I had the pleasure of meeting Craig Harkins, one of the moderators of fencing.net, at the Kansas City NAC this weekend. He posted Speed of Fencing to the site back in October, so it was cool to meet him in person. Fencing.net is really the best website and online community out there for US fencers. So if you haven’t been, check it out!
Another reason it was cool to meet him was to talk about how the slow motion replay system in fencing has evolved. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about… beginning in the round of 32 at World Cups and the top 8 at US NACs, there is video replay available for the fencers and referees. The fencer gets two chances to call for a replay, and like in football, if you are correct there is no penalty. If you are incorrect, you lose one of your replay chances. I’ve seen it more in sabre and foil, but sometimes the referee goes straight to the replay because they are unsure of the call. The plan is for me to do an article/video about the replay system for fencing.net. I’m super excited because I think when people learn how video works, it will give more information to fencers on how to use their replay chances better and how to improve the current video system.
What’s wrong with slow motion replay? You’ll have to wait for the article to come out. But here’s one thing I find especially poor as it relates to Speed of Fencing: The cameras they use don’t have a high enough frame rate. We used the Phantom HD Gold camera, which can shoot 1500 frames per second (for some perspective, a movie is shot at 24fps and TV is 30fps). I’m not saying they need to go with 1500fps, but when the blade is moving so fast, sometimes the camera misses what happened. And that’s all I’ll say for now. 🙂