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Best Time of the Year

In addition to shorter days and cooler weather, September begins what I consider to be frisbee season. There’s fall league and the club tournaments and then, after a short hiatus, New Year Fest and spring league in the new year. Plus, the first league I played in was a fall league. I might have played a couple of games previous to it, but I consider August of 2001 to be the beginning of my involvement with ultimate.

The last couple of days have been a blur of emails and Excel spreadsheets. Rosters and registrations. Requests and replies. Sunday and Monday were the usual wash of updates to the rosters and captains wondering what’s going on. We managed to get barely enough women to have a 16-team league, so we had to notify the extra men that we’d put on the wait list. Draft was done differently, with the captains "picking" themselves in the appropriate rounds which meant the captains (myself included) had a little more work to do. We all had to estimate where our fellow captains would be picked.

Tuesday was draft so Eric and I spent the afternoon contemplating our picking options. Draft… The different way of doing draft wasn’t a problem. It probably won’t improve the strong team/weak team thing, but only a season of play will prove that out. That we ended up with lots of male and female baggage did make the last couple rounds pretty chaotic. Plus, after three hours in one room, 32 people get antsy, bored and chatty. That always, always wears me down.

After a brief stop at the grocery store, Eric and I got home at 12:30am. I quickly formatted team lists and got to bed at around 2am. And then got up at 5:30am to go play disc. (And while catching one-handed is NOT a good habit, three hours of sleep didn’t help my ability to do so.) The rest of Wednesday was spent fixing women’s registration options, formatting the shirt and team email lists, setting up the schedule and team webpage. Happily, I was able to use last season’s schedule with only some small modifications. Today will be more of the same, but less. While I am not happy that we started registration a bit late and ran it for only about three weeks, it is nice to have some time before the first game to get everything squared away.

Regarding the team Eric and I picked: I like it. We have tall and speedy. We have handlers. We have old vets and new people. I finally get to play on a team with Al; I again get to play on a team  with Dave and Reif. We have the potential to be a very strong team. Should be fun.

Author:

Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

4 thoughts on “Best Time of the Year

  1. League

    it was harder than I thought to not be a part of this. It was harder still when I saw the teams posted. I’ll be watching during League, and will probably be Fantasy Commish at Finals. I expect to see your team there.

  2. Three Things

    Hey K,

    1. Thanks, per usual, for taking on the pain of administration. I personally thought the draft was an effing train wreck because of the baggage and the Tues/Thursday designations; don’t need to get into it here, but there seem to be obvious ways to ease the process. But more than anything, having one person in charge – and not, say, constantly leaving the room – and writing things down in front of everyone on a big white board or something is an easy step we could take to make ours and esp. your life easier. I don’t get why we insist on the 32 people shouting method; it’s insane in the digital age.

    2. I have to contest a little something about your post – “only a season of play will prove that out.” First, the idea is to achieve as fair of a selection process as possible with an aim at parity, but you can’t use resultant parity to judge whether the process was fair; the two concepts are not necessarily 1:1 correlated. The draft system cannot stop draft incompetence, and it can’t stop the miscellaneous lucky stuff that happens with new players. But it can remove competitive advantages going in – e.g., the same captains picking players before everyone in every single round. Sure, hopefully this correlates, but it’s a logical fallacy to say that “if there is parity, then the draft was fair” and then if there isn’t parity, to say that meant the draft wasn’t fair. Or whatever; you’re science-oriented, you get the n=1 proves nothing idea.

    3. I think your team is even better than you’re letting on. Cole slipping to you guys was ridiculous, if you ask me. More power to you – obviously you have no reason not to take him in that position – but if we were really trying to maintain competitive balance, the pick before would have been disallowed. As it stands, with the good job drafting you did, I’d say anything less than something in the semis-champs finish range for y’all would be an upset.

    Good luck this season – hope the joints stay nice and slippery!
    < nate

    1. Re: Three Things

      1. I was saved from the whole white board thing… I do feel like I shouted more during this draft.

      2. Fair enough. That was an ill-thought-out statement on my part. (Honestly, I don’t think it’s going to make much difference over all.) But it does make me interested in what should be the method of deciding whether this draft was fair (if there is a method). All the captainy sorts are going to be looking at this league with an eye toward whether the experiment worked or not by judging it by whatever means they come up with–win/loss & point differentials being easy quantitative pickings.

      3. Considering Dixon’s initial statements, I was pretty surprised we got Cole. Considering Dixon’s initial statements and the fact that we already had Cole, I’m surprised we got Skyler (even if he is missing finals). Still, I’m a pessimist. I’ve had good teams go wrong in the past.

      Thanks, Nate. Good luck to you as well. See you in playoffs!

      1. Re: Three Things

        2. Yeah, unfortunately people have trouble differentiating “fair chance” from “equal outcomes.” There are a million sports examples – people will respond to accusations that the Yankees have a competitive advantage (with their relatively large payroll) by saying, “well, look at the past few years; lots of teams with lesser payrolls have won.” But that misses it entirely; t’s an advantage, not a guarantee. Really this is a principle thing; I’m more interested in the philosophical concept of fairness, and while I would hope it would lead to more parity over the long haul, it’s silly to think that in any particular season it would guarantee parity. Unfortunately, I think you’re exactly right; people are going to make erroneous judgments based on this season’s outcomes.

        3. Well, it would have helped it Dixon had actually stayed in the room and paid attention. As far as I could tell, he wasn’t even writing the teams down as they formed, so how on earth could he have decided that team X or Y had too much / too little of an advantage? Again, this speaks to 2; the execution of the system shouldn’t be lumped with the system. Honestly, I think that we should have overturned that pick immediately, and people should not have let Haydon drop as low as she did (or made sure she ended up on a team that needed her, not Dhein’s squad). But what do I know…

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