Monday, December 24, 2007

Ultimate related gifts?

I know not every celebrations Christmas, but as one who does and enjoys gifts...  Anyone asking for any ultimate specific gifts this year?  Anyone giving any?

If you are planning on giving an ultimate related gift, let us know about it.  There could be a chance there is something out there that we never knew we could give...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Senior Paper: Increasing the growth and legitimacy of Ultimate

Kimber Coles, a senior at Churchill High School, developed her senior paper on the subject of growing the sport of ultimate specifically in the area of the college women's division. The paper highlights a division of the NCAA that encourages emerging sports. The implications are huge if Kimber's proposal was to be taken, but even more interesting is the translation one could make to the high school division.

Many have discussed the issue of ultimate gaining varsity status in specific areas in the country. From my limited knowledge, the only schools that have gained this status are private schools. And the title 'varsity status' simply has meant the ultimate programs at those schools have been given the same support as traditional sports (paid coaches, guaranteed fields, and legitimacy by both administration and student body). The title has nothing to do with state-wide recognition.

From the one limited conversation I had with the athletic director at Churchill High School in Eugene, for ultimate to gain varsity status in the state of Oregon, it would take at least 40 independent schools with current ultimate teams to even begin the process of becoming sanctioned. For reference, there are 40 5A High Schools (Churchill HS is 5A and South Eugene is 6A) and over 300 total High Schools in all of Oregon. Varsity status would give the OSAA, the governing body of athletics in Oregon, complete control over the sport including influence of its' rules and officiating... This I believe is the greatest reason why there hasn't been movement in our country by those in the high school ultimate arena to push for official varsity status.

Kimber's paper looks at these same implications for the college division and is worth the read.

Her complete paper is below if you click "continue reading..."

What are your thoughts?

Kimber Coles
Churchill High School
Eugene, OR
2007 Senior Paper


Some people call it “glorified fetch” and others don’t call it a sport at all, but to the more than 20,000 ultimate frisbee players in the U.S., it is definitely a sport (UPA.ORG). Some would even say that it is the “ultimate sport,” and that is how it got its name. The year was 1960, and Jared Kass was playing frisbee football as a college student on the quad of Amherst College; the pre-curser to the sport we know today. He was running to catch a disc and feeling the joy of the moment exclaimed, “This is the ultimate game!” (Leonardo and Zagoria 4). Kass would go on to teach a few friends of his at Mt. Herman Summer Camp and the rest was history. Ultimate frisbee is now played by people as young as six and as old as 60. Ultimate frisbee is played by 2,211,00 people compared to 1,079,000 people playing lacrosse and rugby combined (Sporting Good Manufactures Association). In spite of this, the sport has yet to earn NCAA or National Collegiate Athletic Association recognition. The reasons for this are varied and complicated, and unfortunately it has caused the public to view ultimate frisbee as being on a lower level than more traditional sports like basketball, baseball, and football. The area that has struggled the most in gaining recognition and respect is women’s ultimate frisbee.
Now in its 28th year, ultimate frisbee is run and organized by the Ultimate Players Association. The UPA is a non-profit organization with its’ primary goal to make ultimate frisbee as widespread as possible, while maintaining the atmosphere that it began with. The UPA organizes and runs many high school, college, and club tournaments.
Ultimate frisbee is unique in that it does not have any referees; it is a self-officiated sport. The players on the field make their own calls. All players are trusted to have the integrity to make fair calls by something called the spirit-of-the-game. As the sport becomes more and more competitive, the spirit-of-the-game faces serious threats. In the 1986 Club National Championship game, it was reported that “defenders would blatantly run into receivers knowing the disc would go back to the thrower, or worse, hoping they would drop the disc” (Leonardo and Zagoria 67). As the sport has continued to grow, the question of spirit-of-the-game and referees has been a very debated topic. In a 2007 study, the UPA asked its members what they thought of having referees. Of those who responded, 18% felt that “referees would ruin ultimate and they should never be allowed”, 34% said, “It is dangerous territory and integrity of the game will be at risk”, 26% said “I might be okay with it”, 16% said, “I’d like to play with it, but only at certain levels”, and only 5% said, “It’s the future of ultimate and that it’s the only way” (UPA.ORG -Ultimate Revolution). What must the UPA change in ultimate frisbee in order for it to become an NCAA sport, how would this effect the spirit-of-the-game, and how could the spirit-of-the-game be preserved?
I believe that the UPA could easily meet the NCAA requirements for ultimate frisbee to qualify as an NCAA sport and would greatly benefit by doing this. The spirit-of-the-game would be challenged, and would require creative and collaborative solutions for its preservation.

NCAA Emerging Sport Status:
Ultimate frisbee must fit the definition of a ‘sport’. A sport is defined as a “physical activity engaged in for pleasure” (Merriam-Webster Online). Ultimate fits this definition easily in that it is both fun and qualifies as physical activity. Most people would say it is just as strenuous as a game of soccer or basketball. Ultimate frisbee is played seven on seven with a disc. The point of the game is to score by throwing the disc to one of your teammates in your opponent’s end zone. A player cannot run or walk with the disc and can only hold the disc for ten seconds. Most games are played to fifteen and have time caps at ninety minutes. The players on the field make all the calls. For example, if a player throws the disc to a teammate and feels that he or she is fouled on the throw and this has affected the ability to throw accurately, the player can call a foul. The opponent must then contest, meaning they disagree with the call made, or state no contest, meaning they agree that it was a foul, and the disc goes back to the thrower. Some calls the opponent cannot contest. A travel, for example, is a call that the opponent cannot contest. A travel is when the player takes too many steps with the disc or when the player moves his or her pivot foot when it has already been established. Again, all the players on the field are expected to act out of spirit-of-the-game to make their calls and decisions.
The NCAA has something called an emerging sport. “An emerging sport is a sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to provide additional athletic opportunities to female student-athletes” ( The purpose of emerging sports is to allow institutions to meet NCAA minimum sports-sponsorship requirements. To become an emerging sport there must be 20 or more varsity teams and/or competitive club teams that currently exist on college campuses in that sport. There are more than 215 registered UPA college women’s teams, according to the UPA’s score reporting system (UPA.ORG). There are more than enough college women’s ultimate teams in the U.S. to fulfill this requirement.

