Thursday, July 07, 2005

sudden death

I was pondering the flip the other day, and whether you could avoid giving the flip winner an advantage in a capped game. One way would be to play to time, or perhaps the first half is to a fixed, even number of goals. Then the Atlantans were talking about it on their blog, and I remembered a suggestion from TMQ.

Make all games win by 2, and if it's tied at the cap, you play an extra point of sudden death, but with a twist. Have another flip. The flip loser determines where on the field the disc is to be put into play and in which direction, and the flip winner gets to pick whether to play O or D. Presumably the loser will pick a point where they think their chances of scoring are 50:50. If there's no wind, that point would probably be deep in the endzone and near a sideline. If it's a moderate wind, that point might be at the 30 yard line going upwind.

Further, you could make the whole game this way to change the O/D balance. Do away with the pull, which is boring anyway and which my team is no good at, start off each point with the disc at a predetermined point (midfield for lower skills, 10 yards deep in the endzone for high skills), and then let them go. In this scenario, you would give the scored-upon team the disc all the time. Teams can still sub between points, and maybe you can have a five- or ten-second period before the disc is live where the teams are allowed to run around to set up. On windy days, you could specify that upwind points start at midfield while downwind points are in the endzone, to make every point close to 50/50.

What do you think? Where is your neutral point?


Whitey said...

There is no way to allow one team to play offense and one team play defense at the beginning of the game without giving one team an advantage whether it is a game to time or a game a score. Therefore you need to take away the randomness and make it a contest of skill like the faceoff in hockey. By doing this you take away the excuse "Oh, we had that game if we won the flip," and instead get "We need to work on our X." Where X is the contest of skill.

I would personally go for something like each team sends one thrower to the the front endzone line, and the thrower from each team then tries to land a disc as close to the oppisite endzone line without going over it. The winner then gets to choose as if they had won the flip. (This is similar to how a game of pool starts)

Then just play to cap like we do now. The winner of the "flip" deserves the advantage.

parinella said...

If you're playing to time, it's almost certainly 50/50 which team will have the disc at the end of the first half. Half the time, the receiving team will have an extra possession, in which case the pulling team will spend the second half catching up, and half the time the teams will have the same number of possessions, in which case the pulling team will have the advantage.

I guess you'd still end up with half the games having an odd possession, but there would be no advantage to winning the flip. The randomness would just be determined by when the horn blew (ignoring clock management effects). Somehow, this seems more fair.

On a related note, maybe we should consider completely changing the way that time caps work, possibly only for pool play games.

Henry Thorne said...

I really like Matt Whited's idea of doing essentially a pool lag to determine who picks side or O/D. It would only take a bit longer and would eliminate the pure luck element that shouldn't be there. It's an excellent idea IMO.

Whitey said...

This discussion really got me thinking about the advantages of playing ultimate to time. I posted my thought over on my blog.

Edward Lee said...

This discussion really got me thinking about the advantages of playing ultimate to time.

In the words of Charles Isbell, one would likely have to ban/regulate zone defenses or call technical fouls on Mother Nature in extreme winds. (Perhaps not so much in elite men's club ultimate, but almost certainly so in all other levels of play.)