More thoughts on the 12vs12 Roster
Kevin Bailey and Brandon Meisel did an excellent job of coming up with negatives against this, but I felt they missed some so I decided to take it upon myself to bring them up so that when it comes time to making a decision you’re able to consider all the factors involved. The arguments that I came up with deal with recruitment, health, and alternative solutions to help expand the league.
- In my club we always hover around 15 to 16 players, we don’t have that luxury to have 25 to 30 players every year. For us, nationals is the only huge tournament that we get to get out to and it is usually a 9 hour drive. So with this new roster size I would have to sit 3 of my teammates who all paid a lot to travel to this tournament. More than likely it would be the players that aren’t as strong throwers or catchers because if we are playing the best we are not going to sit our best players. The same can be said for other teams when it comes to their big tournaments like the MDC, ODC, and the Beast, the need to win will outweigh the need for the younger guys to get experience to be on the team in the future. Fifteen guys vs twelve allows you to mix and match the players easier because trading out a few of your end players is easier with fifteen than with twelve. For our guys to come on a long drive and spend a lot of money it simply isn’t worth their time to come or be part of the club for the lack of playing time. These guys, most of the time develop their talent over a few years by going to tournaments and eventually become one of our top or most important players on the team.
- I feel it can make it hard to recruit people because say we lose those 3 people we would be down to 12 players and then say we graduate seven or eight more we would be around four or five individuals and to potential new players they will see that this club isn’t serious and try a different club. We are competing against several other clubs on campus and on average with the exception of last year since I have been at Platteville we get two to three new players a year which is hard to keep the numbers up to make a squad. With low numbers like that, it makes our practices 4 vs 4 or 5 vs 5 which isn’t fun to play and gets boring, believe me we had that for two years in a row and that really makes it hard to retain new recruits because it can be seen as a waste of time. It is hard enough for us because we get one practice a week and it is from 10p.m. to midnight. As I stated early, for practices we have low numbers so we are constantly throwing more so we have players that arms are sore throughout the year. A lot of times it is the new guys that are hurting the most and the pain isn’t worth it so they don’t stick around. Being down players already makes it difficult to keep those numbers up and that is why having a squad of 15 helps because it allows more people to throw saving their arms. Not losing 3 people to the change in roster size really helps with this not becoming even more of an issue.
- I also feel that it hurts our ability to recruit new players because we are constrained to the 12 man roster. It is hard to try and recruit new players for the club when we are going to have to sit them for games which brings up the risk of them saying screw this it isn’t worth my time to travel and waste money if I’m not going to play.
- From an administrative or board position it is more helpful to have 15 instead of 12 because of all the work involved to run a club. Take the example I had above of losing 3 people to the new roster size and then losing 8 to graduation which we had happened to us two years ago. In this scenario with 12 players we would have 4 left and with 15 just 7 left. At our school and I’m sure at other schools there is a lot of paperwork and obligations you have to take care of to be a club. By just having a few extra people who aren’t board members to help with these obligations is great. It helps because you have more people to go to the involvement fair and other events to recruit new members.
- It can also hurt the recruitment of new teams too. As Felix said most new teams who travel will lose badly. Reducing the minimum requirement will only make these loses and scores worse because chances are the new school as no idea what they are doing and the points will be quicker making the score get out of control against an experienced team with 12 players. By keeping the minimum at 10 and the maximum at 15 this will prevent the scores from getting to out of control and won’t discourage new teams to play again because chances are it will be a few years before they will be able to play games competitively and not have these blow out wins. Also, let’s say a team has the chance to bring 15 or more people to a tournament like NIU did this year at the DUI. A lot of times a tournament is what will make people be committed to the club and help the club grow. Limiting the amount to just 12 could prevent the potential of 8 players from being a part of the club because some of those players may not get to play and they may be the ones actually interested. A lot of times it just takes one game and these individuals are hooked and some of the ones that do play may decide it is not for them. These individuals could have taken the spot of one of the 8 that could have played and stuck with the club.
- Another problem that could occur is that to make up for having less people on a squad it will mean throwing more which is the potential for causing more injuries which can take more of your players out making it harder to field a full team. With fifteen people it is a lot easier for everyone to take turns throwing which allows your arm to stay fresh and if it does hurt you don’t have to throw as much because there are enough individuals that can take turns throwing. Also, with 12 people you are going to get tired a lot quicker which makes the games sloppier, effecting the quality. It also makes nationals harder on the arms because with less players throwing and taking turns arms are going to be in pain faster affecting the team’s performance. Just image too how long of a weekend it would be if you can only bring 8 players to nationals or even a regular tournament how much throwing that will be.
- One other problem that comes to mind is that if a team just has eight players the shot clock is going to be a big factor especially for a new team. In a game they could get down three players and be on a ten second shot clock which makes them throw more often and it won’t be quality throws because they will be just throwing to get the ball across so a balls over doesn’t occur. With the extra throwing and fewer numbers that definitely can lead to more sore arms which can take sometimes weeks to feel better. To new players without any experience they may not see that all that pain is worth it to play so it makes it harder to keep them for future tournaments. With the shot clock and the minimum of eight players it could bring the need up for a change in the shot clock and the number of balls used.
Alternative Solutions to help Expand the League.
- I also feel that there are better solutions than reducing the size of rosters in order to expand and make it easier for new teams to join. It seems weird to grow the league by reducing roster sizes so there will be less people being involved with the league. Some of the ideas that we should try to make it easier for new teams to get started is to encourage them host a home tournament (if there gym allows it) so that they don’t have to travel and have the seasoned teams help with running it and show what the league is about. I also think that we shouldn’t abandoned the 6v6 tournaments because that is the best way to get new teams interested. Platteville hosted one and that helped UW-Whitewater and UW-Eau Claire to come play. A nice thing about the 6v6 is that veteran teams could team up with another team to create their squad of six and show the new teams just what the league is about and that we are all friends even though we play each other and it gets heated sometimes.
These are just some of the other arguments to the side of the 12 vs 12 roster and it is something to consider when this topic comes up for vote. Just remember to consider all sides of the argument and make the best informed decision that you can that helps maintain and grow the league for the future.