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Old 01-23-2015, 02:40 PM
squish7 squish7 is offline
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Sports/games strategies that radicalized existing ones

I have an adamantium-firm method/strategy of playing a certain sport. It flies against established methods of just about the entire current body of professional and pickup communities. Now history is flooded with scientists and thinkers that opposed whole schools of thought and were eventually proved correct (or at least scholastically respected), e.g. Galileo vs Catholicism, Einstein vs. quantum physics, Jesus vs. the Jews, etc! Hence I quote this template of one-vs-many when someone says "How can you be correct when everyone else disagrees?"

On message boards I feel like a knight fighting off 70 orcs; the debates themselves take the template format of one-vs-many. I don't just suppose; I stand my ground firmly and debate every point that comes up. I've already been through the humbling point of realizing both sides of value rather than my strategy is superior. (Einstein faced this epiphany when an argument of his against quantum physics was sternly disproved. It was then that he began to formulate a unification of both theories--relativity and quantum mechanics--which still don't even have yet today. Like this, I've already begun to see my method within the entire scope of all possible methods, through debate with pros or akin. This still doesn't do much, because admitting I'm half-right would still mean that the entire community is half-wrong.)

But I'm a nerd and hence can only quote nerd examples! I don't know of many of these situations in sports and games. Are there strategies of an individual or a team in hockey, basketball, chess, go, card games, poker, RPGs, video games, etc., etc. that were laughed at until they were vindicated by proof? Or just radicalized the game/sport in general? I do have a soccer coaching manual that lists a few new strategies that came out and defied previous practices... Thanks for any replies!
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:47 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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The forward pass. Football was a mass-and-momentum running game, until Pop Warner started beating the stuffing out of everyone with (what we would recognize as) passing formations, downfield receivers, and mid-to-long forward passes.

All the nabobs of football at the time mocked forward passing as unmanly and unsporting, but it was legal and effective as hell. And it endured after brute mass-and-momentum went the way of the dodo.
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Old 01-23-2015, 03:42 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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The infield shift in baseball. Until recently it was something that was widely ridiculed as ineffective. Now, you see it employed by nearly every team against the likes of David Ortiz or other power hitting left-handed hitters. You can still argue its effectiveness, but I don't think Ortiz has had an at bat against a team with 2 infielders on the left side in a few years.

Anyway, what is the OP's strategy of choice?
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:11 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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There's Dick Fosbury,who revolutionized high jumping with his "flop." It looked odd at the 1968 Olympics (I'm old enough to have seen it), but within a few years, almost everybody did it his way.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Fosbury

Last edited by astorian; 01-23-2015 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:18 PM
Stormcrow Stormcrow is offline
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Originally Posted by Barkis is Willin' View Post
The infield shift in baseball.
Likewise, Babe Ruth's grip-it-and-rip-it brand of power hitting; he changed the entire approach of the league from a contact-oriented game of what would now be considered small ball and showed how you could just hit the ball over the fence. There were some other contributing factors - new stadiums with closer walls, adopting the use of clean baseballs more frequently after Ray Chapman's beaning death (making it easier to see the ball in order to hit it), but Ruth showed the value of a pretty different way of hitting.

I think there were a few big men in the NBA who showed that height was dominant, and brought the dunk into the game in the '60's but I'm not terribly up on my NBA history so I'll let others make that case (or debunk it).
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:30 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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The infield shift in baseball. Until recently it was something that was widely ridiculed as ineffective.
I don't think it was ridiculed so much as managers just did not want to take the chance of it not working. Most managers manage to keep their jobs first, and to win second. A ball that gets through a normal infield is blamed on the pitcher. A ball that gets through a shifted infield is blamed on the manager.

