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Public Schools Fencing Championships Sponsored by the Leon Paul Equipment Co Ltd.
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Public Schools’ Fencing Championships
sponsored by The Leon Paul Equipment Co. Ltd.

Minutes of the Meeting of Teachers i/c Fencing

held in the Meeting Room, Crystal Palace Sports Centre,
on Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 5.00pm

Present: Keith Smith (Chairman), Jon Milner (Hon. Treasurer & Wimbledon High), Tom Milner (Hon. Secretary), Nick Chapman (PSFC Committee & Warwick, Bromsgrove, RGS Worcester & Kings High), Manola Toschi-Restivo (PSFC Committee & Bishop Challoner), Anthony Cadle (Hymers College), Jacqueline Davis (Wrekin College), Marc Chapman (King’s Canterbury), Denis Cranwell (St Benedict’s), Andrew Law (Westminster), Gavin Rice (Eton College), Julie Dyer (Ladies College), Tracy Walls (Elizabeth College),Phil Smith (Bedford Modern School).

  1. Apologies: Denis Cruse (Tonbridge), James Young (RGS High Wycombe), Pavel Raynes (Whitgift).
  2. Keith Smith (KS) began the meeting, giving a short history of the competition which has grown over recent years. There were 1401 entries this year. Crystal Palace has been the venue since the late 1970’s with the event being held over 3 days, a mix of epee and foil on the first two and sabre on the final day to allow an early finish.

    The competition is run by a volunteer committee supported by referees provided by the schools.
  3. The minutes of the meeting of March 20th 2013 were approved.

    Matters arising:
    Quality and numbers of referees:
    John Willis (JW) raised the issue of delays to the competition that had occurred due to the balance of referees provided by schools and specifically a lack of foil referees. Could schools look at their entries and provide an appropriate balance of referees with regard to their own entries?

    Tom Milner (TM) mentioned that the quality of foil referees was better for the rounds of DE than for the poules. KS confirmed that the quality of referees has improved over the years as some past fencers and those at university have returned to support the event.

    Nick Chapman (NC) stated that there was no self-refereeing in the poules.

    TM confirmed only 2or 3 complaints about refereeing had been made at this year’s event and these had been dealt with by the organising team.

    Jon Milner (JM) referred to the British Fencing Code of Conduct regarding possible abuse of referees which would be displayed on both the PSFC website and posters in 2015.

    Mount-Haes events:
    Reducing the number of hits from 15 to 10 for the DE sections of the Mount-Haes events to speed up the competition had been discussed by the organising committee but they felt it was a decision that should be made at the teacher’s meeting. Following a brief discussion no one was in favour of this change to the competition structure.

    Insurance cover:
    The issue of school pupils participating in the PSFC requiring British Fencing (BF) membership (for insurance purposes) had been raised. Why was schools’ own insurance cover not sufficient when it was for other sports?

    JM had discussed this with British Fencing’s insurance providers and been advised that because the PSFC is a ‘closed’ competiton it could be argued that there is no benefit to BF. Therefore membership of BF may not provide insurance cover to the competitors or the organising team.

    KS stated that Crystal Palace require a minimum of £2m public liability insurance as part of the hire contract so the PSFC committee has taken out a policy with £5m of cover. The cost for this was £530 for the 3 days of competition and covers the organising team, additional competition staff and fencers whilst competing (from check-in to elimination from their event).

    The PSFC entry pages will need to be changed for 2015 and will include a disclaimer to be signed by the school bursar confirming that fencers are covered by their school’s insurance whilst at the competition.

    The general consensus of attendees was that BF membership was pointless given the insurer’s position and that school’s bursars should confirm cover for all fencers regardless of whether fencers are members of BF or not.

    KS to write to BF to highlight the possible loss of memberships to them.
  4. KS referred to an issue raised in 2013 regarding the possible move for the PSFC to an alternative venue away from London. JM advised that this had been looked in to but there was no viable alternative in term time. The current organising team are based in London. KS reminded the meeting that the year the competition was moved to Nottingham, costs went up significantly whilst entry numbers went down.

    Anthony Cadle (AC) proposed that this item, having been discussed for several years was taken off the agenda for future years. The meeting agreed.
  5. KS gave his view on the 2014 competition organisation. TM & JW running the referees had done an excellent job. We had a new team of computer operators, Rodney Francis having retired from active duty, who were doing well. The introduction of floor managers was a significant improvement. This was seconded by attendees.

    A request for more armourers was made. JM advised that one additional armourer was in attendance this year to help with the set-up.

    Comments were once again made about the kitchen in the Lodge closing early (8.00pm). KS advised that a later opening time was difficult to negotiate but that we would keep trying.
  6. KS raised the issue of PSFC committee membership and advised that although the committee had gained extra members this year more would welcomed if they can attend meetings and contribute and more importantly come to the competition and contribute.

    Rodney Francis will stay on the committee to help with pre-event organisation but will be unable to attend during future competitions.
  7. Dates for the 2015 Championships were provisionally given as 17th – 19th March.
  8. AOB:
    Rules and regulations re: fencing kit:
    Eton College queried the rules and regulations covering the foil bib as it will be required in 2015. JM advised that it is only required when fencing with size 5 foils. Therefore it would be required for Seniors and Junior events but not the Mount-Haes events.

    JM updated the status on 800 newton sabre gloves. These will be a requirement when fencing with size 5 weapons (Senior and Junior events) but as they had not yet been manufactured in any quantity they were not available to buy.

    Lost property:
    NC proposed that after a 12 month cycle if items of lost property were not claimed they should be sold at the EYCs and proceeds donated to the Matthew Trust. This will be further discussed by the committee.

    Referee/fencer ratio:

    JM advised that the PSFC used the same ratios as the FIE for international events. With 5-9 entries on any day 1 referee should be provided, and for those schools with 10+ entries, 2 referees should be provided.

    A record of which schools the referees came from was made and the organising team did chase those schools who failed to provide referees. The committee will discuss methods of penalising schools who do not provide their quota of referees at their next meeting.

    KS proposed a vote of thanks the organising team. Thanks were also received from Denis Cruse.

    The meeting closed at 6.05pm.

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Updated: Monday 3rd October 2022 at 10.33am