changes to priorty interpretation?

Discussion in 'Rules and Referee Questions' started by anton_fairfax, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    26
    While watching the Lowe von Bonn team foil on youtube, one of the commentators made reference to a change in priority interpretation.

    He said one thing that we'll be seeing this season is "a slight shift in the refereeing towards favouring attacks into preparation". he said, over the last two or three years, refereeing was very generous towards broad attacks, but now, any hesitation, or stutters in your attack, may be viewed as a preparation, "especially if [the opponent] does a step lunge".

    can anyone explain what this "change" is exactly? I realize, in one sense, if you are advancing, and stop or hesitate for too long, you can forfeit priority, but that has always been the case afaik. I'm wondering what kind of calls would have gone one way last year, but will go the other way this year...

    and if this is a decision that has been made, where would one find info on this?
     
  2. Don Treanor

    Don Treanor Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have one of those "broad general" read "slow" attacks once I initially establish ROW. One of the things I noticed early on, so long as I was moving forward no matter how slowly, and never made four points of contact, heal and balls of both feet, I was OK and maintained ROW. As soon as I made four points of contact, I stopped, and lost ROW. I have some refs that watch closely for any stop, and some that can't be bothered paying that close of attention.
    Those of us that use the more off-beat indirect attacks will always be aware of the refing style and know to adjust to suit.
     
  3. keropie

    keropie Podium

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    202
    That's sort of the key interpretation change, as I understand it: what constitutes a stop, or too long of a hesitation.

    The other thing I've seen (from international videos, last weekend's Junior/Cadet NAC, and talking to other refs) is that there is a larger interpretation against 'waiting' while marching forward. There were more calls (in both saber and foil) that the fencer moving forward was just waiting, and the other fencer made a valid attack into that.

    I'd say look at current international fencing videos and watch for ref trends, and talk to the better refs (especially those who work internationally) at larger events.
     
  4. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,912
    Likes Received:
    207
    Did. No change.
     
  5. keropie

    keropie Podium

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    202
    By no change, do you mean none of the refs were discussing the changing interpretation, or you didn't see any changes to calls based on that? I did not work much in priority weapons, but I did watch and see some calls against the fencer moving forward specifically because they were 'waiting.' I talked to both foil and saber refs about that, and got confirmation from high level domestic refs and international refs that this becoming 'a thing' in both weapons. There's still a LOT of context around it (in foil, if the 'defending' fencer closes distance hard, the 'attacking' fencer has more leeway to make a 'softer' attack, etc.), but I have seen more of those calls in the last six months than the six months prior.
     
    InFerrumVeritas likes this.
  6. epee.amnesiac

    epee.amnesiac Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anton - unfortunately with refereeing trends, there's never an official decision or any resource that this information is published or posted besides just watching videos, discussing with national and international refs, etc. These shifts tend to happen more naturally as fencing adapts and discussions are had and new generations of referees emerge. You'll sometimes see trends in a local area versus the national events as well. The best way to gain information on this is to just practice, watch, and keep asking questions.
     
  7. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    80
    I think it's also worth noting that changes in refereeing are often in response to changes in fencing/coaching. If an action starts happening more often, you'll see closer consensus on how it's called even if this isn't ever explicitly discussed.
     
  8. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    Hello,
    Here is a link to a discussion of more than one hundred pages on a French forum about the numerous referee errors in international competitions. You don't really need to understand French, look at the images and videos. Most of them are cases of refrerees wrongly giving the priority to somebody going forward.
    FYI the rule is not to give priority to somebody going forward but extending his arm and pointing to the target. This has never changed.

    http://www.escrime-info.com/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=411994
     
    Stellan likes this.
  9. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    26
    hmmm i feel like that response is this forum's equivalent of lobbing a hand grenade into a quiet conversation!

    For the record, my main focus is how the calls will in fact be made in actual competitions by referees, so I'm not as concerned about "wrongly" giving priority - if that's the game today, so be it.

    Regardless, there's the "rules" and there's the "interpretation" of them, and it would appear the interpretation considers a forward advance to be relevant to determining the attack - whether or not that's "really true" or really correct seems philosophical to me... there is no absolute metaphysical truth in fencing, since it's just a game anyway.

