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Irish Flying Disc Association Newsletter

Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009

Note from the Editor

Welcome to issue number two of the second volume of the IFDA Newsletter. Before I start into what‟s in store for you all I‟d like to make two apologies – one goes to Simon Cocking who was referred to as „Irish Ultimate‟s oldest player‟ in the last issue. Not only is this factually incorrect, it is harsh on the sprightly Cocking who, despite having been through medical emergencies usually seen in nursery homes, still plays (and wins – as seen in the AllIreland Mixed Nationals). He is in fact the longest-serving player in Irish Ultimate. Apology number two goes to the Rubes. I had written that PEN15 had won every game en route to winning the „Friends Indoors‟ – they lost to Rubes in game one. My mistake. Grovelling complete let‟s look at what you will read about in this issue... As with the last issue there will be a split between Irish Ultimate and Further Afield. Closer to home we have an update on the IFDA Committee‟s work since February, a Club Profile of the all-winning Trinity College Dublin, an article on why people choose certain numbers, the results of the first Lookfly IFDA Newsletter photo competition and more. Looking further afield there is an interview with Belgian Ultimate „journalist‟ Bommie, a few words with Australia Open‟s Johnno Holmes and a chat with one of Ireland‟s most capped internationals, Al Murray who kindly took time out of his hectic schedule of tanning in Sydney for us.

All in all, this newsletter is (a little bit!) shorter, but in my opinion more focused. Thanks to all those who contributed and to everyone who was in touch since the last issue. Finally, anything to say or to contribute? Drop me an email: 

Take care and see you on the pitch soon!

Mark Earley Editor


Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009 Contents


Page No.

Section One: Irish Ultimate


News in Brief



IFDA Committee Work

5, 6


Lookfly Photo Competition

7, 8


Club Profile: Trinity College Dublin

9 - 11


Got your number

12 - 15


Photos from around Irish Ultimate

16 - 21

Section Two: Further Afield


Ultimate Online



Irish Players Abroad: Alan Murray

23 -27


Getting Horizontal – a look at a Belgian blog

28 - 30


World Games

31 - 34


Tournament Watch: Paganello

35 - 39

Wrap Up


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Section One: Irish Ultimate News in brief Mark Earley o Throwing Shapes are All-Ireland Mixed Champions for the 2nd year running after a 14-11 victory over Mixed Veg. Having lost to the team in maroon in the group stages, Shapes fought hard to win their semi-final and played an excellent final to win out. It is the second year in a row they have won the title. o The Irish Junior squad has been announced and has begun its training for the EYUC in Vienna in August this year. 32 players from schools and colleges around the country will take part in what promises to be an exciting tournament. More details can be found at: o DUB tourney is all go! On the 22nd and 23rd of August DUB 2009 will take place in Sutton R.F.C. Broccoli will be the hosts of this wonderful co-ed tournament and the entire event will take place in the one venue, from partying to camping and back to playing. Email if you are interested in being a part of it! o Tour 1 took place in late May and saw Séamus Murphy take part in the B Tour. 3 wins, 2 sudden death losses and 2 tough losses saw them finish 256th. The boys in green played hard and very fair throughout, as shown by their Spirit of the Game award. Meanwhile, Irish players Cian Ó‟ Móráin and Fergus Weldon finished 2nd with a young Clapham team who lost the final by 2 points despite strong showings from both players. Brian MacDevitt was also in action in London, aiding the LeedsLeedsLeeds team to a 7th place finish. o An incredible 4 Irish teams made it to Tom‟s Tourney in May with a further 5 teams travelling to Amsterdam last month. A record? I think so. Well done to UL Ninjas, Johnny Chimpo, Broccoli, Deadly Buzz and UCC Cork Mixed for all attending Windmill Windup!


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IFDA News The IFDA Committee

As detailed in the last issue, the IFDA Committee meet on a monthly basis. The aim of these meetings is to bring Irish Ultimate forward. We work hard to make this happen but can always use extra knowledge, ideas and suggestions. If you have any of these, please let us know at

Over the past 4 months we have been working on/have completed the following:

February: All-Ireland Mixed to be hosted by Binge? IFDA Clinic at The Siege of Limerick Womens Inter Varsities Mixed IV Development Tournament Discs sent to a school in Galway. Eoin Wallace to provide coaching

March: Minimum balance for IFDA account implemented Juniors Open Day Rules booklets distributed IFDA Merchandise launched on Inter Varsities (including College All-Star team) Strategic Planning Committee completed Dublin Summer League organisers appointed

April: IFDA Emergency Fund launched Regional Coordinator appointed IFDA Ltd established (meeting another of Irish Sports Council's criteria) IFDA Tournament bag begun (includes scoreboards, cones, and large water containers) Player Development sessions held All-Ireland Mixed Championships 5

