Beginner's Tournament Guide

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Craig, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Craig

    Craig Administrator Staff Member

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    Michael got done working on this document and I just got it converted to pdf and uploaded.

    Feel free to distribute and please email me any comments on it as we're always looking to improve the docs we put out.

    Beginner's Guide to a Fencing Tournament Download

    Craig
     
  2. fencerX

    fencerX Rookie

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    Why email? I heard some guy hosts a fencing website discussion forum where this might make a good thread topic.

    It's odd the guide suggests compulsively checking epees with weights and shims but ignores a more common reason for failing weapons -- missing screws.

    Also while the "Beginner's Guide for their First Tournament" seems to have a lot of text on prep and sport psych for someone's first tournament, it doesn't mention something that often seems to freak out fencers and their parents at first tournaments -- how to handle cards. It's amazing how discombobulated some get over one (or several) cards. Calm down, learn, correct, and move on.
     
  3. Foil.Leicester

    Foil.Leicester Rookie

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    Craig would you mind if I was to convert this to a British version?
     
  4. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    Nice....a good compliment to other guides such as mine.
     
  5. Craig

    Craig Administrator Staff Member

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    Go for it.

    Nice point. I think that it comes from parents knowing that a yellow card is a pretty big deal in soccer, so they see the card and freak.

    Craig
     
  6. dtcaslick

    dtcaslick Rookie

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    I'll second that.


    Todd
     
  7. Jvanhousen

    Jvanhousen DE Bracket

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    Some things that beginners at their first competition might not know and wouldn't hurt telling them up front:

    1. They need 2x weapons & 2x cords to compete, but they also need to actually bring them to the strip to show the ref.
    2. Socks: you should tell them what the 'right length' is.
    3. The body cord might work, the weapon might work, but a lot of beginners don't know you need a device to hold the two together at the socket. Beginners often borrow equipment and show up w/ German sockets and French plugs. (or even bayonet and 2 prong)
    4. Long hair needs to be kept off the lame.
     
  8. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    What is this "hair" you speak of, Jeff??:D
     
  9. Jvanhousen

    Jvanhousen DE Bracket

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    Sam, we're just 'taller' than our hair.
     
  10. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    If I was as tall as Cedric Anen that would work....not so much when you're 5' 4 1/2" tho!
     
  11. Greybeard

    Greybeard Rookie

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    What a great document. A few thoughts

    1) In the clothing section shouldn't you talk about lettering on the back of the jacket and club patches on the "off" arm?

    2) It seems intuitively obvious but should it read 2 working weapons?

    3) Should it mention "fencing glove?" Seems silly I know, but sure as shooting someone is going to show up with a winter glove.

    4) Under testing should it mention armorers at NAC's and the like for help?

    5) Under pools should you mention if you have to use the restroom to make sure you tell someone or thr ref in case you are called? That way they know where you are and if necessary skip your bout and come back to it?

    6) Should you mention about making a "camp" with your gear so you know where it is should you have to change weapons, etc.?

    7) During a bout it is one touch at a time.

    8) Don’t throw your mask

    9) You are so right about thanking the ref.
     
  12. LIKE A BOSS

    LIKE A BOSS Rookie

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    Solid content, poor writing. A lot of this good stuff will be unclear to the beginner who has had his or her "first few fencing classes." A prime example is this sentence:

    "Electric glove" is a poor description for a beginner, since he or she has probably had extremely limited and exclusively awkward contact with electric equipment. You would want to say "for saber, a glove with conductive materiel sewn on or a standard, nonconductive glove with an additional conductive cuff is required. For epee and foil, only a standard fencing glove is needed," perhaps in fewer words, but still something that uses less undefined or ambiguous fencing terms.

    Also, when describing tournaments, you mention that some of them are restricted based on classification. Classification has not been defined yet. You would want follow that statement with some clarification as to what exactly defines a classification, something like, "classifications are letter ratings from A-E earned based on performance at tournaments."

    I could go on and on, honestly, with simple corrections like that and not even touch the awkward writing style, but for now I think I'll leave it at saying that the document is still in need of some serious editing. And I will repeat that I think there is a TON of great content in it, and it remains a solid resource despite its challenges.
     
  13. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Beginning fencers do not necessarily have to join the USFA and attend sanctioned USFA tournaments for their first events. There are lots of local youth and scholastic unsanctioned tournaments for novices. Perhaps these types of tournaments could be mentioned as options.
     
  14. Greybeard

    Greybeard Rookie

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    Every club in town requires you to join the USFA and show membership at sanctioned tournaments in San Diego
     
  15. Purple Fencer

    Purple Fencer Podium

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    True....for sanctioned events (insurance coverage at the very least)....but teacup is referring to things like in-house tournaments just to give people a competitive experience without the pressure of an official event. SwordPlay did that a couple of weeks back. Club insurance would cover that.
     
