Monday, September 14, 2009

The Monday Poll

What's the attraction of tournament paintball? I know, it ain't just one thing, d'oh. But this is a poll dammit and you have to pick one. So, either pick one of the options listed or post your number one reason in comments and tell me what an idiot I am for forgetting to add that one to the poll. Simple, so I expect most of you to be able to handle voting this week and I'm no longer accepting the lazy slacker excuse. It's a given that you're a lazy slacker. So what? So am I. You can still click a mouse. Now do it.

Monday Poll in Review
It wasn't even close. Last week's poll was about rigidly following rules or interpreting rules in order to honor the rules' intent. (The margin was 70% versus 30% favoring upholding the spirit, if not the letter, of rules.) It was also, in one respect, less than that because it was also about a specific situation. The result is I'm not convinced y'all would always favor the idea of interpreting rules--only that in this general case you do.
In some respects however it is potentially troubling. And, as an avowed paintball anarchist I find it ironic that I'm advocating rules of any sort but there you go. We don't have a game without rules and in some necessary instances those rules extend off the field. And that's where interpreting rules, any rules, makes me a little uneasy. Thing is, "interpreting rules" in essence makes them flexible or unfixed--and an unfixed rule is less a rule than a guideline or an option, if you like. Take it from an anarchist that's not a good thing in a rule. On the other hand rules are intended to serve specific functions and if a given rule, as written, doesn't or can't perform it's intended function (for whatever reason) isn't it only sensible to interpret the rule by its intent?

Oh yeah, I promised y'all an example last week didn't I? Honestly I'm a little surprised nobody stole my thunder on this one 'cus it ain't that hard. There is (presently) a team registered in D1 for Cup with 6 or 7 established pro players on it who are (by the letter of the rules) ranked such that they constitute a "legal" roster. According to last week's Monday Poll y'all voted in favor of the league re-ranking those players in accordance with their known status. Want to change your mind now or are you standing pat?


Anonymous said...

I would add 'The Scene'

Sound ridiculous?
Its totally the one I would choose.

Don Saavedra said...

I've never been to a "turnament."

Just giving you grief, Baca. I'm not a competitor (too old and fat), but I love attending tournaments as a spectator because I love the sport and love to watch competition. I'm just a fan.

Baca Loco said...

Good call, Don. I blame my keyboard.

Definitely should have included that or something like it. For the sake of clarification by 'The Scene' are you talking pb lifestyle or something different? AS an angry, dissaffected loner that's not the sort of thing I even believe exists but I know lots of alientated yuffs desperate to conform in some nonconformist way.

raehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
raehl said...

Damnit, apparently posting at 30,000 feet is more difficult than I thought. Here's attempt #2.

I originally chose "Challenge", but football/baseball/basketball/things-that-require-I-catch-something are all more challenging for me than paintball, so I ended up choosing 'suck at real sports' (final answer). But, I would also expect that someone who was good at basketball but sucked at football would choose to play basketball, so in some sense every athlete picks a sport because they suck at the other ones (save MJ, who will wait until he's past his prime and choose baseball anyway.)

As for classifications, in an ideal world, we would have accurate participation records for all tournament participants going back a few years. Unfortunately, some people did not see the value in keeping accurate records. So that's part of the problem. But regardless, the letter of the rule allows for human interpretation of specific circumstances. For example, John Smith Sr, who is over 60 years old and also has legitimate medical physical limitations, has been reclassified from D2 to D3. I don't think any rational person would in any way object to that reclassification, but at the same time, his particular set of circumstances is so rare as to not warrant their own separate line item in the rules.

And it's always going to be the case that there are going to be rare sets of circumstances that the classification rules do not address that require some human judgment.

That said, I think the number of exceptions should be far, far, far fewer than most. Players should have a reasonable expectation that the rules will apply to them as written so that they can make informed decisions and the outcome will match the letter of the rules.

We're never going to have a set of rules where, for example, every D2 player is better than every D3 player. But we can definitely have a set of rules where any team that enters the division they are eligible for can have a positive experience where they can win points and have a reasonable chance at winning matches. Landing on the podium, however, is always going to come down to talent and practice.

Anonymous said...

Raehl just to clear the air. Baseball was what Jordan's father had always wanted him to do, after finally getting what he wanted out of his basketball career he gave baseball a shot for his old man's sake. I am glad you didn't mention him playing for the wizards, cause there is no defending that...

Anonymous said...

Opps forgot this was a paintball themed discussion.

Baca the rules need to be interpreted and not just followed. One day Ollie Lang may find himself old, little overweight, maybe with a bad knee. No Pro team wants him. If he's taken a few years off why shouldn't he be allowed to play D1 or D2 if he clearly can only be competitive there.

There are plenty of people who played a season much higher then they should and then left the sport because they are now stuck there, because they stuck it out and thought all they needed was a little perserverence. Interpretation of the rule would allow for some flexibility for a team like the long forgotten NXL team "Ultimate" who might have won a match had they been playing D1.

On the other side of things the pros playing D1 have no business being there. The rules let them, but no one wants to bump to play D1 anyway, now with this threat why waste your money?

Laws and rules have loop holes since it is impossible to write one out that covers all the possible cases. There needs to be a human element with enough intelligence to read between the lines and properly adjust ranking.

Baca Loco said...

With respect to the rules I find myself in the unusual place of agreeing with you, by and large.
I posed the poll for a specific reason but the question is worth examining on its own merits.

I'm sure you picked the most appropriate answer for this week's poll. ;-)

Appreciate the willingness to comment--and I encourage eveybody to join in--but with respect to your example of interpreting the classification rules you're dead wrong. The situations you describe should be accounted for in the basic classifiation rules. The fact that the rules require interpreting to classify a 60 year old man is ridiculous. Nor is an old pro player still a pro player. In fact, many pro ranked players probably aren't--at least not as a reflection of their individual ability.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I didn't really know the PSP classifcation rules all that well since i was always more of an NPPL guy. The NPPL had a forum with which to plead your case for reclassification from what I had heard from people who played PSP. The PSP didn't really care about people and their circumstances. I should have known better then to take verbatim the words of whiny divisional players though.

I have however have now read the rules posted on the PSP site and understand where you and Raehl are coming from and am willing to concede on 90% of my point.

But don't you feel the need for some human element? Certainly not everything can be as cut and dry as the 300 words used to classify everyone on the PSP's webpage?

Baca Loco said...

I'm not sure I feel a need for some human element :-) but I do agree it's probably unavoidable. My preference would be to limit the necessity of interpetations.

With regards the NPPL rule book back in the days before the split (and in some respects after as well) the joke was it was so ill-defined on purpose to allow it to be interpreted in whatever way was expedient at a given point in time. When you rely on the human element you have to be able to trust the person doing the interpreting.

Hippo said...

Here's an idea: if you want to drop a classification, you may do so after sitting out one year. Put a 'floor' in...such as two other words, one can never drop more than two levels. So if you make it to "pro", then you can never drop below D1. Semi-pro, after two years of not playing, could come back in D2. And maybe D2 should be the overall 'floor'. Once you get to D1 status, you can never drop below D2.