Bear in mind, too, that until surprisingly recently, if you wanted to know, in terms of objective fact, how often a hitter pulled the ball, that was actually not an easy piece of information to get. Now it's easy to see David Ortiz really does pull the ball that much.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:31 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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Paul Brown came up with many innovations in football, some of which probably seemed strange at the time. Nobody else was watching game film to study opposing teams' tendencies when he did.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:46 PM
squish7 squish7 is offline
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Anyway, what is the OP's strategy of choice?
Without plugging the website or linking to 200-message threads, it's a method of playing ultimate frisbee that I call "turbo". In standard ultimate, we catch the disc, stop for a few seconds while we look around and people shift, then we throw. This wait time is unnecessary because a disc can be thrown from any position its caught, hence we have the physical ability to relay the disc instantly (or near-instantly), sometimes without even stopping the disc's rotation. When done in sequence, the disc can bullet down the field as fast as the players can run, as if the players have tennis rackets or baseball bats and are bouncing ball to each other rather than catching then throwing. It also resembles a pool ball shot where the pool table is like the field.

It requires superior focus, strategy, and sprinting. You have to be aware of absolutely everything at every moment, because once you have the disc, it's too late to think. In standard ultimate, people yell "up" once the disc is in the air to let people know. I have to yell "up" (or yell the name of the person I intend to throw to) before I even have the disc to get people ready, because the disc gets there too fast and surprises people. (In a higher gear, you'd actually yell 2 or 3 people's names to get them ready for your intended "shot".) One of my friends' more common complaints is that turbo hurts, because they get smacked with a disc when they're not ready.

The core criticism from the pro community is that it's too difficult. I find this humorous. The most elite players should practice the most elite skills. If there's a method that requires superior training, it should be adopted by professionals. (The more experienced someone is, the faster they reject the method because their brain is locked in to a whole way of life and they can't comprehend a different one. Kids adopt my ideas much faster.)
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:09 PM
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The slap shot in hockey. Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion invented it in the 50s, and it became a major weapon in the offensive arsenal, among other things , forcing goalies to wear masks.

The shot clock in basketball.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by squish7 View Post
One of my friends' more common complaints is that turbo hurts, because they get smacked with a disc when they're not ready.

The core criticism from the pro community is that it's too difficult. I find this humorous. The most elite players should practice the most elite skills.
Has this approach been proven to work? Has a team actually used it and proven it is substantially superior to existing approaches?

I mean, it sounds great in theory, but lots of things would work in theory that do not work in practice.
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Old 01-24-2015, 04:16 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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The book "Inverting the Pyramid" is a very engaging study of how soccer (football) evolved from players standing on the field in fixed positions at the turn of the century to "total football" where it was feasible for a defensive player such as Cruyff to play defensively and move the ball down the field, and egads, even score.

Early old-time hockey has made similar evolutions. Heck, line changes weren't introduced until IIRC the 30s.

As for the hockey mask, Jacques Plante was often mocked for wearing one but every goalie wears one today, and for good reason.

The New Jersey Devils "trap" defense in the NHL won Stanley Cups but also critics and rule changes.

Another good book is "The Games that Changed the Game" by Ron Jaworski which describes 7 different NFL games from the early 60s until the Patriots first Super Bowl win that highlighted innovative new strategies that changed how the NFL was played forever, i.e. the Cover Two Defense, the 4-6 Defense, Sid Gillmans Vertical Offense Pass game.

Id say today in 2015 the biggest "heresy" I can think of is Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly who seems to profess his high tempo Oregon based offense, nutrition and training methods, and "culture" can overcome talent in the NFL. The verdict is still out, IMO.

I've also seen several failures, including there Seattle Mariners "run prevention" philosophy, and the NFL's "run and shoot" and "wildcat" offensive schemes.
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:33 AM
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I was about to say the neutral zone trap. This was the NHL's equivalent of turtling. Throw everyone in the neutral zone and just pound, stuff, and smother the hell out of everyone. Grind the opponent's attack to a pulp before the the puck is five feet from giving the goalie any work, then as soon as someone sees an opening, counterstrike. This made the Devils easily one of the most hated teams ever. It got so bad that it actually led to the NHL legalizing two-line passes (which used to be an absolutely unthinkable heresy).

