Friday, July 25, 2008

D1 is on the couch and Dr. Freud says...

"In my professional opinion you are suffering from multiple personality disorder." (Of course, this diagnosis was only marginally understandable given his thick Austrian accent. Still, it made sense to me but when he insisted on telling me about his mother I beat a hasty retreat with the excuse my mother expected me for lunch. He assured me he understood.)
See, part of the current resistance to playing D1 is that the division can't decide what it is. Sometimes it's D1, sometimes Open, sometimes there's been both other times just the one.
Back in the day the natural progression for serious teams was up the ranks year to year with the big leap being the one to Pro. Of course, there were fewer serious national teams at every level and no excess of unattached pro ranked players with no natural place to go. Whatever the ultimate cause the disconnect remains and the big step up now for the majority of players is seen to be D2 to D1 in part because of the perceived player skill disparity--what with all the ranked pros, unranked pros and semi-pros littering D1--and because Pro is a locked division.
So here we are with a top am division that can usually be counted on the fingers of two hands with thumbs to spare. And there is no way no matter how you parse it that there are more Pro level players in Xball than there are D1 level players. C'mon.
So where are they? (The D1 players, that is.) The answer is some of them are carrying pro and semi-pro rankings and others of them are stagnating in D2 and still others aren't competing anymore.
My concern is the league is choking out the natural development of the players competing and in essence are creating a unnecessarily limited competitive life span for committed players.
And so far the best answer the league has is to push teams through D3 into D2 and if you're committed to the season and do pretty well it's off to D1. Which may not seem like a bad idea but then where are those teams? How is it year after year D1 (or Open) struggles?
Since I've been rambling I'll tell y'all how to fix this next time.

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