Monday, June 04, 2007

Mixed-Masters Easterns/Other stuff

I drove up to Devens on Friday afternoon to see how preparations were going for Mixed/Masters Easterns. Last year, we had the main grid(fields 1-12) done by about 3pm. This year, I drove up and Barbara and her crew had the whole thing finished. Lined, coned, water stands, portopotties, field signs....all ready to go. She did a remarkable job is handling the basic logistics of the tournament, including the bulk of the registration. Geoff, Tracey, and Shiellah also did a tremendous amount of work, and the teams seemed to appreciate all the effort that the staff put in. Really, those guys did a lot of work.

I was unable to stay around that much this year as I was performing in a music group in nearby Arlington. I did get to see a few games and it was good to socialize a bit.

Saturday seemed, in general, to be a day to get things ramped up as there were lots of drops and throwaways. The focus seemed to be turned on for Sunday as the intensity and level of play really jumped.

I stopped by to check out the Masters a bit. Good to see the old Dog guys out there. I am sure Al will write about how he did and Jim will write about how the team did, so I won't go into much detail.

Other news:
What is it with the assumption that caps affect timeouts? When did that get started? Why is that treated like the default now?

I have been moderating the Credibility topic over at the UPA stratgeic planning blog. I came upon this article here. I am not sure I really agree with all of it. In the end, what we think matters little. The almighty dollar is really what defines whether an activity is "legit" or not....in my opinion.

All-region awards came and went again. Another year in which my girls got shut out. Part of me thinks there is not a better sign of our depth and team-orientation than this(only one other school in the country finished third or higher at Regionals without an All-Region Player). That, of course, is positive George. Dark Side George wonders if this popularity contest really serves any useful purpose.

7 comments:

Alex de Frondeville said...

Harumph!

gapoole said...

It was an extremely well-run tournament. I have only two complaints. The first is that my team got screwed in the seedings for the championship bracket--16th, and had to play Slow White X in the prequarters. I'm sure there was a good reason, but I still say "ARGH!" because we only lost to the 1st and 2nd place teams over the whole weekend--we could have advanced further with better seedings. Okay, that's kind of obvious. My second complaint is that they ran out of $6 discs by the time I tried to buy one on Sunday. Darn.

But great fields, smoothly timed, nice portapotties, and a fun tournament. I think I saw Jim P on the sideline, but I don't think he knows me, so I didn't say hey. I also missed Josh Seamon, but heard he was there.

The timeouts-in-cap assumption came from TD's and the old editions of the rules. I think the standard of old was no TO's in cap, maybe because they "prolonged the game". Also, the 11th is not clear about what happens in cap--they mention TO's in OT (universe point, each team gets one TO), but not in cap. My assumption is that point-cap and soft-time-cap do not affect TO's, and hard-time-cap only does when the horn blows and then the game gets tied up--creating OT.

gcooke said...

Hi Glenn,

In terms of timeouts, the hard cap also does not affect timeouts and is not the same at OT. OT is specifically 14-14 in a game in which the score will exceed 15.

In terms of the format, it was devised largely by Adam Tarr, the chair of the UPA formats committee and is essentially an extension of the 16.3 pool play format in the UPA formats manual.

While the "contingent" based seeding (published as part of the format well in adavnce of the event) is a bit odd to get one's head around at first, it is important to note that the priority of the format(plus most other formats) is:

1) to place the 1 and 2 seeds of each pool in opposite sides of the bracvket on Sunday

and

2) avoid relying on initial seeding

These two priorities make a contingency based reseeding necessary when 1v1 crossovers are introduced in the 4th round. Obviously, if things are "scripted", then a upset in the 1v1 crossovers will result in violating principle #1 above.

According to Adam Tarr:

"The goal of the re-seeding of 9-16 is to place teams from the same pool far apart. There isn't really any effort to distinguish between the strengths of these teams using the initial seed."

And this makes sense in a tournament in which there are many new teams or teams haven't played each other in a year. In other words, other than the inital seeding (which, as stated above, is not a priority) all the teams in NYNJA's position at the end of Sat (3-1 with a loss to the 1 in pool play) have an equal claim to any spot in the 9-16 range.

Now, in regard to the complaint that you only lost to the finalists, but ended up in the 9th place bracket, I discussed with Adam what would happen if the 3rd best team were seeded 12th...like where NYNJA started. His response:

"It's true that the scenario you describe could happen, however, the only way to ensure that the top three teams finish top three would be either to have some sort of double crossover, or have a traditional UPA-style backdoor bracket. Neither is really needed for this sort of event."

I understand that teams feel it is weird that if they finish 2 in their pool, then they don't have control of their destiny, however, I do like the fact that every game matters in this format. Want to control your destiny? Then win the 1v2 game in pool play...

Adam is going to look at the possibility of setting up more specific contingencies (like 9-12 are reseeded based on the winners of the 1v1 crossovers) in order to not "punish" a team for having a strong #1 team in their pool, but it is not clear that this can be done while still avoiding 1 and 2's in the same side of the bracket(which is considered a bigger problem).

Lastly, I just want to stress again that the contingencies are mostly necessary when there are 1v1 crossovers (and they are meaningful). While I don't consider it mandatory at most events for teams to get 4 games on Saturday, I think that is a priority for an early season event like Mixed Easterns. One final note, I was dissapointed to see that NYNJA forfeited its game against Gecko in the third round as, to me, that was an opportunity to prove that your team was actually not a 16 seed in bracket play.

-G

Ryan said...

Cap affecting timeouts is a really common tournament- and league-specific rule, generally in cases where there are no observers to actually enforce timeout time limits. I imagine the idea is that removing timeouts will help the game end faster. But in reality, the 10th edition rule of calling a timeout a turnover when none are left would probably make the game last longer than a two minute timeout, especially near the endzone.

gapoole said...

George,

Most of us wanted to play the last game on Sunday, however we only had 4 girls and 2 of them had to leave at 1pm, so we would not have been able to play a real game against Gecko. Especially because one of the two remaining girls was sick, and only played 3 or 4 points the whole tournament. What was really disappointing was that our roster crumbled. I was also upset that some of my teammates, discouraged that they had to play Slow White, seemed to give up. So I don't feel that there was a problem with the seedings, just that I would have personally liked to advance further.

gcooke said...

Glenn,

From my point of view, it was pretty obvious to discern NYNJA's deflated attitude, as you describe, in the game against Slow White.

It is interesting how there are situations in which the chance to play one of the best teams in the country could actually produce an interest in the game and an opportunity to work on some very specific things. I am a fan of setting very specific goals for games in which you think you might get blown out. Goals that are perhaps different from closer games. Maybe it is completing all your dump passes, or working on your O line D......

Lastly, do you recall the "Mental Toughness Skits" from NUTC? Wasn't NYNJA's situation pretty much right out of that?

-G

gapoole said...

George,

I think that a team needs to have a definite sense of self in order to be able to assess its situation and benefit from that kind of experience. With incomplete representation and talk of disbanding the team due to lack of committment, it really came as no surprise to me that we were not able to set new goals in the way you describe. It reminds me of the two times we played ARHS in high school.

It is unfortunate that we did not capitalize on that opportunity as a team, but I definitely tried to learn from all of my games throughout the tournament. Most of my focus was on moving the disc effectively (open deep looks, swing passes, resets, etc). I think that particular game was where I learned the most that weekend. If for no other reason, I got a good look at elite-mixed dudes.

I do not remember the skits, were they part of Tiina's mental toughness speech? I missed it at NUTC, unfortunately, but caught it at the UCPC. I think it would have been difficult, as a newcomer to the team, to get them all to overcome their deflation.