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Я не проиграл, только показалось!

Автор Карл М.Хартман (Karl M.Hartman) 05 Декабря 2007 17:13

I’m Not The Loser I Thought I Was
Taechon writes "I love the game of darts. I play for the competition. I practice hard and I want to get better. I want to play the best in the world. I want to beat them. By these standards, I am not your average recreational player. I have a bit more time and personal involvement invested in my own progress and therefore a bit more emotional attachment to the games I play. So isn’t it reasonable that I might show a little bit of extra emotional disappointment at a loss? And wouldn’t it be even more reasonable if the game were a soft tip match in which an opponent entered as a level 10 player and then shot like a 17?

If you have not yet figured it out, I hate handicapping systems. If you think you are an, ‘A’ level player, step up to the plate and prove it. If not, you really don’t belong on the same board as me. That is not arrogance and it is complete arrogance for anyone to call it that. I’ve put in my practice time and paid my dues. Until you have done the same and can play me as an equal, you just don’t belong. Winning with a handicap is no win at all. So, you can see how I might be a bit upset at a player who professed to be a level 10, received a 120-point advantage in 501 and a 7-mark advantage in cricket and then proceeded to shoot like a demon (scoring a 130 average in 501 and a 4.7 average in cricket). I know a sandbagger when I see one. Or so I thought!

If you have not yet figured it out, I lost those two games and that put me out of the tournament. And while the games were fairly close, I still felt cheated. Everyone knows that Sandbagging is a part of soft tip darts but little has ever been done to address it.

There in nothing more frustrating than these people who shoot below their actual level so that they can get handicap points at a tournament and have a better chance at winning? The excuse that, “everyone does it,” just doesn’t fly. Plain and simple, it’s poor sportsmanship and downright cheating!

So when the guy extended his hand at the end of the match, I knew I had to shake it. I pride myself on being a good sport regardless of what happens at the oche. But to my surprise, I was not shocked and even felt a little justified when the words, “You’re a level ‘10’ my butt,” slipped easily from my mouth.

The guy smiled back at me and said, “They will probably raise my level for the next tournament.” “A lot of fricking good that does me,” I thought to myself. I’m sure the word “sandbagger” went through my mind. I’m know I felt like doing a lot more complaining, and I did, to some of those closest to me. “One reason to hate playing soft-tip is all the sandbagging that goes on.” You may have guessed that I was not in the best of moods.

Well, a friend of mine, an excellent dart player, was next in line to meet this sandbagging low-life. I remember telling my friend, “I’ll share a taxi with you after the match.”

The names were called for the board and the game was on. My friend was in form and rarely missed a shot. The sandbagging low-life threw darts exactly like someone who was a level ‘10’ should have thrown them. In two legs of 501, he missed the bull entirely. His darts regularly missed the triples in the game of cricket. I suddenly realized that the only low-life jerk at the tournament today was me. My presuppositions had caused me to jump to the wrong conclusion without any real evidence to back it up. Amends were in order.

I found the low-life after the game and politely commented, “Sorry to see you lose, you really shot well against me.” And of course he replied, “I told you I was a 10.” “Yea, well, sorry about that.” I humbled myself, “I’ve been struggling all day with my own darts and just feeling frustrated. You really did shoot a hell of a game against me.” The guy went on to explain how much he practices and how he really wants to be a higher-level player. Yea, I felt like a real ‘idiot.’ (This is a public forum and I can’t use stronger language, though I would if I could.)

We talked for a while and in the end got to know one another a bit better. He was a nice guy and genuinely motivated to do better in the sport of darts. After our talk, I found those people I had complained to, all but one, and told them I was wrong, the guy had just had a really good game against me. He really was a level ‘10’ player. Finally, I realized something important about myself, “I was not the loser I thought I was.”

Sportsmanship is a great tradition. It means handling both victory and loss with grace, style and dignity. It means playing fair, following the rules, respecting the judgments of those in charge, and treating opponents with respect. One might say that good sportsmanship is the ‘golden rule of sports.’ More to the point, we should treat those we play against, as we would wish to be treated ourselves, win or lose. Sportsmanship is an attitude of style and grace that has a positive affect on the sports we play.

In the end, I have not changed my opinion about the problems inherent in the soft-tip darts handicapping systems. Anyone with a grain of intelligence knows they are a problem. Those are my opinions and I am entitled to them. Soft tip needs to organize players into ‘Masters, A, B, C, etc., and allow players of the same level to battle it out. I really believe that these are the changes that will bring respect that is currently lacking to the sport of soft tip darts. Furthermore, I strongly encourage open level play where participants can play against one another without handicaps. Isn’t that what a real sport is all about? I for one, am of the very strong opinion that it is; however, I have recently added an addendum to my opinions and it goes something like this.

“All that stuff needs to be left in the dart case before I step up to the oche.” While I hold all the above to be true, the oche is not the place to express it. The tournament itself is not the place to express it. In the future, I hope to be the looser I think I am. I will strive to lose my games with style, grace, respect for my opponents, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship. Lesson learned!

Karl M. Hartman (AKA: Taechon)

On a side note:

Medalist hosted a tournament in Korea this weekend. These guys really know how to run an event. The tournament took place at the Walker Hill Hotel and Casino. It was a very nice event. The team who won the doubles competition was made up of two Koreans. One entered the competition as an 11 and shot level-15 the entire tournament. His partner entered as a level 5 and proceeded to shoot level-12 darts throughout the entire competition. Yes, entire competition. We went back and checked the stats on all their games. It is my sinceest wish that the sport of soft tip darts will some day get their act together and end all the sillyness that is perpetuated by their contrived handicapping systems. On the plus side, they did offer an open master's event. A friend of mine Petro, threw some really amazing darts to steal some games from me, then I lost to my own frustration. "Great Darts Petro!" He met Paul Lim in the next round and while he held his own against Paul, winning three of the games, it was Paul who won out in the end. "It happens," and Paul has always been a fine player.

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