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When a national Arnis tournament is handled by amateurs...

What do you think when a National Tournament in Arnis occurs and it is run and managed by amateurs (tournament director, referees and judges)?

It has been 22 years ago…that was the last time I competed as an arnis player myself. Now, the spotlight is on my school team - Palis Sagasa Arnis Pilipino, a team composed of young adults ranging from 14-17 years of age. It is their first National Arnis tournament (outside of the Department of Education’s Sports Meet). We are all excited and eager to play ,show our craft so to speak. But in our disappointment, we experienced a worst tournament ever! Why ? This is why.

The referees and judges are mostly rookies,they obviously have never even competed in an Arnis arena in their life .The judges don’t even know how to use the scoring machine properly; they are all confused and rattled because most of the competing team are all well-prepared and veterans. They seem to be blind or somewhat slow to react to the fast paces of the exchanging blows, blocks and attacks of the competing team. Some of them giving points to the person who didn’t score or maybe because they favoured a compatriot’s or their team to win? These amateurs only know the basics of arnis (precisely because they have never competed in their entire lives. They only know the technical side of the sport). They are mostly ignorant of the advance forms in attacks, blows and blocks hence they do not know a legitimate strike or block when it happens. One of my players got injured (flyweight division). He sustained a cut on his left eyebrow (despite the headgear); an accident happened but no complaint was made. Then here comes the tournament director, telling me that the accident is my student’s fault, for wearing a headgear not fit to his size? Hello? He’s just a kid. In the first place, it is the organizers of the national tournament who provide the equipment and gears. Instead of the Coach being allowed to don the protective gears on his own athletes, the organizers took it upon themselves to delegate this task to their own people (who probably don’t even know how to fit these gears properly themselves!) And you blame us…making us as a scapegoat for your incompetence. It was an accident. Leave it that way. Why the uncalled for remark? He was lucky I was kind that day amidst my frustration and dismay to the poor judgement and abuse of discretion of the referees and judges. Our team qualified on the final round, but we decided that, it is no longer healthy and safe to continue our conquest. We defaulted our games as a way of protest. The last but not the least ”palpak”(travesty) of the tournament…. the certificate of participation is not even worth-keeping because it was printed on a mere ½ size sheet of laid paper (not even a whole sheet), hurriedly done, worth more or less around 5 US cents. And that the coaches, according to the Tournament Director don’t have any (certificates), because it was our fault again that we didn’t give them three-days notice that a certificate should also be awarded to the Coaches. As far as I know, a COACH is the most important member of a team ; the captain of a team. He or she exert effort to build or compose a team; we don’t have to ask or beg for a certificate. It is already understood that we are entitled to have one or at the very least a certificate should be issued for the participating team club. It is a token of appreciation and respect for us, as we have shown our appreciation and respect to the organizers of the tournament by joining. Without the clubs’ joining, an event such as this would have failed miserably. So we don’t owe you. You actually owe us. Organizers (and a national tournament at that!) should have the right people doing the right jobs and not allow a national event to be handled by mediocre people who know not an iota about organizing an event. I know whereof what I am speaking of because I used to organize tournaments myself. I am no stranger to it.
So tell me, have you ever experienced the same things that I have encountered ?

Yours Truly,
GM Sony P. Sy
Palis Sagasa Arnis Pilipino

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All I can say is WOW.  In all the tourneys and such that Ive been involved with and organized, we had plenty of medals and trophys instead of just plain hastily prepared certifications.. I would suggest that organization is the key factor and when I run a tournament, I have a cut off date planned in advance for enrollment and if the other clubs show up, I usually have several certs that are blank and all I do is fill in the name and club.. But most of the time, my tourneys are invitational and unless you are a major player in the organization, you can not bring any late comers.

Well said, Bill  Thank you for your comment, you sure do can relate.That organization is also a skill and that a well exprienced individual or personnel should do the job and not just anybody.

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