Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year's Eve

Enjoy the watching the flatball drop!

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 in Review: Activism in Ultimate

In addition to the memorable moments in 2016, these movements taken up by the ultimate community are praiseworthy:

[April 2016] Austin Sol (AUDL) staged a peaceful rainbow wristband demonstration on their road trip to North Carolina.

[May 2016] College ultimate teams participated in an ANTI-HB2 protest and ANTI-HB2 advocacy while in North Carolina.

[April 2016] USA Ultimate's rainbow action against HB2 on Five Ultimate designed discs.

[September 2016] Gender Equity Action Group seeking to encourage USA Ultimate to require a policy of gender equity over equality in all future broadcasting partnerships, and to generate increased consciousness regarding gender related issues in our community.
[October 2016]: True Representation in Ultimate that Starts with Transparency (TRUST) seeks to increase the membership's approval of USAU, its decisions, and actions.

[October 2016] Seattle Riot wore BLM headbands and kneeling during national anthem to support Black Lives Matter at 2016 USAU Nationals. Other club teams also were seen kneeling in Rockford.

Seattle Riot [Brian Canniff Photography]

[November 2016] Boston University men's and women's Ultimate teams "I Need Feminism Because..." photo essay.

[December 2016] Equity in Mixed Ultimate Campaign, a hub for cultivating & sharing resources on gender equity in the mixed ultimate community.
Get involved. Stay informed.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

MLU's Swan Song

Major League Ultimate finally sent out communication this afternoon publicly confirming the semi-pro ultimate league will stop operating at the end of 2016.

Text from today's email with the subject "Thank You For Four Great Years!":


By now, many of you have heard that the MLU will be ceasing operations at the end of this year and will not be able to bring you a 5th season in 2017. This is very sad news for all of us, and we wish we didn't have to deliver it. Still, we are all very proud of what we have built, and you, the fans, should be proud as well. Without your support, none of this would have been possible.

It is hard to say goodbye after so much time, but know that none of us here will ever forget you. We can safely speak for all the players, volunteers, partners and staff when we say that the best part of putting this whole thing together was seeing fans in the stands, online and everywhere else we turned up. In the end, the reward for all the hard work was knowing that it was appreciated.

So, one last time, from all of us at Major League Ultimate and every one of our teams, THANK YOU!

[h/t C.H.]

Best Of in 2016

Time to air out our B.O....

What a year of ultimate! This blog published 450+ posts this year covering topics related to the sport of ultimate. Let's reflect on the year's most popular posts.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting the blog.

2016's Best-Of based on traffic
Top 20 Posts in '16

20. Advice on playing ultimate by Opi Payne

19. Health Benefits of Ultimate Frisbee

18. Ten Commandments of Frisbee

17. USA Ultimate Indicates Interest in Indoor Championship event

16. Interview with ESPN's Ian Toner

15.  Redesigned Discraft UltraStar

14. Interview with (WUGC 2016 Champion) Team USA Boneyard

13. Madison Radicals <3 Aaron Rodgers

12. History of AUDL Championship logos

11. AUDL 2016 Road Trip

10. WUGC Medal Count & History

9. Interview with ESPN's Robyn Wiseman

8. WUGC Tournament Needs An Update

7. Celebratory Tweets by Team for Qualifying for Club Nationals: Men . Mixed . Women

6. Sportsbook for semi-pro ultimate leagues: AUDL . MLU

5. Compilation of Women's Division Highlights by Fulcrum

4. Montreal Royal Announce New Head Coach

3. SportsIllustrated disapproves of ultimate name

2. Trying to make sense of WFDF Kickstarter

1. Foul Call on The Economist's Use of Ultimate Frisbee

Past B-O's: 2015 .. 2014 .. 2013 .. 2012 .. 2011 .. 2010 .. 2009 .. 2008

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Do Over: Ultimate in 2016

The 2016 calendar year was a busy 12 months! Here are some memorable moments:       [in no particular order]

Greatest Trick Play Not Designed as a Trick Play: Philadelphia Spinners
First weekend of the 2016 MLU season (April 11) and the highlight of the year occurred. Lots of people took notice, too!  The stat book would simply report Nick Hirannet to Himalaya Mehta for the goal, but soooo much more happened.

