Despite the current pandemic that has caused most of the world to be in various levels of lockdown, the development of fencing in Asia continues. The Fencing Confederation of Asia has lined up a series of educational programs beginning with two webinars aimed at improving the skills of local referees of its member federations.
The first webinar was held from October 23 to 25 and dedicated to referees from FCA member federations in the West, Central and South Asian regions. Eight countries were represented, including Jordan, Kazakhstan, India, Iran, Lebanon, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Twenty-six referees joined the session for foil, with 18 participating in epee and 24 in sabre.
The second webinar, held from October 30 to November 1, catered to the federations in East and Southeast Asia as well as countries in Oceania. The three-day online seminar participants from 12 countries, comprising Australia, New Zealand, China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. There were 31 participants in the epee session, 25 for sabre and 32 for foil.
Both webinars were conducted in four- to five-hour sessions every day, with daily program divided in two parts. The first was a theoretical session touching on the important objectives of the International Fencing Federation in running its competitions, the functions of the FIE Referees Commission and the FCA Referees Commission, the general role and responsibilities of referees and an explanation of the various violations and penalties. The second part featured practical sessions using video clips of actual competitions, allowing the participants to practice their appreciation of the movements and violations committed in each sequence.
FCA Referees Commission Chairman Dr. Eyad Maghayreh (Jordan) handled the theoretical portions as well as practical sessions for epee on the first day. Medhat Mohamed El Bakry (Egypt) supervised the session for sabre on the second day, while Vilem Madr (Czech Republic) handled the session for foil on the third day.