Proposed Changes to VETs

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by jjefferies, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    I didn't attend the VETERAN dinner as frankly after having been to a number they're not all that interesting. But Sunday I was told that there was a proposal made at the VET ?board? meeting which occurred before I arrived to increase the number of NAC's open to VETS from 3 to 4. And even a proposal to go from 10 to 15 touches in DE bouts. Does anyone have any further information about those two proposals?
     
  2. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    I doubt that either will go anywhere, since another NAC would mean more events at one NAC, and that conflicts with the whole "smaller tournaments, fewer fencers, no late nights" desideratum of US Fencing, and the FIE goes to 10 touches so in the strategic view of some it would disvantage us not to be doing it the same way we have to do at Worlds.
     
  3. jjefferies

    jjefferies Podium

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    That was my first thought as well. But increasing the number of NAC's would be interesting. And I wonder what the current financial state of the organization is and if that has any implications.
     
  4. Black Widow

    Black Widow Made the Cut

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    I would love that. Don't think it will ever happen though. At 10 touch limit if I get behind there isn't much time to dig myself out of the mess I created. With 15 touches I can gather my wits about me and at least have a shot at a comeback. That's why I prefer to fence Senior Division.
     
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  5. dberke

    dberke Podium

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    There's no chance that we'll change to 15-touch DEs unless that change comes from the FIE. Having our vets practice 15-touch DEs while they still use 10-touch DEs at vet worlds would be a disaster.

    The USFA could change V40 to 15-touch DEs, since V40 isn't recognized at the FIE level. But I doubt even that would happen. I personally prefer 10-touch DEs for vets. I get plenty of 15-touch DEs when I fence senior events, I don't need more in the vet events.

    Dan
     
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  6. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    I'm not sure I quite understand why "Having our vets practice 15-touch DEs while they still use 10-touch DEs at vet worlds would be a disaster". Really what we are doing is a footrace---get to the finish line first. Whoever get to 5, or 10, or 15 before the other wins. And as we are often exhorted to do, "one touch at a time".

    Would someone like to explain the strategic and athletic disadvantages of practicing to 15 and competing to 10?
     
  7. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    Maybe that'd be a disaster like this past season where US Vet fencers only did 45-point team relay events at NACs, many having no experience at all with the weirdo 30-point team format used at Vet Worlds, and the US only took home 4 golds and 1 silver out of the 6 Vet World Championship team events. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  8. damianip

    damianip Podium

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    I was in that meeting as an observer. I believe the plan now is to poll the existing pool of vet competitors to get a feel for both proposals.

    Personally, the increase to 15 makes no sense unless the FIE does it or the US (assuming that the US wishes to) wants to try to push the proposal to the FIE.

    I think the fourth Vet NAC (assuming that the logistical/scheduling hurdles can be adequately addressed) makes more sense and I'm for it. Not that I'm in the running for the team myself, but more comps makes for better selection and an extra NAC could also maybe reach a geography that has been ignored, drawing in competitors who couldn't necessarily make all of the other three.

    Either way, neither proposal will affect this or the next competitive season.
     
  9. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    At the risk of KO'N saying that I am sounding like a statistician again:p...you are extrapolating from an example of 1? And from an event which is fenced precisely once a year? Does it seem likely that an event fenced once a year has any effect, positive or negative, on performance at the team event at Worlds?

    We have had our own team format---for events which are held for fun, not with a view that they are training for Worlds---for more than just this year. How did the US perform on team last year? The year before?

    Maybe there's no correlation between which format we use and team performance? Maybe it has more to do with the fencers who are on the teams ( not just ours but those of the countries we oppose ) and how they are feeling on the particular day?

    I also wonder what format Italy and Great Britain and France and Germany use for their veteran team competitions? In fact, do they even hold team competitions?
     
  10. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    I am in favor of more competitions, always. But:

    If the intent is to select the strongest team for Worlds, "drawing in competitors who couldn't necessarily make all of the other three" would seem to be counterproductive. If you pull in people who will only fence in 1 event because it's local or whatever, and they knock off fencers who are the strongest contenders yet have no intention of being on the team themselves, you are possibly weakening the team rather than strengthening it.

    On the other hand, adding NACs would also reinforce the complaints that the system selects not the strongest fencers but merely those who can best afford the expense and time to attend competitions.
     
