ULTIMATE NEWS A publication of the Ultimate Players Association
Vol. 25 No. 1 â€“ Spring 2005
In this issue... U.S. World Games Team Announced UPA Coordinators of the Year Getting Fields in Your City College Season Preview ... and more
Ultimate Players Association 741 Pearl Street, Side Suite Boulder, CO 80302
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Table of Contents
U.S. World Games Team Announced
The United States squad heads to Germany with one thing on their mind: gold
Women’s College Kits
The Birth of Ultimate
An excerpt from the forthcoming book, ULTIMATE: The First Four Decades
Get your team off the ground!
The Future of Observing
A look at the new UPA program for training and certifying observers
Letter from UPA Board President Elizabeth Murray
New Wham-O and Discraft discs approved
National College Director’s Update
Spirit of the Game
Managing your team—in tense situations
Championship Series Report
UPA Coordinators of the Year
We say ‘thanks’ to our best volunteers
Women’s Clinics 2004–2005
2005 College Series Previews
Our prognosticators prognosticate in the women’s and open divisions
Acquiring Fields for Your League
IN EVERY ISSUE Gallery
Successful strategies from Seattle
Seven on the Line
News & Notes
On the cover: Jim Schoettler of Highway 17 (left) and Jon Levy of Stanford leap for a disc at the 18th Annual Kaimana Klassik in Waimanalo, Hawaii. Photo by Andrew Davis.
18th Annual Kaimana Klassik While San Diego’s Presidents’ Day tournament was all but rained out, 16 open teams and nine women’s teams enjoyed beautiful weather at the 18th Kaimana Klassik in Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii. For many, the Ultimate is a secondary consideration at this threeday tournament featuring camping on the beach, abundant food and entertainment, and parties every night. As for the competition itself, the level of play ran the entire gamut, from a
Hawaiian high school team playing in its first tournament ever, to a few teams in each division featuring some of the top players in the world. No matter how lopsided—or heated—the matchup, though, every game ended with smiles all around. And why not? With frequent byes, as often as not the end of the game meant a return to the beach. In the open division, five-time defending champion Nada Mooger, looked to defend the championship tiki against challenges from Australia’s Doughboy AllStars, Northern California’s Highway 17, and Voltron 1975, hailing from, of course, outer space. When the dust cleared after semis, it was Nada Mooger vs. Voltron in a final that matched up some of the best players in the world. Voltron’s philosophy of “adventurous choices” kept things exciting, and they made enough of the big plays to keep it close all the way to 13–13. But in the end, the defending champs made the plays down the stretch, closing it out on a 4–0 run.
Stanford’s men’s and women’s teams continued their annual tradition of attending this tournament to tune up against some tough club competition. Above: A Doughboy receiver goes for the grab with Nick Fiske Though I didn’t get a (center) and Bradley Hibberd (right) in tow. Above right: Anthony Solomon from the Doughboys bids on defense against Stanford’s Doug Allen. Right: Doughboy Salvador Enrique Gomez (in blue) goes for the disc. Photos by Andrew Davis. 4
chance to see the women play, the men’s team look
poised once again to make a run at the College Championships. They gave tough games to the Doughboys and Highway 17 in pool play before falling in the quarterfinals to Voltron. The women’s division was won by California Pride, a stacked team who ran away with the final over Hapa Laka. (I wish I could give a fuller report, but I was playing in the open division and saw little of the women’s competition.) It was my first Kaimana, and I can see why people return year after year. The setting is beautiful, the organization is top-notch, and there’s some pretty good disc to play and watch as well. — Peter Washington
Team USA World Games 2005 Duisburg, Germany July 14–24 Ultimate Competition: July 22–24 2001 marked a significant step for the sport of Ultimate; for the first time the sport was brought to an international event under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. Officials at the World Flying Disc Federation, led by Japan’s Fumio Morooka, persuaded the World Games Committee to include flying disc sports at the 2001 World Games in Akita, Japan. Ultimate and disc golf were fortunate enough to be invited, and each of six countries brought 10 players to compete in 3:3 mixed gender Ultimate. Officials from the World Games and the IOC were impressed by the action, strategy, and athleticism of the competitors. This year, the roster cap has been bumped up to 11 and the gender ratio will be 4:3 (men:women). The 11 players and 8 alternates on Team USA were chosen for their experience, athletic abilities, physical as well as mental fortitude, and Spirit of the Game. The UPA is also sending a coach in 2005 to help the team focus on their own game. Ted Munter brings 25 years of Ultimate experience to Duisburg. He currently coaches the Brown University women’s team and has spent eight seasons with Boston’s Death or Glory, the most recent of which in a coaching capacity. Competing nations will include Australia, Canada, Finland Germany, and Japan, with the stiffest competition certainly to come from our neighbors to the north. Team USA, with Munter at the helm, plans to win not only gold, but also the respect of their opponents and the sporting world.
Ted Munter (Coach) Newton, Mass. “My goal is not just to win but to represent the U.S. and Ultimate in the best way possible.”
Deb Cussen Seattle, Wash. Carleton College Versatile handler, big hucks; likes to “surprise my defender just when she thinks she has me figured out”
Current teams: Brown University (women); Death or Glory
Current team: Riot
Dominique Fontenette Cambridge, Mass. Stanford University
Kati Halmos Seattle, Wash. Humboldt State University
Only player on previous WG squad, exceptional throws; “able to nullify or dominate the best players in the game”
Midfield receiver, throws IO backhands and forehand hucks; is at the top of her game and is “one of the toughest players out there”
Current team: Lady Godiva Current team: Riot
Kirsten Unfried Davis, Calif. Tufts University
Bart Watson Berkeley, Calif. Stanford University
Lays out for anything, tight defense, tough mark; gets “open on dead-disc plays”
Speedy, strong downfield cutter; “if I’m not beating a defender on the first point of a game, I am by the end”
Current team: Fury Current team: Jam
Alternates: Gwen Ambler Tully Beatty Scott Conway Ron Kubalanza
Will Deaver Louisville, Colo. University of Georgia
Jeff Eastham Davis, Calif. UC–Davis
Surprisingly good hops, good breaks; plays “shutdown defense with positioning and quickness”
Explosive speed, big backhand; while his desire to bring home the gold is great, “it never eclipses the respect I have for my opponent”
Angela Lin Alex Nord Miranda Roth Stacey Schoemehl
Current team: Johnny Bravo
Cussen and Deaver photos by Hart Matthews. Sparling-Beckley photo by Scobel Wiggins. All other photos courtesy of the players.
Current team: Jam
Mike Namkung San Francisco, Calif. UC–Santa Barbara
Chase Sparling-Beckley Seattle, Wash. Carleton College
Holistic player with equally strong offense and defense; “I live for getting blocks and then scoring”
Controls the skies, nasty defender; wants to represent the U.S. and “give everything I have for our success”
Current team: Condors
Current team: Sockeye
Jessi Witt Charlottesville, Va. Smith College
Josh Ziperstein Amherst, Mass. Brown University
Intense competitor, good in the air, 60-yd.+ hucks; will “carry a team beyond people’s expectations”
Spirited, athletic, talented on both offense and defense; “Fortunat taught me how to cut and hasn’t D’d me since ”
Current team: Backhoe
Current team: Brown
Your Chance to Contribute! Team USA and the UPA are committed to financing the team’s expenses to the fullest extent. To this end a fundraising drive, chaired by Kate Bergeron, will be selling Team USA merchandise and accepting tax-deductible contributions. To support Team USA, or to find out more on the team, visit www.upa.org/wg2005
2001 World Games: Team USA’s Damien Scott outleaps a Japanese defender. SPRING 2005
WOMEN’S COLLEGE ULTIMATE!! LOOKING FOR FEARLESS LEADERS! Introducing the new Women’s College Kit Starting and/or leading a new team is something that many leaders have struggled with at one time or another. That is one of the reasons why there are schools without an existing women’s college team. It’s not because women don’t want to play!! It’s because it’s hard to find the experienced or maybe just motivated, fearless leaders that are needed to bring these women together and make the commitment to lead, teach and direct this group. While the quantity of women’s college teams is definitely on the rise, there are still innumerable colleges without a women’s team. This winter we introduced the new Women’s College Team Starter Kit, designed to give a team leader our fullest support in starting a new team. It also contains useful tools for boosting an existing team that may be short on numbers or looking for practice, drills and skills instruction and ideas. From the beginning it has been a huge hit. In just 6 weeks we have sold 14 kits. If you or someone you know would like to help start a women’s college team or provide extra support to an existing team please check out additional information on how to order the college kit at www.upa.org/ outreach/womens. If you know where there is a need for a new women’s college team or have the opportunity of helping with a team, please don’t hesitate!! The growth and future of the sport depends on organizers and leaders like you to spread the word. Think about the effect
this can have on the future of Ultimate in your community. By helping with a new women’s college team, you will also have an impact on the number of women in the local league and players for a local club team. The following teams have already purchased the kit to help start a brand new team for 2005!! Northern Kentucky University Ultimate Marquette University Ultimate Arizona State University University of North Florida Bridgewater State College University of Nebraska College of Wooster USAF Academy Hendrix College College of Charleston These team leaders have purchased the kit to help with the growth of their teams: UNCG Spots – Sharon Tucker James Madison University – Jerilyn Monts Kent State – Lori Siefer Wake Forest University – Caitlin Whiteman California Polytechnic State University – Jessup Ferris Hope College – Hannah Augustine What follows are a couple stories from players
The Women’s College Kit features promotional posters, instructional discs, 10th Edition Rules booklets, a Skills & Drills manual, eight cones, and the UPA’s brand new instructional DVD! Visit www.upa.org/outreach/ womens for more information. 8
that have purchased the kit. If they can do it, you can too! JMU Ultimate ~ Jerilyn Monts I am Jerilyn Monts, aka Dex, and I am sincerely trying to get our women’s ultimate team, James Madison University (JMU), up and running and a bit more successful than it has been in the past. The history of women’s ultimate at JMU is a short one and while it isn’t exactly sparkling we do have one hell of a time. In the spring of 2003 we finally were recognized by JMU as an official club sport. This allowed us to actually have practice time as well as some meager funding. Once the founders graduated, the team pretty much dissolved—by the fall of 2003, we only had two vets. The interest from newbies really took off and the numbers were great, but taking 15 rookies and two vets to a tournament has its pitfalls. This has pretty much been the case for the past three semesters. We have attended the very few tournaments we get bids to and don’t exactly have the greatest record. I have been on the team the longest, only by a month or two, and have taken up the responsibility of trying to lead/teach the team, about 20–25 girls. I have been coaching other sports for about 5 years and so I know how to motivate and really keep the ladies active during our whole practice time, but only so much conditioning and sprint work will help you with the game. I have enjoyed the semesters I have played, but the constant losing is starting to take its toll, not just on myself but also with the team. We want to get to a new level. The reason I purchased the kit was to get any help we can. We all would rather not appear clueless and lost about practices and strategies on the field, and the rulebooks included have many of the ladies excited so that when we do attend tournaments we know what is going on, or supposed to be going on, and can work within the team and with opponents when problems arise. We all strive to be better athletes as well as maintain the great Spirit of the Game, because even though we might not come home with the win we play our guts out every game, and I think anyone we have played will attest to our strict adherence to SOTG. Thank you so much for your help, Jerilyn Monts – Dex JMU See WOMEN’S KIT, page 25
From the President Dear UPA Members, Allow me to introduce myself. I’m your new board president, Elizabeth Murray. I hail from San Francisco and this is my third year on the board. I helped found the SFUL and I currently serve as co-director. The first thing I would like to do is thank out outgoing board members Henry Thorne, Dennis Karlinsky and Joe Seidler. All three of them were missed at the January board meeting. Fortunately, their shoes were filled by three outstanding new board members: Kristen Dailey (Northwest), Peri Kurshan (Northeast), and Paige Anderson (At-Large). Their terms started in January and they’ve each already proven to be great assets to the board. And I would be remiss not to mention Tommy Proulx, who for three served years as a Northeast representative and was elected to an At-Large position on the board this past fall. Thank you for electing each of them. The UPA had a great year in 2004. Highlights included hiring a part-time programmer to help with data management upgrades and the website redesign including a new tournament reporter and Rodney Jacobsen’s remarkable online score-reporting tool. With this new web site we have moved to a flexible content management system, putting us in a better position to
adopt future technologies. We saw the College Championships on CSTV for the second year in a row. The Youth Division introduced Level I coaching clinics and, with the help of WhamO, produced an incredible instructional DVD. The first ever UPA League Organizer Conference convened in November and brought together league administrators from all over North America. Last but not least, our budget hit the $1 million mark. Looking forward to 2005—at the meeting in January the board allocated $20,000 toward the creation of a plan to support and empower grass roots Ultimate development. We also made a commitment to complete a 3-5 year Strategic Plan by July 2006. Other program enhancements included the funding of more Observer training clinics, an online rostering system, and the development of Level II Coaching Clinics. In 2005 the High School Championship will split into HS Westerns and Easterns, and for the first time there will be a Youth Club Championship. Thanks to the savvy of our incredible Executive Director, Sandie Hammerly, we wrapped up a two-year deal with CSTV for the College Championships for 2005–2006. On the international front, this summer we’re sending an all-star team to Germany to represent the United States at the World Games. A fundraising effort is being undertaken to help defray the immense costs these players must personally bear in order to attend this prestigious event.
