Trying to get faster? Who isn’t? Developing strength and power that lead to significant increases in speed and acceleration takes several months at least. Fortunately, increasing hip range of motion and core strength– things that also lead to increases in speed– only takes a few weeks.
Incorporate these three exercises into your routine. With fifteen minutes per day, and you can expect to feel a difference in about four weeks. Just in time to get ready for club season!
1. Psoas stretch
If you sit down for many of your waking hours, your hip flexors (psoas) may become shortened. This can lead to shortened stride length, forward tilt of the hips, and hamstring trouble if left unchecked.
Take 6 minutes per day three times a week to try this deep psoas stretch.
As your hips move more freely, your stride length will automatically increase. You may also notice some relief from lower back pain or hamstring tightness.
2. Glute Activation
Stretching the psoas removes resistance to full hip extension. Activating the upper glutes enables full hip extension.
The Cook hip lift is a great glute strengthening exercise. Keeping the non-working leg tight to the chest restricts lower back extension. Because lower back extension is a compensation pattern for non-optimal hip extension, it is important to learn to feel the difference.
Add this exercise to your pre-workout warm-up 2-3 days per week for the next four weeks.
Start with five reps on each leg and add two each week. Hold the top position for five seconds. Do three sets on each leg.
To perform the hip lift, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on flat on the ground. Bring one leg up to your chest and hold it there. The purpose of holding your leg is to prevent you from arching your back, forcing you to use your glutes. Now lift your hips up with the leg that remains on the ground. Focus on squeezing your butt. The first time you try this you may be surprised to find that you can only move your hips only 2-3 inches off the ground. That’s normal until your glutes learn to fire properly. Hold this position for five counts and return your hips to the floor.
3. Core and Hip Stability
Every time your foot hits the ground, you want the force you put into the ground to translate into forward motion. The more stability you have in your core, the more efficient the transfer of momentum. However, if your core is weak you will be leaking energy with every step. Over the course of a two day tournament, this cummulative effect will make a large difference in how tired you are and how fast you can move late in the day on Sunday.
Watch the two videos at the end of this article from Active Spine and Sport. The videos show clear examples of what a lack of core and hip stability look like in motion. The videos also specifically show some of the core and hip muscles involved.
These three exercises will target several of the muscles important in core and hip stability while sprinting.
1. Backward lunge to SLDL.
Focus on fluidity of movement. The hip of the leg on the ground should not jut out to the side, but should stay in line with the shoulders and ankles.
2. Hip Hikes
Stand on a step. Drop and elevate the hip while keeping your torso upright.
3. Dead Bug
Focus on maintaining a neutral spine. The space between your low back and the floor should remain unchanged as you slowly move your legs.
Try this three exercise circuit twice a week over the next month to feel more solid in your sprinting form on the field.
1. Backward lunge to SLDL (start with 6-8 reps each leg, add 2 each week)
2. Hip hikes (8-10 reps each leg, add 2 each week)
3. Dead Bugs (8-10 reps each leg, add 2 each week)
Do all exercises with no rest in between. Repeat the circuit three times.
Four Week Challenge!
Just fifteen minutes a day for the next four weeks. Here is your schedule:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Psoas Stretch and Cook Hip lift
Tuesday Thursday: Core Circuit
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Maybe you’re trying to crack into the roster for the first time. Or, perhaps the team has already invested a little time in you. You could be on a practice roster. Perhaps you’re even a bonafide, full-patch player, but nevertheless sitting on the lower-end of the bench, thinking about earning more than a few shifts per game. Maybe you have been trying at it for a while. You’re “good enough” but not quite. You’re in limbo. Whether on one side of the roster threshold or the other, you’re languishing in Development Hell. And as the spring tryout dates fly up onto the calendars to the seasonal fanfare, you’re wondering, is this your year?
Too often, I’ve seen players lose their way at this point, on the cusp of personal success, working hard but failing to meet their goals. To borrow a pithy and poignant term from the offices of Hollywood, I call this “Development Hell.” Those of us who are not meteoric superstars – the golden boys/girls that quickly rise to the top — often spend at least some time here, and maybe even with a few relapses. The unlucky truth is that there are a lot of prospects and works-in-progress on the go, and most likely, not all of them get the resources or attention they deserve. We flicker and hover on a team’s radar, in-and-out (or in-or-out) of active investment, struggling to find the next level or to please the powers that be. Seeking advice from the superstars doesn’t always pay off either; by virtue of their own success, they haven’t spent a lot of time in your nebulous place.
Although it’s a common affliction, it goes commonly undiagnosed. The unfortunate news is that no two cases are perfectly alike, and there is no pill, drill or other panacea for it. However, there is a treatment. It is not necessarily easy, or nobody would ever face this frustration. On the other hand, anyone can do it, because it is fundamentally a mental exercise. It just requires a subtle shift in perception — how you view and play the game.
Goodness and Goodness of Fit
Around tryout time, I often hear people discuss who is “good enough” or who “deserves” to make the cut. The unfortunate implications in these choices of words are deceptive. They reduce the vast spectra of a player’s worth down to just one paltry dimension. And they treat the joining of a team like a recognition of that level, like one might speak of a swimming badge or a karate belt. The laziness of this language completely misses the point: players are chosen and fielded for what they can do for a team.
If you’re in limbo, then up until this point in your career, there is a decent chance that playing time and roster spots have gone to the players who are merely “good.” Earning dividends has simply been a matter of becoming better, or more consistent. At high enough of a level, though, the value of this measuring stick vanishes. The question instead becomes “good at what?” And “in combination with whom?” To reach the proverbial next level, a player on the bubble has to examine the team in question, and to determine what he can do to fit in the machine.
There comes a point at which the decisions around roster make-up and playing time are ultimately dictated by strategy: the ultimate goal of which is to score goals reliably. “Being good” is no longer good enough to justify those decisions: a player has to contribute in the context of his or her line. The system has to improve; parts that seem to improve the system get the most use.
A talented striker who can barely throw can still become a lynchpin in the presence of a powerful hucker, but is useless on a line that lacks a deep throw. A gun-slinging handler who is a liability on defense can still be a key feature of an offensive line, provided that the net effect is a line that rarely turns over the disc. Of course, if circumstances change, so does the personnel. The synergy of these game pieces is key.
Diagnosis and Inquiry
Consider these common examples:
(A) A very strong thrower with average defensive ability and speed hopes to earn a spot as a handler, but repeatedly gets looked over in favor of fast athletes who can barely throw upfield.
(B) A decent utility player with basic mastery of all the drills can’t find more than a few shifts per game as a depth player, even though players with obvious skills gaps get plenty of playing time.
(C) A defensive player who throws his/her body around like a warrior and gets few blocks, but loses playing time to players who don’t seem nearly as hard-working on the field.
These players are very different people with the same fundamental problem. And importantly, it is not (necessarily) injustice or blindness on the part of the leaders. Their problem, in fact, is that they are not positioned to solve the team’s problems or to serve the team’s strategy. Players who obviously fill a tactical gap get playing time; those who don’t, must languish in limbo.
Player (A) sounds every bit like a conventional handler. But what if the team in question already has a surplus of typical handlers (not uncommon on the highest-tier teams? What if what the team really just needs some genius, speedy cutters to threaten the long game and to open up the field? Or, what if the team has a strong conversion rate, but suffers match-up problems on defense, and needs to force more turnovers?
Player (B) is a great gamepiece on paper and excels in drills, but how is he gelling with the existing roster? His teammates may use improvisational, chemistry-driven tactics, and he has to continue off of their unconventional patterns. The team, of course, is not realistically about to completely overhaul its modus operandi to accommodate him. For practical reasons, the only thing that matters is whether they score as a team or not, and whether he damages that chemistry or not. Can he continue off of the initiator? Can he cooperate with the handlers? Can he manage himself in the switchy/poachy defenses?
Player (C) is a dedicated athlete who works tirelessly, maybe even harder than everyone else. But are there hidden costs of his work ethic? Is he working hard at the right things for the strategy? He gets blocks, but are they because everyone else is playing shutdown defense? But also, what if defense isn’t the team’s problem at all, and they’re looking to improve their offense and their conversion rate?
