Why do fencing comps give out two bronze medals?

Discussion in 'Fencing Discussion' started by anton_fairfax, Apr 13, 2018.

  1. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    I also prefer to see the original seeding since the number that is being shown is totally meaningless. It is an FIE requirement for their competitions. I suggested to Dan that he also include the original seeding, maybe in parentheses after the FIE number or after the fencer's name but he has to follow whatever standards the FIE mandates.
     
  2. Archerlite

    Archerlite Made the Cut

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    Hi,
    I remind you something I expected to see in that topic, but didn't come : at the beginning, losing meant die, in fencing. So, if the two semi-final losers are dead, how can you fence the third place match ?

    Then, the Olympics Games have required a third place match, arguing that the Olympics would designate the First, Second and Third best player in each sport. So fencing couldn't keep two thirds, while the Olympics would give only one bronze medal
     
  3. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    Well, since it's a DE format, it effectively doesn't matter.* You can think of it however you want, but it's probably best just to think of it as, "the fencer made it to the round of N before being eliminated." The result of the tournament is actually the completed DE bracket at the end of the tournament. For example, you don't normally see the results of the NCAA men's basketball tournament as a list. They just post the bracket with all of the match-ups, scores, and winners: https://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/basketball-men/d1. For a particular athlete, the interesting question is whether they were eliminated in the semi-final (L4), quarter-final (L8), L16, L32, etc. For example, look at a professional sport that uses a DE format, like tennis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Agassi#Singles_timeline_overview. They don't tell you whether the player was 5, 6, 7, or 8. They just say that he made it to the quarter final (QF) at Wimbledon in 1993 before being eliminated.

    If you want to write the final results of a direct elimination format as a simple list, then you need to use some consistent way to order the participants who lost in each round. So, how do you list the 17 - 32 placed fencers in a consistent way? It could be based on initial seeding, but that's a fairly course measurement where many participants have equivalent initial seeding. You could sort it alphabetically, but while that's consistent, it doesn't really tell you anything about the tournament. For the standard format with one round of pools and then direct elimination, we have chosen to list the fencers who lost in a round by their seeding after pools. That has the interesting side effect of making the final results match the seeding after pools if everyone "holds seed" and always beats the lower-seeded fencer. (You can also look for upsets by looking at the fencers at the very top and very bottom of each round. The fencer who is listed as 9 in the results is likely a fencer seeded who seeded 8 or higher but who was eliminated in the L16. The fencer who is listed as 16 in the results is normally someone seeded below 16 but who won an upset to make it to the L16.) I don't have enough experience with other formats (multiple rounds of pools or two rounds of DEs), but I think that they still tend to list the fencers who lost in each round in the order of their seeding going into the DEs.

    ----

    * Well, if the fencer is you, your child, or one of your students, some of those details might matter and help you adjust your training focus. Knocking off a higher-seeded opponent in DEs can be an important milestone for a fencer: bouts against higher-seeded opponents are often winnable if you fence the right bout. Of course, if you're always beating higher-seeded opponents in the DEs, it may indicate that you're consistently under-performing in pool bouts. In that case, it might be time to focus on how to do better at winning pool bouts. Maybe you're not warming up effectively. Maybe you're not taking pool bouts seriously. On the other hand, if you aren't "holding seed" and losing earlier than expected in DEs, then maybe you need to work on adjusting tactically during a 15-touch bout. Or maybe you need to work on your fitness because you get tired in later rounds. Maybe it's more of a sports psychology question, and you need help finding the right mental space when you're the high seed. Or maybe you're a weird fencer with some strange actions that give your opponents trouble in 5-touch bouts but not in 15-touch bouts. In that case, you may need to expand your technical repertoire. Lots of possibilities.
     
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  4. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    As has already been noted above, the Olympics gives out 2 bronzes in a number of combat sports. Furthermore the modern significance of gold-silver-bronze medals was not around in the first bunch of Olympics. IIRC it used to be that champions got a laurel wreath (and maybe a medallion that could have been golden of some sort depending on Olympics and event) and no special recognition was given to second and third places. In fact, the Olympics history books only after the fact went back through their records awarding/designating silver and bronze medals anachronistically. So the notion that there must be a sole bronze medalist is a modern one, and not even an accurate one.
     
