Author Archive | James Barguss

Billy Haynes

Its with sad news that i write this week.

Billy Haynes Landlord of the Gladiators Club  in Oxford and later The Plough Appleton has passed away.

Billy Was a fine and enthusiastic player  and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.

The funeral was today.

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New web site New season

It’s all change here on the web site. As you may have noticed the site has been updated. At last years AGM we discussed having the team scores becoming integrated with the site and with the new update this is now a real possibility. I’ve been working closely with the very talented Andrew Beveridge at TechFix to create the site. It goes with out saying that if you need any web advice I’m sure he would love to help. Contact at andrew@techfixuk.com

It’s not just the web site that has changed. I’ve recently become a father so it’s been late nights and early mornings aplenty.

But now I’m looking forward to a tightly contested winter season. A chance to play some fun Aunt Sally, I look forward to seeing you there.

Winter League Fixture Link –>WASL_2013-14_Fixtures

 

I leave you a picture from my recent holiday. Woolacoombe Beach in September!!!

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Foot Faults

Foot faults

Something that pops up from time to time at games and recently the AGM is the foot fault. It’s a polarising subject which can get many people hot under the collar. For the record.

Rule 9 states

Each member of the team shall throw 6 sticks each, and may throw under arm or round arm, not over arm and both feet need to be behind the hocking by the time the stick has left the players hand. A stick leaving the players hand while his foot is standing on the hocking, may be declared a no stick.

However, the rules state nothing of who is to police the transgression and when you should point this out. For example should you have another caller type who stands at the hocking end? Does this person call out each error and put off the thrower or should they wait until the end of the throw?

Now what happens when the hocking doesn’t reach to the end of where the thrower is standing so that it’s not easy to see if the rule is broken? What if the hocking is just a line and it’s easy to step on? What if the hocking is 6 inches high and your toes step on and against but not over, does that count.

These are all valid points that make if difficult to make a judgement. Then of course what if the person throwing disagrees with you! Actually forget that,they’re going to aren’t they? Then what, stop the game till they admit it.

So where does this leave us?

I think it’s a little like speeding. Everyone at one point has done it. Maybe you knew you were doing it, possibly even did it deliberately. But maybe you didn’t and it was just a few mph over the limit but you got caught. How annoyed did that make you, I mean you never, ever speed but the one time you did you got caught and fined or you had to attend the speed school.

The point I’m making here is that no matter how whiter than white you are, you will at some point inadvertently foot foul.

About 3 years ago I was accused of doing the same thing. I didn’t do it deliberately and I certainly wasn’t getting more dolls because of it. But I changed my throw because of it and also began keeping an eye on those people thatbelieved it was cheating, I can tell you I saw them foot fault.

My solution then, if there can be one is this.

Can you imagine the bad feelings that would arise as a consequence of a footfault call where there are no defined ways around it

Anyone can make the call and then wait for the shit to hit for the rest of the game.Of one thing you can be certain, the more important the match the greater the tension, the more an issue it will become. The person making the call should first take that into account. Personally if I was captain and the thrower was stepping over and making a good score repeatedly i might speak quietly to the opposing captain.

The rule actually says ‘may be’ declared a no stick. It’s very discretionary but gives everyone the opportunity to air their views.

In the course of writing this post I’ve tried to get a view of what other people think about it, not just my own personal views but more of a consensus. If you are not aggressive or malicious in the way you approach the other captain I believe an agreement can be met where all the views can be accommodated and a satisfactory outcome arrived. If you are not then what is a fun team competition will no longer be that. When all is said and done we are there to have fun.

I hope this goes some way to answering the question of a foot fault, but I know it falls short of a definitive answer because there isn’t one. I would welcome anyone’s take on this.

Anchorman

And so it begins…

And so it begins…………….

After what was a big rush to gather enough players to enable us to sign on, weended up having enough to field a full team with a couple of spare.