Now, I could be wrong (dead wrong) so far in every one of these lines of inquiry. But the point of this exercise is the line of inquiry itself. Players in limbo need to ask themselves these questions to evolve. The emphasis is no longer merely on the player, but on the player’s contributions – the effect on and interaction with the whole.
In and Out of Limbo
The escape out of Development Hell has several roads. But for the common human in this position, who does not miraculously become a phenom in a timely fashion, and who does not find the perfect opportunity and role fall into his lap, there is one sure method: retailoring yourself to suit. Identifying skills gaps and filling them is an important lesson to learn in team sports, and it pays dividends in the long run. Having learned this lesson a few times the hard way, I have this story of adaptation to offer.
In 2010, my team struggled on defense. The root of the problem was a style of lane coverage that was intended to deny in-cuts and to force lower-percentage hucks. But alas, our handler coverage was not up to the task. Our opponents routinely got the disc into strong throwing positions and used that to drive their offense, gaining yardage and firing past us. I knew about this problem, and I studied it, and eventually asked my captains to let me cover handlers and initiators for a while. At this task, I did quite well – I didn’t score many points or get many blocks, but I contained and dictated the opponents’ offense enough to get my team a winning edge. For this service, my playing time doubled and tripled, and we won a bid to Sarasota against a very competitive field at Regionals in 2011.
In 2012, circumstances changed. Although I was good at my role, I was still – at the end of the day – a cutter who covered handlers. This meant that I could only see the field if I shared a line with a handler who covered cutters. The odd juxtaposition had its advantages, but it wasn’t going to get me on the line anymore. On Team Canada, we had some people who could switch-hit that way, but on that particular roster, it was still an extremely limiting brand to carry to market. I had effectively specialized myself off of the starting D-line.
In 2013, looking at the rookies and prospects we were assimilating, their characteristics and their skill sets, I could now see the writing on the wall well ahead of time – to share a field with these guys and to serve the team, I had to learn to cover cutters and deep threats. And that meant changing my workouts, focusing on power and plyometrics, different positioning, learning to win more jump-offs and more footraces. Gradually, I succeeded in redefining my skill set, I filled a new gap where it had opened, and I earned my playing time there.
To be clear, I did not magically transcend skill levels from one season to the next. I did not go from “not good enough” to “good enough” and then back and forth. I just had to change my brand to better meet the team’s needs. But at the same time, very few people could offer me a truly straightforward explanation of “what it will take” to make the team or to earn more points. Understandably, the team is a complicated system, and it’s very hard to look at any one piece and to know immediately its simplest route to a bigger share. After all, the coaches are rightfully focused on optimizing the system’s metrics, and that is hard enough a problem to juggle without also considering how to optimize the use of every single piece. They have to strike a balance between time spent arranging parts and time spent remodeling them. It smacks of unfairness, but resources are finite, so if you’re in limbo, you’re the one who needs to focus on optimizing yourself to suit the team.
Becoming the Right Tool for the Job
If you find yourself in Development Hell, don’t concern yourself with what a “good” player is, earning recognition, or even what the superstars do; just start by finding the hole in the dam and plugging it. Once you learn to see these holes, you will recognize them for the opportunities they are, and that is one of the most essential mental skills in the game.
First, observe the circumstances. Listen to leaders’ speeches, and complaints. Pay attention to their choices of drills. Study the whole team for strengths, skill sets, and weaknesses. Try to find out what the team strategies are on offense and defense.
Next, examine yourself, and be honest. Ask what you bring to the table, and compare it to what the team really needs. Where can you complement the team’s machinery? What can you do well now, and what could you do well in the future? Are you vying for a position that has several qualified people already lined up for it? Are you able to bridge a crucial gap?
Then, adapt. If you cannot get on the line as you are, then you must market yourself as something different. Don’t blame the circumstances for what they are; work with them. This takes work, time, and plenty patience; you must earn your stripes in a role and show consistent benefit. You may have to cultivate new skills or new athleticism before you can earn the trust that earns the role. But if your reasoning is sound, the net effect will be a better team, with you on the line. Everyone wins.
“A sport no school ever dropped, no scandal ever tainted… And the ultimate reward for their time, money and effort? Nothing. Nothing; save the joy of competition. A refreshing reminder of what sport was meant to be. And, on rare occasions, can still be. The ultimate winners? Well, they were all winners.” – Howard Cossell
For years, American sports have been dominated by the “big four”: football, basketball, hockey and — of course — baseball.
Soccer dominates just about every other corner of the earth. After those five, sports like golf, cricket and rugby are played and enjoyed globally, but there is one magnificent sport that — despite flying under the radar — is about to come out of the shadows: Ultimate Frisbee.
I know what you’re thinking, and so does every other Ultimate player. No, we aren’t all stoners. We don’t play with a dog and it isn’t just a rec league activity. Even though the sport is still predominantly white, it is not a competition reserved for the Caucasian middle class, either.
On the contrary, the athletes that are playing Ultimate get better every year and the sport is increasing its exposure each and every day. And here is why:
1) It’s played with a frisbee.
You know, just the greatest instrument of play ever invented. There is an old saying that when a ball dreams it dreams of being a frisbee; and the reasons go on forever. First of all, frisbees are cheap. The standard 175-gram plastic discs shouldn’t run you more than 10 dollars. When thrown properly, they can leave the field of play and then return into a receiver’s hands. A frisbee can skip, bounce, fly, hover, flip, spin, roll — and even hold your dinner. It can be thrown upside down or with your toes. It can fit under your car seat or in a desk, open a beer or decorate your room. If that isn’t enough, add to the list that they can’t break car windows and they’re kid-safe, too.
2) Spirit Of The Game
The sport of Ultimate is built on an honor system that penetrates the game at every level. In youth, college and club Ultimate the sport is entirely self-officiated. At the most competitive events, there are referee-like observers on hand that make final rulings only when two players can’t come to an agreement. They are not involved in the game unless a player asks them to be. Even at the professional level, where the sport is reffed, there is a clause in the rulebook that allows players to overturn a referee’s call if they get it wrong (this happens more than you’d think).
3) Ridiculous highlight reels
Ultimate is a unique combination of several sports that makes it entirely its own. Plays happen in the air like basketball and football, players endure grueling amounts of running like soccer, receivers leave their feet to make spectacular catches like baseball outfielders, and much of the sport is played in tournament format (multiple games per day, meaning an abundance of opportunities for Sports Center-like plays).
4) Things like this happen
5) Party Tournaments
Perhaps one of the greatest thrills of Ultimate is traveling with your best friends to go play in some faraway city. The difference here is that in Ultimate, annual tournaments are actually designed for the party. Whether you’re an elite level player or just a beginner, these tournaments are enjoyed by all. You can find them in places like Wildwood, New Jersey, where thousands of Ultimate players take over this beach town for an entire weekend. Other classics include MARS in Pittsburgh, Sandblast in Chicago, Lei Out in California and Potlatch in Seattle. Anytime you’re feeling like you need a break from competitive Ultimate, these tournaments will do the trick.
6) Ultimate is working for peace in the Middle East.
With a large emphasis on community, Ultimate is frequently found at the forefront of movements and community-based programs. Perhaps none are more significant than Ultimate Peace, a summer camp that brings together Israelis and Palestinians on the Ultimate fields throughout Israel.
7) It’s cheap and fairly simple.
Want to play a pickup game of Ultimate? All you need is some open space, a frisbee and… well, that’s really it. You can consult the rulebook if you’d like, but the basic tenets go something like this: score in the other team’s end zone, avoid contact, don’t run with the Frisbee and play with integrity.
8) It’s way better than book clubs or fraternities.
Looking for a solid group of friends when you get to college? How about a good way to meet some new people outside of work? Ultimate is perfect. The community in the sport is all about reaching out, spreading the game, and building relationships outside the lines. Ultimate players are generally well connected, too. All of my Ultimate friends can attest to the fact that the people they met through this sport helped propel them in new directions both with their careers and their social lives.
9) The off the field stuff is great, but…
… at the end of the day, the things that happen on the field in Ultimate stand completely on their own.
Nutrition And Recovering From Injury — Tips from the Research
During my six years of playing ultimate frisbee, I’ve been injured — to the extent that I can’t play — for almost two of them. And I’m sure I’ve spent even more time playing through injuries.
