Nickel and Diming from USA Fencing

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by jjefferies, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. HalfBlue

    HalfBlue Rookie

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    Now that Fencing Time has a built in ability to check fencers' current USFA membership as part of setting up a tournament, having a physical card seems much, much less important.
     
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  2. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    That Fencing Time ability has existed for over 10 years. And for the last 5 of those years, it's taken just a single click of a button.

    If a tournament organizer insists on seeing a physical card from fencers, they're either incompetent and/or a dick.
     
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  3. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    Not necessarily true. In at least two tournaments I've helped run in the last two years, two to three people came up as "non-members" in the USFA data base, but had current cards/receipts showing that they were members, and that they had joined several months before. One mother told me that this had happened to her daughter at every event that season, but US Fencing couldn't figure out why, and couldn't seem to fix it. In another case, US Fencing identified the fencer as both being a foreign fencer AND over the age for the event, but neither was true. Again, it happen so regularly to this fencer that the parent had a copy of the fencers birth certificate to show me.

    Certainly the majority of Virginias local tournaments run smoothly by using the Fencing Time validation function, and we (as a Division) are pro active about reaching out to people who get flagged in the days before our Division events, but the US Fencing data base is not fool proof.
     
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  4. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    People shouldn't confuse organizers asking a fencer for a card/receipt/email/fax if the organizer actually tried but can't find them in the database with those organizers who insist that every fencer checking into an event must show them a card. They're not the same thing by far.

    The first type of organizer is understandably and correctly trying to address a potential issue concerning the database info for a fencer. That's fine. The organizers who demand seeing a card from everyone whether or not they're in the database are the incompetent and/or dicks. There are a bunch out there.

    The latter are akin to insisting every airline passenger these days will be forbidden from using e-tickets and must present a paper ticket because in rare instances some other passenger's online itinerary wasn't found sometime or another.

    For years, tournament organizers have had the ability *and the responsibility* of checking the current USFA database for fencers' current membership and classifications. Classifications haven't been listed on membership cards for many years, so event organizers need to check the database to get them. And if they're getting membership status, classification, YOB, YOB verification status, division etc from the database there's no need to hassle people for cards.

    Part of the "justification" some of the organizers who demand cards from everyone have pointed to was the way-out-of-date USFA Division Operating docs on the USA Fencing website. Since those operating docs have been cleaned up (thanks greatly to you, Allen, I understand), and since physical cards will be less common going forward, maybe the behind the times organizers will finally get with the program.
     
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  5. Allen Evans

    Allen Evans Podium

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    I'm glad you cleared that up.;)
     
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  6. Privateer

    Privateer Podium

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    for what it's worth, last time I went through the process I had to provide a copy/picture of a government issued photo ID. There are reasons this might've happened which I won't go through here. The first time I did it, they did not ask for that additional info, so apparently something set off their risk-filter based on my name.
     
  7. Privateer

    Privateer Podium

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    when 'high school' memberships became a thing we had a lot of trouble with kids/parents confusing the level of membership and then not understanding why they couldn't participate in the non-high school event with their high school membership. At the time, if I recall correctly, the membership database wasn't clear what a non-competitive membership looked like, so we had to ask for cards that said 'competitive.' Of course now there are no cards.

    While I do remember at the time exchanging *many* emails with the national office to clear up membership status, I don't know what the online database shows for a 'high school' membership now because all our fencers upgraded to competitive.
     
  8. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    No, I just haven't seen an example of anyone caught this way, either in sport or teaching. If there is data that proves me wrong, I'd happily concede the point. I'm all for security/safety, but I hate paying for security/safety "theatre." Especially when I'm essentially paying to volunteer.
     
  9. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    The membership check is an option with FT, but if you use it, it can overwrite the club info that is imported from FRED. Since many fencers don't bother updating their records at USFA when they change clubs, but they do update at FRED, BC ends up having to change all the club affiliations back, which is a pain.
     
  10. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    If they are not changing their club affiliation with USA fencing, then their club affiliation has not officially changed. Fred is never the correct, accurate source for any information, as anything can be changed by anyone. If a fencer tells you that they changed their affiliations on Fred, but not USA Fencing, their changes are not valid. Advise them to get it officially corrected and there is nothing you can do about it until they do.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  11. Mac A. Bee

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

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    Not true. I'm a competitor and ref who used to have three-year competitive memberships and "+Prof" two-year endorsements. When we transitioned to annual memberships, somehow my Background check and SafeSport clearances got out-of-sync by a year.
     
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  12. Mac A. Bee

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

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    Or uninformed. Still see it.
     
  13. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    The National Office hasn't helped matters by still including the way out of date text:

    "IMPORTANT: You must present this card in order to verify membership at all U.S. Fencing Sanctioned Matches. Please cut out card"​
     
  14. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    Ahh, i had forgot about the professional upgrade. apologies.
     
  15. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Might have been because of the new Safesport curriculum and everyone being required to take it again.
     
  16. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Now that's going to get fencers upset with you.
     
  17. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    There have been a few times I've asked for cards even though I already know that the fencers' memberships are valid. Once was after the switchover at USFA, when everyone had to recover their profile. It was a confusing process, and a lot of families simply set up a new profile instead of recovering the old one. If I asked for a card, I could see what number the fencer thought s/he had and make sure it was the same number they were using on FRED and the number the fencer renewed under. Then if there was a discrepancy, I could help the family sort it out and get everyone synchronized under the right number.
    Also, checking once at the beginning of the season makes sure that the fencer has a copy of the card and/or number somewhere at hand and not just on the e-mail receipt at home. A lot better for the fencer (or family) to find they don't have their membership information at a small tournament where I can take the time to help them, than to get to a big tournament and get in a panic because the check-in line is long, BC is scowling at them, and nobody is willing to help.
     
  18. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    Haha! They can be as upset as they want to be. Their club affiliation is not officially changed until they change it with USA Fencing. It's not my fault (or my problem) as a tournament organizer if they don't follow the correct procedures for changing their club affiliation. AskFred is not the final authority regarding anything fencer related. The classifications it denotes for you don't matter and its club/division affiliations you for don't matter.
     
  19. dberke

    dberke Podium

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    That's why there is a page on the Tools > Preferences menu that allows you to configure which fields are updated when you do the membership check. If you don't want the club data overwritten with the USFA's data, simply un-check the option to update the clubs.

    Dan
     
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  20. Mac A. Bee

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

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    Nope.:confused:
     

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