Wednesday, October 03, 2012

How To: Ultimate Game Spectator

After a day spent at Mid-Atlantic Regionals tournament, I was reminded about USAU's brochure - similar to Philly's AUDL Guide. The most frustrating aspect of watching an Ultimate game is no visible scoreboard; leading to the perpetual question of every sideline spectator -- What's the score?

USA Ultimate offers a 'Spectator's Guide to Ultimate' with plenty of information like a history lesson, the playing field, how the game's played, officiating, SOTG, and lingo. You can order ($2) the Spectator Guide from USA Ultimate.
Watching from the Sidelines
On an Ultimate sideline, encouragement and support are stressed. Cheering is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect for all players, fans and officials. Some tournaments will provide water or have vendors selling food and drinks, but many may not.
It is always a good idea to come prepared. Here are health and safety recommendations to keep in mind while watching on the sideline. It is also a good idea to see if there is an event website you can review ahead of time to see what amenities will be available.

• Keep yourself and personal items, including but not limited to coolers, tents, strollers, bags and chairs 15 feet (or whatever distance is designated) away from the sideline.
• Seek shelter during a lightning delay.
Items you may want to bring:
• folding chair
• hat
• sunglasses
• sun block
• food and drinks (especially water to stay hydrated)
• a camera and/or video camera
• appropriate clothing for the weather
• Ultimate Spectator Guide [PDF]
• event program/game schedule (probably obtained from the event website)

Some additional recommendations:
  • Follow twitter account(s) of the teams &/or the tournament account (if applicable) for real-time updates.
  • Locate where final scores will be posted on-site to keep updated between games.
  • Increase chances your "score?"-question is answered by asking a pack of sideline players from both teams; the leading team will usually be happy to boast.
  • Bring binoculars for closer views and to check out other field action.
  • Bring an umbrella; it can be shield  from the rain AND offer shade from the sun.
  • Befriend the photographers; they always seem to have insider knowledge.
  • Download the Observer Signal Guide [UltiWorld]

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