Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thoughts on the layout of PSP Galveston

As most of you probably know the new PSP rules for 2011 fostered a fair amount of debate. In particular those rules that altered the playing field. It was spectacularly obvious (to some) from the get go the new rules would be a step back from the xball ethos that has, in past seasons, driven the PSP. Many suggested, including VFTD, that the new rules would slow the games down--perhaps enough to make the clock the arbiter of winning and losing more often than the Race 2 result. We will see. It is a distinct possibility given the layout the PSP has released for Galveston. The only mitigating factor is that probably more teams than not won't be able to hit the broadside of a barn off the break--or an opponent for that matter. (And it's highly questionable if the inability to hit anyone OTB will speed up or slow down any given point. That will depend on what a team does with an 'extra' body.)
Instead of the usual review that offers some tips on shooting lanes or breaks down some aspect of how a given field will play this time VFTD will explain in detail the characteristics of this layout that tend to encourage defensive play and slow overall movement. To begin note there are three colors used; orange, yellow & green. Green for example represents those nice cozy spots where one might settle down to cultivate a little garden. (I'm kidding. Sorta.)
Sticking with green that's the real point. You'll be sticking with green. The backline bunkers are the only wire feeds that may be taken OTB with relative security. They both force the player to the ground reducing visibility and making exiting the bunker that much more difficult. The snake side "new brick" has some (marginal) utility in contesting the snake. The d-side cake has less. And as long a player is contained in one or the other it will inhibit further team movement from the inside out or compel a teammate to a longer, riskier move. On the d-wire the other "new brick" might as well be a stop sign as that is the effect it will most often have as the same characteristics apply that affect the other green bunkers.
Moving on to the orange designated bunkers it should be immediately apparent 2 of the same bunkers that are green on the diagram are also orange on the opposite end of the field. That's because the bunkers are as ineffectual as defensive positions as they are as offensive launch points. From the cake it is clear that despite an inside angle the cake cannot contain or inhibit movement along the d-wire or even contest rotations from its mirror, given the distances involved. The "new brick" feeding the snake is slightly more useful in that it may inhibit some movement but will also be under heavier attack from more positions on the field much of the time. The thing to remember is that the lack of options from these bunkers will at the same time encourage the effort to push more players to the wires while also often making it more difficult to do so.
Finally the yellow designated bunkers appear to be the only tips of the hat to the hoped for influx of lumberjacks the PSP wanted to attract with the rule changes. You know, the bigger, slower, older player who played tourney ball when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The yellow bunkers are both MTs and both positioned where they are primarily defensive in nature and any layout that virtually requires backfield bunkers to be played for extended periods of time (or in isolation) are fields that tend to neutralize any (but not all) aggressive play tendencies.
One key to this kind of field is player elevation--and, no, I don't mean levitation--I mean lines of sight and ability to respond quickly. (Bunkers a player can stand up in, or play tall.) Much of this layout wants to bury the player's nose in the ground and that tendency must be resisted. Remember communication is just an extension of what you can see. It is important to play this field as tall as possible and maintain crossfield communication.


Mike said...

Baca love these layout analysis posts so thanks for those.

PPB reported Damage picked up Tyler Harmon and Dave Bains for Galveston. Truth to this?

Baca Loco said...

Hey Mike
Always appreciate the kind word almost as much as the not-so-kind-word.

It was an accurate report and both will be at practice this weekend.
We knew prior to the season Alex Spence wouldn't be able to play, likely for the whole season and that while rehab was progressing nicely on his knee CJ wasn't going to take unnecessary chances. So all along the team has been quietly evaluating our situation and looking into various personnel options. When we learned Jason Edwards would miss the first two events at the minimum dus to his new job Joey began working in earnest. We decided, with the off season moves made by a few of our prime competitors if we could strengthen our roster we should--and we have. Dave and Tyler should be able to step right into our rotations with a minimum of fuss and fit right in.

Mike said...

Thanks for the confirmation of that Baca.
Surprised you managed to pull Bains from the Russians. Would you say it's pretty cutthroat out there or are players just looking to play and give themselves the best shot (in their minds) to win? I'm a little curious since there is tons of flip flopping of teams. Like Arsenal, Bains left Impact for them. JSchwarz left Infamous for them. (7 man).

Just curious as to your opinion.

Baca Loco said...

I couldn't tell you if we pulled Dave from anything (and I wouldn't if I did know) and the same applies to any other player choosing to move around. We pulled the trigger, contrary to our desire to be primarily an all Florida team, because we are also serious about our ability to compete.
That said, and this is just my opinion, I think most players move for the opportunities presented but at the same time nobody is gonna turn down some cheese if it's also available.
And I couldn't begin to guess at any real numbers because I have no idea--though you occasionally hear things. ;)