Friday, September 30, 2016

On This Day: US Design Patent for Flying Toy Awarded

On this date in 1958, Walter "Fred" Morrison received a U.S. Design Patent #183,626 for a "Flying Toy" (aka Frisbee). By 1958, Wham-O held the contract for the "flying toy."

[via original post]

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Comparing Start Dates of USAU National Championships

If this year's Club Nationals feels early, then your internal calendar would be correct. Today’s 2016 USA Ultimate National Championships is the earliest start date of Club Ultimate Championships in the last 37 years.

Since 1980, the final tournament of the club ultimate season has started in the month of October 19 times, in the month of November 17 times, and this year (2016) is the first time the tourney has started in the month of September.

Q&A with DFW Public Enemy

We interrogated first-time Nationals-qualifying Dallas/Ft Worth Public Enemy who claim to be a collection of DFW’s rowdiest individuals, nicest kids, try-hard extraordinaires, peculiarly unassuming nonesuches and conch-loving hoodrats.
SLUDGE: How long has Public Enemy been playing together?
Public Enemy: 2 years.

SLUDGE: What were your team's goals for the 2016 club season?
PE: Haha, so this is weird, but most of us live on the same ranch complex together and a huge goal was to not have our entire team garden die.... We're doing okay. It's kind of a team building activity but none of us have a green thumb or agricultural background. The hardy crops are holding up, who knows what's happening with the root veggies... the tomatoes have been dead since Pokemon Go came out.

SLUDGE: What would you say were the keys to your success in the 2016 season?
PE: Last year there were a lot of talks about everyone moving into the same house together with the goal of having unbreakable chemistry. This year we were able to get most of the team on board with this idea. Having breakfast together, coming home from work to each other, and being able to practice anything on a whim has proven to be effective.

SLUDGE: What were factors in PE qualifying for 2016 National Championship?
PE: Besides great team culture things like the Enemigo ranch (above) and our annual trip to Sonoma wine country (seriously, more than half the team goes...) it's the fact that everyone on the team gets along. The expectation is set from the beginning of the year that our first goal is to learn how to love playing with each other. With that, communication must be open for better or for worse which helps work out a lot of early kinks. It's also written into our team "constitution" that there are no egos, no heroes, and that the stat sheet is bullshit. It helps that everyone is legitimately excited about hill sprints and bleacher workouts. It's disgusting.

SLUDGE: What is your team most looking forward to when you play at 2016 National Championships?
PE: It's easy to say that we're excited to play amongst the best in the nation, but we're mostly excited to represent our amazing ultimate community on the national stage. We have a lot of supporters and fans, which is weird and cool.

SLUDGE: Might you have any advice for teams looking to qualify for 2017 Natties?
PE:  Humble yourself. You're never as good as you think you are. Once you become complacent, you will lose your hunger.

Q&A with No Touching!

We stopped by the banana stand to have a sit down with first-time Nationals-qualifiers No Touching! from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

BACKGROUND: According to their team bio, No Touching! is: "Defined by their core values of Passion, Practice, and Sobriety, No Touching is thrilled to introduce the National Championship to their one-of-a-kind style of ultimate, and they demand to be taken seriously. Seriously. Self-described as the most exclusive club team in Minnesota, and famed throughout the upper Midwest for their complex defensive schemes and unpredictable offense, look for No Touching to carry an unconscionable streak of good luck throughout the tournament.  Easily recognized for the regiment of children and toddlers that fill their sideline, and, of course, by the iconic Banana Stand that follows them everywhere (unless it's too much of a hassle), No Touching is pleased to announce that their average age qualifies for the Master's division.  With their wealth of experience, history of mediocrity, and enduring love of ultimate, they're looking forward to #MakingNationalsFunAgain."

SLUDGE: How long has your team been playing together?
No Touching!Season 4, Episode 8: Nationals

SLUDGE: What were your team's goals (not the scoring kind) for the 2016 club season?
NT!: Same as they've always been!
1. Have fun.
2. Don't take ourselves too seriously.
3. Share in banana-stand-debauchery.
4. Qualify for regionals.

SLUDGE: What are keys to your success in the 2016 season?
NT!: 1. Drink more. Suck less.
2. Don't cut anyone.
3. Don't practice.
4. Age with grace.

SLUDGE: What were biggest factors in qualifying for 2016 National Championship?
NT!: 1. The wind and winning the flips in the 3rd place semis and finals.

