29 May 2010

Man on Wire

Just saw Man on Wire. A story about a physical challenge as a creative act and a team project. Some overlap with team sport there.

At one point, Philippe Petit says:

"And slowly I thought, ok, now it is impossible. That's sure. So let's start working."

That's the mindset of someone really chasing their goal.

9 May 2010

A first step in statistics

In the NBA, they have shot charts for each game which show where each shot was attempted from and whether it was complete or not. Here's an example for a Cavs win over the Celtics.

In ultimate, when the statistical revolution gains steam, we should track how and where teams score with the disc and where they turn over the disc.

Where does the disc go dead/get dropped? Where is it thrown from? Are sideline hucks more risky? Is a team getting stuck on the sideline?

We could also log the time between throws and catches, to identify how quickly the disc is actually moving in an offence, and whether this correlated positively or negatively with scoring a goal, for a particular team.

8 May 2010

Time caps and points caps

I feel like I spend too much time during games checking what the time cap and points cap are, and calculating what my team is playing to.

Over the years, tournament directors have decreed too many different ways for games to end in their tournaments.

This is a call for two systems: we play with the official WFDF points cap and time cap at major tournaments, and we play with a simplified points cap and time cap at all other events. Call them Championship caps and Recreational caps.

It's tricky enough that we need two caps to decide when a game is over, without having multiple possible time caps, points caps, within-one-add-one, and within-two-add-one complications. I understand the reasons for having both caps - let's keep it as simple as possible beyond that.

2 May 2010

Reviewing Australian Nationals 2010

The theme for Nationals 2010 seemed to be getting the rewards for years of work.

In the open division, I-Beam from Newcastle were champions, with a 12-9 pre-semi win over HoS, a 15-14 semi-final win over Colony Pillage and a 14-13 win over Colony Plunder in the final. I think they are first open team to win a semi-final after playing a pre-semi.

I-Beam had an offense that hummed like a machine irrespective of the defence they faced. They had great throwing and receiving depth on their line, though they only had around 14 players at Nationals (an exception to my rule-of-thumb that more players = winning at Nationals). They went through two of the strongest teams at the tournament to win: Colony Pillage and Colony Plunder.

The final saw a more American style height range - lots of athletic guys six foot or under, which is how many US open rosters look. Only Ant Dowle and Tatts seemed to be the exception. Past dominant open teams seemed to always have a good number of giants on the field.

In the women's division, Team Box met Wildcard Clubs in the final, for the third time in four years. This time they had the deeper team, and dominated Wildcard to avenge the two finals losses of previous years.

Hard work and talent development pays off, kids.