Monday, November 27, 2006

WFDF congress

WFDF held their Congress at Worlds this month, apparently. Here’s the link to the minutes. Some comments:
  1. It seems that every single request for player eligibility was approved, even the one where there was a comment “at some point we’re actually going to have to enforce these eligibility rules.” WFDF still seems to have the old UPA mindset of “yeah, ok, I guess.” Which is good in many ways, and more in line with how ultimate used to be, just not what the UPA is doing now.

  2. There were many comments on the World Games and what to change, but nowhere did it mention even considering changing from Mixed to either Open or Women’s play.
  3. WFDF is considering alternating 4 men/3 women and 3 men/4 women for Mixed rather than offense chooses. The recommendation was to switch them “every other point”, but I’m not sure if they mean “two points with 4 men, then two points with 4 women” or “one of each”. The former is better, since the latter would have one team always going upwind with 4 women (or 4 men, take your pick) and the other going that way with 3.
  4. There was some discussion of bid allocation for the next World Clubs, and a new, semi-formal system put in place. These allotments always depend on the showing at the previous WUCC and WUGC. 25% (about 7-10 for Open) go for strength and 10% for attendance. It could mean that Japan gets more bids to the next one than does the US. Although everyone in the world who cared to attend this world championship did attend, in 2010 it will likely be in Europe and may be limited to “80-90 teams” for all divisions.
  5. They are looking to update the rules, and the rules sub-committee includes some of the usual suspects, but it's odd that they made no mention of the fact that the UPA is also in the process of updating their rules. Golf recently made a great effort to get the USGA and the R&A to iron out differences in the two sets, but now ultimate might be splitting further. Of course, there is an unreconciliable difference regarding Observers, but there are other things being changed in the 11th edition of the UPA rules that will probably not be in the WFDF's new set. I suppose I could look, but nah. But here are some things I did see:
    • 2.7. Teams are guardians of the Spirit of the Game, and must:
      2.7.1. take responsibility for teaching their players the rules and good spirit,
      2.7.2. discipline players who display poor spirit; and
      2.7.3. provide positive feedback to other teams about how to improve their adherence to the Spirit of the Game.
    • No exposed metal on cleats or wristwatches, even one with a strap and no metal. Not sure how that could be dangerous, other than someone getting into a fight because of an argument about timing.
    • Pick distance is 5 meters.
    • Ok, it says that men and women alternate 4/3 after every two points.
    • Time limit is 75 seconds, not 90 as it is here.

  6. Let’s give Corey an asterisk, just because.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

HnH and SLG revisited

There are really two dimensions to the Huck ‘n’ Hope, and I’ve been ignoring one of them. Let’s consider four teams:
A: Cuts deep relentlessly, hucks it to 50% of those cuts
B: Cuts deep relentlessly, hucks it to 20% of those cuts
C: Cuts deep occasionally, hucks it to 50% of those cuts
D: Cuts deep occasionally, hucks it to 20% of those cuts

A and B might be considered aggressive. D would be labeled by all as conservative, and C probably would be considered conservative. But looking at it another way, the throwers on A and C are the aggressive players, while B and D’s throwers are considered conservative. I’ve only been considering how often teams throw deep, ignoring how often teams throw deep given the number of deep cuts they get.

I think B is probably the best strategy. This is what golf mental game guru Dr. Bob Rotella refers to as “conservative strategy, cocky swing.” The problem with A is related to decision-making. Other things being equal, B is going to have a much better huck percentage than A while still hucking on almost as many possessions (but will make more passes before hucking). A will chuck it any time the receiver has a step and they can get the throw off (think Allen Iverson). B will eschew these marginal choices and will require a little more before deciding that it’s a good choice.

It’s certainly possible to go too far. If you only take 90% chances, then maybe you’ll complete 90% of your hucks, but you’ll be passing up 80% shots when you only need maybe a 50-60% chance to come out ahead.

So, who wants to be the one to say who A, B, C, and D are? And who from those teams wants to refute?

Monday, November 06, 2006

100 000

Congrats to a visitor from from Southfield, Michigan, who is visitor #100 000 to this blog. Condolences to (99999) and 216.113.168.# (100001) who barely missed.