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All-Ireland Schools Championships

May: Ireland Juniors squads selected IFDA Ltd. joined National Youth Council of Ireland Garda vetting consortium Broccoli registered with Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Sports Partnership Ireland Open & Ireland Women squads selected for 8 Nations Pick Up Clinics IFDA Ltd. Grants Scheme launched DCC Grant proposal

June: New varsity coordinator elected - David Perry Application submitted for Garda vetted for Juniorâ€&#x;s management team New awards ball coordinator selected – Pete Forde Planning of new varsity and schools seasons begun nationwide Ongoing work for IFDA Coaching Course


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Lookfly IFDA Newsletter Photo Competition Lookfly ( have kindly agreed to sponsor a Photo Competition in each IFDA Newsletter. Up for grabs this time around are:

1st - Lookfly Base layer & Shorts & Lookfly Disc 2nd - Lookfly Banksy design Performance Shirt 3rd - Lookfly Gloves & Disc

NB: This competition will take place again for the September issue so make sure to take lots of photos and email them to:

Rules: o The subject of the photo must be an Irish team/an Irish player in action (on the pitch!) o The photo must be taken since the last Newsletter (June 1st 2009) and before next one (September 1st 2009) o There is a maximum of three entries (and one prize!) per photographer

The winners are: 1st Place: David Perry


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July 2009

2nd Place: Mark Earley

3rd Place: Paul Cronin



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Irish Ultimate Club Profile: Trinity College Dublin Ian French and David Misstear

Ultimate started in Trinity in 1995, an American one-year student brought ultimate to Trinity, teaching anyone interested how to play. On his departure, those that had taken up the sport decided that ultimate shouldn‟t be allowed to fade away and that a club should be formed. To this end, a stall was set up during Freshers Week at the start of the new term. There, the Trinity players had a chance encounter with UK National champion Simon Cocking, who had just moved to Ireland from Madrid, and he agreed to coach the newly-formed team. A couple of years later, they gained official recognition from the governing body of sport in Trinity and were immediately banned from the cricket pitch, on which they had hitherto trained. The team now trains at the college's pitches in Santry.

With very few other teams established in Ireland, ultimate in Trinity developed slowly to start with and relied on the commitment of Simon and the likes of Mikey O‟Meara to recruit new players every Freshers Week. Eventually in 2002 the first ever intervarsity tournament was held in Cork, giving the university teams a prize to aim for. Trinity beat DCU in the final to win the trophy, despite losing to a strong UCD side in the group stages. The next three years saw UCD take centre stage in varsity ultimate, completely dominating all competitions.

The reign of Cian Ó Móráin as captain signalled a watershed for varsity ultimate in Ireland, as he recognized the need for a more professional structure in Trinity that could be used year after year to produce results. In his season in charge, 2004-5, Trinity were well beaten by UCC and UCD indoors and finished behind UCD in Winter League. With a well laid out coaching plan, fitness regime and training weekend, the team developed and went on to clinch inter varsities in a pulsating sudden death final against UCD.


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In the following years personnel and tactics have changed but this basic structure and the ethos behind it have taken Trinity to victory every year in Intervarsities, each against different opposition, UCD, DCU and UCC. With success, however, comes the pressure of being the most sought-after scalp, and Trinity‟s recent run has spurred other clubs into action, each implementing their own plans, most recently seen with Cork‟s domination this year. The challenge of remaining on top and the desire to become part of the club's history keep Trinity motivated for the new challenge every year.

With the Mixed and Women's divisions expanding in Ireland, Trinity's focus has had to adapt it's structure to cope. Focus this year was on the women‟s side of the club and the allocation of separate training times as well as the discovery of some very talented players brought instant success with Trinity winning Women's Indoor Intervarsities for the first time, finishing second in Women's Outdoor Intervarsities and winning the first ever Mixed Intervarsities. As ever, the hunger to build on this good start is present.

Trinity has had the fortune of having some of the top players in Ireland, with strong players like Cian O'Morain, David Misstear and David Rickard leading the club to success on and off the pitch. Ultimate is a team game however, and the ability of Trinity to pull together and want to play for each other is a major factor behind the success. How exactly this is created is hard to say but the traditional 16A bus ride out to Santry on a Monday evening in all weathers plays a major role, both the huddling for warmth and the fun on the bus bonding the team together. Although the last year has seen changes, with a new women‟s training session and a high-level weekend training session featuring alumni, these Santry sessions remain important, both for bringing the club together and for building toughness. Once you have trained on dark 10

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gravel in wind and rain in the winter months, nothing fazes you once you step on to the pitch.

