BF provides additional information in response to concerns over using a Progressive Poules format in B BRCs.
The information below is a summary of information that has been previously provided (see links at the bottom) but is collated in summary to provide additional clarification to aid understanding of the
Response to other specific feedback:
‘We don’t need to practice competitive poules, our problem is losing at DEs.’
“Fencers can develop using other competitions, they don’t need to be ranking competitions”
Fencers can choose – eg for those fencers that are working to individualised development plans which are focussed on achieving performance in the A BRCs they can of course use other competitions to develop. However, experience tells us that ranking points (even a few) are a driving factor in competition choice and without ranking points, fencers choose not to compete at all.
“People will deliberately lose “
If someone wants to cheat, there are many ways to cheat in fencing and ‘throwing a fight’ can be done under any format for multiple reasons. All members (athletes and coaches) sign up to the BF Code of Conduct and any sport integrity allegations will be taken seriously and result in an investigation followed by appropriate disciplinary action.
“The format of all BRCs should be exactly aligned to international competitions”
In order to prepare athletes to succeed in international competitions it is not necessary to always run identical formats. There are many other sports which use different formats in domestic competition to prepare their athletes. There are many successful fencing nations (including France and Germany) who run different format fencing competitions from the standard FIE format, which allows athletes to develop different skills. The majority of fencers in a classic fencing competition format will be out after 1 poule and 1 full round of DE and this exacerbates the existing developmental gap (see points above). In addition international competitions are often significantly larger than domestic competitions and require athletes to fence larger numbers of fights than they would to win a domestic event. Different formats are therefore needed to develop different skills.
*Data taken from 19-20 Cadet internationals.
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