Interestingly, I also got page view #200 000 today.

This blog started on 3/24/05. The 1000th visitor came on 5/3/05. October had over 10 000 visitors, the most to date.

From its inception until the end of the 2005 season, the site grew every month, but then an off-season and more sporadic posting since then has resulted in up-and-down numbers. Take a look at the graph of the monthly total since last year.

I reckon this traffic puts me in the top million blogs out there, so thanks for your support!

Friday, November 03, 2006

nats comment

Welcome back to AJ, who was obviously holding onto his secrets for the past 9 months. Congrats, AJ and all of Chain, except Kid, of course, for a great tournament.

I'm reposting what I wrote at the end of the comments, just so those who only check in at ultimatetalk will be able to read about me. Nothing else new here.

I felt like I played pretty well, although I had only one play worthy of a highlight film (at least one I'd want to be part of; I also got skyed once by a taller player, although I have evidence that my feet were higher than his). It was mostly just getting open and completing passes. I think I had four turnovers and two other incompletions on passes to me. First turnover came when Forch changed his cut as I was throwing and I couldn't stop it; I almost nailed the marker in the face with that one. Second came when I threw a with-the-force backhand into the ground a lot shy of my target; there was something funky with the mark that made me think I was just going to be fouled or maybe I just lost sight of where I was throwing or something that my mechanics were way off. I dropped a low pass in the wind against Rhino (got a brushburn from that one). And I threw a pass to BVH when he wasn't open but was still cutting; it was my first point after being on the massage table for 20 minutes (I took this long only because we were up by several and there was only one O point in that time) and I was out of the flow of the game a bit, so when I caught a swing I just turned and threw, but his defender was already on his way by him by that time. He called a foul, there was some bitching about it, after about two minutes the coach went up to him and said something and I came up to him and tried to say that it wasn't a foul but he had already put the disc down. On the receiving end, Alex threw me a huck in the Furious game after we were already down by 6, I looked up to the forehand side because there was a lot of room there and I thought the force was that way, and by the time I caught sight of it and turned the other way, I had lost too much momentum and couldn't catch up to it. Had I been expecting the backhand the whole way, I would have caught it. And Doug threw me a too-weak forehand in the Sockeye game where another cutter took too long to clear out and his defender got the layout poach block.

I felt that Friday was my best day of the tournament, in sharp contrast to the past several years where Saturday was my best day. I once again felt stronger on Saturday, but the space wasn't there or something such that I didn't get the disc as much as I wanted to against Sockeye, without feeling that it was because my man was on me (although maybe he was, I don't know). Sockeye was effective at clogging the lanes against us, and maybe our overall team speed (especially on offense) killed us.

Defensively, I felt ok. No blocks, but I created several high stalls (some of them leading to turnovers) due to good non-fouling marking, and I remember preventing some cuts. There were two long passes thrown to my man and caught on the first day, but none after that despite playing some HnH teams who got the disc plenty of times when I was on the field. There were a few passes over the weekend where my guy beat me right away on an in-cut so I just ambled in after him. Maybe it's a little lazy, but there is no practical difference (given that I'm not going to administer a bump as soon as he catches it even though the kids today seem to think it's cool) since I'm not going to be able to catch up anyway and I was there by the time he caught it and turned and the force didn't change.

I played a little more than I expected and probably about as much as I deserved, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. Forch played well offensively except for a bunch of forced hucks, but otherwise I didn't feel anyone on the O stood out as playing well.

I had two points that stood out for me. One was against Furious on the first point of the game. Pitted against a defender that apparently everyone on Furious knows I can't stand playing against because of his hands and bumpiness, I was determined to show him, but I established that I wasn't going to be intimidated, got open for four or five passes with the force, and scored the goal. The other point was an upwinder against Rhino. I was called as the third handler, and got open on several resets and quickly got the disc moving again, leading to a big goal.

Overall, I was somewhat disappointed in the amount of contact and petty calls. In order, among the teams I played with and against, I would rank them Furious, Sockeye, Revolver, us, Rhino, the others. 3 of the 4 NW teams outcalled/outfouled us despite us being a little chippy ourselves. I didn't watch either semi (beer tent was too far from the fields), so I can't comment on them.