Thursday, December 31, 2015

Vines of the Year, 2015

In the amount of time it would take you to count a dozen stall counts in a row, you can watch these favorite 6-second clips from 2015...

International Olympic Committee approves WFDF.

Timmer Farrell [NY Empire] celebrates with the kick brush.

Rob Corddry loves the Frisbee. Seriously. He loves the plastic flying disc.
Nick Spiva [DC Truck Stop] goes after the disc.

Drops are not usual for Muk [NY Rumble], but he sure can drop knowledge on ultimate disc throws.

Below is the final clip featuring the team Ditch compiled for Manilla Spirits. Let it be known that previous draft versions included a cut to Alice (the housekeeper).



Layout @ WCBU 2015!

Jeff Snader stepped down as MLU Commish in September. This snippet from October 2013 uncovered his possible aspirations.

Jump! Catch! Score! @ PAUC 2015

Jon Stewart said something about Ultimate Frisbee.

Matt Esser (briefly) attempted American Ninja Warrior.

NOTE: Thanks to all video providers for use of recordings.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best Of in 2015

bestofTime to air out our B.O....

What a year of ultimate! This blog published nearly 350 posts this year covering topics related to the sport of ultimate. Let's reflect on the year gone by!

As always, thanks for reading and supporting the blog.

2015's Best-Of based on traffic
Top 20 Posts in '15

20. What is MickleMania?

19. Ultimate Frisbee as a College Course

18. MLU Player Benefits (Recreated)

17. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Coached Ultimate

16. R.I.P.: Salt Lake Lions and Rochester Dragons

15. Prize Money Totals in Triple Crown Tour 2015

14. "Free Random Exposure" for Ultimate

13. WCBU 2015 Leaderboard / USA Players

12. [MAP] USA Ultimate Beach Championships 2015

11. Club Ultimate Team Alphabet

10. Recap: Logo Reviews of 10 Pro Ultimate Teams

9. Ultimate Frisbee in Pictures

8. Sportsbook: AUDL / MLU

7. Interview with Evan Lepler

6. Jerseys for AUDL 2015 Season

5. Pro Ultimate Season Snapshots: MLU / AUDL

4. Interchangeable AUDL Team Logos

3. Logo Mashup: AUDL Teams + Star Wars

2. Ultimate Teams Honor Marriage Equality

1. Women Coaches in Pro Ultimate

Past B-O's: 2014 .. 2013 .. 2012 .. 2011 .. 2010 .. 2009 .. 2008

Gots more? Post your favorite(s) in Comments.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Do Over: Ultimate in 2015

What a great year in ultimate! USA Ultimate was super busy, but there was so much more. Such as...

Best Ultimate Tour
The All-Star Ultimate Tour in its first year of existence successfully traveled to nine cities this summer. [July-August 2015]

Least Convenient Home Venue
New York Rumble's first "home" game of the 2015 MLU season wasn't.
screengrab via
Best Weekend of Ultimate Watching
August 8-August 9, 2015; twelve livestreamed games from a variety of media providers.

Best Jest
@burnsideulti celebration of goaltimate in many, many, many, many different forms.

Best Call of a Game's End (of Regulation)
Evan Lepler - as a solo broadcaster - announcing the final two minutes of a riveting game between San Francisco vs Seattle via AUDL Radio.

Best Headline
Stop Capitalizing the Word Ultimate / Tony Leonardo via Ultiworld [March 2015]

Best Celebrity Sighting at an Ultimate Game
Winner: Ty Burrell at Portland Stags (MLU) [April 2015]

Runner-up: Dave Matthews at Seattle Rainmakers (MLU) [May 2015]

Honorable Mention: Jim Harbaugh attends magnUM practice [April 2015]

Most Welcomed Addition to Ultimate Media (Broadcasters)
Ditch [October 2015]

Best Article Featuring the Sport of Ultimate
How to navigate today's wide world of youth sports by Emily Sweeney (The Boston Globe) because her article sheds "Ultimate Frisbee" in a positive light. What makes this article special is it does NOT spell out how the sport is played! [November 2015]

Rostering Milestone: First Woman to Play Pro Ultimate
Jessi Jones signed with Raleigh Flyers (AUDL). See the roster card for that day's game with Jessi (#50). [May 2015]

Scheduling Milestone in Pro Ultimate
Winner: First Doubleheader in Pro Ultimate. Two games were played on one day by Rochester Dragons vs Montreal Royal [June 2015]

Runner-Up: First weekday game in Pro Ultimate. A Thursday matchup between Toronto Rush vs Rochester Dragons.