Host a UPA Event! The UPA is looking for host sites for its 2006 Club Championships and High School, College, and Youth Club Championship events in 2007. The interest and cooperation of fired-up local Ultimate organizations are essential to pulling off UPA championship events that are a highlight of the Ultimate year. Running a championship tournament with the UPA can be an exciting, challenging and yet very rewarding experience. Benefits include: exposing the Ultimate community to your little part of the world, exposing your little part of the world to some amazing Ultimate, financial opportunities for your club and your city (form partnerships with the local convention and visitors bureau or sports commission), and the intangible rewards that come with teamwork and the smiles on the faces of Ultimate players as they chase their dreams on the fields that you set up.
One of my goals as president this year is to bring our alumni back into the organization. Last year was our 25th anniversary and two of the biggest highlights were the reunion at Club Championships and the establishment of the Ultimate Hall of Fame. Without the hard work of alums like Steve Mooney, Suzanne Fields, and Nob Rauch, neither event would have even gotten off the ground. There is a wealth of experience and knowledge out there in our alumni and I want them to know that they are still the UPA. For more information about any of the news or programs I mentioned please visit the UPA web site or feel free to drop me a line. Contact information for all staff and board members can be found at www.upa.org/upa/contacts.
2006 Events • Club Championships (late October). Bid deadline 5/31/2005. 2007 Events • High School Easterns and High School Westerns (mid-late May). Bid deadline 12/31/05. • College Championships (late May). Bid deadline 12/31/05. • Youth Club Championships (mid-August). Bid deadline 12/31/05. We look forward to hearing from you about bringing championship Ultimate to your town! For questions and/or to submit a bid, contact UPA Championship Director Will Deaver (firstname.lastname@example.org). Visit www.upa.org/host for more information.
Elizabeth Murray President, UPA Board of Directors email@example.com
Last year was pretty crazy—big games, big names and big numbers—so here is the recap for those of you who missed it. More than 500 teams mixed it up across the country! Colorado defeated UC–Berkeley in the open division and UC–Davis beat Carleton in a hotly contested women’s final. Miranda Roth (Carleton) and Josh Ackley (Colorado) won the Callahan Awards, and in the team spirit category Michigan State (Open) and Stanford (Women’s) took home the prize, but without the ro-sham-bo drama of the 2002 Championships in Spokane, Wash.
I have an idea and a theme for this year: everybody play fair. That’s it, keep it sweet and simple, just play fair. No, I am not talking about Spirit of the Game because everybody always talks about that and it means something different to everybody, despite the definition in the rule book. What I mean is that you are a reasonable player before, during, and after the Series. Obviously beforehand, if you are not college eligible don’t sign up. Seriously— don’t cheat, you will hurt your team and cause huge issues for you outside of Ultimate. During the Series, play hard but play fair. If you don’t know whether or In other news the Score not you landed in, defer to Reporter was introduced, someone who saw the play. CSTV put us on for six Help your opponent up great shows (along with after a great bid before you streaming video online), celebrate with your team— and many people actually that player probably trained read the eligibility rules for for just as many months as the first time. Yeah, there you did. After your season were a few things going on is over, stick around, hang behind the scenes, but at the out, and watch the rest of end of the day there was a the games (or the games-togreat college series with go if you win finals). Make more players than ever and sure you are creative with From the Desk of the some amazing Ultimate. your heckles rather than National College Director Did everybody watch the just being mean. Keep in semis? Because all four mind that you are going to Joshua Greenough were awesome. be playing against some of these people for the next 20 Enough about last year—how about this year? I years, and it is a pain in the ass to be apologizing said that last year was about big names, but this at summer tournaments for years while you try to year we have the 2004 women’s Callahan winner explain that you have matured since college. playing another year but with a new team. Do you know which team? In addition there is one In parting I ask you one final question: what are college member of the World Games team going you doing to make your program better? Do you to Germany this year. Do you know who it is and play intramural Ultimate? Do you help out with a which team he plays for? The Colorado men return PE class? Does your school have enough for two much of their championship team while the Davis teams? Do both genders at your school have teams women must overcome some significant changes in in the series (colleges like Wellesley are exempt of personnel. Ah, the joys of a college program. This course)? Do you talk to high schools and middle year the administration is implementing regional schools in your area? Okay, so that was more than observer clinics and more CSTV all wrapped one question but you didn’t mind too much, did around that little thing called the College Series. you? You might think that this type of stuff doesn’t make a difference, but the more people that you have playing Java/J2EE Developers Needed in your area, the more fun you are going to have. Try to make sure that your team is better off after you have left. People might not remember that great The Freedom to Achieve layout catch, but if you get the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area team more funding or help start Exciting, small, growing company seeks Java/J2EE developers. Candidates a new team you will be a part of must have ability to obtain Secret/Top Secret clearance. You will be part of team history. the full product lifecycle and work in an open, team-based environment...and yes, there will be time for Ultimate!
To apply please submit resume to John Capozzi at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 703.471.9793 x 215 Visit our website: www.platinumsolutions.com Relocation assistance provided.
College is crazy and college is fun, so take advantage of the good times that you have with your team. Good luck, and happy hucking.
ULTIMATE NEWS Ultimate Players Association 741 Pearl Street, Side Suite Boulder, CO 80302 1-800-872-4384 www.upa.org • email@example.com
President ELIZABETH MURRAY Executive Director SANDIE HAMMERLY Editor MICHAEL DEGNAN Board of Directors DEIRDRE ABRAHAMSSON PAIGE ANDERSON KATE BERGERON KRISTEN DAILEY TODD DEMETRIADES JEFF DUNBAR PERI KURSHAN ELIZABETH MURRAY MIKE PAYNE TOMMY PROULX CHRISTIAN SCHWOERKE ERIC ZASLOW UPA Staff MELANIE BYRD, Outreach & Membership WILL DEAVER, Championships MICHAEL DEGNAN, Media & Communications TIM DORAN, Program Assistant SANDIE HAMMERLY, Executive Director KITT HODSDEN, Contract IS Programmer KYLE WEISBROD, Youth Development For a complete list of UPA contacts, please visit www.upa.org.
Ultimate News is the official publication of the Ultimate Players Association. All ideas expressed in Ultimate News are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the UPA. Ultimate News assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Advertising Complete rates and specs are available online at www.upa.org/sponsors. Change of Address Ultimate News is not forwarded by the post office. To update your address, visit www.upa.org/members.
Seven on the Line What’s the best ‘theme team’ you’ve ever played on for a single tournament? What set your team apart from the rest of the field? How was the team received at the tournament? The best theme team I played on was at Ultimax in Greenville, N.C., this past December. Our team was called “Swilly Jean,” in honor of the King of Pop Michael Jackson. We wore black jerseys with white silhouettes on them of famous MJ poses from his classic 1980s video “Billy Jean.” Some players even wore one white glove on their hand. Fellow teammate Kerry Lutz even dressed as MJ in the “Billy Jean” and “Beat it” videos. Margalit Gould Falls Church, Va. B+ As the Nones from Austin, Tex., we’ve had two top-notch themes over the years, both at Potlatch. Once we went as the Nones on Ice. We all dressed up in ice-skating outfits. The very best theme we ever did though was “the nones who say Ni!” We dressed up as the characters from the Monty Python’s The Holy Grail. We had a killer rabbit, we would launch stuffed animals at people “Fechez la vache!” We finished in the top four, losing in the semis to the eventual tournament runner-up. Tal Tversky Austin, Tex. Doublewide Last year at Harvest Moon 13, in Fayetteville, Ark., our team went as Willy Wonka and the Choclate Factory. We had Charlie, Willy, The Candyman, Violet, Mike Teevee, Veruca Salt, Grandpa Joe, and about a dozen Oompaloompas. Not only did we win the tournament, but we also won the spirit/costume award and the party. It was a legendary triple crown. Nick Welch-Bolen Fayetteville, Ark. Ludicrous Speed
The Clone Team at April Fools West in the early 1980s, which became known as the “BOB” team since we all had Bob written on the backs of our shirts. Starting from the top the team wore identical, black bandanas, painted our faces half black half white, shirts were half black, half white, shorts black and white, and socks black and white. We got dressed up off-site and made a stellar entrance marching in to wild applause as we chanted our Clone/Bob cheer! It was very difficult for our oppenents to mark up on us! Billy “Bob” Hanson Phoenix, AZ retired Our team from Alaska traveled to Spawnfest in Washington state. Our team name was “XtraTuf” for the brand name of the brown rubber boots that all real coastal-dwelling Alaskans wear. We swept our pool on the first day of play and the buzz at the tourney was who is this Alaska team? We made it to the semis, not bad for a pick up team from Alaska that never practiced or played together, displaying our Xtra Tuf playing style. A year later our captain was contacted by the public relations guy from Xtra Tuf who came across our team on the tourney web site. He sent us $250 for beer and pizza for the team. Aunnie Steward Takoma Park, Md. Damona The 6 million dollar team ... best theme ever: players with blown out and surgically repaired knees. A co-ed team that lost in the finals of Potlatch (by one point), and then lost in the semis the next year. Matt Ruby Oakland, Calif. Brass Monkey
The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. We had white russians for our opponents, a crowbar, a coffee can full of Donnie’s ashes, and a rug that really tied it all together. The weekend was full of movie references that all could enjoy: “Where’s the money Lebowski?” and “You want a toe Dude? I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock if you want ... with nail polish.” Alex Korb Santa Monica, Calif. Monster
Techniques for Upholding Spirit of the Game by Kyle Weisbrod The issues of Spirit of the Game and selfofficiating are constantly debated in the world of Ultimate. The fact that we rely on a unique method of officiating is one of the more attractive aspects of our sport. Like all sports, Ultimate can teach commitment, teamwork, and the rewards of hard work, while providing an opportunity for young athletes to socialize. But PE teachers, school administrators, and parents are consistently impressed by the unique ability of Ultimate to ingrain respectful personal interaction skills, conflict resolution skills, and the desire to gain understanding of rules in order to apply them correctly. These attributes that stem from self-officiating should not be dismissed. In a world that increasingly requires interactions between people that do not know each other or come from different backgrounds, the ideal of respect, for rules and for people, is at a premium. At the same time, as the sport of Ultimate grows, leaders and teachers of the sport are being continuously challenged with maintaining this ethic that is a core part of the sport. At the top level of the game, the increase in the amount of time training to compete at the top level and the potential for larger rewards in the sport (being on television, increased recognition, etc.) have brought new challenges to self-officiating. On the other side of growth is the increasing number of participants playing Ultimate. Every participant learns the sport in a slightly different way and calls the game slightly differently. If we are unable to overcome these differences, in the end, selfofficiating may not survive. While the observing system has been put in
place to safeguard self-officiating, there are specific strategies that team leaders can take to continue to bolster this core ethic of the sport. Respecting Your Opponents There are three main tenets to Spirit of the Game: Knowing the rules Respecting and following the rules Respecting your opponent Phrased slightly differently they would be: Knowing what cheating is Not cheating Assuming that your opponent is not cheating Most of us are pretty good at following the first two tenets, but the third is often the most difficult. In order for Ultimate to continue working under the system of self-officiation, it is important that we operate under the assumption that our opponents are playing fairly. As soon as one or both teams in a game believe that the other team is cheating or is going to cheat, then the system will inevitably break down. As thousands of new players learn the sport every year, we must teach them that their opponents deserve the same respect, particularly for their calls, as their teammates. It is perfectly acceptable for some plays to result in contested calls—there will always be plays that lend themselves to different perspectives—but it is critical that players do not contest calls simply because they do not trust or respect their opponent. The rules of Ultimate are fairly clear and contested calls should be a rare occurrence. All players should follow the guideline that if they do not know what happened, they should take their opponent’s word for it. Communication with Your Teammates
Berkeley’s Bart Watson and Colorado’s Parker Krug share a moment at the 2004 UPA College Championships. Photo by Scobel Wiggins. 12
While the highest level of competition presents challenges to Spirit of the Game, at the same time, the Spirit of the Game has increased value as the level of competition increases. That our athletes can maintain their respect for the rules and their competitors when there is something on the line is proof that Ultimate has something valuable to offer to the rest of society. One of the most challenging
