Friday, May 30, 2014

Explaining Frisbee Trick Shots

As demonstrated, Frisbee Trick Shots are more related to Disc Golf than to the sport of ultimate.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Discraft Drops the Hyphen

The Ultimate Disc Known as Ultra-Star Removes Hyphen From Its Name, according to Discraft.

The renaming of the Hall of Fame Ultimate disc officially took effect in 2014. Gone is the punctuation mark that spent decades separating the words "Ultra" and "Star." This popular plastic flying sportdisc with the hyphenated name was born with a hyphen in 1981. "UltraStar" will take over for its former name.


RELATED: This jest about Jay Z's hyphen (July 2013)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 USAU College Ultimate Champions

Congrats to the USA Ultimate College Ultimate Champions! Each of these teams were the overall #1 seed entering their respective College Championships.

Division I
Men: University of Colorado Mamabird

Women: Ohio State University Fever

Division III
Men: Bentley University Icehouse
Women: Rice University Torque

Global Guts

Apparently, this past weekend was more than just Memorial Day Weekend; it was also Global Guts Weekend! And you thought Ultimate had a name recognition problem!

The purpose of Global Guts was to spread the Guts Frisbee sport to as many cultures and as many places across the globe as possible. Events were reportedly held in Michigan, Taiwan, Japan and Finland.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thirty-Five Years Ago: First UPA Club Nationals (1979)

On this date - May 27 - in 1979, the first-ever National Club Ultimate Championships started play in State College, Pennsylvania. This was UPA's first championship event with the 5 regional champions from each region - West, Midwest, South, Northeast & Mid-Atlantic - competing for the first UPA title. Before 1979, the International Frisbee Association sponsored the National Championships won by Rutgers (1975-1976) and the Condors (1977-1978).

In the finals on May 28, 1979, Glassboro (Mid-Atlantic) would win 18-17 over Santa Barbara Condors (West).

[state image by GreatCitees, text added by SLUDGE]
[Glassboro is now known as Rowan University]

Ultimate on SportsCenter Top Ten

TWO Ultimate Frisbee highlights were recognized on ESPN SC's Top 10 Plays. Sounds like Stuart Scott is president of the Ultimate Frisbee Fan Club!

#8: Tip, jump-over catch-score layout in the MLU's Portland Stags vs. Vancouver Nighthawks

#2: Jump-layout D in the Colorado vs Oregon's College Semifinals

REMINDER: Catch your D's!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

College "Frisbee" on ESPNU

Set your DVRs for ESPNU on Wednesday, May 28! ESPN3's coverage of championship college ultimate games that had live-stream issues is scheduled to be re-broadcast. ESPNU, unlike ESPN3, categorizes the sport of Ultimate as "Frisbee."

Cable Guide
May 28, 2014 Schedule:
8-9p: Highlights of USA Ultimate College Championships

9-10p: Men's USA Ultimate College Championships
(Colorado Mamabird #1 vs. University of North Carolina Darkside #6)

10-11p: Women's USA Ultimate College Championships
(Ohio State Fever #1 vs. Oregon Fugue #2)

ESPN3 Fail

Last night's USA Ultimate's College Nationals semi-final "GAME" was scheduled to be live-streamed via ESPN3 (WatchESPN). But, the ESPN app/website/system was unavailable which prevented viewing of a primetime game of college Ultimate.

ESPN3? More like ESPN302!
ESPN Error Code 302

WatchESPN?? More like BotchESPN!

Here's hoping ESPN fixes this in time for today's College Ultimate Championship games at 12p & 2:30p.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ultimate "Games" on ESPN

ESPN3 continues to incorrectly categorize the sport of ultimate -- first as "poker," then as "entertainment," now as "games."

While it's true ultimate is played in games (like most sports), every other ESPN3-listed sport has its own identifiable listing (e.g. basketball, football, soccer, tennis). The "GAMES" listing might be better off for board games or video games.

Until the sport is recognized by ESPN3, the USA Ultimate College Championships can be found listed under the Sport and Shows drop-down as "GAMES."
Screengrab from ESPN3

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fumbles in New York Rumble's Stumble

New York Rumble had 13 drops in their 23-6 loss to the Boston Whitecaps tonight.

If special edition discs were made to recognize such a low, they might look like:
New York "Fumble" discs

MLU Scoring - Eastern Conference

Dusty Rhodes, MLU Analyst for Major League Ultimate, published an article of scoring analysis by Eastern Conference teams through week 6 games (12 games). His conclusions are even more apparent with these supplemental visuals.


Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 College Ultimate Championships (D-I)

The 2014 College National Championships start today!

There are 20 teams from all over in each division - Men & Women - competing for the USA Ultimate College Championship.

When: May 23 - May 26, 2014

Where: Mason, Ohio

Top Seeds (1-4)
Men: Colorado, Pittsburgh, Texas & Oregon.
Women: Ohio State, Oregon, Central Florida, & Washington.

Live Streaming info
ESPN3 will be covering semis and finals, plus NexGenNetwork will be live streaming pool play games. NGN sched & pricing ($15).

May 25
@12p Women's College Semifinal #1

@2:30p Women's College Semifinal #2

@5:30p Men's College Semifinal #1

@8:00p Men's Semifinal #2

May 26
@12p Women's College Championship Game

@2p  Men's College Championship Game

Thursday, May 22, 2014

[MAP] Top D-I College Ultimate Teams (2014)

USA Ultimate's Division-I College Championships start this weekend in Mason, Ohio. College teams from 18 different states and 1 Canadian province will be represented at USAU 2014 College Nationals. The state of Massachusetts leads with representation of 5 college teams playing at this year's Nationals.

Combined Representation (Quantity) from men & women D-I Ultimate teams:
(5) Massachusetts  [Harvard, Northeastern, Tufts (M), Tufts (W) & Massachusetts]
(4) California, Florida
(3) Colorado, Michigan, Washington
(2) British Columbia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas
(1) Kansas, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin

Map of Top-20 College Ultimate Teams (women):
West coast  – British Columbia, Washington, Oregon + California – schools represent 9 teams (45%) at Nationals. Washington and California are states with highest representation with 3 schools each.
WA: Washington, Western Washington & Whitman.
CA: Stanford, UCSB & UCLA.

Map of Top-20 College Ultimate Teams (men):
Florida and Massachusetts are states with highest representation with 3 schools each.
FL: Florida, Florida State & Central Florida.
MA: Harvard, Tufts, & Massachusetts.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

AUDL 2014 Season Tickets

American Ultimate Disc League has 17 teams which, at the start of the season, sold tickets ranging from under $5 to $16 per game. Rochester offers the least expensive tickets in the AUDL, while Seattle (who did not offer a season ticket option) calculates to be the most expensive over 7 games.

Season Tix Prices [Ranked lowest to highest]:
Rochester Dragons; $31^
Madison Radicals; $32
Detroit Mechanix; $35
Indianapolis AlleyCats; $49
Cincinnati Revolution; $49.95
Minnesota Wind Chill; $55
Vancouver Riptide; $56
New York Empire; $59
Chicago Wildfire; $59.95
Toronto Rush; $62.02
Montreal Royal; $63.89
San Jose Spiders, DC Breeze; $65
Philadelphia Phoenix; $69
Salt Lake Lions; $72
San Francisco FlameThrowers; $75
Seattle Raptors; $112

Single Game Tix Prices [Ranked lowest to highest]:
Madison Radicals; $5
Rochester; $5.50
Chicago; $8.95
Toronto; $9.99
Detroit, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Minnesota, San Jose, DC; $10
Montreal; $10.95
Vancouver, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake, San Francisco; $12
Seattle; $16
  • Average single game ticket price = $10.38
[SOURCE: Data collected from team websites in April 2014]

^ = includes $10 ticketed game on May 17th
* = *6 games; excluding the May 17 game @ Sahlen's Stadium ($10)
NOTES: Prices for Canadian teams were converted into USD.
Seattle is the only team to only sell tickets at the door (not offer a method to buy tickets online).

RELATED: MLU Ticket Prices

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gender Equity in Disc Advertising

Gender equity carries over to the Discraft advertising on USA Ultimate's website. Compare Discraft's "balanced" ad for USAU versus the one for AUDL's (men-only) pro Ultimate league.

via USAU website
via AUDL website
Discraft's face ad was originally seen in their 2014 catalog.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Alternative Name for Ultimate

Disk Drop Game
Can we all agree this is not the best option as an alternative name for the sport of Ultimate? Flatball, or disc are still okay.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Maps of Top D-III College Ultimate Teams

The USA Ultimate 2014 Division III College Championships takes place this weekend in Westerville, Ohio. Sixteen qualifying teams from each division will compete over May 17-18.