I’m not alone: while there isn’t any recent data on the extent of injuries in ultimate, I’d be surprised to meet a competitive ultimate frisbee player who hasn’t sustained at least one acute or chronic injury. I’m not going to argue that we run faster, jump higher, and go harder than other sports, but we do it for longer — eight hours a day, sometimes — and without the recovery awarded to other sports.
A post-injury rehabilitation program incorporates many components, including surgery (in some cases), rest, physical therapy, strengthening, and conditioning. But what I see missing is a nutrition component. Critically ill patients who are admitted to intensive care units undergo nutritional therapy to promote healing — so why shouldn’t injured athletes, who are dealing with significantly smaller injuries, but injuries to tissue nonetheless — follow similar protocols?
A Background of the Healing Response
At the time of injury, your body launches an inflammatory response that mobilizes nutrients to help rebuild damaged tissues and lay down collagen. This mobilization is aided by certain hormones — like cortisol, catecholamines, and glucagon — as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines, that help initiate the net breakdown of skeletal muscle. Along with lipolysis, these processes provide enough glucose, amino acids, and free fatty acids to begin the healing process.
These processes put an increased metabolic demand on the body, as more protein and nutrients are needed to act as substrates. Energy expenditure increases depending on the severity of the injury: long bone fractures, for example, may increase your basal metabolic rate1 by 15-20%.2 If your basal metabolic rate is 2,000 calories a day, that’s an extra 300-400 calories, though minus the amount you may no longer need because of exercise.
Of course, many injuries are so mild that their influence on your basal metabolic rate is negligible; still, it’s important that you don’t cut out too many calories such that this net deficit starts to impede healing. A six foot, 185-pound, thirty-year-old male, for example, requires 1929 calories at rest — that is, to fuel his body’s organs if he’s sitting on a couch all day. Surprisingly, your muscles contribute only about 20% of your resting energy expenditure — organs like your brain, liver, kidneys, and heart eat up the majority of it3.
Even if overall caloric demands are only slightly elevated after an injury, protein demands certainly increase during that time. Endogenous protein is broken down from lean muscle mass to be used as substrates, leading to losses in skeletal muscle. Without adequate protein, healing is hindered; studies have shown that the degree of this hindrance is directly proportional to the amount of lean muscle mass that is lost.
Researchers haven’t yet reached a consensus regarding the optimal protein requirements for an injured patient, as it’s highly dependent on the individual and the severity of the injury. Some recommend up to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight to meet the increased demands of protein synthesis and the losses of amino acids that occur after injury. Focus on quality protein sources, just as you would following any practice, game, or tournament. Look to meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds, and aim to eat some protein at every meal or snack.
In addition to getting adequate calorie and protein intake, the third component of a post-injury rehabilitative nutrition plan is ensuring adequate micronutrient intake. A 2013 study published in the Nutrition Journal found that trauma patients suffer from reduced plasma concentrations of micronutrients due to inflammation, increased requirements, and oxidative burden. Other studies that focus on burn patients and patients with head trauma reached similar conclusions, recommending that injured patients receive micronutrient supplementation. Again, while sports injuries tend to be significantly milder than these traumas, similar micronutrient supplementation strategies can be applied to the injured athlete.
Ideally, a post-injury diet would include as many unprocessed, whole foods (vegetables, fruits, proteins, whole, intact grains, dairy, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes) as possible and as few processed, inflammatory, and high-sugar foods (chips, cookies, muffins, white bread, processed meats) as possible. The nutrient density (the ratio of a food’s nutrient content compared to its energy content) of your diet is incredibly important following injury. If, for example, you decreased your total caloric intake without making any changes to your diet, your total nutrient intakes would decrease proportionately. But because injury puts your body in a state of micronutrient deficiency, it’s important to increase your micronutrient intake by eating more nutrient-dense foods and fewer empty calories.
These four nutrients specifically target processes in the body that heal damaged tissue, which is especially common in ultimate injuries (torn ligaments, tendinitis, broken bones). Most also support the immune system, which can be suppressed following injury and is important in supporting the body through the healing process. This list is not exhaustive; it’s still important to eat whole foods with other essential micronutrients, like vitamins B and D, copper, calcium, and magnesium, as well as other compounds that research has suggested to be effective in healing, like bromelain (in pineapple) and curcumin (in turmeric).
Zinc is an essential mineral that is involved over over 100 processes in the body. It plays a large role in supporting the immune system, helping with protein synthesis, wound healing, DNA synthesis, and cell division. Oysters contain the most zinc per serving (74 mg), followed by meats like beef, pork and chicken, fortified cereals, beans, and legumes. Vegetarians and vegans require a higher baseline intake of zinc, as vegetarian sources — like fortified breads and cereals and beans — contain phytates, which inhibit the absorption of zinc.
Iron, another essential mineral, is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream to transport it to the cells in our body. Among other things, iron deficiency can lead to a depleted immune system, which hinders the body’s ability to recover from an injury. There are two types of iron: heme iron comes from animal sources like oysters, clams, mussels, beef, pork, and eggs; non-heme sources, which are not as readily absorbed by the body, include beans and legumes, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dark leafy greens. The absorption of iron can be increased by eating iron-rich foods with foods high in vitamin C.
Vitamin C is required to help form collagen, a protein that is used to heal wounds, form scar tissue, and repair and maintain the health of connective tissues and bones. Papayas, bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, and pineapple all contain more than 100% of your daily recommended intake; oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and kale are also great sources.
Vitamin A also plays a role in tissue health: it assists in collagen formation, helping wounds and tissue damage heal. It also helps support the immune system, which is often weakened after intense bouts of exercise. There are two types of vitamin A: preformed vitamin A, which is found in animal products, and provitamin A carotenoids, found in orange and yellow produce (sweet potatoes, carrots, and mangos) as well as green leafy vegetables and some beans. Provitamin A carotenoids are less bioavailable to the body, so vegetarians and vegans have to eat relatively more international units of vitamin A. Because different sources of vitamin A have different potencies, they’re often measured as retinol activity equivalents. For example, 12 micrograms of beta carotene (a provitamin A carotenoid) is required to form 1 microgram of retinol, because beta-carotene is not as readily absorbed as preformed vitamin A .
Not to be confused with total metabolic rate, your basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body needs just to lay on a couch all day; your total metabolic rate is the amount of energy you need to sustain your level of activity and increases as you work out more. So while your total metabolic rate might go down since you’re not exercising, your basal metabolic rate may still be slightly increased—so you might not want to reduce calories to such a huge extent [↩]
Winawer SJ. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. New York, NY: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006. [↩]
Elia M. Organ and tissue contribution to metabolic rate. Kinney JM, Tucker HN, editors. Energy metabolism: tissue determinants and cellular corollaries. New York, NY: Raven Press, Ltd, 1992:61–79. [↩]
Dan and Jess are cycling from Creswick to London. They are attempting to raise $100,000 for Ultimate Peace. Donate at www.creswicktolondon.com
Mission They are cycling to London from Creswick, Australia. They have allocated 14 months for this venture and they left Creswick on September 1, 2013.
They are attempting to raise $100k for Ultimate Peace – a group that use Ultimate Frisbee and the Spirit of the Game as a means of conflict resolution and development of strong leaders in the middle east.
Please get behind them and help them to achieve this goal for Ultimate Peace. You can help by spreading the word to your friends by sharing, and liking their page.. and you could probably even just talk to them about it! If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to donate you can do so through our website www.creswicktolondon.com
All going to plan They will present a cheque to Ultimate Peace at the World Ultimate Club Championships in Lecco, Italy in August 2014. Please read more about UP here: www.ultimatepeace.org
Saturday Clinic With Dan and JessWe feel honor to have them to help us improve about Ultimate and yet a great friendship we made 🙂 Thanks for coming to Chiangmai
Description This app contains the latest World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) approved rules for the sport of ultimate. These are the official 2013 edition effective from the 1st of January 2013.
The extensive rules are presented in sectioned accordion menus making navigation and searching quick and easy. Definitions for key terms and synopsises for related rules can be accessed instantly through the touch of highlighted text minimising the need to scroll back and forth. The official interpretations are also provided in tandem with their associated rules. Illustrations of the 21 Hand Signals are presented along with corresponding descriptions. Furthermore the complete set of the WFDF Championship Rules, also known as the “ultimate rules – appendix” are provided.
