Calendar update Explainer

Calendar update confusion

Sorry for the confusion and consternation caused by the calendar updates earlier today.

I was going through the calendar and noticed that Reykjavik Satellite was no longer there. No problem. Trashing it leads to a cancellation notice. All good.

Then I noticed that the Leon Paul BRC events were on the first AND second weekends of October. Not sure how that happened. My fault for sure as, if they changed the date I should have just edited the entries.

So I ended up trashing the incorrect ones – on the second weekend of October and caused confusion.

I have also removed one LPJS which I thought was this weekend but seems to have been duplicated. The correct version is still there.

So sorry about all that. If I was good at memes I would put one in with a very confused but apologetic old man with no hair.



The Commonwealths?

I have been asked a very good question. (Answer expanded thanks to comments received)

Why is Fencing not part of the Commonwealth Games?

Referring to Wikipedia you will see that with England winning 37 of 44 All-time Gold medals and only 6 nations figuring on the medal table at all over the period from 1950 to 1970, when fencing was included, there were grounds for deeming it not sufficiently inclusive at the time.

So, since then the Commonwealth Fencing Championships have been held every 4 years in the same year as the Games. This year it is, of course more confusing than in most years as both events are very close to each other in timing and geographically as they are both in England.

Might this change? Hilary Philbin, who is President of British Fencing does say in the 2020- 2021 Annual Report that she continues to be a member of the Commonwealth Fencing Federation Commission and that their long-term aim is to get fencing reinstated. So there is some hope.

To expand on the rather superficial explanation in the original post, Alex Savin, who, this year, is organising the Championships for the hosts, England Fencing has very kindly pointed out that the situation is “slightly more nuanced than Englands prevalence in the medal table… Fencing has historically been a sport with relatively low participation across the Commonwealth, particularly in the African and Caribbean nations. Additionally, it is often deemed to not be spectator-friendly to the fencing novice, and requires significant outlay in costs to put on even a modest sized event with the necessary bells and whistles.

“That combined with the historic dissociation between the Olympic and Paralympic disciplines on the Commonwealth stage (parafencing has not been at any previous commonwealth fencing event) has made fencing a hard sell for inclusion in the Games, particularly at a time when sports are being dropped from the Games.

“That said, a large part of the 2022 organisation has been geared towards laying the foundations for a strong case for inclusion in the Games in 2-3 cycles so there’s something to hope for!”

Jen Sancroft has further helpfully added that

“there are essentially 3 layers of commonwealth sport;

  1. Core sports e.g. athletics, which feature in every commonwealth games
  2. Rotational sports e.g. judo which feature occasionally in the commonwealth games but some cycles, are excluded and have their own championship instead
  3. Development sports e.g. fencing. Development sports tend to have historically had involvement in the main games but as highlighted by Savin, they have specific deficiencies or areas to be improved before they can be considered to become a rotational sport again. The work being done for this championship on inclusion is a considerable step towards achieving some of those development goals but needs to be repeated successfully to be seen as tackling the issues longer term.”

An encouraging precedent is the inclusion of Fencing in the European Games which is a multi event games, the next edition of which will be next year. The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted this in the draft selection policy published for consultation recently. As for the Olympics, the selection policy will be separate from the usual one.

So all that combined should give you a pretty clear picture of what the situation is.

Don’t forget that spectating is free and there is a huge amount of excellent fencing to watch! So invite your non fencing friends, get out your flags and other fan apparatus and get down to there from 9 August!

Competition update Explainer

Last 32 for Dan Twine in Vienna

Congratulations to Dan Twine and Jasper Tsao for getting over to Vienna to compete in the EFC U23 event there. Particularly well done to Dan for making the L32, narrowly losing out 14:15 in the fight for a place in the L16.

There was a strong Italian contingent among a number of countries including Hungary, Czech republic and, of course Austria in a field of 57 starters. No British Women made the trip.

You can get all the details here

What’s more, you can get the match by match details of this and Birmingham International and the Cambridge Winter Open if you click on the competitor’s name. Wherever we have had access to the competition files we have uploaded them to add to each fencer’s biography.

This is the sort of thing you will see – try it with your own biog!

Then click on the name of the person you are interested in – let’s take Dan for this example – and that opens up their biog. This is the overview tab. Low and to the left is where you want to be 🙂

But we can look at bit deeper – how has he done in head to heads in the competitions recorded? If the organisers have given us the xml file, or we have extracted it from online results, you’ll get a picture like this:


A guide to the countries, regions and counties of British Fencing

Ever been frustrated by all the different regions and wondered what they are all about?

This might help. We’ve updated the Countries page to show Countries, Regions and Counties with a downloadable Excel file setting out the structure – we think fairly clearly – and with links to all the relevant sites we could find.

We hope this will encourage you to see what events are on locally and regionally and so go to more competitions. Also the regions and counties are where most people start their admin and volunteer careers. You will surely be very welcome.

If you know of links we have not found, please let us know and we will test them out and add if they work.

Competition update Explainer

How teams are seeded at Cadet Euros

You will know by now that GB’s women have a bye to the Last 8 and are seeded 5th. France are seeded 4th so they fence eachother. But how are these seedings calculated?

Great Britain has a seeding total of 60.009 because the 3 fencers with the best placings came 9th, 20th and 31st. 9+20+31=60. The best placed fencer was 9th so that is added on to the total as .009 to give 60.009. The lower the total, the better the seeding.

You can see that the highest placing of an individual fencer in the team is also important. When you compare Germany and France – they both add up to 36 but Germany’s Nitschmann (who incidentally put out Melissa Jane in the 64) came 3rd whereas France’s Chabrol (who put out Lexie Craze in the 16) came 7th. Thus Germany have a total of 36.003 and France have 36.007 and so are seeded lower.

Competition update Explainer

Women’s senior sabre team update

The senior women’s team secured a top 16 finish for the second time this season, having been bitterly disappointed to go out in the 32 in Plovdiv.

Here they are pausing to show their happiness at beating the higher ranked Romania for the second time this season.

You might ask why it is so important to get a top 16 finish. There are a number of reasons:

1 If you go out in the 32, that’s it. Pack up and go home. Once in the 16 all the places, including 3rd are fenced for.

2 If you make the 16 the points are much greater, leading to a possible higher seeding next time. You don’t want to be coming up against the top 2 seeds in the 16 every time! You’ll see the difference in the extract from the results for Athens. GBR got a valuable 18 points and Romania only 8. So that L32 match is worth at least a 10 point margin with the possibility of more.

3 Once in the 16 each team member (though possibly not the reserve, who still learns a huge amount from the process) gets to fence probably 3 matches – so 9 bouts against a variety of opponents at World level. This is absolutely invaluable, with the right coaching and team spirit, for development.

The team went into this competition with 71 points, and a World ranking of 21 with their 18 points from Tunis in 2019 due to expire which would put them right down the rankings.

Not fielding a team would have led to a loss of 18 points, taking GB down to 53 points, equating to 26th all other things being equal. This would have led to the team facing one of the top seeds in the L32 every time – a very tough task and a loss of all the good work done to date, despite little or no funding and despite not being able to compete in Budapest in March 21 due to a number of factors, not least of which being the lockdown and the geographic spread of the potential women’s team members at the time.

You can see where 53 points would place you from the pre Athens table below:

So if you would like to support the future of the young fencers coming through please donate so we can directly reduce their personal costs of competing for GB.

If you are at all moved to donate some funds to make it less of a burden to have the privilege to compete for GB as a team, please donate here or by going to the charity website.