Counting Matches

At Fencing Practice yesterday, I fought my four remaining pool bouts in fencing, and won all of them, meaning that I got to seed myself first in the direct-elimination bouts. I won six out of six of my pool bouts in our mini-tournament.

Then I flubbed it. In the space of 10 minutes, I lost my first DE bout, 7 to 5. Normally, DE bouts go to 15, but in this case, we were trying to finish the tournament before the start of vacation. I got roundly thumped by a bad fencer who just got lucky — combined with a kid for a judge.

Fencing relies heavily on a competent judge to decide whether a touch has been made or not. A parry can set the stage for a counter-attack, but if the judge doesn’t see the parry, or doesn’t understand what it means (as a lot of my fencers don’t, currently), then a failed attack suddenly looks good.

I think I should have won — at least, I should have at least lost 7 to 6 — but one of the rules in fencing is that the judge’s ‘read’ of a bout is accurate in the absence of a scoring machine. I decided it was better to teach my kids not to argue with a judge rather than endlessly debate the rules and what ‘really’ happened.

But I also clearly need a lot more practice with my blade, so I can genuinely and honestly win, rather than havng to resort to tricky maneuvers in order to win — because my kids, not understanding the tricky maneuvers, will see only my opponents’ direct attacks, and penalize me.

Hmm. Lots to learn about being a coach.

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