2. Jeremy Keiser's pep talk before the CLX game where he prepared everyone for our inevitable loss.  "CLX is wayyy better than us.  And they're going to score up wind.  We can't get down on ourselves when they do.  I mean, they're really, really good."

SLUDGE: What is your team most looking forward to when you play at 2016 National Championships?
NT!: #MakingNationalsFunAgain

SLUDGE: What advice would you give to teams seeking to qualify for 2017 Natties?
NT!: What IS your team?  Is it your name?  Is it your jerseys?  Is it your leadership?  Is it the sum of your players?

If you want to experience change as a team, be more consistent.  Find people who share your goals and see ultimate the same way you do and stick with them.  Stop trying to "trade up" and focus on development instead. We've had 4 fantastic seasons because we've always focused on having fun.  Winning has never been that important to us.  3 years later, everyone has found their niche because no one is worried about losing (or proving) their place on the team.  By allowing every player a permanent role, the focus changes from oneself to one's team.  Now our sum is greater than our parts.

Also, you probably shouldn't take any of our advice because you probably haven't given up on your dreams yet due to your expanding waistline and greying hair.  Go make mistakes while you're young!  Then retire and play for fun and maybe... just maybe... some year it'll be windy enough for you to qualify for Nationals too!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Three D.C. Club Ultimate Teams to Compete for National Championships

Three club ultimate teams from Washington, D.C., have qualified for 2016 USA Ultimate Nationals Championships.  Each team will compete in their respective division.  The 4-day tournament starts on September 29 in Rockford, Illinois.

Truck Stop  (Men's Division)

Regular Season Record: (16-4)
Postseason Record: (6-0)
Regionals Result: #1
End of Season Ranking: 2nd
Seeding at Nationals: 3rd
Prize Money Won: $1250
Website . @TruckStopUlti

DAY 1 (Pool Play) RESULTS:
Win 14-12 (8-6 half) vs High Five
Win 12-6 (8-5 half) vs Dig
Win 12-11 (6-8 half) vs Madison Club
>Advance to Quarters

Loss 8-13 (6-8 half) vs Ring of Fire
Win 15-11 (8-6 half) vs Furious George
>In Pro Flight Fivals vs Sockeye

FINISH: Tied for 5th place

Scandal (Women's Division)

Regular Season Record: (13-7)
Postseason Record: (5-0)
Regionals Result: #1
End of Season Ranking: 5th
Seeding at Nationals: 5th
Website . Merch . @ScandalUltimate

DAY 1  (Pool Play) RESULTS:
Win 13-6 (8-4 half) vs Schwa
Win 15-7 (8-5 half) vs Ozone
Loss 10-14 (6-8 half) vs Fury
>Advance to PreQuarters

Win 14-11 (7-8 half) vs Heist
Loss 10-15 (5-8 half) vs Molly Brown
Win 15-8 (8-5 half) vs Showdown
> In Pro Flight Fivals vs Traffic

Win 16-15 (8-7 half) vs Traffic

FINISH: Tied for 5th place

Ambiguous Grey  (Mixed Division)

Regular Season Record: (10-10)
Postseason Record: (5-2)
Regionals Result: #2
End of Season Ranking: 17th
Seeding at Nationals: 12th

DAY 1  (Pool Play) RESULTS:
Loss 9-11 (5-8 half) vs AMP
Loss 6-11 (4-8 half) vs Metro North
Win 14-10 (8-5 half) vs Blackbird
>Advance to PreQuarters

Loss 12-15 (6-8 half) vs Mixtape
Win 15-6 (8-3 half) vs G-Unit
Win 13-11 (8-5 half) vs Public Enemy
> In Pro Flight Sevenals vs Mixtape

Loss 12-15 (3-8 half vs Mixtape)

FINISH: Tied for 9th place

Map: Men's Ultimate Teams at 2016 Club Nationals

The 16 men's division teams from Canada and the U.S. competing in Rockford at USA Ultimate's 2016 National Championship:
Ann Arbor High Five
Austin Doublewide
Boston Ironside
Boston Dig
Chicago Machine
Denver Johnny Bravo
Houston H.I.P.
Kansas City Prairie Fire
Madison Madison Club
New York PoNY
Philadelphia Patrol
Raleigh Ring of Fire
San Francisco Revolver
Seattle Sockeye
Vancouver Furious George
Washington, D.C. Truck Stop

Watch USA Ultimate National Championships 2016

USA Ultimate's 2016 National Championships begin tomorrow! For those not in Rockford, Illinois, you can still catch some game action via Ultiworld, Fulcrum Media and ESPN3.
Livestream Schedule [Times = ET]

