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Gender Matching and Spirit

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Gender Matching and Spirit

Postby tfowler » Mon Nov 09, 2009 12:53 am

Hello all,

I can't seem to find an answer to a specific ruling on this one. Our Sunday rec co-ed fall team this afternoon had 3 women and 6 men and their team started the game with 4 guys (eventually picking up 1 or 2 more) and 4 or 5 women. They said (and we grudgingly accepted) that when they were receiving we would have to match their gender. Since we only had 3 that means we would play short (3 men, 3 women) on their receiving points when they forced us to match.

After I got home I looked into the 11th edition and couldn't find any reference to gender matching and I also couldn't find any clarification on the tuc website. I've always assumed that the pulling team has to match gender but now I can't even seem to find that anywhere.

We ended up losing by a fair amount and they only made us match for a few points and it was the last game of the season anyway so it's not like it really matters. But just for the future.

Any rulings?

Tim
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Postby -JR- » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:51 am

Hi Tim,

The rule for fall outdoor would be the same as summer outdoor. It is generally accepted common knowledge however we will get this posted on the Fall page to prevent future uncertainty. It is not in the UPA rules. Here are the summer rules:

"All TUC summer leagues are 4-3 mixed gender. Teams are encouraged to play both lineups - 4 men & 3 women or 3 men & 4 women - with the pulling team matching the receiving team's ratio."

I was a bit confused by your second sentence; I think you mean to say you had 3 men and 6 women, therefore leaving your team short men and creating an issue. Anyhow, by rule the opposing team had a right to make this request. That said, the informal and 'kind' thing to do, particularly at rec level, would have been for them to allow you to at least put a fourth woman on the line. This means one of your women would be matched up against one of their men, arguably still an advantage for them. And everyone gets to play 7 a side.

When the situation is reversed (i.e you only have 2 women), it would be harder for an opposing team to say you can play 5-2 against their 4-3, which would in turn give you an arguable advantage. So in that situation, you would have to play 4-2.
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Postby P.Sleeves » Mon Nov 09, 2009 3:28 pm

Actually JR, what he said makes sense. Tim's team had 6 guys & 3 girls. The opponents (eventually) had 5 or 6 guys, and 4 or 5 girls.

When the opponents were receiving, they were putting 4 girls on line. Since Tim's team only had 3 girls, they could only play 3-3.

Not exactly in the best of spirit, especially at the rec level, but their insistence on you playing 3-3 with is following the rules, to the best of my knowledge.
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Postby -JR- » Mon Nov 09, 2009 4:48 pm

Wow, I need to up the dosage on the morning coffee! My interpretation of the post did seem to be an odd situation ;)

So yes if they were fielding a receiving team of 3:4 (men:women) and you only had 3 women, you would have to play 3:3 if they requested so.

Note that playing with Spirit includes abiding by the rules. It is hard to say the opposing team is lacking Spirit for following the rules. But based on the numbers provided (opponent was not overloaded with women on the sideline) and the fact that Tim's team only had 3 women, the prudent move by the opponent would be to play 4:3. In the scenario described I would probably politely voice my displeasure to the opposing captain, or at least try to gain an understanding as to why he/she chose to play 3:4 against us. I could understand if they did so when they only had 3 males and extra female subs.
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Postby tfowler » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:54 pm

So, that's exactly what our understanding was and essentially what we did on the field. But where is any of this written? Because I can't find anything about gender in the 11th edition.

Tim
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Postby AdamR » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:09 am

I think that whole "followed the rules" thing is a bit misleading. Just because you follow the rules does not mean you might use a situation to benefit yourself at the expense of another team, especially in this case. Hence a lack of spirit. If you know the other team has less then 4 girls, and you deliberately place an extra girl on the line so that they have to play with one less player then you are using the rules to your advantage and the other teams disadvantage. If anything, this rule should change. I mean if both teams have more 4 girls then all is fair. However, one team should not be forced to play one down despite having the mandatory 4/3 ratio.
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Postby HotSauce » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:05 am

One important part of this "Is it unspirited to make the other team match?" argument is that a team only gets to choose the gender ratio if they've just been scored on. If you don't want the other team to "make you match", stop scoring on them! Or you could say at the end of the game, "I can't believe that team made us play 3 guys, 3 girls 17 times in a row!"
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Postby lwswong » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:48 am

tfowler wrote:So, that's exactly what our understanding was and essentially what we did on the field. But where is any of this written? Because I can't find anything about gender in the 11th edition.

