Monday, June 29, 2009

Player Assessment Makes for a Better Strategy

Tim W. has become quite the accomplished shooter, and with the tried and true "tir au fer" (the shooter avoids using the ground when shooting - allowing more opportunities to shoot - especially with "front-wall" situations) technique of landing his boule directly on top of the opposition's boule. I completely underestimated that move and it cost us that round. A good lesson to revisit: player assessment.

The prospect of having new shooters and improved pointers added to the game experience reminds me to reassess my opposition's skills as well as the abilities of my own team. When I am determining a play - it isn't merely to always get close; but more of my running some variables into a formula to determine what strategy to use...

Variables to keep in mind include:

1) What is the score; and how much in the lead are we (or they). This variable helps me to determine how much of a risk I can (or cannot) take.

2) How many boules does my team have (and who has them!) as well as how many boules my opposition has and who has them. I can then weigh my options (how many shooter/pointer boules I have as opposed to the other team's). As example: If I have all of my boules nested in front of the cochonnet, and the other team has plenty of shooter boules - then I may want to toss my last boule to the back to protect against a disruption of the cochonnet.

3) Am I being offensive or defensive? If the other team only needs 1 or 2 points for the win and I'm down to my last 2 boules, I may simply cut my losses and try to block out any further points from the opposition by laying in a blocking wall. If, on the other hand, I see an opportunity to win by taking out (shooting) a boule, and the risk of a miss would only give the opposition 1 point, then that risk is a good one.

There are, I'm sure, other variables I've left out, but these are the primary ones for me.

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