situations that Ultimate players face in the heat of a competitive call is communicating to a teammate that you think that they made a bad call. Vocally, disagreeing with a teammate’s call often results in the other team claiming, “Look, even your teammate thinks your wrong,” or other such jeers at the person making the call. As an outcome, it can create an adversarial relationship between the teams for the rest of the game and it can create tension between you and your teammate. Ben Wiggins, winner of the 2003 Callahan Award, recently discussed with me how his team handled such high-pressure situations. Oregon had a system of signals for letting their teammate know whether or not they agreed or disagreed with his call so that they did not have to do it publicly. For example, crossing your arms meant you thought your teammate made the right call and should stand by it. By putting your hands on your hips, you could communicate that it was a bad call, but that if your teammate really believed it he should stick with it. And putting your hand on your head meant you thought their call was egregiously wrong. This is a great system that allows for teammates to assist in making the right calls when they disagree with a teammate, without the disagreement being used against a team. Every team that plans on playing games where winning matters to the players should set up a similar system. This will allow for the player responsible for making the call to take input from their teammates and come to the proper outcome. Communication Between Teams As a result of self-officiating, Ultimate games are only as fun and as watchable as players make them. Games slowed by calls and disputes are often neither fun to play in nor fun to watch. Captains and coaches have a unique responsibility in Ultimate to ensure that the sport is fun for their players and, in many cases, watchable for the growing number of fans. A game with a lots of calls is most often not a result of one or both teams trying to take advantage of the rules, but the result of two teams calling a game with differing levels of adherence to the rules. Two frequent disputes are traveling on the throw and marking fouls. Many Ultimate players travel some amount when they throw the disc. Most Ultimate players also do not call the traveling rule strictly. Some teams, however, focus on not traveling and also expect other teams to not
News & Notes travel. A game where one team that does call traveling strictly faces a team that does not is often contentious. Similar issues arise on the mark. Many teams pride themselves on having a “hard mark” or not being broken. Hard marks can sometimes result in physical contact and a foul on the marker. Similar to traveling, a game where two teams mark and call marking fouls differently can be contentious. This is not to judge how traveling or marking should be called. These issues exist in other sports where umpires call strikes zones differently or basketball referees make different calls on travels and fouls. In these other sports, however, the referee can be expected to make calls at a level that allows a game to remain fair, fun, and fun to watch. In Ultimate, it is up to the players themselves to make calls at a level that keeps the game fair and fun. Prior to games, captains and coaches of both teams should discuss what their expectations of calls are going to be with each other and then with their teams. They should make a point to cover the more controversial issues and agree on how tightly the game should be called. If a game appears to be getting out of hand with calls, the coaches and captains should meet again to discuss the issue. Many intense games have been saved by good communication between team leaders. Communication is the key to getting teams on the same page regarding rules and how tightly a game will be called. Good communication will make a game more enjoyable to play in and to watch. As Ultimate grows and becomes increasingly competitive it is the responsibility of the sport’s leaders to teach new players how to play under the self-officiating system, create ways (like the University Oregon) of limiting conflict, and to communicate with the other team’s leaders to prevent conflict or halt it once it has started. Every time that you choose your team captain or coach, you should select somebody who can handle these responsibilities because that will determine the long-run success of both your team and the sport of Ultimate. Self-officiating is a great draw for the sport of Ultimate, but its ability to work as we move into the mainstream and the public eye is dependent on the players themselves. Kyle Weisbrod is the UPA’s Director of Youth Development.
Thank You to Outgoing UPA Board Members The UPA Board of Directors would like to thank our outgoing Board members for their service to the organization. Dennis Karlinsky, Joe Seidler, and Henry Thorne completed terms with the Board at the end of 2004 and will be missed by the UPA and their peers. Dennis Karlinksy may be the only Board member who can claim that he promoted and officiated an Ultimate game. Dennis was part of the move to adopt the Callahan Rules on the west coast and was always publicizing the game. With his long time participation at the highest levels of Ultimate, Dennis was always an advocate for taking the sport to the next level. Joe Seidler was the first non-player to be elected to the Board. Joe brought a new viewpoint to the Board and forced us to consider the non-player in addition to the current player. He was an invaluable member of the Executive Director search that brought Sandie Hammerly to the UPA, served as Treasurer of the Board, and helped with the 25th Anniversary Celebration. Henry Thorne brought a wealth of experience to the Board. Several past Board members have said that one of the best things Henry did was ask insightful questions. “What is best for Ultimate and its players?” would be on Henry’s mind when debating an issue. It’s hard to summarize what Henry has done for the UPA, but a few things come to mind: he helped with the Board reform and Bylaws transitions in 1997; helped bring Joey Gray on to serve as Executive Director; pushed for IS & T development; listened to college players regarding the Callahan/X-Rules; pushed for a full time Youth Director; encouraged working with CSTV; worked with the Disc Standards Committee, and much more. A sincere thanks from all the current Board members. You will be missed and we are very grateful for your service to the UPA. — Kate Bergeron
Cash, Stemware Rain Down on GW Ultimate Team UCSD’s Presidents’ Day Tournament was a washout this year, but that didn’t stop the George Washington University Hippos from leaving their mark in California. The team booked our return flight a day later than usual to leave room for a trip to Los Angeles and The Price Is Right. We had heard that the line to get on the show forms super early, so we decided not to get a hotel room for the night and stick it out in the rain. We showed up outside the CBS Studios lot at about 1:30 am on the morning of February 22. Despite the cool temperature and rain, we stood garbage bag–clad for five hours near the front of the 300-person line. We got a short break from the line around 6:00 and left to find food at a nearby farmer’s market. We came back to receive our actual tickets after some more waiting, but we were still told that no one is “guaranteed to get on the show.” After a last chance to leave the studio, we were back by 10:00 am, waiting along with hundreds of other hopefuls. We rallied to stay awake over the next four and a half hours. We pass the time with cheers, beat boxing, doing the wave, playing ro-sham, and telling strangers to “come on down!” By the time taping begins, everyone there had seen our energy and spirit, though we had been waiting in some capacity for the last 13 hours. We were so amazed to actually have made it that we literally go berserk when we hear that one of our co-captains, Adam “Bert” Croce, is called to contestants’ row. During the second item up for bids, he wins and joins Bob on stage for the best Price Is Right game ever: PLINKO! We give him a little help with the bidding and he lands two extra chips, which he uses to drop not one, but two $10,000 slots in a row! Later, in the Showcase Showdown, Adam “Plinko” “Bert” Croce gets two 50-cent spins on the big wheel to get an even dollar—pocketing another $1,000 and a spot in the Showdown. During the break, a woman we didn’t know got up and said to Bob, “That boy who won the $20,000 is from that frisbee team.” Our other co-captain, Ben Spears, gets up, faces the audience and just yells out, “The G-Dub Hungry Hungry Hippos want to thank all y’all for the support.” At this point, Bob has no choice but to acknowledge us, though he obviously has no clue what is going on. We explain, and when they resume taping, Bob announces on tape that it is the first time in Price Is Right history that an Ultimate team has been on the show. Bert wound up overbidding on the Showcase, but he still took over $22,000 in cash and prizes (coffee urn, elegant stemware, etc.). — Josh Lasky SPRING 2005
Leagues & Outreach Updates What is it that the UPA can offer to league and recreational level players? What is our involvement with Ultimate at this level and what do individuals and organizations look for in the national governing body for the sport of Ultimate? These are just a couple of the questions that we asked ourselves last year. These questions have come up at times in the past, but without the input from leagues and organizations themselves, we could not clearly identify these needs. So we worked with what we had and continued to develop the sanctioning program and offer benefits to affiliated organizations. While this is an excellent program that many leagues, teams, tournaments and organizations take advantage of each year, we were still left wondering what more could we do. This led us to consider the benefits of hosting a conference in which organizers from around the country, affiliated and non-affiliated, could gather with the purpose of learning from each other. Through this conference we hoped to initiate and establish a level of communication between the UPA and other Ultimate organizations that has up to this point been inconsistent. Through this communication we hoped to discover what it is that other Ultimate organizations really needed and what, if anything, the UPA could do to help them develop, and to provide the support so many of them wanted. As you may have read in the previous issue of Ultimate News, the conference was hosted in Boulder, Colo., in November of 2004 and was well attended by organizations throughout the US and Canada. Although the conference was a huge success, the UPA sees this as just the tip of the iceberg. The primary realization gathered from the conference is that for the most part, all Ultimate organizations have similar goals. For many organizations these include: the desire to attract and bring in new players; identify a standard system for organizing, running, and creating a league; knowing successful methods for teaching Ultimate and SOTG; having access to tips on finding field space; and many other necessities and benefits that organizers would like to provide their community. So many leagues and organizations have started from scratch and have found it necessary to develop their own methods, learn by trial and error, and struggle with the same challenges that every other league and organization faces. This struggle has resulted in feelings of frustration for some and isolation for smaller groups. Talking with other organizers has helped the UPA understand that our current sanctioning program is not enough to meet the needs of all organizations. In addition, we found other organizations very happy to bridge this gap and communicate with us their varying needs. Having taken the first step in bringing everyone together, we then decided 14
that the next logical step was to follow-up on the information gathered from this event. So the conference brought us all together, started the communication, and really got the wheels turning for figuring out how we can help strengthen the local and regional organizations and bring together all of these individual communities. This was the first big step in helping us realize and more clearly define the UPA’s goals for developing our relationship with other Ultimate organizations. By bringing various organizations together we hope to provide resources needed by all Ultimate communities, help eliminate the reinvention of the wheel, strengthen the ties between the various Ultimate communities, and provide the strongest support for the growth of Ultimate through the combined efforts of the national governing body and the local event organizer. But how can we do this? We quickly understood that if we were to move forward in our interest to better serve the various Ultimate organizations and leagues throughout the US, we would need to identify the next step. Hosting the conference was just the beginning! So one year after proposing and then hosting the conference, a new proposal was submitted to the UPA Board at the 2005 annual meeting. This time we hoped to gather a committee that would include Board members, staff and some league organizers. The proposal included a request that the UPA set aside funding that may be used with the approval of the Board based on future recommendations from the committee. With the full support of the Board we are now in the process of organizing the committee. The committee is being chaired by board member Kristen Dailey (Northwest representative). At present, other committee members include Tommy Proulx (At-Large Board member and BUDA–Boston rep), Melanie Byrd (UPA staff), Chris Burke (DiscNW), Matthew Heyward (WAFC), and Andrea Rossillon (BUDA–Birmingham). The mission for the committee is to: “Identify and describe the optimal relationship between the UPA and local/regional Ultimate organizations, with the long-term goal of growing the sport of Ultimate and increasing the Spirit of the Game. The short-term goal of this committee is to act on the knowledge gained from the 2004 League Conference in providing immediate benefits and create momentum toward the longer-term goals.” The UPA is excited to continue the progress of communicating with league organizers throughout the country in order to gain further understanding toward the development of the UPA’s programs. We want Ultimate players of all levels and organizers to know that we think only the first steps have been taken and there is much more to come. We want to continue
on a path of development for the programs and benefits we can offer the non-series player and organization. If you have any questions regarding this committee or would like to contribute in some way, comment or otherwise provide input we would love to hear from you. You can contact Melanie at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kristen at email@example.com. Presentations from National League Conference Now Available to Members!! In November of 2004 the UPA hosted the first ever National League Conference for league organizers, affiliated and non-affiliated, to gather for the purpose of sharing ideas and information. This event was a huge success. We would now like to make the presentations that were provided, available to our members. Although it is impossible to gain the same insight from reading the presentations compared to actually attending the conference, we feel that there is still some value for organizers. At the very minimum it will help everyone to see in better detail the topics and discussions that were included. Information from the conference can be found at www.upa.org/outreach/conference2004. If you have any questions or comments regarding the conference please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We would also like to invite other organizers to join the Yahoo Group forum that was created at the request of the conference participants. Join over 30 other organizers in an opportunity to communicate easily amongst one another on issues that others like you are dealing with! Don’t reinvent the wheel—contact Melanie at email@example.com if you would like to join the group. Look for the 2005 Innovation Grant Recipients on March 21st! The 2005 program is off to a great start. With the second year of Mary McDowell as Coordinator, the program has seen a lot of changes. Bringing with her a wealth of nonprofit and grant review experience, we have seen this once young and unorganized idea develop into a program with a formal process, consistent timeline from year to year, and a strong committee. Each year applicants are challenged to develop their ideas and each year we see a stronger emphasis on innovation in the applications that are received and accepted. Once again in 2005, the committee for the UPA Innovation Grant program accepted applications for creative ideas and innovative programs to help promote the sport of Ultimate throughout North America. Each year the UPA provides $1500.00 to be awarded to grant recipients with not more than $500.00 See OUTREACH, page 21