Thursday, September 29th via Ultiworld
10:00am: Seattle Mixtape vs Fort Collins shame. (Mixed Pool Play)
12:15pm AM: Washington DC Scandal vs Atlanta Ozone (Women’s Pool Play)
2:30pm: Philadelphia AMP vs New York Metro North (Mixed Pool Play)
4:45pm: San Francisco Revolver vs Seattle Sockeye (Men’s Pool Play)

Friday, September 30th via Ultiworld
10:00am: Raleigh Ring of Fire vs Chicago Machine (Men's Prequarter)
12:45pm: Boston Ironside vs Seattle Sockeye (Men's Quarterfinal)
3:00pm: Washington DC Scandal vs Denver Molly Brown (Women's Quarterfinal)

Saturday, October 1 via ESPN3
12:30pm: Boston Slow White vs Minneapolis Drag'n Thrust (Mixed Semifinal #1)
3:00pm: San Francisco Revolver vs Raleigh Ring of Fire (Men's Semifinal #1)
6:30pm: Denver Johnny Bravo vs Boston Ironside (Men's Semifinal #2)
9:00pm: Boston Brute Squad vs Denver Molly Brown (Women's Semifinal #2)

Sunday, October 2 via ESPN3
11:00am: Boston Slow White vs Mianus Metro North (Mixed Championship Final)
1:30pm: Boston Ironside vs San Francisco Revolver (Men's Championship Final)
4:00pm: (Women's Championship Final)

Exclusive coverage of the Women's division is planned by Fulcrum Media Group.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

SPOTTED: Alternate 2016 Club Nationals Logo

An actual - non-hackneyed - secondary logo for the 2016 USA Ultimate National Championships has been found!  Look at this gem of a headband-wearing, short shorts, tall socks, mustachioed, uniformed player pinching a flying disc.  Way cool!

[image via Josh]

"Updated" Logo for 2016 USAU National Championships

Initial reaction to this year's Club Nationals logo was less than positive according to one reviewer, so we attempted to fix the logo with some Rockford flair. Yep, Rockford flair!

I present to you...
The Jefferson Street Bridge remains unchanged, but the 2016 logo for USAU's National Championships now symbolically reflects SYMBOL - a red public art sculpture located in Rockford, Illinois.

Map: Women's Ultimate Teams at 2016 Club Nationals

The 16 women's division teams from the U.S. and Canada competing in Rockford at USA Ultimate's 2016 National Championship.
Atlanta Ozone
Austin Showdown
Boston Brute Squad
Columbus Rival
Denver Molly Brown
San Francisco Fury
Madison Heist
Montreal Iris
San Francisco Nightlock
Philadelphia Green Means Go
Portland Schwa
Raleigh Phoenix
Seattle Riot
Vancouver Traffic
Washington, DC Scandal
San Diego Wildfire

[map plotted per city listed in preview]

Snapshot: Location History of USA Ultimate's Club Championship

In this century, USA Ultimate has a long history of hosting its annual club championships in Sarasota. After 13 consecutive years in Florida the championship event moved to Frisco, Texas for 3 years. This year's event is being hosted in Rockford, Illinois. The 2017 dates and location have not yet been published.

The 2016 USA Ultimate National Championships runs from September 29 through October 2.

(Club ultimate championships have been played since 1979.)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Map: Mixed Ultimate Teams at 2016 Club Nationals

The 16 mixed teams from around the country competing in Rockford at USA Ultimate's 2016 National Championship:
Boston Slow White
Boulder Love Tractor
Cincinnati Steamboat
Dallas Public Enemy
Fort Collins shame.
Gainesville G-Unit
Madison NOISE
Mianus, CT Metro North
Minneapolis Drag'n Thrust
Minneapolis No Touching!
Philadelphia AMP
Pittsburgh Alloy
San Francisco Blackbird
San Francisco Mischief
Seattle Mixtape
Washington, DC Ambiguous Grey

[map plotted per city listed in team profile]

[Compilation] Tournament Logos from USA Ultimate Club National Championships

Since 2001, the Club National Championships have concurrently hosted the Men's (Open), Mixed (Co-Ed) and Women's divisions at one location.  The UPA/USAU's club ultimate tournament has been hosted in only 3 different locations in the 21st Century; Sarasota, Florida (2001-2012), Frisco, Texas (2013-2015) and Rockford, Illinois (2016).

Below are the tournament logos for UPA (2001-2009) and USA Ultimate (2010-today) annual club ultimate national championships.

