Monthly Archives: September 2009

Morning Pull: Spirit of the Game

The Huddle is dropping some heavy, heavy knowledge right now. The online Ultimate magazine has had many issues with “experts in the field” weighing in on subjects from a mock draft to how to use the sideline but The Huddle’s most recent issue on Spirit of the Game is real and addresses some serious issues about this game that we all know and love.

There are some seriously refreshing and honest opinions about Spirit from The Huddle, especially from Ring of Fire’s Taylor Pope and PoNY’s Ben van Heuvelen, but there is one gigantic mistake. Not a single one of the articles addresses the actual definition of Spirit of the Game (SotG). To be frank, while interesting, it doesn’t matter in the least bit what a single elite level player thinks SotG is when it is, in fact, something else entirely.

SotG has nothing to do with abiding by the rules, per se, and has everything to do with whether or not one abides by this italicized paragraph and these basic guidelines.

Spirit of the GameUltimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate unsportsmanlike conduct from the Ultimate field. Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other ‘win-at-all-costs’ behavior are contrary to the Spirit of the Game and must be avoided by all players.

One can easily go here and realize that Ultimate is possibly the most loosely defined sports of all time. In the introduction there is not even a definition of the field of play. The only things that get defined prior to SotG are object of the game (to score goals), how to score goals, number of players, object played with (disc), ways to advance the disc and turnovers.

The way we interpret that is that SotG is second to only those factors in the way that the Ultimate community defines the game that it claims to live by. Which is why we think many of the articles in this issue of The Huddle, while insightful, are grossly misguided in an attempt to actually define Spirit. We can personally understand, feel, sympathize, imagine, define a travel however we want, the fact of the matter is that the rulebook and the governing body of the sport defines a travel a certain way and that is what it means.

We love The Huddle and the vision of a true form of Ultimate media is part of what led us to start writing on this website. (That and an extreme case of senioritis last spring) However, in reading this issue of The Huddle, we were really alerted to only one thing: what Ultimate says and what Ultimate does are two different things.

Not to say that the writers for The Huddle are a signal that, in the immortal words of Brodie Smith, Spirit of the Game is dead, but to say that perhaps it is time for a round of introspection from the UPA. Perhaps, as much as we hate to admit it, we agree with Toad and SotG does need to be redefined. To us, it’s clear that most people have their own definition of what Spirit is, but how those definitions line up with the UPA definition, or how the UPA definition lines up with the majority of its players definitions of Spirit may not be so clear.

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Club South Open Regionals Previews: El Diablo

El Diablo's Bryan Sansbury moves the disc up the field at Club Sectionals. Photo courtesy of facebook stalking. Taken by Michael Gastaldo's camera.

El Diablo's Bryan Sansbury moves the disc up the field at Club Sectionals. Photo courtesy of facebook stalking. Taken by Michael Gastaldo's camera.

Every year in every sport where there is any semblance of a playoff system there is that team. You know the team, the Cinderella story, the team that, by anyone’s account, doesn’t belong in its surroundings. Last year in the UPA Open Club Series, that team was El Diablo. A team that, prior to the last two seasons had made very little noise in the Ultimate world, somehow, the team that is a blend of players from Georgia and South Carolina made Nationals and no one saw it coming.

This year, captain Mike Nash and the rest of the Diablo boys were ready to be more than just that team. They had their time in the sun as the Cinderella story and they were ready to become true contenders.

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Morning Pull: Savage Ultimate

Courtesy of savageultimate.com

Courtesy of savageultimate.com

We don’t know what kind of journalistic boundaries this crosses but we want to plug one of the newest Ultimate uniform suppliers out there, Savage Ultimate. This company, run by Todd Curran of El Diablo, has everything that any team would need for its Ultimate needs.

Not only that but Curran seems to have quite the mastery when it comes to design. El Diablo’s new jerseys this season are quite slick and we are quite partial to the jerseys he provided for a pickup team we played on this summer, The Dragons, you may have heard of us because we are currently flying high at No. 37 33 in the UPA’s RRI.

Curran is great with design, timely and puts forth some fantastic prices. Not to mention the comfort of the material that he puts out is superior to anything that we’ve donned for the purpose of playing Ultimate. Give his website a look at http://www.savageultimate.com as he’s currently offering a fantastic deal for college uniforms.

We haven’t come across a uniform supplier that mixes knowledge, skill and Ultimate experience all into one quite like he does.

You’re going to like the way you look. We guarantee it.

Growth and Size Bids

The UPA calculated and announced it’s growth and size wildcards today and unfortunately for our beloved South region, two bids appear to be all the South will get.

Courtesy of upa.org.

Courtesy of upa.org.

To be honest, the South didn’t really stand a chance in any division when you look at the statistics.

This whole situation saddens us deeply because, as you probably know, this means that the South Regionals will essentially be done by the end of play on Saturday. Alas, this is the way things go sometimes. We are disappointed that some teams, that we believe deserve a shot, are most likely not going to get the opportunity to showcase themselves on the national stage.

Club South Open Regionals: Doublewide Preview

Doublewide poses after a tournament this season. Photo courtesy of Max Cook.

Doublewide poses after a tournament this season. Photo courtesy of Max Cook.

It’s hard to imagine that a team that is the reigning two-time region champion would spend a season living in the shadow of another team in that same region. However, such has been life for Austin, Texas’ Doublewide this season. Atlanta, Georgia’s Chain Lightning has been lauded and heralded as a potential Finalist in Sarasota this season and it seems that Doublewide has fallen by the wayside, despite Doublewide’s title holding position.

Perhaps it’s because Chain performed admirably at the biggest tournament of the preseason, Seattle’s Emerald City Classic, despite some incredible team drama (of the car accident variety) and won arguably the second biggest tournament of the preseason, The Chesapeake Open. Perhaps it’s because Doublewide has seen three tournament finals thus far this season and not come away with a single victory. Whatever the reason, Doublewide captain Max Cook is not concerned with perception.

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Morning Pull: Weather Report

Courtesy of weather.com

Courtesy of weather.com

As of right now, the weather looks like it’s going to be fantastic this weekend in Atlanta. That being said, teams traveling to the city may want to be wary of the term “scattered showers” as the idea of “showers” in Atlanta has been recently redefined.

Morning Pull: RSD

While many quality topics and discussions get buried by spam, both of the Toad/MikeG ranting, raving and nonsensical type and of the unexplainable Nike kicks type, there have been some really great conversations as of late.

We take this opportunity to point you towards two.

This one.

This thread stars the spokespeople of the Florida Open Section. Including, but not limited to, Mimmo Alfano and Andrew Roca (assuming Roca Dope is him). This conversation includes highlights such as:

Mimmo: Roca, you ignorant slut.

and

Roca: Mimmo, you pretentious slag.

As someone in the thread already says, “I appreciate your returning rsd to its original and proper purpose, talking shit about other teams, very well done.”

Then there’s this gem.

We don’t know who this person is or what their M.O. is but we find this hilarious.

As Parinella says, this really throws off the RRI but, let’s face it, if someone had to mess with RRI in the process of making fun of every person and everything in the Ultimate world, it’s well worth it.