Monthly Archives: June 2014

2014 SN Diary: Day 4, June 25

SN 6-25


Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 709 entries
• Morning events: 50 pools of Div 2 Men’s Foil, Div 3 Men’s Saber, and Div 3 Women’s Epee
• Later in the day: 44 pools of Div 1A Men’s Epee, Div 1A Women’s Foil, and Div 2 Women’s Sabre
• Expected end time: 6:55 pm

Another relatively easy day of competition that kept mostly to the plan. There were enough saber referees to avoid flighting the MS, so that finished earlier than projected. (As the saber events get stronger over the next few days, this becomes less likely and most will almost certainly be flighted, because we will not have enough referees at the appropriate higher levels.) The last event, the WF, ended about half an hour later than the projection.

My knowledge of today’s events, though, is secondhand–today was my first day off. I’d turned off my alarms the night before, so when the hotel fire alarm went off sometime after 11:00 am, I was still asleep in bed. (It was confirmed as a false alarm quickly enough that I didn’t actually have to vacate the premises, at least.) I eventually got myself over to the venue to meet my daughter after her students’ event was done, and we had a great lunch over at North Market.

After that, I was getting sleepy again and headed back to the hotel for my afternoon nap. But I managed to remember that the Giants had a day game, so I turned on the local SF audio to listen, and Johnny Miller quickly put me to sleep. Every time he switched off with Dave Fleming, though, I woke up, which was perfect, because somehow most of the interesting parts of the game happened during Fleming’s innings. Of course, I had no trouble staying awake through the last three innings, no matter who was calling them–and because MLB was kind enough to extend its video “look-in,” I actually got to watch most of the 9th inning and all the uproar when Lincecum completed his no-hitter.

It was lovely of the Giants to time this one for my day off.


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2014 SN Diary: Day 3, June 24

SN 6-24


Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 655 entries
• Morning events: 60 pools of Veteran Men’s Saber and Women’s Foil age-levels, Div 2 Men’s Epee, Div 3 Men’s Foil
• Later in the day: 34 pools of D1A Women’s Epee, D3 Women’s Saber, and the last MS and WF age-levels
• Expected end time: 6:40 pm

We needed to lose 1 pool this morning in order to avoid flighting either the Div 2 ME or Div 3 MF, which we did. But the missing scoring machines meant that most of the Vet age levels were crammed in together on A and B, the two replay pods, for both pools and DEs.

Most of the BC staff is settling into the routine, and the worst errors so far have been my own. I am now 3 for 3–once on each of the first 3 days– assigning two events to the same strips, something I don’t usually do until the last day. Sunday and yesterday it was only a single pod, but today when asked, I gave the Div 3 WS the same strips I’d already given the Div 1A WE. It was an easy enough problem to correct–we just had to tell the fencers to move to the same numbered strip in the correct pod. It was fun, too, to watch the 16 strips’ worth of WS fencers and referees migrate the length of the hall with all their equipment.

David Blake is trying all sorts of weird and wonderful tests of the machines on the replay pods, mostly to do with entering fencer names to show on each strip at the proper times, but also testing direct transmission of scores to the BC computers.

Tomorrow gives a bit of a break, with just 6 events, before we begin the truly challenging days ahead. But it’s also my first day off, so my alarms are off, and I have no particular plans, except for a walk over to North Market for lunch and ice cream.

A fun dinner tonight with my saber coach daughter and a few of her students and their parents, followed by a very brisk walk back to our hotel in the downpour. Silly as it may be, I may go watch them fence tomorrow if I wake up early enough.

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2014 SN Diary: Day 2, June 23

SN 6-23


Projected (as of 5/31/2014):
• 610 entries
• Morning events: 52 pools of Vet Men’s Epee and Women’s Saber age-levels, and Div 2 Women’s Foil
• Later in the day: 28 pools of Div 2 Men’s Saber and Div 2 Women’s Epee
• Expected end time: 5:55 pm

Done by about 6:20 pm. Dropped a couple of pools here and there, but the overall day went about as projected.

Room service service for me tonight–too wiped out for more than that. Unsurprisingly, not much energy for writing this post, either. Though theoretically, 8 hours of sleep is still possible, I’d settle for even 6.


UPDATE: Just noticed that I can’t do arithmetic. 9 hours of sleep might fix that.

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2014 SN Diary: Day 1, Sunday, June 22

SN 6-22

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.)

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