[Images via USA Ultimate Archives]

RELATED: Triple Crown Tour(nament) logos from 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Compilation: USA Ultimate CEO Tom Crawford's Use of "Bake/d" When Describing Ultimate

Articles covering ultimate (Frisbee) over the past 13 months have included a quote from USA Ultimate's CEO Dr Tom Crawford.  His use of "baked" or "bake" is a special ingredient in all of his positive references of the sport of ultimate. Let's review:

Ultimate Frisbee's Surprising Arrival as a Likely Olympic Sport  The New Yorker (August 12, 2015)
"This is like everything that you would want to baked into a sport."


A Sport Without Referees? It's the Ultimate Debate New York Times (June 16, 2016)
"It is baked into the sport."

Ultimate Frisbee battles for 'soul of the sport'  Chicago Tribune (July 4, 2016)
"...baked into ultimate players."

URI hosts U.S. Open for flourishing sport of Ultimate  The Independent (July 7, 2016)
" has baked into it all the things you would put in a sport."


US Ultimate Frisbee players have their eyes on Olympics  PRI (September 14, 2016)
"....everything is baked into this sport that I love about sport."


Tom Crawford's Reddit AMA (July 27, 2016): "I fell in love with ultimate because to me it was the best sport I had ever seen that had all the positive elements of sport fully baked in."


Crawford's use of "baked" can be actually be traced back to early 2011 when at the Ultimate League & Organizers Conference he was heard saying:

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Opi Payne's Advice on Playing Ultimate

After winning gold at The 2013 World Games, TEAM USA player Opi Payne wrote: "it's the most mundane things that often make the biggest impacts on the [ultimate] field." (High Release, Issue No. 2; October 2013)

A summation of her advice in Forget About the Highlight Reel:
  • Basic ultimate = beautiful ultimate. And there's nothing boring about that.
  • Play smart. Your brain is as crucial to making a good cut as are your quads and hamstrings.
  • Keep working hard. Better fitness allows you to make those last resort athletic plays, but more importantly, it frees up your energy to use for mental focus.
Additional lessons she learned:
  • Take what the defense is giving you
  • Get good body position
  • Throw with balance
  • Move the mark with fakes
  • Maintain good footwork
  • Match hips on defense

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Tournament Food Not Provided To Minimize Health Concerns

At 2016 Mid-Atlantic Regionals, the Men's and Women's division played at Lake Fairfax in Reston, Virginia, players were instructed to BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) to minimize health risks around handling of communal food. Food Trucks were also scheduled to be available.

"Food Truck Information:
In lieu of providing tournament food we have asked teams to bring their own food to cut down on health concerns surrounding communal food handling. However, we have secured a food truck to come each day for concession options for lunch. These are locally owned food trucks and we hope that everyone will take advantage of them."

A D.C. TD indicated USAU supports not providing group food:

Bama Secs tweeted this as a first sign of "Death to field food."

Bananas, bagels and pickles are pretty much the norm at tournaments. From what I recall, bananas have a natural wrapper to protect its fruit from contaminants. I understand one could eat the banana peel, but I choose not to. Bagels seem like a go-to food but only as a vehicle of holding delicious peanut butter. PB packets are an option instead of a peanut butter jar and a knife. By far, the worst offenders are players dipping their dirty, sweaty, bloody, muddy, mangled fingers in the pickle jar. Use the damn tongs! Athletes bring their own food nowadays and food trucks are more prevalent.

What's next? B.Y.O.Water?!

Since we're on the subject of water, here's a PSA for ultimate players.


Water jugs have more opportunity to be contaminated than communal tourney food.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Past Dates of World Junior Ultimate Championships

After the 2018 World Junior Ultimate Championships location was announced, the tournament's dates (August 19-25) were called into question. Specifically, when the ultimate tournament for players under 20 years old is scheduled and its proximity to when Northern Hemisphere school(s) re-open after a summer break.
While "June - September" was the published time frame in WFDF's request for WJUC 2018 bids, the 2018 WJUC is scheduled the latest in the year compared to the previous 8 tournaments.

2002: July 10–13, 2002; Latvia

2004: August 1–4, 2004; Finland

2006: August 13–18, 2006; USA

2008: August 2–9, 2008; Canada

2010: August 3–7, 2010; Germany

2012: August 12–18, 2012; Ireland

2014: July 20–26, 2014; Italy

2016: July 31–August 6, 2016; Poland

2018: August 19–25, 2018; Canada

Monday, September 19, 2016

Ultimate Tournament Director Appreciation Day

Today is Ultimate Tournament Director Appreciation Day!

