Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baca's Mailbag: 90 Seconds or Less

Brian writes in and says: I would like to hear your opinion on shortening the time between points for pro matches. I know that a few years back it was 90 seconds. In late 2008 I proposed the idea on Pbnation. [Matches] will be more fun to watch with a quicker turn around. Teams will have more trouble running the same 5 guys making your bench more important (A deep roster should count for something). Could put a premium on player conditioning. Would make pit crew, coaching decisions, time outs and play calling all more important. I really do think that at most the time between points should be 60 seconds. Anyone who has played xball/race2 understand that 2 min is more than enough time for even rookie teams to turn the same 5 guys around and IMO this is something that should change.

So my questions for you:
Why did they change it back to 2 min?
Do you think the time should drop?
What are possible negatives to having 1 min between points (and I really, really don’t want to hear that it’s too hard to do or that you can’t run the same 5 guys with only 1 min between points).

Questions answered first, then my opinion. It changed back because some of the pro teams were claiming it was an unfair advantage to teams with organized pit crews (that were often part of the team.) Keep in mind there are pro teams out there now who hunt for pit help at each event so the level of planning, organization and resources still diverges pretty dramatically. I would personally have no objection to returning to the 90 second time frame at the upper levels of play but I'm not sure I'd mandate it across the board. Unlike Brian I've seen a lot of lower division teams in particular struggle with their clock management but it's an issue for everyone now and then. Perhaps matched up with more but shorter time outs?
The only important negative is that there literally are teams that can't effectively negotiate a 60 second time clock. (So yes, despite risking your displeasure, Brian, I'm saying it's too hard--for now.) It is largely a matter of poor pit organization and/or lack of crew but is also an issue with regards team order and discipline. And what I wouldn't want to do is risk altering the quality of play by unnecessary rule or regulation. At divisional levels this is a non-starter automatically. To my mind they are customers first, competitors second. At the pro level if pro paintball were in fact a legit pro sport, even a modest one, I would be much more inclined to say bring it on. The teams and organizations will learn how to adjust on the fly. I've already designed play calls around a rapid shorthand system similar to calling football plays and there are lots of ways to accelerate the process--if you have the time and resources to properly develop those changes. I think 60 seconds is a reachable goal but that in the present it would be another burden most teams don't have the time or resources to deal with.
I wouldn't put the extra burden on lower level divisional teams. I would take a hard look at progressively integrating some restricted clock measures for the upper level divisional teams who clearly have aspirations of moving up; D2 & D1. I'd reinstitute the 90 second clock tomorrow if I could have 2 extra 30 second timeouts per match. And I'd make the 60 second turnaround the goal to be aimed for in the future.


NTran said...

Pro. 10min halves. 1st half 90 second between points. 2nd half. 2min between points.

Anonymous said...

I would have to change my fill nipple...nearly impossible to fill 5 cp slow fills in 2 minutes let alone 1. From an upper divisional standpoint I would love to have less time between points it would emphasize the conditioning I put myself through.

Anonymous said...

What about switching to Millennium's group play? 30 seconds between points, but two matches happening simultaneously, is more non-stop action for spectators, and teams get 30 seconds plus however long the other match takes.

Brian said...

