31st July 2014
London Open - Interim Findings Statement
British Fencing received a number of complaints in advance of the London Open competition. These were from fencers who were concerned about the format, entry list and seedings and who had been unable to get their questions answered by the organisers. These complaints were received by British Fencing on the Friday before the competition and BF were unable to reach the organisers that day to help resolve the issues raised.
British Fencing also received a number of complaints after the competition.
British Fencing are working closely with the London Open organisers to investigate and resolve these complaints. In the light of the potential impact on Commonwealth Selection, British Fencing are also contacting the Home Nations before making a final decision on the foil and epee events.
In the interim we are publishing this statement of findings to clarify some of the issues that were raised with us and increase general understanding about the complexity of situation. If anyone is aware of any factual inaccuracies in the findings below please contact Katie Rhodes as a matter of urgency.
Findings & Observations
(Before reading this please click here to read the published competition format for the London Open found here)
1. Sabre: The Sabre competitions were both run using standard formats and, as such, the ranking points will be awarded in full.
With regards to the foil and epee events.
2. Seedings: A formula was applied consistently to the seedings but this was not made available or explained in advance to the competitors. British Fencing do not have an issue with the seeding formula or the way it was applied.
3. Byes: There were 7 byes straight into a second wave of 15 fencers. These included fencers with no FIE international rankings who by virtue of the bye to such a late stage of the tournament, immediately raised the total of the NIF points available*. (* subject to application of NIF calculation 1. See ranking document here)
4. ‘16th Place Issue’
A maximum of 15 fencers fenced in the second wave. The existing Senior Ranking calculation mechanisms have only been designed to support a system where latter stage rounds align with powers of 2 (2/4/8/16 etc). This means that there are significantly more points available for making 16th place over 17th , and 32nd over 33rd. The fact that a maximum of 15 fencers fenced in the 2nd wave means that a fencer who would have placed 17th or 33rd in a standard format are promoted to a higher scoring band, despite not competing in additional round.
5. No shows
In WE & WF some of the fencers given an automatic bye did not show up. This resulted in (in the same way as the ‘16th Place issue’) fencers being moved up in the final placings and gaining significantly more points despite not competing in an additional round.
The calculation methods for the Senior Rankings were never designed with this type of format in mind. In light of these issues, British Fencing will review its related policies. This will be done with the intention of placing as few restrictions as possible on organisers, whilst trying to ensure that the ranking points calculation for fencers at a competition create a fair reflection of their comparative results.
BF recommend that full details on seeding formula and competition format are made available to competitors well in advance of the competition.