Mark "The Hammer" Coleman pretty much singlehandedly brought weight classes to UFC. In the early days, nobody cared about little guys facing big guys, mainly because the big guys were usually so hopelessly inept that their bulk didn't do them a damn bit of good. And then Coleman shows up and proceeds to stomp a mudhole in the nascent MMA league. He basically flattens his first two opponents in UFC 10 and then takes on Don "The Predator" Frye, an outstanding grappler who recently ran roughshod over three behemoths to win UFC 8, rapidly becoming one of the most feared men in the entire sport...and it's a complete whitewash. Frye battles his heart out, pulls out every trick and technique he knows, and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Coleman is just too big and too strong, and his victory is never in any doubt. The lesson was clear: In a match between a good big guy and a good little guy (or even kinda big; Frye would've been a light heavyweight under the modern system), the big guy wins. UFC soon separated into "heavyweight" and "lightweight" divisions, eventually evolving into the five divisions we know today.

Salevaa Atisanoe. Try to imagine being a Japanese sumo fan in the 80's and seeing this absolute freak of nature, this terrifying monstrosity, this dear- Amaterasu-please-tell-me-this-isn't-real specimen of humanity...oh, did I mention that he's also an American?...enter your most exalted of sports, and proceed to swat aside your native-born hopefuls like children. Yes, sumotori are supposed to be big, but there's a stretch limousine and there's the Sears Tower. "Sally", as he was sometimes affectionately called, was as immovable as a hill and as suffocating as a vat of rubber cement. It took him eight tournaments to reach Juryo, a lightning-fast rise under any circumstances and all but unthinkable for a foreigner. Inconsistency and injuries would eventually humble him, but for a while there was real fear that the sport would have its worst-looking yokozuna ever.
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:45 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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Swimming has made some drastic changes from people doing new things.

Butterfly was originally the breast stroke when someone decided to put their arms over the water. When they found out it was too fast they added the new stroke.

I think it was in the 80s when they found that kicking underwater, especially on the backstroke, is far faster then on top. So much so that there is now a rule that the swimmer must break the surface of the water before 15 meters.

Personally I do things that I'm told are "wrong" in swimming. I've always gone somewhat deep when pushing off the wall, but now the upper level swimmers go about a meter deep off the wall to get under the wave behind them. I've been told not to breath coming in to the wall as well, but now I'm starting to see top level swimmers do this as well.
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:47 AM
OneCentStamp OneCentStamp is offline
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"Hypermodern" chess, where (grossly simplifying) the center squares are controlled by threatening them from the edges rather than directly occupying them with protected pawns.
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:50 AM
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Mark "The Hammer" Coleman pretty much singlehandedly brought weight classes to UFC. In the early days, nobody cared about little guys facing big guys, mainly because the big guys were usually so hopelessly inept that their bulk didn't do them a damn bit of good. And then Coleman shows up and proceeds to stomp a mudhole in the nascent MMA league. He basically flattens his first two opponents in UFC 10 and then takes on Don "The Predator" Frye, an outstanding grappler who recently ran roughshod over three behemoths to win UFC 8, rapidly becoming one of the most feared men in the entire sport...and it's a complete whitewash. Frye battles his heart out, pulls out every trick and technique he knows, and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference. Coleman is just too big and too strong, and his victory is never in any doubt. The lesson was clear: In a match between a good big guy and a good little guy (or even kinda big; Frye would've been a light heavyweight under the modern system), the big guy wins. UFC soon separated into "heavyweight" and "lightweight" divisions, eventually evolving into the five divisions we know today.
I've made the argument (only half-jokingly) that if chin-in-eye submissions and headbutts on the ground hadn't been outlawed (again, because of Coleman), he might now be regarded as the greatest HW MMArtist of all time, having ruled the UFC and Pride for a solid decade.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:37 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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I think it was in the 80s when they found that kicking underwater, especially on the backstroke, is far faster then on top. So much so that there is now a rule that the swimmer must break the surface of the water before 15 meters.
This may actually be the best example in the thread so far. Before the 15-meter rule was introduced, the swimmers who were using the so-called dolphin kick looked like they were participating in a different sport.
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Old 01-24-2015, 01:32 PM
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The shot clock in basketball.
That wasn't a strategy but a new mechanic to make the game more entertaining, like the three point line.

For NBA basketball I'd go with Nellie ball. Basically going super small (e.g. three guards, two forwards), going for speed, shooting, and spacing the floor. In the old days it was all about having two big guys and posting up all day, drawing the double, kicking it out, etc. So when Nellie (and guys like D'antoni) said nuts to that they had a lot of critics saying their ideas were gimmicks. Seems to work well in the regular season, can do damage in the playoffs, but hasn't produced much in the way of rings. You can say Miami sorta won going small, but you could win with almost any system if you have prime LeBron.