The challenges for the future lie in maintaining and building upon the successes of the past while expanding the club. The other clubs in Ireland get stronger every year and force Trinity to modify and improve the structure of the club to stay ahead. With Ultimate becoming more popular and the number of tournaments and divisions on the increase, the challenge becomes managing the increased size while keeping the togetherness of the club. The challenge will not be easy but, as has ever been the case, there are players in the club who have the desire and the abilities to drive the club forward while maintaining the principles of hard work, enjoyment, camaraderie and the love of a good pun.


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Got your number Dominick Smyth In the „Rules of Ultimate – Appendix‟, WFDF state that „shirts shall be numbered by integers in the range 0 to 99 inclusive.‟ That‟s a lot of choice! Yet nearly everyone seems to pick a number that means something to them and they stick with it for as long as they can.

We contacted a number of ultimate players from around the country to find out the story behind their choice. Hopefully you‟ll enjoy what everyone has to say. Perhaps this will make you think about your own choice in number or inspire you to pick one if you haven‟t already done so (like Adam).

Eoin Wallace

I wear number one mainly „cause it was the first jersey I took


out of the box, and that number ten was gone, but the number


one jersey stuck.

Mary-Ann O‟Driscoll

My number is 2.7 (two point seven!) ... originally it was Twenty


Seven but my team-mate stole the number before I could get to


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July 2009 it...thief! So, then I decided to stick a decimal point in there so I would still be able to wear my favourite number! :) I picked 2.7 because two plus seven equals nine...I think! And there are nine in my I like the number 3 and three by three equals...*drum roll* NINE!!! Plus I also love the number 5 minus doo doooo FIVE!


In February/March 2002 I was told that my team 'Frenzie' from


Loreto, Navan, were entering Dub Tourney that April. Seeing as


it had been so long since our last tournament (Kilkenny, June 2001) we were very eager to play and we decided to get a full kit for it. The numbers were already on the jersey when we got them and I picked the number 4. The Dub tourney made a big impression on me and I think that was the point where I really knew this was the sport for me (I even based my CAO choices on where I could play ultimate!). So back then I could only ever play in number 4 and after 8 years playing I still feel that way today :)


I've had quite a few numbers growing up, usually depending on


the sport and the position I played. I grew attached to each and


every number however the one that stuck was 5. Whatever sport I played from the age of 13 I was number 5. That is until Europeans in 2007 when I had to say goodbye to my number and say hello to age at that time :)


I think a number is a pretty arbitrary thing, which is why I've

Mixed Veg

already changed mine twice. Currently I'm going with number 7 because I like the look of it - simple and streamlined! If it's easy enough for a monkey to draw it's got to be a good number.

Super Dave

7 for UCD and couldn't pick it for Ireland because of Marko so I


picked 29. Was born on the 29th. Still not happy with that


number though, waiting on something a little more inspirational.

Brian Oâ€&#x;Callaghan

Basically I inherited it, my eldest brother picked number 9 for


the secondary school basketball team, and then the next brother


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July 2009 wore it, so I wore it and now my younger brother wears its. So the number 9 has become synonymous with our family and basketball in Douglas Community School.

Myles Rooney

I‟ve got number 9 just „cause I always had that on my basketball

St. Mary‟s

jersey and I was given that number at random. I suppose it‟s


just habit that led me to take it on my ultimate jersey.

Chris Hunter

I choose this number because of Dan Marino, he was an


American football quarterback for the Miami Dolphins and


pretty much my hero since I was a kid. One of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game despite never winning a superbowl. He's an absolute legend who played year after year despite having both his knees destroyed to the extent that he had to have surgery after every season so he could play the next one. You have to respect commitment like that and I think that‟s why I wear the number because he was willing to lay it all on the line every game and if you go into a game willing to lay it all on the line you can't lose.

13 was already taken in uni so I needed a number that would inspire through the dark times on the pitch and that number was 11. Why number 11, its quite simple - "Spinal Tap" because there's always a time when we need to be reminded that some people can only turn it up to 10 and that just isn't enough. But if you turn it up to 11 it can give you the edge you need to get that final point. That and the fact that the scene from spinal tap is one of the funniest things every written and I always smile every time I remember it. Stephen King

To be honest it‟s not a very interesting story - I picked it out of


the box of jerseys and just stuck with it. I‟ve had chances to


change but would rather stick with it, it's easy to remember! I couldn‟t get it for The Rylands so went with 3 instead, kind of a logical choice.


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Steve Hammond

My brother has number 13 so putting the two of us together is


1337 – nerd speak for elite. Guess you can‟t take the nerd out of


the ultimate player.


It‟s the year I was born! For the national team in 2003 I was

Johnny Chimpo

going to pick 5 (one of my basketball numbers in college) but it


was taken. Then I thought about 12. It was taken as well. Likewise with 10 and 1 (my old rugby number from school). After that I got bored of people having already picked the low numbers. I was born in ‟77 so that seemed as good a reason as any to pick a number.

