Friday, January 30, 2015

What is the Sport of Ultimate

Describing the sport of Ultimate continues...

Via 'The Greatest Sport Ever Invented by Man":
A well-played ultimate game combines the cutting of basketball, the passing of football, the running of soccer, the unruliness of hockey, the hand-eye coordination of baseball, the foot speed of tennis, and the complete and total mind/body control of dancesport.

Via World Frisbee Disc Championships (1978):
They call it ultimate. And for good reason! (It's also been called the least expensive team sport in the world.)

...No running with the disc, only passing. An incomplete or blocked pass is an automatic is continuous...

Ultimate may be one of the three team sports other than ice hockey and basketball in which every member of the team requires all of the four qualities necessary for the complete athlete - conditioning, mental quickness and concentration, and both body balance and hand-eye coordination.

You can see the pride in these athletes. It's not for money, it's not for glory; it's more the playing. And that's what's so great about the sport of the disc.

[Go to the 8-minute mark.]

Description by USA Ultimate:
Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, a game of Ultimate is played by two teams with a flying disc or Frisbee™ on a field with end zones, similar to football. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent's end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc, but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field. Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees.

As defined by USA Ultimate's Board of Directors in 2001:

"Player defined and controlled non-contact team sport played with a flying disc on a playing surface with end zones in which all actions are governed by the Spirit of the Game™."

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sky Em All

SkyMall has been in the headlines recently due to bankruptcy news.  Since forever, their logo has been interpreted in ultimate terms:
Sky  'm  all

DC Pro Ultimate Teams Tryouts 2015

Tryouts for the two Washington, DC professional Ultimate teams are scheduled.  Both DC teams posted winning records in their second seasons -- Breeze (10-4 regular season; 0-1 post season), Current (9-1 regular season, 2-0 post season). Combined, the DC pro Ultimate teams performed better than any other multi-pro-ulti-team city in the 2014 seasons.

Tryouts for the DC Teams:
Breeze Current
League American Ultimate Disc League Major League Ultimate
Registration Details Details
Date Sunday, Feb 22;
Sunday, March 1
Sunday, Feb 8;
Sunday, Feb 15
Time 11:30am-2pm; 1:30am-4pm 5am - 8am
Duration 2.5 hours 3 hours
Location Capital Sportsplex PGC Soccer Dome /
Landover Soccerdome
Cost $40 / $55 on-site $50 / $60 on-site
Distance from D.C. ~20 miles ~12 miles

The D.C. Breeze have not announced any signings, but have indicated there are "10-12 slots currently available" on the roster. (Last year, Breeze had a 28 players rostered.)

The D.C. Current have already signed 14 players for their 2015 team - Brent Bellinger, Lloyd Blake, David Cranston, Tom Doi, Ben Fleming, Dominique Gibson, Delrico Johnson, Alan Kolick, Brian Marshall, Ryan Nam, Calvin Oung, Erik Salmi, Markham Shofner, and Jeff Wodatch.

The tryouts are nicely staggered for anyone seeking to participate in both team's events.
NOTE: The Current's invite-only tryout is scheduled for February 22.

Reminder: The Current's tryouts start verrrrrrry early!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Remaking the Raleigh Flyers Logo

The Raleigh Flyers are a new American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) team for the 2015 season. After much speculation, this North Carolina franchise was announced in December 2014 and is slated to play in the AUDL South Division.

An iconic component of their red, white and blue team logo is a paper plane – a playful image – meant to associate with the Flyers teams name. Here are some other concepts of "Flyers":

The classic Radio Flyer wagon.

The insect which takes its name from the sci fi-horror film.

FLY'ERS: a contraction of "Fly" and "Swatters"
"First in Flight" North Carolina license plate version

UPDATED 1/28 based on @UpCallUltimate feedback...
The PF Flyers shoe

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Partnership News from Seattle Pro Ultimate Teams

To explain this further...
Background: Both Seattle pro Ultimate teams made recent announcements about a partnership - Cascades (AUDL) announced their partnership with Sockeye club team; while, the Rainmakers (MLU) their partnership with Point6 wool sock company.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy Frisbee Day

Today — January 23 — is traditionally celebrated as the Frisbee's birthday.  HAPPY frisBee-DAY!

