Category Archives: Tournaments & Competitions

Results – Great Lakes JV Championships

On Saturday, January 18, 2014, the Harrison HS Fencing Club sent its first group to a tournament, and we made a good showing, too.

Final results posted on AskFRED – http://askfred.net/Results/results.php?tournament_id=24586&FREDSID=qjggjmgnuhp2sq8j0eqh8l11d4

Men’s Foil

Jacob Ashman – finished the pool round with a 0-5 record; seeded #44 of 46; Lost in the table of 64 to the #21 seed. Finished the tournament in 44th place.

Jacob Banes – finished the pool round with a 3-2 record; seeded #16 of 46 for direct eliminations (DEs); advanced to the table of 32, then table of 16 and ultimately lost to the #1 seed. Finished the tournament in 12th place.

Luis Meza – finished the pool round with a 1-3 record; seeded #35 of 46; lost in the table of 64 to the #30 seed. Finished the tournament in 38th place.

Sam Schmalzried – finished the pool round with a 2-2 record; seeded #24 of 46 for direct eliminations (DEs). Lost in the table of 64 to the #41 seed. Finished the tournament in 33rd place.

Jack Stuckey – finished the pool round with a 4-1 record; seeded #8 of 46 for direct eliminations (DEs); advanced to the table of 32, then table of 16 and ultimately lost to the #9 seed. Finished the tournament in 10th place.

Women’s Foil

Heather Bucher – finished the pool round with a 0-5 record; seeded #48 for direct eliminations (DEs). Lost in the table of 64 to the #17 seed. Finished the tournament in 48th place.

Sarah Motley – finished the pool round with a 3-3 record; seeded #8 of 48 for direct eliminations (DEs); advanced to the table of 32, table of 16, final 8, and ultimately lost to the #1 seed. Finished the tournament in 8th place.

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Fencing Etiquette

We’re continuing with our subject series for this week, strip etiquette. Most of this will be covered in practice, but there are a few tips here that we may not have covered yet.

Lee Kiefer of the U.S. and South Korea's Hyun Hee Nam salute at the start of their women's foil team quarterfinals fencing match during the London 2012 Olympic Games. ADREES LATIF/REUTERS

Lee Kiefer of the U.S. and South Korea’s Hyun Hee Nam salute at the start of their women’s foil team quarterfinals fencing match during the London 2012 Olympic Games. ADREES LATIF/REUTERS

Proper Etiquette (Salutes and Decorum on the Strip)

After you have hooked up, been tested by the director and tested lames/bell guards, you’ll return to your on guard line, salute your opponent and the director (and in some cases, the audience), put your mask on, come on guard and wait for the command to fence. Stay still when the director asks if you’re ready; they hate a bouncy fencer and will get testy if they have to wait for you to settle down.

VERY IMPORTANT: When the director ask if you are ready – by asking “Fencers ready?” (Or some variation thereof) “Etes-vous prets?” (“Are you ready” in French) or in some other fashion, you MUST respond verbally if you are NOT ready to go, and loudly enough so the director can hear you over the other noises in the area. If you say nothing, that is deemed as an affirmative response, and the director may start the fencing before you’re actually ready. If you get scored on in that situation, it’s your own fault for not letting the director know.

When the director is satisfied that everyone’s ready to go (it may only be a second long of a wait), the command to fence will be given by the director saying “Fence,” “Begin,” “Allez,” (“Begin” in French) or some variation thereof. Once fencing begins, don’t stop until you hear your director call the halt. Even if you KNOW you hit your opponent, that doesn’t mean the light went off, and it’s a sure way to get hit yourself. If you need to, you can remove your mask to wipe sweat out of your eyes, scratch your nose, etc. only AFTER the director has halted the action.

At our club practice, and at most informal encounters between friends, there’s a lot of talking, jibing and “smack talk” between the fencers as they go at each other. You can’t do that in official competition. Nor can you crook a finger in a “bring it on” gesture. This is defined as taunting, and it’s a cardable offense.