  5. Strytllr

    Strytllr DE Bracket

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    That's because fencing, in its olympic form and as part of the games since their modern origin in 1896, has never been about living or dying. It has always been a sport.
     
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  6. Nakita

    Nakita Made the Cut

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    Oh.
    Well one time some guy told me that he actually beat me and he was the third place person. Maybe he was joking though.
     
  7. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    Different competitions use different rules. I was giving you the rule that's currently used in the other Olympic combat sports and at fencing's World Championships. So, theoretically it would be the rule used for the losers in the table of 4 if the bout for third place were eliminated.

    It's all arbitrary. There is no one, "correct" way of determining final placements when a direct elimination format is used. Fencing at one time placed the fencers eliminated in the DE based on the final placement of the fencer who they lost to in the DE. This variety of formats can be seen by how the different sports run their DE at the Olympics and determine final placement of those eliminated earlier in the DE:
    Boxing - All those eliminated in the same table get equal placement. So four boxers are shown as being tied for 5th, 8 boxers tied for 9th, etc.
    Fencing - All eliminated fencers from 5th down are placed based on their FIE rankings prior to the start of the Olympics. Note that this is not the same as the placement in the original DE table.
    Judo - Uses repechage in the final 8 and so two are shown as tied for 5th, two tied for seventh, eight tied for 17th, etc.
    Taekwando - Similar to Judo but somehow places two of the losers in the table of 16 as tied for 9th and the rest as tied for 11th.
    Wrestling - Wrestlers eliminated in the first round can advance to a repechage but only if the wrestler that they lost to makes it to the final rounds.
     
  8. pillow

    pillow Podium

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    The real reason is that it makes the parents happy to have 2 bronze medals awarded. Why do you think NACs medal to 8 places, when really only Gold, Silver and Bronze have any real cachet.
     
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  9. tbryan

    tbryan Podium

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    I assumed that it was a hold-over from way back when the finalists were the people who made it to the final round of pools. The winner was the one who won that final pool, but everyone in that last pool of 6 or 7 fencers could be called finalists. If you suddenly switch to a DE format but want to maintain the tradition of a certain number of finalists, it seems reasonable to recognize either the top 4 or top 8 competitors.
     
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  10. ReadyFence

    ReadyFence Podium

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    Most vets I know get pretty jazzed about medals for top 8 too...
     
  11. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Peach, can we have one of your medal grumbles, please?
     
  12. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    There's a lot you can do with Fencing Time: the key is to edit the event format before you start the event and select "Determined by the user during the tournament." We had a ladder (Olympic pentathlon format) instead of DE for a one-touch tournament last weekend. I set it up as a series of DE rounds where in every round, all but two fencers got byes. So in a 10-fencer ladder, the first DE would have 8 byes (9 and 10 seeds fence), the next round would have 7 byes (winner of the previous bout fences the 8 seed), and so forth.
     
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  13. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    I believe that Fencing Time allows you to set up an event as DE with all places fenced only if the number of entries is 16 or less. If the number of entries is greater than 16, usually you run a regular DE without repechage until you get to 16 and then run a DE of 16 with all places fenced.

    If you want to do a DE with all places fenced for an event with 17-32 entries, you can get around this if you're willing to do a lot of work. Set up three events. The first is a DE in which only the table of 32 is fenced. The other two "events" are set up as DE of 16 with all places fenced. After the first "event" is done, seed the winners into one of those events and seed the losers into another. It's a lot of work because you have to seed the fencers in those two competitions based on who they beat or lost to in the DE of 32. The fencers in the "event" for those who won their DE32 bouts get a placement of the combined event that's the same as their placement in their second "event". The fencers in the other second "event" get a placement that's 16 greater than their placement in their second "event".

