Friday, June 29, 2012

Ultimate Uphold

So, the Supreme Court upheld health care bill yesterday. In other news...Ultimate players uphold SOTG every day.
Within the Preface of the 11th Edition Rules, Ultimate players are reminded:

The integrity of Ultimate depends on each player's responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game, and this responsibility should remain paramount.

Air Quality Criterion

As USA Ultimate's US Open games remain uncertain due to the Colorado fires, the smoke - specifically particulate matter - impacts the area's air quality. Air quality is an important criterion for determining playability.

First & foremost: Inhaling smoke is not good for anyone, even healthy people.

Dust masks do not filter out the particles and gases in wildfire smoke.

What are the known chemical components of smoke from wildfires? [Colorado Wildfire Info]
  • Particulate matter - coarse visible and fine invisible particles including soot and ash that can reach deep into the lungs and may contain irritating and cancer-causing compounds.
  • Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons - a class of organic compounds found on the particulate matter from forest fires, wood stoves, and fireplaces, some of which may be carcinogenic with extended exposure.
  • Carbon monoxide - a colorless, odorless, toxic gas produced in highest amounts from smoldering forest fires. Firefighters working near the fire are at greatest risk for high doses of carbon monoxide. Areas even a few hundred yards downwind of the fire experiencing high particulate smoke levels typically do not have high levels of carbon monoxide. Signs of high carbon monoxide levels in the blood include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and decreased mental functioning.
  • Aldehydes - compounds that are extremely irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes of the mouth and nose. Some like formaldehyde are carcinogenic, while others like acrolein can injure lung tissue.
  • Volatile organic compounds - strong irritants, some of which are carcinogenic.
  • And many other chemical components...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colorado Fires impact Ultimate

Next week's U.S. Open is in jeopardy due to the 4,500-acre Waldo Canyon Fire near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Updated on 6/29:

USA Ultimate announced today revised plans for the  U.S. Open Ultimate Championships and Convention following a difficult and tragic week for its host city of Colorado Springs.
The world-class tournament and industry convention, scheduled for July 5-8, will go on as planned, however both elements have undergone significant changes. Originally hosted by the Air Force Academy, the competition has been moved to Fountain Valley School in southeastern Colorado Springs. 
The organizer's convention continues to be hosted at the Antlers Hilton Hotel, however several sessions have been cancelled and a new schedule has been published.
USA Ultimate regrets to announce that several of the social events planned around the U.S. Open have been cancelled, including the Opening Ceremonies and the Air Force Academy’s 4th of July Celebration, the VIP reception, and Fan Fest....


USA Ultimate released a statement on 6/27:
Colorado Springs Under Duress

Colorado Springs, Colo. (June 27, 2012)--We are incredibly sorry and disappointed to announce that Colorado Springs, our host city for the U.S. Open Ultimate Championships is under great duress due to a very dangerous and damaging wild fire. Our thoughts and best wishes are with the many families who have lost their homes, and with the 600+ firefighters currently battling the blaze...

We have been informed that the U.S. Air Force Academy – the championship venue of the inaugural U.S. Open Ultimate Championships, July 4-8, 2012 – may no longer serve as the host venue of the tournament because of the aggressive and rapidly advancing forest fires in the area.

On Tuesday evening, with the fire advancing directly onto the grounds, the U.S. Air Force Academy announced a partial evacuation, as well as the tentative cancellation of all athletic events. This could change over the next two days, but only time will tell. The U.S. Air Force Academy has informed USA Ultimate that it will make a final decision on the availability of its athletic facilities on Friday, June 29. USA Ultimate will continue to keep the Ultimate community informed on the latest developments as they occur.

Meanwhile, USA Ultimate has also learned that its primary backup competition venue is being utilized as an evacuation center for area residents. As a result, USA Ultimate and the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation are working non-stop to secure alternate field sites in Colorado Springs and create a contingency plan that will allow the U.S. Open Ultimate Championships to continue as planned. The convention component remains completely unaffected. Other elements of the event, such as the opening ceremonies, are likely to be affected by this local tragedy, and we are committed to making it the best event we possibly can under these uncontrollable, difficult, sad and tragic circumstances.

