changes to priorty interpretation?

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

  1. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    I'm not sure where you were fencing 15 years ago. Given the context of the action in the second video, I'd generally expect a good foil referee to award the point to the left. Based on my experience fencing in the U.S., that call hasn't changed much since 2004.

    I've been fencing in the U.S. since 1991. Of course, before the 2004 timing changes, you never saw this kind of slow pressure with the footwork on the advance. Foilists used to move much faster because they could be sure of turning on a light, but in the 1990s, attacks with a bent arm (point aimed at ceiling, preparing to finish either with a flight to the back or indirect to the chest) were very common. Unfortunately, as I said before, the refereeing was inconsistent, and the leeway for an attack-in-preparation against that kind of attack varied a lot from region to region of the US and at different levels (local, regional, national).

    Well, yes. Welcome to foil? ;)

    Part of fencing a conventional weapon is figuring out how to exploit the convention to gain an advantage. It's great when I can show my opponent something that doesn't look like an attack to him while showing the referee that I am clearly attacking. Free touches, and it drives some opponents crazy. :cool:

    If you watch the whole bout, you'll see that just by stepping forward, Kiefer takes a risk against a fencer like Itkin. The current timings give Itkin plenty of leverage even before he can find Kiefer's blade. If Itkin really wants to see the blade, he can just stop making those early searching parries and retreating. Trust me, Kiefer will attack and extend in that case, and then Itkin can attempt a very late parry. Foil fencers have just decided that that's not the most effective way to set up an active defense under the current convention.
     
  2. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    In that particular action, I think there's a good case to call the posted clip as attack from the right stops, attack from the left. But that's because of a mistake/pause from the fencer on the right, not because of when the extension started. Of course, it's never a good idea just to post a slow motion clip. It may help to clarify the touch, but it's best to post both the full speed and the slow motion clips in that case. (Or better, just link to the YouTube video directly.)

    Honestly, this kind of action is a good edge case. Hard to tell from the slow motion clip, but it looks like the timing is really tight. In that case, at speed, I'd probably think either attack-right or attack from right stops, attack-left were reasonable calls for a referee at my club to make. I would not expect them to reference t.83(d) in explaining the call.

    When I talk about consistency, I mean that I want roughly the same call (up to the ability of the referee to perceive the action) from the local 12-person events in my division to local events in neighboring divisions to ROCs and NACs. In my experience, yes, the consistency is much better now than it was in 1993. It's even better now than it was in 2003. I think that active efforts in divisions to train their local referees have helped, but I think that the real game changer has been the amount of fencing footage that's now available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FIEvideo/ and https://www.youtube.com/user/USAFencing.

    If that's simply because of the lack of extension from the fencer on the right, then I hope that your club is not training foil fencers to compete in USA Fencing or FIE competitions. o_O

    Your club can, of course, do whatever it wants. You can make up your own house rules. You can train fencers in light saber. As long as your customers are happy and having fun in a safe activity, it's all good. Just be clear about what service it's offering its members.

    On the other hand, if your club purports to be training athletes to compete in USA Fencing and/or FIE competitions, then I feel that the club has a duty to train the students to compete effectively. That includes an understanding the current convention of right-of-way and how it's interpreted at all levels where your students hope to compete. Anything else is really just a disservice to the students.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  3. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    Exactly.
     
  4. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte DE Bracket

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    We are not.
    Again, there is a cultural gap between the USA and Germany:
    1- We don't have customers, we are members, we are not earning money
    2- We just follow the rules as they are written
     
  5. ccadet

    ccadet Made the Cut

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    On the second video, that's sould be "hard" is because Right attack (?) in 2 fencing time :
    made a preparation or feint in first action ? Before start of left...

    What i'm sure : Right begin an action first.
    and with slow motion : Left begin this last action before the beginning of the last fencing time of Right
    So there is a question : is first action of right is an attack ?

    3 possibility : Compound attack of Right (with feint begin on preparation of left), Attack of Left (begin on preparation of Right), simultaneous

    Depend :
    1. First action of Right, seams a feint (Threat with point on low line, begin extending) that continue on attack (continue threat in other line (shoulder and back) and continue extending, follow by fente). Priority of attack. Touch.
    We can stop here for me.