    There may be a case for rewriting the rules to more closely describe how calls are made today, but I don't think it's fair to say the entire fencing community, and their governing bodies are wrong - they are the ones doing the fencing after all, so if the sport collectively decides this is how its played, then that's the answer - right?
     
    tbryan likes this.
  10. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    You can find the rules on the FIE site, they are quite clear, and very often applied in competition, but not always (this is a pity):

    Respect of the fencing phrase
    t83
    ...

    2 In order to judge the correctness of an attack the following points must be considered:
    a) The simple attack, direct or indirect (cf. t.10), is correctly executed when the straightening of the arm, the point threatening the valid target, precedes the initiation of the lunge or the flèche.
    b) The compound attack (cf.t.10) is correctly executed when the arm is straightened in the presentation of the first feint, with the point threatening the valid target, and the arm is not bent during the successive actions of the attack and the initiation of the lunge or the flèche.
    c) The attack with a step-forward-lunge or a step-forward-flèche is correctly executed when the straightening of the arm precedes the end of the step forward and the initiation of the lunge or the flèche.
    d) Actions, simple or compound, steps or feints which are executed with a bent arm, are not considered as attacks but as preparations, laying themselves open to the initiation of the offensive or defensive/offensive action of the opponent (cf. t.10-11).
     
  11. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    Do you think that scoring with the hand in soccer is allowed and there may be a case for rewriting the rules to more closely describe how calls are made today?

    Look at how the calls are made:








    Or do you think we should help the referees not to make those mistakes again?
     
  12. ccadet

    ccadet Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2019
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm agree for fencer, if referee violate rules. Fencer have incentives to understand the criterion for referee (that's you call "interpretation").
    But the french discussion is... If referee just have to use the rules and dont violate them = Foil will stay the real way of playing foil, understood by all as the only way.
    And everybody will have the criterion written and use by referee.

    (edit for add exemple of rules) As exemples :
    "Respect of the fencing phrase
    t.83
    2 In order to judge the correctness of an attack the following points must be considered:
    d) Actions, simple or compound, steps or feints which are executed with a bent arm, are not considered as attacks but as preparations, laying themselves open to the initiation of the offensive or defensive/offensive action of the opponent (cf. t.10-11)."
    or
    t.46 1
    "By accepting a position as referee or judge, the person so designated pledges his honour to respect the Rules and to cause them to be respected, and to carry out his duties with the strictest impartiality and absolute concentration."
    I'm suppose that's a referee who don't care about rules, don't care about this one...


    That's a concept of law... if the law is written why interpreted it outside of it ? And if u do, why not write the new criterion ?
    But that's a referee discussion.

    But i understand that's not the subject of this discussion. Here we got, how understand "bad refering used by most of FIE referee". That's a good question too xD (I prefere how stop them... so i let u quiet. BYE ;) )
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  13. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
  14. Malicia

    Malicia Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2019
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    21
    I disagree.
    Sports respect rules. Of course, you can change rules as you want, for most of sports.
    BUT, some sports are specials, because there is an external logic - a metaphysical truth, if you want.

    If you play football, you can change rules : to play with hands instead of playing with feet. You know, US's people did it ! They play football with hands. There is no metaphysical problem with that...

    But about combat sport (or martial arts, quite the same), those sports come from combat, fight, and that's an external logic.
    Don't confuse a combat sport and an opposition sport : tennis is an opposition, but tennis is not a fight. Fencing is an opposition and a fight. The fencing's aim is to simulate a fight. Tennis simulates nothing.

    Nowadays, foil rules are not respected though they were thought in order to simulate a fight with a sword.
    An example (there are lots...) ? The referee have said attack from right fencer, point.

    [​IMG]
    The rules are not respected : art t88 : "Actions, simple or compound, steps or feints which are executed with a bent arm, are not considered as attacks but as preparations, laying themselves open to the initiation of the offensive or defensive/offensive action of the opponent".

    But, we can forget the rules ! Just look at it as a fight. Right fencer is making an "invite"... and received the blade in the belly!
    Anybody (ANYBODY - try to make the experience), without any knowledge about fencing would say that right fencer should be dead! Anybody in the world... except an international foil referee!...
    The rules are logical for a fight. but...foil international referees choose not to respect rules (art t46 : "By accepting a position as referee or judge, the person so designated pledges his honour to respect the Rules and to cause them to be respected").