Also the sport must have other information that demonstrates support for that sport. For example, non-scholastic competitive programs demonstrate support. Ultimate has many non-scholastic competitive programs. There are over 115 women’s club teams. These teams have no relation to a school or university. Most large cities have ultimate leagues that are open to anyone and take place in spring and fall seasons. Another example of support demonstrated for ultimate is from companies that produce ultimate products. Gaia Ultimate was one of the first ultimate frisbee companies to emerge. Gaia is passionate about the development of the sport at all age levels. They believe in supporting grass root athletes at their point of participation by sponsoring leagues, tournaments, clubs, charities, and over 300 athletes annually ( There are also several other brands such as Five Ultimate, VC Ultimate, and Discraft that all support the growth and development of ultimate similar to Gaia.
If ultimate were to gain emerging sport status, all NCAA institutions wishing to sponsor ultimate at the varsity level would have to abide by all NCAA regulations. This would include limits on playing and practice seasons as well as recruiting regulations and student-athlete eligibility. These are reasonable and achievable requirements that the UPA has already put into some limited practice. If UPA achieved the standards of the NCAA, this would increase ultimate’s credibility as a sport.
To become an emerging sport one must submit a proposal that includes general information and rules of the sport. The UPA regulates all of the rules and rule changes; they have rulebooks and information about ultimate suitable for an emerging sport proposal. In addition to the proposal, 10 letters of support are needed. The letters are to come from 10 member institutions that sponsor or intend to sponsor the sport as an emerging sport. The letters must also include signatures of the president and the athletics director of those institutions. These letters have to be dated within one year of submission of the proposal. I believe there are many ultimate institutions that would sponsor ultimate in an effort to become an emerging sport. Washington Area Flying Disc Club, Sacramento Ultimate players association, and Mercer County Ultimate Disc League are just a few of institutions that would likely support the growth of women’s ultimate at the college level.
If college women’s ultimate became an NCAA emerging sport it would open the door to many other opportunities for these female athletes. It would also give ultimate a chance to be more legitimately recognized at the college level, show the NCAA how serious the UPA and its’ players are about the growth of the sport, and it would encourage sponsors to get more involved with ultimate in their region. Gaining an emerging sport status for its women’s division is ultimate’s first step towards recognition and professionalism. If women’s ultimate became an NCAA emerging sport, this could pave the way for men’s ultimate as well.

The UPA would not have to change the structure of its organization and could remain very involved in the ultimate community. Although the UPA would be giving up a portion of its responsibilities and authority to the NCAA, the two have similar mission statements. Their goals do not conflict with one another, making it possible for easy collaboration. The NCAA mission statement is; “to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount” ( The UPA mission statement is; “to uphold the Spirit of the Game including personal responsibility and integrity, and to provide a framework for players to organize and conduct competition and other activities related to Ultimate” (Parinella). Both organizations emphasize preserving integrity and fairness in competition.
Ultimate promoters can learn from the journey of other sports that recently took the leap to becoming NCAA. Lacrosse became an NCAA sport 1971. In that year the National Collegiate Athletic Association created the NCAA lacrosse championship, in which the top 12 Division 1 lacrosse teams compete in a tournament each year to determine that year's champion (Lund.) Lacrosse is similar to ultimate in that it is a new sport and growing rapidly. When lacrosse became NCAA it did not have an organization like the UPA organizing everything. It was not until January 1, 1998 that US Lacrosse was created. It is currently the national governing body of lacrosse. Its goals are also similar to the NCAA’s and the UPA’s. “Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse strives to provide programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the game. We envision a future which offers people everywhere the opportunity to discover, learn, participate in, enjoy, and ultimately embrace the shared passion of the lacrosse experience” ( It has been 36 years since lacrosse has been an NCAA sport and 9 years that the NCAA and US Lacrosse have been working together to help the growth of lacrosse. Now, lacrosse is one of the fastest growing team sports in the USA. Youth membership in US Lacrosse has doubled since 1999 to over 60,000. The National Federation of State High School Associations reported that in 2001 more than 74,000 students played high school lacrosse. With club teams, private schools, and states not yet having sanctioned lacrosse, high school-aged participation is actually much higher. Varsity college participation has grown by one-third since 1995, and collegiate and post-collegiate club teams field thousands of players as well (Lancaster).

We can see the possibilities for ultimate if it were to become an NCAA sport, but what would be the effect on spirit-of-the-game? Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate non-sportsmanlike conduct from the ultimate field.
At the 2007 Club Open Regionals tournament in Stevenson, CA, in the game to go to Nationals there were six significant calls made in the same final point between Portland’s Rhino and San Francisco’s Revolver. Rhino was up by two points, but Revolver had the disc. If Revolver could score before the hard time cap that was seconds away from being called, they could force one more point to be played and have a chance still to win. Unfortunately, those 6 calls made by both Revolver and Rhino players ended up taking more time than was necessary, and the hard time cap went on. Even though Revolver would score the last point, it would not matter as they were still down by one. Rhino would end up winning the game 14-13 and move on to Nationals three weekends later. So with Nationals on the line, it was clear that spirit-of-the-game was not primary to either Rhino or Revolver players, and thus spirit-of-the-game was sacrificed in order to win.
Unnecessary calls and such actions as “taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other ‘win-at-all-costs’ behavior are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players” (UPA.ORG). This is unique and unlike any other sport. Spirit-of-the-game is a large factor that draws many people to the sport.
Some people believe that ultimate frisbee needs referees to become more credible. If ultimate were to become an NCAA refereed sport, large aspects of the game would need to be changed and there could be a loss of spirit-of-the-game, one of the most important factors in ultimate. On the other hand, if ultimate were to remain the same, without referees, high level competitive games would become highly disputed. “Excessive calls are killing ultimate’s beauty, excitement, spirit and marketability. Something needs to change,” states Steve Courlang, team leader of Tsunami Ultimate (Leonardo and Zagoria 76).
Fortunately, there is a compromise. In 1990 Robert “Nob” Rauch, the national director of the UPA, launched the Certified Observer Pool (COP) to qualify observers. The observer’s purpose is to settle disputes between players on the field. If a player in the field calls “travel” on the opposing team and that player does not believe it is a travel, there is often a lengthy debate that slows the game down and usually results in the disc returning to the player who either did or did not travel. Observers help make this kind of call move faster as well as remove the abusive nature many calls are made with. Most games and tournaments do not have UPA observers, but at every UPA Championship Series tournament (Sectionals, Regionals, and Nationals) they are made available and are now required at the National semi-final and final games. Many people would agree that having UPA observers, not referees, at all major tournaments should be required. David Waters, a Liquid Assets player from Minneapolis states, “I feel that Sectionals, Regionals, and Nationals should have observers for every game. All other tournaments should continue with self officiated games, unless an observer is called upon.” (Ultimate News 5). This sentiment is shared by most players who responded to the UPA 2007 survey; Only 2% said “Observers will ruin Ultimate”, 10% said “it is dangerous territory”, 22% said “I might be okay with it”, an overwhelming 44% said, “I’d like to play with it, but only at certain levels”, 15% said “it is the future of the Ultimate and the only way”, and only 6% said “Observers don’t go far enough and refs should be brought in”. With observers present only in games where they are requested as well as at the furthest points in a tournament, spirit-of-the-game would remain intact. Observers help focus players on the spirit-of-the-game and only take that responsibility away when players struggle to remember its priority.
Ultimate: The Bigger Picture
As the sport becomes more and more competitive, preserving the spirit-of-the-game will become more challenging. Although observers are necessary at the NCAA level, there could still be club teams that don’t have observers or referees. Ultimate could still have the same spirit-of-the-game, just not at the NCAA level. Josh Seamon, UPA board of directors, states,
“Lots of people absolutely do not want an organization like the NCAA telling Ultimate players what to do. I'm really not sure how much that worries me since if Ultimate becomes an NCAA sport, there can always also be club teams. This is similar to the idea of refs in Ultimate -- Just because they are used on one level doesn't mean that have to be used on all levels” (

