Faster skaters at my session

by barbaragarn

Okay, you said you had “3 level 3s and a level 4 at Bloomington.”

This isn’t an accurate picture of the situation. These were not “level 3 players;” several people there had perms for more than one level, and the session’s speed depends on who shows up that night. It wasn’t that level 3 players crashed the L2, it was that some people with access to BOTH L2 and L3, showed up at the BIG L2 last Monday.

You just moved up from level 1 not too long ago and I understand that at a session with more more players who are on their way out of 2 up to 3, you would have some frustration.

The guy who was at that session but also plays level 4 is an anomaly; he is a solid L3, not a level 4 player. I have decided that he skates down well enough to play one level down, L2, if he wants. He doesn’t control the game and instead has that rare ability to match other skaters. I have no doubt whatsoever that he’s able to hold back adequately at level 2, and for that reason he is the only person in JMS who has skater permissions for more than two levels at once.

Sometimes people notice other skaters doing well and tell the captain to move that person up. What people usually don’t do is take the next mental leap; it’s easy to see a skilled player and say, “He’s good, therefore he should go up.”
But, does this player control the game? Does he go end-to-end? If the person AUGMENTS the game, without controlling it, then I’m okay with that person playing down. Just because someone is “good” doesn’t mean I feel like he should be excluded from a certain level.

The problems come with players who are NOT able to match their speed and play to the other skaters. These guys can be far rougher than they should be, or are totally unaware of the extent they’re controlling the game, or unable to have any speeds besides “stop” and “100 percent.” For these guys–who are the VAST majority–skating down is NOT an option.

But there are lots of reasons why someone would play down, and I think carefully before granting permissions–though of course I don’t post the reasons on the site, hoping folks will trust my decisions. People off the ice for a long time, or just recovering from an injury, often ask to play down and I have no problem with these requests. But I won’t (and shouldn’t) make an announcement to every person who is going to skate with these exceptions, divulging and justifying all private details.

I won’t split up teams before the game–the captain is there to balance them out and it sounds like he did a good job of this last Monday. The session skewed fast, as happens sometimes, but Randy kept it even, so in my mind it was a success.