State Location of Top Women's D-III Ultimate Teams (16):

State Location of Top Men's D-III Ultimate Teams (16):

Overall State Representation from both D-III divisions:
(5) Minnesota [Carleton College-Eclipse, Carleton College-GOP, St. Benedict, St. John's, St. Olaf]
(3) Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio
(2) Arkansas, California, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania
(1) Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Updated Logo for DC Scandal

Scandal - Washington DC's Elite Women's Ultimate team - has an updated logo. The new logo has a similar look and feel of the previous – retaining the cherry blossom, the lion, the monument, and, of course, DC's 3 stars & 2 bars. What's new is a more definitive shape with a two-color scheme and cleaner lines.

Looking sharp! Just in time before the team starts defending their 2013 USA Ultimate title.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Comparison: Team Records of Cities with Two pro Ultimate Teams

Looking at the cities with two pro Ultimate teams, who's got bragging rights?

[End of regular seasons, 7/16/2014]

San FranciscoDogfish28
San FranciscoFlameThrowers113
New YorkRumble28
New YorkEmpire104
Teams (MLU/AUDL) grouped by city; sorted by winning percentage per city
[As of 6/23/2014]
Pro Ultimate Teams City Standings [06/23/14]

San FranciscoDogfish28
San FranciscoFlameThrowers102
New YorkRumble28
New YorkEmpire83
Teams (MLU/AUDL) grouped by city; sorted by winning percentage per city

[As of 5/14/2014]

Pro Ultimate Teams City Standings [05/14/14]

(7-2) Washington, DC
(5-4) New York, NY
(5-4) Vancouver, BC
(5-6) San Francisco, CA
(3-7) Seattle, WA
(1-8) Philadelphia, PA

New YorkRumble23
New YorkEmpire31
San FranciscoDogfish15
San FranciscoFlameThrowers41
Teams (MLU/AUDL) grouped by city; sorted by winning percentage per city [05/14/14]

RELATED: 2013 records of overlapping cities

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Einstein Statue Demonstrates Gravity

Albert Einstein - a supposed fan of Ultimate - already has an amazing memorial built in his honor. The bronze figure of Albert sitting down is actually situated blocks from Ultimate fields in Washington, D.C.

Now there's news another statue in the likeness of Einstein throwing a Frisbee on the Parkview campus of Western Michigan University.

The realistic piece of art is a 1.2 times life-size sculpture of Albert Einstein and disc made of welded steel and powder-coated in gold. The sculpture was donated to and installed at the WMU campus this spring.

Monday, May 12, 2014

High Score in Spiders - Riptide AUDL Game

On Saturday, May 10, the San Jose Spiders beat the Vancouver Riptide in a high scoring match, 39 - 3332. 72 71points is the highest combined point total ever in an American Ultimate Disc League game. The AUDL plays four 12-minute quarters, which averages to 1 score every 40 ~41 seconds.

(Original mage with incorrect data)

Some game highlights:

UPDATED SCORE based on Spiders & Riptide. Sorry for promoting BAD DATA.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thirty Years Ago: First Ultimate College Nationals

On this date (May 11th) in 1984, the very first Ultimate College Nationals began play in Medford, Massachusetts at Tufts University. The tournament had a few sponsors, including the Boston Hackey Sack & Frisbee Festival and Atari! In the inaugural finals on Sunday, Stanford won over Glassboro.

1st Annual Ultimate Frisbee College Nationals (1984)
[POSTER IMAGE SOURCE: Ultimate "encyclopedia"]
[Glassboro now known as Rowan University]

RELATED: First intercollegiate Ultimate Frisbee game in 1972.

Friday, May 09, 2014

My AUDL Fan Experience (Chicago, IL)

A noon game on a Saturday is not an ideal time/day for a pro Ultimate game because 1) the target audience (ulti players) is probably playing ultimate, and 2) midday traffic in Chicago is a real bear. This 12pm game on May 3rd was the earliest starting time on the Chicago Wildfire's 2014 schedule, against a team - Detroit Mechanix - who just 15 hours before finished their first game of the weekend 300 miles away in Cincinnati, Ohio.

After strolling through Roscoe Village, I eventually arrived to the campus of Lane Tech High School. The lack of signage along the busy Addison Street seemed like a missed opportunity to promote the pro Ultimate game - present and future. Furthermore, some signs could have helped me find the main entrance (it was in the alley in between the school and the stadium).