    But if it is not (no enouth threat, no beginning extending arm, bending arm during execution of compound... etc)
    2. First action of Left is wanted to be an attack, that's sure but : don't really threat with his point (preparing a whip attack) and clearly waited of Right attack to go. He attack is clearly not executed well (searching double hit). But you can say, first action of Right, is not an attack. And 1st action of Left is. Priority of attack. Touch.
    3. If you don't see one start before other : "The simultaneous action is due to simultaneous conception and execution of an attack by both fencers; in this case the hits exchanged are annulled for both fencers even if one of them has been hit off the target."
    4. And You can say "on guard, no touch" : "The Referee must 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." <= Not enouth clearly one attacker. No touch.

    For me, it's compound attack of Right into the preparation of Left on first view, on review, and on slow motion. (Can be done because Left believe in step priority and don't care about Right stop, then don't care about Right feint.)

    But you can say that's refereeing is too hard (to see who's attacking first : that's say FIE referee)...
    And if you do, you can say : Left walking first, continue (We can see he never clearly stop), touch ! <= Actual refereeing
     
  6. ccadet

    ccadet Made the Cut

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    I repeat.
    Im agree that you (we) have to follow referees rules. That's our incentives. It's logical.
    When i want win a competition, i don't care about the rules, i care about what rules use the referee to win.

    But FIE referee don't have this incentives. Theres incentives should be :
    Try to apply rules and to ensure that's fencer they refereeing respect them.

    What we say :
    They no more care about rules. They corrupt all fencing world because they use : The "easiest" rules (an forced all to follow that's new rules if want competition) and they did it to not contradict themself (No contradict other noob FIE referee), and with times, there is no more people working hard for rules. They are working for that's "new" easy rules for beginner...
    Admitting unofficially, that's because it's too hard to judge (conventionnal 1914 and rules) attack !?
    What is a scandal for who should be the best referee of the world !
    We should have schism, or admitting they are bad (an officially admitting the new rules) !
    But nobody want to be the man who take responsability of this, so it's ostrich politics.
    And as we are historically guarantor of foil and of convention (1914), i think France (FFE) must do something too. But same politics... That's i call Omerta. Don't talk about it.
    Then if we don't see problems, there is no problems... More than 20y we said it. We need more people to say it or they will continue to no take any responsability.
    That's all i said. FIE must take the responsability of that rules change. They don't.
     
  7. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

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    That seems unfair. I don’t think think whether a club is profit or non-profit is a country-wide issue. I’m from Australia in a non-profit club and that has no impact on this discussion. I also don’t think it’s fair to say Germans follow the rules and US doesn’t. When I watch world level fencing, i see Italians, French, Russian and even German fencers fencing in this similar fashion, with dare I say it, consistency, and consensus (generally). And I would guess there are some German refs at those comps awarding marching attacks with an absent blade.

    So I don’t think it’s a country vs country matter.
     
  8. anton_fairfax

    anton_fairfax Made the Cut

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    There’s an implicit assumption there that there’s a silent majority who agree with you and want foil to go back to how it was 40 years ago. Maybe you haven’t considered the possibility that the vast majority of foil fencers actually like modern foil as it is, and no one (ie very few, not zero) wants to do it your way, and that’s why no one is up in arms about the state of refereeing - because they really are ok with it. And let’s be honest, you don’t REALLY want the FIE to take responsibility and change the rules to reflect current convention, do you? You want to make everyone follow the rules as written so they go back to fencing how it was - so let’s not pretend this is about getting the FIE to just update the rule book.
     
  9. ChrisL

    ChrisL DE Bracket

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    That seems quite sad if that's the case. If I went to your club where you teach your version of fencing that you say is "correct" and disagrees with everyone else.

    Then the club down the road trains fencing in the way everyone else in the world does. Students from that club go to national competitions, qualify for national teams and represent their country at internationals.
    Well...I know which club I would want to go to.
     
  10. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte DE Bracket

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    Why does the International Federation not modify the rules so that it matches the referee's calls?
    Not so long ago they modified the valid surface, the timing, they forbid fleche in sabre, now they want to enable it, they speak about removing the off target in foil.

