Another cold and hard to get to NAC!

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Fencingmom1, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Fencingmom1

    Fencingmom1 DE Bracket

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    6 years of going to NACS and this was the coldest one yet for me. Very expensive airfare with zero to one maybe direct flights from West Coast. Columbus is not easy to get to. Many flights have been cancelled or delayed because of heavy snow on the East Coast. Will say it for the last time. Really US Fencing? Columbus in January?? Vegas or Miami anyone?
     
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  2. nwtrout

    nwtrout Made the Cut

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    Zero NACs in Pacific time zone for second season. Too many secondary hub airport cities. Waiting to see what 2017-18 season has in store - maybe Duluth, Cleveland, Green Bay, Omaha, and Richmond three times. Shrug....
     
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  3. mfp

    mfp Podium

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  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    You know, now that we're out of the red and out of the Olympic year, maybe we might spend a little more on getting better venues, as opposed to---no, never mind. Don't know what I was thinking.
     
  5. Stencils

    Stencils Rookie

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    About a year ago, I downloaded a membership list to determine the number of competitive fencers (those with "competitive" memberships) by region. The membership list doesn't include region, so I first had to create a map of Division/Section to Region (I'm sure I got a few wrong because some Division/Sections are on Region borders, but it should be close) .

    In particular, Region 4 (Southwest) has a legitimate complaint. It's the second-largest region after Region 3 (Northeast), but other than SLC and the SN in San Jose, have there been any NACs in Region 4 since Reno fell out of the rotation?

    Based on a membership list from March 2016:

    Region: Total Competitive Members
    National: 323
    Region 1: 962 (Northwest)
    Region 2: 2,500 (North Central)
    Region 3: 6,709 (Northeast)
    Region 4: 4,038 (Southwest)
    Region 5: 1,739 (South Central)
    Region 6: 3,557 (Southeast)
    TOTAL: 19,828

    I also looked at the number of fencers that had a letter in any weapon as a proxy for fencers that are more likely to attend larger tournaments, and those numbers were roughly a third of the above across the board.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  6. hello?

    hello? Podium

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    Well, people couldn't get to the NAC from Florida because of the shooting.
     
  7. Fencingmom1

    Fencingmom1 DE Bracket

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    An airport shooting isn't an expected issue each winter. Freezing temperatures and flight delays due to weather are.
     
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  8. Lefty Belgian

    Lefty Belgian DE Bracket

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    Tremendous undertaking!

    So more than 1/3 of fencers are coming from the Northeast. More than the Northwest, Southwest and the South Central combined.

    I'm willing to bet that a harder look at truly competitive fencers, based on some cut-off on applicable National Rolling Points Lists, will show the numbers from the Northeast are even greater.

    Lots of griping all the time every year. It's not about parity or even fairness. It's about costs. Should the costs favor Reno and Anaheim, then all of us Northeasterners will be schlepping West. Apparently, other than the occasional Portland, OR and SLC runs, the model doesn't work this way just now. I live in the Northeast. Gonna be affected by winter weather no matter where we fly in December and January. A sunny destination guarantees nothing. Would rather chance it and fly non-stop a couple of hours to Columbus or KC, than to Portland or Reno. Besides FencingMom, your fencer is apparently at an Ivy now, no??
     
  9. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Miami is not immune to weather that can complicate flying. Several years ago, a number of people didn't make it to Nationals because thunderstorm activity closed down Miami International airport intermittently for nearly a day and a half.

    Yes, Vegas (and Reno) both have very temperate weather that tends to not interfere with flying. But many people (I among them) don't find either one of those towns very good destinations, especially if you're trying to supervise a lot of younger fencers. It's also hard to get competitive pricing in Vegas on hotels, simply because -- except for perhaps the middle of summer -- the demand is high and the large hotels are going to fill their rooms with or without us.
     
  10. Fencingmom1

    Fencingmom1 DE Bracket

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    Yes but this is something that affects a very large number of fencers on West Coast. It isn't just my personal gripe. Again the issue gets swept under the rug apparently. I want to raise the issue because I am not so convinced by the idea that only Portland and Salt Lake offer what US Fencing is looking for and that is a cut of hotel proceeds and free or close to free venue. And if the Rocky Point Foil Nac was such a success, let's consider Sabre at Bill Becker's club. Let's see how the World Cup foil event goes in Long Beach. That's a lovely area to visit with 4 airports within a 30 mile radius. Let's think outside the box sometimes.
     
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  11. Stencils

    Stencils Rookie

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    I pulled up the membership spreadsheet again and filtered by fencers that were C or better in any weapon. At this level, there's still a high degree of consistency by region. About 16-20% of the total competitive fencers in any region are C or better in some weapon. The membership list doesn't include any indicator of being on a points list, so there's be no easy way to compare that.