    That's not fight, that's not rules... that's not fencing!
    And that's not fair.
     
    Stellan, ccadet and Michael Comte like this.
  15. keropie

    keropie Podium

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,530
    Likes Received:
    202
    "Truths" that are simply agreements are far from metaphysical.

    Agreed that rules change. In some cases, those changes create a different sport entirely (as in your example). I do NOT agree that modern fencing is a fight; certainly it is less so than rugby or American football. Yes, there is a martial heritage, when it did attempt to recreate a fight, but I do not believe that that is still in place.
    OK, so for me, yes, FotR waits, FotL attacks. Even with his beginning to squirm at the end. But the reason this call became 'the norm' is the relatively difficulty of landing an accelerating attack against an accelerating or twisting counterattack, all due to the change in timing. I don't like the change in timing, for many reasons, but one of them is this sort of touch. For what it's worth, if FotL had really collapsed distance such that FotR couldn't finish forwards, I would then give it as attack right. But I don't think that's what happened here.

    As for the rulebook, at least in English (I can't read French), it sucks. Sure, art88 is there, but the attack with step lunch is correctly executed if the extension begins before the end of the advance... which means the arm is bent... which means it's a preparation, and therefor not a correct attack. That's a poor logical circle to exist within the rules.

    I assure you most international referees are not making this up themselves. It's an interpretation handed down to try to keep officiating consistent. And while you may or may not like it, consistent application of the rules is more important to a fair playing field than by-the-word interpretation of the rules. This is, again, consistent throughout sport. In basketball, travels and fouls happen consistently based on the rules, but only a subset are called; in American football, essentially every play has offensive holding, but it's not always called; the strike zone in baseball has a well established definition, but varying interpretations from umpire to umpire, and between the AL and NL.

    I understand, at some level, the desire for fencing to be more like a sword fight. I don't want it to be that way, but I get it. And I've seen more officials, for what it's worth, start to penalize FotR in your example above. But the sport will continue to change.

    And, since it's me, finally, I think a lot of this gets fixed if they change the timing to something less ridiculous; I'm a big fan of 7-9 ms (roughly) for debounce, and a slight increase in blocking time (maybe 400ms +/-25? 500?).
     
  16. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    The rule is very easy to understand and apply to this case, proving that the referee was wrong in this case:

    t83

    d) Actions, simple or compound, steps or feints which are executed with a bent arm, are not considered as attacks but as preparations, laying themselves open to the initiation of the offensive or defensive/offensive action of the opponent (cf. t.10-11).


    About consistency, it is not like you say, referees are not consistently wrong like that, many referees would give the point to the left (In my club nobody will give the point to the right).
     
  17. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2001
    Messages:
    37,044
    Likes Received:
    1,391
    That's even worse. A handful of refs, possibly even just one ref, are making it up and "handing it down" and the rest are just going along with it. One or even 5 guys deciding that they know better than the rules what the rules are is far from an optimal system.
     
  18. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    26
    Again, I don't think there is one, true "fencing". It has origins in sword fighting, but it's not sword fighting, it's an olympic sport, as arbitrary as any other sport. When i see sabre hits glancing the wrist, or an epee flicking underneath the hand, or a foil flick to the back - this is not "combat" with swords... it's a game.

    well look, this is a side point, but law is made up of legislation (the rules), and case law or common law, which is the interpretation of legislation by judges - precedents are set, opinions of higher courts outweigh lower courts etc... so really the law is the perfect analogy to fencing, with the relationship between written rules, and the decision makers who interpret the rules (the refs/their commissons etc).

    Isn't that the whole idea of a "referees commission"? in any sport, there is are governing bodies that decide how the sport is played, how calls should be made, and how the rules are to be interpreted...

    Again, I do agree the rules could be updated to reflect how the game is played and more clearly align with current conventions, so there's less confusion and debate. BUT I would be willing to bet a total rewrite of the rules to reflect current conventions would not satisfy such critics!
    I think the comments about what is "real fencing", and how it's a fight, not just a sport, reveal the true motivation here... it's not "rule/interpretation confusion" or referees making calls "wrongly" by whatever metric, it's the romantic longing for the days of classical sword fighting that drives this debate.
     
    jdude97 likes this.
  19. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    The thing is that the conventions have not changed.

