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Thread: Discussion of referees at the NCAAs

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    Discussion of referees at the NCAAs

    I heard a rumour that one of the saber referees used was wheelchair bound. Can anyone verify if this was the case?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Without addressing the quality of this--or any--specific referee, it's worth noting that referee rating is generally a... let's say, "imperfect," measure of quality and rarely divorced from political considerations.
    This is true but can be said of many things in life in general. Are you suggesting that there's no correlation between rating and skill? Perhaps we could say this: past a rating of X, a certain base level of skill can be expected in the vast majority of cases and 3>X. Additionally, I'd say that to be sent to an FIE exam requires a demonstrated level of performance and proficiency to even get suggested because limited numbers get to test (even when we had a "big test" it wasn't actually that big when you think about it). Furthermore, passing the FIE exam and being licensed to referee both AB and chair events (which has never been accomplished before by an actual chair-bound referee) is no easy feat. There was and clearly is, substantial prejudice against it....say what you will about heretic but when it comes to this world he's not alone in being an unmitigated asshole. At least he's honest about it. That Sean succeeded despite the animus against him is a good enough reason to let his FIE rating count as an indicator of skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    Sorry, but I would not be comfortable as a coach or competitor with having someone who is in a wheelchair ref saber at an NCAA championship. IMO, serving the interests of the fencers is more important than political correctness.
    WTF are you smoking? Why choose to take issue with a wheelchair referee in the one weapon where the industry standard is that the referee rarely moves ever?
    fencer92 and trcm like this.
    I now dangle to the left....my tassle. Get your minds out of the gutter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    Without addressing the quality of this--or any--specific referee, it's worth noting that referee rating is generally a... let's say, "imperfect," measure of quality and rarely divorced from political considerations.
    I hear about referees being considered overrated frequently, but I never hear about anyone considering a referee underrated. It seems an odd dichotomy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5MDK View Post
    I hear about referees being considered overrated frequently, but I never hear about anyone considering a referee underrated. It seems an odd dichotomy.
    I often heat about referees being underrated, it's just not usually a cause for outrage or even anything beyond slight bemusement for anyone other than the referee in question so it's not a noisy issue.
    I now dangle to the left....my tassle. Get your minds out of the gutter.
    "Martin was not an optimist; he was a prisoner of hope." Optimism is about assuming there's evidence that justifies your outlook while hope is about creating the evidence and procuring your own happiness or vision of the world. - Professor West

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD5MDK View Post
    I hear about referees being considered overrated frequently, but I never hear about anyone considering a referee underrated. It seems an odd dichotomy.
    Fencers and coaches generally don't complain when the referee is better than expected.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbiggs View Post
    Is this seriously your opinion, or are you just trying to reinforce your reputation as a complete piece of trash? In addition to being ignorant, your post doesn't even begin to make sense from any practical perspective.

    Either way I don't see why you felt the need to ruin a perfectly good thread with this.
    Amazing. The idea that refs can remain stationary in the most active weapon defies logic. Officiating 101: the ref must be able to keep the lights between both fencers, and that requires constant repositioning. I have a physical disability which limits my mobility, and I would never consider officiating at this level, because it would be a disservice to the athletes, regardless of my rating.

    Sorry but I'm not going to apologize for keeping the interests of the athletes paramount. They don't need to worry about whether or not the ref is capable of following the action to satisfy a misplaced need to assert political correctness.
    Officials exist to serve the interests of the competitors; not the other way around.

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    So you are advocating that it is unnecessary for saber refs to move with the fencers, they should remain stationary since they don't have "robot legs."

    And yes, "political correctness" aside, I have never seen or interacted with the official in question. However, if anyone - even you - were about to fence a pool at the NCAAs, and saw an unfamiliar ref roll up to the strip in a wheelchair, can you honestly say you would not be concerned and unduly distracted?

    Even though raising this issue in a thread relating to the NCAAs makes me "especially gross," I'll find a way to live with myself.

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    Senior Member qatet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    So you are advocating that it is unnecessary for saber refs to move with the fencers, they should remain stationary since they don't have "robot legs."