    I've wondered if DE with all places fenced would be more feasible if the repechage bouts were fenced for a decreasing number of touches based on how many losses the fencers have. For example, if fencers have only one loss so far, they fence 15-touch bouts. If two losses, 10-touch bouts. If three losses, 5-touch bouts. Then maybe 3-touch bouts and finally 1-touch bouts. Note that all of the fencers in a table have an identical number of losses. Usually one of the problems with a DE without any repechage is that there are long breaks between the tables as you get toward the end. With this format, you'd have short repechage bouts to fill up the breaks.
     
  14. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    I don't have my manual in front of me, but there's a "create new event from the "eliminated fencers" option that would save some steps here.
     
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  15. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    At risk of thread drift, I dislike that first-round losers at World Cup team events don't get consolation bouts (I believe all places are fenced starting at the round of 16). It seems like the teams that lose in the first round are most in need of the extra practice/experience that comes from consolation bouts. Furthermore those teams only get to fence a single bout whereas teams that make it to the R16 already are guaranteed at least two bouts even without any consolation.
     
  16. Ancientepee

    Ancientepee Podium

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    World Championships are not meant to be for practice or experience. They're to determine the champion and the almost champions. Fencers who want practice should go to fencing clubs. Fencers who want experience should go to World Cups.
     
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  17. InFerrumVeritas

    InFerrumVeritas DE Bracket

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    There are a few steps in between...
     
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  18. TBean

    TBean Podium

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    At the Junior Level squash plays out most positions or a minimum of three matches per entrant. Squash, even on the regional level, is an expensive tournament, so they commit to the kids having a minimum number of matches. Most tournaments, at the junior level, will max out at 32 players. That is junior squash, where part of the goals of the event are to maximize the competition opportunities for young players, get them learning how to effectively compete, and get them playing folks they do not see every day in practice.

    Professional tournaments, you lose, and you are done. A lot like tennis tournaments or fencing world cups. If you are competing at that level, you should not need to practice how to be in a tournament.
     
  19. jdude97

    jdude97 Podium

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    You decided that I was talking about World Champs. I was talking in general about World Cups. I have argued heavily against you that most national competitions should have experience/competition opportunities/practice as top priorities. I will agree with you that these should not be top priorities of international competitions. I don't know the official logic for fencing for all places from the R16 and beyond. I also don't know the official logic for fencing not fencing any places before the R16.

    My best guesses to why the former is the case is to make it more worthwhile for teams to stay the extra time to compete in the team events, to give those teams more competition opportunities to raise each other up, and to have more accurate and detailed final standings to accurately award points. The last point is the only practical consideration. It is a reasonable one, especially for teams that lose in the R16, as otherwise the teams ranked 9-16 or so will have a hard time moving up since their final results are based on seeding, so the higher ranked teams will get more points from the same finish without having earned it. Or if points are awarded by finishing table, like in tennis (i.e. teams finishing 9-16 all earn the same number of points), then it's hard to differentiate between teams that typically lose in the R16. However, I ask then why do you have to fence down to the specific places. Nearly the same result would be accomplished if we left ties for 9/10, 11/12, etc. Such would save the concern that is my best guess for why teams losing before the R16 don't get any additional matches: a lack of referees and strips on which to fence these bouts. We could save time and manpower to only fencing 1 or 2 consolation matches.

    Furthermore, a goal of the FIE is to raise up fencing worldwide, especially in countries newly developing fencing programs. These countries have the least amount of money to spend on fencing. These countries have the hardest time gaining traction on the international stage. I expect (granted without supporting evidence) that it is not a trivial expense for the fencers from these countries to stay an extra day or two to compete in team events. In particular, team events in which they are likely to get thrashed, along the lines 45-12. So they spend a lot of money to get beaten quickly, maybe learn something but probably not much. Why not give them the opportunity to fence against their fellow minnows, even just 1 or 2 consolation bouts? I think the consolation rounds are a nice feature of these FIE team events, one I'm surprised they even have. All I'm saying is it does not seem like a big ask yet would have great value to fence for all places in all rounds.
     

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