Mary Frye

USA Fencing Saber Events Return to Four Meter Distance

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on USA Fencing Saber Events Return to Four Meter Distance
Feb 232017
 

In conjunction with the decision of the Federation Internationale d’Escrime, it was announced during the USA Fencing Board of Directors meeting on Feb. 21 that ALL USA Fencing sanctioned tournaments will be conducted using the four-meter on guard lines effective immediately.

This includes senior, junior, cadet, youth, veteran and Division I, IA, II and III competitions.

The FIE will return to using the four-meter on guard lines at senior events beginning at the Warsaw Men’s Saber World Cup being held from Feb. 25-27.

All of the FIE Junior and Cadet Zonal Championships for the remainder of the 2016-17 season as well as the 2017 Junior and Cadet World Championships will be conducted using the three-meter lines. The FIE will begin using the four-meter lines for all junior and cadet events beginning with the 2017-18 season.

Referees’ Commission Meeting

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Referees’ Commission Meeting
Nov 202016
 

There will be a telephonic meeting of the Referees’ Commission on Tuesday, November 22 at 6:30 PM ET.   Anyone interested may join the public portion of the meeting; the call in number is:

Conference Dial-in: 1-712-770-8094
Conference Code: 500089

Honorarium Increase

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Honorarium Increase
Sep 032016
 

The Board of Directors, National Office and Referees’ Commission are pleased to announce the amounts of the increased honorarium for referees for the upcoming season. The previously announced increases have been finalized, and the new honorarium amounts are:

Referees with ratings 1, 2, 3, FIE A & B – $125 per service day
Referees with ratings 4 & 5 – $100 per service day
Referees with ratings 6 through 10 – $75 per service day

The head techs, bout committee members, sports medicine and other tournament staff will also receive an increase in their honorariums.  Per Diem will remain at the rate of $20 per day.

Our referees and other tournament staff do an outstanding job, and we’re pleased to be able to recognize their devotion.

Board of Directors
National Office Staff
Referees’ Commission members

Referee Ratings Review – 2016

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Referee Ratings Review – 2016
Aug 222016
 

Due to the reorganization of the FOC into the Referees’ Commission this season, a change was made to the procedure normally used for the annual August referee ratings review.

The RC is a smaller group than the old FOC, with less representation of all weapons.  To compensate for this, this season’s referee usage summary report was sent to all referees rated at a 1 or 2 level who worked as Assigners at national tournaments during the season.  It was also sent to all members of the FOC as it was constituted for most of the season.  All recipients of the report were asked to provide their opinions regarding what rating each referee listed on the report should have, and invited to add any additional comments about the referee’s work.

The responses from all of these people were collected and added to the season ending referee usage report.  The RC then reviewed the report with all the responses, and voted on the ratings upgrades/renewals for each referee.

For those referees who aren’t familiar with the annual ratings review process, it starts with the Assigners at each national tournament.  At the end of each event, the Assigner for that event reviews the referee usage report and determines the rating level at which each referee successfully performed.  At the end of the tournament, any referees earning upgrades or year renewals up to a 5 level are awarded the upgrade/renewal within a month of the tournament.

Referees rated as having worked successfully at a level of 4 (or their current rating, if higher) or higher are added to a summary usage report.  International usage is gathered from the FIE (www.fie.org) and the European Fencing Confederation (www.eurofencing.info/tournaments/cadetcircuit) websites and added to the report.

This full season domestic and international referee usage report is what is used for the season ending referee ratings review.  This is the report that was sent to the group of evaluators, and voted on by the members of the RC.

Assigners for the 2015-2016 season:
Abdelaziz, Abdel
Alperstein, Donald
Astudillo, Charles
Balog, Marcus
Baumgart, Gerrie
Benson, Jerry
Burchard, Peter
Campi-Sapery, Lisa
Cheris, Sam
Crocket, Dan
Delgado, Fernando
Donnelly, Devin
Everson, Sharon
Foster, Andrew
Frye, Mary
Greene II, Charles
Jacobson, Tyler
Klinkov, Ariana
Lambdin-Abraham, Andrew
Lilov, Vladimir
Mahon, Mary
Mar, Kevin
Medalis, Chris
Meehan, Justin
Oliver, Bill
Sach, David
Shumate, Sean
Sierra, David
Stasinos, Mark
Webster, Patrick