With our first two friendlies being held in torrential downpours with the obligatory force 10 gale I was asked by a recent signing who had never played before, “is it always like this”? To which I replied “of course not, sometimes it’s windier and wetter”

With so many of our team not having played before (50%) it was a worry that we might be a section to high. Whilst we by no means set the world alight, neither did we fail miserably. The rain and wind did nothing to dampen our enthusiasm, though at times it was somewhat of a struggle. Our new throw is quite protected from the elements and that can’t be said for our old throw which was completely open to all the weather had to offer. I offer my condolences to those we left behind.

I was talking recently to someone who claimed to either have the first or the only 6 recorded on tape. Going back a few years all the Aunt Sally finals were recorded using a camcorder and a mirror. The camcorder sat on a table half way down the throw and the mirror allowed a sort of split screen effect, like you see at the darts. Half throwing player, half Doll.

I’m not sure if you are aware but for a few games now on a web site called USTREAM (see Aunt Sally TV ) there have been some live Aunt Sally from the winter league shown. The web site link is else where on Abingdon Auntsally.com but go here and you can check it out your self.

I was thinking it might be nice to have a bit more on ustream or even youtube. So when the summer season starts if you feel the urge to splash some videos of yourselves playing the sally perhaps with a few 6’s it can only add to the fun.

If you do why not post them in the comments section here and we’ll do all we can to bring attention to them.

In the meantime wrap up warm and don’t let em get you down

Anchorman

Recruiting New Players

Beginning of a new Season

ARE YOU A TEAM LOOKING FOR PLAYERS ARE YOU A PLAYER LOOKING FOR A TEAM

With the summer league on the horizon, talk has turned to who’s signing on and who isn’t. It’s rapidly becoming clear that some teams are going to be short of signings for the coming summer season.

On Wednesday I was approached by a couple of teams asking if I was aware of anyone looking for a game this year. One is the Spread Eagle and the other is Abingdon Utd A who will be moving to Wootton British Legion. Presumably changing their name to Wootton Legion A.

So, from now until the team sheets are due I’ll put anyone who emails me with wanting players in touch with people who want to play. Ill get our webmaster involved and we can have a kind of classified adverts for teams and players going. (I haven’t asked him yet but he’s really really nice)

The teams will accept any ability as long as you’re keen and prepared to make every game. This could be an opportunity for someone new to the game who wants to play or for a veteran who wishes to play somewhere nearer home.

There is no prerequisite to compete in any of the competitions.

Its always difficult to recruit new players so if I can put a few people in touch with each other then great. Teams need 12 people signed on but you can have more. Remember no one wants to be leading the table only to find everyone is on holiday at the same time.

Aunt Sally is one of the coolest sports there is. When I mention to anyone that I play I’m bombarded with questions “what’s its like to play” “where can i go to watch it played” I liken it to the playboy lifestyle of modern premiership footballers. Fast cars, great Clubs and the groupies are endless, you are literally fighting them off with er……Aunt Sally stick.

Don’t believe me? this guy plays number 6 for the Plough

FastCarPlayer.jpg

Contact me at

anchorman86@yahoo.co.uk

League Averages

League Averages

I spoke a while back about how the committee decide which teams go up or down a section. It got me thinking, particularly after I overheard someone say that they believed the standard of Aunt Sally to have been better in years before.

It’s always difficult to quantify when or if a certain era was better or for scores in any competitive game. Sure some teams can dominate for long periods and anecdotal evidence always proves the point. Everyone looks back on their careers as perhaps being the best for scores and the breaking of records.

These days because the reporting and results are widely published it’s easy to see what the state of the leagues is.

This post is going to be broken down into two because post 2006 all the results, teams and top dolls are in the digital domain for anyone to look at. After that it becomes more difficult. I’ve got hold of quite a few results sheets from way back when, but it will take me a while to sift through and collate.

For the purposes of this post I’m referring to years 2007 to 2011 summer season only.

What does a team’s leg average need to be consistently to be in the premier or A section?

