Showing posts with label ROF. movement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ROF. movement. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Inside the Merger Talk & Rumorology

Actually not so much really. At least not enough to merit that post title but it got your heart racing, didn't it? (Most of you excited, fewer of you horrified.) [I'd gladly apologize for leading you on except of course I'm not sorry 'cus I think it's kinda funny. In an admittedly cruel sorta way.] Rumor has it stuff like revisiting ROF and notions like limited paint have been part of the discussions. And I don't mind saying I find it a little disconcerting. Mostly because too many of the people at the table have no business being there unless you count enormous egos, entrenched opinions and self-interested motives as appropriate first principles. Did I sugarcoat that too much? Do I need to be more forthright? Was that really necessary? Naw, but I enjoyed it--and frankly, it's the truth. Hey, I always say once you start digging a hole, dig it deep!

As you might have guessed the real subject is paint usage. And as it happens I have some numbers available. But first I want to offer for the record, again, that there is no data that supports changing the ROF as a paint saving measure. (We've had ROF changes based on the notion that it will trickle down to local recreational fields and/or that it will lower the threshold to tourney entry. How's that worked out? We've had the PSP change their ROF three times and if there's any data to demonstrate those changes made any quantifiable difference in paint usage I haven't heard about it.) Now of course if the change is substantial enough, 12 bps to Billy Ball, yes, there will be lower paint consumption as a result. But with that significant a change you're also playing a different game too.
Uncertain? Other paint usage factors include pack size, pod size, (total paint carried) bunker placement & game time. Without taking the other factors into account how can anyone categorically say--and possibly change the game again--on the basis the change will somehow save paint. Will it really? If so, how much? And what consideration is being given to potential peripheral consequences? If you really want to save paint leave the ROF alone and open up the OTB shooting lanes. If laners OTB increase their kill percentages you are guaranteed to save paint. First that eliminated player won't be shooting the paint on his back and when you remove 20% or more of your opponent's players off the bat the game transitions into a close almost immediately. Of course doing that may not make the current player base particularly happy, but hey, it saved paint.
The same applies to limited paint--which is a practice already in place. Everybody plays with limited paint. What is meant is a restricted by rule limit to the maximum paint allowed on the field at any one time. However, depending on just how limited an amount of paint is being discussed it will, without any doubt, alter the nature and play of the game. In the lower divisions this isn't necessarily a bad thing but it would a terrible decision at the pro level as it would dumb down the game considerably. (See the link to an old post below which discusses this in more detail.)
And now for the numbers I promised. For the sake of round numbers let's say the current ROF is 12. Let's also agree that a hopper (loader) holds 180 paintballs. And let's use D1/D2 Race 2 format of a 15 minute game Race 2-5. The game parameters then is fifteen minutes of game time or first team to 5 points with a max number of 9 points played per match. At 12 bps a player could conceivably shoot 10800 paintballs in 15 minutes. A team of 5 could shoot 54000 paintballs. In practice that potential is limited by the number of pods a player carries. If we assume an average of 7 pods--which is probably a little high--plus hopper a 5-man squad is carrying 5100 paintballs; around 2 and one half cases. How often does a team shoot that much paint in a point? (Almost never.) And what are the game conditions that promote heavy paint use?
At 12 bps a player empties his hopper in 15 seconds. At 10 bps the same player empties the same hopper in 18 seconds. Is that 3 seconds a hopper fill going to save paint? (No.) Does it reduce the amount of paint in hand? (No.)
Take a moment and revisit the PSP Galveston event where an attempt was made to both encourage older, fatter, slower players into coming back to tourney play along with a field layout that would promote faster points. (Faster points equal less paint shot per point potentially.) How did that work out? My point isn't that the league screwed up. My point is that making singular changes alone, especially the ones being discussed, are unlikely to achieve the results desired unless the change is so dramatic it changes the game too--and even when an effort was made to "improve" the pace of play the desired results didn't occur because even with the best intentions and best efforts the complexity of the game wasn't properly evaluated or understood.
The last thing a newly unified league needs is a host of changes the results of which can't be predicted with anything like certainty.
For more on ROF and its relationship to how the game is played today read this post from the archives. (I'm feeling more lazy than usual today and didn't feel like repeating myself. Again.)

In other rumorology there's lots of behind-the-scenes talk about the off season musical chairs of pro players already--along with some speculation about the future of a few pro teams as well. It's too soon to start talking names and details because as far as I know nothing (much) has been finalized just yet. But as soon as these rumors start turning into near factoids I'm sure Mr. Curious will have the skinny. (And I don't mean Kevin.) Okay, here's a taste; could be some Ironmen on the move and apparently Yaya is dialling up a serious phone bill calling ballers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Effect of ROF on the play of the game; Part 2

Here's the set-up. 1) Honest question: [a] Will someone please tell me what the skill is when moving under higher rates of fire? [b] Is there some talent or skill players develop to get through tighter lanes of paint? [c] Isn't the whole point of the 'lane' of paint that a player CAN'T get through it?

The answer to [b] first: yes and no. The skill is in learning how to get through a controlled gap (a lane of paint) and then successfully and routinely executing, not in how to magically dodge 13 bps (which isn't what happens most of the time). You might be surprised to learn how many ways there are. [c]: No, the whole point is to try and contain/control movement in order to gain a positional advantage and this concept is a team concept not an individual player concept. [a]: it isn't a single skill, it is a diverse group of abilities; it's vision, it's timing, it's coordinated action, it's often running & shooting, it's body awareness [where you are in relation to where peeps can kill you], it's planning and preparation, it's physical tools including raw speed. There are a couple others but hopefully you get the idea. It's a rather complex interplay of game playing elements that in combinations allows movement through a zone the opposition is trying to control.

Here's the big picture answer–and the reason why ROF is important to the game play. ROF is the principle modifier of Movement. A few years ago, during the transition to semi-auto field rentals from pumps, we were playing some after hours paintball with the soon to be obsolete (then) pumps. We were playing approx. 5 on 5 on the speedball field which was mostly barrels and crossed plywood. Before one game it occurred to us that the pumps weren't capable, on that field, of containing our movement particularly if the other team played as if we all had semi-autos. The predictable result was that we ran them off the field in seconds. The proximity created by the dimensions of the modern xball field require a counterbalancing ROF in order to retain the game's complexity. Even with the old 15 bps and sideline coaches good players are still able to move and run down their opponents. If, for example, you put the pro ROF at 8 bps on a standard field layout the result would, in short order, be a brutal game of train wreck points because the ROF wouldn't be able to control movement versus the skill level of the players. The fact that pro players are capable of moving when confronted by high ROF is one of the defining characteristics of the current game. From my point of view, the ideal ROF for purposes of game play is one or two notches below being able to control the movement of the best teams. (And incidentally the reason why graduated ROF doesn't bother me at all. It should give developing players an opportunity to exercise the correct skill set with the correct priorities placed on the various demands of the game.)
When movement becomes too easy it loses value. In the modern format ROF makes movement meaningful. And meaningful movement is what makes all the great moves great.