Josh makes a very good point here. The NCAA doesn’t need to regulate the rest of the ultimate community. It is simply a tool to help ultimate expand and grow and reach people who do not yet know about the sport specifically at the college level. I believe that ultimate frisbee can continue to hold strong the principles of spirit-of-the-game through its other levels of ultimate that would not be regulated by the NCAA.

Ultimate frisbee has changed a lot since its beginnings in 1968, but some things are still the same. It is still self-officiated, continues to hold spirit-of-the-game as a priority, and it remains as a club sport not yet recognized by the NCAA. Contained in these three issues are some of the most heated topics in the ultimate community. Should ultimate do away with self-officiating and adopt a system for referees? Should ultimate just abandon spirit-of-the-game as it often struggles at the highest level of play? And should the UPA release its hold on college ultimate to allow it to become officially recognized by the NCAA?
Ultimate should get observers for all NCAA endorsed games. This will help people respect ultimate and the rules. This will also allow spirit of the game to stay somewhat intact. And because not all ultimate games would have observers, only NCAA games, ultimate would still be run off of spirit-of-the-game at the youth and club level. Spirit-of-the-game should not be completely abandoned as it provides a highly unique aspect of sportsmanship that is especially important at the youngest age level. And, hopefully it would still be part of the game even at the NCAA level.
Ultimate needs to become an NCAA sport to continue growing and expanding. The growth and attention it would get from becoming an NCAA recognized sport would be a huge milestone for ultimate frisbee. “I think aligning collegiate competition with the NCAA is absolutely something that should be explored in depth. Seeing what the NCAA might be able to do for the sport of ultimate is a new way of approaching growth and one that could potentially be a huge boost to the sport,” says Josh Seamon. If ultimate frisbee were to become an officially recognized sport by the NCAA, it would help pave the path for other sports not yet recognized by the NCAA. It would provide female student athletes additional athletics opportunities. Lastly, it would give athletes playing ultimate new opportunities to play and enjoy the sport they have come to love so dearly.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

what the future could look like?

The discussion that has been going on in the last post, has gotten me thinking a bit visually. Whether it is productive or even useful, I know that I often get to thinking a few years down the road and what will the HS Ultimate Championships look like?

And for those thinking way in the future... What if we kept dividing before going to a State Tournament Model? What if the model looked more like Club division? Or maybe this is something where the emerging division of juniors ultimate could go... In other words, what if YCC eventually grew so large that there were too many teams requesting bids? Would we need to have some sort of regional tournament that would decide bids to a nationals? This could be interesting...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Easterns & Westerns Dates & Locations Set

2008 UPA High School Western Championships
Location: Independence, MO
Dates: May 10-11, 2008

2008 UPA High School Eastern Championships
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Dates: May 10-11, 2008

There were a few questions that some, including myself have asked and a few answers are now available.

Anyone else curious why they are being held on the same weekend?
The Westerns bid process was delayed due to complications. I have not heard what officially took place, but when Westerns & Easterns locations are typically announced at the previous Easterns/Westerns and there has been more than 6 months that have passed, it should be understood that there were problems finding a suitable spot. It should be remembered, that the UPA does not chose locations based on where they want the event to take place so much as they ask for bids and local bodies of ultimate to take up the charge. As indicated in Meredith's comment, the process takes a significant amount of work and preparation that individuals wanting Westerns or Easterns 2009 to come their direction, should get on the ball now.
That said, the question on why the SAME weekend is still not known officially. This year Memorial Day comes on the 26th of May, effectively killing the second to last weekend in May that has been used before for College Nationals. The weekend after, the 31st/1st is simply too late in the game for College Nationals, and thus is why College Nationals got bumped up (or at least that is my understanding of the logical problems). With College Nationals now on the 16/17/18, there are only two weekend left. Easterns was already set last spring for the 10/11, and with planning already underway, changing their date was not an option. This then means that those who put the bid in for Westerns must have only had the 10/11 weekend open. For those of you who have struggled in finding field space, keep in mind the scope and need for something like Westerns or Easterns. I imagine, and again do not know the official word, that there simply was nothing else available and thus we have Easterns and Westerns landing on the same weekend.
That said, when you think about the fact that both events are the same kind tournament, just held for different sides of the US, they should be on the same weekend... It simply means the UPA has to divide its' staff and figure out who will be at which...

How Independence, MO got chosen for Westerns?
I realize now after reading the question I posed and seeing the comments, that I might be insinuating that Independence is not worthy or at least not ideal... That was not my intention, only that I have not know of this location being used ever before. That said, the information on how this location was chosen has not been made available. The UPA is working on the websites now and I'm sure that we'll soon discover more about who put the bid in, where the fields will be, etc... And, as I indicated above, the UPA puts significant time into chosing the location for its' championships from Club to College to Juniors. (Though I would like to say personally, that after playing with Rhino at Club Nationals in Sarasota, FL... that location for Juniors would be sick!!)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

UCPC 2008

In the 10+ years I have spent entrenched in High School Ultimate many things have changed. There used to be around 15-20 teams in all of New England, now there are hundreds. Teams used to dream about 'going varsity', and now many teams have achieved that status. There used to be under 300 UPA youth members. Now there are just under 6,000. Teams used to have only 2-3 tournament options per season. Now they have far, far more than that. Tournaments used to be just about the only time lots of Ultimate players got together. Now we have things like the Ultimate Players and Coaches Conference.

