Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tournament 12 - Tournament of point

No Borders happened in Ottawa this week. In my mind, it was a tournament of single points. I played one point, I watched GT lose a tough game by one point against Medicine Men, and we lost the tournament by one point. Point taken.

For those of you who missed it, the final between our team the Friars, and Ottawa's team Phoenix was one heck of an Ultimate game. It started off like many finals do, and at 8-3 it looked like we were down and out. Slight adjustments and momentum swings changed the face of the game, and we brought on the competition.

Phoenix asked me if we wanted to time cap the game or play to win by two. In my opinion, for the sake of the fans, we played to 15 hard - simple and exciting conclusion point.

It looked like we had a chance to win the entire thing, but Phoenix pulled out the 15-14 win (to their credit) on a back and forth universe point with two amazing Ds, a hand block, and an unconventional finish. Our team smiled and took the loss as best we could. We threw around the excuses to help soften the blow, and accepted the loss like Friars, finishing the tournament off with a chant.

We've all been there, or will be there someday. Universe point, as we like to call it, is the one single point to win the game. You score it, you win. They score it, you lose. I've been on both ends of the coin in finals, semis, quarters, and pool play.

As a fan, it's the epic ending of our sport, and it makes me believe Ultimate is watchable, but like basketball, it happens all too rarely. In this case, however, the fans got what they paid for.

As a player, these points are tough. They're the times when you have to deal with the pressure, and a loss can cripple a teams psyche. The thing that you have to learn, and it was clear on Sunday, is if we treated the beginning of the game with the same focus and drive as the last points, we could have significantly changed the situation. Focusing is simple when pressure is on, but focusing is hard when you repeat the motions of a sport in non urgent situations (even at the start of a final).

In my mind, I counted three early focus errors that were a major difference in the game. People don't look to the beginning of the game for failure, it's always about the last points. In reality, each point has equal weight, and no error is more or less important than the other. Any time that coin flips, and the Universe lands on your head, try to remind yourselves that a team needs to focus and push consistently throughout the game and a tournament. This will decrease the chance that the same result happens next time. That's my point.



NateB said...

Good post, I particularly like the section where you point out that every point is equal, not just the points at the end.

Since you didn't mention it, I was wondering what you thought about Sward's shove/slam/whatever it was of Peyton. I can't remember at what point exactly it took place during the game, but I seem to remember it coinciding with the start of the Friars' big run. It certainly got the Toronto portion of the crowd riled up. In your opinion, what effect, if any, did it have on the outcome of the game (even though you guys went on to lose)?

luke said...

do i understand this correctly? you jet back and forth between the uk and tha canadia to play? good on you.

and, is your calf still hurt? and you came back just to check it out?

jhaig said...

It was a pretty good final, deffinately exciting with some big plays. I deffinately agree though that people put too much emphasis on points and plays late in the second half. Bad turn-overs early in the game are just as killer as they are late.

Here's a video of the point for those who missed it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9mhEujmlPw

Rich said...

As far as all points being equal, I respectfully disagree. Mistakes (or positive plays) have greater magnitude in game situations that are late and close. Jim covers it here http://parinella.blogspot.com/2007/06/leverage.html .

Its easy, in retrospect, to blame the turnovers that led you to be down 8-3 just as much as those on universe point for your loss, but the truth is that the early mistakes allowed you time to recover, while the last turnover on universe point did not.

Sport Management Steven said...

That was a great final Jeters and I appreciate your team coming up in lieu of GOAT.

I also want to compliment you on this post.

I don't think we're going to convince a lot of people in the short run that every point has equal weight, or that an incident where somebody's wife comes on the field with baby in hand cursing and screaming doesn't have a true effect in gameplay (It doesn't), but in the long run we might make decision makers in ultimate a little bit better.

JuGo said...

Re: Sport Management Steven:

"or that an incident where somebody's wife comes on the field with baby in hand cursing and screaming doesn't have a true effect in gameplay (It doesn't)"

I don't know about it not having an affect on the gameplay. There were rumors of getting the baby mama in question to play for The Friars and diminishing the play time of fringe Friars such as myself...