The 2012 O87 5-a-Side Hardcourt Draft

There’s nothing worse than the fear of getting picked last. You know the feeling: Standing side-by-side with a dozen other gym rats against the cold cinder block wall, some twice your height, others twice your width, and hoping against all hope that the name called last is not your own. It’s a firing squad without the handkerchief and cigarette, and you’re waiting for the triggerman to set his sight on you.

There are two ways to avoid the panic attack induced by a game of pick-up. The first is to be so ridiculously good at whatever sport you’re playing that you virtually guarantee you’ll be picked early on. The second, which requires some guile, is becoming captain – being the picker – because there’s nothing sweeter than having the power to choose, even in those brief moments before you make a fool of yourself when the game actually starts five minutes later. We imagine it’s something like being Alex Trebek for a day – holding all the cards and pretending to know all the answers.

So we’re harkening back to our old PE days and instituting our own hard court draft, partly because we’re nostalgic, but mostly because we were too shrimpy to ever be captain. Here’s the twist, though. Instead of high school classmates, our player pool is composed of professional athletes – namely, footballers.

You might remember our World Soccer Draft from last summer. Eight of us each picked fourteen players and a coach and spent some time arguing about the ultimate team (going so far as to simulate matchups in FIFA 11). This time, the rules are different. We’re imagining whisking pro soccer players away from the pitch and plugging them into a 5-a-side indoor pick-up tournament. It’s a different style of play, which should mean a different style of drafting. There’s no guessing which tactics each drafter will employ. Which five-player formation is the most sustainable? Is passing or dribbling a more valued attribute? And is it necessary to have a target man and sweeper, or will 6s and 7s win the day?

The rules for such a tournament would look something like this:

  • To be played on a wood or rubber basketball court enclosed with four walls.
  • Two twenty minute halves.
  • Five players a side, no subs. That’s four outfield players and a goalie at any given time. Outfield players take turns rotating into goal.
  • The goal is one-third regulation width (eight feet).
  • All four walls are playable, but the ceiling is out of bounds.
  • Shoulder-to-shoulder is fine, but no slide tackling is allowed.

Unlike our World Soccer Draft last summer, there is a limited player pool. Hey, this is gym ball! You take what you can get. We chose forty players from a variety of positions and a number of leagues, leaving out most of the “world beaters” like Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi, and Rooney, although they would undoubtedly bolster any team. (Drafting them just doesn’t make for interesting discussion). We will once again employ a snake draft format so everyone gets a fair crack at picking. Here’s who showed up to the gym, in alphabetical order:

  1. Aguero, Sergio
  2. Alonso, Xabi
  3. Alves, Dani
  4. Ayew, Andre
  5. Balotelli, Mario
  6. Bastos, Michel
  7. Busquets, Sergio
  8. Cavani, Edinson
  9. Chiellini, Giorgio
  10. Dempsey, Clint
  11. Di Natale, Antonio
  12. Diego
  13. Falcao, Radamel
  14. Fellaini, Marouane
  15. Giovinco, Sebastian
  16. Gotze, Mario
  17. Hazard, Eden
  18. Hernandez, Javier
  19. Hummels, Mats
  20. Ibisevic, Vedad
  21. Ibrahimovic, Zlatan
  22. Jones, Phil
  23. Kagawa, Shinji
  24. Luiz, David
  25. Marchisio, Claudio
  26. Mata, Juan
  27. Nasri, Samir
  28. Neymar
  29. Ozil, Mesut
  30. Pato
  31. Pepe
  32. Pique, Gerard
  33. Pirlo, Andrea
  34. Silva, Thiago
  35. Soldado, Roberto
  36. Song, Alex
  37. Toure, Yaya
  38. Van Persie, Robin
  39. Vermaelen, Thomas
  40. Wilshere, Jack

We’ll be back Wednesday with the draft results and discussion. Stay tuned.

This entry was posted in Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The 2012 O87 5-a-Side Hardcourt Draft

  1. Pingback: The 2012 O87 5-a-Side Hardcourt Draft Results | The Other 87

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s