On Saturday January 26th at Newton South High School in Newton MA, Tiina Booth and George Cooke will be hosting the second annual UCPC, an annual conference "dedicated to the promotion, teaching, and growth of Ultimate." The conference is composed of presentations on a wide variety of topics, along with an Ultimate Expo and panel discussions. The theme of this year's conference is "Preparation and Performance for the Sport of Ultimate." Here are some of the questions that the conference will address: "How do you prepare mentally and physically for a competition? How can you and your team perform well throughout an entire tournament? How can coaches and captains create a team environment which is healthy, focused, and competitive?"

The list of presenters is online right here, and it's one heck of a list! There really is something on that list for everyone. All throughout the day there will be an 'Ultimate Expo', which is sort of a fair for anything and everything Ultimate. There will be tables for various college and high school Ultimate programs, vendor booths, and various other Ultimate entities. In addition to the presentations and Expo, there will be four panel discussions that will cover High School Ultimate, The State of Women's Ultimate, Starting an Ultimate Business, and Professional Behavior in the Sport of Ultimate. Each of the panels will be made up of 4-5 experts from the field and they will answer a series of questions about their topic as well as talk amongst themselves and take questions from the audience.

So, who wants to be on the High School Ultimate panel? Here's are the requirements to be on the panel:
1) You have to be a current high school student.
2) You have to be able to get yourself to and from the conference. There will be no conference fee for panelists.
3) You have to like to talk in front of lots of people.
4) You have to email me at jseamon at gmail dot com with your contact information and some information on why you think you'd make a good panelist.

All panelist submissions need to be emailed in to me by midnight on Friday, December 14th. Chosen panelists will be notified by noon on Monday, December 17th.

The UCPC 2008 website is online right here. Registration information is not currently online but it will be soon. If you have questions about the event, send them to ucpc at buda dot org.

Last year 250 people attended the first ever UCPC. This year it would be safe to bet there will be lots, lots more people in attendance. For me that's the best part of the conference -- The sheer number of Ultimate people in one place, excited and energized to talk about Ultimate. I usually have to travel thousands and thousands of miles to connect with all of the people I interact with in one day at the UCPC. On top of that I get to attend classes on ULTIMATE!

It's amazing what happens in 10 years.

Friday, November 16, 2007

While RSD is being attacked...

Hey all,

for those of you who read RSD, you might notice that it (as happens every few weeks or months nowadays) is in the process of attacks from either a spam-bot or a derranged individual, the jury is still out.

Anyway, for those topics in ultimate that arent posted here directly, or that you dont feel pertain to the subject enough to put in the comments i encourage you to post on - its free, its moderated by you (so if you decide someone like the guy on RSD is not welcome you vote his stuff down and the things he posts will be removed)

So, if you havent had a chance to try it out before, check it out now, post whatever you feel like, and enjoy some level of decency not currently found on RSD between Frank and this new guy.

Hope this can help fill some of that ultimate-related discussion void in your lives right now...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pro (or Semi-Pro ultimate) - Would you be interested? Would you pay?

The topic comes up from time to time about a pro-league for ultimate (specifically recently on RSD). What the discussion ultimately boils down to though is - would people come to watch, and more importantly would they pay?

So here are a few questions for you on the topic, given the following...

-The rules of ultimate would remain as is, utilizing observers with consistent uniforms across all league games, making the calls they do currently.

-There would be 5 divisions with 4 teams in each. For the sake of more specific discussion - lets classify them as such -
Northeast: Boston, New York, Philly, DC/Baltimore;
Northwest: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Vancouver;
Southwest: LA, San Diego, Vegas, Phoenix;
Southeast: Atlanta, Florida, Raleigh, New Orleans?;
Central: Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver;

- Similar to the NFL, over the course of the season (summer into fall maybe?) each team plays those in opponents in its division at least twice, regular season record dictates berth into playoffs, culminating in a national championship.

- The games would be individual one on one contests, held in arenas at least as big as high school football stadiums (depending on ticket sales), either at night or on Saturdays to allow for attendance, there would be concession stands, half-time entertainment, merchandise available, announcers for the games, stats provided online (along with player profiles, pictures game highlight videos) etc. etc. - consider all the amenities provided by the most basic of minor-league baseball programs as requisites.

So given those basic constructs, as a high school ultimate player...

  • would you pay to watch a local pro-team play another pro-team?
  • would that be affected whether the games were to a certain number of points or timed?
  • how much would you pay for a regular season game ticket?
  • would you consider buying season tickets?
  • how much would you pay for a playoff or finals game ticket?
  • would you travel to another city to watch your home team play?
  • how much would you pay for a replica jersey for your team?
  • would you consider bringing your family, friends or others not involved with ultimate to a game?
  • if a home game were televised would you go to the game or would you watch it on tv?
  • would you support limits on who could play on these pro teams? (similar to NBA, must be over age 18, can't currently be playing for a college team etc)
  • how much would you pay for a poster of a favorite player from your home team?
  • would you aspire to play in such a league? even when salaries paid to athletes probably wouldn't amount to the median household income in the US?
  • would you be interested in this idea at all or is it entirely unappealing to you?

I realize these are all highly hypothetical questions, and feel free to make suggestions that i do not specifically ask, but i feel like this is an important discussion to have among this community, without fans of some sort, no pro-sports league works. Additionally to even begin to produce ideas for such a league there must be some base level of interest, and while the comments here might not provide Nike with motivation to sponsor such a league, surely they will demonstrate whether this idea is appealing at all in the first place.

im interested to see the responses, feel free to leave them in the comments...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Weekend open thread - 11/10-11/11

