Finding and going to competitions in days of old.

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by debrobjosh, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. debrobjosh

    debrobjosh Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    7
    With all the wonderful improvements of FRED and f.net, and how easy and quick the information flow is, I got to wondering how fencers in days of old (e.g. pre-web) found out about competitive events held outside of their club?

    I would assume it was some form of good old boy system, a friend from one club tells another, maybe a club sends out flyers to be posted in other clubs, or if folks really had their acts together, periodic newsletters send around by maybe the division? I assume a newsletter was the way the USFA kept the faithful informed about national and international events.

    And a similar topic, how far were you willing to travel to an event? With FRED today, you can see that an event 2 hours away is going to be an A2, and you can see who is going to be there. With so much information, there is a much better chance you will just jump in a car and go. Did people back in the pre-web days do things like that, based on much more limited information?

    So if anybody out there wishes to date themselves, how did you know where to go fence and how far would you be willing to travel in the days before the web?
     
  2. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

    Joined:
    May 6, 2005
    Messages:
    1,990
    Likes Received:
    239
    I remember in Georgia in the early 90s, the division would mail a newsletter twice a year. The newsletter contained the tournament schedule, so you could plan out your (local) competition season ahead of time. Some tournament organizers would also get the membership list for the division and mail a pre-registration form to all fencers in the division. The pre-registration form would arrive about a month before the event, and it would be due several days before the event itself. There was usually a pretty good incentive for pre-registration, like $10 off per event.

    Not much different from now, but more expensive (postage and printing) and slower turn-around.
     
  3. seven6ty

    seven6ty Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    92
    Well, it wasn't necessarily "before the web" existed, but before I had regular access to it, early to mid 90's, I remember it being communicated to us more through the division info. Divisional newsletters, and being in high school at the time, we had our high school specific events we went to on a regular basis, and yeah, a lot of it was word of mouth. Plus, considering I'd drive 2 hours for a private lesson in LA, and then two hours back, EVERY Thursday night, I was definently up for travelling a good ways to get some decent fencing in, either practice or tourney.
     
  4. jdoiv

    jdoiv Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    9
    That was pretty much it in a nutshell. There were also events that were yearly events that you would keep you eyes open for. Atlanta usually had a big event (the Atlanta Open?) that Gene Gettler put on that was big every year and always at about the same time. Vanderbilt had a tournament every year and Louisville had the Bourbon open. Just knowing that those were coming up and which ones got good turn out was done mostly through word of mouth.
     
  5. RebelFencer

    RebelFencer Podium

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Messages:
    2,889
    Likes Received:
    395
    You see, each club would find its fastest sprinter and...
     
  6. glowstix

    glowstix DE Bracket

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    146
    or they could "fox" it..:blah:
     
  7. Sciurus-Rex

    Sciurus-Rex Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,230
    Likes Received:
    234
    Dreams. The Fencing Gawd spoke to us in dreams.
     
  8. IHateMrPotatohead

    IHateMrPotatohead Rookie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    39
    I used to receive carrier pigeons......:rolleyes:
     
  9. RITFencing

    RITFencing Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    4,559
    Likes Received:
    395
    I did not.
     
    tbryan likes this.
  10. Mitchell

    Mitchell hi Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,263
    Likes Received:
    467
    yep, thats how it worked.
    also, leaving your flyers at others' events helped, too.
     
  11. D+F+P=Hadouken!

    D+F+P=Hadouken! Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    4,706
    Likes Received:
    403
    I remember as far back as 03 and early 04, before FRED, when it was pretty common to have to mail in your entry form for even a dinky local tournament. You'd just scour the division and club websites, looking for some place to go fence on the weekends.

    Pretty sad when 3 years ago is "days of old".

    I'm feeling kind of old actually. To younger fencers, I can be like "Back when I was your age, we didn't have a fancy blue USFA website" "When I was your age, we didn't have FRED" "When I was your age, we could flick in foil"

    Pretty neat.
     
  12. Beloit Fencer of Old

    Beloit Fencer of Old Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Messages:
    1,888
    Likes Received:
    171
    Who the heck is FRED and will he call ME?

    In the late 80s and early 90s in Wisconsin, we would go to the planning meeting in the early Fall and we would sit around a table at Catholic Memorial in Waukesha and hammer out a schedule. Then it would come in the mail (we would find it in a PHYSICAL mail box with something called a STAMP on it...really, it was quite cute!) And when we went to other divisions, we would grab a copy of their schedule too. And as far as how far we would drive? Well, this one time, we drove from Beloit, WI to State College, PA in an old Chevette. I know, if you're too young, you probably don't know what a Chevette is, either.
     
  13. daveappr

    daveappr DE Bracket

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    38
    Back in the 80's a typed schedule of the seasons events would be mailed to the fencers at the start of the season. This schedule was usually, in my case, promptly lost. If something was added at a later date, you usually heard about it by word of mouth, or from a coach. Most of the larger salles knew of other events outside your region and had information on their events. Basically if my coach said 'you have a tournament to go to this weekend ' I went.
     
  14. BrianH

    BrianH Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    159
    I started competing in 1980 and communication was by newsletters, flyers and word of mouth. I also had connections to fencers at larger salles who kept up to date on comps. I regularly traveled to events in the Seattle area, about five hours away, and sometimes to Spokane in eastern WA, about nine hours, but most were two hours away in Portland. Once I went to Vancouver BC for a tournament only to find it was cancelled at the last minute. This was way before the net or cell phones.

    You kids have it so easy these days.....
     
  15. annacattiva

    annacattiva Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    45
    New England Division still sends out the schedule in the newsletter.

    And, um... I think that if you think that pre-internet was days of old, I have news for you.

    I'm amused by the comment that kids these days have it easy because of cell phones and internet. But then again, if suddenly my computer connection got dropped and I lost my cell phone, I'd still know how to find out whether there was a competition. :)

    Anna
     
  16. Goldgar

    Goldgar Podium

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    151
    You're just miffed because Sciurus-Rex didn't use your full name: Gawd Helpus.
     
  17. BrianH

    BrianH Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    159
    Anna,

    I believe I know something about history, but thank you for the news.

    Brian
     
  18. jeff

    jeff Podium

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2002
    Messages:
    5,146
    Likes Received:
    335
    In Metro and NJ divisions in days of yore, the schedule was mailed to members of the division. You would ask somebody in nearby divisions you weren't a member of for a copy of the schedule, and then photocopy it. It might magically appear on the bulletin board of the club you fenced at, in which case you used a thing called a "pen" and wrote the events you wanted to go to on a piece of paper.

    In Inq's day, a piece of papyrus was used. :)
     
  19. annacattiva

    annacattiva Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    45
    Snark snark. I didn't mean you. I was joking since some people on this forum seem not to recall the (not so very long ago) days when internet wasn't as common. Or the slightly longer ago but still not so very long days when it didn't exist at all.

    And just to clear things up further, I was agreeing with you, and pointing out that those of us who remember those days would be more prepared in the event of a sudden technological apocalypse.

    Anna
     
  20. BrianH

    BrianH Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    159
    Absolutely true. Some of us even remember how to run a mimeograph machine, and if all else fails, there's Inq with his cuneiform tablets.

    I was still in shock from the suggestion that 2003 was in the 'old days'.
     

Share This Page