Runner up: Joel Schlachet (Team USA @ 2016 Worlds)

Ultimate Highlights to Watch Again & Again:
Jenny Wei (All-Star Ultimate Tour)
Marisa Rafter (UC Berkeley Pie Queens )
Callahan video submission

Josh Markette (Boston Ironside)
Cricket's snag of a wobbly disc (tipped dump from Jeff Graham) an inch off the turf and then forehand assist.

Team of the year: USA's Ultimate Nationals Teams
Team USA was dominant with a (62-1) record in 2016 racking up 6 gold medals and 1 silver.

Honorable Mentions:
Boston - Slow White, Ironside & Brute Squad - club championship sweep.

2016 AUDL champion Dallas Roughnecks that went (17-0) in the season.

Jersey of the Year: Atlanta Hustle (AUDL) alternate jersey
For the 2016 season, the Hustle wore a purple top and a white top until its last regular season game. An alternate jersey - blood orange on top and black on the bottom with HUSTLE across the chest - was made and kept as a secret until a big game - a 1-point Atlanta victory in their season finale versus Jacksonville.

ATL's "ALT jersey (right)

Best Experiment: @being_ulti twitter
A simple mission with a lots of personality which started in June 2016. It's a twitter account that gets taken over by a different person every week as a way to showcase those that play ultimate.


Neatest Innovation for the Ulti Community: 
1) The Mixed Division Spirit Awards
The idea was inspired by Seattle Mixtape to recognize players from the mixed division who exhibited personal responsibility, integrity, and selfless contribution to Ultimate, combined with a high standard of playing ability - just like the annual awards given by USAU in the men's and women's divisions.
Allysha Dixon (Philadelphia AMP) and David Protter (Love Tractor)

2) Team reference webpages by Ultiworld

3) Scoring/shot map chart by MLU/William Curb

4) USAU publishing post-tournament results with team seeding.


Coolest Infographics: openbracket(ultimate)
This uniform design company has been crafting WUGC tourney outcomes in an appealing manner.
Mixed Division: Assists + Goals
Spirit of the Game scores
& more


Trending: Ultimate players on Jeopardy.
Answer: Who is Doug Behrend?
Answer: Who is Cindy Stowell?


Best Exhibition Ultimate Games
[March 2016] "Futures" Game by Bama Secs in Atlanta

[Summer 2016] All-Star Ultimate Tour 2016

[October 2016] Off-season friendly between Iris vs Brute Squad

[April 2016] Women's All-Star Game in Cincinnati

[April 2016] Bay Area Women's Ultimate All-Star Game

[June 2016] Boston Area Women's All-Star Game


Best ultimate games: Seattle Riot vs San Francisco Fury 
October 2016: An(other) "instant classic" between two storied club ultimate teams during the semi-final at 2016 USA Ultimate Nationals: Riot versus Fury.

May 2016: Team Canada vs Team USA tune-up at Torneo Eterna Primavera from Colombia finals. The game was streamed via Facebook by Beau Kittredge.

June 2016: The New York Empire-DC Breeze games during the American Ultimate Disc League regular season were all amazing. This double OT thriller from the summer stands out.


Best Roster Pic: Ross Ward (New York Empire)

Weirdest Victory: Washington D.C. Current & Boston Whitecaps (MLU)
D.C. Current went on the road to play a night game at Boston. The Current did not play their June 11th game against Boston Whitecaps; they never even made it to Boston. Yet both teams still managed to earn a win.

Per the MLU: "The game will not be re-scheduled, and both teams will award a win instead, moving the Whitecaps to 7-2 and the D.C. Current to 3-5 on the season."


Most Athletic Feat: Khalif El-Salaam
Running from sideline to sideline (40 yards)...on his knees. My knees have threatened to go on strike if I ever pull a stunt like this.


Best in-print forms of Ultimate 
Ultimate Outsider novel by Alexander Rummelhart
"Skyd" (magazine) by Skyd Magazine
Fast Count! children's book by Hechter/Neugeboren


Best Films on Ultimate: All-Star Tour Documentary
All-Star Ultimate Tour: The Documentary by Alex Axworthy covers the inaugural 2015 tour and its effect on the players and the tour's impact in the ultimate community.