On the menu this weekend -

  • Tidewater tuneup (open) - UPA Score Reporter site
    • Will feature the tops from Virginia and Pennsylvania in Pennsbury, North Hills, Fox Chapel, LC Bird, Yorktownand Mt. Lebanon. 16 teams, more than likely a final fall tournament for many of these teams depending on the outcome it will decide the odds-on favorite heading into the spring season.
    • Other than a 10-15 loss to Columbia this past weekend Pennsbury has not lost a game since May 6th (to Paideia) - which includes PA State championship tournament, Easterns, the Rutgers invite, and most of their home tournament Fall Brawl. They are the defending champs, and at the moment the team to beat - however this will be the first time they face North Hills since graduations took Noah Saul among others from the Pennsbury Squad.
    • North Hills meanwhile has racked up a fairly impressive fall season, competing in Edinboro's Skylander Tournament - their only loss coming at the hands of an Edinboro Alumni team - beating Penn State and West Virginia along the way.
    • Yorktown takes the 3 seed coming into the tournament, their only loss thus far in the fall at the hands of Beacon HS who has not played either Pennsbury or North Hills yet. Even though the loss was 13-4, i would argue that this tournament will show much more accurately where they stack up in terms of other Easterns competition
  • Tidewater tuneup (women's) - UPA Score Reporter site
    • On the girls' side - 8 teams. I dont know much about any of them to tell the truth, Woodlawn finished the highest (3rd) at last years Easterns, but none of the other teams attended. Almost all of the teams in the division do not have any game results yet so its fair to say i think that this tournament could go in any direction, though id put the smart money on Woodlawn.
Feel free to add your own information in the comments, and/or score updates if you have them from the fields.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Weekend open thread

Who's playing who where?

According to the score reporter the only youth tournament is ...

But i know there are some individual games going on out there, or perhaps some tournaments that arent on score reporter. So feel free to post and discuss them in the comments...

Monday, October 29, 2007

UPA BoD voting closes on Wednesday!!! and a personal endorsement

A reminder: voting for the UPA's board of directors closes WEDNESDAY (Halloween) at 3pm EST - you can vote at any time though (so go vote now)

May i also add at this moment my personal endorsement for Josh Seamon.

Josh has been a contributor for this blog since March of 2006, he has coached St. Johnsbury Academy, and played college disc at Claremont before that, also currently plays for a mixed club team out of New Hampshire currently. He also runs UPA coaching clinics, started the Vermont Youth Ultimate League, and so much more, but more specifically...

Why should you vote for Josh?
Quite simply he has the interests of high school and youth ultimate in the forefront of what he would like to accomplish. Youth ultimate is the future of the UPA and the sport itself, and we need board members with this mentality. Additionally Josh has made efforts on both the national (on this blog and RSD) and local levels to find out what UPA members truly would like from their representatives. I personally think this connected attitude - not only of being available for contact - but actually seeking out the opinions of those who should be represented in the organization at large, is a great step especially in an organization in its comparative infancy such as the UPA.

Further, Josh has made it known that he would like to increase and better the online presence of the UPA. This is pure common sense and is an absolute must. Logical things like having the rosters of nationals teams available online for fans, connecting the local leagues with the national, giving all of the information to the people who want it. These are all things that have been mentioned in the comments of this website in addition to elsewhere and Josh hears the call. He is the man for the job and a guy that will get the job done.

The key points from Josh's candidate statement in his own words

  • First, I would like to see youth Ultimate continue to grow as fast as it has been for the past 5 years. I believe that a vibrant youth Ultimate community is the key to the growth of college and club Ultimate.
  • Second, I would like to see a dramatic increase in the number of women playing Ultimate, ideally so that there is an equal number of men and women playing the sport.
  • Third, I would like the UPA to work towards a more powerful online presence that integrates seamlessly into the lives of players and the functionality of leagues.

You only need to be a UPA member, it doesnt matter the age or how long you have been a part of the organization - in this election your vote counts, so take 30 seconds log in and cast yours. Forward the information to your teams and friends. If you've competed in a UPA event in the last year you are a member, so vote. More specifically - vote for Josh Seamon.

(Side note: this endorsement is not that of the site as a whole but rather just me personally. Though i think in the future that would be a cool thing for us to do, and so i think we will. So next election we'll discuss among all the contributors and come to a consensus and give a whole-site endorsement. This is not to say that the other contributors do not agree with me, this is just to say that i am only speaking for myself here.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007 reminder, when things are slow here....

As alluded to in previous comments on other threads, all authors of this blog are volunteers who thoroughly enjoy posting and talking about the high school ultimate scene. But unfortunately most of us cannot post as much as we would like and therefore some spectacular stories get lost in the downtime.

So just a brief reminder about - its a site where anyone can post stories, link to their individual blog entries or picture or video or anything else ultimate related for that matter.

So, if you post a recap of your team's recent tournament or post some pictures online from a recent game, or video from a practice or anything like that - sign up and submit the story. if you wrote about it and its ultimate related chances are other people would like to read about it (or watch it).

For those of you reading those things that are posted you can also comment on everything on the site, vote whether you like it or find it interesting, and in theory the best content will rise to the top.

So check it out, give it a try post some content, and have some fun:

Friday, October 19, 2007

UPA releases apps for next WJUC team

The UPA has released the applications for the junior national teams for 2008..

Check them out by clicking here

Do you plan to attend? Post your thoughts in the comments if you in particular plan to apply, thoughts on the process itself, the try out system etc.

note: APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY DEC. 31 get em in

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Faces

I just wrote up a post about recruitment for high school on my blog. In it I describe how Columbia recruits and the setup we have. How do other schools recruit in the fall? Do you have trouble attracting players or getting new people out to practice? Do you have the same type of club fair that we did? Let's hear about it ...

Below the fold action...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Voting open for UPA youth bumper sticker

Voting is now open for the UPA youth bumper sticker contest. You can vote by going to or by clicking here.

Feel free to post your arguments for one design or the other in the comments.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What does youth Ultimate want from the UPA's Board of Directors?

I've decided to go for it and run for an at large position on the UPA's Board of Directors.

Voting it open from now until the end of October and any UPA member can vote -- You don't have to be 18.

Over the next month I will be attempting to engage as many people in the US Ultimate community as I can on the topic of what they would like to see the UPA's Board of Directors do for them. From the PlayUltimate community I am particularly interested in:

What is the US youth Ultimate community looking for in a Board candidate?

How can the UPA better serve the youth Ultimate community?

Would you like to hear my position on any issues in particular?

....anything and everything you'd like to say about the UPA.

I've put up a page detailing all of the information that's currently available on my candidacy right here:

Feel free to post your comments and questions in the comments section of this post or email them to me directly at jseamon at gmail dot com.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What is your team doing right now? (open thread)

Sorry for the lack of updates on my part, extremely busy but excuses are like... never mind.

Anyway - how is recruiting going for your team, games already start? How is your team's season going?

Post any game results and recaps you have, any team any part of the country. Lets hear em.

