Author Topic: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better  (Read 10247 times)

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LadyL

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2013, 09:04:16 AM »
LordL is very very good at recreational sports like mini golf, foozeball, skeeball, etc. This summer we competed in a charity sports competition and it turns out he is excellent at volleyball as well. We played against a team that had no athletic people on it and beat them handily, as we had LordL and  two other very good volleyball players. It was still fun for everyone (and then we played a whiffleball team that whupped us completely - also still fun!).

citadelle

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2013, 09:10:28 AM »
My brother wins at everything... cards, Scrabble, chess, cornhole, etc. It seems important to him to win. We mostly complain, and some of us (his stepson, my husband) try really hard to beat him, typically to no avail.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2013, 09:10:38 AM »
So, basically, you want to penalize someone for being good at something.

Sort of like gym class, you know.  I sucked at sports.  Gee, I really liked always being the last one called to a team.  That was so much fun.

In effect, you want to do the same thing, but in the opposite direction.

No, I would not ask this person to sit out.  What I would do, is if you enjoy this game, is learn from this person on how to be better and challenge him or her at the game. 

citadelle

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2013, 09:18:47 AM »
So, basically, you want to penalize someone for being good at something.

Sort of like gym class, you know.  I sucked at sports.  Gee, I really liked always being the last one called to a team.  That was so much fun.

In effect, you want to do the same thing, but in the opposite direction.

No, I would not ask this person to sit out.  What I would do, is if you enjoy this game, is learn from this person on how to be better and challenge him or her at the game.

I actually got the sense that it is the OP who is good.

JoieGirl7

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2013, 09:56:45 AM »
We did this once with  a game where knowing song lyrics was the goal.

One person was a walking encyclopedia of song lyrics so we had her ask the questions/read the cards instead of playing- kind of like an MC.

And she didn't just read the cards, she embellished with interesting tidbits of information, even correcting things that the game makers had gotten wrong.

sweetonsno

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2013, 10:03:07 AM »
The only instance I can think of where it would be okay to ask the whiz to bow out is if you are in some sort of league or class and it's time for him to leave the beginner team and move on to the intermediate/advanced team. If you're a social group who just happens to enjoy playing games, then I wouldn't. As is the case with meals, the point isn't usually the activity, but the people there.

If this is more of a board game night among friends, I don't think you can ask or expect someone to bow out because they are too good. Here are my ideas:
1. Introduce some new games that everyone will have to learn together. That means that the expert will become the beginner. Everyone will bring their own skills, of course.

2. Choose cooperative games. Miss Unleaded suggested this. Cooperative games have everyone playing versus the board. (Each turn includes a round where the game advances in one way or another. Usually, it's more enemies popping up.) Everybody wins or everybody loses. The main risk is that someone(s) may take on the roll of director, but everyone needs to talk and work together. Pandemic is a good one to start with. It's simple to learn and set up. Shadows Over Camelot is fun, too, but takes a bit more time to set up. One of my favorites is Arkham Horror, but it's got a forty-page rule book and usually lasts at least two or three hours.

3. Choose games that have more random in them. I like Fluxx, even though it drives me bonkers. The rules and goal change all the time.

4. Get multiple games going. Ask The Wiz to join one game as a coach. (He helps both sides equally, or on an as-requested basis.) Benefit of this is that The Wiz isn't actually winning AND he's going to be able to give strategy tips.

GlitterIsMyDrug

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2013, 10:07:06 AM »
There are games I'm really good at. There are games I'm really terrible at. Isn't that how it works for most people? I'd be hurt if my friends said "Well Glitter, you're great with pop culture, so you can't play pop culture game with us. Want to read the cards?", no I want to play the game with my friends. When we have to play something that takes strategy we can all agree I'm going to be terrible at it (I lack focus), I'm still going to play.

Now, if he's a sore winner "I'm the best! I'm the greatest! I know everything!", then that's a another matter and I wouldn't want to play with him period. Just like I wouldn't want to play with someone who was a sore loser and pouted anytime they didn't win.

It's just a fun game to play and spend time with friends. I suggest, if it's that big of a deal, you quit keeping score.

kherbert05

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2013, 10:11:27 AM »
In my family it works out. There are three of us that are trivia nuts, we aren't allowed to be on the same team.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Thipu1

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2013, 10:18:35 AM »
You have to ask how competitive the person who outshines everyone else is. 

For a few years, we had a group of friends who met for a friendly poker game several times a month.  We were so bad at the game that we had sheets on the table to tell us which hand beat which.   All the chips were worth 5 cents each.   We played variations like 'Blind Tiger'.  The 'big winner' of the evening was lucky if s/he won enough to buy the Sunday paper on the way home.  You get the idea.

However, a regular at these meetings was an internationally ranked player who regularly made trips to participate in tournaments in Vegas, Atlantic City and Europe.    He never pulled his superior skills on us.  He just enjoyed our company and the game itself.  He was also helpful with suggestions on how to improve our play. 

