Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to World Cup

It seems a couple of teams requested entry to the Pro division at Cup and that permission has been granted. Rumor has one of those teams has already paid their entry but that remains unconfirmed as the team hasn't yet appeared on the list.
It also poses a couple of questions. Who are they? (I'm getting to that.) And how, if at all, will that change the event and potentially impact the season for the regular competitors? (There's other questions too but I posed the ones that interest me. Feel free to pose your own.)
Since the PSP Pro division has operated with 12 teams in the past that part shouldn't be a problem assuming the league simply returns to past practices. That would result in a tighter prelim schedule--more games per day by a couple, if I remember correctly--and a quarterfinal round on Sunday as 6 teams would go through with each division's top seed getting a bye to the semi's. Whatever the league does once the added teams actually pay up the league needs to clarify what will happen for the rest of the division.
The only downside, other than turning WC into a one off for anyone, more or less, who wants to show up instead of the culmination of a competitive series is the way in which Young Master Raehl--henceforth known as YMR--produces the prelim schedules. He has the goofy notion (I'm being kind) that his view of parity supersedes ranking in creating a prelim schedule. What I mean is YMR in essence rewards the new guys and less prepared and/or capable teams by giving them an easier schedule while at the same time giving the best teams a more difficult schedule. At least on paper. And as every sensible competitor knows this is completely bass-ackwards. So one might hope he will be directed to produce an appropriate schedule rather than one to his liking. (This only happens when the divisions have more teams than prelim games. 5 teams, everyone plays everyone in 4 prelim matches. 6 teams and not everyone plays everyone else.)
One of the teams hoping to compete in Cup is from the NPPL perhaps looking to get a leg up if the merger goes through or at least get their players some experience. The other team is from the CPL.
How long can I draw this out before I tell you who they are?
A little longer at least.
The NPPL team is--
Seattle Thunder.
And the CPL team is--
London Nexus.


Anonymous said...

I am going to go out on a limb & say that they are allowing this because they want to rake in as much money as possible due to the unknown fate of the PSP through this merger/buyout discussion. Yes, sorry folks, but the NPPL is the league that has more financial pull in this "merger" deal.

Don Saavedra said...


Baca said...

Thank you, Eric, er, I mean Anon #1. It ain't the size of the wallet, it's the willingness to open it up and there is no buyout option on the table.

raehl said...

One can certainly debate how to best handle a 6-team bracket with 4 games, but the assertion that the top seeds have "harder" schedules than the lower-seeded teams isn't accurate.

1 plays 2, 3, 4 and 5 - total strength: 14
2 plays 1, 3, 4 and 6 - total strength: 14
3 plays 1, 2, 5 and 6 - total strength: 14
4 plays 1, 2, 5 and 6 - total strength: 14
5 plays 1, 3, 4 and 6 - total strength: 14
6 plays 2, 3, 4 and 5 - total strength: 14

Some propose that it should be set up so 1 doesn't play 2, 3 doesn't play 4, and 5 doesn't play 6. In that case:

1 plays 3, 4, 5, 6 - TS: 18
2 plays 3, 4, 5, 6 - TS: 18
3 plays 1, 2, 5, 6 - TS: 14
4 plays 1, 2, 5, 6 - TS: 14
5 plays 1, 2, 3, 4 - TS: 10
6 plays 1, 2, 3, 4 - TS: 10

Doesn't a schedule that's almost twice as easy for some teams than other teams seem LESS fair than a schedule that's the same strength for all teams?

Another advantage to the first way is teams play against the teams that are usually more important for figuring out places and advancement.

If you're the 6th seed, you would assume you're going to get beaten by everyone else. By letting you play the 5th seed instead of the 1st seed, we get a much better idea of whether you should finish the tournament 10th or 7th.

Same at the top - because the 1st and 2nd seeds play each other, we get a much better idea who won the bracket. Knowing who won head-to-head 1 vs 2 is more important than knowing whether the 1st seed team can rack up more margin on the 6th seed team than the 2nd seed team can rack up on the 5th seed team.

All that aside, no matter how you do it, even if you don't play a team, you will have played the same set of opponents as that team. And the top three out of 6 teams will advance to playoffs. If you can't place in the top 50% in prelims, you're not playing well enough to win the tournament.

Besides, would you rather see Tampa Bay play the Russians, or CEP? (Well, maybe you'd rather play CEP, but I'd think fans would rather watch you play the Russians.)

Missy Q said...

I will also be at the Cup, doing some announcing. Are those f-ing VFTD t-shirts ready yet or are you King Lazy Slacker of the infamous 'lazy slackers'?

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize the definition of "financial pull" was "just barely able to pay somebody to answer the phone".

Anonymous said...

Seems like a very Obama-esque way of doing things.