Championship Series Report by Will Deaver The year of 2004 UPA champions is now etched in history, evidenced by the team inscriptions on sweet new championship wall plaques at UPA headquarters. It was a stellar year marked by increased parity at the highest levels of the Club divisions (four new champions in four divisions), growth in the College divisions (almost 20%), and the continuing geographic spread of teams in the Youth division (first UPA high school championships on the west coast). Enter 2005, and the story is waiting to be written. All the characters you know and love will be back. In the spring you’ll see the UPA Top 25, Callahan Award, All-Region teams, and CSTV’s continuing coverage of the UPA College Championships. The summer and fall will give way to the top club teams going after titles that have been changing hands on a more regular basis, and competing for bids to the 2006 World Club Championships. On the individual level, the Farricker and Pufahl awards will continue to recognize the people who made and continue to make this sport worth playing at its highest levels. This year will also see some new characters in the Series line-up. The high school championships have been split into Eastern and Western events, giving more high school teams the opportunity to play out of state competition from other schools. Summer will bring the inaugural Youth Club Championships, which will provide a competitive setting for club teams from youth leagues around the country. The Series’ supporting cast will again include hundreds of volunteers, coordinators and committee members, who give their time and energy to make the Series possible, and to make it better every year. The fantastic
efforts of the Formats (new manual) and Eligibility (college craziness) committees made a big difference in 2004, and will continue to help the Series improve in 2005. The Conduct Committee unfortunately had its hands full in 2004. But the result of their work in support of the Series and the organization can be seen in the revision of the UPA’s Conduct Policy, and hopefully will be seen in the actions of Ultimate players throughout the Series. In 2005 the UPA Observers Program will be expanding to include formal training clinics. Experienced observers from the UPA Observers Committee will be instructing clinic participants on the philosophies and mechanics of observing. Observers will be certified through the program using UPA standards for officiating in Ultimate, the focus of which includes speeding up play while fostering Each Champ Series division now has a plaque good Spirit, fair play, on the wall of champions at UPA Headquarters. and player control of the game. Finally, the UPA Board and Champ Series staff have stated their commitment to the overall improvement of the UPA competitive structure for the future. It has become clear that the growing diversity of players and teams in the UPA and the Ultimate community places new pressures on the current system. The Series could potentially do more to meet the needs of its current participants, and certainly could do more to attract non-participating Ultimate players and teams. Providing more satisfying experiences may involve changes in the timing, length, format, venues, division, rules, or other aspects of the competitive structure. The UPA Board has authorized the formation of a task force to look at this complex issue. This group will report their ideas to the Board who will view them with a strategic eye towards the future of the sport and the UPA. The ideas they come up with may be big or may be small, but they will depend in large part on the input of the diverse members of the Ultimate community. What does the Series do well that you would like to keep? What could it do better to meet the needs of you, your team, or other players in your community? It’s going to be another great year for the Championship Series, as it continues to serve as one of the biggest stages in the world for Ultimate. Good luck as you form teams, train, practice, make friends, and compete in this game we all love. For more information or questions on these or other Series topics, check out all the great info on the UPA website, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will Deaver has been the UPA Championship Director since 2001. He captains Boulder, Colo.–based Johnny Bravo and was selected to represent the United States on the World Games team in Germany this summer. SPRING 2005
2004 UPA Coordinators of the Year Every year the UPA takes this opportunity to recognize some outstanding individuals who have served the Championship Series, the organization, and the greater Ultimate community. All UPA volunteers deserve a great big “thank you” for the time and energy they put in for the sport and their fellow players. Of this great group of people, however, a few UPA coordinators stood out this past year for their exceptional efforts. Sectional Coordinators are the primary link between the UPA and Ultimate players, including both those who are UPA members and those who might become members. Their job revolves primarily around organizing Sectionals, the first qualifying stage in the Championship Series. This job entails not only running a fun,
quality event, but also includes helping teams get information about how to participate and helping the UPA keep track of everyone who does. Regional Coordinators are some of the most experienced, dedicated Ultimate organizers in the country. This relatively small group of volunteers works almost year-round—recruiting and managing sectional coordinators, preparing for the Series, handling competition issues during the Series, and organizing Regional Championships, some of the most exciting events of the Ultimate year. — Will Deaver, UPA Championship Director
College Open Dan Sigal - Metro NY Dan’s section grew from 4 teams in 2003 to 14 in 2004. He fought for bids to regionals for the teams in his section by encouraging each and every team in the section to turn in valid rosters and get out to the tournament, in the hopes that they could squeeze out one more bid. He also did this in a section that is a notoriously difficult place to host tournaments. — Joshua Greenough National College Director Honorable Mention: Valley Renshaw (Ozarks), Adrian Liem (Washington/ British Columbia)
College Women Claire Fisher – Southern California Claire and her teammates turned in a great effort to help their section and showed that an up-and-coming team on the field can also help out with organization. She stepped to lead a section that is growing both in terms of number of teams and quality of competition, and encouraged participation by holding Sectionals at a new location for the first time in years. She and her teammates got an extra bonus by earning their team’s first bid to the UPA College Championships! — Joshua Greenough National College Director Honorable Mention: Amy Salley (South), Beth Nakamura (Metro Boston)
Club Mixed Julie Cook – Gulf Coast Julie’s tireless contributions to the sport amaze me. This year she initially attempted to pass on the job, but when her successor had a conflict and no one picked it up, she refused to let it go unfilled. She is too busy to be an SC yet does it anyway for the sake of the sport, in one of the smallest ultimate markets in the country. She’s a model Sectional Coordinator and a model in the world of selfless volunteering. — Stu Downs South Mixed RC Honorable Mention: Derek Zeigler (Founders)
Club Women Joy Endicott – Gulf Coast
Club Open Matt Babler – West Plains
In 2003 the Gulf Coast section did not have a single team compete in the UPA Club Series. There have also been other years where the section fielded only one team, and it had to travel to the East Coast section to compete. Joy worked really hard to promote sectionals this year and had 5-teams travel for the Gulf Coast tournament. It took a lot of work on her part to put together the tournament and work with the teams to accommodate their needs. I think it was a great effort, especially in such a challenging area for women’s Ultimate.
Matt took excellent care of the West Plains of the Central Region and made Adam Goff’s job (as Central Regional Coordinator) much easier. Matt took care of every issue that came up in accordance with the rules and procedures of the Championship Series and his frequent communication with Adam and the teams of the West Plains helped his Sectional Championship run very smoothly. — David Raflo National Open Director Honorable Mention: Jeff Eastham (Northern California)
— Holly Sommers South Women’s RC Honorable Mention: Kristen Hardie (Rocky Mountain)
Club Masters Randy Ricks – Southwest Randy is a veteran coordinator and the benefit of his experience was evident in the quality of the Regional Championship tournament he hosted. Randy was successful in recruiting a full slate of quality teams to attend Regionals, no mean feat in the geographically huge Southwest Region. Randy met all of his administrative goals and deadlines and was an unqualified pleasure to work with. (And of course, the boy blows a mean harmonica.) He’s a great player and a Spirited guy who gets the job done well. Knowing that he is on-task means I don’t need to think or worry about what’s going on in the wild, wild (South) West, because I know he will. Thanks. — Pete Giusti National Masters Director Honorable Mention: Eddie Stone (Northeast)
Club Mixed Sarah Youngblood – Southwest
College Open Jeremy Redburn – New England
We had trouble filling one Sectional Coordinator position this year in the Southwest, and Sarah responded in a pro-active manner and took her role as interim SC very seriously. She worked with the SC’s in the other divisions to organize fields for the tournament, contacted the teams, got many of the rosters in on time, and, in general, really pushed to make sure this sectional tournament happened. Sarah also worked closely with the SC from Hawaii, and this resulted in a Mixed squad coming from the islands for Regionals. So, 2004 was a challenging year for the Southwest Mixed division, but they benefited greatly from Sarah’s hard work and dedication.
Jeremy stepped in to one of the most difficult regions to manage, because of the sheer number of teams and the difficulty finding enough sites to host all of the sectional and regional tournaments. As a first-year RC he was able to hire and then administer a great group of sectional coordinators and was always the first member of the Open RC staff to have the next task finished. We thank Jeremy for a tremendous, seasonlong effort and are glad that he is back again this year.
— George Cooke National Mixed Director Honorable Mention: Nikky Contractor (Mid-Atlantic)
— Joshua Greenough National College Director Honorable mention: Dan Heckman (Metro East) See COORDINATORS, page 24
In the first of four excerpts of their soon-to-be released book, ULTIMATE: The First Four Decades, Adam Zagoria and Tony Leonardo offer a window into the circumstances surrounding the invention and development of Ultimate in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first section offers groundbreaking interviews with the Amherst College and Columbia High School students who helped develop the game. The second section provides an account of the first collegiate Ultimate game, played on Nov. 6, 1972 between Princeton and Rutgers. ¶ �����������������������
Nineteen sixty-eight was one of the most tumultuous and transforming years in the history of the United States and the world. In January, the North Vietnamese Tet offensive brought the battle from the jungles to the cities, an event seen as a major turning point for the US attitude toward the Vietnam War. On March 31, President Lyndon Johnson gave in to political reality and announced that he would not seek a second term. Four days later, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, triggering riots in 125 US cities that left 46 dead and 20,000 arrested, and put 55,000 federal troops on the streets of America. Student protesters took over Columbia University in April, shutting down the campus. The Grateful Dead managed to get through police lines guarding the gates and played on the steps in the middle of the campus. On June 4, Bobby Kennedy was gunned down by Sirhan Sirhan after winning the California primary. In August, the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia with more than 200,000 Warsaw Pact troops, crushing the so-called “Prague Spring.” Later, at the Democratic National Convention, anti-war demonstrators clashed with the Chicago police, the US Army and Illinois National Guardsmen over five days. When the convention was finally over, the Chicago police reported 589 arrests had been made and 119 police and 100 protesters were injured. Without Kennedy or Johnson as the Democratic presidential nominee, Richard Nixon defeated Hubert Humphrey in the November election. 18
The world of music reflected these turbulent times. The Beatles visited India and released the year’s top album, the White Album. The Rolling Stones’ Beggar’s Banquet was moving up the charts. Simon & Garfunkel released The Graduate Soundtrack and the critically acclaimed Bookends. The rock musical “Hair” opened on Broadway. Cream disbanded. And The Band released its debut album, Music From Big Pink. Amid this furious pace of world events, most Americans were still going about their daily lives, working and living and playing, just trying to get by. In one small corner of the Northeast, the seeds of a new game—played with a Frisbee—were being planted. In the summer of 1968, Joel Silver, a willful, talkative, highly intelligent teenager from South Orange, New Jersey, attended a summer program at the Mount Hermon School, a boarding school in Western Massachusetts (now known as the Northfield Mount Hermon School). More than a camp, it was an educational enrichment program for collegebound high school students. There, Jared Kass, a 21-year-old Amherst College student working as a creative writing teaching fellow and a dormitory advisor, along with other student-teachers, exposed Silver to a still-evolving game played with a plastic disc. By that time, Frisbees, sometimes known as Pluto Platters, had become fairly common in American homes, with the Wham-O Manufacturing Company producing a variety of models, including the Professional model, introduced in 1964 as the first “high tech” model for the serious player, and the Master model... “When I arrived at Amherst College in 1965,
it was a very poor social environment, and not just in the sense of being an all-male school, but also in the sense that it was a fairly competitive environment,” Kass said. “We were trying to figure out how to be friends at the same time as knowing that you’re in a hothouse, an academically competitive environment. “There were a bunch of us who knew how to throw the Frisbee and we also played touch football… I think that it was probably really in our junior year (1967–68) that it kind of happened and jelled—when we shifted from sometimes playing touch football or sometimes kicking a soccer ball around to using the Frisbee in that way. There was a moment when we began to play a team game using a Frisbee.” Kass and his friends liked the Frisbee game because it was both fluid and fun. “We spent a fair amount of time throwing Frisbees around and wound up playing what we called ‘Frisbee football,’” Amherst’s Bob Fein recalled. “One could not run with the Frisbee. One tried to throw it to teammates with the idea of getting it caught beyond the goal markers. The defending team could not strike the Frisbee holder but could race to knock down or catch a thrown Frisbee. If the pass was incomplete, the defender got the Frisbee where it fell.” Added Kass: “I think we understood that the beauty was to keep the Frisbee moving and that that’s what it was about. If you were running with it, then how could somebody stop you? It had to become a contact sport. So [we decided] it was okay to take a couple of steps to position yourself, but basically you couldn’t travel by running.”
