Self-reffing and Safe Sport

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by Inquartata, Aug 31, 2018.

  1. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    So, I understand that "Members who are over 18 and 'self-reffing' in an open tournament are not required to be Coach or +CheckEd members, or have SafeSport training and a background screen".

    But how much falls under the umbrella of "self-reffing"? Is it enough to be entered as a competitor in the tournament, or are there circumstances which would trigger the certification requirement?

    If I am not SafeSport compliant and I referee a bout between two of the other fencers in the pool in which I am fencing, that's OK.

    But...if I am asked to referee a bout between two fencers in another pool, is that still "self-reffing"?

    If I ref a DE bout while I am still in the competition, is that still OK?

    What about reffing a DE bout in my event after I myself have been eliminated?

    What about reffing a bout in a different event ( Junior, for example ) running at the same time as my event while I am still in the running? After I am out of my event?

    What about reffing a bout in a different event and a different weapon in between fencing bouts in my own event?
     
  2. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    My entirely non-authoritative interpretation:

    "Self-reffing" is refereeing a bout in an event in which you are competing. This includes your pool, a different pool, or DE bouts after you have been eliminated. You are not compensated for refereeing.

    This would mean that refereeing a different event (such as a different gender, age-category, or weapon) is not covered by this. In those events, you are only a referee and thus in a potentially abusable position of authority.
     
  3. bbower

    bbower DE Bracket

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    So if you go out in the table of 512 of a 328 person event you're all set to referee the gold without screening because you're no longer in a position of authority?
     
  4. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    Yes. Not sure why this is surprising...you're not at a greater risk of harming fencers in the final than in some pool bout; less actually considering everyone would be watching. I think your confusion is that Inq is inquiring about being allowed to ref from a SafeSport standpoint, not a qualification standpoint. Many local opens are self reffed (and none have 328 fencers)
     
  5. bbower

    bbower DE Bracket

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    I'm sorry, you think SafeSport requires screening for refs because of the fear that they're going to assault a fencer during a competition?
     
  6. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    Or abuse their authority as the arbiter on strip?
     
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  7. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    I don't think that. But apparently the USFA/USOC does.
     
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  8. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    FIFY.
     
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  9. bbower

    bbower DE Bracket

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    So you don't think SafeSport requires screening for referees due to a concern of acute assault on a strip during a competition, but you believe that the USFA/USOC does.

    So why do you think SafeSport requires screening for referees?

    And why do you think the USFA/USOC requires screening due to a fear of acute assault during a competition.
     
  10. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    But more importantly ( to me anyway )...

    See post #1.
     
  11. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    I'm not sure what this distinction is you're making between SafeSport and USFA/USOC. My understanding is SafeSport is a program instituted by USFA after it was implemented/mandated by the USOC. It's a distinction without a difference, if there even is one. And irrelevant to Inq's question.

    Cynically: because the USOC wants to cover their butts and be uniform across sports where maybe in other sports referees have more potential to harm or prevent harm to young athletes.

    My less cynical answer to your previous question is that maybe a referee could pick up on an abusive coach because they've gone through SafeSport training. I only said assault in my initial example since I doubt some fencer self-reffing a tournament or someone reffing the final of a 328 person tournament is going to be picking up on anything regardless of training.

    I honestly don't understand, bbower, what you're trying to get at. Inq asked a legitimate question about what the boundaries of self reffing and the SafeSport requirements are. It's irrelevant to the answer why the USFA requires refs to be SafeSport compliant -- for better or for worse, they do. I support the SafeSport program generally but think it's generally unnecessary for refs, which is the source of my tongue-in-cheekiness in my initial answer that seem to have caught your wrath.
     
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  12. erik_blank

    erik_blank Podium

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    Personally,I have always felt uncomfortable with the idea of self reffing with or without safe sport. The idea that a competitor in a competition would have some say over the outcome of her/his fellow competitors has always struck me as prone to abuse, and I am not talking about sexual or physical here...
     
  13. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Perhaps, but irrelevant to what the limits of the self-reffing exception to the SS requirement may be...
     
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  14. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    You keep trying to keep things on topic. Good luck. I would also like other interpretations to compare to my own.
     