Tim


Tim - the rule is not an 11th edition rule. it is a TUC specific rule.

you can find it here:

http://www.tuc.org/Leagues/Fall-Outdoor

it is the last paragraph under the "Sign-up" section.

All TUC fall outdoor leagues are 4-3 mixed gender. Teams are encouraged to play both lineups - 4 men & 3 women or 3 men & 4 women - with the pulling team matching the receiving team's ratio. All players must be registered and paid TUC members.

Hope that helps.

Not that i was there, but i can speculate that they may have wanted to match, since their girls outnumbered their guys, and they only had 4 guys to begin with. Playing 3-4 allowed them to rest one of their guys every once in awhile.
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Postby ashunter » Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:33 pm

I've had games where I've put four women on the line, and the opposing team only has four women and they accuse me of abusing the rule to my advantage. That kind of surprised me, since I've never had a team accuse me of putting 4 men on the line, when an opponent only has 4 men, as an abuse of the rule.

The rule exists to give women an equal chance of playing.

At the same time, if I'm a captain and I show up with 3 or 2 women, and my opponents have 4 or more women, I'm not going to deny their women field time just because my team is a bit unprepared.

Yes, playing savage (no subs) is tough, but I've seen savage teams run other, less focused teams into the ground enough times to know it's not an automatic win for the other team.

Captains of teams playing savage, don't forget you've got 2 timeouts per half in UPA rules, they're only 70 seconds though, so use them for a quick breather and water break.


AdamR wrote:I think that whole "followed the rules" thing is a bit misleading. Just because you follow the rules does not mean you might use a situation to benefit yourself at the expense of another team, especially in this case. Hence a lack of spirit. If you know the other team has less then 4 girls, and you deliberately place an extra girl on the line so that they have to play with one less player then you are using the rules to your advantage and the other teams disadvantage. If anything, this rule should change. I mean if both teams have more 4 girls then all is fair. However, one team should not be forced to play one down despite having the mandatory 4/3 ratio.
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Postby AdamR » Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:43 pm

I agree with the idea that if you both teams have 4 girls then playing with 4 girls is fine. I mean, if I am correct, the reason why we put the 4:3 male to female ratio into the league was to instill a greater sense of gender balance in an often male heavy league.

However, where I have a problem is when a team has 3 girls (as in Tim's case) and is forced to play short staffed despite having the 4:3 ration necessary to field a team. In other words Tim's team is forced to play with even LESS then savage because of the decisions of another team. This seems to be punishing Tim despite him adhering to the leagues 4:3 gender ratio. In fact, according to Tim's post, the team he was playing against was beating him handily which means it was not even close to the case "HotSauce" was describing.

I still think the rule should be altered in some way, especially if there are no UPA rules that necessitate the TUC rule. However, if we are going to stick with this rule then it must be made far more clear, as most people I know play with the idea that having at least 3 girls is "enough," which was clearly not true in Tim's case. In other words, this rule establishes that we are not truly a 4:3 male to female ratio league which is fine, but I do not believe the wording "encouraged to play," in the fall section is strong enough.
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Postby ashunter » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:31 pm

Would it be an equal abuse of the rules if I had 3 men and 4 women and you put a line of 4 men and 3 women on? What if I had 5 men and 6 women and you had 5 men and 3 women? Is it unreasonable to expect a team to show up with 4 of each gender, minimum?

I'm just saying there are lots of ways two teams can end up with small rosters and different ratios where one team could force the other to play short handed. Writing a rule that would be fair in all cases isn't easy
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Postby Edk001 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:38 pm

Aside from the whole gender matchup issue, there are quite a few women in this league who can outplay a lot of guys. Just saying.
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Postby cstewart » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:09 pm

Thanks for posting this Tim. As the captain of Tim's team, its good to have the TUC gender rule clarified. That being said, I would like to see the rule changed to handle this specific situation (can't match the gender ratio and therefore have to play short).

Having to play savage is one thing and I don't think there is a problem applying the gender rule in those cases. We did come to play after all, but that's the problem in this case: it potentially means someone can't play.. at the discretion of the other team.