Best Printed Publication
Skyd, the actual magazine. [March 2015]

Best Innovation in Ultimate
Major League Ultimate's midfield pull (MFP) which was enacted for the 2015 MLU season and fully embraced with a MFP being thrown 144 times. MFP rule was an exciting addition to pro ultimate by teams seeking to extend their lead or by teams looking to make a comeback. (Data via Luke Ryan/MLU) [April 2015]

Best Live Score Reporting
The 2015 World Championships of Beach Ultimate (WCBU) did a sand-sational job of updating scores in an orderly fashion throughout the tournament. Full game details demonstrated each point's goal scorer and assist, plus point length.The game summary was especially informative. [March 2015]

Most Interesting Place Where Ultimate is Played
Utah! Pro ultimate may no longer be played in Salt Lake, but ultimate can still be played in a Utah prison. [July 2015]


Not ultimate, but still Frisbee-related...

Most Super Testimonial
Stan Lee uttered these words about Brodie Smith's ability to throw plastic ultimate discs: "Brodie matched the gun shot-for-shot. There's no doubt he really does possess lethal accuracy." (h/t Ultiworld) [January 2015]

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 Do Over: USA Ultimate Teams, Events, Programs

The 2015 calendar year was a busy 12 months! Here are some memorable moments that are USA Ultimate-related (teams, programs &/or events).

[in no particular order]

Best Reminder
Mixed Club Easterns [May 2015]
"NO GLASS WHATSOEVER ON FIELDS! (Pickle jars prohibited)"

Coolest Collaboration
Swing Cows (Washington DC Swing Vote + Bay Area Happy Cows) [October 2015]

Best Song Parody
Ultimate Funk by Stanford Superfly with lyrics that are disco super fly. [April 2015]

Best Club Team
Minneapolis Drag'n Thrust. D'nT completed their three-peat at USA Ultimate National Championships (2013, 2014, 2015), and won PAUC 2015. Not to mention, winning WUCC in Lecco in 2014. The only thing Drag'n Thrust is dragging are championship trophies home to Minnesota.

Most Impressive Performance
USA U-23 teams posted a (29-1) record, winning two golds and a silver. [July 2015]

Most Unexpected Goodbye
Girls' Ultimate Movement (GUM) co-Founder, Zara Cadoux. [September 2015]

Best Non-Game Photo
UltiPhotos wins every time for on-field pics, but this off-field snap of Dr. Tom Crawford @ 2015 Youth Ultimate Coaching Conference is in-the-moment awesome. [February 2015]

Best Perspective
Bama Secs' field map for USA Ultimate's National Championships. [September 2015]

Best Scheduling
Triple Crown Tour 2015 Post-season. All of the Sectionals across the country were played on the same weekend(8/29-8/30) AND all of the Regionals were also played on the same weekend (9/12-9/13). [August-September 2015]

Most Strangely Intensely Beautiful Weird Ending to a Game
The immaculate Spirit Circle - after a Spirit Timeout - during Team USA vs Philippines Boracay Dragons on the final point of their semi-final game at World Championships of Beach Ultimate was a sight to behold. And hold....for nearly 3 minutes. Coverage by Skyd. [March 2015]

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Discmas

May your holiday be filled with mirth!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Holiday and Christmas Themed Ultimate Discs

Just like last year, 'Tis the season to frisBEE jolly....
Santa Clause [sic] Holiday Season
Hipster Santa Frisbee [discstore]

Peppermint Frisbee

Wreath Frisbee ("Frisb-eath")

Discraft HH disc [via CUT Camp]
USAU Holiday Disc (2014) [via @gorman15]

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Logo Mashup: AUDL Teams + Star Wars

Below is a selection of AUDL team logos fused with an element of Star Wars.