If you see a potentially dangerous situation–such as a weapon with a very sharp bend beyond a normal curve, an untied shoelace, a broken blade, some doofus walking across the strip right behind your opponent, etc.–you cannot just stop fencing and call halt yourself. Back up a few steps, raise your non-weapon hand and stomp your foot a bit to get the director’s attention. He or she will stop the bout, and you can have the problem addressed.

Addressing the Director

Only the fencers have the right to address the director in reference to an action, although most directors at the local level will answer a question from a coach. If you need to ask a question, especially if you think you did a parry-riposte and the director says your opponent did a beat-attack, don’t yell at the director; be polite about it. My general rule of thumb is to ask once and let it go if it doesn’t go my way. For example:

Me – “That wasn’t a parry-riposte, Sir?”

Director – “No. Your opponent landed as you parried, then your riposte landed.”

After that, I let it go because arguing never changes the call. Keep in mind, if you’re relatively inexperienced, that the director and fencer will see different things on the same action. Also, in many cases the directors have been directing far longer than you’ve been fencing, so they know what they’re talking about. For good or ill, that person is the director, and he or she is the boss. If you don’t like a call, shake it off and get back to fencing.

Also keep in mind this: if the director states the action as “The attack is from my right, parry riposte from my left,” it cannot be argued because the director’s saying he saw a specific action. If the director says, however, The attack is from my right, and I think it was a parry riposte from my left,” you have the right to argue it if you think it was yours, because he wasn’t sure. Don’t do it too often.

Problems with Your Tip

If you keep hitting your opponent and the light just ain’t going off, you are either not hitting with sufficient pressure to trigger the light (remember the weight test), or hitting flat and not depressing the tip, or hitting later that 40 milliseconds after your opponent hits you (in épée), or the tip has gone bad.

You may ask the director if you can test the tip by touching your opponent – like during the original lame test – or you may present the blade to the director for him to test. Be advised: if you think the tip itself has gone bad, you MUST ask the director to test it for you. If it turns out the tip is bad, you may get a break, because it may invalidate any touch you received in the action where your tip failed. Testing it yourself is not a valid test as far as the refs are concerned.

Covering Target/Turning Back on Opponent (one word: DON’T)

Turning your back is self-explanatory. It’s a safety issue, since you don’t want the back of your head exposed. Covering target is a bit more complicated, but it boils down to this: if your non-weapon arm is covering your lamé in foil in any way during an exchange of action, it’s a penalty. Don’t do it; keep that arm back and out of the way. Covering can be as seemingly minor as having the non-weapon arm running straight down your side if it’s not away from the body; it’s still covering target if it touches your side.

 

(Source: Sam Sam Signorelli, SwordPlay Fencing Studio)

Are You Pre-Registered?

For those of you going to the Great Lakes Junior Varsity Championships Tournament this coming weekend (Saturday, January 18, 2014), you MUST pre-register on AskFred – http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=24586. The deadline for pre-registration is Thursday, January 16, so please do not wait until the last minute to get signed up. Get it done now!

pre-register

New Tournament – RDFC Invitational

RedDevilLogoWe have a change in our tournament schedule for this season. Instead of participating at the Indiana Middle and High School Championship scheduled for February 22, we will be going to the RDFC Invitational in Lowell. I’ve made the change to the Events page as well as to the Calendar. Please note the change in your personal calendars.

UPDATE: The entry fee will be $20 per fencer per weapon.

The RDFC Invitational is open only to the following high school teams: Red Devil Fencing Club (Lowell HS), Marian Catholic HS (Chicago Heights, IL), Homewood-Flossmoor HS (Homewood, IL), University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Chicago, IL), Harrison HS, West Lafayette HS Fencing Club, and Northwest Indiana Fencing Club (St. John, IN). This is another ideal tournament for us as a club since there will be a good number of fencers participating but not so large that our heads will be spinning!

At the beginning of February, I will distribute the participation/permission forms for this tournament. If you intend to compete, you can let me know well in advance so that I can make the appropriate arrangements for equipment and transportation.

