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Author Topic: The Lightspeed scoring system!  (Read 554 times)
Cang Snow
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« on: November 18, 2017, 04:15:26 PM »

Hey everybody! By now you may have heard of Lightspeed Saber League, but now we're introducing our world-first scoring system, designed specifically for sporting saber combat. Check the video below to learn the basics on how it works!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN7vsrYgLTg" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN7vsrYgLTg</a>


Like it? Hate it? Let us know. What kinds of scoring rules do you prefer, and which do you think make the most sense for real lightsaber combat?
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skribs
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 06:47:46 PM »

My only question is why there are two separate scoring categories for "interception" and "clean kill".  If they both award 3 points, can't they be rolled into one scoring item where any contact that is not reciprocated within 400ms is awarded 3 points?

It's like saying "if you shoot from behind the 3 point line, you get 3 points.  But if you shoot from beyond half court, you get 3 points," when they could all just fall under the 3-point line rule, since half court is beyond that line and awards the same amount of points.
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Cang Snow
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 07:10:23 PM »

My only question is why there are two separate scoring categories for "interception" and "clean kill".  If they both award 3 points, can't they be rolled into one scoring item where any contact that is not reciprocated within 400ms is awarded 3 points?

It's like saying "if you shoot from behind the 3 point line, you get 3 points.  But if you shoot from beyond half court, you get 3 points," when they could all just fall under the 3-point line rule, since half court is beyond that line and awards the same amount of points.

Great question. It is to make clear exactly what the referee is seeing. The difference between a Clean Kill and an Intercept is the number of hits. If a ref calls an exchange Clean when it was in fact an Interception, then we know that referee is failing to detect a Contact. For fencers this means they may need to adjust how and/or where they are landing their hits, and for the tournament staff it can mean trading out the referee if he is not judging accurately. For referees, it is an opportunity to improve their calls when reviewing footage of their performance. These things cannot happen if these two exchanges are not differentiated.

Unlike basketball, what happens in Lightspeed-saber-- and in fact, most forms of fencing or combat-- is very fast. This is our way of being transparent to the participants and continuously improving our judging staff.
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Musashi Padawan
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2017, 06:51:48 AM »

Very interesting Cang! I love the explanations and attention to detail.  The outdoors at night setting looks awesome.  Everything about the league looks like a lot of fun.  I have a few comments and a few questions... Light saber training is my primary hobby and passion.  I love teaching saber techniques, studying the dulon, putting on the gear and sparring- everything we do at the AFA. However, one thing I know I would NOT enjoy is judging a match with points!!!  It seems very difficult to make split second determinations and a ton of pressure to get it right.  I remember when I studied Kendo, no one ever looked forward to being a Shinpan (referee) at tournaments.
So that being said- how do you find anyone to be a judge? Do the judges enjoy it? Do participants complain often? Do you have to pay judging staff?  What methods do you use to continuously improve your staff?
One other question- what grade blades do participants use?  I am used to only working with heavy grade, but in the videos the blades look to have a lot more flex. 
Again, great video!! Sorry for all the questions.   
   
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Cang Snow
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2017, 12:06:46 PM »

So that being said- how do you find anyone to be a judge? Do the judges enjoy it? Do participants complain often? Do you have to pay judging staff?  What methods do you use to continuously improve your staff?
One other question- what grade blades do participants use?  I am used to only working with heavy grade, but in the videos the blades look to have a lot more flex.    

Hello Eric! Thanks very much and I just saw your very similar video on YouTube. Very nice! I like the combination of different kinds of gear into a single ensemble. Also, HEMA gloves: very good decision.

As regards your questions about reffing: I can't tell you everything but I'll answer what I can. Reffing Lightspeed-saber fencing is, frankly, very hard. But it's also technical, and it can be taught and learned. So it is always mentally and physically engaging, and challenging. We get minimal complaints from participants because the local fencers know we have the best judging staff in California. So they know they're not going to get better anywhere else. We use video to review calls after the fact.

Our blades are featherweights. Feel free to check them out on our website: www.lightspeed-saber.com. I encourage you to give them a try, as well as our systems.

Cang Snow
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Seblaise
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2017, 12:24:39 PM »

Very interesting, thank you CS Wink

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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2017, 07:56:25 AM »

Very cool of you to provide a breakdown, Cang.  I've found that there's no "right" way to define a scoring system, there are all kinds of positives and negatives to every single decision.  Making it more realistic tends to take away from the competitive aspects, and result in exchanges that are much harder to "judge."  On the other hand, making it more of a game brings you more into the sporting arena, and distances you from the martial arts aspect.  Every choice in creating a scoring system is a tough one, and has tradeoffs.

At any rate, thanks for the info!
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Cang Snow
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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 09:47:24 PM »

Very cool of you to provide a breakdown, Cang.  I've found that there's no "right" way to define a scoring system, there are all kinds of positives and negatives to every single decision.  Making it more realistic tends to take away from the competitive aspects, and result in exchanges that are much harder to "judge."  On the other hand, making it more of a game brings you more into the sporting arena, and distances you from the martial arts aspect.  Every choice in creating a scoring system is a tough one, and has tradeoffs.

At any rate, thanks for the info!

You're exactly right. I won't go deep into this but even our system, which I'm very proud of, is still not perfect. And there are definitely elements within it I would improve if I could.

