Friday, September 29, 2017

Celebratory Tweets Qualifying for 2017 Nationals: Men's Division

On Sunday, sixteen (16) men's club ultimate teams from 8 Regional tourneys qualified for USA Ultimate's National Club Championship. The majority of teams from the men's division tweeted their accomplishment.
Austin Doublewide

Boston Dig
Boston Ironside

Chicago Machine
Denver Johnny Bravo

Florida United
Michigan-Ohio High Five
Minneapolis Sub Zero
New York PoNY

Philadelphia Patrol
Raleigh Ring of Fire
San Francisco Revolver
Seattle Sockeye
Southern California Condors
Toronto GOAT
Washington, D.C. Truck Stop

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle Gives Sporting Clue

Today's The New York Times crossword seeks 15 letters to fill the 3-downs clue: "Widely played sport developed at Amherst College in the 1960's."

Need a hint? Here's a history perspective.

Celebratory Tweets Qualifying for 2017 Nationals: Mixed Division

On Sunday, sixteen (16) mixed club ultimate teams from 8 Regional Tournaments qualified for USA Ultimate's National Club Championship. Here's a compilation of how the mixed division teams tweeted their accomplishment.

Bay Area Mischief
Boston Slow White
Boston Wild Card
Connecticut Metro North
Cincinnati Steamboat
Dallas/Ft Worth Public Enemy
Denver Love Tractor
Durham Toro
Fort Collins shame.
Madison NOISE
Minneapolis Drag'n Thrust
Minneapolis No Touching!
Philadelphia AMP
San Francisco Blackbird
Seattle BFG
Seattle Mixtape

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Celebratory Tweets Qualifying for 2017 Nationals: Women's Division

On Sunday, sixteen (16) women's club ultimate teams from 8 Regionals qualified for USA Ultimate's National Club Championship. Here's a compilation of how the women's division teams tweeted their achievement.

Atlanta Ozone

Bay Area Nightlock

Boston Brute Squad

Chicago Nemesis

Colorado Molly Brown

Columbus Rival

Madison Heist

Minneapolis Pop

Portland Schwa

San Francisco Fury

Seattle Riot

Seattle Underground

Texas Showdown

Vancouver Traffic

Washington DC Scandal

Toronto 6ixers

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Stats Comparison of 2017 AUDL MVP Finalists

The American Ultimate Disc League announced the 5 finalists for its Most Valuable Player award. Two players each from the South Division and West Division, 1 players from the East Division, and no players from the Midwest Division.

Here's how these players' *REGULAR SEASON* stats compare to each other:

RELATED: 2017 MVP candidates based on 2016 MVP stats.

[Data via UltiAnalytics; Chart by SLUDGE]

Monday, September 25, 2017

Chart: Performance of Nationals Qualifying Club Teams by Region and Division

Forty-eight club ultimate teams in 3 divisions and 8 regions have earned a bid to Club Nationals. Most regions went according to seed, except for very few exceptions.

Performance by #1 seeds
Overall, all #1 seeds at Regionals qualified for Nationals.

Men: 7/8 (87.5%) won their Region; 8/8 qualified for Nationals
>Chicago Machine (2-seed) won in Great Lakes region.

Mixed: 7/8 (87.5%) won their Region; 8/8 qualified for Nationals
>Dallas/Fort Worth Public Enemy (2-seed) won in South Central.

Women: 5/8 (62.5%) won their Region; 8/8 qualified for Nationals
>Austin Showdown (2-seed) won in South Central region.
>Columbus Rival (2-seed) won in Great Lakes region.
>Madison Heist (2-seed) won in North Central region.

Other broken seeds
Men: SoCal Condors (3-seed) won the 2nd/final bid in Southwest region
Toronto GOAT (4-seed) won the 3rd bid (of 4) in Northeast region.

Mixed: Connecticut Metro North (3-seed) won the 2nd bid (of 3) in Northeast

Women: Portland Schwa (4-seed) won the 3rd bid (of 4) in Northwest

[Data via USAU; Chart by SLUDGE]

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Qualifying Club Ultimate Teams For 2017 National Championships

All divisions in all 8 regions completed their Regionals to determine which club ultimate teams earned their region's bid to Triple Crown Tour's National Championships in Sarasota, Florida.

Below is an agglomeration of how qualifying Men-Mixed-Women club teams finished at their Regional tournament.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Map: Top-5 Ranked Club Ultimate Teams

The top-5 club ultimate teams from each division based on end of the regular season rankings represent 9 locations* across the continental US.
Four Seattle-based teams (BFG, Mixtape, Riot, Sockeye) are in top-5 of their division - and, atop the prize money list. Boston (Brute Squad, Slow White), San Francisco (Fury, Revolver), Washington DC (Scandal, Truckstop) are other locations with multiples. The remaining teams in the top-5 are: Denver Molly Brown, Michigan/Ohio HIGH FIVE, Minneapolis Drag'n Thrust, Philadelphia AMP, and Raleigh Ring of Fire.