This app aims to provide ultimate players with efficient access to the rule book and other important WFDF material, directly from the device in your pocket. It is ad free.
– Complete set of the up-to-date WFDF rules of ultimate 2013 edition.
– Complete set of the official WFDF interpretations.
– Definitions for key terms.
– The official 21 hand signals.
– The WFDF Championship Rules (appendix).
Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. – Nelson Mandela
For the first time in my life, I had made friends, not because I happened to be born the same year as them because we all saw beauty in the same things; People who thought they would rather play a sport that most people don’t even know exists because they love it. People who do something simply out of pure passion for it, and who do it for themselves.
Sushmita playing with ‘Learning to Fly’, an Ultimate Frisbee team in Bangalore.
It was the summer of 2012. My 12th grade board exams had just gotten over and like most other kids my age, my typical day looked somewhat like this. I’d wake up late, overeat brunch, sit around watching TV or spending hours on the laptop, and then go out with my friends in the evening. And Bangalore being bangalore, we were pretty hard pressed to find activities more exciting than going out drinking.
In school, I’d become friends with a bunch of boys who would come drenched in sweat early in the morning, and not seeming to care about it at all, talking excitedly about “layouts d’s” and “hucks” and “hammers”. They told me I wouldn’t get it. It was Ultimate Frisbee. At first, I thought what sort of pretentious name is “Ultimate”? No other self-respecting sport has such a ridiculous name. Imagine Amazing Cricket, or Fabulous Basketball.
And secondly, frisbee? All I could think of was playing catch with my dog. Or at the very most, throwing a plastic disc with my dad in Cubbon Park. Don’t try and tell me it’s a sport. Football is a sport. Frisbee? You must be joking.
They didn’t bother defending it to me. They’d had that particular conversation too many times with too many clueless people.
One morning, I happened to wake up super early and having nothing else to do, thought I’d go surprise my friends playing at Kanteerava and get some breakfast, later. I landed up there to see about 25 boys and girls, all roughly between 15 and 35, “getting some throws”.
One of my friends saw me and misinterpreted my surprise. He thought I’d come there to play. Before I could say anything, I was dragged over to the unofficial coach, Clifford. In minutes, I was throwing with another girl, and being taught the difference between a forehand and a backhand, between a pivot and a travel. I was still pretty skeptical.
And then the game started. 5 guys and 2 girls lined up on either end of the field, and in no time, had gone from being a bunch of people casually throwing a frisbee around to an intense team playing as hard as they could.
They faked their defenders, beat the man who was marking them, and tore across the field, not in abstract chaos, but in high intensity well planned strategy. They jumped high and caught incredible catches, made throws across half a football fields length with amazing accuracy, and had their team-mates shooting across the pitch to grab those throws within the ‘end-zone’. And it was such an inspiring display of pure athleticism that I couldn’t stop staring.
Two things hit me.
This was the first time I had seen girls and guys play together as a team. In India especially, guys play all the sports, and if they’re lucky, girls will have a division, like in Basketball or Throw ball. Nowhere else do you see an actual “mixed” team, playing equally hard, following the same rules, and bringing a whole new experience in terms of game quality but most importantly, playing together. It gave gender equality a huge boost, and that thrilled me.
Secondly, it was self-refereed. Players called their own violations or fouls. If the person on whom it was called didn’t agree, they simply said “contest” and play resumed from where it was before the foul/violation was called.
It’s not that the rules are made up as the game is played. Ultimate has a very clear and strictly enforced set of rules. It’s just that you are trusted to adhere to the rules by yourself, without needing a third party to enforce it. Players call it the spirit of the Game, and it is the most perfect display of sportsmanship I have ever seen.
Things like this can often backfire. If you told people to fine themselves for riding without helmets, they’d laugh. But what got me hooked to Ultimate, was that there was an implicit trust in every player to maintain your team’s integrity. Making fair calls got you and your team so much more respect than scoring an unfair point ever would. And that was a sentiment that carried through every single practice session, match and tournament.
Stuff like this was what had me go back for the next practice session and then every session after that. And soon, I was another one of those frisbee fanatics, who couldn’t stop gushing about the sport.
Within months, I was closer to those 25 random people I had met in Kanteerava than I was to people I had been friends with for years. My friends now range from architects and graphic designers, to psychologists and sailors in the merchant navy to CEO’s of some of India’s biggest companies to part-time farmers and part-time hackers.
And their faces are often the reason I pull myself out of bed on a cold winter morning and hit the field.
Not only are they a very intelligent, and a fit bunch of people, they’re also some of the nicest I have ever come across. The captain of a team in Chennai, Boon Lay, uses ultimate as an incentive to get the kids to attend school. They’re usually first generation learners, who come from underprivileged backgrounds, and have barely any incentive to go to school and do well. But they are crazy about Ultimate Frisbee and worship “Boon Maama”. The team monitors their academics and the kids work extra hard, because they know that if they study well, Boon Maama will teach them a new throw or a new strategy. And their parents aren’t worried anymore that their little boy is off getting into trouble somewhere. The more they study, the better they get at ultimate, and the greater their chances are of making it to Boon’s coveted team.
Recently, at the Womens National Championships held in Bangalore, the entire ultimate community pitched in to sponsor the girls from Pudiyador, an NGO run by a pillar of Indian ultimate, Manickam Narayanan, to come down from Chennai and play. These are girls who would never usually get a chance to step out of their shells, and interact with new people in a new city but ultimate helped them do that. It gave them the exposure that is so necessary to be able to stand on your own two feet, and the freedom and opportunity to do that while they did something they love.
That’s the sort of love that unites Ultimate Frisbee players from across the world. It’s that instant camaraderie that springs out of sharing something special that can bring kids from NGO’s and international schools together, put them on the same platform and have them leave the best of friends, sipping some elneer outside Kanteerava after another tiring session, knowing that they’ve found something beautiful.
And that’s why I play. Not just for the game, but also for the amazing experiences I have while doing it – at tournaments all over the country, all the interesting people it helps me meet and all the good that I can be a part of , in my own little way. And lastly, but most importantly, because the high that playing Ultimate Frisbee gives me, is pretty damn unbeatable. And the more the number of people that discover this joy, the farther the happiness spreads.
This story is a part of the Spocial Revolution series, a collaboration with SportsKeeda featuring stories of sports as an instrument towards social change and voices from the community on sports as a choice in sustainability.
Have a story of how sports changed your life or someone else’s? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s amazing when simple solutions can be used to solve complex problems. At the foundation, we see this happen across our work, as partners innovate to solve persistent problems in health, agriculture, and US education. This summer I had the occasion to experience innovation driven by teenagers committed to changing their lives and the world around them.
Ultimate Peace is an organization that brings together Jewish and Arab teens through Ultimate Frisbee. Ultimate is a sport that by its own rule book is self-officiated, and as a result players have to work together to resolve conflicts, ensure fair conduct, and uphold mutual respect.
My friend and colleague David Barkan is the volunteer CEO of Ultimate Peace. He was a guest on the Gates Foundation’s podcast series, Inside the Gates. Listen to my interview with David to learn how he thought to use Ultimate as a way to get people from opposite sides of the field to play together.
My family and I met many extraordinary teens and coaches from around the world this summer. We reached out to one of them – Yasmen Marisat – to ask her to share her story with us so we could share it more widely.
My name is Yasmen. It’s my 4th year in the Ultimate Peace program. I don’t really like to remember the shy, scared 13 year-old girl I used to be. As a Moslem living in an Arab village in Israel, I had never talked to a Jew, never met an American, never spent any time outside of my community. Four years later, I am transformed, and I really do like the person I am today. This organization didn’t just add to my life, it has changed everything.
I am stronger, more confident, and I am ambitious and a dreamer.
I feel we all have strength inside, but we have fear that will last until we are liberated of it. One of my biggest fears was always coexistence between Arabs and Jews. I never thought I would have a Jewish friend until college, if ever. We live completely disconnected lives. We never talk, never interact, go to different schools, and are told that the other wants to hurt or even kill us.
The presence of Ultimate Peace in the Middle East helped me overcome this big fear. The friendships I have made and the mutual respect we developed despite our different perspectives has helped me stop being afraid. In fact, it helped me find myself and my voice. I am no longer quiet about the things that bother me, and I speak up, with friends, family, teachers, everyone.
I didn’t just learn an awesome new sport that values integrity and sportsmanship, I am now on teams with Jewish friends. In fact, one of my best friends now is a 17 year old Jewish girl named Raz. She is from a Jewish city near Tel Aviv, and we are very close. We even speak of me being her bridesmaid at her wedding one day.
I have learned that I can make change, lead young people, and spread the values of Ultimate Peace in my community. One day I stood up in front of all the teachers at my new school and had to justify my participation in this cross-cultural program. They were skeptical about contact with Jews. I started shaking at first, but then, my voice got louder, my head got higher, and I felt like if I had all the time in the world. I know now that I will keep talking. Through this program, I learned to speak up for anything I believe in, speak from my heart, and trust myself and others.
Can Ultimate Peace bring peace in the Middle East? I believe we can because we don’t speak the language of our religions or our culture or our politics, on purpose. We speak the language of our souls; speak about what is inside of us, about our dreams and hopes. When we do that, we all speak for peace.
How do we make decisions? In many real-life examples we create a list of choices and features, maybe take some data, rate how each option stacks up in each feature, and coolly select the optimum choice. In ultimate you don’t have the time to go through this whole process. You have to rely on your trained inner self to figure out what to do based on internalized guidelines.
Since I like lists of rules here are some for making sense of what is happening on the field and figuring out what to do about it:
Take input from around you. Look, listen, and learn to identify what is important. Communicate — with eye contact, code words, or plain English if you need to.
Use your experience. A lot of field sense is really just knowing the tendencies of your teammates and opponents. Learn the signs that a defender has committed to a particular move so you can counteract. Become familiar with your offense’s “power positions” from which a thrower can deliver an uncontested huck.
Know your preferences and strengths (hopefully they are the same). If you’re fast enough, all you need is for your defender to lean the wrong way and you can go. Don’t bother looking for the forehand huck if you can’t hit it reliably.
Know your requirements. Be aware of where you are on the field and what your team needs from you at that point. Are others likely to be in good position to provide help or is there just one option?
Have something to go to if all else fails. We all know to clear if we’ve been shut down on a cut, but throwers should know what their final option is too — whether to punt it, look across the field for a long swing, or throw a leading pass to the closest dump. On defense, know what you can concede if you have to and what you absolutely cannot concede.
And here’s how you go about getting better at it:
Engage in deliberate practice. 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 drills that focus on dump passes or first cuts or hucks can get you lots of reps in situations where all the unimportant inputs have been removed.
Compile an extensive experience bank. Quite frankly, you’re going to have to make a lot of mistakes in order to get better. Play, and pay attention. Play summer league or rec tournaments, play goaltimate, play mini. While these can also lead to bad habits, they will give you lots of reps and put you in more situations where you have to make the play or you will lose.
Obtain feedback that is accurate, diagnostic, and timely. In practice ask your opponent why you got beat or why you couldn’t get open.
Review prior experiences. On the sideline between points or between games go over your play in your head. Think about not just your failures and obvious glories, but review the close calls. What could you have done better with that pass so the defender couldn’t even have a bid on it? How could you have set up the defender better so that the thrower didn’t have to make a perfect pass?
To learn, you need to think about what you will be doing and what you just did, so that when it comes time to DO, you don’t need to think.
Note: this article was adapted from the presentation “Real Time Decision Making in Ultimate” at the Ultimate Players and Coaches Conference in Newton, MA, in Jan 2007
The best way to describe throwing a forehand is comparing it to a vertical jump. As we know, vertical jumping ability is directly influenced by the speed of the force exerted against the ground during a fixed span of time; the faster the application of that force, the higher the jump. To translate this concept into throwing a forehand, we can infer that the less time it takes to apply a given amount of snap to the disc, the more rotations will be yielded per ‘x’ amount of time. With this, if you look at an exceptional thrower like Alex Thorne, you’ll notice that he has one of the quickest releases out of any thrower in the nation. Furthermore, those quick releases all generally look more or less the same, regardless of the distance of the throw. Such quick releases coupled with a strong snap provide for a throw that will fly through the air with very little observable disruption from wind.
Along with disc snap, there are two other important aspects of forehand throwing.
GRIP. I cannot stress enough the importance of holding the disc with the correct grip. It can unquestionably make or break your forehand. In this situation, ‘make’ is a strong word. Any thrower’s forehand that isn’t ‘made’ is ‘broken’ to some degree. With that, most ultimate players have broken forehands, and that is because the majority of ultimate players are not elite. This certainly doesn’t mean that all elite players’ forehands are made, but the majority of them have at least near-made forehands.
Among most of the elite players, there is an almost universal correct grip. Instead of having to needlessly over-explain certain details, I’m going to provide some visual examples of proper forehand grip, along with an example of an errant grip. Most instruction only involves a basal display of “putting your index and middle fingers together inside the rim,” and hardly anything more. That instruction is insufficient and leads to god-forsaken grips like this:
That was a picture of where not to put your thumb. It is clear that there is no control over the disc. Instead, this is proper thumb placement
As you can see, with the thumb sitting well into the flight rings–if not past them–there is a visible difference in the amount of disc control.
But there is more to thumb placement than that. On the top of a disc, there is a flat plane. Common knowledge, yes, but the proximal phalanx of the thumb should be in a relatively parallel plane to the plane that is the top of the disc. I am specific about this bone in particular because not all hands are the same, and some individuals’ distal phalanges are not naturally in line with their proximal phalanges. This link will specify these bones
Now, on to index and middle finger placement. When you grip the disc, avoid locking the joint between the middle and proximal phalanges of your index and middle fingers. When they’re locked, snapping power is compromised. You can actually prove this to yourself by locking the joints on your middle finger, holding that finger about two inches from a tabletop, and then hitting the table top with it. Now repeat this, only this time unlock the joint and slightly curve the finger so that there’s a 160 degree angle between the middle and proximal phalanges. You will discover that the latter method will yield more power.
We can even look at the index and middle fingers of some great throwers and see that they do in fact have those joints unlocked, along with the 160 degree angle [more or less…(more less than more)]
Now that we’ve covered the angle of the joint between the proximal and middle phalanges, let’s talk about the angle of the joint between the distal phalanx and the middle phalanx. This angle should be about 170 degrees, BUT, in the opposite direction. If you’re picturing this correctly, there will be an ever so slight zig-zag to the middle finger. To show yourself how this angle should look, lock all of the joints on your middle finger and stick the tip of the finger on a tabletop such that the finger is perpendicular to the tabletop. Now, push down against the tabletop and you will see that the angle of the joint between the distal and proximal phalanges becomes smaller the harder you push down. This is important because almost the entire distal phalanx of the middle finger is last place the disc snaps off of, and it is the place where the snap is initiated.
Lastly, there should be absolutely no gap between the disc and the meaty webbing between your index and thumb. The disc should be tight and snug against the webbing. Once you have the grip for maximum potential, the specifics of arm motion are the next things to be understood. Some say to keep your palm facing upwards during the throwing motion. That isn’t incorrect, but it’s only part of the story. We can look at this photo again
You will notice that the commonly less hairy and lighter colored portion of the forearm is up and facing forward. This part of the arm should remain forward-facing throughout the forward motion of the throw. If this portion turns over (starts to face downward), the disc will most likely fly the same way. It will turn more and more outside in as it flies, and it will fall into the ground sooner than you’d like. If the disc is kept flat, and your arm stays in the correct position and DOES NOT rotate during the forward motion of the throw, the disc will probably fly the way you want it to–flat.
The final aspect of forehands that I will be covering is the angle created by the disc and the forearm. Similar to the joint between the proximal and middle phalanges of the middle and index fingers, the angle between the disc and the forearm should also be around 160 degrees.
I wish this photo could show the SPECIFIC wrong thing to do, but the form is so repugnant that it’s useless and an educational example
There are two ways to make the angle between the disc and the forearm 160 degrees. The wrong one (which I tried to show in the above photo and failed) would have the bottom of the disc come closer to the top part of the forearm. The correct one is the opposite, and shown in these photos
The top of the disc tends toward the light colored, under side of the forearm in this example of the correct angle.
