Wednesday, August 3, 2011

GFOA Event #6 field layout

Aight, this is the last one of these I'm doing for a while. And trust me, I wouldn't have chosen to do this without a special request. It was a Facebook first--and maybe last. This particular layout is quite narrow, around 25 feet narrower than a standard xball layout. I don't know if that's normal for the GFOA or not but since they allow 15 bps the reduced distances will help players get wide. If this narrow layout is not the norm expect players to wide with greater consistency than usual.

The OTB Home lanes are much better on the snake side and it will take a quick post and a tight lane to shoot peeps off the break on the D-side. The lanes are there but they are narrow. And on both sides of the field the spacing between the corners and the initial wire props should force shooters to pick the prop they are trying to deny. Additionally the lanes from Home provide some opportunities to deny movement upfield and in the case of the snake to also to contest shooting positions so expect teams to keep a player Home for extended periods of points. On the other hand this layout presents real opportunities to teams and players that are willing to be bolder and more aggressive. Instead of waiting for the play to come to you this field let's you take the play to your opponent with that Home player if you're willing to push the envelope a bit. Either TCK is a viable early option as they can play both ways. The snake side TCK competes with the whole wire and feeds the corner, snake 1 & the Can. And the Can is a reasonably safe play until your opponent reaches the D-side 50 which means the Can can be played well into the mid-game and used to make the bump into snake 2 or even up into the Pins or X-side. The larger point is in strong side play (3 or more players) a Home gun is a neutral play but the lanes available are mostly defensive. Swinging out the Home player puts a extra gun into your offense.

This layout will play very much like a slightly small traditional xball field and that's a good thing as the narrow field also brings the center into play more easily. Looking at the lane options (blue & green) from snake 2 & D2 you can see they are well balanced in terms of targets of opportunity. The difference is D2 will be easier to reach on a regular basis. That will prove true for most D-side props. Snake side will be contested more hotly prop by prop and playing from an MD is much easier than a MR. (The angle on the MR will expose a careless shooter to angles the player can't see so be careful.) The blue squares not only indicate options for a Home player to maneuver but also indicate the primary gap control positions on the field. (Bunkers you can play that allow you to contest an opponents movement along one wire or the other.) The snake TCK will be difficult but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be played. Snake corner will also be important as it's a fortress on the back line and can contest movement up the snake on the wire side. (The only weakness of this layout is the MTs in the four corners given the likelihood of having to close points by digging those ticks out after they've crossed up. Practice doing it.)

Lastly there are opportunities to attack using the D-side inside Pins--the ones closest to the X (A). Walk them carefully and you'll see who is blocked and the quick kill shots available.

Should be a fun field to play--enjoy.

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