*The interstate HIGH FIVE squad from Michigan and Ohio considered as 1 "location"

[Data via USA: Men - Mixed - Women; Map by SLUDGE]

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Chart: USA Ultimate Bid Allocations in the Triple Crown Tour Era

A total of 16 bids in each of the 3 divisions are allocated across 8 regions by USA Ultimate.  Bid allocation to Nationals includes a combination of automatic bids (1 per Region) plus 8 strength bids based on USAU's final Regular Season Ranking.
Bid Allocations (Men+Mixed+Women Divisions) by TCT Region [2013-2017]

At the top of the 2017 list is the Northeast region which averages 9.0 bids per season. The Great Lakes region averages 4.0 bids over the last 5 years. 

The Northeast and Northwest are the only 2 regions to have earned 10 or more total bids; 12 by NE in 20013, 10 by NE in 2015, 10 by NW in 2014.

The Northeast region (+2) had the biggest gain in total 2017 bids compared to 2016 totals. And that region swept at 2016 Nationals

Comparing 2017 bids to 2016 bids, two regions (Mid-Atlantic, -3; South Central, -1) lost bids, three regions (Southwest, North Central, Southeast) did not change, and three regions (Northeast, +2; Northwest, +1; Great Lakes +1) added bids. 

[UPDATED 9/22 10AM]

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Flatball Documentary Planning Sequel

In the final update to contributors to their crowdfunding project, writer and director Dennis "cribber" Warsen teased that a sequel is in the works for 2018.

Cribber briefly hints at the very end of today's update the sequel will cover ultimate history in the 21st century: "look for 'flatball 2000<, a history of ultimate too' shooting begins in 2018"

Flatball, the ultimate frisbee documentary focused around cribber's successful New York New York ultimate team and teammates, is currently available on Netflix as well as available via Amazon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Championship Rivalry Between Boston Brute Squad and Seattle Riot

It began in August 2015 at that year's Pro Flight Finale in Blaine, Minnesota. Boston Brute Squad (2-seed) and Seattle Riot (3-seed) would face off in their first championship game. Including their meeting at the 2015 Pro Flight Finale, Boston and Seattle have met in 8 championship games. Their most recent meeting in a championship game at the TCT Pro Championships 2017 (formerly Pro Flight Finale) in September.
Boston has won 5 of the 8 versus Seattle in championship games, including Brute Squad's National titles in 2015 and 2016.
History of Seattle Riot versus Boston Brute Squad (2015-2017) in Championship Games

In 2015, Boston won both meetings against Seattle in the championship games of 2 events. Not shown is Boston's 10-9 pool play win over Riot at the Pro Flight Finale.
In 2016, Boston and Seattle met in 4 championship games; Riot won Pro-Elite Challenge and Pro Flight Finale, and Brute Squad won US Open and Nationals.
In 2017, Boston and Seattle have each won 1 championship event of a Triple Crown Tour event. The 2017 U.S. Open Club Championships in August was notable in that it was the first ultimate tournament that Seattle and Boston competed in but neither advanced to the championship game.

Overall, these two elite women's teams have been consistent finalists at Triple Crown Tour events over the past 3 seasons.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Ultimate Tournament Director Appreciation Day

Today is Ultimate Tournament Director Appreciation Day!
From local leagues to national events; from sectionals to regionals, 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, volunteer recruitment, delegating, cleanup, score reporting and so much more – to organize competition for the sport of ultimate. For these reasons, September 18th 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 celebration.
  • Post a photo of a recent ultimate tournament and share it with a positive message.
  • 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.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Characteristics of a National-Level Ultimate Player According to USA Ultimate National Team Coach Ghesquiere

The 2017 World Games finished back in July with the USA winning gold again. USA Ultimate's World Games ultimate (flying disc) team's coach Alex Ghesquiere shared three things an ultimate player needs to make a national-level team.
1. Athleticism; a dedicated training regimen.
2. Technique; a well-rounded skill set.
3. Play; a lot. Experience playing in different situations.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kenny Dobyns Didn't Shower for Weeks To Gain Competitive Edge

USA Ultimate Hall of Famer Kenny Dobyns - of New York, New York fame - is not known to stink on the ultimate field except for this one very purposeful time. 