The group often played anywhere from five to seven people per side, in a variety of locations on campus. They also played “to a set number of points,” Kass said. As with other pick-up games, “there were no referees,” Amherst’s Richard Jacobson added. “We relied on selfregulation. But no one was taking anything very seriously so there was little need to call infractions. There were few rules, only common sense and a spirit of fair play were needed.” Sometimes the games would even feature impromptu debate and discussion between plays, recalled Jacobson. “Are you sure that you didn’t advance beyond where you caught the Frisbee?” “Didn’t Shakespeare address that point?” “What would Proust have thought?” One day while playing Frisbee on the green of the Webster circle behind Amherst’s Frost Library (he is not certain precisely when), Kass had an epiphany. It was the same epiphany he would enjoy later in life while doing other things, such as singing Jewish prayers. But on this particular day, it came while he was running for the Frisbee toward a shimmering set of trees that served as the goal line. “I remember one time running for a pass and leaping up in the air and feeling the Frisbee making it into my hand and feeling the perfect synchrony and the joy of the moment, and as I landed I said to myself, ‘This is the ultimate game. This is the ultimate game.’” �����������������������
����������������������������� ������������������������������� ��������������� On November 6, 1972, Rutgers and Princeton met in the first intercollegiate Ultimate Frisbee game in history. The teams played on the 103rd anniversary of the first meeting between the schools’ football teams—which had been considered the first intercollegiate football game in history. The Ultimate game was actually played at the same site as the 1869 game, now a paved parking lot behind the College Avenue Gym, on the main Rutgers campus in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Prior to the Ultimate showdown, Rutgers’ captains Irv Kalb and Geoff West got in touch with journalists at Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and numerous other news outlets to promote the historic event. West reached out to the three major television networks, but Art Brown of WABC-TV was most responsive. In the end, the network sent former Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton, the author of the infamous book Ball Four, who was then with WABC’s Eyewitness News.
The Rutgers’ players received permission from the campus police to section off a portion of the parking lot for the game. The sectioned off area was smaller than an actual field (then 60 yards long), so the teams agreed to play six-on-six... When the game began, a small crowd looked on from the sidelines and fraternity houses that ring the lot. During pulls, the fans began to yell, “Vraaaaaaaaa!,” drawing even more people. As word spread that TV cameras were on hand, and the energy surrounding the game built to a crescendo, the crowd increased to at least 1,000. Some estimate it at twice that. The affair soon had all the pomp and circumstance of a college football game. “The whole thing was truly awesome from the start,” recalled Princeton captain Johnny Hines. “The fans, the noise, Bouton and the sense of history—and all for Frisbee. On the one hand, this wasn’t supposed to be a serious sport. On the other hand, on this day, we were clearly part of something big.”...
the Crowd.” In the New York Times story entitled “Battle of the Frisbee Is Decided on the Playing Fields of Rutgers,” Kalb and West said that the purpose of the game was to “generate publicity for what they hoped would soon become a great intercollegiate sport.” “I hope this will catch on,” West said. “We really dig this sport.” The story closed by quoting a fan who thought it would: “This game is going to catch on. The Rutgers football team is dead.” “Needless to say, it was an incredibly close game all the way,” Hines said. “A real heartbreaker, but an ideal inaugural college
As the game went back and forth, the atmosphere reached a fever pitch. “The fans were literally 10 deep around the field,” recalled the 6-foot-6, 170pound Dan “Stork” Roddick, Rutger’s favorite receiver. “They were screaming for every play. The thing was pretty much going nuts.” In the second half, Rutgers freshman Peggy Delahanty of Cresskill, New Jersey, who would go on to play on the school’s basketball team, became the Rutgers’ Irv Kalb posterizes a hapless Princeton defender. lone woman to play in the game. With the partisan fans chanting “Defense, defense, defense,” the two teams matched each other game for the nascent glory of the sport. The point for point before Rutgers held on for a loss was bitter just for a few minutes. While the two teams’ styles differed a bit, everyone 29-27 victory. played real well. It was beautiful. Really, we Roddick was carried off the “field” by were all in heaven that day, and for some time his joyous teammates as Bouton stuck a after.” microphone into his face. Roddick and the others had entered the game “Stork, what do you think?” he asked. that day with very low expectations and left That night, footage of the game was on every thinking they had found the pot of gold at the local TV station. At least one New Jersey end of the rainbow. newspaper ran a full-page photo shot from “We were blown away,” he recalled. “After behind the end zone showing a pull. Bouton’s that we thought, ‘Man, that’s just the first 10-minute spot appeared on WABC-TV. Sports game! By the end of the season, we’ll need Illustrated later put Roddick in its “Faces in to use the football stadium! We’re going to be
The first book chronicling the history of the sport, ULTIMATE: The First Four Decades is a coffee table tome that includes tons of great photos from 1968–2004, many published for the first time, as well as a DVD with never before seen footage and interviews. ¶ This year long project has been funded by Ultimate players. Order now to earn a 5 percent discount and help defray the costs of shipping. To learn more about the book and order, log on at www.ultimatehistory.com. SPRING 2005
The Future of Observing
would have done differently were I now faced with the same set of circumstances. Those are simply facts of life. However, I’m fairly sure that most of the players I have observed will by Romey Connell about your diverging opinions on whether tell you that few players on the field work any or not one of you just committed a foul or harder than I in trying to do the absolute best I always have been pretty much old school violation. In situations like these, observers job possible in helping the players play the when it comes to Ultimate. Though I am can help improve the game experience for game. If I am going to be afforded the privilege somewhat afflicted by Stu Downs disease, all of the players. The mega-caveat to this of observing games at any level, much less the the love of anything that even resembles a proposition, however, is that it holds true only highest level, then nothing less than all-out game or competition of some sort, Ultimate if observers approach their jobs as seriously as effort to do everything in my power to be in always has been special. This is due primarily do the players. position and prepared to help the players when to the generally fantastic people who play there is uncertainty or dispute is acceptable. and are otherwise involved in the sport, and Playing a game with bad observers is When questions arise about what transpired the atmosphere of mutual respect among unquestionably worse than having no observers in a given situation, or what the rules require, players that may have been strived for, but at all. Then again, even the best observer will players in an observed game need to be able to not nearly replicated, in any other sport that make a mistake once in a while—s/he is no rely on the observers for help. They must also is even remotely as fun to play as is Ultimate. more perfect than be confident that Thus, when the concept of observers was first any of the players, For information on upcoming clinics, the observers are mentioned to me many years ago, I was not or any official in going to be armed visit www.upa.org/observers enthused with the prospect. Nothing seemed any other sport. with the proper more important to me than the unique way in The way to make knowledge and which Ultimate players conduct themselves observing an overall enhancement to the training to get it right. on the field and how the game can function game experience is to assure ourselves as best perfectly well without third party officiating. we can that those who are privileged—yes, As was briefly noted in the last magazine, the privileged—to observe Ultimate do their UPA Observers Committee spent a weekend Time is a great teacher, though, and during jobs with the same knowledge, dedication, this past July discussing numerous issues the last decade, some facts that I may have professionalism and hustle as those whom they relating to observing, with a goal of creating somewhat irrationally disregarded due to my observe. a program that can properly serve the needs anti-observer predispositions stick out. For of the players. In addition, “Buzz” Ellsworth instance, assume that your sole purpose in life Efforts to formalize the training and unselfishly spent his weekend lending at a given moment is diving to get your hand development of observers have been invaluable perspective about how lacrosse on a piece of plastic before some other guy or undertaken sporadically over the years, officials are organized and trained. You gal can get there, and that my sole purpose typically with a goal of establishing a group also should know that, but for the relentless is to see where you land immediately after of individuals who possess the requisite persistence of UPA Championship Director you make contact with that piece of plastic. knowledge, training, and ability to be good Will Deaver (who also spent that entire Assuming that I am in proper position and observers. For a variety of reasons, some such weekend with us), this effort never would doing my job, I don’t think that you can tell efforts have been more successful than others, have begun to take shape or form. Hopefully, me with a straight face that you know better and none has resulted in a sustainable, quality the committee will begin to accomplish things than I whether your left toe did or did not land observing program—certainly not at the club without the unending reliance that we have on a little white line. Also, even teammates level. I am happy to report that, although the placed upon him thus far. with whom you are best of friends probably process undoubtedly will take time, the UPA don’t enjoy standing around while you argue appears to be making headway toward the long The UPA is planning programs in each of its for minutes on end with an opposing player overdue goal of ensuring that as many quality, geographic regions to recruit, train and certify trained observers as observers. The proposed program was recently possible are available to approved by the UPA’s Board of Directors, assist players in playing and our first training clinic was completed in the game, especially at February. Greg Connelly has stepped up to high-level tournaments, take on the Chair of the committee, and he has and in both the College been a driving force in getting the program off and Club Championship the ground as we envisioned. Series. A primary aim of the program is to maintain I personally have had the in each UPA region a coordinator responsible privilege of observing for organizing observers in his/her region. a number of Ultimate Other significant program elements include games in recent years, training clinics, an evaluation and certification many of which were process, continuing education and experience extremely important requirements, a significant expansion of to the teams involved. existing training materials, and a mechanism Like any official, I have for communicating with the UPA and its mistakes and members about observing issues. We also Colorado vs. UC–San Diego in an observed game at the 2003 UPA College made Championships. The UPA’s new observer training and certification program have handled myself anticipate working closely with the UPA’s aims to increase the quality and quantity of obersvers in every UPA region. in a manner that, in Standing Rules Committee and Conduct retrospect, I probably Committee on various issues. It is an ambitious Photo by Hart Matthews. 20
See OBSERVERS, page 25
Disc Standards Committee Approves Two More Discs by Jack Cooksey
OUTREACH continued from page 14
You don’t have to be a salty old handler to know when a disc has “It.” Usually, when a disc has “It”—that ever-so-subjective somethin’-somethin’—there is very little one needs to say, or, shoot, even wants to say. You just chalk it up to your godly throwing ability. It would be a stretch, however, to say that either of the two discs recently approved by the UPA Disc Standards Committee has “It.”
