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Fencing North Meeting - August 2018

Fencing North Committee Meeting – August 7th 2018

Meeting Opened: 7:03pm

Present: Bryce Gracie, Amanda Hopkins, Katie Logan, Jess Gracie, Murray McGuire-Barnes, Adrian Roberts.

Apologies: Mary Black, Stephen King, Matt Stanley.

Previous Minutes: Katie moved that the previous minutes be accepted. Bryce seconded. Motion carried.

Matters Arising from the Previous Minutes: Amanda reported that the fencers who travelled to Oceania Cadets in 2017 have been identified. Katie will contact them for reimbursement of their entry fees.
Katie reported that our initial candidate for the position of Safety Officer declined the role. The committee discussed potential other candidates.
As resolved in the previous meeting, a Refereeing Subcommittee was formed, currently consisting of Laura Harvey, Anya Kamynina and Neil Young.
The committee discussed the Code of Conduct presented by Bryce. This would be a living document applying to all persons attending Fencing North events. Adrian moved that the Code of Conduct be accepted. Katie seconded. Motion passed.
There was further discussion of options for changing the competition venue next year. Jess pointed out that Massey High School had increased their hall hire, making a change of venue even more attractive.

Health and Safety: Jess reported that there had been one minor injury at the recent Secondary Schools foil team event. This was reported to the DT and an incident report form was filed.

Treasurer’s Report: Amanda presented the treasurer’s report. She also moved that the treasurer’s report from July be accepted. Bryce seconded. Motion carried.

Payments: There are two payments for referee per diems outstanding. Vouchers for volunteer referees are still outstanding.

Competitions: There are three competitions in the following month: the final two competitions of the Secondary School team circuit, and the Fenton Open competition.
Jess made a number of suggestions for consideration regarding the organisation of Fencing North competitions in 2019:
The Secondary School individual circuit has become too large to be comfortably run over four days as it has been in the past. Jess recommended that in 2019 the circuit be split over six weekends – three for foil, and three for sabre and epee.
There was discussion of ways to encourage beginner fencers to begin coming to competitions. Jess suggested that a new competition format could be introduced for some events: the Sharks and Minnows format, available on the Fencing Time software. This format allows fencers to be divided into tiers while still providing accurate rankings. However, this format would need FeNZ approval before it could be used. Jess also suggested swapping the position of the Secondary School individual and team events in the calendar as a potential way of encouraging new fencers to come to competitions.
Currently the regional Under-15 and Under-17 events are held over a single weekend. Jess recommended separating these again in 2019, and organising a referee development course to accompany each event.

A document received prior to the meeting from Matt Stanley, representing Whangarei Girls High and Whangarei Swords Club, was read to the committee. The document protested the exclusion of composite teams from the Secondary Schools team circuit this year, and made recommendations for the running of the event in 2019. The committee discussed the submission and agreed that the exclusion of composite teams from these competitions had been unpopular and was contrary to Fencing North’s aim of increasing participation at all levels. Therefore, it was agreed that the event should allow composite teams in 2019, as well as offering a composite team round alongside the upcoming school foil team final on the 18th of August. It was suggested that school clubs be canvassed for their opinions on the matter, since they are the most affected by composite teams in the competition. Various ways of regulating the composition of composite teams were discussed.

National Secondary School Teams: In the previous month, Fencing MidSouth made the announcement that the upcoming National Secondary School teams event would be run on the basis of selected regional teams rather than school teams as in the past few years.
On the 26th of July an ad hoc meeting of the committee was held to determine the selection method for these teams. The two options presented for voting were as follows: selection of individual fencers, based on the national rankings, to be combined into regional composite teams; and selection of schools to send teams, also based on national rankings. Votes were taken both by email before the meeting and from those present. The second option (school teams) was passed by a majority. At that meeting also preliminary selections were made and approved by those present, to be confirmed at the regular committee meeting on the 7th of August.

Confirmation of Preliminary Team Selections: Adrian moved that the preliminary team selections be confirmed with slight emendations. Jess seconded. Motion passed. Katie will contact the selected schools and organise entering their teams into the competition.

Formal Objection to the Regional Team Format: The decision to move to a regional team format has been extremely unpopular in the North region. It had been decided that Bryce, on behalf of Fencing North, would present a formal objection to this change at the FeNZ committee on the 8th of August. Murray moved to ratify this formal objection. Jess seconded. Motion carried.

Proposed Training Camp: Amanda reported a proposal from Anya that she run a training camp after the National Juniors Championship in Auckland this year. The committee discussed what Fencing North’s role should be in the organisation of training camps. It was decided that the committee should take a more active role in running camps, but that there should be a more formal process of applying for Fencing North support. Bryce moved that Fencing North take on an organisational role in this upcoming training camp, including providing capital where needed and earning profits where merited. Jess seconded. Motion passed.

FeNZ News: Apart from upcoming discussion of the National Secondary Teams event, there was no other notable FeNZ news.

Other Business: MidSouth has made a request for contributions from the other regions to purchase video refereeing equipment. This equipment would be hosted in the MidSouth region, but would be available to lend to other regions. Bryce will circulate further information for consideration.

Meeting Closed: 9:23pm.