Also, although the gender rule is theoretically gender neutral, in practice its not. If the receiving team is fielding 4 men and 3 women, I haven't seen any complaints about the the pulling team fielding 3 men and 4 women. Following the letter of the rule, the receiving team could require them to match or play short if they can't. So thats one case where the gender rule would actually mean less playing time for the women.

I'd like the rules to be consistent, and I mean from both sides of the issue (lots of subs or too few). I don't want to have to choose between being spirited (i.e. following the letter of the rules) and being "spirited" (i.e. being fair). Therefore, the gender rule should either be:

a) always applied. No gender mismatches allowed, teams would have to play short if required.

b) match if possible. Teams may have to play savage, but not short.

The second option makes the most sense to me. Thoughts?

Colin
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Postby JLo » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:21 am

Clarify the rule?
The rule is that the receiving team decides whether the gender ratio 3/4 or 4/3.
Did you have a misconception that it was only 4 men and 3 women?

As far as your misfortune of playing short, that was part your fault, as captain, for not understanding the consequence of the rule and part the other team being a rules stickler. (To paraphrase Lebowski "you're not wrong. you're just a jerk")

As far as your comments about gender neutrality etc the fact that there are rules as to how many of each gender have to be fielded negates that line of thought. You have to match. There isn't much neutrality about this fact. If a team lets you play with an extra woman then they are showing sportsmanship.
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Postby HotSauce » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:40 am

In case my previous post wasn't completely clear, that situation would have been the most extreme case of this enforced gender matching. If the team in question was being outscored by as big a margin as it seems, there would only have been a few points when they would have been forced to play 3 men, 3 women.

I think it's reasonable to expect a team to have 4 of each gender at each game. If not, you'd have to deal with the possible consequences. Every team should know that playing 3 men, 4 women is a possibility in every game and if you don't bring enough players for that possibility, you'd have to play shorthanded. IMHO, this is integral to "Spirit of the Game". Bring enough players to give your opponent a good, fair game. Or plan to play shorthanded a few points and still give the opponent a good, fair game. And don't call the other team "unspirited" for enforcing the rules.
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Postby larrypmac » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:12 am

Does gender matching mean that if you have 3 guys and 4 girls and the other team puts out 4 guys and 3 girls, you have to play short?

Larry
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Postby tfowler » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:20 am

The rule is stated as follows:

All TUC fall outdoor leagues are 4-3 mixed gender. Teams are encouraged to play both lineups - 4 men & 3 women or 3 men & 4 women - with the pulling team matching the receiving team's ratio.

I don't believe that the rules as given are as clear as they need to be given that the consequence of the rule is to have players stand on the sideline when their team is playing short. It's at least somewhat reasonable to interpret this rule as meaning that you try to match if you can and if you can't then you don't (especially at a rec level). Part of the problem is with the word "encouraged" and part of the problem is that it isn't explicitly stated what you do if you can't match.

Also, we will need to change the fairly pervasive notion (as far as my experience has been) that having three women is enough. Our teams have generally rostered 8 men and 6 women, but that should probably change to 7 and 7 so as to always have at least 4 of each.

Finally, if it is spirited to stop players from the other team from playing for strategic advantage, then you can count on me being unspirited in the future.

Tim
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Postby HotSauce » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:47 am

I think sometimes we confuse "being nice" with "spirit". If your team shows up just at the start time of a game and ask for 3 minutes to warm up, I can be nice and let you or I can insist that we start right away. It is "good spirit" for your team to show up and be ready to play at the scheduled start time. If your team wants to play a "spirit point" with everyone walking like T-REX, it would be nice of me to say yes but I wouldn't be "bad spirited" for saying no. If you show up with 3 girls and my team's girls want more playing time or want to have more chances to handle or think it would be advantageous to play 4 girls AFTER YOUR TEAM HAS SCORED, it would be nice of me to defer to you and stick to 4 guys, 3 girls but it's not "bad spirited" of me to play 3 guys, 4 girls. "Spirit of the Game", to me, is about respect for your opponent and respect for the game. As a captain, that means getting enough players out to each game (on time) or being prepared to play short handed.
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Postby rahil_s » Thu Nov 12, 2009 12:11 pm

larrypmac wrote:Does gender matching mean that if you have 3 guys and 4 girls and the other team puts out 4 guys and 3 girls, you have to play short?