(or talk about whatever you would like)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rhino ECC 2007 Highlight Video

Though this is a stretch to put up on playulti as this is a Club Open video, Jacob Janin and former Eugene high schoolers still make the cut in a few of the highlight sequences.
Mostly, there just hasn't been anything new here in a while, and I just finished this video last night.

Rhino showed up as the 6th seed in their pool. Thinking we'd break
easily, that weekend we were humbled and pushed to a new place of motivation. Here is the highlights from our weekend.

ECC Highlight Video Links:
StageSix Stream/Download - divx - 1280x720 - 175MB

iPod Video - mp4 - 640x360 - 70MB

Webstream - mov - 640x360 - 78MB

Youtube Stream - 320x240 - (low quality and last resort)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Principles - 2nd Draft

2nd Drafts for The Principles of Defense & Offense
(And, a quick overview of one way to teach Vertical & Horitzonal Stack)

Thank you to all who have posted and sent me their thoughts on how and what to teach. And let me remind you that this is just a 2nd draft. There have been many who have probably done something like this, and most of us at least have it in our heads... But, putting it down in words has really been helping me put into perspective what is most important and what progression to go through in teaching ultimate.

Special credit should be given to Kyle W. and ThePulse for each of their valuable comments.

For the full 2nd draft, you need to click the 'continue reading...' link (otherwise this post would take up way too much space). As I get more comments, I'll continue to revise this and potentially make another draft.

1. Successful Defense moves from ‘a’ to ‘b’ to ‘c’ (but is still successful if all we do is ‘a’):
a) Frustrating the offense (ie: forcing offense to make more throws than desired)
b) Causing a turn-over (ie: forcing a bad throw, getting a point block, or a D)
c) Converting the turn into a break-point
2. Execute Individual Fundamentals: MARKING
a) Have Field Sense (be aware of cuts, where your people are, etc)
b) Keep decided upon force and or plan (ie: don’t get broken or don’t let the around out, and don’t get greedy for hand/foot block)
c) Start the stall count immediately (get quieter as count gets higher to keep offense in the dark)
d) Stay balanced and use feet to shuffle back and forth (be on toes and move whole body without lunging)
e) Dictate what throw you want to give her (ie: against the wind low arms, forcing releases that open up into the wind, while going downwind, arms higher, forcing throws that get pushed down into the ground)
f) Vary distance on the mark (give space as stall count increases to avoid drawing a foul that resets the count)
3. Execute Individual Fundamentals: GUARDING
a) Have Field Sense (know where the disc is, who has it, and what the stall count is at to be able to adjust position as while knowing where your girl is at all times)
b) Mentally decide you are not letting your girl touch the disc (because you are better than her)
c) Dictate what you want to give her (ie: if the thrower can't huck, force her out, if she's taller than you, force her under but be on her hip)
d) Generally put yourself between cutter and disc (her cut will follow her hips)
e) Run smarter than your girl (ie: doesn’t always have to be harder, faster, or longer)
f) Decide when to bid (execute proper form, initiate stall count if you miss the bid as you land, run through disc if you get the D unless you are able to catch it)
g) Balance aggressive man D with taking away as much open space as possible (ie: smart poaches and zone positions)
4. Execute Team Fundamentals
a) Play pissed off D (ie: get yourself in the mindset that we're giving them our disc on our field and we want it back…)
b) Constant Communication (especially for switches, dumps, and set defensive plays like zone, junk, etc)
c) Keep pull in-bounds ALWAYS (then value distance, float, and difficulty to catch)
d) Cover Pull (Get down as fast as possible to allow as few touches as possible by the offense)
e) Exploit all possible weaknesses in offense (every game will be different, and every team will have weaknesses)
f) Bigger sideline presence (Both encouragement and specifics like IOs, Arounds, Picks, Ups, Strikes, etc)
5. Adaptability (do what works until the offense figures it out)
6. Know the rules (ignorance is unacceptable)


1. Successful Offense keeps possession and moves the disc as simply, quickly, and easily as possible into the end-zone 2. Execute Individual Fundamentals: THROWERS
a) Have Field Sense (know your cutters, what they want, what they can do, what they cannot do, etc)
b) Make high percentage throws (balance in patience and urgency to make best of potential situation by holding disc for best cut while desiring to move the disc as fast as possible)
c) Create space for your release point (use proper fakes and balanced stepping out)
d) Develop widest range of possible release points (from high to low, backhand to flick)
e) Be aware of stall-count (make sure to turn to dump at designated count)
3. Execute Individual Fundamentals: Cutters
a) Have Field Sense (know your thrower, what they can throw, what they cannot, and where the best cut is, etc)
b) Make smart cuts (always harder, always into space that best gives opportunity to advance the disc)
c) Take what you want from him who is guarding you (do not let them dictate what you get; take it)
d) Move into your opponent and make them turn their hips (get them to choose a direction and go the opposite way)
e) Keep your body between the disc and your opponent (lowers the successfulness of a bid on you)
f) Catch the disc (“If you can touch it, you can catch it”, and get two hands on the disc as much as possible)
4. Execute Team Fundamentals
a) Play chilly O (ie: the disc is in our possession and we are in our happy place just playing catch)
b) Constant Communication (on the field and on the line before receiving the pull)
c) Move the disc as fast as possible off the pull (punish teams for their bricks and laziness getting down)
c) Bigger sideline presence (Both encouragement and specifics like zone, move the disc, etc)
5. Adaptability (take what the defense gives you and be willing to change if things are not working)
6. Know the rules (ignorance is unacceptable)