    Yes, I agree it's about cost management. Convention centers and hotels in cold cities are cheaper in the winter due to lower demand. However, I don't believe there has been a recent NAC in Region 3 either other than the recent special foil event in Long Island. Has there ever? Not in my fencing memory, which is shorter than a lot of people's here. Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Louisville, Baltimore, Richmond, are all Region 2 or Region 6. Granted, all of these cities are a lot closer to NYC than San Diego.
     
  12. Lefty Belgian

    Lefty Belgian DE Bracket

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    "...a very large number of fencers" is not accurate. It's all relative. If we are basing it on the number of competitive fencers on a regional basis then every NAC should be held in NY-NJ-CT. And, of course, it is a personal gripe. Why else raise the issue in this way and on this thread? I am by no means intimately involved in the site-selection calculations at USAF, but repeats cities are probably granted multiple year commitments in exchange for favorable rates. Something like 3 events in Portland during a 5-year period. Believe this was done in Portland previously, as well as in Virginia Beach. No major city or vacation destination, at least in-season, has any reason to make such a deal. As Allen accurately points out, Vegas fills it's rooms whether USAF comes or not. The jury remains out on the Rocky Point NAC. In any case, this is not a good example as it was, for the time being, a one-off, singling out one weapon and one age division. World Cup events have been held for the past several years, always on the West Coast, with mixed results. SF, in my opinion, was a disaster. San Jose was much better. But again, this is a single weapon and age division, not a full-blown NAC. It's not about thinking outside of the box. Sometimes the box is constructed for a reason....
     
  13. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Attached is a list of the 2016 Jr/Cdt World Championship team members grouped by region. Four fencers fenced in both jr and cdt events, so depending on how one calculates, 31-33% were from the West Coast, yet there have been no national events in the Pacific Time Zone for the last two seasons.
    Region/number of fencers
    1-2
    2-1
    3-17
    4-12
    5-5
    6-5
     

    Attached Files:

  14. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Podium

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    I think a lot of the discussion of ideal NAC locations needs to first examine the role of NACs in US Fencing. Without identifying why NACs exist and what purpose they serve, any argument about location is simply personal preference.

    If NACs are purely team selection events, then it is easy to argue that they should be in remote locations to prepare the fencers for the realities of the WC circuit.

    If NACs are developmental, then there's a good argument for rotating throughout ALL regions, but especially those with developing clubs that are just getting to the point of being competitive at the national level.

    If NACs are just big tournaments to earn money for US Fencing, then they should be in the cheapest locations.

    If NACs are big tournaments to provide opportunities for the most fencers to compete for the least money, they should be where the population is.
     
  15. Stencils

    Stencils Rookie

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    I'm not sure it makes sense to compare NAC locations to World team members' locations. NACs have a much larger attendance than just the national teams, and there are a half-dozen clubs that are powerhouses in specific weapons that make up half the list and bias the numbers.

    @DangerMouse
    If NACs are purely team selection events: Div 1, Cadet, Junior, Vet
    If NACs are developmental: Y10, Y12, Y 14, Div 1A, Div 2, and Div 3

    So, if both of the above are true, and USA Fencing is trying to get/stay out of the red with big tournaments that earn money with events in the cheapest locations, we end up with two NACs in Missouri AND two NACs in Richmond in the same season.
     
  16. Stormbringer

    Stormbringer DE Bracket

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    How long ago do you consider to still qualify as "recent"?
    There was a NAC in Pittsburgh (which is in Region 3) in December of 2009.
     
  17. Lefty Belgian

    Lefty Belgian DE Bracket

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    This sampling is probably a bit small and a bit more exclusive than I would use. If you take the top 25 regular rolling points list US fencers (omitting foreign fencers and moving down to get 25) for each of the upper age divisions (Cadet, Junior & Senior), each gender in each weapon, you get 450 fencers. Of these, nearly 2/3 are from the East Coast, most in the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast. Less than 30% are from what may be called "West". The remaining 20% or so are from the middle of the country. Arguably, if we are talking about an East vs. West of the Mississippi construct, Ohio is fine having events in Columbus and Cleveland, for example. This means that closer to 70% or more of the top fencers in the upper age divisions in both genders are East of the Mississippi.

    Again, we are not talking about "fairness". I get it that people who live on the West Coast have arduous travel, jet lag and expense. We are talking about economics and, if need be, how to meet the needs of the greatest number of the competitive fencing community. Danger Mouse makes some great points on this. Without focused goals and parameters it's difficult to answer these questions.
     
  18. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    I swear they use this chart to pick NAC locations:

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Fencingmom1

    Fencingmom1 DE Bracket

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    Palermo is next on the list.
     
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  20. Stencils

    Stencils Rookie

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    If it makes anyone feel better, Buffalo's convention center isn't big enough to host a NAC. I suppose Buffalo could host an IceNAC(TM by stencils) outside at the Buffalo Bills' Stadium in January like they did for the NHL Winter Classic a few years ago.
     
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