18th August, 2014
Lining up the wins!
An insight into the thoughts of a MMR’s Line Up Manager, Queen Quinefear!
In my time as Line Up Manager (LUM), I have come across many varied musings and rhetorics on the role. In fact, there’s so many complicated strategies and planning techniques that, in my own personal and humble opinion, the most essential aspect of line up is often completely overlooked - flexibility. I have seen so many poor, brow beaten LUMs desperately grasping their beautifully prepared and word processed strategies as they descend into melt down while their players scramble around to get the right number of blockers on track. I say this with such authority, well, because I was the authority! When I first started line up, that was me! Those were my players scrambling around as I tried to hide behind my delightfully quirky Paperchase notepad. As I gained in experience, my confidence grew and I now know that, yes, of course you should have a plan but what is equally important is adapting that plan with each new jam to meet the demands of the game.
As anyone who has ever tried the role of LUM knows, everyone’s an expert. You’ll get a whole host of well intentioned advice before each bout. I now have the confidence to completely ignore most of that advice. Not in an arrogant way but line up really is something you have to learn for yourself and with time, you can be thinking three to four jams in advance while counting who’s in the box, passing out the deep heat, wrestling a panty on to your next jammer and frantically clicking your fingers at that errant player who disappeared to find their lucky water bottle. Yes, I’m a finger clicker. It’s completely rude and I’m amazed no one has punched me in the face yet.
Line up can be a very rewarding and enjoyable job but it’s not suited to everyone. If your team wants to win, you certainly can’t please all of the players all of the time and feeling like you have been cast in the role of team villain can be tough. However, when you’ve got a team as dedicated, hard working and talented as mine, you hardly have to play the villain at all.