I've found that "sport" requires a certain amount of abstraction. We can develop a very complex scoring system that takes into account where you hit, how hard you hit, and when, but the more specific and "realistic" you try to get the more it feels like LARPing.
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Althalus
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« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2017, 12:44:20 AM »

Quote
We can develop a very complex scoring system that takes into account where you hit, how hard you hit, and when, but the more specific and "realistic" you try to get the more it feels like LARPing.
Every scoring system needs a goal - and a mindset it is intended to encourage. The typical "sporting" scoring system with Points over Time develops a sporting mindset - playing the rules, using simple techniques, even using loopholes in the rules. A "realistic" ruleset (weighted hits, one hit can end the fight) develops a more realistic mindset, but will result in fights that are a bit boring to watch.

The main problem I'm seeing in sabering so far is the tendency to rely on rapid strikes that lack control and the lack of defence. The worst thing you could get are fights that look more like bitch slapping than a fight with a bladed weapon.  Wink
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2017, 08:28:17 AM »

You're exactly right. I won't go deep into this but even our system, which I'm very proud of, is still not perfect. And there are definitely elements within it I would improve if I could.

I've found that "sport" requires a certain amount of abstraction. We can develop a very complex scoring system that takes into account where you hit, how hard you hit, and when, but the more specific and "realistic" you try to get the more it feels like LARPing.


I wouldn't be so harsh on LARP. Pretty much every scoring system out there goes between being like "Tag" and being like "LARP". How much tag is in your LARP? Not quite as much as LARP in your Tag.
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 09:18:44 AM »

Every scoring system needs a goal - and a mindset it is intended to encourage. The typical "sporting" scoring system with Points over Time develops a sporting mindset - playing the rules, using simple techniques, even using loopholes in the rules. A "realistic" ruleset (weighted hits, one hit can end the fight) develops a more realistic mindset, but will result in fights that are a bit boring to watch.

As a sport fencer, this is an increasingly annoying issue.  Rules keep changing in favor of more entertainment (or comprehension) for spectators.  While I understand how this benefits us, it's also frustrating to see it take away even more realism and practicality from fencing.
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Calculon
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 04:24:42 PM »

The main problem I'm seeing in sabering so far is the tendency to rely on rapid strikes that lack control and the lack of defence. The worst thing you could get are fights that look more like bitch slapping than a fight with a bladed weapon.  Wink

A few things come to mind when reading this. There's always gonna be someone new who will go for the win at all costs (sacrificing dignity, honor, technique, safety) and all I can do is hope they grow out of it. Hopefully as the sport ages, we'll see better examples (fighters and their styles) emerge for clean hits and defensive work. The discipline at the moment just isn't there vs getting caught up in the thrill or enthusiasm of fighting with our energy blades. Hopefully more members take it upon themselves to teach or guide newer members or the next generation this philosophy of dignified combat vs ...desperation combat? Burning off the excitement, combat? (some people just fight dirty lol) Either way, I do believe that training and technique will trump sloppy or desperate points. So few examples of folks who can demonstrate that but watching fighters who can fight vs fighters who can simply score points really is like night and day.

I'd happily take a loss knowing my fight was in an effort to perform as a seasoned/disciplined fighter vs someone learning and is new to both competition, martial arts and clean execution. The latter being a mcdojo fighter who is trained in the art of paying for belts and learning forms but in a fight only throws haymakers.

As I like to think of it, its fighters playing the game (win at all cost "rapid strikes with lack of control") vs fighters defending themselves.

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Althalus
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« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 01:00:49 AM »

Quote
As I like to think of it, its fighters playing the game (win at all cost "rapid strikes with lack of control") vs fighters defending themselves.
As I've learned in over a decade of teaching, it takes at least a year of regular training to get over the "hit for hits sake" mindset (sometimes considerably more). When they first enter a freeplay, people try to just get in a hit, forgetting about protecting themselves. As the weapons are not lethal, there's no real threat so hitting becomes preliminary.
After time (and with proper guidance), not being hit becomes more important - and that's where true fighting starts.

When I fight my students, I don't use every opening they're giving me - I know I can best them, so it's more important to me to hit them where I want to, not where it's possible. That sometimes leads to me being hit by beginners, but I'm still learning also.
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 07:56:14 AM »

A few things come to mind when reading this. There's always gonna be someone new who will go for the win at all costs (sacrificing dignity, honor, technique, safety) and all I can do is hope they grow out of it. Hopefully as the sport ages, we'll see better examples (fighters and their styles) emerge for clean hits and defensive work. The discipline at the moment just isn't there vs getting caught up in the thrill or enthusiasm of fighting with our energy blades. Hopefully more members take it upon themselves to teach or guide newer members or the next generation this philosophy of dignified combat vs ...desperation combat? Burning off the excitement, combat? (some people just fight dirty lol) Either way, I do believe that training and technique will trump sloppy or desperate points. So few examples of folks who can demonstrate that but watching fighters who can fight vs fighters who can simply score points really is like night and day.

The mark of a good competitive combat system is just that - technique and experience should beat sloppiness.  When you see otherwise, it's a good litmus test to indicate places where your system can be improved.  Some lightsaber combat groups I've seen could use a great deal of such improvement.
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Cang Snow
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 01:41:01 PM »

The mark of a good competitive combat system is just that - technique and experience should beat sloppiness.  When you see otherwise, it's a good litmus test to indicate places where your system can be improved.  Some lightsaber combat groups I've seen could use a great deal of such improvement.

Exactly right.

We went through this exact problem. First we were on a first-hit system. But it led to a plague of people who struck with a lot of power and, admittedly, accuracy, but had no bladework skills or footwork. Then we went to a lockout system with no right-of-way, which forced footwork but made reckless and aggressive fighters unreasonably effective.

The current Lightspeed system is an evolution and a combination of these two systems and I think it contains the best elements of both.

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