Adam Keyes

Don‟t have numbers yet.



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Photos from around Irish Ultimate

Si Cocking (still) in action!


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Roger ‘Podge’ Beatty enjoying some post-tournament banter in Tenerife

Irish Junior Louis ‘Hancock’ Free in action for O.C.S. against Jabba the Huck


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All-Ireland School Outdoor Championship finalists Gonzaga and St.Marys

A cold Open Intervarsities TD Peter Forde (and a cracking marquee)


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NUIG vs. Trinity at Open Intervarsities 2009

Open Intervarsities Final MVP Ian French gets free during the final


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Johnny Chimpo/BUG’s Garry Hughes blocks a good photo 20

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Broccoli’s Matt DiFranco lets one fly

Deadly Buzz and Irish international, Laura McGrath with a low release


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Section Two

Ultimate Online The simple aim of this section is to share sites from the web that will be of benefit and general interest to Ultimate players around the country.

BLOG Name: ThinkUlti Address: Details: An interesting, extremely well thought out and researched blog from one of the best coaches in Australia.

NATIONAL WEBSITE Name: UK Ultimate Address: Details: Home of all information needed for UK-based tournaments, from Tour to the likes of Brighton Beyond, as well as coaching materials and details on the GB National Teams.

PHOTOGRAPHY Name: Scobel Wiggins Photography Address: Details: Renowned as arguably the best photographer in the States, Scobel Wiggins is also mother of Ben and Seth, two of Sockeyes strongest players.

SKILLS Name: The Ultimate Handbook Address: Details: One of the first skills-based blogs out there, Ultimate Handbook is a great source for drills, tips and coaching advice with handy Flash animations available.


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Irish Players Abroad Interview with Alan Murray Mark Earley

This month we're talking to Alan Murray who has played at the top of UK Ultimate with Fire of London in Open and with Thundering Herd in Mixed. He's played different types of tournaments across Europe, from Portugal to Finland and back, in South America, USA and Canada. Alan is currently living and working in Sydney where he's playing both for fun and in a more competitive atmosphere. Alan has represented Ireland on numerous occasions between 1999 and 2008 and is one of Ireland‟s most capped players.

So Al, you're now based in Sydney and have been for the past few months. It's probably hotter here at the moment, but that's besides the point... How much Ultimate are you playing these days? It‟s currently the off season so the main focus is Winter League. There are a few different leagues in Sydney, the strongest of which is the NSL (Northern Suburbs League) which consists of four divisions of eight teams each. Most players play in two divisions which means two games of 90 mins each on a Monday night, quite a change from previous leagues I‟ve played in. The Div 1 standard is similar to the top of the A Tour in the UK which makes for a great run around.

Asides from that there are tournaments nearly every weekend around Australia if you can afford the airfares along with one day events and development camps. The mixed season will be starting soon with Regionals in NSW and Nationals in Tasmania (home of the Taz Bar) in October. I‟m hoping to get onto a decent team with the aim of hitting up Worlds in Prague next year.

And how did you find out about the whole Australian scene? The path to Sydney is well trodden by such ultimate legends as Oisin Flangeman and Mug Oooeeee who both played for Manly. I followed suit and joined up to be greeted with such Earley-isms as “f*cking disaster” and “Jaysus”.

The AFDA website is also a great resource for finding tournaments, development days and leagues. 23

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What are the main differences between the Ultimate you're being exposed to in Australia and Irish Ultimate? I haven't seen much of Irish Ultimate in the last few years except for at the National level so I can't really compare. There is a lot of grass roots ultimate going on in Sydney and around Australia. It is taught in primary schools right through to universities.

There is a much bigger player base here so you get to play high level games on a regular basis, however instead of a Tour structure like in the UK, the top teams just train for Regionals and Nationals.

Before heading off on your world trip you played with the Irish Open team in Vancouver. How did that go for you, personally? I counted myself lucky to be involved at all given I was living in London for most of the build up. It was fantastic to be back in the National Team setup with strict training regimes, tournaments and most importantly the sense of national pride and a helluva lot of banter.

What was the most difficult part of the week? Losing narrowly against teams who displayed the most appalling spirit and losing out on a top 12 finish as a result was particularly hard. It was so disappointing for 8 months of hard work to be undone in that way.

However I was proud of the way we never gave less than 100%, never lost our heads and kept our spirits up to finish 14th.


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In 2007 you were part of the Irish team that surprised many in Brazil by finishing 5th! Along the way you even beat Great Britain, the first Irish team to do so. Talk us through the World Beach Championships experience. As soon as I heard the WCBU was to be held in Brazil I was always going to go. The previous championships in Portugal had been a great experience so surely Brazil would be even better. After two weeks of acclimatisation in Brazil our team met up four days before the tournament to train together and play some practice games. This early meet up really paid off and we got off to a great start and kept up the intensity throughout the tournament.