P

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

2007

21.33

18.35

14.41

12.95

12.28

9.83

6.24

8.62

5.33

2008

21.85

17.26

12.64

12.71

10.67

10.78

7.69

8.16

6.63

2009

21.98

16.71

14.40

12.91

12.42

9.93

9.40

8.64

6.41

2010

21.76

17.33

14.98

13.03

11.26

10.31

8.53

8.56

8.17

2011

21.69

17.86

14.84

13.17

12.12

11.52

9.99

8.63

7.17

I took the total number of dolls for every team in each league. And divided by 18 games and then divided it by 3 for the legs.

As you can see the totals remain pretty static for the 5 years that we have data for. If as a team you can average 22 dolls a leg then you will easily make the Premier section. It’s also interesting to note the difference between team averages roughly 2 or 3 dolls per league.

What about the hallowed end of year top ten dolls. How many would you think you would need to get to get into the top 10 of your section?

Top Dolls

P

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

2007

154

131

117

118

115

88

63

76

52

2008

161

131

113

111

88

98

65

72

62

2009

161

129

122

106

109

84

82

72

52

2010

162

126

144

110

97

88

75

86

72

2011

161

137

129

110

110

94

93

77

66

I got the above table by taking the top 10 dolls from the last 5 years. Again the numbers appear fairly static. 110 dolls would see you at the top of the C and D section this year.

Perhaps a more accurate comparison of team dolls can be shown below

Team Average

P

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

2007

1152

991

778.4

699.4

663.3

530.7

336.7

465.7

287.9

2008

1180

932.2

682.6

686.6

576.1

582.2

415.4

440.9

358

2009

1187

902.2

777.6

696.9

670.9

536.2

507.6

466.4

346.3

2010

1175

935.8

809

703.5

608.2

556.8

460.4

462.4

441.3

2011

1171

964.4

801.2

711

654.7

622.3

539.7

466.2

387.3

These numbers are the total number of dolls for the section divided by the number of teams. It gives a better indication as to whether or not the standard of play is better or worse. I think you’ll agree there isn’t much movement here, apart from section H where the standard has got better.

Finally to give some perspective, its all very well averaging out all the scores to give a nice linear pattern. But what are the differences between the top and the bottom.

TAM-League_Dolls_2007_2011.jpg

It’s quite obvious that there is a marked difference between those in the top half and those in the bottom.

As I’ve said before this only really goes back as far as 2007. It’s going to take me some time to go thru the paper copies of years gone by, but it’s something I will do.

What do you think?

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Sticks and Things

Sticks and things

Back in 1988 the second summer of love. If you were a hardcore raver spending time at illegal warehouse parties and being arrested for breach of the peace. In fact I even have a record called breach of the peace by Spiral Tribe. Anyway that wasn’t me till later, I was only 13 at the time. No 1988 was my first serious foray into playing Aunt Sally.

It was a beer leg if I remember. An extra to make up the numbers and I’m pretty sure it would have been Abingdon Legion. I didn’t have my own sticks, I had to borrow my dads and they were heavy. Weighing in at one pound eight ounces I really struggled to reach the iron by rolling let alone hit the doll. Dad said I had to persevere though and that Christmas Santa gave me my first set of sticks.

In May of the next year I played my first season…Well, what actually happened was I played a grand total of 2 games not including the odd beer leg. The problem wasn’t my enthusiasm ( it was boundless) my problem was Abingdon Legion were an A section team, there was no premier in those days and I wasn’t good enough, only really making the team when holidays or illness decimated the team to the extent that they didn’t have any choice. In those days it was cut throat and I threw so badly that some weeks I didn’t make the team despite them only having 7 men. These were some pretty lean times for me (some may say I’ve not got much better, and to be fair on recent results they would be right) at times I really felt that I should probably take up a sport I would be more suited too. Sadly Extreme Ironing hadn’t been invented then, even if it was, mum wouldn’t let go to high with something so hot.