OFFENSE: Two Major Stack Variations

1. Vertical Stack - (the bread and butter of ultimate)
a) Lay-out
-2 handlers & 5 cutters
-Stack set ‘vertically’ in the field (placement can be from the live side to the dead depending on desired flow)
-Front of stack should be somewhere between 5 and 20 yards off the thrower (closer in the end-zone)
-second handler (dump) sets up perpendicularly 10 yards away from the handler with disc
b) Play called on the line (who will handle the disc initially, and cutters assigned order and whether they will be in or out cuts)
c) On pull, stack is set-up immediately and handlers look to move the disc into the middle of the field
d) Cutters initiate by going into their opponent. Cutters are looking to get her opponent to turn her hips. Then cutter takes the direction her opponent’s back is facing and thus not able to cover.
e) As cutter makes catch, first look is back to the handler if they are moving faster than their mark. Second look is back up field for continuation cut from next cutter.
-If the disc goes back to the handler, then the cutter returns to stack as fast as possible, the dump moves up field, and the handler with disc looks for an out cut immediately.
-If the disc goes to second cutter, handlers communicate with first cutter where to go (often they will push them to clear out and return to the stack, but dump could move into the stack with the first cutter now becoming a handler/dump.
e) As the disc moves up the field, the stack keeps moving up the field to keep open space between thrower/dump and stack.
f) Cuts continue until disc reaches the redzone (the space within 20 yards of the endzone). Often, the thrower and dump will move the disc into the endzone on their own by up field cut or simple back dump cut and around to front of the stack (see g below).
g) when cutter is looked off by thrower and stall count reaches 5, or if the thrower simply commits to the dump for a reset (often when the disc is on the sideline), the following must take place:
-Stack immediately ceases in-cuts to give space in front of thrower for dump
-Dump makes one of the two cuts:
1) Dump cuts up field and she has open huck look, back of stack cuts out for continuation throw
2) Dump cuts down field and she has around look, first in the stack cuts to dead-side for continuation

2. Horizontal - (classic HO stack)
a) Lay-out
-3 handlers & 4 cutters
-Stack set across the field 'horiztonally'
-Distance should vary depending on our throwing ability and weather (wind/rain) (typically 20 yards forward from handlers)
-second handler (dump) sets up perpendicularly 10 yards away from the handler with disc
b) Play called on the line (who will handle the disc initially, and cutters assigned order and where to cut)
c) On pull, stack is set-up immediately and handlers look to move the disc into the middle of the field
d) Cutters initiate by going into their opponent. Cutters are looking to get her opponent to turn her hips. Then cutter takes the direction her opponent’s back is facing and thus not able to cover. Often though in a H stack, opponents will try and team up to cover cuts. If this takes place, cutters can often flood the one opponent with both players and splitting them.
e) As cutter makes catch, first look is back to the handler if they are moving faster than their mark. Second look is back up field for continuation cut from next cutter.
-If the disc goes back to the handler, then the cutter nearly always becomes a dump, the furthest handler moves into the stack, and the handler with disc looks for an out cut immediately.
-If the disc goes to second cutter, handlers communicate with first cutter where to go (in an H stack, the cutter will most often become a handler and furthest handler will move into the stack, but this is not set in stone especially if cutter is not confident in handling).
e) As the disc moves up the field, the stack keeps moving up the field to keep open space between thrower/dump and stack.
f) Cuts continue until disc reaches the redzone (the space within 20 yards of the endzone). At this point, the H stack shifts into a V stack to create better space… Otherwise, the defense will simply play under our cutters and force us to throw low percentage over the top throws. Often, the thrower and dump will move the disc into the endzone on their own by up field cut or simple back dump cut and around to front of the stack (see g of V Stack).
g) when cutter is looked off by thrower and stall count reaches 5, or if the thrower simply commits to the dump for a reset (often when the disc is on the sideline), the following must take place:
-Stack immediately ceases in-cuts to give space in front of thrower for dump
-Closest dump cuts up field and she gets the disc and has open huck look, someone (best option) cuts out for continuation throw. If closest dump cut does not get the disc, then she keeps clearing out into the stack while second dump cut immediately comes over and does one of the two cuts:
1) Dump cuts up field and she has open huck look, back of stack cuts out for continuation throw
2) Dump cuts down field and she has around look, first in the stack cuts to dead-side for continuation

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Defensive Principles - Your Thoughts?

Defensive Principles (rough draft #1)

1. Successful Defense moves from a to b to c (but is still successful if all we do is a):
a) frustrating the offense (ie: forcing them to make more throws than desired)
b) causing a turn-over (ie: forcing a bad throw, getting a point block, or a D)
c) converting the turn into a break-point

2. Execute Individual Fundamentals
a) we play pissed off D (ie: we're giving them our disc on our field and we want it back)
-mentally decide you are not letting your guy touch the disc (because you are better than him)
-take away what he wants (ie: if he wants to go out, give him the in)
-run harder, faster, and longer than your guy
-decide when to bid (layout)
-execute proper form
-start stall count if you miss the bid
-run through disc if you get the D (unless you catch it)
-get between the disc and your guy (unless otherwise otherwise decided)
c) MARKING 101
-don't get broken (keep force)
-start the count immediately (get quieter as count gets higher)
-stay balanced and on your toes
-hands pointed down with arms out but up (ie: it is always easier to move them down)
-vary distance on the mark
-initially in game, see how close you can get before drawing a foul
-back off slightly as stall count increases as not to draw a foul that resets the count
-follow the eyes of the mark (not their body or disc)

3. Execute Team Fundamentals
a) communication (especially for switches, dump, and set defenses like zone)
b) keep pull in-bounds always (never give up a brick and allow as few touches as possible by the offense)
c) field sense (ie: everyone keeps their head on a swivel, no swill ever gets caught by offense)
d) take away as much space as possible (ie: smart poaches and zone)
e) exploit all possible weaknesses in offense (on going discussion in each game)
f) bigger sideline presence - (also known as 8th man)

4. Adaptability - do what works until the offense figures it out

5. Know the rules - (ignorance come spring season is unacceptable)

-Defense is where the new and or worst players play
-It is okay to let the offense score (ie: they're supposed to)

Offensive Principles - Your thoughts?

I've been working on the basic fundamentals we want to teach new players, and was curious what other people think about the following Principles and then basics on styles of stack offense... I won't take offense at anything said as this is still a very rough draft...

Six Principles of Offense:

1. Move the disc as simply and easily as possible into the end-zone while retaining possession
2. Execute fundamentals with hard cuts, high percentage throws and consistent catches
3. Develop Field Sense with balance in patience and urgency to make best of potential situation (ie: holding for best pass while desiring to move the disc as fast as possible)
4. Understand essentialness to taking and creating space in the lanes
5. Respect the need to do this as a Team
a) communication - both speaking and listening b) importance of 70 seconds on the line before receiving the pull - (ie: listen to captain) c) learning your team-mates tendencies (throwing preferences, speed, cuts, etc) - especially between handlers on the dump
6. Take what the defense gives you and be willing to adapt and be original

2 Major Stack Variations:
1. Vertical Stack
a) 2 handlers, 5 cutters

b) often use a slight angle to setting stack to create space in the live side (but this changes as what side movement is desired, ie: move stack to live side for dead side flow
c) cutters are assigned a number for set play, but flow often dictated without set numbers and known order

d) typically use 'lupa' cuts to create space for yourself (ie: taking your person out first and then back into the disc, but always take what the defense gives you)

e) cuts are repeated until disc reaches the endzone

f) when breakdown takes place, disc is reset to dump

2. Horizontal
a) 3 handlers, 4 cutters across the field 'horizontally', typically 20 yards in front of handlers

b) a need for greater handler presence and movement between those three

c) cuts come in pistons, but can use diamond and even flat cuts where space is given.
d) communication between cutters imperative and often done as partners either in middle or on side

e) a special emphasis on fast movement of disc and use of 'dish' passes back to handlers following hard in cuts

f) when breakdown takes place, disc is reset with one of two dumps
g) when disc reaches the endzone, offense will more than likely shift to a Vertical Stack to create better space.