NOTES: American Ultimate Disc League team + Star Wars element
New York Empire + Empire Strikes Back
Montreal Royal + Greedo
Jacksonville Cannons + Tusken Raider
Austin Sol + Millennium Falcon
Dallas Roughnecks + Boba Fett
LA Aviators + Lando Calrissian
Minnesota Wind Chill + TIE/ph phantom (Phantom 38)
Nashville NightWatch + Darth Maul
Raleigh Flyers + X-wing Starfighter
Indy AlleyCats + Yoda

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Increased Youth Participation in Ultimate

Last month, The Boston Globe published an article praising the benefits of ultimate - both in popularity and with stellar quotes. Radio Lab's podcast 'American Football' cites similar sentiments regarding football's decline. Local ultimate clubs should take note to start (or continue) youth-specific ultimate events and/or leagues.

Here are some choice snippets:

Why does Henry like Ultimate?  "He says 'we don't have refs and there's a lot more running around."

[Ultimate is described as] "an awesome" sport that combines "athleticism, good attitude, and fun" by Dean Ranzo.

Ultimate Frisbee is the game of choice for Gillian Epstein's children. Her 13-year-old son has been playing for a few years, and this year her 9-year-old daughter signed up as well. "I appreciate that Ultimate is relaxed, all-inclusive, and very positive. We were thrilled that the program agreed to take younger ages this summer, and my daughter loves it — it was the only team sport she was willing to consider."

On the list of 11 sports charted in the article, the number of participants aged 6- to 12-year-olds in the sport of ultimate (439,000) is the highest compared to the other 4 sports with an increase in participation. Ultimate- as a team sport - ranks 7th in participation (as of 2014) and ranks 5th in increased participation (since 2007).  Since 2007, participation in ultimate by 6-12 y.o. has increased nearly 25% with 87,000 more participants.

See below for a condensed chart on the five team sports with increased participation by 6-12 year olds. SFIA considered racquetball and squash as "team" sports.

This trend is nothing new for USA Ultimate. USAU has experienced 12 consecutive years of growth in youth memberships - considered to be under 19. (Youth members are allowed to participate in USAU sanctioned Youth Division events.)
Youth Membership Growth [USAU Annual Report 2014

From the article: Just 40 percent of children ages 6 to 12 played team sports on a regular basis in 2013, down from 44.5 percent in 2008, according to the [Aspen Institute] report, which cited statistics from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. Football has seen the steepest decline, but participation has also fallen in baseball, softball, soccer, and basketball. Meanwhile, more kids are playing racquetball, ice hockey, lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, and squash. 

Read the entire article.

RELATED: Ultimate had over 5 million participants per SFIA in 2012.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars Parody for Ultimate

This week's Contested Strip by Megan Praz and Meghan Kemp-Gee pays tribute to the new Stars Wars movie, The Force Awakens.  Megan and Meghan do an out-of-this-world job on The Force Abreakens. See below for a sampling of their creativity.

Obi-Wan Kenobi reminding Luke to use the force when marking the disc.  

Princess Leia Organa with the superfluous layout trying to catch the Frisbee.

Darth Vader wearing so much protective equipment to play ultimate.

[images via Skyd]

Ultrastar: A Force Awakens

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Jody Avirgan: Ultimate Messenger

If you play ultimate, then you have undoubtedly attempted to describe the sport.  If employed, the topic of ultimate might come up during conversations with co-workers.
So, what are you up to this weekend? 
"Driving to Illinois to play in an ultimate tournament."

Hey, what are you doing tonight?
"Going to a 3-hour practice with my ultimate frisbee team."

Does anyone know where the stapler is?
"Ultimate is a sport!"