Honorable Mentions:
Bad Lip Reading by Chicago Machine
Fulcrum's coverage of Women's Division at Club Nationals
Flatball - a History of Ultimate Frisbee


Persons to be given a round of applause that crescendos into a standing ovation.

Qxhna Titcomb
As the founder and creator of the successful All-Star Ultimate Tour, Qxhna is a charismatic leader. She's someone whose passion, energy and intelligence are poured into every project she is involved with. The ulti community is better because of her work on and off the ultimate field.

Isaac Saul
Isaac is a reporter and journalist who covers politics (an important job I would never want). Isaac played on Pittsburgh Thunderbirds (AUDL) and New York PoNY in the 2016 seasons. He's known for his o-line knack on the ultimate field while showing deft skills in his career. His A Plus posts are a refreshing take on the world, while his Twitter account is a public arena where he regularly defends facts, his opinions, his profession, his background, and - when necessary - the sport of ultimate.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

@USAUltimateLive Walks into a Bar

During USA Ultimate's 2016  D-I College Championships, USAU's Twitter account for live event tweeting was on fire. Relive the glory of @USAUltimateLive:

Monday, December 26, 2016

On This Day: Flying Saucer (Frisbee) Patent Received

On this day in 1967, "Steady" Ed Headrick was awarded the first utility patent on a flying disc (U.S. patent 3,359,678). Although the patent document called it a "flying saucer," Edward E. Headrick's professional model became the shape of the modern Frisbee with its stabilizing band of raised ridges named for Headrick. Headrick, a Wham-O employee, assigned the patent to Wham-O for only $10!

Headrick's patent drawing
[Reposted from original]

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Huck Before Christmas

Gather 'round, children, so better to hear
A wondrous story of holiday cheer
Of ultimate Frisbee, reindeer, and muck
And a mystical, magical, glorious huck.

'Twas late in December, and all of the rain
Made cutting on the soggy fields quite a pain.
Despite all of this, someone had the idear
To hold a disc tourney at that time of year.

"Come play in the mud at this year's Christmas Fest"
Said the e-mails, to some of the players' behest;
For not every disc player celebrates Yule:
To some, Hanukkah is the holiday rule.

So discussions ensued; a decision was made
That just one big disc tourney game would be played.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Ultimate Festivus

Join in the airing of ultimate grievances with the #UltimateFestivus hashtag.

[sponsored by Bamasecs]

Thursday, December 22, 2016

What I Got Wrong About the MLU

Major League Ultimate will be stopping after 4 seasons of competitive play. The MLU formed in late September 2012 and ended operations yesterday. I was very surprised about this sad news.
Here are some things I thought I knew about the MLU, but was wrong.

1. I projected Major League Ultimate - a startup business - would last, at least, for 5 seasons; adhering to a 5-year business plan.

2. I sensed MLU's business model was financially sound. It might be at least compared to the AUDL, but "inherent issues" in their business model was listed as one of the reasons for MLU's shutdown.

Per MLU's letter to the league:
"...despite our best efforts, and a recent influx of experience and knowledge, we have not succeeded in increasing the revenue to a level that would be adequate to cover the expenses of the League."

Due to the past losses, future projected losses, and the inherent issues that we have found in our business model the Board of Directors has decided to suspend operations, effective immediately, and the company will be issuing a public statement shortly."

3. I figured since MLU was signing players for the 2017 season that the 8-team league would have a 2017 season. One D.C. Current player was signed into the 2018 MLU season.

4. & 5. MLU Headquarters in Philadelphia recently moved into new offices. And, the notion MLU was "going out of business" was dismissed by MLU Executive V.P. Nic Darling on December 10, 2016 -- less than 2 weeks before yesterday's announcement.

6. I thought money was committed for 2017 and 2018:

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Major League Ultimate. Game Over.

Thanks for the ultimate memories, MLU.

