No off target in foil - Pros and Cons

Discussion in 'Rules and Referee Questions' started by Tad Salyards, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Tad Salyards

    Tad Salyards Rookie

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    Hi, all. I saw this proposed rule change and was surprised there was no thread covering it. Perhaps I just didn't find it?

    So I will come right out and say that I think it's high time for off targets to die in foil. My primary reasoning is that in higher level foil fencing off-targets are fairly rare anyhow so the impact would be minimal. Getting rid of them would sure speed up beginner level bouts/tournaments :) .

    It seems like a fundamental change to how ROW and priority are defined. Theoretical it's now more important not to miss than it is to have right away. With off-targets a valid counter attack against a fencer with ROW that lands off target is not awarded to the counter-attacking fencer; without off-targets it would be. I'm sure I'm missing many of the implications of this rule change.

    Looking forward to the conversation :)

    -Tad
     
  2. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    This forum is generally only used for questions about applying rules in specific cases or guidelines about how to make certain calls. A general discussion about a proposed rule change is more appropriate in the general forum. Here's one of the threads about the removal of off-target lights: https://www.fencing.net/forums/threads/test-for-foil-the-absence-of-the-white-light.142844/

    There's also some discussion about it here: https://www.fencing.net/forums/threads/2018-fie-congress-rule-change-proposals-published.142860/

    You could revive one of those threads if you're interested in discussing it further.

    And many of us feel that that's the primary problem with the proposal. Here's my response. If you want to discuss it further, I recommend replying on that thread instead of here.
     
  3. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    There is discussion of the proposal (and other proposals) in this thread: https://www.fencing.net/forums/threads/2018-fie-congress-rule-change-proposals-published.142860/

    The idea is bad. Getting rid of off target in foil would be essentially as bad as reducing epee target to the torso. It completely changes the character of the weapon, makes height a real advantage by removing extended target, would make the weapon more passive, and more terrible things I have not the requisite effort to list. There's also a video floating around of the fencer who won the satellite event where they did this as a test, and her reaction. Spoiler: it's not a positive reaction.
     
  4. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    And the capper: But the refs loved it.
     
  5. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    As a ref, I'm against it. As a coach, I'm against it. As a spectator, I'm against it. As a foilist, I find it abhorrent.
     
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  6. ChrisL

    ChrisL DE Bracket

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    No they didn't.
     
  7. ktinoue3

    ktinoue3 Podium

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    Do you have a link to said video?
     
  8. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    The girl who was there and fenced in the test with this new scheme said that they did.
     
  9. keropie

    keropie Podium

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  10. ktinoue3

    ktinoue3 Podium

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    found it from the page. Updated direct link below.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  11. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yeah, I found it too and tried to post the link, got "Cannot load Facebook SDK. Disable any adblocker or tracking protection and try again".

    It's on The Fencing Podcast's FB page as well as on the fencer's ( Eline Rentier ) page.
     
  12. NeilNZ

    NeilNZ Made the Cut

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    She said the ref liked it because it led to less delay in the bout. Fundamentally though, the ref is there for the fencers, not the other way around. Fencers don't fence to entertain a referee, nor a crowd for that matter. A lot of these proposals are wanting to fundamentally change the nature of the sport to cater to an audience that essentially doesn't exist, or to make the running of a competition smoother for the DT or TV schedules or whatever. Not cool.
     
  13. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yes. I wholly agree. Much like the visor masks, which persisted for a number of years and would probably still be with us had they not turned out to pose serious safety issues. Not cool, but an unfortunate forced reality.

    But this is how things are, and if the refs are in favor and if they do in fact speed up the bouts...the fencing and fencers wishes be damned seems to be the FIE's attitude.
     
  14. NeilNZ

    NeilNZ Made the Cut

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    I spoke to a few FIE refs at the recent Commonwealth Championships... none of them were in favour of it, and these guys are all reffing at world cups etc regularly. Seems very much like the tail wagging the dog at this point.
     
  15. ChrisL

    ChrisL DE Bracket

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    Can't speak to individuals but I have yet to meet an FIE referee who thinks it is a good choice.
    I know personally both the fencer and the referee of her L8 bout which was videoed (is possible another referee was present and referred to later). They don't like it.

    Regardless painting "referees" opinions based on the second hand report of a single individuals opinion is likely inaccurate. Most referees are against the proposed change from what I have seen. I believe over the past month I have probably met and spoken to about 20-30 FIE foil referees.
     
  16. JS Hart

    JS Hart DE Bracket

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    So... VSM includes an alternative rules bonus "fencing game" called Quick Foil. In it there are no white off-target lights and the action does not stop for off-target hits. It does, however, detect the off-target hits and penalizes the fencer by deactivating his/her weapon for a short (programmable) period of a second or so that it is not possible to make an immediate remise. And there's also a sound to signal that an off-target occurred, so that you know it happened. Instead or remising, the off-target fencer's only option is to retreat and/or parry. This makes it fence very much as foil does now, but without the stopping and delays of off targets.

    If the FIE is really interested in this test, I think they should look at a methodology more detailed than simply ignoring all off-targets. It can be done pretty easily. And I'd be happy to code whatever system they'd like to test.
     
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  17. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    While I agree that that would be better than no off target, please don't offer it to the FIE. Unless it also blocks the opponents counter attack that arrives within lockout time both before and after the off target. Which, of course, isn't possible without an early off target counter attack blocking out the valid attack. But I'm afraid the FIE will think it's a good enough idea to actually go with, and I think it would still make foil significantly less fun to participate in, referee, and watch.

    Though, technologically it's pretty neat. I do like VSM.
     
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