Famer Tom Kennedy sums up the reaction of at least a plurality of flight testers: “A bit too stiff and overstable.” An unnamed Ring of Fire alumnus immediately reacted to the disc upon catching the first throw: “Man, this thing’s got a bit of a nose on it!” Other testers lamented, again, a loss of touch on their throws and dissatisfaction with the grip of the disc. Still, the new Ultra-Star mold had significantly better test scores than either of the currently approved Wham-O discs.
Wham-O 175 Ultimate Sport Disc (Mexico mold)
About the UPA Disc Standards Review Process
From Wham-O comes a new mold out of Mexico. A minority of UPA flight testers truly appreciated the disc. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority—while offering basic UPA approval—found a common list of problems that include: a deep, harder-to-grip rim; a slight bevel or “nose” on the rim that makes catching a little hard on the hands; and a general overstability that complicates using any touch on shorter throws (both I/O and O/I) and ruins both loft and accuracy on longer throws.
“UPA Approved” is the base level of approval for use by ultimate players. In order for a disc to be considered for use in the UPA Championship Series, a disc will need to undergo a more extensive, player-driven review. The multi-level approval process was adopted by the UPA for several reasons. It allows a disc to be used for recreational play without being encumbered by the standards of our elite members. At the highest level of play, anything different than the current disc is not acceptable. With time, a disc with a different flight or other characteristics may be accepted by a subset of our members. This multi-level approach gives the UPA the flexibility it needs to approve a disc for appropriate to the varying levels of play.
One flight tester offered a good summary of the disc’s flight and grip characteristics: “The [Wham-O Mexico mold] turns inside-out too much at the end of throws more than 20 yards. This causes I/O throws to die and O/I throws to float more. This comes down to personal preference, but, in my opinion, a disc closer to neutral in the under/overstable spectrum should be used, as it is more versatile. The sharper bottom lip is not as comfortable for forehand grips.” ��������������������������� Discraft Ultra-Star A disc mold is an expensive piece of equipment, and preserving a good mold can mean a lot to the manufacturer’s brand equity over time. Such is the case with Discraft, long recognized as the gold standard in Ultimate discs. In an effort to preserve the trusty mold that produces the best Ultra-Stars, Discraft has produced a new mold. Although it doesn’t appear to produce the same Ultra-Star many players have come to know and love, many disc testers found no appreciable difference between this disc and normal variance of Ultra-Stars one might find out on the market. The brief review of Ultimate Hall of
going to a single project. This year’s grant application deadline was February 18, 2005. A total 16 applications were received and are under review. The applicant winners and their awards for the 2005 program will be announced on March 21, 2005 at www.upa.org. I would like to thank all Ultimate leaders and organizers who applied for the 2005 program for your thoughtful submissions and desire to spread the development and growth of Ultimate. The grants applications are in and the review committee is hard at work! We’re pleased to have the whole committee returning from last year, plus we’ve made a new addition. Many thanks to all our grant committee volunteers! Mary McDowell, Program Coordinator – Austin, Tex. Christine Brochard – San Diego, Calif. Evan Elliot – San Francisco, Calif. Cathy Lee – Boulder, Colo. Ed Lin – Boston, Mass. Justin Grishkin – Eugene, Ore. If you have any questions about grants program contact Melanie or Mary at email@example.com.
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Women’s Clinics in 2004 and 2005
2004 Was a Great Year for Women’s Clinics!
Do you need ideas for strengthening the number and level of players in your community? Organizing a clinic is a great way to address many of the concerns that women have when they start to play. Hosting women’s clinics teaches players basic skills, provides an opportunity for them to ask questions and gives them the confidence to join and play in local leagues and practices.
Following is a summary of the clinics that were hosted in 2004. Read their comments to see how hosting a women’s clinic has helped their local Ultimate scene. Our clinic packets include discs, posters, rulebooks, an instructional manual and more! Go to www.upa.org/outreach/womens for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
20 participants- The clinic helped to increase the number of women who joined their winter league.
San Francisco, CA
60+ participants with about 25 of them being brand new. Her goal for hosting the clinic was to bring more women into the sport.
Ann Arbor, MI
Sarah Aerni, Dara Stern
20 participants with approximately 7 of them being brand new Wanted to get more women involved in the local coed scene 60+ participants. “The goal for hosting the clinic was to make sure that the women who signed up for league could begin playing with a better understanding of the game, positions on the field, and generally how to play. With so many new women, it was perfect to begin in such a format….We’re happy to see such an amazing turnout and can’t wait to see how many women sigh up for summer’s -women’s only league night….Thanks a million for the kit!” 14 participants – “Many have signed up for our spring league.” 85 participants – “We wanted to introduce new women to the sport and give more experience to those wanting to transition into a more competitive atmosphere.” They had 12 first-timers sign up in the summer league! The goal was to help women’s youth development in their area. The kit and clinic helped to create a new team and more women participated in their summer league this year. 25 participants – 9 of these women signed up for summer league 9 participants- “The following day 5 of the women from the clinic showed up for the regularly scheduled coed pick-up game….I can tell the clinic was a success since it brought a couple of new women players into the regular games.” 93 participants– Their goal was to increase awareness of Ultimate and women in Ultimate and to build a sense of community. 9 participants– “The women who showed up had fun and said they will be coming to women’s practice.” 10 participants- They had about 6 of the players join the local leagues.
20 participants– Erin’s goal was, “to teach more women about the sport in hopes of starting a women’s team”.
E. Lansing, MI
39 participants– Many of the clinic participants have joined the MSU team.
St. Mary’s, MD
24 participants– Their goal was to recruit for the college team and teach high school players skills to start a team at their HS.
23 participants– As a direct result of the clinic they had, 6 new women for the Dallas winter league, 15 new members for the UNT women’s Ultimate team, 7 new women participated in the local tourney & 5 new women attend the UNT coed practice.
Upcoming Clinics – For an up-to-date list of upcoming clinics or to contact clinic organizers visit our new Women’s Clinic Calendar at www.upa.org/ womenscalendar. 1/22/2005 1/29/2005 2/5/2005 2/5/2005 2/12/2005 3/3/2005 4/9/2005
Danya Hillcrest Maya Suffern Melissa Lee Lauren Martin Lauren Williams Theo Fetter Jessie Peed
Honolulu, HI Kirksville, MO Sacramento, CA Davidson, NC Arlington, VA Greensboro, NC Asheville, NC
40 participants 22 participants 50 participants 25 participants
Top: Clinic participants in Whitefish, Mont. (6/12/04). Above left: Maya Suffern gives some tips on throwing a forehand at a clinic in Kirksville, Mo. (1/29/04). Above: Participants at the Montreal, Quebec, clinic (6/13/04). Below: Handshakes after a game at the Montreal clinic. ���������������������������
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This letter was written to Randy Ricks and his Old & In the Way teammates shortly after October’s Club Championships, but for space reasons it was not included in the winter magazine. We are happy to run it now. —Ed. Hi Randy, I just got home from Nationals, and I wanted to send you an email that I hope you can share with your team. My name is Tony Crane, I play on Kavu, and I wanted to share with you what I will take away from my experience of winning the Masters division. I’ve been playing Ultimate in the Big Sky region for 16 years. It’s the only place I’ve ever played. I thought that winning a National title would be the pinnacle of my career, but barely winning at point cap over your team didn’t bring the kind of elation that I thought it would. What makes me proud to be part of the
Ultimate community is the way you and your teammates handled what should be a “crushing defeat”. The fact that Old & in the Way came over and gave us the only cheer we received all weekend makes me proud to play the game. I’m glad I was there to finally learn my most important lesson of competition, especially Ultimate competition. Winning is great, but if that’s the only reason you play the game, then you’re missing the big picture. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you guys had the class and dignity to cheer us. I really don’t think we would have offered the same gesture if we had lost. When I look back at 2004 Nationals, my most cherished memory will be how
you handled yourselves after coming in second place. I’m not kidding, or trying to send you some cheesy consolation email. I really think I was taught a valuable life lesson. I have the utmost respect for you and Old & In the Way and I hope my sincerity comes across through this email, because I truly mean it. Congratulations on being the classiest group of guys I’ve had the honor to compete against. Your gesture truly touched my heart, and I’ll carry that with me for a long time. I hope to see you on the field somewhere down the road. Thanks, Tony Crane
COORDINATORS continued from page 17
College Women Ginger Denison – Atlantic Coast
Club Open Co-RCs of the Year: Byron Hicks – South & Geoff Doerre – Northeast
Both Byron Hicks (above) and Geoff Doerre (right) managed a number of crises in their Regions and gave confidence to the players in their Regions and to their Sectional Coordinators. The professional manner in which they handled their duties made the jobs of their National and Championship Directors that much simpler. Their regular communication with their Sectional Coordinators and their National Director, as well as their knowledge of the procedures and rules of the Championship Series, were exemplary. — David Raflo National Open Director Honorable Mention: Eric Prange (MidAtlantic)
Club Women Nurit Bloom – Northeast Nurit is a fantastic communicator. She maintains constant contact with her sectional coordinators and national director, and she had to handle many last-minute issues working closely with her SCs. These issues were handled fairly and in a timely manner. In addition, she represents what makes a great RC/volunteer and the ideals of the UPA. She understands what is needed to further the growth of Ultimate, especially that of the Women’s Division. — DeAnna Ball National Women’s Director Honorable Mention: Kim Kreitner (Mid-Atlantic)
There are times when a situation creates a need for an extraordinary effort, and a person steps up to meet the challenge full on, and in doing so reaches far beyond the call of duty. Such an occasion was exemplified by Ginger’s effort last year. During the final games-to-go on Sunday between Georgia and NC State (Open & Women’s), lightning forced a long delay and finally a postponement of the games due to weather and darkness. Ginger was instrumental in helping organize a mutually agreeable site for the make-up games, find observers, and then drive out for the day to be the UPA official when the games were resumed the following weekend. This effort was above and beyond the call of duty and for this effort she earned the College Women’s RC of the year. — Joshua Greenough National College Director Honorable Mention: Jin Ding (New England)
WOMEN’S KITS continued from page 8
Angela Foote ~ University of North Florida I am a junior at the University of North Florida, where I am trying to start the first women’s collegiate team in Jacksonville. Here in Jacksonville, the Ultimate community, like UNF, is relatively new and small, but growing. I’ve been playing Ultimate for two years. So far, my only opportunities to play competitively in Jacksonville have been on an open team. Though I enjoyed it, I realized it would benefit everyone if there were an opportunity for the women of Jacksonville to play together and competitively. The UNF women’s team currently has six members. With the help of the kit, we are in the process of advertising and recruiting. We also have the advice and support of the club women of Jacksonville and the neighboring Ultimate communities like Gainesville. I think the kit will be very helpful in the formation of our new team. The kit has everything we need to play, teach, and recruit for ultimate. For me, the most useful pieces of the kit have been the DVD and the “rules” discs. For my new recruits, I used the DVD to explain all about Ultimate and was able to give them a disc (that had all the rules) to take home and practice with. The one thing that I think will help other women trying to start a new team is communication. When the kit was first advertised, I was contacted about it by three players who knew I wanted to start a new team. This support persuaded me to purchase the kit. Sharon Tucker ~ UNC–Greensboro The main reason the ladies at UNCG
OBSERVERS continued from page 20
purchased this kit is because we want to further our women’s ultimate program. Right now, this is our first semester as an official women’s team and we are sorting through a lot of the red tape in becoming our own separate entity, away from our boys team. Everyone on our team is passionate about playing Ultimate and we want to see the sport grow at UNCG. We also want to increase the number of ladies interested in Ultimate and this women’s college kit is an affordable way to enrich our Ultimate experience while also educating people about the sport. In the past, the UNCG team has been a mix of men and women. When I first started at UNCG in 2002, there were only 3 women who were on the Ultimate team. As we became more serious about the sport, we also became more serious about recruiting new players. Right now, we have 14 dedicated ladies who want to improve their skills and play competitively against other schools. When I saw the ad for the women’s college kit, and saw how affordable it was, I thought it would be a great way to improve our program at UNCG. The cones and discs have been very helpful at practice and the posters have been great for advertising. The main goals that we have set for this year are to make it to regionals and recruit more players. Everyone has been working very hard at practices and outside of practice to achieve these goals. The UPA kit that we ordered will help us with needed discs and cones that we can have separately from the men. The instructional DVD is also great for our newer players who are unfamiliar with the game. Overall, this kit has helped us to advertise Ultimate on our campus and has provided the needed supplies for a competitive team. Thank you!
