Policy Proposal – Nationals Scheduling

Cross Post – Captains’ Club

Nationals is two things: the National Tournament (Section and the extra-strength Non-Bracket Matches (Section Rule is purposely written broadly, but for the time being we’ll refer to it as Saturday and Sunday. Currently, it defines that each team gets three unique opponents to play on Saturday.

I propose a less stringent definition of Saturday’s required games, a minimum of two. This will guarantee that each team receives at least three matches over the Nationals Event weekend. 

This is not an explicit drop to two games, we Need to be broader with our written policy. For smaller events (teams number 16 and smaller) we can fit three games in. The point is, requiring 3 matches is too stringent. Adding more teams to Nationals but keeping 3 matches going in will likely require that Friday matches are mandatory. 

In a sixteen team bracket, Sunday’s bracket will result in the two Championship teams playing four games on Sunday, meaning they could play Seven 50 minute games in 45 hours over the event. That’s insane and dangerous. At least four teams will play three matches on Sunday, totaling Six games in 43 hours.

There have been 208 ranked matches played in Season 2017 with a dozen more to go. The average games played per attending team is 16.375 (before the War). The median is 17 games. We don’t need 3 games on Saturday to boost team’s match counts and give a more accurate seeding for Sunday’s bracket. That’s already been done to good effect in the regular season.

For the first time in a Nationals, almost every competitor will have played 6 or more games going into Nationals. NSU (0 games) is the outlier, and would obviously benefit from a third game to help boost the accuracy of their ranking. We could still schedule an extra game exclusively for any competitors that have low game counts, the situation of the Season dictating the needs of what gets played on Saturday. As far as the remaining 23 teams, they have played more than enough games to determine good seeds.

This frees up a great deal of time, which we never really have to begin with. I will give an example for our unprecedented 24 team Nationals. In requiring 3 games, we’d need to schedule 36 matches in 9 heats. Most courts are only going to be able to get four courts. Dropping down to shortened 40 minute games, we might be able to squeeze by in 12 hours. That’s a recipe for disaster.

If we only needed 2 games, we’d only need to schedule 24 matches in 6 heats. We can get by with 9 hours. We have the availability to schedule an extra match for teams that haven’t gotten a lot of matches in during the season. This also saves us in officiating costs.

This extra 3 hours gives us some serious advantages. We have actual time to host the All Star Game, Ladies Match and Alumni games. We can hold a decent Fastest Throw comp, and other amenities for team players. Gladiatorial series? Continuous / last man standing? We can schedule an hour for the entire Executive Board to meet and do work. We have extra time for a Captains’ Meeting where everyone’s not grossly tired and cranky.

Two games is just the minimum. If we have the opportunity to schedule three games, we’re going to do it. The constitution as it stands puts us in too much a bind.

I think this is going to be more fun, more healthy for our organization, more healthy for our collegiate athletes, and more fun.

Author: Zigmister

DePaul Dodgeball #68 & NCDA Director of Officiating

3 thoughts on “Policy Proposal – Nationals Scheduling”

  1. I think this is a great proposal, last year at my first nationals my team ended up playing 5 matches in two days which was at the time a big strain for most of our team, with this rule we wouldn’t have to play as many on day one unless it would benefit us to do so, speaking in terms of rankings. This rule would eliminate the level of fatigue that most players face at nationals, making the matches more competitive in my opinion. Great proposal, Zig.

    1. Thanks Colby. Another core to this is player health. I think teams playing so many games over two short days is unhealthy and unnecessary risk as our League has evolved. I’ve watched a lot of Championship games in person, and video never does it justice. These players are wheezing when they start the match.

      1. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly 100%. The NCDA season isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon and a very long one at that. I know numerous of players within the league that will be continue playing after Nationals are over to prepare themselves for UDC Championships via Skyzone, Elite Dodgeball, and other dodgeball tournaments throughout the country. During my time within the NCDA, I have heard from numerous of players as they are coming into Nationals that they are dealing with nagging/severe injuries that will require them either A. a significant time of rest or B. surgery.

        I had the displeasure of seeing some of my opponents playing at a high level earlier within the season (September/October) only to be completely burned out come around this time of year (Mid March) and their biggest concern is making sure they can step on and off the court in one piece. Some people have the luxury of having insurance to cover for them in case they have a severe injury that requires them to have surgery; others don’t.

        For anyone that watch and follow baseball closely, everybody knows that starters pitchers normally pitch every 5th day within the season with a resting period of 3-4 days and relievers can do one-three games before they need a day of rest . Obviously in the postseason that time of rest is greatly reduce in order to move to the next round and to win a championship. If you pay close attention, you will notice that these pitchers are able to perform at a high level despite the fact that they have started their season with pitchers and catchers meet up starting in February and ending the season at the end of September (unless you make to the playoffs). Did I forget to mentioned that a season in baseball is 162 games?

        TDLR; the majority of dodgeball players within the NCDA don’t condition themselves like MLB pitchers and their arms/shoulders are going to lose some strength and endurance towards the end of season. Most people would like to walk away from the game in dodgeball without a severe injury (torn ACL, torn biceps, torn shoulder, torn ligaments in the ankle). I think this will help players be safer and more competitive in a reasonable manner.

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