Once, he was absolutely tickled when another regular's 12 year-old son beat the lot of us. 

Someone like that is a joy to have around. 





 

KenveeB

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2013, 10:39:30 AM »
Is the good player a bad sport about it? If that's the case, then I can see wanting to find a way to forestall that. But if they are good sports and are just better at the game, then I find it terribly sad to not let them play. I adore board games. Nothing like taking a nice, friendly game of togetherness and using it to exclude someone from the group.

mime

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2013, 10:53:43 AM »
I sure wouldn't want to exclude someone from a game.

I also have a friend who gets every question on Trivial Pursuit. One time he had the first turn and won the game before anyone else even got a turn. That was the last time we all played Trivial Pursuit.

I also like the idea of introducing a new game. I don't typically like games with much luck involved, but they do a great job of leveling the playing field in cases like this. (Fluxx will effectively keep everyone off-balance).

Cooperative games also great, you just have to make sure the whiz isn't an 'alpha player' type who will take control. (and to sweetsono: I've never played Arkham Horror, but if you say it is long and complicated but don't make that same comment about Shadows Over Camelot all I can think is "wow! that must be quite a game!"). May I also suggest Scotland Yard. The game-whiz can be the bad guy and everyone else can gang up on him.

If you are the game-pro, you could also try my approach when I play with my kids-- the self-imposed handicap: I only make a 'good' strategic decision half of the time. Basically every other turn I play well, and every other turn I play poorly. I've had to increase that ratio as my son grows, but I found it to be very effective at keeping a competitive balance.


cwm

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2013, 11:09:02 AM »
I am that trivia whiz. There are people in my circle of friends who refuse to play Trivial Pursuits because of "how easy it is for Cwm to win". Except I've lost the last five games in a row I've played. Yes, it's been close, but I have bad luck with the cards and always get the ridiculously hard ones, and other people get the ones that are quite easy.

It actually hurts, having people tell me to my face that they refuse to play a game if I'm playing. I don't like being a guinea pig on games, which is what usually ends up happening. Someone has a new game on the scale of Arkham Horror or Game of Thrones and we spend four hours looking up rules and clarifying things online because the fifty page rulebook isn't clear, and I can't stand it. I bow out so I don't end up throwing a fit (I know my limits), but people don't want to play the "boring" games like Clue or Monopoly or Scrabble (actual board game). They won't play trivia with me, I won't play long drawn-out games, and that leaves us with about three games that we can agree on, which everyone is getting tired of.

It leaves me out of things. When everyone else in the group starts clamoring when someone suggests trivia because I have an unfair advantage, they all then decide on a game that I'm not likely to play. Nearly everyone in the group knows this. I have a reputation for not wanting to play those games. So I end up sitting aside, hurt because I'm "too good" with trivia. They all have fun, and then tease me for not wanting to join them in the fun, which hurts even more. There is no winning at this point.

TootsNYC

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2013, 11:41:00 AM »
If I were the more capable person and I knew it, I'd bow out for fear of ruining the evening.

If you were in that situation, how would you go about bowing out though? It would be rude to say "Oh, I won't take part because there's no point as I'll definitely win", wouldn't it?


Look, everybody knows I'm much better at the activity than everybody else--this is not a surprise. So I'd say, "OK, I skew the results all the time, so I'm going to be on both teams / I'm going to be dungeon master."

But then again, I like to play! So I might not.


Or I might suggest a handicap--my team gets one fewer people. After all, I'm good enough to be two people!

But to ask me to not play at all? As someone asked early on, "What is the point of the game?" Why are we here?
   To me, the game is simply a thing we can do that we can all talk about. The point is not to win, actually (though I like to pay attention, and I'd like to try; a game in which no one really tries isn't fun either).  The point is to engage with one another, get to know one another, through observing how we interact through the structure of the game.

So if you tell me not to play, you're telling me that you are not interested in interacting with me.



MrTango

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2013, 12:57:40 PM »
My opinion is that in any sort of competition, all participants should do their best to win (within the rules of the activity) and that taking it easy on one's opponent is patronizing and insulting.

Sometimes, a handicap needs to be established to level the playing field.  I think that's okay as long as everyone involved is agreeable.

I do like the idea of asking someone to be a neutral referee/banker if their skill level is really that far above the other participants, but excluding them if they want to play isn't a good idea.

bah12

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Re: Competitive Group Activities when one person is significantly better
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2013, 01:12:17 PM »
I think it's rude for a group of people to partake in a group activity where one person can't participate.  Yes, it would be rude to suggest playing a board game and then asking one person at a get together to not play...even if it is because they "are so much better at it than anyone else."  And everytime I've ever been in a situation where I'm playing something against someone significantly better than me, or am the one that is significantly better than someone else...it isn't fun.  In cases like this, it's better to find an activity that everyone can enjoy.