêchage there?
    I don't believe this forbids the decision to fence out all places in the tableau, which is an acceptable format. This isn't repechage. It's just fencing out all the places in the tableau.


    Quote Originally Posted by misha View Post
    Another question is about fairness... how is this format fair to the guy who was seeded 4th out of the pools
    but lost his DE to get to 16? Why not include all the lower table?
    It's not about fairness. It actually unfairly gives the advantage to the more consistent fencer and unfairly disadvantages the least consistent fencer.

    Quote Originally Posted by misha View Post
    Another question is what will happen when we get more fencers and we have 17 qualifying spots?
    Are we going to run the whole separate competition for the bottom 16 of the top 32 table?
    16 people fighting for the 1 last spot?
    To be consistent you would have to fence out the bottom half of the tableau... however in order to have that many qualifiers you would have to have 65 fencers, and for a "Division" qualifiers it would be unlikely to find that many fencers for a Div 2 qualifier. I don't think we get those sorts of numbers for a Bay Cup event, which usually draws from three divisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfp View Post
    Hey, maybe even get the Division EC to vote to ignore the USFA's explict rule on strip length for qualifiers and make up some weirdo "short-strip rule". One that changes every time you hear it.

    Hey... I've always felt that qualifiers should be held on grounded strips... especially in epee... but no one seemed to take that issue seriously.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Mauler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    To be consistent you would have to fence out the bottom half of the tableau... however in order to have that many qualifiers you would have to have 65 fencers, and for a "Division" qualifiers it would be unlikely to find that many fencers for a Div 2 qualifier. I don't think we get those sorts of numbers for a Bay Cup event, which usually draws from three divisions.
    Last 3 Bay Cup events I hosted had: 81, 92, and 103 entries - youth foil (only 2 events), Jr/Vet/DivI(kinda)/DivII sabre, and youth sabre, respectively. There's a great deal of youth development taking place in the region. In a few years (i.e. by the time they're Y-14s), these kids will be flooding the Div II/III qualifiers as well as sweeping the medals. Is the infrastructure/organization ready for that?

    As far as the topic of varying attendance from one year to another at qualifying events...

    I can give anecdotal, partial explanation for sabre.

    • Several competitors at last year's Div II/III qualifier have since become no longer eligible (i.e. too high a rating),
    • moved on to higher goals (i.e. shooting for Cadet/Junior results, therefore does not want the distraction of Div II/III circuit),
    • this year's SN schedule has Div II MS in opposite part of the week from the rest,
    • families having to make tough decisions for economical reasons (i.e. budgeting increasing travel cost as the young athletes move on from regional to national to international arena), and/or missed school days.
    • competitors moving out of the area (i.e. graduated, new job)
    • gap between older teens and next generation of youth competitors
    When you have three Romulan Warbirds blocking the escape route, Worf has an emotional breakdown about his childhood toy, Riker announces he's gay, Data's positronic brain gets a virus, and Geordi quits because he's had just one too many imminent warp core breach.... Just sit back, breathe, and follow these simple steps:

  10. #50
    Senior Member dberke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    What makes it legal is that the EC from the Northern California Division decided that was the way to run the qualifiers, with a fence off for all qualifying positions. A simple DE round can be done with determination of all places. In fact, the USFA website, among it's forms, has a scoresheet for a DE of 16 with all places determined. Here is the link for it. http://assets.usoc.org/assets/docume...IndDE16All.pdf
    One of the fundamental duties of each Division's governing body (the Division EC) is to ensure that the policies and rules of the USFA are applied at the Division level. The Division does NOT have the authority to rewrite those rules or modify them to suit themselves. In this case, the rules are clear about what formats are allowed for qualifiers. The fact that the USFA website has a scoresheet with all places fenced does not mean it is a sanctioned format for qualifiers.

    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    I don't believe this forbids the decision to fence out all places in the tableau, which is an acceptable format. This isn't repechage. It's just fencing out all the places in the tableau.
    Please cite the document which states that fencing out all places is an acceptable format for a qualifier. Two documents stating the opposite have already been cited, so I'm curious what document you think trumps the Operations Manual and Athlete's Handbook.

    Dan

  11. #51
    Senior Member edew's Avatar
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    Dan, you should know, it's the derpity-derp-derp document!
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    =)=///

  12. #52
    mfp
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    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    What makes it legal is that the EC from the Northern California Division decided that was the way to run the qualifiers, with a fence off for all qualifying positions. A simple DE round can be done with determination of all places. In fact, the USFA website, among it's forms, has a scoresheet for a DE of 16 with all places determined. Here is the link for it. http://assets.usoc.org/assets/docume...IndDE16All.pdf

    [...]

