Sunday, February 14, 2010

On the PSP Pro field

While we continue to wait to hear the list of final changes for the new season there is one item that needs to be considered (or reconsidered) and it concerns the implementation of the new 90 second rule. (And, no, I'm not gonna lobby to not do it 'cus that's a battle I'm not gonna win--not right now anyway.) But the issue does relate to the 90 second rule. The routine on the pro field has been to start the two minute countdown on the ref's signal of a flag hang. But this happens prior to the official awarding of the point as the refs check the player after signaling the hang. The result is our 2 minute clock has always started running before live players can leave the field. The intent, I assume, was to save game time and not burn clock while the refs are checking the player(s). Problematically, the refs take however long they take and with the break time now reduced the commish and/or the league needs to decide how they're going to handle this before the first teams step on the field.
The sensible answer is to stop the game clock on the hang signal but not start the 90 second clock until the point is actually awarded or denied. The problem this presents the league is that the time they thought they were saving per match will be reduced. In fact, the only way it won't be reduced is if game clock runs off while the refs decide every clean hang or the 90 second clock starts as before--with live players on the field. Either way it takes away from the game for the teams and I can easily foresee teams having to burn their timeouts because of it. In the past it passed unobjected to because 2 minutes was a large enough buffer that it seldom proved to be a critical inconsistency but in this effort to play more matches there isn't ten, fifteen or twenty seconds to spare anymore.
So, what you gonna do PSP?


papa said...

I just hope they do something. I heard sloth is a sin and makes your league look bad.

anonachris said...

Are you posing somewhat of a false dichotmy? Is the PSP trying to maximize the available playing time (within the overall schedule, less days, etc.) by reducing the breaks in between points?

In other words, what is your main concern?

The "hurry up offense" style the 90 seconds requires? Or the potential redution in game time?

I think you're worried about the reduction in game time... but isn't that a given?

If they need to compress the schedule to make it work what would you suggest?

Possibilities as I see it...

Reduce teams
Reduce number of games the teams play
Fiddle with the game timing

I'd say option 1 is the easiest. Option 2 will really piss people off (will it?) Option 3 would be hard to make some meaningful changes without pissing people off, but at the same time great efficiencies can be gained if you reduce the "running time" of an operation that gets repeated over and over and over (like breaks between points).

I'd vote for a combo of all of the above, and the economy is probably taking care of option 1 on its own.

steve davidson said...

I think it's relatively simple to fix - but you need more staff ($). Permanent flag referee.

Following ref and flag referee have to signal "clean" on the carrier, then the clock stops, the 90 second clock starts, everyone scrambles around and resets.

Only if the opposing team challenges it does the 90 second clock not start immediately.

Failed challenges (flag hanger was clean) receive some kind of penalty. Successful challenges have the violating team losing the point, getting assessed for playing on and/or something additional.

Not enough refs on the field as it is, so I doubt the above would be adopted, but there are a lot of other things that are solvable with the PROPER staffing (trained staff that is) which have never been addressed over the years because of the additional expense.

Go watch an NFL game and start counting officials, on AND off the field. You won't be stopping at 6 or 8...

Baca Loco said...

Your first question: no. Your second question: yes.
The 90 secdond clock replaces the two minute clock for "down" time between points; the turnaround time to get the next line ready to play. It has nothing to do with actually game time itself.

The gray area is that in the past the refs have finished making scoring assessments after the 2 minute time clock started--the soon to be 90 second clock--and until the point is actually awarded live players need to stay on the field in case there's a problem.

My point is there has always been unaccounted for time in the play of the game that didn't cause a problem (most of the time) with a 2 minute turnaround that is very likely to be a real problem with the reduced turnaround time.

Option 1 is assumed but not immediately relevant. The issue with Phoenix is --will all the teams that start the season finish it?
Option 2 is already happening --pro & SP down to 3 prelim games with the current number of registered teams. And yes, it sucks.
Option 3 is what they thought they were doing with the 90 second turnaround time. My point is they "forgot" about the unnaccounted for time that's been art of the process all along. And yes, it will almost certainly screw us over--again--no matter what is done about it because they won't opt for my favored solution. [prediction]

I really think this is simply a clock management issue and only poses a potential problem now because of the priority to save time and increase match numbers per day.

And your solution doesn't address one of my concerns--which is the league will end up burning game time while the refs poke around the player(s). Even just 10 seconds extra per hang will burn, by the end of a typical match, more than enough clock to score another point or two.

anonachris said...

More refs as a solution to problems which are potentially being created due to cost cutting measures?

Well, we should just give everyone a pony too!

Baca, I totally agree that the game takes a tiny hit here, but you can almost always use the "time to score another point" bit. But you're right the league should clarify in the rules how the field clearing will take place. Players need to know what they're supposed to do once a hang occurs.