The UNC–Greensboro Spots, beneficiaries of the new Women’s College Kit. Visit www.upa.org/outreach/ womens for more information.
project, is going to involve a significant amount of work for several persons, and, like anything worth having, is going to take some time to evolve into a program that is useful and sustainable. While I won’t at this time get into other conceptual or substantive decisions that have been made regarding the program, one concept especially bears mentioning. It was the consensus among all of us that Ultimate, more than any other sport, belongs to the players. We generally are of the opinion that a properly skilled, trained observer is better situated to make certain calls (e.g., lines) than a player engaged in the heat of battle, and will be more objective than either of two players who cannot resolve a dispute about an alleged foul or violation. However, it is not an observer’s role to dictate or affect the outcome of a game, but only to be ready and available to provide a service to the players on the field, to help keep the game moving, and to assist in defusing things on those infrequent occasions where it may get a little heated. If anyone has any questions, comments or concerns about what we are attempting to accomplish, or any other insightful information or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact any of us on the committee. Even better, if you are interested in getting involved in the program, such as being a regional observer coordinator, or even just attending a clinic to be certified, we would especially love to hear from you. Even the best of plans cannot come to fruition without the participation of a group of individuals, as well as feedback from and dialogue with those who know best how observers can help improve the game. There is ample opportunity to help us out in this field if you are so inclined. Every sport suffers from a shortage of quality, trained officials. Though we are fortunate to be part of a sport where the level of on-field interaction between players and officials can be minimized, it still takes people who are willing to give their time and effort. While playing experience is not an absolute requirement for being a good observer, it definitely is a huge plus. We hope to hear from some of you and look forward to making this program worthwhile. Romey Connell is president of the Atlanta Flying Disc Club and was previsouly Head Observer at the UPA Club Championships. The Observers Committee can be reached by e-mail at upa_observer_comm_ email@example.com.
by Gwen Ambler
It’s that time of year again when the college Ultimate season is in full swing and women’s teams across the nation are gearing up for the UPA College Series. This year has seen some significant upsets of the powerhouse teams from 2004, but there is still much of the season left to determine who will actually get to compete at the UPA College Championships in Corvallis, Ore., over Memorial Day weekend, May 27–29, 2005. This season there are a number of hotly contested regions with many teams vying for limited bids to the College Championships. The Northwest region has long been regarded as one of the most competitive regions in the country, an assertion supported by winning two strength bids for the 2005 season. Even with three bids to the College Championships, there is no guaranteed spot for any team. UC–Davis won the region and the championship last year, but after graduating a number of its top players it could be a struggle for this team to defend its title. Instead, the early favorites to win the region are Stanford and UC– Santa Cruz. UCSC proved its worth early by winning the Santa Barbara Invitational over Bay Area rivals and the team’s talented players show no signs of slowing down. Stanford returned much of its starting core from the roster that made the 2004 semifinals and has been bolstered by some talented additions. However, the competition will be fierce as Oregon, British Columbia, Washington, and UC–Berkeley each have strong squads as well. Oregon still has 2003 Callahan winner Chelsea Dengler leading a tight-knit group of women. Fueled by a bitter loss at Regionals last year, British Columbia is working towards rebuilding its program. Washington has four Seattle Riot players, fresh from a win at the UPA Club Championships—including the 2004 Callahan winner Miranda Roth—and has set its sights on qualifying for the College Championships for the first time. While UC–Berkeley graduated a number of players from the team that made quarterfinals, this fun-loving group knows how to dig deep to pull out victories when it counts. The Atlantic Coast region has continued to make a name for itself this year as another hotbed of quality Ultimate. With so many teams competing in the region, the Atlantic Coast usually earns a size bid and will thus probably be able to send two teams to the College Championships. Last season Virginia won the region and barely missed making quarterfinals. Bolstered by competitive club experience and skilled new additions, the team is looking stronger than ever this year and won the competitive Queen City Tune-Up (QCTU) for the second year in a row. The main competition from within the region is from UNC, Georgia, and NC State. UNC has a number of talented players that took the team to the finals of QCTU this year and are excited to keep raising the bar. Georgia has been looking solid so far, too—making the finals of Mardi Gras and the semifinals of QCTU might mean that the team is ready to play at the College Championships again. NC State earned the second bid last year and many of its players now have the experience of college and club championship competition. New England earned a strength bid last year with both MIT and Brown making quarterfinals. The dense region is also a favorite to earn a size bid this year, allowing three teams to qualify for the College Championships. MIT, Brown, and Dartmouth are far and away the top picks here. Teams like Tufts and Yale will be hard pressed to knock off one of these three heavyweights who competed at the championships last year. MIT still has a number of playmakers from the roster that made the finals of the College Championships in 2003. Brown lost a few players to graduation this year, but retains a solid core and the coaching of Ted Munter, selected to coach the U.S. World Games team this summer. Dartmouth returned almost its entire roster from last season, enabling the team to build from where it left off finishing 13th at the College Championships. Dartmouth also has a competitive schedule 26
2005 UPA Colleg with the Stanford Invite and Centex on their calendar. The remaining strength bid was earned by Texas last year for the South. Texas has now finished in the top eight at the College Championships two years in a row and is a major player on the college women’s Ultimate scene. Losing a close game to Iowa in the semifinals this year at Mardi Gras has fired the team up to face the competition at both the Stanford Invite and Centex. The second bid out of the South is up for grabs in many respects. Texas A&M, Kansas, and Rice are the most likely contenders—each with a relatively inexperienced team that has been working hard to gain more tournament exposure. Competing at the College Championships would be a great way to improve the program of one of these teams and it will be a battle for that second bid. The Metro East has two bids all but guaranteed as this region perenially earns a size bid. Penn State has been the dominant force in this region for a number of years, but Rutgers has been catching up. Penn State runs on the spirit and play of a few phenomenal athletes and only lost in the semifinals of Queen City Tune-Up by one point to eventual champs Virginia. Rutgers also played Virginia closely at QCTU and gained experience from its appearance at the College Championships last year, where the team placed 12th. However, Cornell is determined to challenge both Penn State and Rutgers for one of the Metro East spots this year. Traveling to the west coast for tournaments is evidence that Cornell is serious about its chances this season. The three remaining regions, Southwest, Central, and Great Lakes, each only have one guaranteed bid this year. Getting rosters in on time will be imperative as these regions will try to secure the last remaining size bid. The Southwest has a number of teams with a legitimate shot at winning Regionals. While UC–San Diego was the early season favorite to take this region, they were surprised by young and rising UCLA squad at the Santa Barbara Invitational. UCSD has a core that played together during the fall club season, and success this year will depend on the team’s ability to integrate its younger players. Meanwhile, UCLA is a team comprised entirely of young players, as the team has only been in existence for two years. Nonetheless, this athletic group has strong leadership and desire, which makes a difference on the field. UC–Santa Barbara is also a team on the rise, upsetting 2004 champions UC–Davis at the Santa Barbara Invitational and winning the Stanford Invite Qualifier. UCSB and UCLA seemed evenly matched when they met in January, but anything can happen in May. Colorado is another team that could do well this year. CU has returned much of its roster after a rebuilding year, but will be hard-pressed to earn the number one spot in the region. Regionals for the Central region is going to be a battle this year as three nationally ranked teams will all be potentially competing for one bid. Iowa is is the early favorite with a Mardi Gras title and a roster that boasts experience from See WOMEN’S PREVIEW, page 30
ge Series Preview The 2005 college season looks to be an exciting one. While familiar names top the list, there are several new teams that are establishing strong programs and will be here for years to come. The story of the past five years has been the growing strength of the large state colleges and the disappearance of the smaller universities and colleges. Only three schools of the top 25 on this list have an undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. It won’t be long until the college division will require a championship for the smaller schools. I could put up a disclaimer that these rankings were written early in the season, but I’m not scared. 1. Colorado – Catt Wilson’s disciplined coaching and the depth of talent on Colorado make Mamabird the frontrunner for the 2005 UPA College Championship. Adam Simon will step up and control the offense, filling the void left by Parker Krug. Colin “JV” Gottlieb will be a tenacious defender and tireless bail-out cutter while opponents struggle to match up with Beau Kittredge, Jolian Dahl, Martin Cochran, and 2004 Callahan Award winner, Josh “Richter” Ackley. (SW 1) 2. Wisconsin – Don’t be surprised to see the baby blue Hodags playing on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Wisconsin underachieved in 2004 with a quarterfinals loss but is returning a strong team. Look for Grant Zukowski to hit the speedy Ted Tripoli with his big forehand hucks. Rodrigo Valdivia and Tom Burkly are the heart of Wisconsin, while Dan Heijman and Jimmy McMurray will anchor the defensive line. (CN 1) 3. Brown – While Brown is the early season favorite of many, they have a tough road to their second championship in school history. Despite having eligibility and a class to finish, Will Arnold has decided not to play in 2005. Josh Ziperstein has built this team from the bottom up and is a frontrunner for the Callahan Award, but will his commitment to the U.S. World Games team affect his or his team’s play? Regardless, Zip has a strong supporting cast. Look for Paul Vandenberg to find Neale and Colin Mahoney deep. Dan MacArthur has top club level experience, and when Zip is on the line with him, look for him to dominate his match-up. (NE 1) 4. Stanford – Bloodthirsty demonstrated their early season strength with a dominant performance at the Santa Barbara Invite and an impressive showing at Kaimana. Nick Handler will be moving the disc and James Herbert has been working on his throws to round out his game. Robbie Cahill is a defensive workhorse and is a rare junior captain of the Stanford team. This team will once again be a faceless army, and with only Handler and Herbert leaving after this year, look for them to top the 2006 preseason rankings. (NW 1) 5. Washington – Everything’s coming up Seattle this year and the college season isn’t going to be any different. Drew Siler and Ray Ilian will lead this veteran team full of solid handlers and athletes. They will need to prove themselves on the national stage, and tournaments like the Stanford Invite and Centex will give them that opportunity. Under the coaching of Brook Martin and Ben Wiggins they’ll need to
by Kyle Weisbrod
establish a dynamic long game that utilizes more than just Ilian. (NW 2) 6. UC–Santa Barbara – How will UCSB respond to the roster scandal that marred their 2004 season? By once again qualifying for the UPA Championships. Colorado, even when stronger than Black Tide, has had trouble beating them and may not have won their college title last year had it not been for the UCSB post-regionals disqualification. Rory Orloff will get the Black Tide blocks and get open downfield while Asa Wilson and Tim Hand look to open up the deep lanes. The results of this year’s regionals in Colorado Springs will be as tough to predict as the weather there. (SW 2) 7. Texas – The south is rising (no, not again, they had never risen before) and Texas is leading the way. Mike “Tank” Natenberg has an outside shot at the Callahan award and if Texas shows well at Centex, look for his chances to rise. With a finals performance at Mardi Gras and a tough spring schedule the south is finally going to earn a strength bid for 2006. (SO 1) 8. British Columbia – This Canadian team has been threatening for years, and 2005 will be the year that they step up to the UPA College Championships. Oscar Pottinger is an alternate on the Canadian World Games squad and is in the running for the Callahan Award. Morgan Hibbert is a dangerous 6’5” receiver that will be tough to stop. UBC will run the horizontal stack and if they get into the right games, Pottinger and Hibbert can get them out. (NW 3) 9. NC State – Dave Snoke is questionable, but event without him this fast team has the potential to win the tough Atlantic Coast region. With him, they’ll be competing with the top teams. The Wolfpack use the space on the field well and will put it deep to streaking receivers. They missed out on the finals at the Queen City Tune-Up in Charlotte, N.C., by one point. (AC 1) 10. Oklahoma – Huh? Yeah. You probably read the top four and said “of course” and now you’re thinking, who is this joker writing these rankings. OU made semis at Mardi Gras this year with losses only to Texas and Wisconsin and played strong at the Florida Winter Classic. They’ll give Texas a fight at Southern Regionals. (SO 2) 11. Virginia – The boys from Charlottesville have started out strong in 2005 with an early season win at the Queen City Tune-Up, beating the two strongest AC contenders, NC State and Georgia. Virginia will be looking to top last season’s performance, in which they began strong and then faded off. This tall, fast team will live and die by the huck. (AC 2) 12. UC–San Diego – Barring another disqualification, UCSD will be drinking cheap beer and wearing their hats sideways in San Diego over Memorial Day weekend. That being said, no team should overlook the Air Squids. Finally given their shot at the UPA Championships last year, they proved that they were not just an early season team. Colorado and UCSB will need to be ready at regionals, as always. (SW 3) 13. Georgia – Led by Chain Lightning standouts Dylan Tunnel and Dave Neider, JoJah is looking for their first Atlantic Coast championship. Success at major tournaments like Centex will help Georgia get as easy a road as possible. (AC 3) 14. Iowa – This hard-running team from the midwest shocked a lot of teams last year in Seattle and almost found themselves in the semifinals. The word is out and they won’t be shocking anybody anymore. Get used to Iowa being around on Memorial Day Weekend. (CN 2) 15. Carleton – With their small student body, it will only become more difficult for CUT to compete at the top level of college Ultimate. They still have a strong tradition, and they still draw some of the top high school talent, but will go to the UPA College Championships only until Minnesota starts knocking them out. (CN 3) See OPEN PREVIEW, page 30 SPRING 2005
Field Acquisition for Local Leagues A Seattle Success Story by Chris Burke In the UPA’s ongoing efforts to reach out to local leagues and organizations, Ultimate News is pleased to offer the first of four feature articles geared towards league organizers. DiscNW runs between 15 and 20 leagues each year, hosts numerous tournaments, supplies informal pick-up fields, and supports practice fields for many traveling teams. Despite this high demand for fields, we always get the fields we need, and are continually looking to expand. How do we do it? In the past, DiscNW studied the idea of buying and owning our own fields, but rejected the idea for the time being. The main reasons were scarcity of available land and the high cost. Instead, we have chosen to work with parks departments, school districts, and other entities to rent fields. These fields are located in urban zones of the Seattle metropolitan area. The rest of the land in our county is zoned either rural residential or for agricultural production; athletic fields are currently not an allowed use of this land. Advantages of renting existing fields include lower costs, a larger variety of fields from which to choose, and the opportunity to have fields closer to where the people are. Disadvantages include competition with other users for field space, having to maintain a large internal infrastructure for field obtainment, and having fields spread over a large geographic area. In general we have chosen to have good fields in several places rather than poor fields all in one spot. The four strategies below have been used with considerable success in the greater Seattle area.
