#294: Looking down on the striker - 2013-08-02


Upon hearing her great-great-grandmother's demands, Eliana decided to put them on paper and to make a graph of all possible combinations. She only made one additional question.

- Hey, who are going to be the goalkeepers? Hugo and Catalina?

- No! I want to be a goalkeeper today! - Javiera announced - Now that I'm not going to be in Pablo's team...

- I don't want to leave my post, either! Rock-paper-scissors?

Hugo, Catalina and Javiera play rock-paper-scissors. Hugo chose paper, while the girls chose scissors.

- Ok, Hugo, you lost. Javiera and me will be the goalkeepers.

- That's great! - Eliana said.

- Great? - Hugo protests.

Eliana shows everyone what she was writing.

- I made a graph representing all possible combinations of teams that can be made according to my great-great-grandmother's demands. According to my calculations, if Catalina and Javiera are in separate teams, then there are only eight possible combinations.

- Interesting. How did you do that?


- Easy. As no boyfriend can be in the same team as his girlfriend, Catalina must be in a team with Pablo, and Javiera must be with Mario and Arnoldo. On the other hand, Hugo and Carola must too be in separate teams, and as three girls must be in each team (as we're six), the other three girls must be split in two for one team and one for the other.

Everyone was staring astonished to Eliana's explanation. Maybe this is no brainer for a Mathematician, but let's remember that Eliana is only 11 years old.

- Rosa and me can't be in the same team, because if we were with Carola and one of the goalkeepers, we would be four girls, and if we were with Hugo we would be three siblings in the same team, and that's also prohibited. This also means that Carola and Alejandra can't be in the same team, hence Hugo and Alejandra must be in one team, and Carola together with Pedro on the other team, so we have two Martínez-Gómez siblings on each team.

- Very well! - Gastón applauded - But what about Rafael and me?

- Well, you're siblings, so you can't be in the same team, but besides that it doesn't matter who goes to what team. Who am I forgetting? Oh, Antonio. As there's no other boy with whom he can exchange places, he must be in Catalina's team. There's no other option.

- Aaargh! How I hate Math! Well, summarizing... - Catalina asked, covering her forehead with her hand as though she had an headache - What are the options?

- The options are: Gastón or Rafael; Rosa or me; Hugo and Alejandra, or Carola and Pedro. Two by two by two yield eight possible combinations.

- Phooey... Javiera, another rock-paper-scissors to see who chooses first?

- Sure!

Catalina chose rock, and Javiera chose paper.

- All right! I choose Hugo and Alejandra!

- Agh! Well, I'll take Carola and Pedro. I also choose... Rosa!

- All right! I'll take Gastón!

- Fine, Rafael will join my team.

Rosa blushed. Last year, they would have agreed on being in different team. However, clearly things have changed since those days Rosa was already starting to miss.


- I don't see you very happy with your team, Catalina!

- It's just that you left me with both fourth grade brats!

- Who are you calling a brat! - Pedro protested.

- You, arrogant brat! Always bragging about your football skills, yet you still can't beat my goal! I don't know how can you impress my brother, but I don't like the idea of you being in my team!

- Catalina! - Pablo protested - How long since you last saw Pedro play? Since you started dating Arnoldo that we haven't played together!

- But he's so slow!

- He doesn't need to be quick to be our star striker! Also, my girlfriend is very strong, we need someone stronger to beat her!

- That's why we have Rosa! And Pedro doesn't kick as strongly as her!

- You think so? - Pedro lost his temper - Gimme that ball! I will show you what I'm able to do now!

Javiera was grabbing Hugo from his sweatshirt's collar, making him understand that she was a better goalkeeper than him. She was near the goal opposite to the side where Catalina and Pedro argued. Then, Pedro made a powerful drive that shook the whole court, terrifying Hugo and Catalina.

- Oh, heavens! Pedro is a monster!

- Do you think you can stop something like that, Catalina?

- Okay, you win, Pedro! I think it was wrong from me to look down on you!

However, Javiera wasn't scared. On the contrary, strangely, she was still smiling. Maybe she found Hugo's facial expression funny.

María then handed colored “pecheras” (a kind of apron) to all players of each team, except Catalina and Javiera.

- Alright, kids! There will be two halves of 20 minutes each, with golden goal in case of a draw!

- Javiera's team started attacking. Eliana received a pass from Hugo at a height that was unreachable for mere mortals, and in a couple of steps she was already close to the goal. She passed the ball to Gastón, whose shot Carola tried to stop, only making things harder for Catalina, who nevertheless could stop the shot.

- You never learn, Carola! I guess that I'll have to be goalkeeper and defender at once! Rosa, it's yours!


Catalina threw a long pass to Rosa, that hits her directly over the head. Pedro catches the ball instead of her, and gets ready to shoot from that very place.

- You won't see this, you fat porker!

Mario put himself at a defensive position, between Pedro and the goal.

- You will not pass!

- Get out of my way if you don't want to get hurt!

Pedro then threw a direct shot to Javiera's body, who barely could stop it.

- I got it!

- Wow, you were lucky!

- You've improved, Pedro! But so I did! You will see!

That morning, the goalkeepers did very well, particularly Javiera, who was displaying herself as a serious alternative in this group of youths that was starting to form. Or maybe the other kids were out of practice or not used to play in this roofed court with parquet flooring...

The thing is, there was only one goal during the first half.