Interview with WUGC 2016 Champion Boneyard

Tim Lupo is a member of Boneyard - the Masters Men's club ultimate team that represented the United States at WFDF's 2016 World Ultimate and Guts Championships. The U.S. club team won all 8 of its games at the international tournament  to win a Worlds gold in June 2016. Tim dishes on Boneyard's history, the team's preparation for WUGC and their winning ways.
SLUDGE: Let's start with  some team background for those who may not be familiar with Boneyard.
Tim Lupo: Boneyard is based in North Carolina, mainly the Triangle.  The team was formed in the summer of 2005 by longtime pillars of the Triangle ultimate community, Christian Schwoerke and Victor Maneilly.  Christian, the Godfather of Triangle Ultimate, made sure all the details of forming a team were taken care of, while Victor, generally considered one of the great thinkers of the sport, took care of the more intellectual, strategic issues.  The vision was to build on the foundation started by former area masters teams Cranky, THOR, and ED to develop into a perennial national contender.

There were mixed results in the early years.  Boneyard made Nationals twice in the team's first four seasons, finishing 12th and 9th.  In the 2009 season, Boneyard went winless on Saturday of Regionals.  The team seemed to be on the brink of implosion, with a lot of talk about scrapping it and starting over.  But on Sunday, we came out and dominated three teams who had beaten us soundly on Saturday.  One of those teams, [D.C.-area] Chesapeaked, was loaded with talent and should have easily handled us.  We beat them in the 2/3 game to make Nationals.  That was the game where Boneyard finally turned the corner.  We only finished 10th at Nationals that year, but we were a completely different team after that.  We made finals the following year. If we'd lost that game to Chesapeaked, I'm not sure there would be a Boneyard today.

From the team's inception, Boneyard has been a team that practices and prepares for the season more like an open team than a master’s team.  Practices begin about 4 months prior to the Nationals or Worlds tournament we're aiming for.  We practice twice a week, and usually play a couple prep tournaments during the season.      

SLUDGE: What's the origin of the team's name?
Tim: The boneyard – or graveyard, or cemetery, or whatever you want to call it – is a pretty crazy concept if you think about it.  We throw people in there after they've expired their usefulness to this world. Then we stick a stone marker over them with their name and statistics, just so nobody forgets.  But the question is whether we do it so we don't forget them, or so we don’t get forgotten when it's our turn.  Die, but foil oblivion, the saying goes.

So it's kind of like what we're doing.  We're a team trying to leave our mark on the Ultimate world. And Boneyard just seemed like an appropriate name for a bunch of old guys with one foot in the grave and the other on the line.

SLUDGE: Macabre, yet inspiring!

SLUDGE: What's one thing you want ultimate fans to know about Boneyard?
Tim: Boneyard has an intense pride and love for our team.  Intense. That drives us to never let down our teammates and to never let an opponent work harder than we do.  And as a North Carolina team, we have that Us-against-the-World attitude.  Guys like Augie Kreivenas and Tim Brooks and TJ Cawley led the way in the early years establishing our identity.  We may lose, but we won't be outworked.

We talk a lot about our success today being built on the foundation others helped establish.  In those early years, when our effort far exceeded our talent level, we didn't know it but we were building the culture that would define Boneyard.  

SLUDGE: I'm pretty sure that's more than one thing. 

SLUDGE: Moving did you prepare for the June World Ultimate and Guts Championships event? Any truth in the rumor that you scrimmaged the Raleigh Flyers?
Tim: Our preparation for WUGC was not much different than any other season. Our goal is always to practice like champions.  Every practice and every scrimmage is an opportunity to get better individually and as a team.

Our practices tend to be pretty physical.  We want our practices to be the toughest battles we face all year, and we have very high expectations for ourselves and our teammates.  That's one big advantage to having a team with the quality depth that we have.  When we scrimmage each other, we're scrimmaging really good players who are giving maximum effort.  It simulates playing high quality opponents during the season.    

One difference this season was that we had the opportunity to scrimmage the Raleigh Flyers a lot.  We held our weeknight practices at the same fields, so almost every week following our team practices, we would meet up to scrimmage.  Playing against that level of competition really benefited us, and I feel like it helped them, too.

Their team speed is beyond anything we see on the masters level.  Getting accustomed to that kind of speed is as much mental as it is physical.  Speed creates pressure, and pressure creates turnovers.  Becoming more comfortable playing against high level speed and pressure really helped us when we faced young-ish rosters at WUGC.  Working against the Flyers helped us become a much more patient, stingy offensive team.  And I think that was the greatest benefit to the Flyers, playing against a stingy team that wouldn't give up the disc on careless errors.  All our scrimmages were close.  We won about half of them.          