According to the original manufacturer of the Frisbee: "Introduced to the consumer market in 1957 as the Pluto Platter™ (the name inspired by the country's obsession with Unidentified Flying Objects), it was modified in 1958, renamed the FRISBEE® disc, and has become an American icon."

To be historically accurate...on this day in history - 58 years ago - the contract for plastic flying saucer type toy (AKA Frisbee) was signed. View this original 1957 Wham-O contract between Fred Morrison's plastic flying toy and Wamo (AKA Wham-O).

Thursday, January 22, 2015

MLU 2015 Season Schedule

Major League Ultimate released their 2015 schedule for this year's pro Ultimate season. Eights teams will play a total of 40 regular season. games. View the full MLU 2015 schedule with times.

Here's a visual version of the MLU schedule, week-by-week, with bye teams:
Teams with back-to-back games:
San Francisco Dogfish = 2 (weeks 4, 10)
Boston Whitecaps = 1 (week 1)
DC Current = 1 (week 4)
Vancouver Nighthawks = 1 (week 10)

NOTE: NY Rumble scheduled "home" game in Week 2 changed to Boston's stadium.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

AUDL Improvements for 2015

The 2014 American Ultimate Disc League season ended back in July. As in 2012 & 2013, we reflect on how this semi-pro Ultimate league can improve next season (2015) as AUDL expands.

Marketing.  Promotions for the ESPN3 games were helpful and plentiful. The previews published on the website were very detailed and offered promos for each Game of the Week yet were unable to build the proper hype due to posting too late in the week.

Equally promoting all AUDL teams seems like a challenge, especially as the league continues to expand. The optics focusing on ESPN3 teams makes sense, yet that approach is not fair to the rest of the league.

Images. The graphics sent out by the league are soooo much more appealing from yesteryear. AUDL team logos are improving, too, though there's always room for additional improvement.

Money. The prize money needs to be reapportioned. Madison won their division in 2014, and advanced to the semis, but lost out on any money. Making it to the final four teams in a professional sports league must be worth something, no?

Broadcasts. The ESPN3 broadcast team of commentators and production had a professional look and feel to them. The turnaround for re-broadcasts of ESPN3 games was impressive. The price (free) to watch is also something to be happy about. (Hey, whatever happened to UXtv?) 

Video. The weekly 'AUDL Top 10 plays' and 'League Highlights' were both mid-week must-sees. Teams must recognize the value of using multiple camera angles to excellently capture those extra special highlights.

League Standings. If teams are not capable of updating their game results on their website, then they should not be allowed to play in the pro league. Prove you are better than club teams who can get away with indolence. Unless the pro team's webmaster took a strict vow of silence during the season, there is not any good excuse for the lack of updating this basic-level reporting. POST GAME RESULTS ON YOUR WEBSITE, TEAMS!

Further, who's ever job it is to update scores on the AUDL website should act like it's their only job. Get those scores updated on the league website immediately. (READ: within the hour of game's end.) Update the standings while you're at it, too. The Wins-Loss-%-Goals Scored-Goal Against-Goals Difference sports page format is a standard to be adopted.

Also, can a conduct policy be adopted to prevent teams from using automated tweets? This is a ridiculous way to convey the sport. Example:
Screengrab from twitter (read bottom to top)

Player Data. The players/teams data collective via UltiAnalytics are steps in the right direction. The visuals are are aesthetically pleasing. Time will allow for making the data meaningful for the fans. Player rosters should be mandatory for every team website. Also, it would be helpful to know ahead of time about active rosters and injuries for weekend game(s).

Timing. The 48-minute game seems too long; consider reducing each quarter by 1-2 minutes.

Ultimate Uniforms. Sublimated jerseys are still en vogue, but some shirt designs are better than others. Reminders: 1. Jersey + shorts should match like an outfit; 2. Design the uniform so it's functional for branding your team; 3. Unis ought to be worn by players like they are getting paid to play (i.e. representing a professional sport).

Playing Field. I understand using the existing football field dimensions. Why not use the existing 10-yard end zones, too? It may give the defense a needed assist, plus it will portray better on video by avoiding any confusion as to why someone scores at the 7-yard line.

