Friday, April 08, 2011

Reponse to Win The Fields

This is a response to Lou Burruss' post on his blog Win The Fields regarding Women's Centex, Bid Allocation, Parity, and Oregon's injuries.

On Bid Allocation: There was overwhelming feedback from players to “make the regular season meaningful” and to “stop determining bid allocation from the previous year’s nationals.” Those are two of the big driving forces behind the structure this year. I can imagine coaches challenge now of having duel, oft-conflicting goals (help earn your conference/region bids and develop the lower half of your roster), but this was a very known trade-off and I have a hard time imagining this fundamental part of the structure changing in future years.

Also on Bid Allocation: It has got to be better than having to play consolation games at Nationals to earn bids the following year both for the teams playing and the teams dependent on that strength bid (who are often not the same).

On ‘messed up’ rosters: While I’m too lazy to look back at the actual USAU rules, I believe that there was some sort of threat of penalty to intentionally “mess up” rosters. That said, it would not be too difficult. Add one unique non-playing but eligible student to your roster above and beyond your actual roster for each regular season tournament. For the events that help bolster your rating keep that player on your series roster. I do believe that this is highly unethical and am surprised to see you question whether it is or not. I like the idea that someone mentioned on the USAU board that, for teams with ineligible rosters at some events, only the games from that event that improved that teams overall season rating be dropped (any games that hurt their rating with ineligible players be dropped).

On parity: I agree with you that coaching is a factor, but the other big factor impacting that is the growth of HS Ultimate. You mentioned Flywheel. On that ’09 team they had three HS experienced freshman (Annie Fisher, Paula Seville, and Vicki Chang). Those three added depth to that team and have helped with long term continuity of the program.

In Lindsay’s response she mentioned the Tufts sophomores, Hailey and Claudia, both former HS players. Having them in addition to a solid coach and a solid groups of Juniors and Seniors makes Tufts competitive with top teams (albeit after an easier road to the top bracket).

And Lindsay’s own UNC is led by former HS player Leila Tunnel and bolstered by a solid young crop of former HS players from the work that Lindsay and others have done building the youth scene in NC (How she has time for it all, I will never understand)

On Oregon’s Injuries: I realize now that wasn’t a very fair question to ask. I know the difficulties of trying to impartially comment on a topic I have a vested interest in. I should have expected one of those stock coaching answers. That said, based on all the scores I’ve seen and all the commentaries I’ve read it seems pretty clear that the second tier of teams is large, but if Oregon is healthy they stand alone in the top tier. If Oregon is banged up, the field is wide open. At least that’s the story I’m going in to the series with.


Lou said...

Kyle, I commented in my own comments, but I thought I'd add a couple of things here.

When I was pondering 'messing up' rosters, I was thinking about before an event. If a pre-season (I still think events in Feb and Mar are pre) tournament is sanctioned, do you have an obligation to get rostered? Can you choose (for reasons related to weather conditions at home or injury or whatever) not to submit a roster?

I agree with you about the difficulty of allocating bids. One reason that there is so much pressure on the teams ranked #12-24 is that these are the teams that need accurate decisions made about them to correctly allocate wild cards. That these teams are also often developing teams with a long bench compounds the difficulty.


Kyle Weisbrod said...

Lou, I agree on the pressure on those teams and because this is the same way that Regional bids are allocated to Conferences I think that it extends below that too. What that means is that the very top teams have the benefit of using the season for development while the almost top teams and those below have to fight at every event for bids. If every event is sanctioned, that threatens to create a larger and more permanent gap between those top teams and the teams below.

Ariel Jackson said...

Re: "I like the idea that someone mentioned on the USAU board that, for teams with ineligible rosters at some events, only the games from that event that improved that teams overall season rating be dropped (any games that hurt their rating with ineligible players be dropped)."

The problem with this is that the teams' rankings don't just affect themselves, they affect their entire conference and region. This year, teams that did everything right are hurt by other teams that had trouble with their rosters (see JMU's upcoming struggle to qualify for regionals).

How can we have a system that determines bids based on regular season results, but doesn't collectively punish many teams for one team's roster problems?

The Pulse said...

Well, you don't punish teams who turned in good rosters if you just DQ all of the teams who had a bad roster.

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Ryan, by "DQ" you mean "Don't allow in the series"?

The challenge for USA Ultimate is to provide a structure for both competition and growth of the sport to hundreds of teams at various levels of organization.

That said, my philosophy is "if you make it possible for teams to be disorganized and still compete, they will continue to be disorganized."

The worst part about this current structure is that some disorganized teams who are good aren't bearing consequences of being disorganized while other (organized) teams in their conference/Region are.

So, if USAU retains this structure, I would agree that, (long term) teams that don't qualify for the bid comparison (i.e. have at least 10 roster verified games) shouldn't be able to get a bid to the next level and therefore shouldn't get to play at conferences.

The Pulse said...

Yeah, that's exactly what I mean.

And hey, if there are still a lot of teams getting DQ'ed or not getting their 10 games in, maybe that's an opening for a Division-II Nationals.