SLUDGE: What was the biggest challenge during the team's prep?
Tim: For many of us it was the wait.  When we won USAU Nationals in July 2015, we had 11 months to prepare.  And wait.

SLUDGE: How about the WUGC tournament? What was most challenging aspect about WUGC 2016?
Tim: There were some really good teams there.  The teams seemed younger and faster than most teams we typically face at USAU Nationals.  I'd say the top teams at WUGC were comparable to the top teams at Nationals, but the number of quality teams was greater at WUGC.

Off the field, the most challenging aspect was driving on the left side of the road, and all the roundabouts.  I wasn't even driving, but I was a nervous wreck every time I got in the car.  Traffic always seemed to be coming from exactly where you didn't expect it.  By the end of the week I was pretty exhausted from all the puckering.      

SLUDGE: Give a sense of what a Boneyard team huddle on the sidelines was like during WUGC.
Tim: Our team huddles are almost never for rah-rah speeches.  The captains run the huddles, and typically focus on strategies, personal assignments, and adjustments.  In-game huddles will discuss what’s working well and what adjustments we need to make.  Post-game huddles will reflect on positives and negatives from the game.

At WUGC we would finish our huddles by cheering USA, Boneyard D.  "USA" was a reminder of why we were playing.  "Boneyard D" was a reminder of how we play.      

But there was one huddle at WUGC where we got away from X's and O's and talked about deeper stuff.  A game early in the tournament had been a pretty heated, contentious battle, and we let our emotions get away from us.  After the game, one of our quieter, most respected players stepped up to speak.   He reminded us of what it means to have the opportunity to represent our team, our country, our families, and ourselves; what it means to respect and earn respect; and what it means to come from nowhere with nothing but heart, desire, and little bit of fire, and have the fleeting opportunity to be champions of the world.  It was a different tournament after that.    

SLUDGE: How is Boneyard's team huddle different from how Boneyard players act off-field?
Tim: This is a very close team, and we've been playing together for a lot of years, so there's always a lot of laughing and joking when we're together.  But there's rarely any joking during in-game huddles. During games we tend to be very focused.  After the game, however, you better pray you didn't make any stupid plays, because you will hear about it…in detail.

SLUDGE: So, congrats on the WUGC gold ! How did Boneyard celebrate their WUGC championship?
Tim: We got together for dinner and drinks at one of our rental houses.  As you might imagine, there was a lot of talk about personal greatness and the incredible plays we made that carried the team.

SLUDGE: And, where's your WUGC medal now?
Tim: I'd like to think it's with my other medals, hanging up on my desk at home, but that's pretty unlikely.  Well, it's unlikely for my gold medals, but I'm sure the silvers are right where I left them.  I have two young daughters, and they have a game they like to play called Goddesses of Victory.  After vanquishing some imaginary evil dragon or trifling-ass king, they award themselves gold medals.  A few times I've found the medals strewn around the backyard, where the girls held their medal ceremonies.  So, really, there's no telling where my medal is right now.

Oddly, they both refuse to wear the silvers.

SLUDGE: How did the team keep in touch with your fans who did not travel to London?
Tim: You got me.  I'm a Luddite, so I really don't deal with any techie gadgets or social media.  I just waited until I got home. Then I made sure any- and everybody I could corner into a conversation was well aware that we won the world championship. At first, it's hard to turn a random conversation into a detailed narrative about how we rose from being just a ragtag bunch of wannabes to being Team USA, World Champions.  But with a lot of persistence and practice, you can actually get pretty good at it.

SLUDGE: What will you remember most about the WUGC event?

Tim: Wearing the USA on my chest was something I'll never forget.  I think all of us grew up watching the Olympics as kids, dreaming of one day representing our country and winning gold. WUGC isn't the Olympics, but it's the highest level of competition for those of us who play Ultimate. Representing the USA was very, very important, and we worked very hard for a lot of years to get there.  The opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream was definitely on my mind during the tournament. And being fortunate enough to win the gold was a special feeling.

Having my wife there to share the experience made it even sweeter.  She wasn't able to travel with us when we won WUCC or USAU, so having her there was special.  And I know my teammates felt the same about having their wives and kids there.  Even more than usual, we had a close family feeling on the sideline.