Track Integrity Rules. This rule is supposed to be a distinguishing feature of our unique sport. It becomes irrelevant by not recording its usage.

NOTE: I followed the 2014 season plus attended multiple AUDL games in DC & one in Chicago and watched games online. These suggestions are meant as constructive feedback to support the professional sport.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Values of Seattle Cascades

The Seattle Cascades  Seattle's AUDL pro Ultimate team  recently published their organization's mission and values on their website. This Seattle sports team is owned by the 5 siblings (3 brothers and 2 sisters) who founded Five Ultimate apparel company. The Cascades are scheduled to play their first American Ultimate Disc League season in 2015.

Read their words and you will immediately grasp their inspiration of recognizing history of the sport, appreciating the sport's population and understanding their larger role as a "professional" sports franchise . Their strongly (and beautifully) worded values statement reads like an equal rights manifesto reinforcing their belief in self-officiated ultimate:
"As we work to build an outstanding ultimate program, we carry with us a set of core values: integrity, community, and athletic excellence.
As a subset of these core values, we believe in a world where integrity and athletic excellence go hand in hand, and male and female athletes have equal value and opportunity to compete.
To get there we have to reshape societal norms around gender, sports, and honorable competition. We're making progress on this vision by focusing on officiation and gender issues in our sport. Through our partners, sponsors, athletes, and community we are excited to play a role in building a better sport, not just a bigger one."
Officiation (AKA refs):

Via the webpage text: Refereed games may be necessary for ultimate to be a spectator sport with fans online and in stadiums. Meanwhile, for all other areas of competition, self-officiation is ideal. In fact, the good sportsmanship that thrives throughout ultimate is in large part due to the self-officiated roots of all current elite, professional ultimate athletes. We will actively promote the self-officiated version of the sport to everyone our franchise touches. Furthermore, we will work within the AUDL to ensure that the rules and officiation systems in place are serving the current and future best interests of the sport.

Gender (i.e. mixed teams; women pro players):

Via the webpage text: The incredible growth we've seen in the past 10 years is thanks to women's ultimate, men's ultimate and mixed ultimate. Meanwhile, AUDL and its franchises are focusing solely on the men's division. By putting our time and money towards this asymmetrical representation of the sport, we are weakening the gender balance. Thus, it is our responsibility to be advocates and action takers for the mixed and women's divisions so that our sport grows sustainably over the long-run.

[All quoted text and screengrabs via Seattle Cascades web site.]

[h/t @kdubsultimate]

Monday, January 19, 2015

Fools Fest 2015

Registration opened today for one of THE. MOST. FUN. ULTIMATE. TOURNAMENTS - WAFC's Fool's Fest.

When: March 27-29, 2015

Where: John Lee Pratt Park @ Fredericksburg, VA

Cost: $550 / $600

In 2014, 48 teams (8 W / 16 M / 24 X) were accepted into the foolishness of games, costumes, beer, pizza and DJ'd dance party. Oh, a full weekend of playing ultimate.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Support Ultimate Peace via Amazon

Here's an easy  - no added cost to you - way to support a great organization when you shop at So, Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to a charitable organization of your choice. Just shop at and start supporting your chosen charitable organization.

Steps to Change/Add a Charity
1. Go to

2. Click <Pick a charity>.

3. Search for "Ultimate Peace" and then click <Select> aside the listing of Ultimate Peace, Inc.

4. Once done, a 'Thank You' notification will appear.

[h/t @MrJoshSeamon]

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Atlanta Hustle Reveals Team Logo

Atlanta Hustle - the new AUDL team for the 2015 season - finally posted their logo. The Hustle will play in American Ultimate Disc League's South Division.

via's a more social media savvy logo by incorporating the ubiquitous hashtag...

designed by SLUDGE

Updated Logo for S.D. Growlers

The Growlers (AUDL) just signed Jimmy Mickle, which calls for an update to the San Diego logo. Look closely and see the word "Jimmy" on the side & "Mickle" within the mouth of the San Diego Growler.

