Focus – Specialisation and Sabre Broadcasting

Question from one of my students after the Moscow Grand Prix the other day:

“Hey, do you know what was up with the camera angles in Moscow? You couldn’t see what was going on at all.”

Between that and the incessant cutting around, it made following the game a lot harder than it needed to be.

I have a suspicion that the answer for why they did this can be found in one word:


As long as “fencing” is treated like one thing, we will keep getting unwatchable broadcasts. What the camera team in Moscow were doing makes perfect sense in epee or foil. You can cut around the room for a few seconds, show the tension on the faces of the coaches and the adorable kid with a flag in the front row and some funky angles of the athletes manoeuvring about, build some drama while the action is being set up, and the odds you’ll miss something important are pretty minimal.

But sabre is different. Sabre is sabre. There is no time to play around. Ref says go, stuff happens.

You need to focus.

The sport needs to focus.

Sabre is its own game. It has its own flow, its own feel, its own style, its own tactics and secrets, its own stars and heroes and stories. And it has its own fan base. These things deserve focus, because with it will come understanding and mastery, and a much better overall product.

Focus, and do things right.

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