Thanks for responding, but don’t dodge the other aspect of this topic. Teams have 8-12 players for a reason, but for some reason teams are not using the bench as I believe they should have to. If the time between points is cut down it might force teams to use some of the bench players that otherwise would not get playing time. Isn’t there a saying that you’re only as strong as your weakest link? Well I think it might be nice to actually see who has a deep bench, not who can run the same 5-7 guys every point. So let’s look at it this way. With 10 players on your roster, after the flag is hung, you already have 5 more players ready to step on the field, so the time 2 min clock is really only needed for the people that are turning it around. So for the teams that would like to run the same 5 guys, they should have a hard time doing that IMO. Also I never once thought that this is a good idea for lower divisional paintball at this time, but I still feel that the same problems apply. The teams that are running into problems are either unorganized, running the same 5 guys, or busy throwing pods and yelling at each other for some reason that is counterproductive to winning the next point.
And from the coaching side of things, most of what needs to be adjusted should be figured out before the point is already over correct? Once the break happens and people have started making secondary moves, the play calling aspect of it has gone out the window and it’s the overall game plan you are running that will take over. I could be wrong on this, but usually you adjust your breakout and players based on what you feel the other team will be doing during those first 30 seconds of a point and not what happens near the end of a point. The bad coaches are the ones still trying to figure out what needs to be done while that 2 min clock is ticking, but then again, this is where timeouts should be used.
And I even said please when requesting that you don’t say it is too hard. With even a little practice I’m sure the professional teams (as of right now, I know for a fact all 15 teams that competed in Dallas) will be able to do this if they are willing to use bench players. Suck it up, make this change so we can save 10 or so min a match and start to get on track for full xball matches again. But this will also require the refs can keep the game moving without all the stoppage time to discuss calls.

Baca Loco said...

1256 Anon
As a logistical response to running Race To events it works great. Not so great in practice for spectators unless of course you don't care who is playing or what just happened during the last point or why a penalty was called, etc.

Baca Loco said...

Lower div teams have that many players to ameliorate the cost of competing. NOT in order to be fair and play everyone the same. Fact of life.
It seems what you're really asking for is a requirement that everybody play and you're just using the clock to mandate it. A quicker turnaround is worth talking about, forcing teams to play everyone isn't--at least not IMHO.

Full Xball games are an issue of paint (team reources), not time, at the pro level.

BeSm said...

Response to 'Brian said':

I’m not going to quote all that, but the comments surrounding when play calling ‘goes out the window’ and what “Bad coaches” do is just incorrect. There are a lot of things going on in a Pro pit during a match.
It sounds like your just want Paul to agree with you. I’m pretty sure he is not ‘dodging’ you because he didn’t wholeheartedly endorse your view.
The idea of line shifts is not as popular in the Pro game now as in days past, ie. the 2.0 version of the NXL with 15 man rosters.
The fact is matches are to 7. The 2line ideal gives way to putting the best /hottest players on the field to win the match.
And just so you know, EVERY Pro coach has and does use that 2 min window (at least on occasion)in making on the fly decisions concerning things other than play calling. When things are going smooth, a 90 sec clock is ok. When it’s not, you need those extra 30 secs. As far as timeouts go, you get ONE.

brian said...

Once again, this is not about divisional paintball. I just personally feel that if a team decides that they would like to run the same 5 guys every point, this should have a downside. I also feel like the 2 min time between points both as a player and a spectator is too long. And before you say that the time saved doesn’t matter, just by cutting down to 1 min between points, and splitting the same 2 min timeout as we have now into 2, 1 min timeouts we would save 120 min during the current 12 game schedule each day. This would mean 2 more challenger matches could play on the webcast field. I also didn’t say that teams should go to a 2 line structure again, I simply said that you do have 5 more guys on the bench waiting to get in the game. If someone is unable to turn around and play back to back points, it’s just good to know that you do have the option to put the next guy in. I’ll leave it at that. I am not trying to get Paul on my side on this; I just feel that this is an improvement that pro paintball should implement for both players and spectators alike.

dan. said...

But the commercials aspect during that 2 minutes is also important. I foresee some outside sponsors putting in some airtime to our targeted niche demographics. IF PBA can fill up that 2 minutes with legitimate commercials its going to remain 2 minutes.

IP said...

Plenty of lower division players are already doing 90s or less turn arounds with rosters not large enough for two lines. This has been the standard since the beginning in the National Speedball League. If these people can rise to the challenge, anyone saying pros can't just sounds like BS to me.

Anonymous said...

Why did they change it back to 2 min?
Because the players can not recover from the previous nights drinking and such to play a serious game.

Do you think the time should drop?
I think the time should be increased since they can barely handle the game play as is.

What are possible negatives to having 1 min between points. Positives is the boring webcast will be over sooner. Another positive is the useless webcast talent will stop trying to be funny faster.