RELATED: A previously modified Growlers logo in honor of San Diego known as craft beer capital of America.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Map of American Ultimate Disc League Teams (2015 Season)

The 26 AUDL teams in the 2015 season represent 19 locations (15 states, 3 provinces and 1 territory). Four states and one province – California, New York, North Carolina, Ontario, and Pennsylvania – have multiple pro Ultimate teams in the league.
2015 Season Stats
4 = # of AUDL teams sited in the state of California.

4 = # of teams in Canada.

5 = # of state/provinces with more than one AUDL team.

4 = # of state/provinces with two AUDL teams. (New York, North Carolina, Ontario, Pennsylvania)

Pennsylvania is the only multi-AUDL-team state where the teams are in different divisions. (Pittsburgh in Midwest; Philadelphia in East)

Minnesota is the only AUDL represented by a state; the others are city-based. (DC, technically a territory, deemed a city.)

Half of the four American Ultimate Disc League divisions are comprised of just U.S.-based teams (Midwest & South).

NOTE: The map incorrectly indicates a Utah team (Salt Lake Lions), which was asked not to pay in 2015.

[updated 1/15/2015]

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jimmy Mickle Signs with San Diego Growlers

Jimmy Mickle - of #MickleMania fame - has signed with the AUDL team San Diego Growlers. The Growlers are a new team in the American Ultimate Disc League for the 2015 season.

Per this AUDL article, Mickle is quoted as saying these things:
"I love the sport and wanted to continue playing on a high level. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb if you want to get to the fruit...The next goal is to win an AUDL title. If last year taught me anything, winning is a little more fun than losing."

Mickle joins 3 other players - the 3 teams owners - currently on the San Diego roster.

Monday, January 12, 2015

What is #MickleMania?

WHAT: Five Ultimate originated the #MickleMania hashtag as an homage for ultimate player Jimmy Mickle during the 2012 NexGen Tour; the hashtag also goes by the lowercase #micklemania.

WHO: Born in 1991, Jimmy Mickle is a Colorado University graduate and a talented ultimate player. He was a regular player on the NexGen Tour. In 2014, he won a College Championship and the Callahan award at Colorado University, plus USAU Club Championship with Denver Johnny Bravo.

WHEN: The first instance of the #MickleMania hashtag was on August 8, 2012 by Five Ultimate:

SEEN: In May 2013, Five Ultimate continued #MickleMania with personalized Colorado University uniform shorts:

REACTION: Many on social media have popularized the hashtag, but Jimmy Mickle - 2014 Callahan Winner (College player MVP) - was asked in a June 2014 USAU interview about his namesake hashtag, and had this response: Watch/hear his reply

Mickle: "It's pretty funny. I know my sister, I think, her team tried to create her own hashtag because they were tired of me stealing all of her thunder. But, it was kind of funny how it all started. Five Ultimate was sending our team some shorts that some high schoolers had won for us, and on one of the shorts they just printed #micklemania, and that was kind of the origin of it all. Everyone kind of just took off with it from there. I guess it's pretty funny, but sometimes it's annoying when everyone is yelling it when I'm trying to play, but it's all right."

Friday, January 09, 2015

Ultimate Frisbee as a College Course

College is back in session! And, for those lucky to enroll, you can play take Ultimate as a college course — for credit. Here are five instances of course offerings of "Ultimate Frisbee" at universities:

Oregon State University
NOTE: This course is repeatable for a maximum of 11 credits. Eleven!

University of Houston

Utah State University
NOTE: PE 1245 - Ultimate Frisbee is also an option if not ready for the intermediate course.

Fort Lewis College (Colorado)
NOTE: This course combined Ultimate and Team Handball as "both games require the ability and willingness of continuous activity."

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Pro Ultimate Player Benefits (MLU)

In December 2014, Major League Ultimate's podcast Cleats & Cufflinks (ep 21) addressed "MLU Player Benefits."

