Saturday, June 16, 2007

Stair-stepping

One difference between good and bad water polo teams is that the good ones know how to stair-step. Stair-stepping is a tactic used when an offensive player manages to get free near the goal. On good teams, defenders leave offensive players they are guarding to cover the next nearest one, requiring everybody to do a little extra work in exchange for covering the open player much more quickly. Bad teams tend to be unable to figure out this concept, and instead force the defender who had been guarding the now-open offensive player to swim after him or her, regardless of the distance in between or the time it takes to cover it.

The Los Altos School District is a bad water polo team.

Despite having given up its plan to punish the secessionists in Los Altos Hills by sending Mountain View kids to Bullis, the school board is still planning to make kids travel past (in some cases right in front of) schools close to them in order to get to their new school. I haven't looked at the demographic data, but the alternative approach -- shifting kids so that a lot of people have to travel a little bit farther, but nobody has to pass by one or more schools in order to get to their own -- seems to make much more sense.

Coincidentally, this will have the greatest impact on kids from Mountain View.

1 comment:

war-dialer said...

Waterpolo Report linked to your article:

http://waterpoloreport.com/2007/06/17/water-polo-as-a-metaphor-the-stair-step/