USA Ultimate continues to monitor the situation and will update all of the attendees and the Ultimate community with any developments as they occur. For the latest updates, please visit, or

Fire smoke near Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium (@PatrickSandusky)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Two Ultimate Fields on One Field

Good news: Your Ultimate game is scheduled on a turf field. Bad news: There's another Ulti game scheduled at the same time. 

If you must share the area on a football turf field, you definitely lose some field width since 2 fields that are supposed to 40 yards wide can't fit in the 53-1/3 yard space. If you reduce all dimensions one-third, then you will end up with a beach Ultimate field. Length-wise dimensions are just like the AUDL field.

Here's suggested sizing for 2 Ultimate fields on 1 turf field:
One Ulti field's dimensions when sharing space
Width = 26.65 yards [-33% of regulation size]
Endzone = 20 yards [-20% of reg size]
Field = 80 yards [+14% of reg size]
There is a shared sideline.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Frisbee Workout

If you are against stepping on plastic discs, then you're exempt from this ab exercise. Probably not the Frisbee Workout Jack Black uses whilst on tour.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Guts Name

The name "Guts" - the skilled game of throwing & catching - came from an alleged pastime of Princeton students who tossed a six–inch circular saw blade instead of the plastic disc now used. [SOURCE: BadFads]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Theory of Relativity

[image via Woodstock Ultimate]
"You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else."
-- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eat More Beer

On the longest day of the year, here's another chance to...EAT MORE  DRINK MORE BEER - dubbed "Summer Solstice Sludge Suds Soiree"

WHEN: Wednesday, June 20. 7-10pm ET

Granville Moore's
[1238 H St NE; Washington, DC]

RSVP: To Joe

NOTE: Granville Moore’s specializes in Belgian beer, frites & moules.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ultimate Yards

Setting up an Ultimate field is so much easier when on a lined football field.  On a grass field, the task is harder & the field usually ends up short + narrow. Why? How? Find your inner pace & setup a right-sized field by avoiding this common calculation misstep.

Field Dimensions:
70-yard field + (2) 25-yard end zones x 40-yard wide

On average, every 6th measured pace loses 1 yard.
Your first stride [from one heel to the other foot's toe] = 1 yard (3 feet)
Your next strides [from toe to the other foot's toe] measures less than 1 yard (2.5 feet)
So, you have one stride of 3 feet (1 yard) + sixty-nine strides of 2.5 feet (57 yards) = 58 total yards
See visual below of 1st and 2nd measured steps.

1st step = 1 yard; 2nd step is < 1 yard
Advice when pacing off yards for an Ultimate field:
  • Learn the exact length of your stride
  • If fairly tall, learn to pace an exact yard, heel to heel
  • One yard = 3 feet
  • On average, compensate for lost yardage / missteps.  Pace out*:
    • 80 total strides for the main playing field
    • 29 total strides for the end zones
    • 46 total strides for the width
  • *Used a 2.5 foot average stride for computations
New Practical Field Dimensions:
80-stride field + (2) 29-stide end zones x 46-stride width

Friday, June 15, 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Best Gift

Between an iPhone protective case ($180) & a HTC Android phone ($200), the flying disc for Ultimate appears in the top 3 of a best gift list. 

From "The Best Gifts for Dads & Grads" [TECHLUST Men's Health]#3: Discraft UltraStar 175g

Flimsy dollar-store discs aren't going to go the distance. The pros (and yes, there are pros) use the Discraft UltraStar 175g, and you should too. Master a few basic throws and this piece of plastic will be the perfect portable entertainment option for camping, road trips, or beach vacations. In a pinch, it can even help tote booze: Any Ultimate Frisbee player worth his salt can tell you a Discraft UltraStar holds just over four cans of beer. ($10,

[h/t discraft]

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Call Me, Maybe

Ready for some off-field entertainment about on-field happenings? Get prepared to be amused by this tumblr site explaining Ultimate powered by GIF Animation. 