Assigners/FOC members providing ratings evaluations:
Abdelaziz, Abdel
Alperstein, Donald
Becker, Bill
Benson, Jerry
Campi-Sapery, Lisa
Cheris, Sam
Cotton, Derek
Crocket, Dan
Donnelly, Devin
Everson, Sharon
Findlay, Doug
Foster, Andrew
Frye, Mary
Greene II, Charles
Jacobson, Tyler
Klinkov, Ariana
Lambdin-Abraham, Andrew
Lilov, Vladimir
Mahon, Mary
Mar, Kevin
Meehan, Justin
Oliver, Bill
Sach, David
Stasinos, Mark

Reversing the Shoulder in Foil

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Reversing the Shoulder in Foil
Aug 082016
 

Beginning August 1 2016, a foil fencer who reverses the line of his/her shoulders (bringing the shoulder of the non-weapon arm forward of the weapon arm shoulder) is now subject to a Group 1 penalty (a yellow card). Much like other penalties (such as corps-a-corps to avoid a touch or substitution of non-valid target), any hit scored by the fencer committing the penalty will be annulled.

This rule change was proposed by the FIE because, during actions where a fencer reversed his/her shoulders, it was not always clear whether or not the fencer had covered target with his/her off-arm. This was particularly true when the fencer in question was facing away from the video replay camera. The new rule simply states that any reversal of the shoulders is now a penalty, irrespective of whether or not the fencer has covered his/her target. See the proposed modifications to the rules for more details on the rationale behind the change.

Please note that this rule change applies to foil only, and does not affect epee or sabre.

Letter from USA Fencing President Donald K. Anthony Jr.

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Letter from USA Fencing President Donald K. Anthony Jr.
Jul 192016
 

FOC Reorganization and Candidates Put Forward
July 18, 2016

I would like to take a moment to provide context around the FOC reorganization and the process that was utilized to select the candidates. Further, I am writing to provide transparency to the process and address any misconceptions regarding the rational concerning how the candidates I put forward to the board where determined.

The FOC reorganization has been one of the most contentious and difficult undertakings of the last quadrennium. I believe it is also one of the most important initiatives undertaken and getting it right is critical to the future growth, stability and success of USA Fencing.

I have a great appreciation the great job our referee corps does ensuring the success of our competitions. As a competitive saber fencer who competed in the bad old days of dry saber I know how important a skilled and unbiased referee is to the quality of a bout’s outcome. That is one of the reasons why I am so committed to creating an environment where our referees can develop to their full capacity and feel appreciated for the challenging job that they do for us.

Within the first year of the quad we were faced with the challenge of referees not having been paid in a timely manner and in some cases not having been paid at all in past years. At a NAC in Louisville when the frustration of the referees came to a head, I attended a meeting where the referee corps shared its grievances with the FOC and I made a commitment to address the long history of what appeared to be a significant disconnect.

The outcome of the meeting was that we spent one year trying to get individuals on the FOC and from the referee corps to work together under the consultative direction of an independent outside consultant, provided my Daugherty Business Solutions, Retired Admiral Lee Metcalf. After a year of little to no progress due to political infighting, historical baggage and deep distrust, we took a different approach. This time, the officers of the FOC decided to reorganize the Commission, had the entire FOC approve the plan and presented the plan for the reorganization to the board of directors. The plan was approved and the board put a process in place to fill the new roles required for the reorganization to be effective and to create an environment where our officials can flourish into the best referee corps in the world.

The process for selection was modified a number of times by the board to ensure as much integrity and input from the Referee Corp and those familiar with managing the roles of the FOC functions as possible. The final agreed upon process was for panels to be convened and interview prospective candidates for the new positions. The panel would then provide the President with independent comments of each panel member along with their individual prioritization of the candidates. The President would take those reports and do further investigation of the candidates so that he could nominate the best individuals to the Board for confirmation.

The process was not as smooth as it could have been; however, the input gathered from the panel members regarding the interviews was quite useful.

The next step was to determine who I would put forward to the board and I would like to share my thought process to correct any misunderstandings that may exist regarding how those determinations where made.