What is the world coming to? The liberal share the wealth ideals are trickling into sports. How do you have competition if everything has to be equal? Better yet, why?

Don Saavedra said...

again... what

Anonymous said...

Before the tournament starts, shouldn't all the teams have an equal (subject to their performance on the field) ability to win?

Are you suggesting a more Republican option?

How about the 12th seeded team plays the 11th seeded team, then the winner plays the 10th seeded team, then the winner of that plays the 9th seeded team, all the way until the 1st seeded team, not having spent any money on paint so far, plays a well-rested single-match to defend their spot against whichever team succeeded at winning the gauntlet?

The tournament would only take 11 matches to decide, and the top teams would get the advantage they deserve!

Don Saavedra said...

I'm running out of whats

Neal said...

lol @ Dan. I have three whats I can use if you run out.

Mark said...

"Besides, would you rather see Tampa Bay play the Russians, or CEP?"
Russians of course, but in the finals or semi-finals at least. Not in the prelims. I wanna see wheat separated from chaff, cream rise to the top. Not a 2010 Shock get whooped 7-0 by the Russians.

Anonymous said...

I think the comment "Besides, would you rather see Tampa Bay play the Russians, or CEP?" literally speaks out why you are so far out there, in a dreamland.

In prelims, best ranked teams face the worst in the bracket, so they don't have to give their A-game before it gets serious. Best in the season rankings should always face the worst in prelims. Thats how its done in all serious sports playoffs.

Also, London Nexus in pro bracket? LOL 0-7, 0-7, 0-7 Good night UK PB!

Baca said...

O/T for Missy
Will have something VFTD for Cup. Should even have a booth--not mine--where you can go to check it out. Been busy--and, yes, I am a lazy slacker.

Baca said...

You are confusing your nice comfortable numbers for anything with any real meaning. The fact you can order your numbers to make a set of 14s is utterly irrelevant. That's not fairness--it's a trick of addition. BFD. Your alternative, despite the offense of not equaling out is vastly superior in the competitive sense that it rewards consistently superior play and challenges the lower teams to prove they deserve a Sunday slot.
Assigning a "value" of 6 to the new teams means nothing. They are being assigned spots alphabetically for goodness sake because they are totally untried and untested.

raehl said...


The alternative is better because it is not fair to some teams?

Baca said...

Again with the parlor tricks pretending to be either a serious comment or a logical one? You're usually better than this but since you don't have a leg to stand on I guess I can understand your sinking this low.

Fairness/=numbers totaling 14 for everybody. And since "fairness" isn't defined (except apparently in your little universe) as a nice matching numbers set your alternative schedule isn't unfair either.

In point of fact nowhere do I make any mention of fairness because that too is irrelevant. The goal here ought to be what is best and most appropriate for the purposes of the competition.
If fairness is your objective you need to come up with a handicapping system. How fair is it to make CEP play the Russians straight up? Maybe spot them a couple of points or limit the Russians paint. A multi-time world champ against a first year pro team--it's patently unfair on its face.
And you know what CEP would do if you offered them a couple of points? To make it fair. My own blog rules preclude me using that sort of language because they are no more interested in your ideas of "fairness" than are any other serious competition teams--of any division.

Don Saavedra said...

What matters is what World Cup is. Is it an end-of-season playoff for the championship? Is it the last in a series of one-off tournaments (where the aggregate points determine a champion)? Because that changes how we might view the prelims, and therefore who should play what and when.

raehl said...

It seems you're talking about "fair" as in, evenly matched in talent and skill. I was talking about fair as in, a competition standard where the team that plays better is most likely to win.

You propose that an alternative is "better" precisely because it makes it harder for some teams to advance than others. That is hardly fair. "Lower-seeded teams should have to earn a Sunday spot" is the same as saying "Higher-seeded teams deserve the Sunday spot." If the goal is to make it easier for higher-seeded teams to make it to Sunday, why don't we just let the top 4 teams in the standings field 6 players instead of 5?

Baca said...

Now that's more like it. First you tell me what I'm saying and then you redefine fairness 'cus the last version wasn't working for you. I must say I do enjoy your squirming.

As I've already stated fairness isn't relevant. And, btw, you're making a lot of assumptions and assertions. If you think your alternative schedule is "harder" on some teams that must mean the schedule you prefer is "easier" for those same teams, n'est pas? See, I can play that turnabout game too. And I can do it without resorting to changing the goal posts every time.

And, of course, saying lower seeded teams should have to earn a Sunday spot is NOT the same thing as saying higher seeded teams deserve a Sunday spot. There isn't even the pretense of any equivalence in the two statements despite the fact you make the bogus claim. What it really means is the lower seeds shouldn't get a less demanding schedule just because they are lower seeds--and consequently require the benefit of your misguided notions of competitive fairness.

