Crew coaches are faced with the handling of a more delicate mechanism than coaches whose teams do not suffer so greatly by hair breadth maladjustments. The crew machine depends wholly on mass efficiency; individual superiority cannot make up what is lost by general mediocrity as is the case in other sports. And a strictly mediocre crew will do a better job than a mediocre crew in which one or two excellent oarsmen upset the efficiency. The result is that two methods have been recognized in the search for highest efficiency.
One method is that used by Coach Brown in experimenting with combinations in an attempt to find the oarsman best fitted for each particular post. The other used this year by Coach Whiteside, is to place eight men in a boat and await the fusion of the differences into a smooth and well balanced machine. Both systems have been used; the success of the latter has been more marked because of its eventual merging of slight variations under the influence of one central idea. Ky Elright, at California, stands forth as the coach who has had the greatest success in pressing the method to its limits. The California oarsmen are bred in the same rowing saddles, as it were, from month to month. Practically no substitutions are made, and when they are they become permanent for more months. At Harvard, where the win-or-die attitude is somewhat frowned upon, the omission of substitutions is not altogether in accordance with the athletic policy. However, the grads are yelling for a victory over the Elis and a crew which follows the present system will, if the example of the other colleges is correct, put the eight closer to the money. Still the grads will probably yell and kick violently if the crew doesn't win by a large enough margin. In the meantime, oarsmen who have been beaten will be still able to carry on in the world.
Who's Who in Crew
Captain Dickey is faced with a harder job this season than he has had in the past. His former activities in rowing have been carried on from far up in the shell. This year he has the ticklish job of "second stroke" on his hands at No. 7, rowing behind a comparatively green stroke. Colloredo-Mansfeld, who was probably the first Freshman ever to row in a first University crew, is the stroke referred to, and although his experience is not as impressive as that of several other candidates for the position, his present form is all in his favor.
Colloredo's premature entree into upperclass rowing circles took place last year when the University crew was swinging along the upper stretches of the Charles one afternoon. A bad feather, a crab, a jarring thump, and a splash as one oarsman flashed overboard into the none too clean water just about tells the story. Another bump as the nautical sweepswinger's head broke through the surface of the ripples and landed against a rigger, almost added another chapter to the story but the crew held hard, the shocked oarsman bobbed up astern, and all was well except for a rather bad cut on his head. Bert Baines, who was coaching the Freshmen, farther up the river, was hailed and Colloredo was brought along side to fill the vacant seat. Coming events may cast their shadows but Time Out's real interest lies with the crab catcher.
Rugby at Harvard
Apropos of the House Plan now Anglicizing Harvard students is the fact that about 20 men are now working out on Soldiers Field twice a week playing the English game of Rugby. The move to play the game was made here by several students from across the sea who are enrolled in college at the present time and has since been taken up by at least a score more, many of whom are Freshmen taking the sport for prescribed exercise.
The game itself is sort of a cross between soccer and football and the players dress in the garb of a soccer player. The ball used is similar to the oval of American football (in fact, that's what they're playing with on Soldiers Field right now). The ball is advanced for the greater part by carrying and passing at the same time, similar to the way it is done in touch football but one is allowed to tackle the runner--although interference is not allowed. The scoring system reminds one of the one that was in vogue in America years ago. A dropkick,--made while the player runs down the field with the ball, stops, and kicks--counts four points, while a rush over the goal line nets the side that carried it over three points. A try after touchdown adds another two to the total. Yale played a game with a team from Philadelphia the other day and won, 7 to 0.
Harwood Ellis wasn't even regular University goalie at the beginning of the season and he didn't acquire first team rating until the third or fourth game. He showed a steady improvement all along the season and by the time the Yale series rolled around he had developed into one of the East's finest. A great deal of his daring and added ability in the Eli series was due to some extra coaching that he got from "Tiny" Thompson the Bruins' star, during the Harvard-Bruins scrimmage.... Charlie Cunningham was named on the first. All-American hockey team that the sporting editor of "College Humor" picked. Giddens received honorable mention on this team also.... In the University swimming meet held in the new pool yesterday Harvard's hope for a formidable team next year received considerable impetus when Benton Woods, a Freshman, won the 100-yard free-style in just one second slower than Al Schwartz did in the N. C. S. A. meet on Saturday. The best showing on the whole was made by Freshmen and it may be the Class of 1933 that will give Coach Ulen the nucleus for his first Harvard swimming team. The pool will be open to all members of the University the Monday after Spring vacation and a charge of $2.00 will be made for lockers. --BY TIME OUT.