Larry


Yes, If you are pulling.
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Postby GregS » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:04 pm

rahil_s wrote:
larrypmac wrote:Does gender matching mean that if you have 3 guys and 4 girls and the other team puts out 4 guys and 3 girls, you have to play short?

Larry


Yes, If you are pulling.

I don't think I've never run into a team that had a problem with my team putting out more women than they did, including playing 3/4 when they are 4/3, and submit that it would be poor spirit for them to insist my 4th women not take the field to cover one of their men.
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Postby NateBrown » Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:33 pm

GregS wrote:
rahil_s wrote:
larrypmac wrote:Does gender matching mean that if you have 3 guys and 4 girls and the other team puts out 4 guys and 3 girls, you have to play short?

Larry


Yes, If you are pulling.

I don't think I've never run into a team that had a problem with my team putting out more women than they did, including playing 3/4 when they are 4/3, and submit that it would be poor spirit for them to insist my 4th women not take the field to cover one of their men.


Which is why gender matching isn't really gender matching at all, it's guy-matching. I don't play a lot of co-ed, so I'll stay away from this conversation, but I have to venture that any rule that forces a team to play short handed DESPITE having the requisite (7) number of players is insane. Bat-shit insane. There's a reason the 4-3 guy to girl ratio exists and that's because more guys play co-ed and therefore it's a lot easier to get more guys out to the games than girls. Ignoring the completely ambiguous "spirit of the game", I would say anyone that forces a team to play short, especially in this case a team that is winning the game handily, is displaying poor sportsmanship.
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Postby rahil_s » Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:15 pm

GregS wrote:
rahil_s wrote:
larrypmac wrote:Does gender matching mean that if you have 3 guys and 4 girls and the other team puts out 4 guys and 3 girls, you have to play short?

Larry


Yes, If you are pulling.

I don't think I've never run into a team that had a problem with my team putting out more women than they did, including playing 3/4 when they are 4/3, and submit that it would be poor spirit for them to insist my 4th women not take the field to cover one of their men.


I apologize, I was just answering "by the letter of the law" I don't think anyone would mind if 4 girls played against 4 guys... however, it doesn't mean that's not the way the rule is written out.

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Postby GregS » Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:40 pm

rahil_s wrote:I apologize, I was just answering "by the letter of the law" I don't think anyone would mind if 4 girls played against 4 guys... however, it doesn't mean that's not the way the rule is written out.

Rahil

Yeah, that's how I understood your reply, I was just adding my 2 cents. Lucky for us, it's not a UPA rule, but a TUC one, and so it could be amended by, what, the ops committee?
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Postby rahil_s » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:51 pm

GregS wrote:
rahil_s wrote:I apologize, I was just answering "by the letter of the law" I don't think anyone would mind if 4 girls played against 4 guys... however, it doesn't mean that's not the way the rule is written out.

Rahil

Yeah, that's how I understood your reply, I was just adding my 2 cents. Lucky for us, it's not a UPA rule, but a TUC one, and so it could be amended by, what, the ops committee?


We have an ops committee?

Personally i don't think we should change the rule... Spirit and good sportsmanship is, in my opinion, one of the backbones of the sport. We shouldn't need to police it so much.
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Postby Edk001 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:20 am

Indeed we do, Rahil 8)
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Postby JLo » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:31 am

As well, I think this case is an outlier not the norm.
At least the scenario that was depicted was at one extreme of the spectrum.

Why not just deal with the extreme outliers on a case by case basis instead of creating unnecessary overhead in the form of an extra rule or clause?

Nate... I don't think anyone disagrees with the fact that someone who forces someone else to play short while winning handily is idiotic and/or ignorant.

Greg... I think its equally unspirited to make someone play short if they fail to match 4 girls.

I still feel part of this comes down to people (or at least captains) understanding the rules and realizing what they are responsible for. It probably would have been a (slightly) less bitter pill to swallow if the team knew the rule and its full implications before the game. Still not a nice move by the other team but not outside what an expected outcome could be.