    I don't believe this forbids the decision to fence out all places in the tableau, which is an acceptable format. This isn't repechage. It's just fencing out all the places in the tableau.

    Seems odd that someone would claim, that despite the USFA's list of acceptable formats for qualifiers, they think what NorCal does is OK because "it's just fencing out all the places in the tableau" after stating earlier that they don't actually fence out all the places in the tableau, only some of them.
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  13. #53
    Senior Member Mauler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    Hey... I've always felt that qualifiers should be held on grounded strips... especially in epee... but no one seemed to take that issue seriously.
    At least two take it seriously. Every meeting, I voted toward epee qualifiers being held in a venue with grounded strips. I have ZERO epee fencers in contention, btw. Nevertheless, it's called basic respect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dberke View Post
    Please cite the document which states that fencing out all places is an acceptable format for a qualifier. Two documents stating the opposite have already been cited, so I'm curious what document you think trumps the Operations Manual and Athlete's Handbook.

    Dan
    Why don't you site the document that states the DE tableau must be completed without fencing off all places?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfp View Post
    Seems odd that someone would claim, that despite the USFA's list of acceptable formats for qualifiers, they think what NorCal does is OK because "it's just fencing out all the places in the tableau" after stating earlier that they don't actually fence out all the places in the tableau, only some of them.
    Actually you can fence off all places in the tableau. However, if there are 16 competitors & only four qualifying positions the only result in fencing out the rest of the tableau (9-16) would be more bouts. It wouldn't effect the final qualifying placements.

    I haven't been involved with my division's EC for years & am not wedded to the format, but I don't think it's "illegal". As a vet fencer I have been disadvantaged by this format. But it's my division's format.

    At our club, on Saturdays, we often do pools followed by a DE. We often fence out the tableau (the whole thing!) in order to provide more bouts. Several years ago we hosted a women's event with a small turn out, fenced out all places & there were no complaints from the fencers. Quite the contrary. They were happy to get more DEs for their $20 entry.

    Maybe Dan should contact the USFA if he thinks our qualifier was not valid. I was sick & didn't fence & was hoping to qualify via trickle down from the ROC. I'd love it if our division had to fence another qualifier

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    Senior Member telkanuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    Why don't you site the document that states the DE tableau must be completed without fencing off all places?
    Seriously? You're provided with a document that lists acceptable tournament formats for qualifiers, on which a particular format is not mentioned, and you for some reason need another document specifically prohibiting that format?

    Also, you cite documents. You site buildings.
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    So it's legal because while they listed the acceptable methods (e.g. DE tableau) they didn't explicitly say what you can't do (e.g. DE tableau with all places fenced out). It might be worth noting that the two are listed separately on the website and that DE Tableau may not be considered as the same or equal to DE Tableau w/ All Places Fenced or DE Tableau w/ Places Deemed Relevant Fenced.


    That said I'm suggesting DE Tableau with Dance Off at my next Division EC Meeting because I guess they can do that if they want.
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    Actually you can fence off all places in the tableau. However, if there are 16 competitors & only four qualifying positions the only result in fencing out the rest of the tableau (9-16) would be more bouts. It wouldn't effect the final qualifying placements.

    I haven't been involved with my division's EC for years & am not wedded to the format, but I don't think it's "illegal". As a vet fencer I have been disadvantaged by this format. But it's my division's format.
    What would convince you that it's not an approved format for qualifiers? Perhaps a document (or two) stating a list of the only formats allowed for qualifiers?


    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    At our club, on Saturdays, we often do pools followed by a DE. We often fence out the tableau (the whole thing!) in order to provide more bouts. Several years ago we hosted a women's event with a small turn out, fenced out all places & there were no complaints from the fencers. Quite the contrary. They were happy to get more DEs for their $20 entry.
    You don't need to convince anyone of the benefits of fencing all places for events where the goal is a lot of bouts. That's great, and there is no problem. But those events are not qualifiers. Qualifiers need to be run to a stricter standard than "regular" local events.

    Quote Originally Posted by evaluna View Post
    Maybe Dan should contact the USFA if he thinks our qualifier was not valid. I was sick & didn't fence & was hoping to qualify via trickle down from the ROC. I'd love it if our division had to fence another qualifier
    I suspect people at the USFA have already taken notice - a number of them lurk here.

    Dan

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    I moved from NJ to CA, and the local fencing scene made LESS sense.

    Think about that one for a minute
    "Sir, didn't I parry"
    "You didn't take advantage of his blade enough, so no."

    (I guess i should have romanced it a bit more..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by telkanuru View Post
    Seriously? You're provided with a document that lists acceptable tournament formats for qualifiers, on which a particular format is not mentioned, and you for some reason need another document specifically prohibiting that format?

    Also, you cite documents. You site buildings.
    So sorry the fact English is my second language offends you.

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