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Discussion in 'USA Veteran Fencing' started by Grey Sabreur, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. Grey Sabreur

    Grey Sabreur Made the Cut

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    As a result of a recent conversation about veteran fencing, I am curious about the relative popularity of foil, epee or sabre among veterans. Does anyone here who is part of organizing vet events find that vets have a preference for entering foil, epee or sabre? At a recent Canadian competition the veteran epee entry was greater than the foil and sabre combined. Any similar observations?

    And on a side note, the sabre entry was around 21% of every age group.
     
  2. jkormann

    jkormann Podium

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    Can you clarify if you mean veteran-age or veteran-military.
     
  3. Grey Sabreur

    Grey Sabreur Made the Cut

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  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Maybe you answered your own question?

    I'm not sure why there would be a difference between weapon popularity in vets vs seniors or juniors or cadets or...
     
  5. Grey Sabreur

    Grey Sabreur Made the Cut

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    The Vets had the lowest percentage of sabre and foil entries - the only age group where the epee entry was more than foil and sabre combined. I am asking if any other groups have that sort of Vet entry or was this an anomaly?
     
  6. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Last ROC I fenced the vet epee had 6 entries, vet sabre had 6, vet foil had 1.
     
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  7. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    I think that the epee events are generally the largest vet events at NACs in the US. I think that the vet events (combined or age group) are generally at the December NAC, April NAC, and Summer Nationals. See https://www.usafencing.org/natresults if you want to dig through recent results. You'd really have to look at multiple NACs and aggregate the results somehow because the attendance at specific events will depend on the day schedule and the location.

    Here's a quick example, at the Dec 2017 NAC

    Code:
    Event                   Event Size
    Veteran Women's Epee        52
    Veteran Women's Foil        31
    Veteran Women's Saber       35
    Veteran Men's Epee          95
    Veteran Men's Foil          63
    Veteran Men's Saber         44
    
    Edited to correct the formatting of the results. Not sure how to create a real table.
     
  8. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    And when you do your comparisons you need to differentiate the combined versus age specific. My experience is that epee is the largest VET group. I suspect due to:
    1. epee has traditionally been favored by gentlemen of a certain mind set and age. And to some degree it can be argued that foil in particular favors dexterity which VETs are losing.
    2. saber in particular is not as well established as epee.
    3. ROW is really difficult to teach to VET's who are just coming into the game. When I say teach I'm referring to being able to integrate it into their play. So if a person has been fencing foil most of their life then ROW is not really an issue. For a person just coming into the game it's a major problem which epee doesn't have.
     
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  9. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    And also epee is the largest everything group, not just vets. Your reasons probably hold true for seniors as well. And maybe juniors and cadets.
     
  10. Zebra

    Zebra DE Bracket

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    But how many competing vets (especially at ROC level and up) are "just coming in"? My (sometimes frustrating) experience is that the great majority of those vet epees have been fencing a long time, or fenced competitively when they were college-age. And many of the adults who are picking up a blade for the first time are not in it to compete.
     
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  11. Philly Diana

    Philly Diana Made the Cut

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    FWIW, I started fencing March 2017. I'm VET50 WF. I'm in it to compete. Didn't understand ROW when my daughter was learning to fence, but have a moderate understanding now. (I have a long way to go.) I'll be in Richmond this weekend fencing Div. III WF, Vet 50 WF and the open Vet WF. There are 33 V50WF registered and 41 Vet combined women in foil. I know I'm going to get my butt kicked all three days, but the point is to learn to fence better, which I can only do by being exposed to different and better fencers. But I'm competitive by nature, so maybe I'm the outlier.
     
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  12. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    I think that you'll find that most of the veterans are very friendly off of the strip and bloodthristy competitors on the strip. :)
     
  13. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    And for comparison, here are the numbers that US Fencing sent out for the upcoming April 2018 NAC:

    Code:
    Event                   Event Size
    Veteran Women's Epee        80
    Veteran Women's Foil        38
    Veteran Women's Saber       35
    Veteran Men's Epee          130
    Veteran Men's Foil          67
    Veteran Men's Saber         60
    
     
  14. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    Not sure if I agree with your last sentence. But my understanding based on active research on several related questions:
    1. The fencing sport is in one sense a pyramid scheme in which youth fencers who come into the sport form the base and keep the club doors open.
    2. As youth ages up gaining some in numbers but losing also they either become more skilled or drop out. Until by time they are seniors in High School they are skilled and move into a competitive career in college or drop out.
    3. Certainly by the end of their college period unless they are in the very elite the majority have dropped out of the game. There are a few, very few, who continue to compete as club fencers.
    4. That group from age 21-40 is very small and mostly elite or in some cases individuals who have gone into coaching or some other aspect.
    5. Starting somewhere in the 40's age range people seem to either come back into the game or for some, such as myself, start a late fencing career. I think the reasons are pretty intuitively obvious. The 20's-40's are when most of us are moving around, starting careers, families, buying homes and simply don't have the time or spare funds to be active unless we have a real commitment to the game.
    6. The VET's should/can be the start of a new or renewed fencing career. I know of one gentleman in the 70's group who was a stock broker in his first career. He has not had a lot of luck in competition but continues to go to all the NAC's/SN and competes. When I was at EBFG, in Oakland, we had a number of VET's who had entered the game late for various reasons and were trying to be competitive. It took me over 7 years to get to a reasonable competitive level. Just my POV.
     

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