SLUDGE: How did winning the WUGC championship compare to WUCC 2014 gold medal? 
Tim: The biggest difference was that WUCC was where Boneyard finally made it over the hump. We'd been to USAU finals three out of four years, and lost every time to Surly.  We came into WUCC absolutely driven to win.  It was a little bit of a letdown to not face Surly in finals in Lecco, but finally winning gold got that monkey off our back.  That championship was something that we'd worked very, very hard for.  We had a sense of relief, I think.  It was validation for what we had been striving for.

In London, wearing USA on our chests made a big difference.  It definitely created an edge that I hadn't experienced before.  This was my 9th year on the Yard, so I just instinctively identify with representing Boneyard.  Looking down at my jersey and seeing USA added an extra layer of emotion to the experience.  Winning WUCC was for Boneyard, but WUGC was for Boneyard and the USA. And winning it was extra sweet, because the thought of losing while representing the USA would have felt so utterly devastating.  That was something I thought about every day from the time we won Nationals, qualifying for Worlds, until the day of finals in London.  It was definitely a motivating factor in preparing for Worlds.  Losing would have really, really hurt, but losing because we hadn't worked hard enough would have been unbearable.

SLUDGE: Where does the WUGC 2016 championship compare to other Boneyard wins?
Tim: I'm not sure if it's any more or less satisfying than others, but it felt different.  WUCC was about finally emerging as the team we'd worked so hard to become. USAU Nationals was about finally winning that championship that had eluded us for so long. WUGC was about living out a lifelong dream of representing our country.

SLUDGE: Boneyard is on an impressive winning streak. When was the last time Boneyard lost a game?
Tim: June 8, 2014.  We lost to Ring of Fire at Furniture City Shootout.

SLUDGE: What is the secret to Boneyard's amazing success?
Tim: We work.  Hard.  And it's a very, very fun team to play with, so guys want to keep playing once they join.  We have a great core of players that have remained mostly intact for several years, and we've been fortunate enough to add some really good talent to that core. I have no idea how Boneyard seems from the outside, but from the inside it's a family.

A Summary of Boneyard Results:
WUGC 2016: Gold medal
USAU 2015: Gold medal
WUCC 2014: Gold medal
USAU 2010, 2012, 2013: Silver medal
USAU Qualifiers: 2006 (12th), 2007 (9th), 2009 (10th), 2011 (6th)
USAU Spirit Award: 2006, 2009*
*We handed out BoneHard brand condoms as gifts to the other teams, so the Spirit Award may be tainted by the ugliness of bribery


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays from USAU

A drinking snowperson returns for the USAU holiday greetings.

[via USAU]

Tokay Reaches Fundraising Goal To Produce Ultimate Cleats

The company behind producing a cleat specific for ultimate players raised nearly $45,000 in 30 days. TOKAY's Kickstarter campaign started in mid-November and got off on the right foot by reaching 50% of its fundraising goal after just one day. Seventeen days later, the project was completely funded.

Tokay's campaign quickly went from TAWFUL ($0) to TOKAY ($31,118 goal) , then finished TAWESOME ($44,204).

Monday, December 19, 2016

Infographic: Bay Area Disc Association Annual Report 2016

In 2016, the Bay Area Disc Association put together nearly 80 programs which attracted over 11,000 registrants. BADA's 2016 revenue ($494,112) increased 66% compared to 2015.
Click for enlarged view
Overall, it was a busy and productive 2016 for BADA. Congrats to BADA for sharing their successes in an expertly designed manner.

RELATED: 2015 USAU Infographic

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Most Successful Play NYNY Ever Ran

"CROSS" was designed to be used as a response to teams that poach into the strong side throwing lane. It was labeled as: "the most successful play NYNY ever ran in terms of how often it worked."

Friday, December 16, 2016

Map: Locations of USA Ultimate Club Nationals (since 1980)

Since 1980, nearly half of the UPA/USAU championship events (37 total) for club ultimate teams have been hosted in the state of Florida.  Just 9 states* have ever hosted the season-ending tournament for club ultimate teams. As we already know Nationals for club ultimate has historically been held in October or November.