It was so satisfying to give it our all our on the beach and to take some big scalps in the process. My personal highlights of the week were beating GB in a very tough and hot game and being told by the USA captain at the final night party that we were the toughest team they played against.

Of all the times you've represented Ireland, which one tournament stands out the most and why? Of the grass tournaments (2000, 2003, 2004, 2008) I'd have to say that Finland in 2004 was my favourite. For me it was the first time we really trained as a top level team with a full season of warm up tournaments. We also discovered what it was like not to drink every night of a tournament which, much to our disappointment, made us play a lot better!

On the beach side, Brazil was exceptional as we really came together as a team and showed a lot of teams what an Irish team can achieve.

If you were to pick a particular game, which would it be? 25

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Over the years you've played on beaches in France, Germany, Portugal and others. What’s the big draw to beach Ultimate? Beach combines a unique level of playing pain with the benefit of nature‟s painkiller, i.e. caiprinhas. Beach tournaments are always that little bit more relaxed than their grass counterparts yet you can still play high level ultimate. One of the benefits of living in Sydney now is that we have beach pickup every week.

One of my favourite beach tournaments was Burla 07 which five of us attended as a warm up for Beach Worlds. We played Iron Man for the weekend, leaving everything on the beach but still managed to have spumante fuelled fun every night. That to me epitomized what Irish spirit means; playing hard and partying harder. It‟s an incredible feeling to know that you‟ve given it everything in a game of ultimate, more so when you physically can‟t walk after a game.


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Finally, and maybe most predictably, of all the tournaments you've attended, which one would most like to re-visit? I‟ve always loved the European beach tournaments such as Burla and Yes But Nau but the most important thing when playing a tournament is who you‟re playing with, not the tournament. I‟ve been incredibly lucky to have played with such fun and talented players throughout my career and I can‟t wait to play with them again.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to talk Al, take care and see you soon-ish!


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Getting Horizontal Interview with Bommie Johannerez Author of Get Horizontal: Mark Earley

So, Bommie, you're the first Belgian to make it into the IFDA Newsletter. Congratulations! Before we get into the main part of this interview - your blog, Belgian Ultimate in general - tell us a little about your experience of Ultimate. How did you start? Ever since I‟ve been a young boy I used to be part of the scouts - going out and playing games in nature, going on long hikes - two week summer camps with fires and swimming and all of that but most importantly getting to know new people. And so it was that some of my scouting-leaders were always throwing a disc around at all possible moments and places. I got into the whole throwing thing and took a disc everywhere I went. We even launched discs in the middle of a crowd at festivals all around Belgium, and so it didn‟t take me too long to go to the first practices with Freezzzbeezzz in Brugge.

How long are you playing now? I‟ve been playing for about 7-8 years but it took me a little while until the Frisbee bug really bit me and I really got into it.

What club are you with? I‟m a proud member of Gentle ! We started this team in September 2004 with some former Freezzzbeezzz (Bruges) players who were all studying in Ghent.

What is it that really gets you about the sport? I guess it‟s the whole vibe around this sport you can actually refer to as the spirit of the game. To me this is much more than playing fair on the field. It‟s a state of mind I find a lot of 28

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ultimate players have and send out. Ultimate is about the people and about keeping an open mind. It gives me the opportunity to get to know my body, my friends and the world. Ultimate changed my perspective on life, gave me confidence and got me thinking about who I am and how I do things. All of this is what gets me about the sport, and so much more! And besides, I love to layout!

Get Horizontal is the name of the blog you run. It began in late 2007, right? What made you start writing? Actually it officially opened in February 2008. I got into the whole blogging because every day I sat at my computer and tried to find some new interesting things about ultimate. But when I surfed around I didn‟t find anything on what was going on in Belgium. So I just got started with writing all about this lovely game in our home country. I had some experience with photography and graphic design and figured I could just make an interesting webpage for anybody interested in ultimate and more specifically the Belgian scene.

And, the main focus of the blog is Belgian Ultimate? Yep, that‟s right. I wanted players to be able to read about people and teams they know and things they are familiar with. Another big thing is the idea that nice pictures need to be seen, and I started my blog just a little before the big facebook explosion last year… The name „Get Horizontal‟ is actually just a metaphor for persistence, giving it all I got.

What’s the next step for Get Horizontal? I should try and get more official or something. I started a new part time job a few weeks ago so I should be having more time to publish things. Biggest upcoming posts might be a big history on Belgian ultimate and the birth of all Belgian teams. I would also like to expand the „Precious Plastic‟ division with pictures of people and their most favourite disc and a story around it. Maybe also a book in a few years?? Or a DVD? Who knows….