Improper or lack of understanding of the rules and bad expectations that result is a bigger issue than just this thread....
I guess this forum topic :roll:
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Postby josephkrengel » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:02 am

Couldn't we eliminate this problem by amending the existing TUC rule to say something along the lines of "... provided both captains agree at the start of the game."
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Postby JLo » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:01 pm

That's actually in the UPA rules.
Section C of the preface is dedicated to that premise.

So no amendment would be needed.
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Postby AdamR » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:37 pm

Well one thing we CAN change is the wording of the TUC rule. Using the current wording "Teams are encouraged to play both lineups - 4 men & 3 women or 3 men & 4 women," is a bit misleading as it can be read as a suggestion rather then a rule. If it is a rule, then it must be stated more clearly.
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Postby ethan_m » Fri Nov 13, 2009 9:07 pm

What about transgendered? I think we need to address this too. They really mess up the ratio. Or help it. I look to our club staff to address this. Jason, what's your feeling on this one?
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Postby larrypmac » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:48 pm

NateBrown wrote:
GregS wrote:
rahil_s wrote:
larrypmac wrote:Does gender matching mean that if you have 3 guys and 4 girls and the other team puts out 4 guys and 3 girls, you have to play short?

Larry


Yes, If you are pulling.

I don't think I've never run into a team that had a problem with my team putting out more women than they did, including playing 3/4 when they are 4/3, and submit that it would be poor spirit for them to insist my 4th women not take the field to cover one of their men.


Which is why gender matching isn't really gender matching at all, it's guy-matching. I don't play a lot of co-ed, so I'll stay away from this conversation, but I have to venture that any rule that forces a team to play short handed DESPITE having the requisite (7) number of players is insane. Bat-sh%t insane. There's a reason the 4-3 guy to girl ratio exists and that's because more guys play co-ed and therefore it's a lot easier to get more guys out to the games than girls. Ignoring the completely ambiguous "spirit of the game", I would say anyone that forces a team to play short, especially in this case a team that is winning the game handily, is displaying poor sportsmanship.


I agree that most teams interpret the rule to be guy-matching, nit gender matching. And almost all teams have more guys than girls, and to be honest, it's because more guys play co-ed Ultimate, and it's often tough to get enough girls. And then since most other teams have more guys than girls as well, it's less "nice" to force them to play with 4 girls, 3 guys.

TUC recognizes that more guys play co-ed, because the indoor co-ed leagues are all 4-2, not 3-3.

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Postby btsai » Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:47 am

I wonder how often this happens in the more competitive levels (Elite, Comp) versus (Intermediate, Rec). I would venture to say that, most captains I know of that care deeply enough about their team standings to get mad about playing short (usually the higher tier teams), are responsible enough to either:

- hunt down their teammates (guys or girls) and get an idea of how many are coming. then ask for subs, either their own friends or post on the bbs
- notify the other captain they can't field a proper team.
- suck it up and be willing to play short.

if you honestly care that much about winning your game, why would you put yourself and your team in a position to field only 3 girls or 3 guys? the true underlying problem here is not whether our rules specifically say we have to gender match or not, but poor organization on the faulting team's part. this might apply less to say, summer games, where we all have to battle rush hour traffic, but from my experience, most teams are willing to delay games till 6:45 or 7 for precisely that reason.

plus, shorter rosters means more playing time, right? 8)
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Postby JLo » Sat Nov 14, 2009 4:45 pm

ethan_m wrote:What about transgendered? I think we need to address this too. They really mess up the ratio. Or help it. I look to our club staff to address this. Jason, what's your feeling on this one?


Its stated as gender matching not sex matching.
So, as written, its the gender of the person.
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Postby ethan_m » Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:07 pm

Thanks JLo. I guess it matters more if it's pre or post-op. I think a spirited mediation is required between the teams to make sure everyone is happy.
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Postby JLo » Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:07 pm

ethan_m wrote:Thanks JLo. I guess it matters more if it's pre or post-op.

That's quite bizarre logic if you really think about it, but I don't think that expanding on that really has a place in this thread. Which is why I was terse in my response to your first post.


ethan_m wrote:I think a spirited mediation is required between the teams to make sure everyone is happy.


Agreed. In general this is the point that has gotten lost in all of this and what was truly missing in the original scenario.

Dont think I have anything left to say or will be saying anything more any time soon.
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