LOCATION OF CLUB NATIONALS (1980 through 2016)
Florida = 18
Texas = 8
California = 4
Washington, D.C. = 2
Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana = 1 each

*D.C. is a territory, not a state. The final in 1989 was played in northern Virginia.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

"Tin-th" Year Anniversary of the Sludge Blog

Today marks ten years since the very first published post - way back on December 15, 2006. Appropriately, the 10 year anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of tin.

Big thanks to those that have visited this blog with a strong relation to the sport of ultimate and an infatuation with Frisbees. There have been 3578 postings within these ten years (3653 days).

A hearty thank you to those that have ever shared a blog post via Facebook or Twitter or whatever is your social media du jour. Your support is very much appreciated.

It's fun to be able to share ultimate via this blog and Twitter. Hopefully, the blog somehow enriches your existing ultimate frisbee knowledge.

Thank you. 


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

USA Ultimate 2016 National Teams Combine for Impressive Record

In 2016, the USA Ultimate National Teams combined for sixty-two (62) wins and only one (1) loss.  USA Ultimate fielded a total 7 teams across 2 WFDF ultimate tournaments—World Ultimate and Guts Championships in June and World Junior Ultimate Championships in July/August. An incredible 0.984 winning percentage out of 63 games.

WUGC 2016
TOTAL 62 wins 1 loss
WUGC2016 = (45-0); 5 divisions: Men's, Men's Masters, Mixed, Women's, Women's Masters
WJUC2016 = (17-1); 2 divisions: Men (8-0) Women (9-1)

Dating back to the men's final at 2015 World Under-23 Ultimate Championships, the USAU National Teams had a 62-game winning streak stretching across 3 different WFDF ultimate tournaments until the Women's final at 2016 World Junior Ultimate Championships. Japan beat the USA's Women's under-23 team at WU23UC 2015, and then Canada took down the USA's Women's junior ultimate team at WJUC 2016.

Currently, USA's win streak at WFDF tournaments = 1 game (the Men's team win the final of WJUC).

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Breakdown of 2016 WUGC Streamed Games

The 36 games WFDF streamed during its World Ultimate and Guts Championships have amassed over 600,000 views. Men's division games made up of the almost 40% of the stream schedule and had over half of the view total for streamed gamed.

The Men's division led with the most ultimate games on the stream schedule with 14 (39%). Mixed (10 games; 27.8%) was second and Women's Division (8 games; 22.2%) was in third place. The Masters Divisions each had only 2 games streamed.

Men's streamed games comprise nearly 60% of the combined views for WUGC 2016.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Viewership of 2016 WUGC Ultimate Games

World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) livestreamed ultimate games during its 2016 World Ultimate and Guts Championships in June 2016. All 36 WUGC streams (live and re-watched) total 600,000+ views as of November 2016. As a comparison, UltiVillage's "The Greatest Ultimate Frisbee Highlight Reel...Ever!" uploaded August 2010 has been viewed nearly 550,000 views. The most viewed WUGC match was the Men's final between the United States and Japan - nearly 150,000 views; the next most-viewed game is nearly 100,000 fewer views.

If you were to combine the 18 (eighteen) least viewed games, their combined view total (143,479) would come close to the most viewed game (147,145).

TOTAL views of 2016 WUGC 
36 games = 638,791

Average Views of 2016 WUGC Ultimate Games, by Division
Men's (14 games) = 27,295
Women's (8 games) = 14,431
Mixed (10 games) = 10,148.4
Women's Masters (2 games) = 10,982
Master Men's (2 games) = 8882.5

Top-10 WUGC Games by Views
1. USA vs Japan (Men's Final) = 147,145
2. Australia vs Colombia (Men's) = 48,588
3. USA vs Colombia (Women's Final) = 31,042
4. Canada vs Great Britain (Women's) = 29,615
5. USA vs Canada (Men's Semifinal) = 29,567
6. Australia vs Great Britain (Men's Quarterfinal) = 22,778
7. Germany vs Ireland (Men's) = 22,601
8. USA vs Australia (Mixed Final) = 20,679
9. USA vs Japan (Men's) = 18,849
10. Japan vs New Zealand (Women's) = 15,285

Same chart as above, with color-coded divisions


Friday, December 09, 2016

Data Visual: WUGC 2016 Assists and Goals by Gender in Mixed Division

open bracket (ultimate) designed another beautiful data visualization of gendered assists and goals at the 2016 World Ultimate & Guts Championships for the Mixed Division teams. The graph shows all 24 teams; Australia and the USA met in the Mixed Division final.

