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Thread: Now what? (Or how we can all elbow in on Sunyata)

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    Default Now what? (Or how we can all elbow in on Sunyata)

    Registration has closed, and Sunyata now has the thankless task of devising teams. This is when the rest of us all create on-line havoc bombarding her with suggestions and useless ideas, which she may then choose to ignore.

    Issues to determine:
    - Number of teams
    - Players per team
    - Assignments
    - Substitutions/additions

    (raises hand) I'll start!

    My past years' analyses, flawed as they were, seem to indicate that all the work put into devising "fair" teams is only marginally better than randomly choosing them. In fact, random beats* other systems a significant portion of the time (about 30%).

    So my suggestion is to run a randomized selection system, say, 10 times and then pick the one that spreads the highest point riders out the most. I suspect that will be as good or better than any more complicated system.

    There was positive response to the idea of keeping the spread closer by adding substitute players to the last place team along the way. I have ideas about this I will share in a subsequent post.


    *"beats" means the spread from first to last is smaller

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Here's an idea to throw a little more arbitrariness into the mix, and also to keep everyone in the game longer.

    Last year we had a list of extra riders: joined late or whatever. I expect we will have the same this year.

    IDEA:
    During the game, at certain points in time (I have some ideas about how this might be done), the last place team gets one of the bench riders--perhaps randomly assigned. Adding a rider will probably bump them up a few spots, but is unlikely to take them to first. Then it happens again, last place team gets a new rider. We do this several times during the game. This will help alleviate the hopelessness that can set in for the last place team. It also can help make up for those teams who are unluckily assigned a no-show or two. And it should serve to tighten up the gaps, making it more interesting all around.

    Discussion welcomed.
    I have been thinking about this (what else does one do while riding around on their bike but think about Freezing Saddles?)

    Here are some proposed issues and thoughts about how this might work:
    • How many times does this happen?
    • When?
    • Who gets assigned?
    • Who is in charge (substitution czar)?


    One can imagine teams trying to game the system by holding back on uploading rides in order to be in last place. Here are my suggestions on the above issues that make gaming the system much harder.

    How many times?
    Open to discussion. I suggest about 60% of the number of teams, give or take. That is, if we have 20 teams, then it will happen about 12 times or so. However, I just picked that out of the air, so if others have thoughts, please share.

    When?
    For the middle 57-60 days or so of the game: from January 15 to March 12-14, allowing a little time for teams to sort at the beginning and a little "clean" time at the end.

    How to eliminate gaming?
    Here's my proposal: If there are 60 days and we decide to go with about 12 substitutions, then randomize when and how many. This can be done by having the web site pick a random number from 1-5 at midnight each night. If it's 1, then the last place team gets a new player. Any other number, and we wait for a different day. This way we don't know for certain on any day what will happen, and we don't even know when the last substitution will be, so it will be difficult to game. Could happen two days in a row; might go 10 days without a sub.

    Who gets assigned?
    I suggest players get assigned in the order they registered late or some other order, but that order is unknown to all but the substitution czar. That way a team won't know if they are about to get a hero or not; it's just blind luck. Or even that could be randomized. The last place team gets one of the bench players picked out of a hat. But in almost all cases, the new player will boost that team at least somewhat. And over the course of the game, the entire field will be tighter throughout.

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    One issue with adding people to the last place team: People actually got the message that they were supposed to sign up on time this year. Since registration closed, we have had only one new sign-up. So even finding replacements for people who don't show up may be difficult, and finding people to add after that may be impossible.

    There may be as many as 3 people whose registrations got lost in the server screw-up. (I posted asking them to reregister, but I'm not sure if they got the message.) In theory, those people could turn up after team assignments. But we may have a serious shortage of the clueless and the disorganized to supplement teams this year.

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    Wasn't there going to be an attempt at regional teams?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwetzel View Post
    Wasn't there going to be an attempt at regional teams?
    Yep, there was a vote in favor of that. As a result, I collected people's Zip Codes, and whether they wanted to be on a regional team, during registration.

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    Thank you, Sunyata!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cvcalhoun View Post
    One issue with adding people to the last place team: People actually got the message that they were supposed to sign up on time this year. Since registration closed, we have had only one new sign-up. So even finding replacements for people who don't show up may be difficult, and finding people to add after that may be impossible.

    There may be as many as 3 people whose registrations got lost in the server screw-up. (I posted asking them to reregister, but I'm not sure if they got the message.) In theory, those people could turn up after team assignments. But we may have a serious shortage of the clueless and the disorganized to supplement teams this year.
    I won't be surprised if we hear more from people along the way. Also, some of the slackers may not mind being added to a team part way through, since at that point expectations will have changed and any additional points added to a last place team will be welcomed rather than criticized for not being enough.

    Or we could try conscription.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    I won't be surprised if we hear more from people along the way. Also, some of the slackers may not mind being added to a team part way through, since at that point expectations will have changed and any additional points added to a last place team will be welcomed rather than criticized for not being enough.

    Or we could try conscription.
    I'm thinking there may be a flaw in the conscription plan. Something about involuntary servitude...

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    How about we let Sunyata do the team making process and the rest of us devise diabolical ways to bribe whatever team is leading to ride less?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirt View Post
    How about we let Sunyata do the team making process and the rest of us devise diabolical ways to bribe whatever team is leading to ride less?
    Hey! where was that idea last year?

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