IronHigh.jpg

So it was that I decided I should move to a team more befitting of my talents, I dropped a few leagues to play for the Fitzharris arms (now a owned by a super market) I spent 2 seasons there and finally the prodigal son returned. Not really any better but certainly wiser, there were fewer blobs and more ones.

All through out this I was throwing 1/8s. It’s all I had ever thrown until one evening there was a bit of a cock up and I forgot them. Luckily Bob Carter said “why don’t you use mine” They were 1/10s not a massive difference but they were a revelation, I don’t remember the exact score but I was seriously impressed. So much so that Bob and I used the same sticks for the rest of the season. This also shows an enormous amount of generosity because anyone that has their own sticks, my self included, won’t let anyone else use them. That Christmas Santa dropped a set of 1/10s down the chimney. He knows just what to get, doesn’t he?

Fast forward a few seasons and I’m in need of some new sticks, my previous ones a mass of splinters and no longer making weight. I was unable to get hold of 1/10s and has to settle for 1/11s now it’s only an ounce but I was unable to replicate my success with the 1/10s. So I hatched a plan. I don’t know why but I decided I needed heavier sticks. So I wrote my letter to Santa that Christmas. Sure enough on Christmas morning I was the proud owner of a set of 2lb sticks! They are a thing of beauty, but they can bite quite badly. Let them dry out and the resulting splinter will slice your hand in 2.

My point is I tried for years with the same sticks everyone else had. If not for circumstances and trying the different weighted sticks I would have stuck with them forever. Don’t take things for granted, mix it up a bit, never get into such a rut you can’t get back out.

Take her easy

Anchorman

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Chances of Getting 18

Due to the fact the Wednesday night was a complete wash out, not just for me but team wise the performance was pretty lacklustre. I got to thinking the other day about the chances of getting 18. I suppose you can call it the holy grail of the Aunt Sally world.

Lets face it hitting all 18 sticks is not something I think I’m ever going to have to worry about, it’s completely out of my league. It’s certainly not something you can think “I might get lucky” it’s just not going to happen.

There are literally a handful of players that can claim to have done it and had it confirmed by a 3rd party. All except one are from Oxford, one of whom has done it twice. I’m not one for researching however I’ve tried to get some clarification on this.

There is a possibility that I’ve missed someone so please I’d love to add more to this list.

Abingdon

Doug Califano

Oxford

Phil Adams

Kevin Giles (Twice)

Den Sellers (youngest when he did it)

We all know someone who has had 17 in league or competition, or even 18 in practice. But to have done it during a game, it’s epic to think of. You know they didn’t do it on pure luck or by accident, though certainly that may have had a part to play. That score was achieved by skill without a doubt.

Considering my abysmal throwing on Wednesday night what would I happy with?

What would you be happy with? When you get home and your significant other says, “How did you get on”? What number is it that changes your mind from “I was crap” or “I did alright” or even “I threw well” Does that number go up or down depending on the circumstances of the throw or how well you are playing?

Personally I always think I want a minimum of 3 a leg, I’m happy with that. In fact if I could end up with 9 per game for 18 games (162) I’d be very happy but I’m sure that maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself.

Perhaps what I need to do is look at what I got total for the last year and work out what my actual total is and aim to beat that. Easy to do as the results are online. So my average is 7.5 dolls a game. Not my best year again if I’m honest. So looking at this winter season anything above 136 for the season and I’ll be happy. I’m never happy with a throw I don’t know if that’s because I’m competitive in all that I do. Sure if I get a 6 I’m over the moon no doubt. You’ll often hear me muttering I could’ve got one more or that should have been 4 or 5. It’s like some sort of compulsion I always want one more. Quite often during a game I think I wish I could have that throw again, or if I just had one more throw I know I could do better.

As someone wiser than me said “you’re only as good as your last throw” but then with equal measure “no one cares about that last throw, it’s this one that counts”

Anchorman

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