A lot of teams have incorporated Nellie/small ball principles into their offenses and use it for stretches, even if they have good big guys (e.g. foul trouble, favorable matchups, just to give a different look). Going into the mid 00s a lot more big guys can shoot and play like guards than in the past because they all want to be like MJ, and a lot of Euros are knock down shooters, so it's easier to implement. A lot of teams nowadays roll with one defensive big who can finish garbage plays and the rest are shooters. Pretty much the opposite of '80s/early '90s ball. But the title teams still tend to have elite bigs who can post up. And if the opportunity is there teams will still try to go old school, like the Grizzlies playing Gasol and Z-Bo.

I've seen some mentions of StarCraft on this board before, so maybe this isn't the wrong audience. One could write a book about all the changing strategies over the years, but the one I remember the most was the Bisu build in the 2006 MSL -- Protoss vs. Zerg, Protoss makes corsairs of all things to snipe overlords and scout their strats, then makes dark templars so the Zerg is boxed in while Toss takes map control, and the possibility for cheese is just silly. Seemed like Zerg were bending Toss over the table with ease at the time, then Bisu came in like a super hero and swept Savior in the finals.
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Old 01-24-2015, 02:20 PM
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In cricket, reverse swing. It really changed the nature of the game for good. While it was known for decades that an old ball could occassionally swing sharply, it was the way that Pakistani bowlers learnt to get that to happen reliably in the 1970's which changed the game

Football. The False 9 and its ilk.The day of the out and out forward seems to have passed. Nowadays many teams main scoring man is often an attacking midfielder, see Ronaldo and Messi. Muller.
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Old 01-24-2015, 05:34 PM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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This may actually be the best example in the thread so far. Before the 15-meter rule was introduced, the swimmers who were using the so-called dolphin kick looked like they were participating in a different sport.
And here's someone swimming the 50 meter back stroke fully underwater. He finishes in 23.1, more then 3 seconds faster then anyone else. The world record is 24.04. He is wearing a "tech" suit, which are also not allowed, but it wouldn't make that big of a difference.
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Old 01-26-2015, 02:19 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Without plugging the website or linking to 200-message threads, it's a method of playing ultimate frisbee that I call "turbo".
Oh, you're that guy from all the Ulty message boards!

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Has this approach been proven to work? Has a team actually used it and proven it is substantially superior to existing approaches?
I'm not so much in the loop anymore, but, from what I know, No.

Which is really all that needs to be said about this particular 'revolution'. This particular situation is not so much laughing at Fosbury while he won a whole bunch of medals; it's telling the perpetual motion guy to come back when he has an actual working machine.

But, frankly, it's not surprising on a theoretical level that this tactic is not widespread. There's no question that at times, in ultimate just like in soccer or basketball, making an immediate pass has advantages. But thing is, in ultimate, more often the advantages of making an immediate pass aren't enough to make up for the disadvantages.

If you immediately throw, your defender doesn't have much of a chance to catch up and stop the throw. But for even intermediate players, the thrower has enough advantage that a defender isn't going to do much more than harass a subset of throws, so you're not gaining much.

And there's no particular reason to think players will be open more often for an immediate pass. Sure, sometimes someone is open right that second and won't be later, but just as often their cut is still developing and they'll be more open later.

And on the negative side, you're giving up huge amounts of accuracy and particularly distance by throwing without coming to a stop and setting. Remember, unlike basketball, you're often catching at a full sprint. Just physically, nobody can throw as well at a full sprint as when they're set.

Plus, as admitted, it's much harder to know where open targets are without looking around. Again, just a sheer physical limitation based on human senses; not something you can just practice away. Sure, I suppose you could run some kind of rigid offense so in theory you know exactly where each of your teammates is at any time, so you could throw blind, but that doesn't seem very useful unless the defense cooperates by being just as predictable.