    I mean, they are not afraid of changing the rules, but for the priority in foil, the rule doesn't change.
    I think the reason is that there is no consensus about that. The bent arm attacker have got the upper hand now, it could change next year, and we would answer differently to anton_fairfax question.

    What happens is that coaches and fencers are playing at the limit of the rule, the referees are making bad calls, it becomes the norm because referees would be critized if they were to contradict each other.

    After all, this is the initial subject of this topic: the same action is judged differently over time. With this discussion, we are answering the question, and more: why are those changes happening? I think this is an interresting discussion.

    About not following the olympic trends: it could be usefull when you have some chances of joining the Olympics, we have nobody like that and our fencing level wouldn't be good enough for such a fencer.
    But is it a problem? anton_fairfax is an adult and says he began fencing 3 years ago, so we can agree that his chance to join the olympics are non existent, right? He could fence with us without following the trends and enjoy like we do.
     
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  11. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Modern Historical Fencing!
     
  12. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte DE Bracket

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    No, this is a totally different thing.
     
  13. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    You admit to re-creating fencing based on FIE rules from 1980, and ignoring current rules and conventions.
    Technically 1980 is Historical, but still recent enough to be Modern.
    Modern Historical Fencing.

    Or do you have a different dictionary too?
     
  14. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte DE Bracket

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    No, I was fencing in the 80's it was a very different way of fencing than what we do now.

    I just follow the rules as they are written, like many of us.

    I was not involved in competition since years, and was not aware of any change, I like to practice fencing but not that much watching. Only since I read Malicia's comment on a forum I started looking more closely and discovered that some people considered that "moving forward", "being aggresive", "taking the initiative" were giving the right of way.
    Last time I discussed that in a competition, people were saying that foil had become too centered on simple flick attacks, so the timing was changed, we updated the machines.
    If the rules change, I will print the new version and apply it. In the mean time, when I get caught moving forward with a bent arm by an opponent extending his arm, I will ask the referee to give him the point. And who knows, it could be that the international referees one day move towards my interpretation.
     
  15. sdubinsky

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    So you don't compete, you don't watch, what's your actual connection to the sport?
     
  16. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte DE Bracket

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    I fence, this is my connection to the sport, what's yours, sdubinsky? (if this is your real name)

    I used to fence saber for some time, and I have the feeling that some are using their foils like saber,threatening the valid target with their foil pointing to the sky.
    Perhaps is it time for me to return to saber, they seem to attack like foil fencers used to do:
     
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  17. sdubinsky

    sdubinsky DE Bracket

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    so you fence but you don't compete? Do you just hide in your club?
     
  18. Michael Comte

    Michael Comte DE Bracket

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    I am not hiding anywhere.

    Ad hominem (Latin for "to the person"):
    Short for argumentum ad hominem, is a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.
     
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  19. sdubinsky

    sdubinsky DE Bracket

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    So where do you fence? Not competitively, you said. Does your club organize friendly meets with other clubs? When was the last time you fenced someone outside your club?
     
  20. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    Ultimately the two positions appear to be:

    1) The rulebook is the correct authority on fencing, specifically the descriptions of RoW actions

    2) The convention (meaning the consensus of referees, including FIE, national, regional, and local; fencers; and coaches) is the correct authority on specifically the descriptions of RoW actions.

    From a purely logical construction, I can see where #1 is attractive. From a practical one, if one intends to operate within the confines of the FIE, it is not. As this is generally a sport fencing community, we tend to gravitate towards #2. If #1 makes you happy, cool, but that shouldn't be something that you attempt to force on others, or expect them to necessarily agree.

    As you say, you fence at your club, and they fence based on the written rulebook. Cool. As long as you all are content doing that, more power to you. But the methods of movement, delivering the point, defense, etc. change fast enough that the FIE has (for decades) relied on the interpretation of RoW actions over the written word in the rulebook (which is often incomplete in how to interpret given actions). The rulebook will always be hard pressed to describe all of the physical reality for a all interactions between two fencers, and it is even more difficult to maintain accurate descriptions as fencers change the sport.

    Honestly, I feel like you get this, and just wish it weren't so for the 'rest of the world.' But you seem a good deal more willing to discuss it than some of the others on what we might call the 'classical' fencing side, at least lately. And I appreciate that. I hope you continue to enjoy fencing.
     
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