Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 503 entries
• Morning events: 58 pools of Vet Men’s Foil and Women’s Epee age-levels, Div 2 Men’s Epee, and Div 1A Men’s Saber
• Later in the day: 19 pools of Vet 40 Women’s Epee and Div 2 Women’s Foil.
• Expected end time: 7:25 pm
Not too bad a start to the festivities:
–Gear check was not a problem: what line there was went quickly and all fencing was underway by 8:30.
–We dropped about 4 pools from the numbers shown above, which was good, because we are currently 8 strips short of the 65 intended because we are short 8 scoring machines. The lack should be remedied sometime Wednesday. (I worked on the strip assignments for today during the working meeting of the board Saturday afternoon, and was told during the break about the missing boxes, so I redid the assignments during the next session of the meeting.)
–Now that Fencing Time’s auto-assign function is working more the way we needed it to, we can get the referees and strips entered and be ready to start events within 5 or 10 minutes of the close of registration, and because we can now turn an event in 5 minutes, we have to be careful to build in time for our referees to eat lunch. The time saving isn’t so important during this first half of the tournament, but will be a huge help keeping our competition days to 16 hours or less as we move into the larger, more demanding days.
–I’ve always been fascinated by the mood differences in venues from one tournament to the next. While the fencing itself ran well, in good time and with few problems, the room today felt a bit more stressed than is usual on the first day of SN. This was due at least partly to the officials’ cadre (in most categories, not only the referees) being less experienced than in past years, though sometimes it’s as much the weather or the feel (“concrete boxness”?) of the building that contributes to the mood. One of the specific contributors this time, too, is that referees who are working fewer than the entire 12 days are housed in a hotel more than a mile from the convention center in an area of town with few meal options. Though there is a shuttle for them, they have to allow an extra half hour each way for travel to and from the venue, and use taxis to reach restaurants for their evening meals. This will become a more serious endurance and morale problem when we embark on the 14- to 16-hour+ days of the second half of SN.
But that’s for later worry. Tomorrow’s competition should be similar to today’s, but with a projected end time of around 6:00 pm. (And if I turn out my light now, it’s even theoretically possible for me to get more than 7 hours of sleep, which couldn’t hurt.)