I have not been updating this blog at anywhere near the rate that it should be, but here goes:

I visited a sabre refereeing seminar held by a three-weapon FIE referee yesterday. Left home a bit before noon Friday, and back again Saturday eight o´clock. Two and a half hour seminar, the rest of the time traveling.

No huge surprises (which is good in itself, I guess, since the opposite could mean that I was badly misinformed before the seminar!) but lots of interesting points despite that. A few of them:

  1. The seminar leader strongly stressed the importance of being consistent in reffing at an event. That makes it easier for fencers to adjust to your refereeing.
  2. It was pointed out that individual decisions by the top sabre referees carry quite some weight. This made me think of the difference between Civil Law, where the principle is that legislators decide upon quite detailed laws, and Common Law systems, in which decisions by individual judges carry weight through precedent. Now, I am an engineer by training and not a lawyer, so bear that in mind.
  3. An example of how, if the referee would follow priority rules in a slavish manner, one would by necessity arrive at a patently unreasonable assessment of priority was analyzed by the seminar leader. The contradiction between reasonableness and rules application had a simple solution – break down the seemingly composite phrase into several subsequent phrases, the breaks occurring whenever both fencers are momentarily static at the same time. That will not be applicable in all, or even many, of the thorny cases where there a lot of activity on the piste to parse, but in those cases where it can be applied it will simplify matters a great deal.
  4.  We had a look at some bouts – firstly, the Olympic final Szilágyi – Occhiuzzi in London 2012. Aron got off to a 7-0 lead before Diego got a word in edgewise, and in so doing he made the reffing job quite straightforward for Papa Touré. The Italian stepped up his game after the break, but that was a case of too little, too late: 15-8 win for Hungary. We then went on to look at a compilation video of Oh San-Guks greatest points, which were quite something. Personal musing: whichever coach that comes up with an idea on how to control the physicality of South Korean fencing will disrupt the sport, big time.

As always, it is fun to catch up with fencing friends and acquaintances!