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Subject: Playtesting The Alternate Rules rss

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Luke Jaconetti
United States
Simpsonville
South Carolina
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After uploading the file with the Alternate Rules for this game (which can be found in the Files section), I decided to run a couple of solo test games using the variant scoring table, and the NBA Style and NCAA Style rules.

NBA Style:
The Homers come out strong after the tip off, getting buckets consistently as well as picking up some free throws. The Visitors stay close, though, hitting back to back threes about 4 minutes into the quarter. But the fouls start to add up for them, giving away multiple free throws to the Homers, including a couple of "and ones." The Homers lead at the buzzer, 24-18.

At the start of the second quarter, the Visitors take advantage of a few fouls by the Homers, chipping away at the lead while the Homers go cold. A three point "and one" for the Homers is immediately answered by the Visitors, but the Homers follow with a trio of threes over four possessions to eliminate the Visitor's earlier advantage. The quarter ends with the Visitors 22, the Homers 21, but at the Half the Homers are still up, 45-40.

Starting the second Half, the Homers are cold once again, and the Visitors again go on a run, tying the game about 2:30 in. Only a three and an "and one" keep the Homers in the lead. Their woes continue though, and they go ice cold as the quarter runs out. The Visitors end on a 14-8 run, with the quarter going to them, 17-25. After three, the Visitors are in the lead 62-65.

Going into crunch time, both sides are even, trading buckets. Around the 6 minute mark, though, the Visitors pick the worst time to go cold, with the game all tied up. The Homers capitalize on several fouls and can't seem to miss, while the Visitors struggle until and "and one" and a three to get back into it. With time running out, the Homers get an "and one" to go up 3, and the Visitors answer by hitting a single free throw to cut the lead to 2. On their last possession, the Homers can't convert, giving the Visitors the chance to win or force overtime. But they can't find the silk, and time runs out. The Homers take the quarter 21-16, and the game goes to the Home side, 83-81.

NCAA Style:
The Visitors are in control to start the game, opening up an early 5 point lead. By the midway point of the Half, they have stretched their lead to 9 and seem comfortably in charge of the game. The Homers are not completely lifeless, and score a pair of threes and a bucket to stay within shouting distance. But at the end of the half, the Visiors sit on a 7 point lead, 19-26.

The second half starts much the same as the first, with the Visitors in control. Over the first few minutes they grow their lead to 10 points off of Home misses and consistent buckets. About 6 minutes into the half, though, the Homers start a run and begin to slowly, but surely, chip away at the lead, and with under 4 minutes to go, the lead is down to 2! Both teams fail to convert on two straight possessions, so going into the final seconds, the Homers fail to convert one more time, no doubt to the dismay of their student body in the arena. The Visitors add a free throw and take the game 40-43.

Conclusions:
First off, I was impressed that both games produced close results, with back and forth action that I thought did a decent job of simulating the flow of an actual basketball game.

Secondly, I may have to revise the NBA Style and NCAA Style rules to add a few more possessions for each team. I calculated the number of possessions per quarter/half based on the shot clock. That is, each team has one possession per every 24 or 35 seconds, respectively. I'll need to run some more playtests, but I think I may roll this time of possesion number down slightly, maybe 20 and 30 seconds, respectively. This would better reflect teams not using the full shot clock each possession. It would also bring the scoring up slightly; in the NBA the average team PPG is closer to 100, so a few extra possessions every quarter would push in that direction.

I thought that the scoring chart worked pretty well, and the revised free throw rules gave a little variety when rolling a Foul. I'd like to add in a Team Foul count and 1-and-1 rules, but I have to noodle over those a little bit. Essentially, it would only change some of Foul results after a certain number of Team Fouls.

Overall I thought the Alternate Rules played pretty well, and despite their being no strategy to it, that it would be fun for a couple of friends to throw while watching hoops on TV. But these sessions also show some room for improvement as well.
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