Maurice Martin and Fernand Bidault

A photograph of Maurice Martin taken in 1899Frederic Humbert (2010) wrote about Maurice Martin and Fernand Bidault’s visit to Bordeaux on 24 March 1907 to record the French Rugby Union Championship final.

I thought it might be interesting to learn more about two of our first notational analysts of rugby union.

There is a French Wikipedia page about  Maurice. It records Maurice’s love of sport including cycling. He was one of a group who established the Bordeaux to Paris race in 1891. His sport articles were published in La Petite Gironde.

Maurice received a gold medal from l’Union française des œuvres laïques d’éducation physique in 1929 for his services to sport.

He died in Bordeaux in 1941 at the age of 80.

Pierre Fressonnet provides some detailed information about Fernand Jean Charles Bidault who was born in Orleans on 28 February 1879. (Pierre draws upon some primary research by Frederic Humbert in 2011.)

Fernand graduated from the Sorbonne. After a career in sports journalism, he enlisted in the French Army in 1914. He died on 2 December 1914 from wounds received at Vauquois on 29 October 1914.

An article from the Orleans Magazine

Pierre notes that Fernand wrote widely about sport and was the principal rugby reporter for La Vie Au Grand Air:

Dans “La Vie Au Grand Air”, la signature de Fernand BIDAULT accompagne presque tous les comptes-rendus du championnat de Paris, des grands matchs du Championnat de France ou des premières rencontres internationales.

One of his essays, Ballon Oval, is available on Scribd.

There is more information about Fernand in an article written by Maryline Prevost in the Orleans Magazine.

Photo Credit

Maurice Martin 1899 (Wikipedia)

Fernand Bidault (page grab, Orleans Magazine)

A game of rugby union in 1907

A picture of the Stade Francais rugby union team. 1903.

Thanks to Darrell Cobner, I have another discovery to share.

A photograph of Maurice Martin.Darrell suggested I look at Frederic Humbert’s blog, Rugby Pioneers. (Simon Eaves and Paul Worsfold also link to Frederic’s post in their 2014 review of notational analysis for rugby football.)

In 2010, Frederic shared the story of Maurice Martin and Fernand Bidault’s visit to Bordeaux on 24 March 1907 to record the French Rugby Union Championship final.

Their hand notation records “la marche du ballon a travers les deux camps”. This record of their notation includes a photograph of their observation point on the top of the grandstand at the Stade Sainte-Germaine at Le Bouscat.

A photograph of the hand notation of the 1907 rugby union final.

There were 12,000 spectators at the game so the vantage point would have been particularly helpful in their comprehensive “schema chronometre”.  The notation is recorded with the time of day: kick off 3pm, end of first half 3.43 pm; second half starts 4pm and ends at 4.47pm.

The home team, SBUC, won the game by 14 points to 3 (4 tries to 1). It was 6 points to 3 at half time (2 tries to 1). The SBUC tries were scored by Maurice Leuvielle, Jacques Dufourcq, Marc Giacardy, and Pascal Laporte. Henri Martin converted one of these tries. The Stade Francais try was scored by Charles Vareilles.

I was fascinated to discover this notation. Eighty-four years later, I was perched in the top of the old Cardiff Arms Park using hand notation to record the flow of an international game. I did have the advantage of a stopwatch and a roof on a rainy day.

Photo Credit

Maurice Martin (Wikipedia)

Stade Fracais 1903 (Frederic Humbert)