This story is recounted in the Flatball documentary and in David Gessner's ultimate memoir:
Late one season during their reign Ken Dobyns and Pat King determined not to shower all the way through Nationals as a sign of their grit and determination. For weeks they allowed the dirt of the city to build up on them, playing in rain and mud, their hair clumping and odor growing. 
Later, in a dual interview with Dobyns, Pat King admitted he had snuck in a few showers, though he hadn't used soap. "I had a job after all," King said. "I didn't," Kenny added; he hadn't showered once.
Smelling foul while playing ultimate was just another attempt by Dobyn's to fend off his defender. New York, New York ultimate team would win 5 consecutive US National championships from 1989 through 1993.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Chart: 2017 USAU Triple Crown Tour Bid Allocations

The 48 bids to USA Ultimate Club Nationals were allocated to the 8 geographic regions. The Northeast region earned the most bids with 9 (4 in Men's + 3 in Mixed + 2 in Women's).

Regions with the most bids...
in the Men's Division = Northeast (4)
in the Mixed Division = Northeast, South Central, North Central (3)
in the Women's Division = Northwest (4)

Compare to bids from past years.

[Data via USAU; chart compiled by SLUDGE]

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

AUDL 2017 MVP Candidates

With the AUDL season over, it's time for some MVP chatter. In collaboration with Stats Of The Game (SOTG), analysis was run to determine 2017 candidates based on the stats of 2016 MVP Dylan Tunnell.

SOTG assembled a visual reviewing the 2016 candidates.
As noted by SOTG, player's with a high number of assists coupled with a high completion rate is rare. Based on regular season stats of the 2016 MVP [18 Goals/66 Assists, 472 completions (92.7% completion rate)], comparable 2017 stats were posted by Mark Burton (Seattle Cascades) with 36 Goals/81 Assists, 326 completions (91.8% completion rate). Also in the conversation would be:
  • Pawel Janas (Chicago Wildfire) 9 G/85 A, 933 completions (92.6%)
  • Jon Nethercutt (Raleigh Flyers) 13 G/72 A, 472 completions (94.4%)

Regular season stats [via SOTG]

Only one of these players - Nethercutt - was on a team that made the AUDL postseason — Raleigh Flyers went (13-1) to win the regular season South Division title, but lost in the South Division Championship to Dallas. Adding to Nethercutt's 2017 MVP rΓ©sumΓ© is having the most "recognitions" of any AUDL player; he was recognized as Best Handler, Best Hucks, Best Flick and Best Hammer. As a comparison, Janas played on the (3-11) Chicago team in the Midwest Division and claimed 2 recognitions while Burton's Seattle Cascades went (7-7) in the West Division. A strange coincidence when reviewing stats with SOTG is Nethercutt's regular season completions totaled 472 which is the exact number of completions as the AUDL MVP in 2016.

[Stats and chart compiled by Stats Of The Game]

Monday, September 11, 2017

Early Logo Concepts for New York Empire

The New York Empire's shield is already a well regarded logo for an American Ultimate Disc League team. The final design by [Dustin] Wallace Design House features the iconic New York city skyline with the Empire State Building in the center.
Prior to the Empire's first AUDL season in 2013, there were five other marvelous logo designs including:
NY Empire logos alt

The color scheme is similar in all of the options. Eventually, the one logo with a definitive looking disc was chosen to represent the NYC AUDL team which has served them - unchanged - for five seasons.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bee Identification Guide

Time Magazine recently published this cartoon for identifying bees including the Fris-bee.

RELATED: Time's article on ultimate in 2013.

[h/t JH]

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Sludge Starts 39th Season Today

The fall season begins today! Congratulations to Team SLUDGE for  
...playing WAFC clique ultimate league since fall 1998.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Ultimate Frisbee is the Best Answer

Lois: Flagston: How was everyone's first week at school?
Ditto: We played ultimate frisbee in gym.
Abridged comic of full strip

Great answer, Ditto.

[via original post]

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Seattle Mixtape Records Two Triple Crown Tour Wins, Eligible for Bonus

Seattle Mixtape (nΓ©e Ghetto Birds) has won 16* games and lost only 3 during the 2017 club ultimate regular season. The mixed division ultimate team from Seattle has claimed crowning victories of the Triple Crown Tour at US Open (August) and at the Pro Championship (September). Those two tournament wins put them atop the list of prize money winners in the TCT.

TCT 2017

With a win at national championships (the third and final crown), Seattle Mixtape will also earn a $2000 bonus. Mixtape is the only club ultimate team from all divisions eligible for this monetary bonus. The Northwest Regionals is scheduled for September 23-24 in Corvallis, Oregon. USA Ultimate's National Championships is scheduled for October 19-22 in Sarasota, Florida.