From "WhatShouldUltimateCallMe [It's Ultimate, Not Frisbee]"
Watching players go up for a floaty disc in our endzone (pictured above)
Another gem - Playing in the Cup
[via Bucci]

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Do Over: Spring 2012

Wayback Machine
A recap of Sludge's twenty-eighth Ultimate season:

Week 1: Loss 15-16 (0-1)

Week 2: Cancelled (0-1)

Week 3: Loss 10-13 (0-2)

Week 4: Loss 14-16 (0-3)

Week 5: Win 15-2 (1-3)

Week 6: Win 15-12 (2-3)

Week 7:  Loss 12-14 (2-4)

Week 8: Win 15-7 (3-4)

Pool Play: Loss 12-15 + Loss 14-15 + Win 15-7 (4-6)

Average Point differentials: +7.75 pts (in wins); -2 pts (in losses)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Celebrity Frisbee Workout

Kyle & Jack (right)
For a celebrity actor & musician, it's nice to see Jack Black has time to talk about the rules of Ultimate, and knows the benefits of throwing the disc around.

From 'Jack Black enjoys Frisbee workouts[Belfast Tele] 

"When [Tenacious D is] on the road we go for Frisbee workouts," Jack explained in an interview with Q magazine. "You know how dogs will run and catch a Frisbee with their teeth? Basically like that. Kyle will throw the Frisbee and I'll go chase it down and vice versa until we get a good lather going. But we don't go to the gymnasium together."

Friday, June 08, 2012

Windy Decision

Air turbulence (wind) is known to affect where a disc lands.  Wind may also be the deciding factor for future locations of USA Ultimate's college championships.

Per 2012 College Championships: Rapid Reactions [SKYD magazine]
"...none of that matters during the rounds when the winds are consistently 15+ MPH and gust to over 30. Last year's open final, the second half of this year's pre-quarters, and this year's women's semi between Michigan and Oregon were incredibly frustrating to watch. It's also disappointing that teams that practice for 100s of hours and commit most of their free time and money to this sport have their season determined by application of a much smaller set of skills than they practice and a healthy dose of luck. To be clear, I'm not saying that the teams that won those games don't deserve it. They played better and smarter given the conditions and deserved the victory. But I don't think it's how we want to determine champions in our sport or showcase. General consensus is that we can’t host in Boulder again for that reason alone despite how great the rest of the event is. Will Deaver stated that it will not be in Boulder again."

If needing guidance on where to host, consider consulting this flowing map of the US...
Wind Map

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Borrowing Odds at Ultimate Game

Hmmmmm.... "How likely are you to be able to borrow a disc?"; "What are the chances that someone will lend you their socks?"; "How likely are you to borrow cleats?"; "What are the odds of borrowing cones?" If you are a forgetful type with a wondering mind, the supposed borrowing odds of Ultimate game essentials are above.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Frisbee Naming

On page 126 of The Independent Inventor's Handbook there is a "case study" discussing the naming of the Frisbee. Did you know that the inventor of the Frisbee, Fred Morrison, originally named the product the "Pluto Platter"? (And before that, "Rotary Fingernail Clipper" & "Flyin-Saucer")

Apparently, Morrison thought this would help capitalize on the UFO and flying saucer craze. Then in 1957 Wham-O acquired the marketing rights and changed the name to Frisbee. While the product languished under the name "Pluto Platter," it really took off when named Frisbee, going on to sell hundreds of millions of units. The inventor was skeptical of the name change, but the results are what they are.

Inventors are talented, creative people, but they simply cannot do everything, and this one tale explains the power of marketing and how obtaining assistance from qualified people can and does significantly help.

Paperback: 242 pages; Price: $9.24

Monday, June 04, 2012

To The Point

"Hell is a place where nothing connects with nothing."
-- T. S. Eliot, Introduction to Dante’s Inferno.

Mr. Eliot may as well as been referring to an Ultimate offense that is not catching what is supposed to be caught and not throwing what ought to be thrown.