  16. teacup

    teacup Podium

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    Yes, Purple Fencer is correct. USFA membership is required at sanctioned events but not at unsanctioned tournaments.

    No classification ratings will be earned but they are good experience for novice youth fencers.

    Since it is difficult for youth events to be C1 tournaments, it isn't necessarily a benefit that the tournament be sanctioned. Unsanctioned events give fencers an opportunity to try a tournament without the added initial expense of USFA membership. Although it is best to encourage USFA membership, it is not good to alienate parents with too many expenses at their child's first event.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  17. Greg

    Greg Rookie

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    First I commend you for preparing this guide. It is very helpful for the beginner. My comment has to do with diet and your comment on carbo loading seems to imply that fencing at a meet is similar to a long duration endurance event like a marathon or road bike race. Frankly, I never found fencing to be that exhausting or appetite inducing.

    You figure that one would fence between 5-7 pool bouts at a max of 3 minutes each. Most don't last that long. But even if they did, that is a total of 21 minutes of exercise. A fencing bout is stop and start. One is not moving for the full three minutes and some bouts are fenced slow with limited movement. Then you sit and wait. Factors in one or more DE's of 9 minutes each and it is still not a lot of time. (If your DE lasted 9 minutes, your likely to be fencing pretty slow) But let's say three DE's for a total of 27 more minutes. So if you are lucky enough to have gotten that far, you have been exercising for a total of 48 minutes - all stop and start, varying intensity, lots of short rest periods during and between bouts and a long rest between the pools and the DE. If you are tired and hungry after 48 miniutes of sporadic exercise, you are pretty much out of shape.

    My point is that one should not load up on carbs before a fencing meet. You will just feel really full at the meet - not a good thing. Eat a normal breakfast and bring your lunch (nothing heavy) and a few energy gels if you start to tank. I found the fluids are far , far more important to watch than food. You sweat heavily but that is mostly due to the multiple layers of clothing you are wearing in an indoor venue. Brings lots of water and some flat Coke.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  18. larkascending

    larkascending Rookie

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    I disagree. Carbloading that morning is probably a bad idea, but I feel I have lots of energy when I've been making a point to eat lots of pasta and potatoes during the preceding week. It could be the adrenaline talking, but I felt like I had a lot of energy and didn't crash too hard afterwards.
     
  19. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yes, but that's not carbohydrate loading, which involves first a period of depletion of carbohydrates followed by a loading period. It's a very technical and specific process. You're just talking about a high-carb diet...

    Greg is right, in my experience. I experimented with several versions of loading at one point years ago and noticed zero practical benefit from it in fencing.
     
  20. swordwench

    swordwench is a Verified Fencing Expertswordwench Podium

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    First of all, what a great idea for a document! Very helpful. I wish I'd had something like this before my first tournament. I have a few comments...

    Required equipment
    Yes, you need 2 *working* weapons and body cords, but it's not a bad idea to have extras on hand if you have them. Particularly if you suspect they might not work perfectly (or are borrowed), or you won't have the time or ability to fix one if it goes south.

    Pack
    In some venues, you won't be allowed to bring your fencing bag anywhere near the strip where you'll be fencing. Consider packing the things you'll need *while fencing* in a smaller bag that can stay strip-side. Having quick access to water/drinks, snacks, body cords, towel, and a small tool kit (with extra springs and screws!) can save you a lot of aggravation, and things don't go missing as easily.

    Check-in
    The doc says not to be late, and later, it does say you should give yourself time to stretch and warm up. I would say right up front that you should plan to arrive and check in early enough that you have the TIME to dress, warm up, do some practice bouting. Some events start so close to check-in time that you lose the extra time. Well, they do at my club. :)

    Before a bout
    If you're fencing epee, check to make sure you have both tip screws in your weapons before and after every bout. Yes, even if you did it earlier. They go missing. You don't want to find that out when you hook up for your next bout.

    There is no real section for During a Bout... but something you might want to stress: "Don't argue with the referee." It won't get you anywhere. Unless you as a fencer know the rules (unlikely, given it's your first tournament), you're better off accepting what the ref says as gospel. He knows the rules (or... he should!). That's why he gets the big bucks.

    After a bout
    Where it says to check weapons for weights/shims - do this provided there is time between bouts. You may want to ask your referee if it's alright. Some might just want the next bout hooked up ASAP and not be amenable to giving you the time. Ask!

    Also, clean up after yourself. Your mother doesn't work here, and if she did, hopefully she'd tell you the same thing. The nice people running tournaments are often doing this as volunteers. Collect empty bottles and wrappers when you're through for the day, even if they're not yours.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009

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