December 15, 2009

That’s a first

Posted in *cringe*, 8-ball - pool not narcotics, Nerdiness, Project: Fail, The OCD, The Small and Petty at 9:23 am by Dagny Taggart

I was at pool last night, scoring some matches, doing my thing.  And then something new and different happened.

I started rooting for the opposing team.  Not out loud, because that wouldn’t have been cool, but I was definitely thinking it.

Now, I’m not the world’s most competitive person to begin with.  In fact, people have faulted me for my extreme preference for non-zero-sum pareto-optimal outcomes.  But if I, or my team, is in a zero-sum situation, I am generally a big proponent of my team winning, of being the best.

According to the rules of my league, one has to “mark” the intended pocket for the 8-ball by placing a non-monetary object near the pocket.  So if I’m shooting for a corner pocket, it has to be closer to the pocket than the second dot/diamond on either rail.

The opposing team member had inadvertently marked the wrong pocket – something which was obvious.  Blatantly so.  It was clear that she was shooting for a different pocket, and that the marker just wasn’t placed close enough to her intended pocket.  She didn’t notice. 

In that situation, I would have said something before she took the shot to point out her error.  However, it wasn’t my match, and I was keeping score.  My teammate noticed the mistake, and deliberately kept silent.  Was gloating because she’d win the game on a technicality.

And yes, rules are important.  But good sportsmanship and integrity are important, too.  And the opposing player had earned that win.

“I define best as competing against the best there is out there and beating them.”

So, to my soon-to-be-former-teammate:  When a Kirsten Dunst character has a better grip on how to do the right thing than you do, you have a problem.



  1. Yes, pareto efficiency is usually more satisfying tha Kaldor-Hicks efficiency. I’m going to go back and climb my nerd tree now.

  2. HIN: There’s a tree? Why aren’t I notified about these things?

  3. As someone who also competes in pool league and knows the rules, this type of technical win bugs me to no end. I prefer the kind of honor code that would consider failing to illuminate an opponent’s error before s/he makes it to be a violation even greater than the foul being committed.

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