I look at the FOC reorganization as a critical component to the success of USA Fencing as a National Governing Body in the International world of Fencing and as a $7.1 million business. In my mind, the most important factor in the success of this reorganization is the leadership team put in place and how those individuals will work as a team for the greater good for the growth and development of our referees in the United States.

I looked for individuals that had experience in the functional areas required and who also had the right disposition and temperament to get the job done. I took into consideration the input from the panels and then did additional research on my own. I sought input from coaches, other referees and from members of our international relations group. Finally, I spoke with some of the candidates directly to get a sense of what their motivations were for wanting to serve in these new roles. I wanted to understand if their desire was based on what I perceived as the old FOC paradigm of wanting to be important and above the rest of the referee corps or did they want to serve and be a team player even if they didn’t become the chair of a committee. That was a critical factor in my decision making.

I made my recommendations to the board on what I ultimately thought was required for this newly restructured part of our business to be successful. This is a totally new structure and it is critical that the individuals put in place perform for it to be successful. It took almost four years to get to this point. My decisions weren’t based on popularity, politics or any other factors beyond what made good business sense in my mind.

In all roles, it was critical that the candidate have experience in the areas that individual would be leading. Additionally, I looked at whether the candidates were involved in other areas of the organization where their skills would be better utilized or if their absence in another area would create a significant loss within the organization. Finally, I took in the complete body of work of the candidates and any personal observations I made.

Based on these factors, I put forward to the board three of the candidates the panels recommended unanimously. They were all very solid candidates and I agreed with the panel’s assessments based on the options considered. Selecting the other three candidates to be put forward was a lot more difficult and not as clear cut. We had a great candidate for one of the positions recommended as a first choice. However, based on input I received from additional members of our fencing family as well as and other factors, I selected an individual that was equally qualified, has important strategic relationships in the international community and I considered to be the best person for the leadership role for the next two years.

Two of the panels came back with mixed recommendations regarding a slate of candidates that included past or present FOC members. One of those positions remains unfilled and the other position was filled with a candidate that has a higher level of expertise and experience than the other highly rated candidate for that position. All of the candidates I recommended to the board were in the top four of the panel’s evaluation results.

It became very obvious from this process that we will have to work on succession planning throughout the entire USA Fencing organization. One of the top priorities for all of the newly selected chairs will be to build a pipeline that of future leaders. That will be a significant criteria for their annual evaluations in my mind.

The board had a simple task which they executed admirably. It was an up or down vote on the candidates I put forth. Five of the candidates were confirmed and one was not.

I hope this clarifies the process and how the nominees were selected. I appreciate the work that the panels put into interviewing the candidates and those opinions were significantly considered when I was assessing the nominees. I also would like to thank everyone who applied for the chair and vice chair roles. While only a limited number could be approved to lead the new FOC, each of these individuals will be reaching out to our referee corps to build their committees. As we continue to seek new opinions and encourage all voices to be heard, I am looking forward to working with both those selected for these new roles as well as all members of the committees over the next four years.

Don

USA Fencing Names Fencing Officials Commission Members

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on USA Fencing Names Fencing Officials Commission Members
Jul 132016
 

The USA Fencing Board of Directors has selected five of the individuals who will sit on the reorganized Fencing Officials Commission beginning with the 2016-17 season.

Following an open application process and a series of interviews conducted by members of the USA Fencing community, Don Anthony nominated and the Board of Directors approved the following positions:

Chairperson (Through 9/1/2020): Sam Cheris
Vice Chair, Domestic Assignments (Through 9/1/2018): Mary Frye
Vice Chair, International Assignments (Through 9/1/2018): Doug Findlay
Vice Chair, Rules and Examinations (Through 9/1/2018): Jeff Bukantz
Ombudsman (Through 9/1/2020): Derek Cotton

The Vice Chair of Domestic Development, a position with a four-year term, will be announced at a later date.  The six Regional Ombudsman positions also will be announce at a later date.

The new group will meet in August to establish the mission, vision and strategic and operational plans for the new FOC (including a new name) and an annual plan will be established for each chair.  This information will be submitted to the Board in the fall.

“I really want to thank Soren Thompson for overseeing and managing the application and interview process as well as to all of the panel members for their time and participation,” said USA Fencing President Donald K. Anthony Jr. “We’re all looking forward to working with this new group in the upcoming season.”

