Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Post PSP Dallas Report 1

I had--foolishly as it turns out--intended to post daily, if only an update or snippet from the event but it turns out the PSP was serious about being there to work. Who knew? Between travel adventures, the weather and the job there weren't sufficient hours in the day left for sleeping much less posting. (I tried napping while driving but I'm a lousy multi-tasker.)
But first things first; shout out to Infamous for jumping with both feet on the opportunities presented in Dallas and bringing a sufficiently versatile game to get the job done. The same kudos go to runner-up Vicious for making this field work for them. I didn't see it coming. Congrats to the whole crew including staff and of course coaching. Nicely done. No real surprises in the Challengers bracket except perhaps for VCK's outstanding first pro effort. The kids not only looked good they looked like they belong.
In a bursting at the seams D1 division there were a lot of new names and faces that included a sizable number of last year's better D2 teams plus a few teams that made the jump over from the defunct NPPL. It was a strong showing for the PSP regulars and perhaps a more difficult than expected transition for some of the others. The best thing about the first event of the season is that winners get to try to do it again and everybody else knows they've got a few more chances to grab the gold ring for themselves.
But I almost didn't make it to Dallas. Oh, I know, everybody has a travel nightmare story (or three) but I think I've got y'all beat. My flight(s) to Dallas went first to Charlotte. During the last half hour of the Charlotte flight I get a kidney stone attack. (On a scale of 1-10 a bad attack is a 15.) I got off the plane and walked across two concourses and the pain subsided. (Sometimes walking is helpful.) I've got my fingers crossed but no, 10 minutes before the next flight the pain is back and by the time I get on the plane I'm sweating profusely and apparently extremely pale. Long story slightly shorter the air crew called the paramedics and they pulled me off the flight for a battery of tests. (Like I don't know what's happening. Hello. Been here done this before.) Ten minutes after the plane had departed the attack subsides again except now US Air won't let me fly until Thursday earliest. I end up at my Dad's in Raleigh overnight and arrange to drive a rental car Thursday to Charlotte for my next attempt to get to Dallas. At the rental car office--I schedule my pick-up an hour earlier than I thought I needed just to be safe and it's a good thing I did. The guys working the rental car counter are slow and slower, like molasses in winter. I get slower and first my reservation has disappeared and then the computer denies every credit card in my wallet (I pre-paid.) After about 50 minutes of this merry-go-round from hell I call my bank. Everything's fine with the cards according to my bank so some "manager" shows up, resets their computer terminal and gee whiz my cards are suddenly good to go. 'Slower' however is still slower so it takes awhile even without the hiccups. I drive across North Carolina doing 90 and only make my flight because my ticket included a TSA pre-check clearance. Finally I'm in Dallas and I only had to wait two and half hours to get picked up. There you go. See if you can top that. Free VFTD T-shirt for a better story. Real story, that is.
Tomorrow VFTD will go behind the scenes to give you a peek at all the moving parts that help make such a venture function. Trust me, it's kinda fascinating, like examining the mind of a serial killer. Not a place you want to hang around but still compelling.
End of the week we'll review the field layout and VFTD will identify the features of the layout that promoted the fast play and why.
Last but most certainly not least I'd like to thank all the folks I met this past weekend who helped me or had a friendly word like Leon and the Champions field refs, O-Town and his boys over at Challengers, Dawn and Tracy and Traci working divisional score-keeping as well as the guys in the crew, in particular Eric. There are plenty of others but I've recently been afflicted with a disease I thought only my Dad had--the inability to remember names. My thanks to one and all.


Dave Painter said...

The VCK boys showed up to play - congrats to them on a great showing.

Anonymous said...

Infamous and vicious looked great, so did 187 and art chaos.. damage and heat looked terrible.

Missy Q said...

Were there things that you learned to appreciate and respect about the league organisation froom working alongside them, wheras from a playing/coach perpective you didn't?

If so, what?

Nick Brockdorff said...

Travel story:

MS Fuengirola

1. Springflood and storm destroys the site and forces the MS to cancel the event completely by mid Saturday (we got to play 1 match all event)

2. Volcano eruption in Iceland grounds all flights between Spain and northern Europe

3. Credit card dies Sunday, so the next 2 days stuck in Spain is spent with no cash

4. Only way to get home, is a 24 hour bus ride, in a bus full to maximum capacity, in seats that forces you to sit upright and with your knees jammed hard up against the seat in front

5. Gets fired by angry boss who only allowed me time off, if I guaranteed I'd be at the very important sales pitch monday morning, with the primary client of our company

Now, where is my damn t-shirt? :P

Baca Loco said...

Sure in the sense that while I would have acknowledged in the past it was a lot of work I didn't give it much thought.
When you see how much really goes into it it's another thing altogether. that said I'm not sure it's terribly relevant from a player's perspective.

EC Lil Baller said...

Could you please speak to the penalty Vicious incurred in the finals for "splitting a bunker"?

I observed (via the great webcast) many snake players shooting out their counterparts at the 50 snake seemingly through the lower gap between cakes. Some appeared to place their barrels closer to the gap to the point where I wondered if they were actually sticking them below or between the cakes.

What do the rules say about shooting between/through side-by-side bunkers?

Baca Loco said...

Excellent story and I recall the chaos surrounding that event--from afar fortunately. The only downside is that much of that happened to everyone plus tens of thousands of other travelers losing a little something in the process.

Good call as I made a note of that situation as well. Altering the field is a long standing rule that dates back to the beginning of paintball, more or less. In this instance it wasn't clear to me at the time exactly what happened other than the on field refs called it an "altering" situation. The rules that address the issue are 6.2.10. which speaks directly to altering the field but I have always interpreted that to be a more substantive alteration than simply making a space with your gun barrel or something similar given that the penalty associated with altering is a minor suspension. The other rule of potential relevance is which deals with player moving between touching/connected bunkers which results in a simple player elimination.
In this case it may be neither rule addressed directly what happened. I don't know. But I can tell you I'm writing a Ref's Guide to the Rules for this very reason. So that eventually all PSP refs will understand and enforce the rules the same way as consistently as possible.

Nick Brockdorff said...

Poor argument Baca, because you then owe tens of thousands of t-shirts :D

On the rules thing.... in principle, if you are not allowed to lean into a bunker so that it moves a bit and you get your shot.... then a similar rule should cover players leaning into singular bunkers to create an angle for a long range shot or for protection.

It is an inconsistency in the rules in my view.... because both instances are equally effective to impact the game.

I honestly don't know what the solution should be in this instance.... both absolutes seem terrible :)

Except ofcourse field designers using bunkers like they are intended, instead of being overly creative.... that would take care of the problem and allo players to use Supair like it is intended :)