  11. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    No, I was partly making a joke, hence the smiley face, partly making the point it's more about the fencers than the format, and partly trying to head off those who've suggested the US run Vet Team events at NACs using the weirdo 30-point category A/B/C team format Vet Worlds uses.

    The format used for team events at Vet Worlds (while having many oddities) is fun overall and serves several FIE Vet World's purposes, but it's not something the US should use at NACs. The current open Vet Team 45-touch relay format is much better for NACs.
     
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  12. orangeandblue

    orangeandblue Made the Cut

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    It's anecdotal, but I just aged into Vets and competed in my first Vet event. I have been training to compete in Division 1. My panic reaction sets in when my oponent gets to 11 or 12 and I am behind. In my last Vet DE, when my opponent had 9 touches, I didn't panic. I've been conditioned to think I had time to catch up. For a moment, I was perplexed when she got another touch and everyone screamed. If your focus is Vets this won't be a problem. But, at least in epee, you can completely change strategy and claw your way back in a 15 touch bout. With 10, every mistake is fatal.
     
  13. hello?

    hello? Podium

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    In my opinion, ten touch bouts favor the weaker (less experienced) fencer. (I remember one of my earliest Vet NACs, where I knocked a woman off the team and then lost in the semis 10-9 with absolutely no idea what I was doing.)
     
  14. Mac A. Bee

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

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    Similarly, when fencing a Vet event the day after an Open and having a DE bye, after the second period I returned to my reel to confer with my strip coach. We were both flumoxed when the ref said "That's it." Won't repeat that.
     
  15. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    That sounds to me more like, well, luck. Or, well, weird things happen in fencing.

    That sort of thing has happened to me repeatedly over the years---and I flatter myself that I do know what I'm doing ( sort of ).

    In fact I have had vet NAC events in the past where I knocked off 2 or 3 of the top fencers and then lost to someone I should have been able to beat easily. I don't see how that sort of thing is a function of the number of points which constitute the finish line.

    Although you fence epee, which is a different world, so who knows?
     
  16. keropie

    keropie Podium

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    Certainly there's less pure randomness as the number of touches increases. Mind you, increasing the number of touches also alters the game in other ways, not necessarily just in 'skill at fencing.' For instance, in my current substantially out of shape state, 15 touch bouts are MUCH harder for me than 10 touch bouts; if we were to expand it to 30 touches, even 4 or 5 lucky touches wouldn't actually swing the bout, but now conditioning would play a bigger role.

    So, yes, more touches = less randomness, perhaps, but not necessarily better results; and I certainly don't have the numbers to suggest that there's a big difference in selection quality by changing from 10 to 15 touches.
     
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  17. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    That is the only difference that I can see: it's somewhat harder physically to go to 15 than to 10. And it's probably what prompted the institution of 10-touch DEs to in the first place: someone decided that "old people" are physically too fragile to keep up with 15-touch DEs and maybe that there was a liability issue if an elderly person had a coronary and died because he had to fence too long/hard, so best to take it easier on them. Or some octogenarian at the FIE felt that it would be too hard for him to go to 15 so everyone else must feel the same, ergo...
     
  18. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    Emphasis added. I've literally written two essays on this topic. Great point keropie!
     
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  19. Peach

    Peach Podium

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    Not a fan of four NACs. By far the biggest expense of this retiree is traveling to places I wouldn't otherwise go in order to make sure I make the team, and though I realize I'm blessed beyond understanding to be able to go, I have to pay for Worlds as well, and then I come back with almost no break to start the circuit again. Veteran team members don't really get a rest cycle in their training year and we need it. Overuse injuries are a thing for any athlete, and by the time I have come back from Vet Worlds I don't much like fencing any more and have to persuade myself to keep going.

    In interests of full disclosure, I usually qualify after two, usually go to SN anyway, but last year I had to go to SN to nail it down because of odd math.

    The worst year was when they moved the first Vet points NAC to October and the team members had to show up still jet-lagged to compete.
     
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  20. Peach

    Peach Podium

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    BIG fan of 15-touch DE bouts, though. Gotta say a sabre 10-touch DE is over before you have a chance to think, and the referees hurry us along anyway.
     

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