Daniel has raised an issue that I foresee requires our club to collectively solve—the “next game pile”. This is particularly relevant since we will now be mixing in League games during our normal pick up nights. Since we would never want to promote totalitarian or despot decisions, I think we should vote on this as a club. Hooray for democracy!
If you are not familiar with the issue read Daniel’s entertaining post here: http://www.thyneighborsbike.com/?p=2230 Also, read Doug’s (New York) comments to the post.
The Issue: With 30+ players that regularly come out, our club has reached the level where it may be hard to get as many opportunities to play a game as we would like, especially if someone has a time constraint and can’t stay the whole night. The natural evolution is that those who do not get their mallet in after a game has ended, in the traditional throw in format, try and ensure they will be in the following game by creating a “next game” pile. This has the potential of actually decreasing the opportunities for play as Daniel mentions by turning into a series of “next game” piles. If you are in the bathroom, in a conversation, or just spacing out, you may find that there are multiple “next game” piles and you are on the waiting list behind two or three predetermined games. There are two solutions to this problem and I will try and explain the benefits and disadvantages to each.
The first is to keep things as is. Stay attentive, and be the first to throw in your mallet to ensure your mallet is one of the six mallets that land in the throw in pile. As Daniel mentioned, if you can’t do this you shouldn’t be riding a bike, or playing polo for that matter. This is the purest solution, but it has problems. First, it does not ensure that players who just played will not throw their mallets in for the next game. Second, as we all have probably witnessed, more than six mallets can land on the court at once.
The second option is that after a game everyone who wants to play throws in their mallets. If there are six or less, great, we solved the problem. If there are more than six, whoever shuffles the pile first weeds it down to six, throwing out the extras. If you are not selected you throw in on the next game. The problem with this option is something I experienced in Seattle while playing with their club. My mallet, by chance, was not selected three times in a row. At 15+ minutes a game, I sat and watched for along time anxiously waiting to play. Yes, you can solve the problem by making a fuss, but not everyone wants to do that. I surely did not as an “out of towner” playing with a new club. It wasn’t until someone asked me why I wasn’t playing that I felt comfortably explaining that my mallet hadn’t been selected the previous three games. He ensured that mine would be selected in the next throw in. This gets messy however and has to potential for the shuffler selecting who they want to play in the next game.
The solution is what Doug mentioned. Those who are shuffled out of the six are automatically set aside for the next game. So if two are not chosen, they are ensured to play in the next game and the four mallets that are selected from the next throw in pile are added to the two to create the next game. In a sense this is a hybrid of the regular throw in and the “next game” pile. As Doug mentioned, this works best if everyone agrees that you cannot play two games in a row if there are more than six people out at the courts.
That creates three options. I propose that we vote as a club on the three, decide on one, and implement that option. In the comments section on the blog cast your vote and let’s sort out this problem so we can “have our cake and eat it too”, or maybe that’s “eat our cookies (or scones) and play polo as well”.
Option 1: Regular Throw In
Option 2: Next Game Pile
Option 3: Hybrid