The other important thing to know is that in upper-level ultimate, offenses generally do pretty well. The majority of the time, they score. So there's zero reason to shift to a much much riskier strategy (well, tactic, really) with little upside. Again, there are going to be occasional situations where you know exactly where a teammate and defenders are, the teammate is so wide open than a weak inaccurate throw is acceptable, and the teammate will very very soon be well covered (with little hope of getting open again soon), and so taking the risk of a throw on the run is worthwhile, but that situation doesn't really happen very often. And offense is advantaged enough that if there's any doubt at all about whether to immediately throw, it's better to just wait for a more sure thing.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:12 PM
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In cricket, reverse swing. It really changed the nature of the game for good. While it was known for decades that an old ball could occassionally swing sharply, it was the way that Pakistani bowlers learnt to get that to happen reliably in the 1970's which changed the game

Football. The False 9 and its ilk.The day of the out and out forward seems to have passed. Nowadays many teams main scoring man is often an attacking midfielder, see Ronaldo and Messi. Muller.
I'd say Bodyline would be a better example for cricket. Tasked with beating Australia at home Jardine, the English captain, instructed his bowlers to aim at leg stump and set fields to catch the batsmen's mishits as they tried to parry the deliveries aimed straight at them. Oh, and there were no helmets or body padding in those days.

You can see a bit of footage here. England won the series and even the greatest batsman of all time was restricted the new style, Bradman 'only' averaged 56.57, his worst series average in his career.

After the West Indies used the same tactics in England, the laws were changed to effectively prohibit this strategy, a testimony to both Bodyline's effectiveness and it's distastefulness.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:21 PM
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Another issue the OP is facing is that, even at the professional level, ultimate is a pretty casual sport. Nobody's playing it for the big money or fame; they're playing it because it's fun. So you would expect people to keep playing it the way they're used to even if it isn't optimal.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:37 PM
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The jump shot, like the slap shot in hockey, seems so natural today that we forget that it had to be invented. But, it did. The first two generations of basketball players shot set shots, for better control, and the jump shot looked very strange when first seen.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:40 PM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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Another issue the OP is facing is that, even at the professional level, ultimate is a pretty casual sport. Nobody's playing it for the big money or fame; they're playing it because it's fun. So you would expect people to keep playing it the way they're used to even if it isn't optimal.
At the upper levels, ultimate players are a lot less casual than you think.
Believe me -- and I speak from good authority -- if they thought this tactic would win, the top players would be all over it, traditional or not.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:15 PM
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Three I can think of, from winter sports:

Cross-country skiing - the "freestyle", or "sliding", technique

Ski jumping: the "V" formation

Speed skating: the "slapper skates", although this is more of an equipment breakthrough than a strategy change.
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:52 PM
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At the upper levels, ultimate players are a lot less casual than you think.
Eh, I knew a couple of guys who made it to the college national championship, and they were still pretty casual about it. I don't think either of them went pro, though.
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Old 01-27-2015, 01:46 PM
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The back bend pretty much eliminated the Olympic press from competition. (Cite - pdf.)

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 01-27-2015, 04:32 PM
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Two RBs in the backfield was standard in the NFL until Joe Gibbs introduced the one-back offense.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:45 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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This isn't a new strategy, but a change in the way it is employed. When Patrick Roy became coach of the Avalanche, he decided that if his team was down one goal late in the third period, he would pull the goalie. Nothing new there, but before Roy, it was done at best under two minutes, usually with around one minute left. Roy decided that it didn't matter if the opposition scored on an empty net with three minutes left or with three seconds left, the outcome was the same. He began to pull his goalie anytime under four minutes. The extra man on the ice for so long seemed to wear out the other team and the Avalanche were very successful with this tactic.

I just watched him do this again not three minutes ago vs. Nashville. Pulled Varlamov with just under four to go, kept the puck in Nashville's zone about 90% of the time, and scored with 45 seconds to go. Game now going to overtime.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:29 PM
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Going from front engine to rear engine cars in Formula 1 and IndyCars in the late 1950s early 1960s. A decade later, sidepods to increase grip.

In baseball the increasing use of relief pitchers, with all sort of specialized roles. Also platooning, which became popular in 1910s and 1920s, fell out of favor, revived in 1950s but fading now with larger pitching staffs. Also the switch to 5 starters (probably Dodgers after Koufax).

