The Referee: Friend, or Foe? (Guest Post by James A. Weiss, Editor, The Fencing Coach)

The Fencing Coach

James Weiss (left), Michael El-Saleh (center), and Ira Schlosberg (right). We experienced many biased referees at the Maccabi games in Israel. James Weiss (left), Michael El-Saleh (center), and Ira Schlosberg (right). We experienced many biased referees at the Maccabi games in Israel.

(Disclaimer: There are three roles that fencers and referees have assumed, or may assume during their relationship with fencing: the fencer, the official, and the spectator. It is important to note that none of these are, or should be thought of as, similar or interchangeable for the other two. And, not being able to realize which role an individual has personally assumed provides nothing less than an intellectual disservice when trying to comprehend the following discussion.)

Recently, I was talking with a fencing friend of mine about our respective experiences as both fencers and referees. We had both agreed that, oftentimes, our experiences as officials were infinitely harder than our experiences as competitors.

During our conversation, in which both of us had recounted instances of being “screwed”, as fencers…

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