If there was a ref he would have invoked the mercy rule by now and stopped you from shredding what few scraps of paintball cred you might have had left. But please, don't let that stop you.

raehl said...
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raehl said...

There's no squirming. I suggest the standard for running tournaments should be striving to have the team that is playing the best that day (or tournament) be the team most likely to win.

You suggest that the team that played better in other tournaments should be more likely to win a tournament than a team that played not as well in previous tournaments (or not at all), regardless of how they are playing this tournament.

You also don't seem to comprehend that if you believe an alternative is better because it gives a bigger advantage to certain teams, you are by definition arguing that it is better because it is less fair; your apparent ignorance of the definitions of the word "fair" not withstanding.

Regardless of alternative, three of six teams advance out of a bracket. If you don't make it, you lost at least half of your games. That's "good enough" that, while still not as good as two brackets of 6 with 5 matches, or three brackets of four with 3 matches, I think most would say it's preferable to the extra expenses of coming a day early for the 5th match, or only playing 3 prelim matches.

Baca said...

The gift that keeps on giving.

You say, "I suggest the standard for running tournaments should be striving to have the team that is playing the best that day (or tournament) be the team most likely to win."

And you propose to accomplish this task by protecting the teams you deem to be inferior so they don't have to compete against the teams you further deem to be the better teams in the prelims. Now that's just choice. But it gets better!

You once again try to put words in my mouth, "You suggest that the team that played better in other tournaments should be more likely to win a tournament than a team that played not as well in previous tournaments (or not at all), regardless of how they are playing this tournament."

What you continue to tell us about your position, when you try to recast mine, is that you believe higher ranked teams are necessarily superior to lower ranked teams and in order for fairness to prevail you, as the schedule maker, need to protect those "lesser" teams. If in fact you actually believed in the best team that event being the likely or eventual winner the schedule would be incidental--after all the cream will rise to the top, right? But that isn't what you are trying to accomplish with your prelim scheduling.

How does the alternative schedule give any team an advantage or place any team at a disadvantage? How?

And to close you shift the goal posts one more time by claiming even your lame "fairness" approach is better than having to play an extra day or have a reduced prelim. Really? That's what you're reduced to? :) I hate to break it to you but that's not an affirmative argument for your position. You do love setting up false choices though, don't you?

Reiner Schafer said...

My neck's getting sore from all this volleying back and forth. :)

Missy Q said...

It's like Don says, if the WC is a culmination of the entire season, and teams are ranked on how they have done during the other events, then Baca's system makes the most sense - but you can't go letting a bunch of other teams play this event as a 'one-off'. If the division is locked then lock it, if it's open then does that mean random teams can join in the other events too?
If it's a stand-alone event, then Chris's system is the better one in my eyes. It is fair from a single-event standpoint, and does not punish the 'novelty teams'. Whether 'novelty teams' should be allowed to enter the final event of the season and potentially skew the results is another matter, but once you have let them in, they need to be able to compete on a level playing field.

Anonymous said...

I say dont let these retards play leave it at the 10 that have been there all year

Anonymous said...

retards? What a moron...

Baca said...

Oh Missy
In no competitive universe is YMR's system better. It is no punishment for the "novelty" teams to have to compete against the more consistent (or better) teams--whereas to intentionally provide an easier path to success for the "novelty" teams is a patently anti-competition practice.
It's not cricket you know.

Anonymous said...

I can see reason behind both of your arguments but letting a team (especially one that hasn't earned their spot at World Cup) advance any further than prelims just through scheduling is just wrong in the sense of fair competition. They should be treated like any other Pro team competing for the Cup. If you honestly believe that the best team will win regardless Raehl, why not randomize the brackets? Let the new comers land where they do and fight their way to the top.

IP said...

I concur and add a "The F?!"

Chris R,
I totally get that you have been called out personally on this but where in the world did you ever think it would be beneficial to your cause to publicly argue a topic on such a subjective basis as "fairness"?
The way you have just represented your position as an "influential" figure in the industry would get others fired if they were in similar situations.
I would have advised you to give up while you are ahead but you aren't because you failed to provide any foundation for your argument. Where in the rules does it say schedules need to be fair? What is the operating assumption(s) of your argument?(eg stand alone event or series culmination?) WHO ELSE, IN ANY OTHER LEGITIMATE PROFESSIONAL SPORT, USES A NON MEASURABLE STANDARD SUCH AS "FAIRNESS" AS A BASIS FOR ANY DECISION?

I apologize for the raised voice. This and other actions/comments by key people(are you listening Lane and Chuck?) this year has reminded me of the rhyme of the three blind mice. How much longer are we going to follow those that have lost their tail because they have only enough sense to put one foot in front of the other?

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

I quite understand and I appreciate your concern for the decorum of the blog but sometimes one must raise one's voice to make a proper point. ;)