    And yes, "political correctness" aside, I have never seen or interacted with the official in question. However, if anyone - even you - were about to fence a pool at the NCAAs, and saw an unfamiliar ref roll up to the strip in a wheelchair, can you honestly say you would not be concerned and unduly distracted?
    You don't get out much, do you? Your comments make it very clear that you don't spend much time actually watching sabre.

    I cannot think of any sabre ref worth their salt that I've ever seen move with the action. Every once in a while, if restarting from a spot other than the center of the strip, they'll shift so that they can be on line with the new initial center of the action. That's it. A sabre ref who was trying to move with the fencers would lose the action. But don't take my word for it. Look at any video of decent sabre on youtube. You could discount the FIE stuff, since those strips have repeaters, but there's plenty of NAC footage to keep you busy.

    Sean is also very much *not* an unfamiliar face. These athletes see him every month at NACs, at the very least, and have done so for many years.
    Kate Thomas - Delaware Valley Fencers Club - www.dvfencers.com

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    Dear Heretic:
    A. in all honesty 99.9% of participants at the NCAA's are quite familiar with Sean, as is the FOC, bout committee, Coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, announcers, janitorial personnel, catering staff, etc, etc, etc. I can't remember a NAC over the course of at least last 4 year at which Sean has not reffed - so what is quite appalling (at least to me) about your "touching" feelings is the fact that you have just realized that USA Fencing has high consideration for a wheelchair bound director, years and years after he has been quite a visible referee.
    B. The issue of an ability of a wheel chair bound (no one ever has rendered Sean immobile) ref, is frankly not yours to have an opinion about, especially since you obviously have not seen a national level bout live in at least half a decade.
    C. I consider Russel Wilson per se a friend - but what would qualify him as being better qualified for NCAA's when he refs 1 or 2 events a year, and will readily admit to not actively following changes in Sabre and Foil phrases' interpretation?
    D. How low can you go?
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Quote Originally Posted by qatet View Post
    You don't get out much, do you? Your comments make it very clear that you don't spend much time actually watching saber.
    I took the liberty of checking your profile. FYI, I have been watching, coaching and competing in fencing longer than you have been alive. And funny, the refs seemed to be moving around quite a bit from what I could see at the NYAC Saber WC. Assuming as stated, the official in question did have an international B rating, why wasn't he asked to ref at that WC?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allex View Post
    C. I consider Russel Wilson per se a friend - but what would qualify him as being better qualified for NCAA's when he refs 1 or 2 events a year, and will readily admit to not actively following changes in Sabre and Foil phrases' interpretation?
    Is he reffing at this champs?
    Citius, Altius, Fortius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldfire View Post
    Is he reffing at this champs?
    Correct, jolly and chipper as ever - which was great to hear.
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    FYI, I have been watching, coaching and competing in fencing longer than you have been alive.
    1. That does not a "Mensch" make - fortunately for some, and unfortunately for others.

    2. Neither did a red Porsche in the '80's.

    3. As my good friend used to say " A putz ablapt a putz" - which extremely loosely translated from Yiddish would signify :"Born to crawl will never fly."
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allex View Post
    Dear Heretic:
    A. in all honesty 99.9% of participants at the NCAA's are quite familiar with Sean, as is the FOC, bout committee, Coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, announcers, janitorial personnel, catering staff, etc, etc, etc. I can't remember a NAC over the course of at least last 4 year at which Sean has not reffed - so what is quite appalling (at least to me) about your "touching" feelings is the fact that you have just realized that USA Fencing has high consideration for a wheelchair bound director, years and years after he has been quite a visible referee.
    B. The issue of an ability of a wheel chair bound (no one ever has rendered Sean immobile) ref, is frankly not yours to have an opinion about, especially since you obviously have not seen a national level bout live in at least half a decade.
    C. I consider Russel Wilson per se a friend - but what would qualify him as being better qualified for NCAA's when he refs 1 or 2 events a year, and will readily admit to not actively following changes in Sabre and Foil phrases' interpretation?
    D. How low can you go?
    I don't know the ref nor have I seen him in action, so I can't make any qualitative judgments. But I am entitled to have an opinion and too bad if you don't like it. I don't know the relevance of mentioning Russell, I never alluded to him. I do remember that when he was in his prime, he once voluntarily removed himself from the referee pool because he felt very off that day and did not want to hurt the fencers. For me, this is about doing right by the fencers. If none object to the ref in question because he does a good job, then my concerns are moot. However, if they are afraid to voice their concerns for fear of sanctimonious opprobrium by the political correctness police, then I can go much, much lower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allex View Post
    Correct, jolly and chipper as ever - which was great to hear.
    I'm sure. Based on what I saw and experienced at the Northeast regional, however, he should probably not be reffing this event.
    Citius, Altius, Fortius

