Stanford Invite 2012: Experimental Rules

by | March 12, 2012, 1:40pm 0

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One of the best things about watching the Stanford Invite was being able to see the implementation of experimental rules and their effects on the strategies of the teams in attendance.

20 Yard End-zones – While this particular rule has been implemented for the 2012 season, I’m willing to bet that a lot of teams and tournaments are out of the loop and still play with end-zones that are 25 yards deep. Though many hucks did sail too far, not many teams were throwing the disc out-the-back when in their red-zone offense.

Observers Counting Stalls – This added a ton of consistency to the gameplay, as the ten second count was coming from an unbiased source. While the handler does not have to worry about their mark counting too fast, this also benefits the defender, who does not have to waste breathe counting the stall aloud. One caveat to this is the effect of marking violations. Things like Contact and Double Team calls need to be said loud enough for the observer to hear so that the count can be modified as such. My only comment on this rule is that the observer is restricted to using only their right arm when chopping for the stall count. Having experienced this while observing for the UOA, this motion can get very tiring over the course of the weekend, especially when only using one arm.

Immediate Referral to Observers – One of the most difficult things to cope when spectating, especially for people that are new to the game, are calls that bring about long conversations between players. A few games in recent history that were especially difficult for me to enjoy as a spectator amplified this problem with the large amount of stoppages that occurred in them:

  • 2009 College Nationals Pool Play: California vs. Wisconsin
  • 2010 College Nationals Pool Play: Colorado vs. Wisconsin
  • 2010 College Nationals Finals: Carleton vs. Florida

At this year’s Stanford Invite, a contested call would immediately go to the observer(s), who would then make a decision. While there were still times when longer discussions took place, the observers were always very active in the conversation and once the particular infraction was identified, a swift decision was made.

Substitutions During Timeouts – Probably the most interesting of all of the rules that were experimented with was allowing a substitution to be made during a time out. College teams don’t always use all of the stoppages allotted to them, but this added incentive made it seem as if they didn’t have enough. With the ability to insert an offensive stud off of a turnover, teams had to game plan carefully when to use their time outs.

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