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You play in Ghent where there's been a huge surge of interest lately. What do you put this down to? We‟ve got over 100 members in Ghent. I think this is mostly due to the fact that Ghent is a big university city with lots of young people but also the reputation of Gentle. We seem to be a very spirited team and so the word is spread easily. A lot of players just heard others talking about playing ultimate in Ghent and came to join the team a while later. Fact is that we don‟t even have so many players who were born and raised in Ghent…

How is Ghent Ultimate dealing with this? We‟re trying to keep everybody happy. It needs a big effort to organise about 5 teams all at once but somehow we manage… Mostly thanks to the efforts of our board and all coaches!

You recently helped TD the G-Spot tournament. How did that go? Well, it went good ! It took a hard effort to complete this tournament in a decent way but everything worked out perfectly. We‟re already working on improvements for next year and definitely also wanted to thank all teams there, including your own „G What?‟ (aka Mixed Veg). Directing this tourney mostly taught me to show more appreciation the people who have been organising tourney‟s for years now, they are the ones who give us the opportunity to get together for all those magic moments.

Thanks Bommie and best of luck with the blog!


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World Games Interview with Johnno Holmes, Australia Open/Mixed player Mark Earley Every 4 years the 6 best national teams (as ranked across all divisions at the previous WUGC) compete in a 6 team event at the World Games. This year the venue is Kaohsiung in China and the event runs from July 16 - July 26. Australian player Johnno Holmes talks us through the experience. What are the World Games? From an ultimate perspective, the Games are growing in importance for the countries that are selected. Technically it is a higher tournament than WUGC, given that countries must qualify at WUGC to be eligible as one of the 6 nations to compete. It is the highest level mixed ultimate tournament. When did you first go? This is my second campaign, I was a member of the 2005 Australian team – the Crocs (a name we are keeping this year) – to the World Games in Duisburg, Germany.

Johnno with a big grab against home team Germany in 2005


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How was the team picked? A selection panel was appointed consisting of ex-elite level players and several “certainties” for the team. A selection camp was held and the selectors took into account both performances at that camp and performance at WUGC in Turku Finland 2004. A “training squad” was picked which was around 25-20 players, from which the team (11 players in 2005, this has been expanded to 13 players in 2009) and reserves were picked. Squad members attended training camps in the lead up to the Games and reserves were available for any injuries. We lost one player to the dreaded “pregnancy disease” and thus a reserve was added to the team. Given the short roster, a significant factor was the ability of players to fit multiple positions and be well balanced all-round players. It does not allow for the luxury of specialists: fat boy handlers and no-forehand speedsters need not apply.

What kind of training did you do? Training was a mix of individual fitness and skill development and intensive weekend training camps. Australia is used to developing a system of training for international tournaments which involve brining in “all-star” players from around the country (not having the depth and luxury of club ultimate to be able to send our Nationals champion to represent the country at World events). This system has worked well for us in the past, and it is interesting to see that most other countries at World Games in 2005 picked “all-star” teams from across multiple club teams.

What was the week like? The schedule is pretty gruelling, both mentally, with the pressure of having to win pretty much every game, and physically from only having 11 players – one or two injuries can have a massive impact. In 2005 we had 3 games on day one, 2 on day two and the final on day three. It is pretty cut-throat, you play a round robin and then play off for position. Every game is crucial, and you can‟t afford any slips. We had some very close games, beating the Canadians 15-14 in extra time, and losing to the USA 14-15. We won our remaining games against Finland, Japan and Germany which meant we made the final where we took out silver after losing to the US 11-13.

How would it compared to WUGC? As outlined above, the schedule is considerably shorter. Having said that, one of the big differences is the restricted roster size. Having to pick 11 players (13 in 2009) means that 32

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you do not have the luxury of picking a lot of specialist positions, every player must be able to fulfill almost any role. The short roster obviously puts a considerable amount of pressure on players physically, and injuries can be very significant. I believe the Canadians had a guy seriously injured early in the tournament which was a bit of a blow to them. Luckily from the Aussie perspective we all remained uninjured to the end of the tournament. Serious fitness training and injury prevention work is necessary to make sure that you have the best chance of making it through the tournament.

The experience at WG is quite different to WUGC. There is a much smaller number of players, and as you are all housed at the same accommodation there is bit more of a friendly atmosphere and more interaction between the teams. There is also the fact that WG is a multidisciplinary event, so it‟s good to check out the other sports too. Highlights in 2005 were korfball, fistball and Canada beating the USA in the final of the inline hockey. This year Oz are less of a surprise package than last time – what’s the team’s aim? We are definitely aiming to build on the lessons and results from last WG. We were obviously very pleased to get the silver at the first games that Australia had qualified to attend, but there is always the desire to go one better. Given the nature of the tournament, you have to perform in every game you play. It‟s a double edged sword – you know that there will be no “easy” games, but on the other hand, you know that you can beat any team there. Our main aim will be to be well prepared and perform in every game. There is no “pre-tour” or warm up games, so all you preparation needs to be done so that the team plays at 100% from the first point of the tournament.