Blue: male to male
Pink: female to female
Orange: male to female
Green: female to male
Dotted circle: how reliant was the team on one method of scoring? A large circle indicates reliance on one method of scoring (typically male to male), while a small circle indicates that the team spread the scoring around.

Most varied =  Japan
Least varied = Philippines

Mixed teams without a female goal assisted by a female = China, India, Philippines

[Original via Facebook; reformatted to fit by SLUDGE]

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Chart: Size Comparison of Early Frisbees

This informative chart comes from "Flat Flip Flies Straight!: True Origins of the Frisbee" book. It beautifully compares the diameter and cross-section from the original Flyin-Saucer (1948) design to a Flying Saucer (1957) to a Regular Frisbee - and some other popular disc brands.

Fascinating to see the differences between these early plastic flying discs. Look at the progression of these disc's rims; the slope started severe like a house roof (Flyin-Saucer) and gradually became more aerodynamic. As a comparison, today's disc for the sport of ultimate = 10.75" wide.

[chart via Flat Flip Flies Straight!]

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The World Games 2017 Calendar for Flying Disc (Ultimate)

The event calendar for The World Games 2017 indicates "Flying Disc" (ultimate) will be played early during TWG in Wroclaw, Poland.

The Flying Disc event between United States of America, Japan, Australia, Colombia, Canada, plus Poland will start right after Open Ceremonies on Friday, July 21 and conclude with the final on Sunday, July 23.

The full "Ultimate Ultimate Mixed" round robin calendar currently shows only the 5-game schedule; not the teams match-ups yet.

[h/t USAU WorldGames]

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

AUDL 2017 Championship To Be Hosted in Montreal

American Ultimate Disc League announced their 2017 Championship Weekend will be played in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. 
The 2-day event is scheduled for August 26-27.  The announcement did not detail where games would be played. Montreal Royal play home games at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium where the AUDL East Division team experiences excellent attendance.

The 2017 Championship Weekend is scheduled later than any previous AUDL championship.

Dates of AUDL Championships
2012: Aug 11
2013: Aug 3-4
2014: July 26-27
2015: Aug 8-9
2016: Aug 6-7
2017: Aug 26-27

If AUDL is still planning to start in early April, then the AUDL's 6th season will be the loooooongest season in its history.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Highlights of Madison Radicals and Wisconsin College All-Stars Game at Lambeau Field

Madison Radicals and Wisconsin College All-Stars scrimmaged during Green Bay Packers' halftime on Sunday. The 6-minute snowy ultimate (snoltimate) exhibition game on the Frozen Tundra in front of the 78,000 NFL fans was well received.

Madison Radicals (not wearing their special jerseys) were introduced as "Wisconsin's professional ultimate frisbee team" by the emcee.
The emcee does his best let's-get-ready-to-rumble with: "Let's play frisbee, gentlemen!"
The first point was a typical first point for an ultimate league -- lots of turnovers.
On the very first point, the game experienced another typical occurrence when a bystander got in the way of the field of play. A Green Bay staffer was clearing the end zone lines of snow just as a team was looking to score.

I applaud the experiment of using the actual football end zones as the ultimate EZ's - an idea I have supported since AUDL's first season.
There was no 'Lambeau Leap' during the ultimate game, though an ultimate disc was thrown into the stands after the match.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Madison Radicals Really, Really, Really Want Aaron Rodgers to Attend their Games

It started in 2014 with a free food incentive. After that season, free tickets were offered to Aaron Rodgers for each of Madison's home games - again and again.
For Sunday's showcase game in Green Bay, Madison is coming to him. And, they're bringing a personalized Radicals jersey for the Green Bay Packers' quarterback. (#12 on Madison's roster, Scott Richgels, may be concerned about his status with the team.)

Madison has repeatedly invited Mr. Rodgers to an AUDL game. I repeat: repeatedly.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Do Over: November 2016

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

  • A keepsake from Sharon Jones
  • Ultimate in the the Olympic Games! Or, maybe not.
  • Updated version of Flying Disc Sports promo
  • Makeup of Boston's championship club ultimate teams