From local leagues to national events; from hats to Worlds, ultimate tournaments happen because of these hardworking individuals. Tournament Directors (TDs) do so much – schedule, budget, plan, setup, field lining, feeding, measuring, calling, emailing, confirming, directing, cleanup, score reporting and so much more – to organize competition for the sport of ultimate. For these reasons, September 19th is a day to take time to appreciate Ultimate Tournament Directors.

Want to celebrate Ultimate Tournament Director Appreciation day?
Post an appreciative message on social media, and tag your TD &/or the tournament.

Use the hashtag "#UltimateTD" so everyone can follow the conversation.

Copy and post any of these Ultimate T.D. Appreciation Day images into your social media.

Design your own image for Ultimate Tournament Director Appreciation Day and post it somewhere online.

Hug &/or high-five your TD (if you see them in-person).

Why celebrate Ultimate Tournament Director Appreciation day?
Join this grassroots movement to publicly recognize these important leaders in the sport of ultimate.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Flatball Documentary Gets a Movie Trailer

Flatball Film published a movie trailer for its history of the sport of ultimate.

Flatball was recently shown at a private screening at the Google headquarters The film was crowdfunded in March 2014 will be narrated by Alec Baldwin. The movie poster was finalized back in fall 2015.

The film is listed in IMDb as being 90 minutes long as sports documentary. The storyline reads: "A feature length documentary exploring the origins and rise of one of the world's fastest growing sports, through the lens of one of the sport's greatest players." That great player is USA Ultimate Hall of Famer Dennis 'Cribber' Warsen.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

PRI on Ultimate at the Olympics

PRI (Public Radio International) recently published a piece on the sport of ultimate. Boston Slow White players and coach were interviewed during the Northeast Regionals. The author claims Ultimate Frisbee would be the first mixed-gender team sport in the Olympics. Some sports allow pairs of male-female athletes in events like tennis, equestrian, badminton, skating and two-person sailing.

The piece "US Ultimate Frisbee players have their eyes on Olympics" (listed under "Lifestyle & Belief") starts a bit discouraging: "With all due respect, when I think of Frisbee, I don't think of the world’s finest athletes. I'm not alone in this regard."

Some standout quotes:
Alex Trahey: Ultimate "is in fact a very competitive and athletic sport, and we like to showcase that."

Hannah Baranes: "the more Frisbees that are out there getting tossed, the more likely you’re to get a person to be active and get them playing [ultimate] down the road."

Read the full article.

Friday, September 16, 2016

MAP: Club Ultimate Teams Playing at 2016 Nationals

USA Ultimate's 2016 National Club Ultimate Championships in Rockford starts later this month. A total of 21 states/provinces from the eight geographical regions are represented at this year's USAU National Championships, with California sending the most teams (6) of any state.

State/Province location of qualifiers to 2016 Nationals, all divisions

1st (6 teams): California
2nd (4 teams): Colorado, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas
3rd (3 teams): DC, Washington, Wisconsin
4th (2 teams): British Columbia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio
5th (1 team): Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Quebec 

Eleven (11) cities are represented by multiple club ultimate teams at Nationals; *six (6) cities are represented in each division (Men, miXed, Women).

Doublewide (M)
Showdown (W)

Brute Squad (W)
Dig (M)
Ironside (M)
Slow White (X)

Johnny Bravo (M)
Molly Brown (W)

Heist (W)
Madison Club (M)

Drag'n Thrust (X)
No Touching (X)

Green Means Go (W)
Patrol (M)

Phoenix (W)
Ring of Fire (M)

Blackbird (X)
Fury (W)
Mischief (X)
Nightlock (W)
Revolver (M)

Mixtape (X)
Riot (W)
Sockeye (M)

Ambiguous Grey (X)
Scandal (W)
Truck Stop (M)

Furious George (M)
Traffic (W)

NOTE: Locations based USAU Qualifiers summary

RELATED: Map charts in 2013, in 2014, in 2015.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

TBT: WICKID Ultimate Socks

Remember these socks for ultimate players from (now defunct company) WICKID Ultimate?
White sox (circa 2007/2008) with mesh panels and arch compression. "WICKID Ultimate" is on the back of the sock with a red ring (disc outline).

The underside has a sketchy grey-and-white logo of a "W" (maybe?) and the lowercase letters i.d. Honestly, it could be upside-down. Very little information can be found on the Google machine about this company or product.

I have no explanation as to how an 8-year pair of socks are still this clean.