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  15. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Yeah, it's me and Sisyphus here in the underworld.
     
  16. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    There are two possible interpretations I suggest. The first is a strict compliance to avoid any potential liability for the NGB and any organizers. The second is a pragmatic view of what is really acceptable.

    If the goal is total and unconditional compliance, I would interpret "self-reffing" as narrowly as possible. I don't think anyone can tell you whether that means an entire tournament, an event, a day of competition, a round, or a pool, but I can supply a premise that may help: self-refereeing means a group of competitors is refereeing itself because the "self" in "self-reffing" obviously cannot mean you are literally reffing yourself. (Unless I have misunderstood the practice for many years.)

    Following that reasoning and sticking to a conservative interpretation, self-reffing can only occur during a pool, because only a pool can ref itself. Only a pool has more than two competitors, allowing a third competitor to referee the two who are actually fencing. By that reasoning, refereeing another pool would be impermissible because that pool would not be refereeing itself. Similarly, a DE could not be self-refereed because any third person is not a part of that DE, so the DE is not refereeing itself. However, if you group DEs into portions of a bracket, the previous reasoning applies and that would be fine. Nevertheless, sticking to your pool is the safest choice, because that is the only group that cannot be further divided into two competitors.

    If your goal is to avoid getting in trouble with the powers that be, I would interpret self-refereeing as an almost limitless concept. Essentially, if your primary purpose was to attend as a competitor, you are a competitor in the tournament, and any refereeing you do is self-refereeing. I think every hypothetical situation you have listed is fine, and I would even add another: you show up to compete, but you injure yourself during your warmup and never fence, but you stick around to referee a different event because you are a nice guy. You showed up as a competitor, so you remain a part of the tournament, and when you referee any bouts, the tournament is refereeing itself. That might be getting a little far afield, but there are a two reasons I do not think it will ever be an issue: (1) US Fencing does not have a clear position and (2) the FOC indicates Safesport only applies to "formal" circumstances.

    First, US Fencing has promulgated a document that states, "members who are over 18 and 'self-reffing' in an open tournament are not required to [...] have SafeSport training and a background screen." That seems to indicate that members under 18 must have Safesport training, but we already know that Safesport does not apply to members under 18. That clumsy phrasing indicates that US Fencing did not think very hard about the answer. Therefore, US Fencing has not provided a clear position so there probably no consensus within the organization.

    Second, the FOC states that Safesport applies to members of the NGB and "those individuals it formally authorizes, approves or appoints." I think self-reffing is almost definitionally informal. Therefore, using the FOC's guidance, anything goes.

    TLDR: if you are worried about it only referee your own pool, but otherwise do whatever you want because no one cares.
     
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  17. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Makes sense.

    I have never heard of an instance of the NO ( or any official or agent of it ) defining what falls under this exception to referees having to be certified under SS. Unless there is ever a problem, eg an "incident" involving someone reffing under this exception, doubtless it will never be addressed. In practical terms "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission".

    I would hate to be the guy to cause a tournament to lose sanction, an organizer to BE sanctioned, or a new policy to be promulgated just because someone at the NO defines "self-reffing" more narrowly than is commonly understood and decides that "someone should have known that this was impermissible". But as long as the Eye does not turn its gaze onto this matter life in the Shire may go on as always.
     
  18. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    Makes sense.

    I have never heard of an instance of the NO ( or any official or agent of it ) defining what falls under this exception to referees having to be certified under SS. Unless there is ever a problem, eg an "incident" involving someone reffing under this exception, doubtless it will never be addressed. In practical terms "It's better to ask forgiveness than permission".

    I would hate to be the guy to cause a tournament to lose sanction, an organizer to BE sanctioned, or a new policy to be promulgated just because someone at the NO defines "self-reffing" more narrowly than is commonly understood and decides that "someone should have known that this was impermissible". But as long as the Eye does not turn its gaze onto this matter life in the Shire may go on as always.
     
  19. Mac A. Bee

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

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    :)
     
  20. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    Better yet, forget that they said you could self ref without +checked and make sure that any pools needing self reffing has at least one or two fencers who are +checked members who can do it...
     

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