I bought a $12 ticket and then grabbed a mini schedule and a tri-fold color Wildfire brochure/program. I followed the path around the north end of the stadium passing by sponsors' booths. Zipcar doled out some sweet (free) swag - wristband, sunglasses and a mini-disc. Generic stadium-food was also available for sale.

Thankfully, the announcer over the speakers was my first clue that I was not crashing a pre-game scrimmage. The stadium was really empty.

Lane Tech Stadium is a well-positioned venue against the backdrop of the high school's Gothic style red brick. Lane Tech's field was used for some parts of the classic 1986 movie, Wildcats, starring Goldie Hawn. Finding seating on the west-side bleachers, you can get a gorgeous view capturing the field and downtown's skyline. Another cool sighting was the number of "Helton - 00" jerseys worn by youth fans.

View from Chicago Wildfire's stadium
As a fan sitting watching a sporting event, the wind was welcomed in the warm sun. As a fan sitting watching ultimate, the wind was a nuisance impacting the flow of the game.  There were a total of 66 turnovers in the entire game -- Chicago 30, Detroit 36. Additionally, Detroit had 17 drops while Chicago had 14; and, this seems low. Another low number was the attendance, which I generously estimated at 75.

Detroit had a chance to be competitive in this game, but lacked discipline within the playing conditions. I'm no Tom Skilling, but would have described the weather as: windy with gusts. Kind of like playing at the beach where there's a consistent wind, but with moments of heavier gusts which ruin any floaty throws and make you second guess your abilities of throwing a plastic disc. The Mechanix could not catch the disc one-handed, nor should they have tried. Attempts of 15+ yard throws by the Mechanix were usually incomplete, yet they kept trying to throw them. Overall, the Mechanix had no set offense. The Wildfire were more patient and effectively utilized cross-field hammers to propel their offense. The game was hard to watch (and enjoy).

There was not a lot to cheer about. The top 3 biggest cheers from the crowd group of people at the game, were (in order):
1. During one of the between-quarters, children younger than 8 years old were tossing discs into a lacrosse goal. They had decent form by keeping the disc low to the ground. When they scored into the net, it was exciting!
2. Detroit scored only 2 points in the 2nd half, so when they were close to the end zone, it was thrilling!
3. Goose's superman layout for the Wildfire's 15th point, it was super!

Wildfire won 18-9. No, 16-9. Okay, 18-9! At the end of the bland match, a few Wildfire players greeted fans as they exited. The Wildfire store tent suffered from premature "dismantlation" less than 10 minutes after the game's end, so I didn't have time for an extensive look. Though, the store did have a wide variety of baseball hats.

What I paid $12 for lacked "professional" game elements. Regardless of the day/time and attendance, I expected the Wildfire to offer more for the paying fans. More than the chance to watch an ultimate game in a stadium.


I'd be remiss if it wasn't mentioned that Brodie Smith was on the sidelines for the Wildfire. There were a few questions for people in the stands about his presence.
Q1. Will Brodie play today?
A1. No, not in the game. Yes, throwing short tosses into the wind for almost-self-caught flight action on the sidelines. Yes, tossing during warm-ups while out of uniform.

Q2. If Brodie is not playing, then is he scheduled to do trickshots during halftime?
A2. No, he did not do any trickshots for the fans. Actually the only halftime "entertainment" was 4 guys playing Spikeball on the field, none of whom uttered the words "dark horse."

Q3. Will Brodie suit up for the Wildfire today, or even this year?
A3. Yes! He actually donned the Wildfire jersey for a team picture at the end of Saturday's game.
Chicago Wildfire team photo

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Frisbee Freestyling Moves from NBA MVP Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant, the 2014 NBA MVP, shows some freestyle ability to promote BBVA Compass bank.

Looks like KD's got moves similar to this Frisbee Freestyler:

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Shying Away from MLU Away Uniforms

The away jerseys for MLU teams are not worn according to schedule. After sixteen games into the 2014 season, teams are not exactly adhering to the labels of "away" or "home" jerseys. When Major League Ultimate unveiled their 2014 "away" jerseys in March 2014, seven out of the eight teams' jerseys were white; only Vancouver had a dark away jersey. With the exception of Vancouver, viewers might have expected seeing the away team wearing white. More often, visiting teams wear their home jerseys for their away games.
  • In only 44% of MLU games, the away teams have worn their designated "away" jerseys; (7 out 16 games).
  • In 31% of MLU games*, both teams wore their designated "home" jerseys; (5 out of 16 games).
[Source: SLUDGE added uniform color data with existing MLU Schedule]
Portland & DC: Both the Stags and the Current have appropriately worn their home jerseys for home games and their away jerseys on the road. (Both are in 1st place of their respective conferences.)

