View Full Version : Write up about UOA's SEC tournament
10-14-2010, 12:48 PM
An interesting read regarding a player's perspective on playing under UOA observer roles at the UOA SEC tournament:
10-14-2010, 04:27 PM
Thanks for passing this link along. From the article, I could not tell what the author's experiences with the standard UPA/USAU Observer roles has been as he only stated his lack of experience with experimental roles: "We had never played under any kind of experimental rules or observer roles." The reason I ask is that many of his observations from the tournament are benefits of observing in general--not necessarily the specific UOA Observer roles.
From the very first observed game I ever played in back in the early 2000's, I instantly appreciated how Observers' presence could enhance Spirit of the Game by reducing unnecessarily tension between opponents who may disagree about a call. The Movin' on Up author noted a similar benefit: "It’s interesting how spirit improves during observed games. A lot of people think that an increased observer role is positioned opposite of a better Spirit of the Game (SotG). In fact, when implemented correctly, they go hand in hand. There were a number of questionable up/down calls and foul/contests that could have detracted from the enjoyability of the game during a regular tournament that observers settled quickly and quietly."
Having recourse for resolving a disagreement through Observers is quite different from abdicating personal responsibility for making calls. The difference between active calls and instant referral calls (which is a major difference between some USAU and UOA Observer roles) is precisely the amount of personal responsibility for calls that remains in the players' hands. When USAU summarized the feedback (http://www.usaultimate.org/news/2011-college-rules-updates/) it received from players testing the experimental observer roles of active up/down and travel calls in 2010, it noted that "players also clearly indicated that for active calls, personal responsibility was significantly reduced. With the immediate referral system for travel calls, players generally felt like personal responsibility was not positively or negatively impacted."
In my mind, Spirit of the Game includes both respect and integrity. Reducing animosity over calls allows mutual respect to flourish on the field. Ensuring that players are responsible for making calls for which they have the best perspective fosters a high standard for personal integrity. I think that a well-implemented Observer program can accomplish both those goals.
Getting more people who have experienced both USAU and UOA observing to continue weighing in would be really helpful.
10-14-2010, 09:48 PM
I think the author has played under standard observer roles. He's played in the college series a few times and has returned to grad school and still has a year left of eligibility.
I agree with what you've said regarding IRS vs active. While I don't speak for Mike, in my work with him, he's been pretty consistent that objective calls should be active (stall, travel, lines, offsides, etc) while the subjective pick and foul type calls would remain player controlled with some sort of IRS system.
Regarding SOTG, I am still amazed by how many people think observers are anti SOTG. even look at the facebook entry on the ultimate group for Observers, Refs, or none.... many people responded "none, i'm for SOTG" or something along those lines. Unfortunately, people getting much exposure to observed games is still relatively small. Hopefully we can continue to change that and gather more feedback. I do think USAU on experimentation in this area. And, while I completely understand the "any changes agreed upon and in place 6 months before the college series starts", I do think that might be problematic as that might severely limit experimentation. In the fall, the emphasis is on the club season, so the desire to experiment there may be small (and USAU's attention is there), and then once spring rolls around, 6 months is over. Plus, the regular season starts, and there may be a lack of desire to experiment during the regular season since bids are on the line during that time. We may end up watching time go by without much chance for any change that may (or may not) be wanted.
10-15-2010, 07:30 AM
The author played at South Carolina, although I'm not sure how much he played under normal observer roles as you are assuming. I played against him for a year or two in college and during that time I never played with observers. There wasn't much if any opportunity for it down there really. Also consider SC isn't very good they don't even make Regionals regularly. I would say read into his statement as written, he never played with observers. If he played with observers in any capactiy it would have been at Tally and that would have included experimental rules.
10-15-2010, 09:29 PM
I do think USAU on experimentation in this area. And, while I completely understand the "any changes agreed upon and in place 6 months before the college series starts", I do think that might be problematic as that might severely limit experimentation. In the fall, the emphasis is on the club season, so the desire to experiment there may be small (and USAU's attention is there), and then once spring rolls around, 6 months is over. Plus, the regular season starts, and there may be a lack of desire to experiment during the regular season since bids are on the line during that time. We may end up watching time go by without much chance for any change that may (or may not) be wanted.
I'm good with experimentation at any time. But the Series should not be the experiment. The Series should be where teams play under a predictable set of rules and officiating policies, in an attempt to advance to Regionals/Nationals. I don't see any problem with experimenting other times. Were players complaining about experimental observing at Stanford and Centex? QCTU? I think it's fine.
I also agree with Gwen Ambler's comments above regarding comparisons against unobserved Ultimate. The benefits of having observers are well-known (perhaps not universally). The more interesting discussion, which some discussers seem to actively avoid, is how different aspects of experimentation with observers impact the game and what system is preferred (and why).
10-16-2010, 06:39 AM
I'm good with experimentation at any time. But the Series should not be the experiment. The Series should be where teams play under a predictable set of rules and officiating policies, in an attempt to advance to Regionals/Nationals. I don't see any problem with experimenting other times. Were players complaining about experimental observing at Stanford and Centex? QCTU? I think it's fine.I agree with you. I just wonder with the "regular season that counts" and the 6 month rule pushing us into club season, I wonder if we aren't limiting where experimentation will happen. Two seasons ago, USAU had a number of experimental tournaments. Seems like last year there were fewer. I think a larger number of experimental tournaments in the USAU plan would have been a better step in the right direction.
10-16-2010, 03:32 PM
I'd really love to see USAU develop (or partner with existing) tournaments to have standing experimental tournaments (meaning each year we know what tournaments will be experimental). These would be best when the results of the events don't have a meaningful impact on any sort of final standing. The USAU could assist with or fully fund Observer travel/pay and handle the feedback gathering. The tournament would simply need to run as normal with the USAU determining the rule set the tournament is played under. Ideally it would be top level teams who have experienced observing under the most current rule set so that they have a good point of comparison to what the current standard is.
Tournaments that would fit this criteria (and that have in the past been open to experimentation) include Solstice in the club division and CCC in the college division.
I'd love to see experimentation with not only observer roles (I'd love to see more feedback on active travel and stall calls as those are two active calls that I'm very much inclined to support) but also with field size (15 yard endzones and 90 yard fields?), overtime rules (at 15-15 teams flip - one team chooses the spot where possession will start (no pull) and the other pull chooses whether they will start on O or D), and other aspects of the game (substitutions on timeouts?).
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