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July 2009

How’s training going? Things this year are looking good. Obviously a lot of fitness and skills work at the moment. We have a serious of training camps planned and will be looking to get the team really gelled as a unit over the next couple of weeks. We finished our nationals season at the end of April, so after a couple of weeks rest everyone is getting stuck into the training and the team is really pumped for Taiwan.

Well, best of luck and hopefully this year you can improve on the silver medal of 2005!

The „Crocs‟ and their silver medals in Duisburg, Germany, World Games 2005

For more information:


Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009

Tournament Watch: Around Europe, and indeed further afield, there are tournaments that carry a certain weight, tournaments that you‟ve heard are good before you even get there. In this section we‟re going to look at one of these tournaments in each Newsletter. We‟ll start with one that is relatively close to home – Paganello (Rimini, Italy).


Paganello Séamus Murray

When I get home after a tournament I often feel that things are so strangely quiet. The contrast of spending the weekend surrounded by people and activity with the stillness in my house can be disconcerting. After Paganello, the contrast is at its most stark. There are so many people at Paga and so much continuous activity there and then I come home to some computational fluid dynamics which by comparison is quite discrete.


Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009

Paganello, perhaps the most famous of ultimate tournaments, takes place every Easter on the beach in Rimini, Italy. The buzz is the most striking thing about it. And I‟m not talking about the hype surrounding it…it‟s the atmosphere when you get there; well over 100 teams in 4 different divisions, about 1500 players, and spectators too. And then there are so many other things also going on, like a freestyle competition, various activities for kids, some ancient Roman soldiers hanging around, a leprechaun (?), merchandise stalls, bands playing, the free wine festival and I heard there was a fire show sometime too – but I didn‟t even get to see that. ... It‟s impossible to see everything that happens. Like at a good rock festival, you sometimes have to choose. From the first game on Friday, to the Monday night party, Paga doesn't stop. This year at 11AM on the first day, an Italian national day of mourning, the organisers made an exception. The entire beach with its thousands of players and spectators observed a minutes silence in memory of the victims of the recent earthquake. The silence was eerie, maybe even surreal, as everyone regardless of nationality showed respect for Italy's loss.

I was playing with Binge?, a team in the mixed division from a town called Ballybinge (hence the team name – the town‟s name is but an anglicised pronunciation of the Irish ‘Baile an Bheansí’- town of the banshee, nothing to do with periods of excessive consumption). This was our second time at the tournament. Some of our players, having missed the 2007 edition, were keen to have a go.

In many ways the tournament reminds me of the week long international tournaments like say, Worlds or Euros or something – well, more like the beach versions in that the atmosphere is relaxed and even the teams involved at the Bigsy end of things go to all the parties! There are two main reasons I make 36

Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009

the comparison with those sorts of tournaments; the variety of international teams that come for it and the standard of organisation. There is such a diversity of nationalities present. Binge? didn‟t play any two teams from the same country, with games against teams from all over Europe and as far away as the USA, Canada, Colombia and New Zealand. There aren‟t many tournaments where you can do that.

And then the organisational work; it is generally amazing considering the scale of the task. It‟s obvious that the tournament has been running so long; it just runs so smoothly. They have little touches that really help; like sending text messages to teams with updates on the team‟s schedule or like the daily newsletter or the 5 nights of entertainment.

Anyway, Binge? had a pretty good time both years we went. Although, given the size, it meant getting to know new people presents different challenges than at other tournaments. It‟s easy to socialise, obviously, but with so many people there, you‟ll generally bump into the teams you‟ve played less often then you would at a smaller tournament. Or maybe they were all avoiding me? Either way it meant a bigger proportion of our fun was within our own group (our group being our team and a few other good friends). Perhaps a single gender team would have made more effort to get out there?

The ultimate is of a very good standard, and as with beach tournaments everywhere, it‟s generally very well spirited. Binge? won 5 and lost 5 games, most of which were reasonably close. We finished 21st out of the 32 teams in the mixed division, which we were reasonably happy with. And finishing on a universe point win can really make it seem better as you reflect on how you did while settling into the stands to watch the finals.


Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009

In 2007, I missed the finals. I had to get a train to Venice to get an earlier flight home to get to work the next day. Not this time. This time I was feeling pretty smug sitting in the stands as my team-mate Duffman said his goodbyes before the finals started. I love watching finals with a big crowd, and given the size of the tournament that‟s exactly what I got: the collective inhalation when a pitch length huck goes up…everybody knows that it„s Bigsy time…and then the noise after the big layout grab. I love that. Can‟t wait to see the DVD! And since we had gotten to the stands so early, we had great spot, on halfway and right at the top, next to Blockstack‟s Tom and Steve who were commentating for the DVD (you might even see some bingers in the background when they look around in their Paganello finals day episode).