Boston: In 4 games - 2 home, 2 away - the Whitecaps have worn their light blue (home) jerseys every game.  Their white (away) jerseys have never been worn during a game yet.

Philadelphia: In 4 games - 2 home, 2 away - the Spinners have worn their blue (home) jerseys every game.  We have yet to see their white (away) jerseys during a game.

New York: In their 4 games, Rumble has worn their green (home) jerseys in their 2 away games, and their white (away) jerseys in their home games; basically, opposite of what they're supposed to wear.

San Francisco: They have played 6 games already. Their 4 away games have been back-to-back games over 2 weekends, during which they wore their black (home) jersey once during each road trip.

Seattle: In their 3 home* games, Rainmakers have worn their white (away) jerseys twice.

Vancouver: In their 2 away* games, the Nighthawks have worn their red (home) jersey once.
* = Week 3's (4/26) Vancouver vs. Seattle match was played at a neutral site in Washington state, but deemed a Seattle "home" game on the MLU schedule.

Seeing this breakdown, it begs the questions: Who decides which uniform to wear? Why are teams not wearing their away jerseys??

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

College Scholarship for Ultimate Frisbee

The UNCW Seamen recently won the 2014 Atlantic Coast Regional which in itself is a worthy recruitment tool. Now comes news the Seamen also offered a scholarship to a player in the sport of Ultimate.

A. College. Scholarship. for. Ultimate! Frisbee!!

The Seahawk article indicates UNC - Chapel Hill also offers a "scholarship" for their Ultimate team; UNC Darkside offers end-of-the-season monetary awards for their top freshman ($1000) and for the team's top returner ($500). The UNCW athletic scholarship, however, reads to be a form of financial aid for a student/player who committed to the UNCW Seaman Ultimate team.

Screengrab of UNCW article.

The University North Carolina-Wilmington newspaper story does not specify the scholarship amount, though the article notes the UNCW Ultimate team - considered a club sport - has plans to offer more in the future. There's also a possibility of the team becoming a non-profit. Currently, the team is crowdfunding their tip to Nationals.

UPDATE: The UNCW scholarship = $2500.

How many other colleges offer scholarships to students before the season to play on their college's Ultimate team?

Monday, May 05, 2014

SPOTTED: Darth Vader at DC Ultimate Game

Darth Vader was spotted at yesterday's DC Current pro Ultimate game. This was a fortuitous sighting on a day that is celebrated as Star Wars Day (May the Fourth).

Photo of a fan cloaked in black at the DC Current game (5/4/14)
UNCONFIRMED: The person may be Luke's father.

DC Current Alternate Logo Disc

DC Current Alt Logo Disc [MLU Shop]

Info: A white Innova Pulsar with 44 tiny black and silver stars surrounding the Current's alt logo in the center. The word "Ultimate" is added just below the alt logo. The top portion of the Washington monument points toward the center where there's also a Truck-Stop-y version of DC's primary logo.

Price: $7.99

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Philadelphia vs DC x 2

Today - Sunday, May 4th - presents a rare scheduling opportunity for local fans to cheer on both DC-based pro Ultimate teams as they go up against their respective league's opponent from Philadelphia. For those lucky to attend, be sure to grab the generously-priced tickets for the doubleheader.

At 1pm, the AUDL game: D.C. Breeze (1-1) play Philadelphia Phoenix (0-1) in College Park.

A few hours later (at 5pm) and ~6 miles away, the MLU game: D.C. Current (2-1) play Philadelphia Spinners (1-2) at Catholic U.

In case you were wondering...a "doubleheader" occurred in 2013 on April 20 -- the inaugural day/night of pro Ultimate in Washington, D.C. Though, those 2 games were not played against teams from the same city.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Updated World Clubs Map

Three months away until World Clubs 2014 (August 2-9) when 161 Ultimate teams from 40 countries compete in Lecco, Italy.

WUCC Map [source]

(This map is prettier than the one we created earlier.)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Do Over: April 2014

Wayback MachineCatch up on last month's noteworthy posts you may have missed...

  • Logo Reviews of Pro Ultimate Teams
  • Club Rosters on MLU teams: Eastern & Western
  • Last year's attendance to Madison Radicals games
  • Classifying all 25 Professional Ultimate Teams