Change of Application of the Rules Regarding Wiring Epees

 FAQ, Rules Application  Comments Off on Change of Application of the Rules Regarding Wiring Epees
May 052016
 

Effective immediately, there is a change in the acceptable way one may wire an epee.  In a post to the FOC site in 2013 it was stated that the wires may not pass through the “tunnel” created by the socket and the metal plate because the referee cannot verify if there is a hidden switch.  This application of the rules is contrary to the application in the rest of the world.  Epee sockets are manufactured globally with the “tunnel” to protect the wires from accidental or “non-accidental” breaks.  Allowing epees to be wired with the wires through the “tunnel” is the way the rules are enforced at every international tournament including World Cups, World Championships and at the Olympic Games.

Therefore, effective immediately, USA Fencing will change its interpretation of the rule to be in alignment with the rest of the world and permit epees to be wired in either fashion, either outside the tunnel or through the tunnel. See photos below for illustration.

Any questions should be directed to the FOC Rules Committee at rules@fencingofficials.org

Wires through "tunnel"

Wires through “tunnel”

 

Wires between socket and bell guard

Wires between socket and bell guard

Clarification and Update on the FOC Nomination Process

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Clarification and Update on the FOC Nomination Process
Dec 092015
 

In an effort to clarify the reorganization process of the Fencing Officials Commission (FOC), please see the information below on the candidate review, nomination process and the interview panel(s) composition.

Candidate Review Process

  1. The USA Fencing National Office administers the application process for the FOC reorganization. The deadline to apply is December 11, 2015 and the National Office will monitor the email applications and provide a list of all candidates for the positions to the interview panel(s). All applicant information will also be included in the final report to the President of USA Fencing and the Board of Directors.
  2. The interview panel(s) reviews the applicants and rates each candidate based on qualifications and experience as indicated in the posted job descriptions. Phone interviews will be conducted with the top candidates utilizing the interview questions that are included in this document. The National Office will provide administrative support to conduct the interview calls.
  1. The FOC interview panel(s) will submit their final recommendations for each position, along with rationale to the President of USA Fencing and the Board of Directors for review and final approval.

Interview Panel(s)

Soren Thompson was appointed to work with the Athletes Council to select interview panels utilizing the procedure below.

The interview panels shall include the following, selected by the Athlete Council:

  1. Two members who are current or past FOC members, who are not applying for any position on the new FOC.
  2. Two members who are current referees (not past or present FOC members).
  3. Administrative support will be provided by a National Office staff member.

Interview Questions

  1. Give an example of when you had to work with someone who was difficult to get along with. Why was this person difficult? How did you handle that person?
  1. What steps do you follow to study a problem before making a decision?
  1. Tell me about the most significant project you have worked on in which it was crucial to keep track of details while still managing the “big picture.” What was the project? What skills did you utilize in managing it? How did you make sure the work got done? How did you keep focused on the overall goal of the project while still managing all of the specific parts? How did the project turn out? What feedback did you receive on your management of the task?
  1. When was the last time you solved a difficult problem that would have significant impact? What was the situation? How did you go about analyzing the problem? What additional information did you gather? What alternative solutions did you consider? Tell me how you implemented your solution. What was the outcome?
  1. Tell me about your experience managing people? What have you done when your direct reports are not meeting expectations?
  1. How have you assigned tasks to those who have reported to you? How do you ensure their tasks are completed on time? What did you do when a deliverable from a specific task was delayed? How did you communicate to the stakeholders?

Applications are due by Friday, December 11, 2015.  Submit your letter of interest to focapplications@usfencing.org.

A Request for Information

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on A Request for Information
Dec 052015
 

December 1, 2015

The Ethics Committee of the Fencing Officials’ Committee, in accordance with our duties to uphold the highest standards of behavior in the referee corps, issues the following statement:

There was an incident at the October NAC of the 2015-16 season where a male referee’s pool score sheet went missing from a scoring table. It was recovered later from the women’s restroom after a search initiated by the Bout Committee.

It is alleged that another referee was responsible for removing the score sheet and hiding it from the responsible party, potentially damaging the smooth running of the tournament.

We are seeking more evidence about this incident. To further that end, the case will remain open for one year from this date. Anyone who knows anything about this incident is urged to step forward and offer an eye-witness account. Anonymity will be protected.

Peter Burchard, Chair
Bill Becker
Sharon Everson