From the podcast, here is the list of what MLU provides to their professional Ultimate players:
1. Gear.
Jersey top & bottom; Base layer top and bottom; hat from DiscStore; SmartWool socks; warm ups.
2. Practice fields.
3. Food stipend.
4. Food/drink at games.
5. Certified trainers at each game.
6. Locker room facilities at game field.
7. Trained referees.
8. Paid opportunity to participate in NIKE Camps and Outreach Clinics
9. Chartered travel arrangements
Via bus &/or flight.
10. Insurance.
11. Offering competitive games, consistently.
12. Consistent branding.
From photos to the no-hat rule, the look is the same.
13. Player Advisory Committee

MLU just published "The MLU Player Experience, On-Field and Off-Field Player Benefits" infographic which includes the list from above and more, including getting "paid on a per game basis."
via MLU

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

AUDL Expansion: Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta was announced to be the location of a new pro Ultimate team for the 2015 AUDL season. The team is named "Hustle" and will join the South Division of the American Ultimate Disc League.

As noticed by Bama Secs, the AUDL article indicates a different ownership structure for this franchise: "Atlanta native and Atlanta Flying Disc Club President John Boezi will oversee franchise operations as general manager...while ownership duties will be carried out by the league." Additionally, "The AUDL has long sought to establish an Atlanta franchise that taps its talent-rich roots, and has invested in the 2015 team while seeking a local owner."

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

2015 Pro Ultimate Team Locations

A total of 34 pro Ultimate teams will be playing in 2015. The 26-team American Ultimate Disc League and the 8-team Major League Ultimate still share 6 cities.

NOTE: "Minneapolis" represents the Minnesota team.

UPDATED: Salt Lake City did not participate in the  2015 AUDL season. So, the new total = 33.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Sightings Reported of Seattle Cascades Logo

Seattle's AUDL team,  the Cascades, launched their team logo via Facebook, bypassed any of these, instead, go with a Sasquatch mascot.

At first glance, the creature has Chewbacca (wookie) features:
Others had similar takes on Seattle's hairy mascot...

Oh, Seattle also posted a stylized city, name and nickname logo, with peaks of the Cascades (mountains) and a disc-in-motion image in place of the "A" in their nickname:

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Sludgeys 2014

Date and location for the 10th annual SLUDGEY awards has been announced!

When: Saturday, January 10, 2015 @ 6pm ET
Where: At Joe's (Washington, DC)
Dress: Sludge semi-formal

Potluck Menu
Black been mango sweet potato soup (Matthew, Eileen)
Carrot ginger soup (Jen, Brian)
Coconut milk curry turkey meatballs (Steve, Sarah)
Wine (David)
Lamb biryani, beer (Fishpez)
Pumpkin bread, roasted red pepper dip w/ pita chips (Rachel, Michael)
Beer and guac (Russ)

Friday, January 02, 2015

Spreading SLUDGE

We are very grateful and humbled any/all times anyone shares posts from this blog. Here are some memorable blog mentions or references to a wider audience from last year.

April 2014
DoG legend and USAU Hall of Famer Jim Parinella mentioned a SLUDGE post about a previous pro ultimate league idea in his Skyd Magazine "Can't We All Get Along" article.

May 2014
Tony Leonardo, Major League Ultimate game commentator, mentioned the game spread as set by SLUDGE sportsbook during the Eastern Conference matchup of Boston Whitecaps @ New York Rumble pro ultimate broadcast.

LISTEN to mention (at 30:39).

June 2014
Evan Lepler, American Ultimate Disc League game announcer, read from the SLUDGE post about how the "brick" got its name during the June 7th game between AUDL Western Division teams San Francisco FlameThrowers versus San Jose Spiders.

The SLUDGE blog and twitter feed get thanked at 8:59 in the 2nd quarter.

LISTEN to the reading at (53:50).

September 2014
In The Washington Post's article about D.C. Current player Markham Shofner (by Scott Allen), the SLUDGE twitter account gets a heard-through shout-out.

October 2014
At the request of SLUDGE, The Washington Post updated its original article about D.C. sports teams with recent championships to add the DC Current 2014 victory.

December 2014
SLUDGE contributed a chapter to the recently updated "ULTIMATE: The  Greatest Sport Ever Invented By Man" book.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Do Over: December 2014

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

  • Google Artificial Intelligence identifies Frisbee game
  • D.C. Current BLING in the New Year.
  • Doppelgangers: Ultimate Team logos
  • Spreading Holiday Cheer via plastic flying discs
  • Happy 2015!

    Have a happy New Year on and off the Ultimate field!