That should about cover everything with hopefully enough detail.
For the first time in Chiang Mai history, several Chiang Mai players teamed up with players from all over Asia and the world, to take on one of the most competitive and fun tournaments in South East Asia, Manila Spirits. Based in the capital city of the Philippines, the Manila Spirits International Tournament is now in it’s 10th year. Welcoming intermediate to advanced ultimate teams from around the globe, it is widely known as the best party tournament in Asia. Huckuna Matata’s team name was inspired by the classic Disney movie, ‘The Lion King,’ and parade majestically around Manila they did.
The Jersey designed by Ekk and Jessica Chen for the Hucknamatata
Hakuna Matata met for the first time on the Saturday morning of the tournament. Fresh off a big win at the Open section with CUUP (China Ultimate United party) on Friday, Adam Lerman stepped into place as the team captain. Ozzie, Ekk and Julia from Chiang Mai joined other players hailing from Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, India, the US, Canada, Singapore, China, Taiwan and Vietnam forming quite the international squad of disc catchers. With total team experience amounting to over half a century, Huckuna Matata’s destined meeting began and the electricity of the moment began flowing.
Alabang Country Club, south of the heart of Manila, was a lovely (if not broiling hot) location to play. After a few introductions and practice throws, Hakuna Matata took on their first opponents, NYP of Singapore. A skillful but young team, NYP put up a good fight but in the end, Huckuna Matata hucked and matata’d their way to victory. Several team cheers based on the award-winning soundtrack of ‘The Lion King’ were created and there were many high-pitched solos emanating from the Matata sideline. Next up was Blaze from Hong Kong, and then Bitag , the local team from the Philippines who the fearless Matatas beat handily.
The first crossover match with the A pool was versus Duo out of Manila, a skillful and quick team. Huckuna members had felt since the beginning when the brackets were announced that they did not belong in the B pool, and were readily anticipating the cross over match – with a W Huckuna could move into the higher pool. Tough battles on each side resulted in a few injuries and with Huckuna losing by 2 points. Spirits were down but not broken as Huckuna walked off the field with heads held high and handsome manes flowing, ready for a few beverages.
Saturday night started off with a flip-cup party at Tune hostel, and then everyone headed for the after party at Google bar. Huckuna Matata dressed classily in matching printed tanks, which made it incredibly easy to find each other throughout the night. This was the perfect venue for socializing with other teams and comparing cross-dressing costumes, but little did the party-goers know that the best was about to come! Several attractive ladies appeared out of nowhere and hopped on some quickly set up stripper poles to show off their skills. As if out of a dream, they flew through the air and displayed amazing feats of flexibility and strength. After their performance, some lady-boy drag queens stepped it up a notch with some song and dance performances, the most memorable being a Beyonce impersonator with unbelievable dance moves and a super stage presence. Self- proclaimed brothers, the Riches of Manila, one time winners of ‘The Amazing Race Asia’ hosted the event and whipped up the crowd into a dancing frenzy. The Philippines players were incredible hospitable, providing guests with drink tickets aplenty and more spirits than a sun-burned ultimate player could hope for. The night faded away into dance parties with a local band and DJ, and a mostly memorable night for Huckuna Matata.
Sunday started with Huckuna shaking off their slight hangovers and jumping right into play. With only 3 lion cubs missing from the pack (after having stayed out a little too late on the savannah), Huckuna took on Tainan Haocool out of Taiwan as the first competitors of the day. However the stars didn’t align for Huckuna that morning and they fell to Haocool. Not so cool! The next two games however were big W’s, and made Huckuna Matata feel that they were destined to be the kings of pride rock. Southbound out of Philippines were the 2nd competitors of the day and lastly YanWhyPee out of Singapore. The last game was especially memorable as most of the pride was feeling extreme heat exhaustion due to the incredible mugginess that descended in the afternoon. Lion cubs could be seen huddling under the shade of nearby signs and larger lions. Ending the day with a victory felt right for Huckuna Matata; their team building efforts were rewarded.
The ‘Circle of Life’ post game wrap up was a huge hit. Love and good times were flowing around the circle as players gave shout outs to others for big hucks, big moves and even bigger hearts and spirits during the games. Newer players were recognized for their improvements and positive attitudes, more experienced players were recognized for their stability, confidence and spirit. Huckuna meshed well together, despite the fact that many had just met each other. The Philippines Ultimate committee provided each player with a bag, jersey, hat, disc and sticker, which was more than generous and greatly appreciated by the hat-less and shirt-less of the day.
The final game was quite the showdown. Ending on universe point, Mixed Nuts out of Manila and the Boracay Dragons gave the crowd an Ultimate game that will go down in history. Incredible sky’s, big D’s and unbelievably accurate hucks made the on-lookers wonder where these two teams found their energy and intensity to play a final after 2 days in the oppressive heat. One stand out player on Mixed Nuts was Kat, out of the Australia. Her speed was a match for any guy. She was amazing to watch, she was jumping high and D’ing people all over the field; she played a mean cutter and skilled handler; she scored easily and frequently. In the end, Mixed Nuts came out on top, to the dismay of the crowd who had been mainly rooting for the Dragons out of Boracay. No matter the result, it was a truly amazing game to watch as the skills on both sides. Huckuna Matata was a high-spirited and fun team. Hopefully the stars will align again and Huckuna will join another tournament together in the future.
As May 2013 approached, the drive to succeed could be felt in the air above the CMU fields. Two teams with one heart were hard at work, playing hard 3 nights a week until the sun set behind Doi Suthep. For months before the Mekong Cup, Chiang Mai had been preparing for this competition. Bangkok tournaments are popular as the competition is higher level and the SoiDawgs team is fun, outrageous, they have flair on the field and can throw back the Singhas and apple pie shots like there’s no tomorrow. Clearly, this scene is right in line with Chiang Mai’s priorities, so we set our sights on Krungthep and Mekong Cup glory.
The preparations for Mekong were driven by some important factors. Namely, an influx of talented, experienced disc players from the states jumped into the mix and refocused the energy of the Ultimate team. Charlie and Heather Ann fueled an excitement in Chiang Mai that had been dormant since the last tournament. Coming from teams in the states like Scandal, out of NC and having coached college teams in the past, it was clear that they raised the level of play on the field. Their dedication was palpable, as they directed scrimmages, and provided top-notch advice to experienced players while still dedicating time to working on throws with newer players. Matt Kress, an experienced ultimate player formerly of Bucket, Tanasi and Rival, was also influential in the Mekong preparations. Matt, HA and Charlie took the reigns to run drills, games, sprints, and even a league with two high-intensity Saturday scrimmages.
As the end of May drew near, Chiang Mai was putting the final touches on plays on and off the field. Because of the large amount of interest in this tournament, and a want to make sure everyone’s priorities were met, a vote was taken to gauge interest for what kind of teams we would create. After some discussion about what a successful tournament would look like, players were given the option of a fun focused or a competitive team, and each picked which they preferred. Two teams were created: Elephantastic, named for well-loved Northern-Thai mammal and Morning Glory, for the incessantly growing weed and favorite vegetable dish of CM Ultimate players.
Splitting into the two tournament teams, each dedicated time to team bonding. Unique cheers were created, team dinners were planned and pep talks were happening regularly. While Chiang Mai Ultimate was separated into two teams, they had a common goal: to have fun, play competitive games and a memorable Mekong cup. With high spirits and tube socks, Chiang Mai Ultimate hopped onto buses, planes, and elephants and sailed into the Big Mango.
The heat felt heavy at the Army Base field, on the north side of Bangkok, as Chiang Mai marched onto the field Saturday morning. Sleepiness and sluggishness was nipped in the bud as the players started out for their warm-up jogs, stretching and plyos. Spirits were as high as the temperature, and with the electrolytes and bananas flowing, both teams got down to business.
