Friday, November 16, 2007

Mixed vs Masters

Someone suggested jokingly that we should have played off against the Mixed champs to see who the real B Division champ was.

I'm fairly certain we would beat a mixed team. But we can ask what the strategies would be for such a game for both teams. And it doesn't even have to be mixed versus men, it just has to have three distinct classes of players. 4 studs on team A, 7 good but far worse players on team B, and 3 decent but far worse than good players on Team A. (This level of disparity can also happen in more recreational play, but one possible solution there would be to completely ignore the worst group of players.) This is what the case would be if you took an all-star team of players from Open and Women's Nationals and played off against an all-star team from Masters Nationals. To generalize, let's just say that the top Mixed and Masters players could play in Open and Women's but wouldn't be anywhere close to as dominant, and the benchwarmers at O/W Nats would be starters in mixed. I think that's a fair assessment of the talent level, although I'm not sure it's completely relevant.

Strategically, it seems fairly obvious. The "mixed" team would want to iso the big 4 as much as possible, just as any team wants to iso its best players, but has the added burden that there will be deep help. They'd probably need to run some kind of spread offense but would need to split its men. For defense against this, perhaps a version of the Clam, or maybe the old Tea Cup we used back in summer league 15 years ago. In that, we'd cover the other team's top 5 players and let the other two roam, nominally playing the equivalent of middle middle and deep deep. For this, maybe you'd cover just 4 and have one of the other three play something like 3 in the Clam or covering whichever of the women was closest to the disc.

When the "masters" team has the disc, I'd be tempted to run a homey with whoever is being covered by the women. Defensively, if this tactic wasn't being used, perhaps a clam with one woman as 4 (weakside downfield) and the others up front (or maybe move one of them to 5). Or maybe a zone. You would probably want to encourage the other team to huck it because you'd win most 50/50 shots. But the old team should be smart and really take a look at where all the defense is before hucking it.

All would mark extra aggressively against the less skilled players and sag off a little on the better ones.

I don't know whether you'd have any additional strategies for upwind/downwind or if you have large variations within each group. (Maybe you'd put your fastest woman up front in the clam.) Or whether you'd prefer to have women handlers or deeps, other things being equal.

Lastly, this will never happen because neither team could stand the embarrassment of losing to the other. Perhaps if someone were to make this the semi-pro league, they'd do it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

where da blogs

Where is everyone? I was hoping to see recaps from AJ, Idris, Hh, and have had to make do instead with summaries from the lesser divisions (Timmy, the 15/16 game). C'mon, men, sack up and let us know what happened. Are there other blogs out there from people who were at Nationals, even as spectators? Feel free to post links in the comments.

And where is that Masters video on ultitv? The other divisions had the misfortune of having their finals on a windier day and so didn't appear as aesthetically pleasing as they could have. Even allowing for that, though, the games didn't seem that crisp on video (I had a morning flight and so didn't go to the fields on Sunday). Lots of athletic plays from the men.

Teams today seem to rely more on the athleticism of the receiver as a catcher, while we used to rely on their athleticism as cutters. Sure, use it as a cushion, but it shouldn't be the deciding factor.

For spending all that time at the fields at Nationals, there seems precious little time to see folks. There are always several people I see only in passing one day and never again, even people in my division. Thank heavens for the beer tent or I might not see anyone.

The immediate post-season is always difficult, even in a year like this one where we won and we didn't have the all-consuming schedule. It takes several days for my body to get back to normal, and there are still some lingering sore spots.

I would really have liked to have played one more game with our team against one of the Open teams at Nationals, just to see. Maybe we'll be able to get a full squad out next spring in preparation for Worlds. We had pretty spotty attendance this year other than at Regionals and Nationals.

That's about it.