Mixtape would not be the first team to win the triple crown; San Francisco Revolver won it (and the bonus) in the 2013 TCT season and again in the 2015 TCT season.

*2 games were against international teams and did not count toward their TCT W-L record.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

USAU Triple Crown Tour Prize Money by Region

Thirteen club ultimate teams representing 6 regions have won prize money during USA Ultimate's 2017 Triple Crown Tour. 

Two regions that have not won any prize money ($0) are the Mid-Atlantic and the Southeast. Revolution's win at the U.S. Open was chalked up to the "international" region. Seattle's ultimate teams have collectively won ~45% of the total prize money, while San Francisco teams have banked $3750 and Chicago teams has pocketed $1000.

By Division
5 different women's teams have won prize money and 4 different team in each of the men's and mixed division have earned TCT prize money.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

2017 Triple Crown Tour Prize Money Leaders

During the 2017 Triple Crown Tour season, thirteen (13) club ultimate teams have won prize money totaling nearly $20,000.

Total prize money = $18,750 (as of 9/5/2017)

With wins at US Open and Pro Championships, Seattle Mixtape is the only club team still eligible for the Triple Crown bonus (+$2000). San Francisco Revolver has more prize-earning wins than any other club team. Four different club teams from Seattle - Mixtape, Sockeye, Riot and BFG - have collectively earned nearly 45% of the TCT prize money totaling $8250.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Finals of USAU Pro Championships Air on ESPN 3

The finals of USA Ultimate's 2017 TCT Pro Championships (AKA Pro Flight Finale) in Everett, Washington (~30 miles from Seattle) will be broadcast on ESPN3 today. The winning team will win $1500 in prize money; second place teams pocket $500.

Mixed Division Final @ 1pm ET
San Francisco Blackbird (8) vs Seattle Mixtape (1)

Women's Division Final @ 3:30 pm ET
Seattle Riot (3) vs Brute Squad (1)

Mens' Division Final @ 6:00 pm ET
Chicago Machine (5) vs San Francisco Revolver (2)

Watch online via ESPN 3.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

On This Day, 1983: Melting Pot Won the First Women's Division Title at World Ultimate Championships

On this day (September 3) in 1983, USA's Melting Pot from Boston, Massachusetts, won the first women's division title at World Ultimate Championships (WUC). Four other women's teams competed at WUC tournament which was held in Gothenburg, Sweden, between August 29 through September 3, 1983.

How they entered the tourney as a pick-up team:
"One of the most fun adventures, and one memory I will cherish forever, is the story about how we got to be World Champions in 1983 in Sweden. I contacted the tournament organizers and made it clear that we were not the US Women’s National Team, but there''s a bunch of us women traveling with the (Boson) Rude Boys. Would it be okay if we competed in the tournament? And they said okay. We pulled together 8 women, which is really insane. One woman had never played before, and we picked up a woman from Belgium."

Lessons Learned:
"...From that experience as a leader, what I brought to the table there was if you don't ask, you don't get. So we opened the door to be able to play. And once we got there, you just give it everything you have. At the end of the week we ended up as so-called World Champions."
"if you don't ask, you don't get. So we opened the door to be able to play. And once we got there, you just give it everything you have."

Melting Pot's 8-person roster: Suzanne Fields, Kate Foulke, Mary Johnson, Daphne Rulf, Chris Rushlow, Corinne Corrigan, Patricia Van Halteren (Belgium), Kelly Waugh.

World Ultimate Champions 1983
WUC 1983 Champions: Melting Pot [photo via hartti]

Tournament Results:
WUC women's pool play games were played to 10 (the open division played to 15). Melting Pot went (6-0) in the 4-team pool play. The WUC Final was against Finland - who USA beat twice in pool play by the score of 10-8 and 10-6. USA (Melting Pot) would win the WUC championship over Finland by the score of 10-9.

The Boston Rude Boys also went (7-0) at WUC and win the 1983 WUC open division title.

[h/t Bent Ultimate]

Friday, September 01, 2017

There's a Song About Tossing a Flying Disc Called "Whiz Me a Frisbee"

Enjoy this 2014 tune ""Whiz Me a Frisbee" from Larry Nestor's album Songs of Life and Love.

Wait for the chorus: "Whiz me a Frisbee, that's the thing to do! Whiz me a Frisbee, And I'll whiz it right back, whiz it back to you (whiz it right back, whiz it back to you)."

Do Over: August 2017

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

  • AUDL 2017 season ended; San Francisco FlameThrowers earned its first AUDL title
  • Recap: 2017 EuroStars Ultimate Tour
  • Tribute uniforms from Madison NOISE
  • USA Ultimate's hype video