Morning Glory started off with strong with fluid passing, give and goes, and deep threats to boot. While the team hailed from Chiang Mai, Bangkok, America, India, and Malaysia, they found instant on-field connections, helping fuel the success so important early in tournaments. With a few wins under their belts from day one, Morning Glory grew wildly and with confidence throughout Sunday. Several decisive wins over teams from Singapore, New Zealand, and the Elephantastic team helped Morning glory move into good standing, putting the team in gear for the semis and finals on Sunday.
Elephantastic – What happened with them?
Playing some fantastically competitive games was balanced by a solid social get together on Saturday night, hosted by the Soi Dawgz. After showers (and for some a quick nap), Red Bull was consumed and the CM players who survived the days’ heat were off to have a few beverages. The festivities began at the bar, with pool and socializing. Players who had sky’d or D’ed each other during the day joined up for a pint and complimented the others performance. Ultimate people strongly believe in the friendly and fun aspect of the game, which makes for a warm atmosphere at the post game socials. After a good amount of mingling, Jared, the SoiDawgs resident party aficionado made the call to move. His suggestion was to continue the gathering at a different venue, a local bull-riding bar. Looking to continue the feel-good high of the weekend so far, a number of the CM group expressed interest and a solid group of about 20 sun-burnt ulti players went along for the ‘ride.’
After a few wrong turns into strip clubs and 7Elevens, the gang arrived at the saloon du-jour. A rotating tiered stripper pole cake complete with scantily clad-ladies greeted guests at the entrance. The main attraction, however, was a padded ring with a mechanical bull that must have been at least 57 years old. Guests were encouraged to ride the bull as the gathered circle of bar-goers hooted in delight. An apparent female who may have also been a semi-professional sumo wrestler operated the bulls’ controls. The goal was to stay on as long as possible without being flung off the bull. She demonstrated her enthusiasm for bull riding and nudity a number of times, to the hilarity and horror of the crowd. With any female volunteer, the Mama-san demonstrated her affinity for nakedness by asking the ladies to remove their shorts or skirts, and more than one naked bottom was seen riding the bull that night. While operating the controls, one CM player spun a teammate off so violently; he kneed himself in the face and suffered an extremely bloody nose. During an epic ride, Jared from the Soi Dawgs broke the bull and it toppled over, revealing a sharp metal underside. All stripper hands were on deck to resurrect the fallen bull, and soon it was back in order for the next eager bull rider. Many memories were created this night, and while the length of time of the bull for each person was short, the bonding experience will stay with everyone for much longer.
Sunday was a hard fought battle, and with competition as high as the temperature, both CM teams fought hard. The teams supported each other, by watching games from the sideline and cheering, and making the Chiang Mai presence known throughout the tournament grounds. Elephantastic struggled to pull in wins, but was recognized as one of the most fun teams to play against, for their never-ending positivity and side-line antics. Elephant face-masks had been created and wild herds of CM Ultimate playing elephants could be seen dancing and galloping across the fields. Morning Glory’s experienced players guided the team to an undefeated record on Sunday. Facing the Chuckies – Singapore for the second time in the Semi-finals, Morning Glory battled until the last minute and won up by 1 point by our Captain Matt lay out D and threw the long shape huck to the end zone to make it into the final battle won over the Never Underestimate Students – Singapore. Tensions were high and several times, impromptu dance parties materialized, which helped to calm the player’s nerves.
As the final minutes of the game drew near against team Flying Zucchinis of the Apocalypse – mixed Indonesia and Malaysia. It was still not clear who the winner would be. The game was quite fun and the Morning glory conquered and received the glory as their name.
Morning Glory received their metals and took several pictures to commemorate the moment. So much training, preparation and hard work cumulated into a final song as Morning Glory sang out their ‘Sponge Bob’ themed cheer one final time. Second place metals were given to the fierce competitors and hands were high-fived. Then, in an all time Chiang Mai feel good moment, Elephantastic were named for the tournament Spirit Award, for their positive energy and support, fun attitudes and overall good spirit. As the two Chiang Mai teams reunited once again, they were reminded of the spirit of the game, and each felt intense pride for the people who met in our corner of Northern Thailand. To be recognized for athletic excellence and embodying the spirit of the game was an amazing honor for Chiang Mai. The positive feelings hummed all over the field and out to Bangkok that day, emitting a vibration that could be felt in the heart of Ultimate players worldwide.
Chiang Mai players left Bangkok that night proud, exhausted, and smiling, vowing to represent at the next Bangkok tournament, and invite others to the North for a Hat tourney of our own. The Mekong cup in May 2013 was one that will live on in the memories of each CM player in attendance, as one of the all-around best feel good weekends.
#11. ALL PLAYERS, ULTIMATE FRISBEE In a 2006 study, the University of Washington found that participating in Ultimate Frisbee was an indicator of academic success. The decade-long study showed that, among all 86 private national universities, those ranking in the top half for Ultimate Frisbee have a graduation rate of over 85 percent, compared to a graduation rate of 60 percent among schools in the bottom half. The top half schools also had 208 Rhodes and Marshall scholars, versus 15 from schools in the bottom half. Thank you, University of Washington.
Fitness doesn’t only apply to the body. Mental fitness is just as important, and while the world’s elite athletes are certainly physical specimens, many are elite brainiacs, as well. Here is a list of some of the smartest athletes out there, from the NFL to Ultimate Frisbee.
1. MARION BARTOLI, TENNIS
Marion Bartoli isn’t just a Wimbledon champion—she’s a genius. It has been reported that the French-born tennis ace has an IQ of 175, which is higher than Albert Einstein’s, but below Bobby Fischer’s, and her interests include classical ballet and art. But Bartoli isn’t the only well-rounded tennis player: Daniela Hantuchova is a classically trained pianist and speaks four languages, while Roger Federer speaks five.
2. AND 3. RYAN FITZPATRICK AND MYRON ROLLE, FOOTBALL
Ryan Fitzpatrick is not only quarterback of the Tennessee Titans, he’s also a Harvard graduate. Upon joining the NFL, Fitzpatrick scored a 48 on the Wonderlic test, the exam the league uses to evaluate its players’ ability to comprehend and process information. The QB’s score was the third highest in NFL history. Oh, and he also had a 1580 on the SATs (out of 1600, the old-school SATs).
Former Tennessee Titan Myron Rolle might have Fitzpatrick beat, though. Rolle, who played college ball at Florida State, earned a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years. He then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and earned a master’s degree in medical anthropology from the English university in 2010. He now serves as chairman of the Myron L. Rolle Foundation, a nonprofit benefitting children and families in need.
4. JOE OGILVIE, GOLF
Joe Ogilvie graduated from Duke with a degree in economics in 1996. During his time on the PGA Tour, he has become the go-to guy for other players’ business questions. He is the founder and CEO of Ogilvie Capital, an investment firm, in addition to serving on the tour’s player advisory council and policy board. Many tout Ogilvie as a future commissioner of the tour. “I’m a policy guy,” he told ESPN in 2011. “I study it a lot and while that may make me a nerd, I like coming up with ideas. I continually want to find ways to make things more efficient. I try to do that with my golf game and I try to do it in other aspects of my life.”
5. CRAIG BRESLOW, BASEBALL
Craig Breslow, a pitcher for the Red Sox, graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He was accepted to medical school at NYU, and also scored a 34 on the MCAT. According to Yale Alumni Magazine, Breslow used to have a picture of Albert Einstein above his locker. Or was that just a mirror?
6. SARAH HUGHES, FIGURE SKATING
After extraordinary triumphs, most athletes say they’re going to Disneyland. But shortly after Sarah Hughes came from behind to win gold at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, the figure skater went to Yale University. After graduating with a degree in American studies, Hughes worked in the nonprofit sector, largely focused on organizations that promote female involvement in sports.
7. SHANNON MILLER, GYMNASTICS
As the most decorated American gymnast of all time, Shannon Miller was always working to master the uneven bars. Now, as a lawyer, she is a master of the legal bar. After her gymnastics career was over, Miller studied marketing and entrepreneurship at the University of Houston. She then went on to Boston College Law School, graduating in 2007. Unfortunately, her professional life was put on hold in 2011, when Miller was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but she responded well to treatment and has been healthy since.