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    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    . But I am entitled to have an opinion and too bad if you don't like it.

    If none object to the ref in question because he does a good job, then my concerns are moot. However, if they are afraid to voice their concerns for fear of sanctimonious opprobrium by the political correctness police, then I can go much, much lower.
    When opinions cross the line of decency especially being based on lack of knowledge or even worse - ignorance of such, XXI century is too transparent to tolerate their existence. No one likes a nauseating feeling that usually comes with the comprehension of discrimination.

    Your last point is quite lucid - IMHO. AFAIK coaches and athletes do not consider Sean's handicap being a handicap to their vociferous nonacceptance of his calls, shockingly enough, it usually happens when the aforementioned calls go against them or their students.

    As far as, the Russel comment - just to connect the dots - why ***** about a wheel chair bound sabre ref, and quite mobile at that; as opposed to about a formerly great ref who has not directed in eons. Again perhaps Russel is doing a great job in Ohio - dunno, but what is a bigger handicap - being in a wheelchair, or being quite rusty?
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    I don't know the ref nor have I seen him in action, so I can't make any qualitative judgments.
    Then why did you make extremely "qualitative judgments" such as for example :"Sorry, but I would not be comfortable as a coach or competitor with having someone who is in a wheelchair ref saber at an NCAA championship."?
    Hypothetical question, really, no answer necessary.
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldfire View Post
    I'm sure. Based on what I saw and experienced at the Northeast regional, however, he should probably not be reffing this event.
    That's quite a strong statement - given that it comes from a Columbia fencer. Best of luck, BTW.
    "He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. And that was all his patrimony."
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    Senior Member telkanuru's Avatar
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    I'd jump on the hate, but Eric seems to be going out of his way to make it clear exactly how much his opinion's worth, and doesn't need my help.
    MyrddinsPrecint likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    Amazing. The idea that refs can remain stationary in the most active weapon defies logic.
    You appear to be quite confused (at the very least). The chairs of wheelchair FENCERS are held in place, not the chairs of wheelchair REFS. A wheelchair ref is about as mobile as he wants (or needs) to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    However, if anyone - even you - were about to fence a pool at the NCAAs, and saw an unfamiliar ref roll up to the strip in a wheelchair, can you honestly say you would not be concerned and unduly distracted?
    Your “concern” regarding this “issue” has already been addressed. The ref in question is most certainly not an “unfamiliar ref” to anyone who has been attending fencing tournaments regularly in this century:

    Quote Originally Posted by Allex View Post
    99.9% of participants at the NCAA's are quite familiar with Sean, as is the FOC, bout committee, Coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, announcers, janitorial personnel, catering staff, etc, etc, etc. I can't remember a NAC over the course of at least last 4 year at which Sean has not reffed
    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    I heard a rumour that one of the saber referees used was wheelchair bound. Can anyone verify if this was the case?
    Quote Originally Posted by heretic View Post
    I took the liberty of checking your profile…
    Perhaps if you had taken the liberty of checking the referee’s credentials before sounding the alarm, you would not have been as outraged by the “rumour.”

    As has been pointed out already, getting invited to ref at NCAAs has nothing to do with political correctness (are you serious?!!). If the coaches had an issue with a ref – whether he or she was on a wheelchair, a broom, or wings – that ref would not be allowed anywhere near this tournament. The fact that this particular ref was invited says even more about his expertise than his FIE rating.
    Last edited by hello?; 03-22-2012 at 11:58 PM.
    fencerchica, SEM Fencer and Delta like this.

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