It was apparently common for a pitcher like Hal Newhouser or Early Wynn to pitch a knuckleball occasionally but for the last 50 years a pitcher either throws a knuckleball 90% or 0% of the time.
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Old 01-28-2015, 12:41 PM
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My understanding is that when Bill Russell was in college, the feeling was a defender had to keep both feet on the ground (as someone pointed out, jump shots had to be invented). Russell persuaded his coach to let him jump to block shots.

Tom Landry used the spread (shotgun) formation on passing downs Lots of teams hesitated, citing fears of bad snaps. When Buffalo's Chuck Knox announced in the late 1970s he would be using the spread, Don Shula said why, Dallas wasn't in the Super Bowl. Neither was Miami, who ended up adopting it.
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Old 01-28-2015, 02:56 PM
The Hamster King The Hamster King is offline
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Wilhelm Steinitz invented positional play in chess in the late 19th Century. Although his approach eventually came to dominate tournament play, it was at first greeted with scorn and dismay by the leading players of the day who considered it cowardly and plodding. A famous quote by Adolf Anderssen:

"Steinitz is a pick-pocket, he steals a pawn and wins a game with it."
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:35 PM
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... but before Roy, it was done at best under two minutes, usually with around one minute left....
I think that Lou Nanne did similar when he coached the Minnesota North Stars in the late 1970s. Often pulling the goalie with 3 or more minutes left.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:44 PM
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Speaking of Roy, he (along with goalie coach Francois Allaire) is credited with introducing the "butterfly" goaltending style to the NHL, which is now the dominant strategy for goaltenders.

It's probably had secondary effects on offensive and defensive strategies in hockey too. Goaltenders now are so much more effective at making saves that I imagine that it really changes how a team can play defence and be effective.
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Old 01-28-2015, 03:47 PM
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Tom Landry used the spread (shotgun) formation on passing downs Lots of teams hesitated, citing fears of bad snaps. When Buffalo's Chuck Knox announced in the late 1970s he would be using the spread, Don Shula said why, Dallas wasn't in the Super Bowl. Neither was Miami, who ended up adopting it.
The shotgun is an interesting case. It was pioneered by the 1960-61 San Francisco 49ers. The Niners used it full time and had considerable success with it, but abandoned it after a single disastrous game in which they were shut out by the Chicago Bears.

For a time thereafter the shotgun fell into the category of failed innovations, as in Post#11. Then Tom Landry brought it back, not as an every-down formation but as a shortcut to get the QB viewing the field sooner on passing downs. There was skepticism at first, then it spread and became almost universal.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:59 AM
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I think that Lou Nanne did similar when he coached the Minnesota North Stars in the late 1970s. Often pulling the goalie with 3 or more minutes left.
I HATE when teams pull their goalie. Last I read it has only a 10% success rate, where in my mind, hockey is such a crazy sport I'd think the odds were still high you could steal a last minute goal rather than it being all over with an empty netter.

Are there any states to back Roy's theory?
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:24 AM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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Association football teams playing under the Sheffield rules developed the idea of the heading game after the abolition of the fair catch. Apparently players using their heads to hit the ball whilst it was still in the air, as opposed to catching it or waiting for it to land and then kick it, was a massive innovation at the time, and also one that caused a lot of amusement to fans that were not used to seeing it. Nowadays, under the FA rules that developed out of the Sheffield rules, heading is an integral part of the sport.

Last edited by Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party; 01-29-2015 at 05:25 AM.
  #38  
Old 01-29-2015, 08:08 AM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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Originally Posted by russian heel View Post
I HATE when teams pull their goalie. Last I read it has only a 10% success rate, where in my mind, hockey is such a crazy sport I'd think the odds were still high you could steal a last minute goal rather than it being all over with an empty netter.

Are there any states to back Roy's theory?
This isn't a statistical analysis, but it is an accounting of the times he has done it. Later in the 2013-2014 season, when he started pulling the goalie early, he became much more successful. The Avalanche scored to send the game to overtime four out of 18 times. No data, but scoring full strength four out of 18 times seems unlikely. And it is a lot better than 10%. More than double that.

