Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Banning of HD 2

VFTD has received further communications from Ulrich S. of the MS that clarifies the league's view and offers a justification for their actions after the fact. He reiterated, "Whatever a participant might think, what another participant (player, official, media, vendor, spectator) has said or has not said, will never justify such a deliberate attack. The MS Board will take measures, such malicious assaults will not be repeated by the same persons again."  VFTD certainly doesn't have any issues with that and I can't imagine that anybody else does either, but--I continue to question the way it was done. Mr. Stahr continues to insist that there is a distinction between physical contact and physical assault in justifying the banning. If we were simply going by word definitions he would be correct. However, the MS's guide is their rule book, like it or not, and their written definition of 'physical contact' covers this incident.
I could nitpick the rules issues to death but I am confident that it has reasonably been established that the Board's actions were outside the written leagues rules--and that most paintballers aren't all that concerned about it. So why the immediate action? After all, by rule HD was both ejected from Bitburg and suspended for London. That left plenty of time to take a measured by rule approach if the MS decided further actions were necessary. Or for the appropriate commission of the EPBF to meet and respond.
The precipitating events continue to be disputed. Mr. Stahr insists the referee in question did not lie or misrepresent his or HD's action in pulling HD's card. There is also some question as to just when Mr. Stahr appeared on site. (I am trying to confirm these details simply to establish an accurate record.) While those events do not alter or excuse HD's actions they do potentially reflect on the league's willingness to acknowledge some responsibility and more importantly, act to make productive change.

International tournament paintball as exemplified by the MS and the EPBF are attempting to establish recognized institutions aimed at legitimizing paintball as sport to the international sports community. The foundation of this effort is the rules; rules that define the game played and rules that define the institutions themselves. In VFTD's view this is why the league's failure to act within their established rules matters. Hopefully one upshot of this incident is a renewed dedication by the league to actually be what they claim to aspire to.

On the unrelated issue of the incident involving my players I am informed that at least one ref has been identified and the MS is "interrogating" him. Time will tell what if anything comes of this. At a minimum the known ref was plainly intoxicated and that alone is a violation of the standards of conduct taught, according to Mr. Stahr, "in each Euroref Basic Ref Training Course."  It remains unclear whether any penalties enforce the standards of conduct. And while Mr. Stahr says the standards of conduct aren't secret they also aren't published anywhere or commonly known to the average participant. Perhaps now would be a good time to remedy that.


Grant Harrison said...

Totally agree that violence shouldn't be condoned but you would think that every sports rule book would contain guidelines on how to deal with such cases. Most credible sports would conduct some sort of tribunal for this matter, even with avenues for appeal, so both parties could be heard and the matter dealt with appropriately.

Ok this case involved a ref which is a little more serious but what would happen if 2 players were involved in a similar incident? I would only hope, as a player that plays in tournaments ruled by the Millennium rule book, that the matter would be dealt with in a more transparent and 'by-the-book' manner.

Dan said...

Most rulebooks don't account for assault on an official.
Had this been the NFL or something, its likely they would have said" this is unprecedented and wee must discuss how to deal with the individual". I couldd see the NFL banning a player for attacking a referee for multiple seasons. especially if he was one of those "repeat offender" types, a Harrison or Pacman Jones. H should certainly be able to appeal sooner than 5 years. you need time to calm down, time to reflect. then make an unemotional, educated decision.

Baca Loco said...

There are provisions in the NFL rule book under player conduct that cover most plyer/official contact concerns. At a minimum it's unsportsmanlike conduct and 15 yards for touching. Beyond that is game suspension and/or notification to the Commissioner's Office.
While all the penalties aren't enumerated the sequence and authority for decision-making is very clear.

Dan said...

Fair enough, i dont know the nfl book that in depth. but would it have been so bad for th MS to say that they were in un-prepared? To just say " we don't have plans for assault" ... How did the NHL handlle brashear back in00?

Anonymous said...

If the only "rule book" is published last in 2006, then it isn't surprising that the players are not phased by lack of application of the rulebook. They either already know that there isn't a functional rulebook to begin with, or just don't care. If they did, they wouldn't have paid the entry fee.

Anonymous said...

If Ulrich says he was not there when the punches were thrown or for at least 5-10 mins before they were thrown, he is lying. I'll stand up in court and say so. If he is stating the ref did not lie about how HD treated him whilst on the field of play then he is also lying and I will stand up in court and say so.

The Millennium reffing seems to be based on 'penalising' infractions rather than 'preventing' them. The HD case has been handled in the same way.

It's pathetic.

Anonymous said...

MS really need to address the whole issue of having no current rule book. The published document dated 2006 is full of anachronistic references to the 7-man format, the accompanying addenda do not cover all the 'working' amendments that have been made. Different rules on on equipment and clothing are applied on different fields (e.g. in Bitburg many CPL & SPL players sported numbers on their hoppers whilst on the divisional fields the "me too" players were advised to remove them as they contravened the more than two stickers of a maximum 100mm x 50mm rule). Even the preamble to the rule book contains anachronisms.

Unfortunately, there is no player, or team owner representation to coerce the board to publish a full, up to date, definitive document.

Anonymous said...

Would the MS be willing to work with the teams to update the rule book? Would they be open to set up a working group with a mixture of MS staff, refs, and team reps (and maybe industry reps) that can modernize the rule book to the current game? Would there be teams willing to push for this?

Baca Loco said...

4:33 Anon
They know and sorta care but most of the Euros, kids or otherwise, tend to be pretty passive, at least by American standards and simply accept what they're told whether they like it much or not.

7:04 Anon
Mr. Stahr says he was present. It is just unclear to me at this time from another eyewitness account just when Mr. Stahr arrived on scene. I'm just waiting to reconcile the various recollections.

2:25 Anon
The MS has been claiming for years to be updating the rule book. It's practically a standing joke.

If there haven't been teams willing to push before now it hardly seems likely anything will change much.

Missy Q said...

$20 says he's back on the field next season.
Any takers?

Anonymous said...

Putting together a working group of teams is a sure-fire way to never get a rulebook done, or get a crappy product even if it gets "done" (see: NPPL)