8. SÓCRATES, SOCCER
Brazilian soccer player Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira de Oliveira, who passed away in 2011, would have to be smart just to remember his long name. To simplify, he was known around the world as Sócrates, and he was a doctor, a political activist and a philosopher, just like his namesake. According to his BBC obituary, Sócrates refused to dedicate himself entirely to soccer until he had finished earning his medical degree. After retiring from the sport, he practiced medicine in Brazil. He’s also credited with starting a political movement called the Corinthians Democracy.
9. SHANE BATTIER, BASKETBALL
Shane Battier has had a smarty-pants reputation since his days playing for Duke. But the Miami Heat forward does truly have a good head on his shoulders. According to Sporting News, Battier graduated from college with a degree in religion, he speaks German, and his off-court interests include sabermetrics, or the statistical analysis of baseball data. He also runs the Battier Take Charge Foundation, which focuses on education for underserved youth and teens.
10. RYAN NEWMAN, NASCAR
Racecar driver Ryan Newman graduated from Purdue University with a degree in vehicle structure engineering (obviously). Newman says his education helps make him a better driver, since he can clearly articulate his needs and questions to race engineers. Newman was NASCAR’s Rookie of the Year in 2002, and he currently ranks seventh in the Sprint Cup Series.
11. ALL PLAYERS, ULTIMATE FRISBEE
In a 2006 study, the University of Washington found that participating in Ultimate Frisbee was an indicator of academic success. The decade-long study showed that, among all 86 private national universities, those ranking in the top half for Ultimate Frisbee have a graduation rate of over 85 percent, compared to a graduation rate of 60 percent among schools in the bottom half. The top half schools also had 208 Rhodes and Marshall scholars, versus 15 from schools in the bottom half. Thank you, University of Washington.
This post was inspired by a question on facebook from one of my fans. Let me know if you have any questions related to o-line handling.
Q: Hey bro,could you give me some pointers on how to be an O-Handler?
A: Here are some tips on being an O-line handler:
1. Your role as a handler is to move the disc up the field and score a point. What this means is that your biggest focus should be on valuing the disc. You cannot score if the other team has the disc. So, you should only be throwing high percentage throws (a 50% throw is not a high percentage). Think 75% or higher. Ideally you should be throwing to a cutter who is open, within the range of a throw you can consistently throw.
2. Support the other handlers. Although 10 seconds is a lot of time to make a decision as a handler, it’s also not a lot of time especially when it runs out. As a handler, one of your tasks is to support the other handlers so when they get stuck and don’t have a throw, you can be there to give them a reset to get a fresh 10 second stall count, get the disc moving and help you achieve #1, moving the disc up the field so you can score a point.
3. Don’t try brand new, crazy throws that you haven’t worked on. Unless you’re super stuck, you should only be throwing throws that you are comfortable with (for most players this is a forehand and backhand). If you start taking chances and throwing new throws that you’re not comfortable with, then you’ll hurt your team and you won’t get to play. Become that stable, consistent handler who doesn’t turn the disc over and you will be a very valuable part of your team’s offense.
4 Chiangmai Ultimate players represented ( Ekk – Charlie – Heather Ann – Noknoi) – combined with the S.Korea team and formed the BOSS squad
Zahlen Titcomb (1 of 5 co-founder of five ultimate) was the captain
2nd Mekong Cup Team Tournament – A big thanks to all
What a blast of a weekend! We hope everyone had as much fun as we did. Thank you for coming and bringing along your great spirit.
Thank you to everyone who attended the Mekong Cup!
Big thanks to Suganya Phreawphuttipong, Sin Lim, Tri Le for helping with the organisation. To Tik, Sean M Vale & Kris Funkelton for helping out so much on the day. To Eddie Adisak for the drinks and to Aaron Herman for the help with the schedule.
The final standings at the end of the 2nd Annual Mekong Cup:
12 Tong Daeng – Bangkok (Party Winners!)
11 Malayouts – Kuala Lumpur
10 SabaiDisc – Vientiane
9 EatDisc – Singapore 8 Elephantastic – Chiang Mai (Spirit Winners!)
7 Chuckies – Singapore
6 – Angelina’s Orphans – Phnom Penh
5 – SoiDawgz – Bangkok
4 – Big Eyez
3 – Never Underestimate Students – Singapore
2 – Flying Zucchinis of the Apocalypse – Jakarta & area (Runners Up) 1 – Morning Glory – Chiang Mai (Champions)
It’s not just expats who benefit from joining a sports team. Thai locals get something out of it, too. Ekk Jampa, 28, is a native to Chiang Mai and says that since he joined the Ultimate Frisbee team in 2006, his English has improved tremendously just by playing alongside foreigners for so many years.
“My English was not like this back then,” he says. “And some people on the team would make fun of me all the time for it.” A team member sitting in the sidelines cuts in: “Oh, Ekk, we still make fun of you.” Ekk smiles and brushes him off. “It’s a really good community of farang here,” he adds.
Ultimate Frisbee is a high-intensity co-ed sport that combines skill, speed, and most importantly, fun. There’s minimal contact, which makes it a pleasant game for all. A unique facet about these players is that they support a grassroots organisation called Urban Light that works with at-risk teenage boys to help them avoid the kinds of vulnerabilities that might otherwise push them down the path of male prostitution.
Aw Kuntamarat, 23, works for the organisation and invites the boys there to play with the team. “It’s nice to provide a healthy community for them so they can make new friends,” she says. “What they get here is encouragement, to feel accepted for who they are and to start believing in themselves.”
After 12 years of hosting SE Asia’s largest and most fun Hat tournament, Bangkok is finally going to host a fun & friendly team tournament. It will be a great venue to develop players skills, with the focus on giving an opportunity to some of the newer teams in the region to play competitively alongside some more experienced teams. Welcome to the Inaugural Mekong Cup.
As this is a new and relatively small tournament, it will be rather scaled down, especially in comparison to the annual Bangkok Hat tournament. There will be no discs, shirts, or beer but we will have GREAT food, some games and plenty of fun – for the love of the game!
Format: a Tourney & a Hat
In terms of formatting, we are going to try something a little different, as follows:
Day one – One day competitive mixed team tournament Day two – One day hat tournament
Here’s what you need to know:
– This tournament is invitational, although we may accept a limited number of bids for additional teams. We’re hoping to have somewhere between 6 and 8 teams for the first year. Interested teams please send your full roster list to email@example.com.
In the event that we receive more interested teams than we can accommodate, teams will be accepted on a first come first serve (complete roster) basis. Partial/incomplete teams and single players can also contact the above email, and if there’s room we will try to assist in combining teams or placing singles on existing teams. We aim to finalise confirmed teams by the end of June.
– The tournament fee will be quite low (expect around 900baht/US$30-TBC ).
– The tournament is at the same field as the Hat (The Army Base – see the link below)
– As shirts will not be provided, apart from your team shirt please bring darks and whites for the 2nd day Hat.
Saturday Night Party
Party theme (tentative) – Amazing Race Bangkok. Just like the tv show, start times and finish times are noted, and the winner is the fastest from one to the other. The finish line is at the bar with the party!
Location of Fields
Interested teams please send your full roster list to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chiang Mai Ultimate Team Takes Off for Malaysia
Apr 12, 2012
CityNews – Chiang Mai’s Ultimate team has been growing over the years and is now set to break into Malaysia. The Malaysia Ultimate Open (MUO) will be held in May in Kuala Lumpur, with teams coming from Korea, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other places. After taking stock of the local players, 20 sturdy people decided they would make the long trip and challenge other Ultimate players from the region.
Since early March, the team has been practicing three times a week, including running, strength and conditioning and throwing and catching drills. These drills include end-zone scoring, ladder, weave, and box, and allow the players to improve their skills while having fun.
Ultimate is a game played with a flying disc (Frisbee) on a field the size of a football pitch. With 7 players on each side, you must advance the disc by throwing it, and must stop when you catch it. Scoring occurs when your team catches the disc in an endzone, similar to American football. Defense can be quite challenging, either person-to-person or zone, and games are played to 11 or 15.
Ultimate has been played in Chiang Mai since at least 2005, when a group started at Payap University. As the group grew, it moved around a little, and an annual 1-day tournament started in January in 2008, with players coming Bangkok and even Cambodia. Now games are played three times a week at Chiang Mai University, and with over 25 players coming regularly, the group decided to form a traveling team early this year.