    It is still a big fault for a foiler to go forward with his weapon down and get hit before extending his arm. If one referee gives the point to this guy, it does not mean it makes sense.

    I am not talking about historical fencing, just practicing the sport like that doesn't make sense.
     
  20. ccadet

    ccadet Made the Cut

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2019
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    3
    The true motivation is to safe foil. That's true. To save 100y of history, to save the way of learning (Maitres d'armes said), to save the logic of fencing (that's not = try to be touch (cause you don't care, you got priority) for can touch, that's we see on many action), and for that :
    We don't need change the law, we just need to change commun law => Force FIE international refere to : Say what they do ! And if they can't, read the rules and try to apply it... And we suppose that's enouth to fix problem.

    Additionnal : page 31 https://issuu.com/corpsacorps/docs/fie-no-38---mise , from 2001, read FOIL'S IDENTITY CRISIS who talk about an international commission of maîtres d'armes. (That's explain the point of view of "Maîtres d'armes" by the Technical Director FIE (himself Maître d'arme))

    And interview that's explain position of Iaon POP (Technical Director of FIE when he said it) :
    (From an interview issue of Escrime Internationale)
    [...]
    * Can all the studies currently being undertaken on the future of foil lead to a better spectacle in this weapon?
    The contradiction that requires us to work on the modernization of fencing and at the same time think about returning to the attack with the straight arm is only an illusion. It is obvious that the compromise which consists of retaining the essential spirt of the weapon and making efforts to reform it is probably the most difficult to undertake. In any case, I will never agree with the loss of foil's specific identity. For it to remain foil, as a Maitre d'armes, it appears to me that if the attack is not made with an extended arm, then there are no more guidelines for teaching and refereeing.

    You mean that it is impossible to fence foil with a bent arm?
    For me, foil and sabre with a bent arm is no longer conventional fencing. It is practiced in this way of course but this is not fencing any more. Fencing is a dialogue between two fencers with actions and basic technique. However in foil at the moment, there are two parallel monologues instead of a dialogue. Fundamentally, we have gone a long way off track. If the action does not threaten with the point, the direct attack no longer exists, neither does the compound attack. From both sides, we have destructive actions rather than an action and a reaction.

    Is the current situation not due mainly to a much greater mobility on the piste? In other words, can we go back? Is it desirable to return to fencing as it was practiced in 1935 or 1955?
    I am not saying that we must go back to the past. But all the same I ask the question, how can we expect the spectators to be interested in fencing if we no longer know what we are doing? We have come to a position where there is a total lack of consistency between the rules and the refereeing. We cannot say in the rules that the attack must be performed with the extended arm and then do exactly the opposite on the piste or when coaching. Moreover, teaching becomes superficial and minimalist. It becomes limited to actions that speculate and rely on the human limits on the referee's perception instead of developing the basics and the technical complexity of our sport. It is the credibility of foil that is threatened. This is the major project which the FIE will undertake over the months to come.


    Resume : You talk as player, as user. We talk as the people who make the rules (technical director) to explain the "common rules" and to who applies the rules (referee director)(common rules) to applie the rules book or to say what's they do to all (and to technical director)
    We need common interpretation, that we can all understand. We are not.
    And this is not an interpretation of an point of the rules (as your exemple), it is an interpretation of what is our sport ! (And foil is based on attack (and what is it !) (and obvious, on a foil.)... Soccer (football) is based on a ball, and what u have to do to score.
    If u can't say how score (criterion to score), how can u know if its soccer or football or rguby or other ?
    Here, we got in common : touch opponent on valide target if u touch alone, and we got attack give priority if double hit (and fault, if not correct (not an "real" attack jugde criterion by t.83...etc t.89.) that's can give priority to the other player or give : replace the competitors on guard each time that there is a double hit and he is unable to judge clearly on which side the fault lies), but we don't got what is attack.

    That's rules is not just a point, is the essence of our sport. Without it, as said Iaon POP, this is not fencing any more (Technical director FIE)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
    Grey Sabreur likes this.

Share This Page