Upcoming: JV Tournament

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

I had hoped to talk with all of you at practice about our next competition, but Ol’ Man Winter has made travel of any kind challenging, if not impossible. Our next competition will be the Great Lakes Junior Varsity Championships which will be hosted by Marian Central Catholic High School in Woodstock, Illinois. Since this is a road trip of significant distance, and it is also out of state, there is a permission form that you will need to complete in order to participate (see below).

This tournament is ideal for many of you since this is your first or second year in high school fencing. All the other fencers in the tournament will also be at the same level. I will do what I can to borrow electric equipment for those of you who want to go, so please return your slips as soon as possible.

Please spread the word to your teammates who are not online. Any questions? Just let me know!

JV-tournament-permission-form

Tournament and Meet Schedule 2014

South Korea's Jiyeon Kim celebrates winning against Russia's Sofya Velikaya at the end of their women's sabre individual gold medal fencing match at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi

South Korea’s Jiyeon Kim celebrates winning against Russia’s Sofya Velikaya at the end of their women’s sabre individual gold medal fencing match at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 1, 2012.
Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi

Happy New Year!

With the start of a new calendar year, we are now entering the competition season for high school fencing. I’ve pulled together a short list of competitions for our fencing club. Prior to each event, I will send out a sign-up sheet for the upcoming tournament with key information. If you plan to compete at an event, I will need you to return the sheet with the information requested so that I can make the appropriate arrangements for equipment and transportation.

I’m excited about competition season, and I’m looking forward to seeing how each of you will do this year! As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Harrison High School Fencing Club
Fencing Meets and Tournaments 2013-2014

JANUARY

Jan 11 – Midwest High School Open
HHSFC will not be attending this event as a team–this is an optional event open to individual fencers
Steinbrenner Athletic Center
Culver Academies
1300 Academy Rd., Culver IN 46511
Pre-registration is required, $25 per fencer
See details at http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=24330

Jan 18 – Great Lakes Junior Varsity Championships
(A Harrison athletic bus has been reserved for this event)
Marian Central Catholic HS
1001 McHenry Ave., Woodstock, IL  60098
Pre-registration is required, $20 per fencer
See details at http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=24586

FEBRUARY

Feb 1 – (Tentative) HHSFC vs. West Lafayette HS Fencing Club
West Lafayette Jr/Sr High School
Pre-registration is required, no cost to Harrison fencers

Feb 8 – St. Valentine Massacre USFA Sectional Event
HHSFC will not be attending this event as a team–this is an optional event open to individual fencers
Culver High School Gym
Culver Academies
1300 Academy Rd., Culver IN 46511
USFA Membership required (can be purchased at the venue if you are not a current USFA member)
Foilists – conductive bib will be required
Entry fee – $20 per event, late fees $25 per event
Close of registration will be 15 minutes before the start of the event
See details at http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=24584

Feb 22 – Indiana Middle and High School Championship
Steinbrenner Athletic Center
Culver Academies
1300 Academy Rd., Culver IN 46511
Pre-registration is required, $25 per fencer
See details at http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=25038

MARCH

TBD – Red Devil Fencing Club Tournament
Lowell High School, Lowell, IN
As soon as the date is finalized, I will pass on the information.

TBD – West Lafayette Rumble
As soon as the date and location are finalized, I will pass on the information.

Upcoming Meet: Harrison vs. West Lafayette

86518613_XSOur first pre-season meet is just around the corner! We are fortunate that we have a rival that is just a few miles down the road from Harrison (make traveling easy) and that they are willing to let us use some of their electric equipment in order to compete. So first things first–who is ready for an official bout?

If you are ready for this competition, then you’ll need to sign up for the meet via AskFRED.net. AskFRED is the adopted website of the fencing community that allows us to organize tournaments, meets and even clinics. There is no cost to register at the site (it’s free!), and in this case, there is also no cost for the upcoming dual meet at West Lafayette. We will be referring to this site again in the future for other events.

If you are not yet registered at AskFRED, go to my previous post, Getting Ready for Competitive Fencing, and follow the steps outlined in the article. Once you’ve completed setting up your profile, you can then proceed to register for the meet.