appreciate your effort to accommodate them. This one person should handle all your organization’s needs for her suburb, including league fields, tournament fields, and team practice fields. If possible, have the person be a league organizer or a practicing team’s field procurer, so she has a stake in the issue. Being this one person is so time-consuming that no one should have to deal with more than one city. 3. Take part in the public process. Like most things, athletic fields are subject to politics. The construction of fields, or their improvement (better surfaces, lighting, etc.), usually has some local opposition. Ultimate players must attend city council meetings, neighborhood meetings, and parks department meetings. They must write letters, post signs, and generally be active, responsible citizens. A recent mayor of Seattle, who publicly supported more fields, cited an email written by an Ultimate player that was widely circulated among all sports groups as a major factor in his election victory. Over the last few years, Ultimate players have spearheaded an effort to increase the number and quality of fields at Magnuson Park in Seattle. The effort included testifying and letter writing, and has resulted in a plan, with funding, for a 10-field grass space and a 14-field lit field turf complex.
1. First, know where the fields are! This may seem self-evident, but knowledge is power. DiscNW has made an enormous effort to identify fields suitable for Ultimate in the Seattle area. We have stretched the boundaries of what constitutes “close enough.” Players may have to drive further, but we get better fields. A side benefit is that by playing Ultimate in a suburb, we introduce the sport to a new area. The map on this page is from our website, discnw.org. It has several layers, all easily accessed by single clicks. The bottom layer lists the dimensions of each field, the surface type, and a link to Mapquest that gives directions to the field. 2. Have a field-obtaining team, using the principle of one person, one suburb. The Maps page of DiscNW is a single click away from discnw.org’s front page. This map shows the greater Seattle The parks department or school district area, including all suburbs. Suburban fields are often more person you rent fields from will want available, and are always cheaper, than Seattle fields. Map by to deal with only one person. They will Janna Hamaker, DiscNW. 28
4. Partner with a field-owning entity to build or improve fields. DiscNW has explored four possible paths to partnership; there may be others. a) Partner with a church. Don’t laugh— churches own land, sometimes lots of it, and as a rule they are not against having sports fields on their land. A church in Mountlake Terrace, north of Seattle, partnered with a local men’s soccer group to turn a vacant lot next to the church building into a high-quality soccer field. The soccer group paid to grade the field and install irrigation; they bring their own portable lights. The church pays ongoing maintenance costs and the soccer group is the only user of the field. b) Partner with a developer. Often governments place restrictions on big new developments, such as requiring a certain number of parks or a certain percentage of open space. A giant development under construction east of suburban Redmond (about 10,000 houses) includes a lighted 10-field turf soccer field park. This is because the Lake Washington Youth Soccer Association (LWYSA) partnered with them. The developer owns the land and is basically donating it for the purpose; LWYSA is paying to build the fields.
At left: A portion of the North Seattle section of the Seattle region map (opposite). There are 55 different sites that are suitable for Ultimate, ranging from relatively small, relatively poor one-field sites to large mega-sites with many manicured grass and artificial surface fields. DiscNW has sponsored Ultimate at 32 of these 55 sites over the years. Map by Janna Hamaker, DiscNW. At right: The Dahl Playfield, home to many DiscNW events. Photo courtesy of Seattle Parks Department. Construction costs big money—expect to pay a minimum of $1 million per field—but sometimes grants are available. c) Partner with a school. School levies can be a source of the money needed to build a field. An individual with an interest in youth soccer persuaded a Seattle elementary school to replace its asphalt playground with a field turf soccer field. He spent an enormous amount of time lobbying the school district, talking with the PTA, getting local merchants to chip in cash, and shepherding the engineering study. He raised about $50,000 from donations, another $100,000 from grants, and his reward was $800,000 from a recently passed school levy to actually build the field. DiscNW has identified a similar school, with an unirrigated grass surface, and may make a similar attempt to get the next levy to include funds to upgrade it to field turf.
upgrading to field turf they are short of money for the project. DiscNW is trying to persuade them to go ahead, and we are promising to help close the funding gap. We are pursuing a paid membership structure, donations, and grants, more or less simultaneously, to fund capital projects like this. Chris Burke is the All-Leagues Coordinator for DiscNW and presented on the subject of field acquisition and use at the UPA’s National League Conference in November 2004.
d) Partner with a parks department. Parks departments own the most fields, and they are nearly always interested in upgrading their fields. In some ways, partnering with a parks department is the path of least resistance—at least the parks people will be on your side. DiscNW has been instrumental in getting the Magnuson Park upgrade approved. In addition, we have found a park in the suburb of Shoreline that is already a lit sand sports field. Though the parks department there is interested in
Ultimate players have spearheaded an effort to increase the number and quality of fi elds at Magnuson Park in Seattle... [it] resulted in a plan, with funding, for a 10-fi eld grass space and a 14-fi eld lit fi eld turf complex.
WOMEN’S PREVIEW continued from page 26
OPEN PREVIEW continued from page 27
the UPA Club and College Championships. Confidence will be one of Iowa’s biggest assets in 2005. Wisconsin gained some confidence at Mardi Gras beating 2004 runners-up Carleton, who graduated a number of players that got it to the finals in 2004.
16. North Texas – This team is a synthesis of the right factors happening at one school at one time. Tom Etchison is recovering from a separated shoulder and could make UNT a real contender for the one bid from the South. (SO 3)
The Great Lakes region only had one bid to the College Championships last year and may have the same fate this year as well. Illinois qualified for the Championships last year and is the favorite to repeat its appearance this year as well. Finishing 10th in 2004, Illinois impressed many of its opponents in 2004. That respect earned the team a spot at the highly competitive Centex tournament where the team will get the chance to hone its skills in preparation for the College Series. Of course, Northwestern and Michigan are both intent on not letting Illinois become complacent about its berth to the Championships. Northwestern finished second in the region last year and has already traveled to tournaments like Mardi Gras.
Other UPA College Championships contenders include: 17. Oregon (NW 4) 25. Ohio State (GL 3) 18. Michigan State (GL 1) 26. Maryland (ME 1) 19. UC–Berkeley (NW 5) 27. Purdue (GL 4) 20. UNC (AC 4) 28. Michigan (GL 5) 21. Texas A&M (SO 4) 30. Penn State (ME 2) 22. Illinois (GL 2) 32. Dartmouth (NE 2) 23. Minnesota (CN 4) 35. Harvard (NE 3) 24. Florida (AC 4)
The cancellaion of Presidents’ Day in San Diego has made it difficult to make bi-coastal predictions at press time. It is guaranteed that teams will continue to improve and surprise one another as the season progresses and this year seems a likely candidate to see some new faces in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the championships.
Tom Etchison (North Texas) – Etchison has been a force in the mixed club scene for a few years. It will be interesting to see how the college players take to him being nominated. Beau Kittredge (Colorado) – Among the top athletes in the game today, Beau is eager to prove he’s the best player in college this year. Andrew Mangan (William & Mary) – He doesn’t have the same supporting cast he did last year, but if Mangan can put W&M on his back and get some wins, he’ll also get some consideration. Mike Natenberg (Texas) – A tough schedule, including an appearance at Centex in Austin, could put Natenberg on the Callahan short list. Oscar Pottinger (UBC) – A Canadian World Games Team alternate, but from a team that hasn’t competed much on the national stage. Dylan Tunnel (Georgia) – Three seasons on Atlanta’s Chain Lightning have made Tunnel that much better. Keep an eye on this one. Seth Wiggins (Oregon) – Versatile and strong, he may lead Oregon back to the UPA College Championships after taking a year off, and has the name recognition to be a contender. Josh Ziperstein (Brown) – U.S. World Games Team and the heart of Brownian Motion. He’s certainly everybody’s frontrunner.
Gwen Ambler is a coach with the Stanford women’s team and won the 2003 UPA College Championships as a senior at Stanford. Her web site, icultimate.com, features photos, tournament recaps, and other information about college Ultimate on the west coast. Lindsey Hack also contributed research to this article.
Be sure to check out College Sports Television’s coverage of the 2005 UPA College Championships this summer! Don’t have CSTV? Visit http://www.collegesports.com/getcstv to learn how to get CSTV in your area.
The Callahan threats:
Kyle Weisbrod is the UPA’s Director of Youth Development and won the College Championships in 2000 with Brown. Contributors to this article include Brian Bogle, Hector Valdivia, Mike Whitaker, and Ben Wiggins.
State Youth Championships in 2005 In 2005 the UPA Youth Development Program will be expanding the UPA State High School Championships to include 13 events. These events will be open to all high school teams within each state, as well as teams from outside of the state if there is space available. If your team is interested in participating in a UPA State High School Championship, please e-mail your state championship contact or Kyle Weisbrod at firstname.lastname@example.org. California (North) Date: April 30–May 1st Location: TBD Contact: email@example.com
Minnesota Date: TBD Location: TBD Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
New York Date: TBD Location: TBD Contact: email@example.com
Pennsylvania Date: TBD Location: TBD Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colorado Date: May 21–22 Location: Colorado Academy, Denver, Colo. Contact: email@example.com
Missouri Date: April 2–3 Location: Jackson County Soccer Complex Kansas City, Mo. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina Date: Apirl 9-10 Location: Homestead Park, Chapel Hill Contact: email@example.com
Virginia Date: May 7–8 Location: Chesterfield, Va. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia Date: April 30–May 1 Location: TBD Contact: email@example.com
New Jersey Date: TBD Location: TBD Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts Date: June 4–5 (Girls June 5 only) Location: TBD Contact: email@example.com
Washington Date: April 30–May 1 Location: Burlington, Wash. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Wisconsin Date: May 30 Location: TBD Contact: email@example.com
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