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Start of the 2023 season!

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The 2023 season kicked off with the inter-league games, much as last year.
No real surprises, except that the rule changes I made during the off season to favor the defense and reduce high scoring games didn't seem to work.
The Thunderbolts used a powerful running attack in which #23 gained 153 yards and #27 gained 122, to to defeat the Lancers 34-28. Lancer QB #9 threw 3 interceptions.
The Warriors looked like the complete package to defeat the Hawks 44-28.  Most of the Hawks points came in the 4th quarter, as they passed constantly, trying to get back in it.
The Titans put together a solid defense and a great passing game to top the Wildcats 36-17.  One Wildcat TD was on a 100yd KO return by #14.
The defending Old League champion Gladiators dominated the Panthers 34-14, and Gladiator FB #35 rushed for 183 yds.

The three main things that are different this season are the installation of two motors on my playing field, the use of a Lavatools digital timer for the game, and the change over from the old felt footballs to "Third and Long" footballs.

The two motor set up works great, although it sometimes doesn't turn on when I press the switch.  Got to figure that out.  Also, the cord connecting the two motors should be a few inches longer.  But I'm generally pleased.  Now, no more "dead" areas on the field.  I'll just have to get used to the vibration pattern when I'm planning what plays to use in a given area.

The Lavatools timer is also great.  Again, it will take a little more getting used to, pausing it and remembering to start it again throughout a quarter.  At the moment, I'm using a 30 minute quarter (by the timer), which is about 45 minutes to an hour in real time.  This may change as I get more experienced.

I love the "new" Tudor footballs.  After practicing, I've gotten comfortable, and I think my completion percentage has gone up - especially with longer (25+ yards) passes.  The one thing I still have to learn to do is lobbing the football over players' heads to get a very tight completion. I'd gotten quite good over the years with the felt footballs.

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3 hours ago, Daryl Collins said:

So, just to nail it down. Im about to start back playing solitaire. You would recommend the Third and Long balls over felt, right?

I sure would.  I love the third and long balls!   Mine have held up much longer than the regular felt balls.

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I'd say I'm impressed by the third and long balls.  I can't say they're so much better than the felt, but I haven't used them long enough to render an "expert" opinion.

Indeed, the Lancers need to do something about their run defense.  I allow base changes to be made through the first set (the first 4 games), but after that, they're fixed for the rest of the season.  Another option is changing the defensive alignment (meaning the position the defense lines up in, subject to rules on where the players are allowed to line up).  I think using the two motors has affected things greater than I had anticipated.

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