What I'm try to say is that ultimate can be weaved into conversations at the workplace. There may not be much interest in your chatter about ultimate which makes Jody Avirgan's accomplishments a commendable act.

Jody Avirgan, who lives in New York, has played for PoNY (club) and Rumble (pro). Plus, Avirgan has experience as an assistant coach for USA Ultimate national teams — U-19 and U-23. You might know him from this MLU highlight from 2013...

According to his bio, he has worked at WNYC and currently works at FiveThirtyEightFreakonomics Radio (in partnership with WNYC) claims to be one of the most popular podcasts in the world, with more than 5 million downloads per month. 538 is a favorite analytical site whose scope also reaches outside of politics.

Avirgan has successfully incorporated ultimate into these work projects in 2013 and 2015.
2013: What Do Skating Rinks, Ultimate Frisbee, and the World Have in Common?

2015: A Plea For More Frisbee Data From A U.S. Ultimate Coach

And, by doing so, has introduced ultimate to a wider audience.

USAU Holiday Card

USA Ultimate's annual holiday card was just received!
This 2015 holiday card from USA Ultimate is a dramatic shift from last year's card. Instead of a customized scene as in 2014, this image is more generic with 3 Cubism-ish snow capped mountains against a textured background with different-sized-yet-same-designed snowflakes.

Similar to the red cup from Starbucks, USAU's happy holidays greeting is non-denominational and rather dull. For what it's worth, I do like the font type but disappointed with the lack of ultimate discs.

[image via email from USA Ultimate Membership] 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

FiveThirtyEight Publishes Articles on Ultimate

Yesterday, FiveThirtyEight published not one, but two, articles about the sport of ultimate. 538 is owned by ESPN, which is Disney-owned. The two articles appeared in their "Sports" section.

A Plea For More Frisbee Data From A U.S. Ultimate Coach
by Jody Avirgan

Ultimate Frisbee Is In The Dark Ages Of Analytics — And It Wants To Escape
by Carl Bialik
538 articles tagged as "Ultimate Frisbee"
In 538's existence, here's a chart to understand their coverage for the sport of ultimate:

Without proper data (collection), analysis cannot happen. Looking forward to additional coverage by 538 n the future.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Anniversary of MTA Record Throw

On this day in 2006, the record time for Maximum Time Aloft (MTA) was an astronaut. Christer Fuglesang brought a Frisbee to the European Space Station and set the MTA record of 20.52 seconds. Wind was obviously not a factor, but he did use some breath during the record.

Skip ahead to 2:30 to view the practice throw (or let-go) and the subsequent record throw.

WFDF recognized this out-of-the-world flying disc record event as its own MTA category - "Galactic MTA."

The current MTA World Record Holder - 16.72 seconds - on earth's land is Don "Sauce" Cain who enjoys wearing a hat signifying his WRH achievement.

Nine Years of Blogging

The SLUDE BLOG continues another day with today being a milestone. Today marks nine (9) years since our very first blog post (in 2006)!
With 3,000+ posts, this blog is fueled by a daily cocktail of heckle, reporting, analytics, and a love for the sport of ultimate. Blogging about ultimate-related topics has become a regular activity with the hope of providing an ULTI-rnative resource. The primary purpose of this blog is to be fun — just like ultimate.

Much appreciation for visiting &/or reading.



Monday, December 14, 2015

Nashville NightWatch Unveil New Logo

After only one season, the Nashville NightWatch (AUDL) have upgraded to a new logo. Their 2015 logo was graded as a "B" in our annual pro ultimate logo review.

As you can see, the difference between the logos is night and day.

According to Nashville Nightwatch Nation, the concepts behind the 2016 logo are:
1. Long hair retained from the 2015 logo.
2. Three (3) stars from the Tennessee's flag are, again, represented.
3. Bandana shaped like the letter 'N' for Nashville (or NightWatch).

One could speculate that the goatee-and-eyemask logo truly did get another gig.

Nashville NightWatch finished 4th in the 5-team South Division with a (2-11) record in their inaugural season in the American Ultimate Disc League. They are scheduled to compete in the 7-team South Division in AUDL 2016.