The data must be hard to get, because it seems a strategy ripe for analysis.

http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/2014/4/1...-playoffs-2014
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:21 AM
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I HATE when teams pull their goalie. Last I read it has only a 10% success rate, where in my mind, hockey is such a crazy sport I'd think the odds were still high you could steal a last minute goal rather than it being all over with an empty netter.
That is obviously not the case. The average NHL team scores about 2.75 goals per game, or a goal every 22 minutes or so, giving them less than a 5% chance of scoring a goal in the last minute of the game if they just continue playing even strength.

Pulling the goalie roughly doubles the likelihood of a goal. Indeed, a lot of studies have been done on the strategy and it has been shown, time and time again, that

1. There is absolutely a justification for pulling the goalie when behind, and the customary use of that strategy is worth about 2-3 points in the standings, per year, to the average team that they would not get if they never pulled the goalie.

2. If anything, the evidence suggests NHL coaches are too conservative in terms of pulling the goalie, and could realize more gains in they did it a bit more.

http://www.behindthenet.ca/blog/2007...ur-goalie.html

A guy at SFU did a study and found there are situations where the goalie should be pulled with as many as six minutes left:

http://people.math.sfu.ca/~tim/papers/goalie.pdf
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:28 AM
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I would say the movement to aggressive styles of tournament poker in NLHE. The first tournament players grew up playing a tight grinding style in cash games and their tounament play reflected that. Now it has completely changed.

Incidentally, here is a documentary on the 1973 WSOP made that year by immy the Greek as a promotional film by Benny Binion.
  #41  
Old 01-29-2015, 11:06 AM
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How about Ali's use of rope-a-dope in boxing? Had anyone previously intentionally allowed an opponent to tire themselves out beating on them?
  #42  
Old 01-29-2015, 11:48 AM
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There's that high school coach who never punts and almost always onside kicks after scoring, 125-23-1 after 11 years and 3 state championships.

It's extremely unlikely, if not impossible, this strategy will ever become widespread, even at the high school level, despite Pulaski Academy's success and the math that backs it up, but it's definitely a radical idea. I'd not be surprised if there were a ton of football coaches who have considered this strategy at some point, but were all too cowardly to actually implement it.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:02 PM
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There's that high school coach who never punts and almost always onside kicks after scoring, 125-23-1 after 11 years and 3 state championships.

It's extremely unlikely, if not impossible, this strategy will ever become widespread, even at the high school level, despite Pulaski Academy's success and the math that backs it up, but it's definitely a radical idea. I'd not be surprised if there were a ton of football coaches who have considered this strategy at some point, but were all too cowardly to actually implement it.
Didn't he say as much? I though he said in an interview that he'd been visited by coaches from all levels, but that most admitted that they didn't really want to open themselves up to the criticism that would be generated by such a dramatic change.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:03 PM
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At the end of the 1969-70 NHL season, the tie-breaker between the Canadiens and Rangers for the last playoff spot in the Eastern division came down to total goals scored (not goal differential). The Rangers needed to win their final game and score five more goals that day than the Canadiens. They were leading 9-3 in the third period, but repeatedly pulled their goalie to run up the total of goals. They scored no goals with the extra attacker. Detroit scored two but that was irrelevant.

In the evening game, the Canadiens didn't need to win, but needed five goals total to surpass, NY. They pulled their goalie with 9 minutes left in the game while losing 5-2. They could not score, but Chicago scored 5 empty net goals. The Candiens should have played the entire game with no goalie. Maybe they could have lost 30 - 5 and made the playoffs.

(That year was incidentally the last time no Canadian team was in the Stanley cup playoffs with Toronto turning in its usual poor performance, and Vancouver not yet in the league.)

Last edited by OldGuy; 01-29-2015 at 04:03 PM.
  #45  
Old 01-30-2015, 03:37 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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That is obviously not the case. The average NHL team scores about 2.75 goals per game, or a goal every 22 minutes or so, giving them less than a 5% chance of scoring a goal in the last minute of the game if they just continue playing even strength.

Pulling the goalie roughly doubles the likelihood of a goal. Indeed, a lot of studies have been done on the strategy and it has been shown, time and time again, that

1. There is absolutely a justification for pulling the goalie when behind, and the customary use of that strategy is worth about 2-3 points in the standings, per year, to the average team that they would not get if they never pulled the goalie.

2. If anything, the evidence suggests NHL coaches are too conservative in terms of pulling the goalie, and could realize more gains in they did it a bit more.

http://www.behindthenet.ca/blog/2007...ur-goalie.html

A guy at SFU did a study and found there are situations where the goalie should be pulled with as many as six minutes left:

http://people.math.sfu.ca/~tim/papers/goalie.pdf
Thats amazing.

I've watched a LOT of hockey, and I mean A LOT, and in my lifetime, Ive seen the pull the goalie strategy work TWICE, with the empty netters paying off 40-50 times. I can't argue with hard stats, but my eyeball test says it just doesn't work. The problem I have is its such an all or nothing deal----once the leading team gets the empty netter, its all over. With 6 minutes left THEN what do you do?

If I was a coach, and forced by my sabermeticians to pull the goalie, Id make sure my third goalie was a "super goalie" . . .. one who without the mask and pads could act as the third defender on the red line, but could quickly intercept empty net goals and get the puck back to there attackers, and fill in as goaltender in non-end game emergency situations. Maybe thats a compromise.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:18 PM
Your Great Darsh Face Your Great Darsh Face is offline
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I'd say Bodyline would be a better example for cricket. Tasked with beating Australia at home Jardine, the English captain, instructed his bowlers to aim at leg stump and set fields to catch the batsmen's mishits as they tried to parry the deliveries aimed straight at them. Oh, and there were no helmets or body padding in those days.

You can see a bit of footage here. England won the series and even the greatest batsman of all time was restricted the new style, Bradman 'only' averaged 56.57, his worst series average in his career.

After the West Indies used the same tactics in England, the laws were changed to effectively prohibit this strategy, a testimony to both Bodyline's effectiveness and it's distastefulness.
Bolding mine (I hope that's allowed). Just to note that West Indies lost two Tests and drew one on that tour, so the Law wasn't changed because the English started losing to Bodyline - they didn't. It was more because, in the absence of TV coverage back then, most people in England hadn't actually seen leg-theory at first hand, and thought the Australians were sore losers. Minds were changed once the English authorities saw it for themselves.

When Constantine and Martindale bowled Bodyline, they enjoyed some success, but Jardine proved he was man enough to take his own medicine by scoring 127 off it.
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:59 PM
Freddy the Pig Freddy the Pig is offline
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I've watched a LOT of hockey, and I mean A LOT, and in my lifetime, Ive seen the pull the goalie strategy work TWICE, with the empty netters paying off 40-50 times.
Seriously? I'm about as casual a hockey fan as there is--most of my viewing is the Olympics or if the Blackhawks make the later rounds of the playoffs. Even I can think of three or four times when I've seen pulled-goalie goals. The Blackhawks won the 2013 Stanley Cup after a pulled-goalie goal in the final game. The US also had a memorable pulled-goalie goal against Canada in the 2010 Olympics.

You must have uncommonly bad luck in the many games you watch.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:42 PM
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You may recall a couple of years back that the Bruins pulled goalie Rask and scored twice in the last 31 seconds to tie game 7 in their Stanley Cup series with Toronto and went on to win it in overtime.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:13 AM
Andy L Andy L is offline
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But I'm a nerd and hence can only quote nerd examples! I don't know of many of these situations in sports and games. Are there strategies of an individual or a team in hockey, basketball, chess, go, card games, poker, RPGs, video games, etc., etc. that were laughed at until they were vindicated by proof? Or just radicalized the game/sport in general? I do have a soccer coaching manual that lists a few new strategies that came out and defied previous practices... Thanks for any replies!
One example of a strategy that is proven to work and yet is still laughed at and not used, is the granny throw in basketball. People who use it for free throws have an amazingly high success rate - but it's embarrassing to do, and even players like Wilt Chamberlin, who benefited greatly while using it, eventually stopped https://www.npr.org/2017/05/28/53050...he-granny-shot
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:23 PM
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I'd say Bodyline would be a better example for cricket.
I first thought of the transition from underarm to overarm bowling, though according to this it took 60 years.
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