The big issue I‟ve yet to mention is the price. I‟ve had very few conversations about Paganello with other Irish players without the topic of money coming up. It is an expensive tournament. After all, it lasts much longer than your average tournament. I‟ve found that with sorting out fees a long time beforehand, it‟s easy to forget about the money already paid. This time I wrote it down! Here‟s how much I spent at this tournament: 

Flights (Dublin to Bologna return): €147.82

Shuttle bus from Bologna airport to the centre of Bologna: €10 (€5 each way).

Return train from Bologna to Rimini: €25 (this can vary for different trains)

Money transfer to team captain: €331 (That included the player fee*, my proportion

of the team fee and a contribution to our communal team fund**) 

Spending money (mainly food/drink for Thursday until Tuesday): €150 to €180. Or

about that…it gets difficult to keep track.


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July 2009

*The player fee covered 5 nights hotel accommodation, 5 breakfasts, some sandwiches for lunch I made at breakfast, entry to the parties, 5 tokens for food/drinks at the tournament (2 tickets for a carton of pasta, 1 ticket for a 33cl can, I don‟t remember the other things there…you could buy 3 tickets for €5…18 for €25 or two other options in between) **Binge?‟s communal team fund paid a few miscellaneous expenses – things like spirit circle gifts for our opponents, rum for our rum roulette game, maybe some costume stuff and then a couple of rounds of beer with the remainder. That‟s a little under €700 or so all in. I‟d guess that‟s about average for my team, although some of them got new kit for the occasion too which would add to the price. It would be possible to do Paganello for slightly cheaper than this; stay in a cheaper hotel, don‟t have a beer fund, stay away from nice restaurants and only eat pizza, kebabs and supermarket food. It would be easy to spend more also, but having been there before helped us to know where the supermarket was, where the cheap pizza place was and where the free wine was. I think if you‟re going to go, you may as well do it right. Have a nice team meal. Have a Bigsy while you watch the finals. Buy a couple for your buddies. Enjoy yourself.

Despite the price, it was an incredibly fun tournament. Worth the money if you have it, particularly if you have a well paid job where you get days off anyway for Good Friday and Easter Monday. If, like me, you don‟t, then you might be better off spending money on a few smaller cheaper tournaments, or on food. But I‟m still very happy I went. It probably was one of the most fun tournaments I was ever at, even better than last time. If you can‟t have an amazing time at this tournament, then there is something wrong with your team.


Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009

Wrap Up To finish off this issue, here‟s a few jokes and some thank yous…

Jokes Various

So, to add a little more to the Newsletter I thought there could be a Jokes section. Nothing too heavy, just some old-fashioned, cringey jokes to have a laugh before wrapping it up. Here‟s what we have to offer this time around:

What’s the best type of cheese for hiding a pony? Mascarpone. A nugget of gold walks into a bar. The barman says ‘Au you, get out’. I bet my butcher €1000 he couldn’t eat all the meat on the top shelf. He declined, saying that the steaks were too high.

Two turnips go out on the piss. One gets the tar kicked out of him by a rogue bouncer outside the club. Later, in the hospital, the doctor gives it to the other turnip straight: ‘Well, the good news is he’s not dead. The bad news is he’ll be a vegetable for the rest of his life’. A midget’s walking down the road and gets pick pocketed. Who could stoop that low? Who’s the nicest guy in the hospital? The ultrasound guy. And when he’s away on holiday? The hip replacement guy.

What type of music do apple rockers like? Hardcore.


Issue 2, Volume 2

July 2009

Final Words Obviously, this newsletter wasn‟t a one man show. I‟d like to say a big thank you to all the contributors, the interviewees, the photographers and to Dominick Smyth, who helped out with the editing, proof reading and layout. As I mentioned at the beginning, I‟d love to hear more from people about what could be included in future Newsletters and about what you think of the articles in the current issue.

Any ideas, opinions, criticisms etc. - please email

Thanks for reading, Mark Earley, Editor, IFDA Newsletter Special thanks to all the photographers: Paul Cronin, Niamh O‟Rourke, Mark Dolan, Tom Styles,, A. Tiefenbacher and Mark Earley. To the contributors: Dominick Smyth, Séamus Murray. And to the comedians: Chris Stokes, James Earley, Brian MacDevitt, David Rickard and David Misstear.

Until next time



Irish Flying Disc Association Newsletter All in all, this newsletter is (a little bit!) shorter, but in my opinion more focused. Thanks to a...


Irish Flying Disc Association Newsletter All in all, this newsletter is (a little bit!) shorter, but in my opinion more focused. Thanks to a...