Monday, January 12, 2009

Byzantine

At the end of last week I embarked upon the treacherous process of applying for a national fencing tournament for ARG. It's in Portland, where he did pretty well last year, and we have already purchased plane tickets.

To my dismay I read this line on the application:
"List the SYC or RYC the Youth Athlete has attended:"

Wait a minute! There hasn't been a SYC or RYC offered in northern CA all season. How is he supposed to qualify for Portland? Mild panic set in.

Immediately I shot out emails to coach, fencing mavens and the national fencing association. I needed to get a handle on this situation.

Guess what? I got different answers from everyone. Hooray! Don't you love clarity?

In my alarm I began to check all tournaments offered between now and the application deadline, and found one RYC down in LA. In two weeks. And registration would be open one more day. Ack! With ARG's fencing future on the line, I went ahead and signed him up for the LA tournament. This is not a small thing - it requires missing two serious social engagements (with hurt feelings involved) - and driving to San Diego to LA to San Diego to LA to home in two days time.

It is 5 days later and I still don't have a definite answer about ARG qualifying for the Portland tournament. Turns out the qualifying rules are different for each tournament, and for each age group!

The word that keeps coming to my mind is: Byzantine. Fencing rules are truly byzantine. Here are a few definitions of the word that capture how I feel about fencing rules:

a: of, relating to, or characterized by a devious and usually surreptitious manner of operation Byzantine power struggle>

b
: intricately involved :
Probably I will be an expert in navigating the fencing world... just in time for ARG to leave for college.

1 comments:

Beth said...

Ouch! You have my sympathies. I hope it all works out. And on top of all those colds to boot!