R.I.P. former NightWatch logo...

Friday, December 11, 2015

USA Ultimate Board of Directors 2016

The 2016 election results for USA Ultimate Board of Directors were posted in November. And, the winners are Henry Thorne, who was re-elected as an At-Large position, and David Kink, the Elite Athlete Representative. (Both candidates ran unopposed.)
Composition of the USAU's 2016 Board of Directors
  • 9 of the 12 Board members are male. (The fewest females since 2011.)
    • 75% male, 25% female
  • 5 of the 6 appointed Board members are male.
    • 83% male, 17% female
  • DeAnna Ball was elected by the board as president.
  • Five (5) of the 8 club regions are represented. South Central, Southeast and Northwest are not represented based on Board members' location.
    • The Southwest region is represented with 4 board members - all from California.
    • The Mid-Atlantic region is represented with 2 board members - both from Pittsburgh.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

MLU Upgrades Ultimate Box Score

From the pro ultimate league that developed the "ultimate" field, comes another development for how ultimate scores are presented. If I had name rights to this box score for ultimate, its code name would be Ul+imate Box Score because of it adds to the game summary.

via @nicdarling
Bravo, Major League Ultimate! 

Congrats on taking a more-is-better approach to recap an ultimate game. This upgrade to how ultimate is summarized shows nuances of our sport, plus an understanding of metrics. This data collection and summary also has charting potential. MLU has been sharpening their data collection, management and analysis under the tutelage of Luke Ryan (MLU Statistical Research & Analysis Coordinator).

There's a certain simplicity to MLU's mathematical game summary even though there are many 36 numbers. This draft box score shows some real promise to succinctly inform fans about a game and to intelligibly present the sport.

I offer one possible option to simplify the visual for the purposes of:
1) Indicating which team won with a grey band.

2) Combining the first 2 quarters (1st half) to show a halftime score.

3) Consolidating how each team scored - O[ffense] and D[efense]  - in the first half (top) and then the rest of the game (bottom) for comparison sake.

Looking forward to the final version of MLU's box score for their 2016 season.

UPDATE [12/10/16] : A new draft was posted today.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

MLU 2016 Season

The fourth season of Major League Ultimate begins in 4 months!

Five games are scheduled for the first weekend of MLU's 2016 regular season. April 9-10 is the earliest start of the MLU season in its history.

MLU Conference Championships are scheduled for June 25-26, 2016, and the MLU Championship is planned for July 16th or 17th.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Meetup for DC Ultimate Frisbee is Dying

The 15-year-old Meetup for finding pickup ultimate around DC - The Washington Ultimate Frisbee Meetup Group - is currently leaderless and. as a result, will be shutdown next week. The original organizer stepped down because "The collections unfortunately do not cover the costs of this website anymore." Costs associated with a Meetup group like this were $14.99/month.

The Meetup group touts nearly 2500 players and has organized over 1600 games.

The Meetup group is now being hosted on Facebook.

The Meetup-turned-Facebook Ultimate Frisbee Group currently has 261 members and continues to organize (for free) weekly games in Virginia, Maryland, and the District.

UPDATE [12/17/2015]: Tim Smith (WAFC's new Executive Director) stepped in as the Meetup's Organizer. The Washington Ultimate Frisbee Meetup Group lives on to play another day game.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Washington DC Current 2016 MLU Schedule

The fourth Major League Ultimate season for D.C. Current starts earlier on the calendar than any season before - on April 9th. In its 10-game regular season, DC plays 3 games versus Boston Whitecaps (2 away, 1 home), 3 games versus New York Rumble (1 away, 2 home) and 4 games versus Philadelphia Spinners (2 away, 2 home).

The Current have back-to-back games in weeks 4 and 10; DC is one of 3 MLU teams with more than 1 back-to-back games on their 2016 schedule. MLU's DC team has 3 bye weeks during the season.

Here is the Current's 2016 schedule in "tweet" format: