- Value comes from being better than average or replacement.
- If the difference in a particular skill between good and average (or best and worst) doesn't translate into a substantial difference in points or turnovers or runs, then that skill isn't that valuable to the game.
- However, it may be true that the skill is a threshold skill, where you have to achieve a certain level just to play the game. For instance, weight for an offensive lineman in the NFL is largely uncorrelated to value, but you have to be at least 270 or 300 lbs to be able to play. I guess we could also call this a fundamental skill in which simple competence gets you 95% of the value of mastery.
- We've all been commingling two discussions about value, one being whether an individual offensive player is worth more than an individual defensive player, and the other being whether team offense is more important than team defense. The first issue, I think, is pretty clear for most sports and most players. A top offensive player is involved in a higher percentage of the plays than a top defender. A "shutdown" in ultimate just results in a few seconds wasted (which can of course help create a turnover), while a successful cut clearly increases the odds of scoring. A 20 yard reception from 40 yards out might increase your scoring efficiency from 70% to 80%, but if that cut is shut down by good defense, the efficiency might drop only from 70% to 66.5%. (Here's how I got these numbers. I assume a team is 90% from the goal line and that they lose 5 percentage points every 10 yards. At 20 yards out, they're 80%, and at 40 yards out, they're 70%. For the shutdown, what completion percentage would you expect on a dump where you turn at stall 5? Multiply that by 70% to get your new efficiency. Say it's 95%, then 70% * 95% = 66.5%. You might also need to factor in the yardage loss, pushing it down to maybe 64%.) And you can only cover one player. (Exceptions to this would be a great middle middle in the zone or a great defensive center in basketball who can influence every drive into the lane.)
- This is almost an aside, but while there may be an expectation that the offense should score every time, the reality is that offenses score only about half the time, which is also about the rate of scoring in the NBA (fluctuations in points per game are as much a function of pace (possessions per game) as efficiency). I maintain that even for the top of the game, a large percentage of the turnovers have little to do with what is considered "hot D" but is just a matter of being close enough to remove some of the margin of error.
- While I don't play on the D team anymore and I follow the disc when I'm on the sideline, I still see an awful lot on the field when I'm playing O.
Oh, yeah. Offense rulez!!!