If you are already registered at AskFRED, navigate to the page for the WL vs. Harrison Pre-season event. Click on the link Preregister and follow the instructions on the screen. If for some reason you find that you will not be able to attend, please UN-register yourself from the meet at AskFRED. Tournament organizers spend a lot of time making sure that they have all the resources need to make a tournament or meet run smoothly (referees, equipment, fencing strips, volunteers, etc.). If you decide that you will not be competing after you have already registered, simply log in to AskFRED again and un-register yourself. It’s easy, and it will save a lot time and energy later.

Plan on arriving early enough to get warmed up and stretched. The first event begins at 3:00 pm, so arrive no later than 2:30 pm. For those of you who are interested, we can meet for lunch beforehand at Cafe Literato–we can discuss times at practice.

As always, if you have any questions on any of this, just let me know.

Link to the Harrison vs. West Lafayette Dual Meet – http://askfred.net/Events/moreInfo.php?tournament_id=24943

Map to Burtsfield Gym, 1800 N Salisbury St, West Lafayette, IN, 47906 – http://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=1800+N+Salisbury+St%2C+West+Lafayette%2C+IN%2C+47906&data=!4m15!2m14!1m13!1s0x8812fd44d94a1aed%3A0xb5cca9b99d9c6fd6!3m8!1m3!1d67425!2d-86.9168429!3d40.452656!3m2!1i1109!2i1066!4f13.1!4m2!3d40.443345!4d-86.9128922

Miles Chamley-Watson Wins Worlds

I hope that you (HHS fencers) have been following the 2013 World Fencing Championships in Budapest. If not, many of the bouts will soon be available on YouTube. I was not able to find many that were ready for viewing yet, and unfortunately my cable service provider did not show the television broadcasts of the event. (Grrrr….) But we’ll just have to be patient.

So the headlines are hard to avoid: Miles Chamley-Watson won gold in Men’s Foil, the first U.S. man to win an Individual Senior World Fencing Championship title. Miles, if you’re reading this… Congratulations!! We’re proud of you and your accomplishments, and for setting the bar high for American fencers. There is a short highlight video clip so that you can see the winning touch. For the upcoming videos, go to YouTube and do a search for the World Fencing Championships.

Results: Harrison-Lowell Dual Meet

We had a great time in St. John today! Though we were small in numbers, everyone fenced well. Neither team had enough epee fencers, so it was just mixed foil and mixed saber. Our thanks to the Lowell HS Red Devils for inviting us to come, and thanks to the Northwest Indiana Fencing Club for hosting our friendly match.

My apologies for not posting any saber results (only because we did not have any Harrison saberists represented in the meet). Our Harrison fencers did well: Jack Stuckey got second place after a well fought bout, only to lose by one touch. Sarah Motley tied for third. Jacob Banes finished in fifth place. All a good showing considering we were facing some varsity level fencers! Lowell fielded a tough team, and it was a great opportunity to face them on the strip.

When we go to these events, I hear from others how impressed they are with all of you. You’ve learned a great deal in a relatively short amount of time, so you should be proud of yourselves. It’s rewarding to me as a coach to see all of you doing well AND enjoying your time while fencing. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m looking forward to the new season!

IMG_0450IMG_0449

Practice Session at Morton

Hi All! I announced this on our Facebook group page but (almost) forgot to include it here. I’ve reserved a classroom at the Morton Community Center for us to use for practice. The idea is that we get polished up for the dual meet with Lowell coming up on August 3 (see the earlier post). The practice is open to all Harrison fencers, so even if you cannot make it to the meet, you are welcome to come and practice. Bring your gear and plenty to drink. We’ll start practice at 3:30 pm and end by 5:00 pm.

Please let me know if you will be coming to the practice session. I’ve reserved a large classroom, but if we have a big group, I can rent another classroom if given enough notice. Contact me by whatever means you have (phone, text msg, email, Facebook, Twitter, smoke signal, carrier pigeon, etc.).

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you there!