DEVYL Team Registration Deadline 9/17

The last day for teams to register for DEVYL is September 17th.

Also, the league has been approved for UPA sanctioning. Register now!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Top Eastern HS Girls Team for 2008

Not sure why this one didn't get up there, but here are the ladies from the east coast.

Create polls and vote for free.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Top Western HS Girls Team of 2008

Again, only Westerns teams listed here.

Create polls and vote for free.

Create polls and vote for free.

Top Western HS Open Team of 2008

Again, same things for the Westerns Division (read below on the Eastern Poll for criteria of teams being listed). Here it is much simpler as these are only the teams from the 2007 Western Tournament.

Create polls and vote for free.

Create polls and vote for free.

Top Eastern HS Open Team for 2008

Taking from at least one comment, the discussion would like to be started. So, here is maybe a nice way of beginning that discussion... Voting more than once, though possible, skews the results, so just vote once. And, you may wonder why some teams are not on here and others are. I simply took the standings from this last year's Easterns and then added the only other teams listed on Score Reporter with an RRI in the top 20 on the east coast (I didn't include any teams with less than 10 games)

Create polls and vote for free.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Youth Club Championships 2007: Flood HL Video

The 2007 Youth Club Championship Oregon: Flood Girls Team video is now available. This unique tournament experience pitted the top 100 some U-19 girls in a 7 team round-robin format. Everything took place in Blaine, MN on August 11th & 12th. And though this is our video, highlights from each game are shown (not just ours).

ipod video - mp4 - (640x360) - 199MB
stage6 divx stream - divx - (1280x720) - stream

googlevideo - (320x240) - stream
(use this as a last resort, because the quality puts the video to shame)

(Though I did not want to put out a lower quality version, there have been requests made.  I cannot upload this video to youtube as they have restrictions over 100MB, but this is now available on googlevideo to see.  The quicktime stream that I normally do was not getting much use at all in previous videos and its' a headache to get to work right now.  So, I leave you with these three sources)

DEVYL Registration and Google Group

The Delaware Valley Youth League (DEVYL) league website and registration page are located at:

There is a Google Group for the league with important league information and forms at

Registration has begun! Everyone must register online.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Rutger's University High School Invitational

I always think it's fantastic when non-Youth programs reach out in a big way. I would love to see more college programs put on events like this.

Rutgers University is proud to present its first High School invitational tournament on October 13-14, 2007.

We will host 12 juniors teams for pool play on Saturday and bracket play on Sunday. All teams are guarenteed 7 games. Food and water will be provided. The tournament will include quality competition against other juniors teams, plus the chance to learn about Rutgers and the Rutgers men's Ultimate team.

Bids are due by Friday, September 21st. Teams will be notified of acceptance by Friday, September 28th. The tournament fee is due on Friday, October 5th. Checks should be made out to "Rutgers, the State University".

Please email bids to ru.tournament AT with the subject line "ARJI 07". Please include the name of your team's high school, your team's name, spring '07 results, expected team strength in spring '08, and a brief team bio. Housing may be available to teams coming from considerable distances; if your team will need housing, please indicate the number of people (players, parents, and coaches) and for which nights (Friday, Saturday, or both) you will need it. Please bear in mind that we cannot commit to providing housing for teams, but will try to accomodate you if we can.

From Exit 9 with love,
Machine Ultimate

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Oregon Flood YCC Girls Video Preview (extended)

I would like to give a preview to our YCC film coming soon...

Friday, August 31, 2007

Announcing New Youth Fall League

Captains and Players,

I'm excited to announce the formation of a new youth league in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area. In order to strengthen the region's representation on a national scale (at the summer Youth Club Championships) and provide more opportunities for players and teams to play and recruit in the fall, this league is open to anyone born in 1989 or later. Any league participant is eligible to represent the region in either the Open, Girls, or Mixed divisions at the 2008 YCC's, provided they are born after May 31st, 1989. Also, the league is open to several categories of players and teams, combining aspects of both preselected and hat/draft leagues. Depending on interest, we are trying to develop both a Division I and Division II, as well as a Girls league. Registration will be open to any of the following:

Full Teams: Any group of 12 or more players may register in the league as a full team. This team will not pick up other registered players, and is a way for high school teams or groups of friends to play together in the fall. Roster additions will be permitted until late in the season, in order to accommodate any new recruits a team may be able to muster. In rare cases, if teams of 10 or 11 can guarantee attendance, they may petition to enter as full teams.

Partial Teams: Groups of 5 to 11 players that want to play together but can't field a full team. Or parts of high school teams that are splitting in order to get people more experience. Partial teams will combine with other partial teams, packages, and individuals in order to form teams large enough to compete.

Packages: 2 to 4 players who want to play together. Packages will be added to the rosters of partial teams, or combined in order to form teams of their own. These can be a couple of friends, the nucleus of a high school team, etc.

Individuals: Players signing up on their own. This is ideal for someone who has never played organized youth ultimate before and wants to get a taste of it before starting their own high school team, or someone out of high school who is still young enough to play, and so on. All girls must register as individuals.

Currently, we are trying to get each team to play two games per weekend, both on the same day. Depending on the number of teams and field availability, this may change. Right now our possible field locations are Edgely in Philadelphia, MCUDL in Trenton, and Washington Road in Princeton. Our tentative fall schedule starts play on September 22nd and ends with a league championship on November 10th and 11th. This will be (pending acceptance of our application) a UPA-sanctioned league.

If you are interested or able to play, please send me an email at with your name and how many people you think you or your team will be able to send. More information will be released in the next two weeks.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kleinman Eruption Highlight Video

Kleinman Eruption
August 4th & 5th 2007
Portland, OR
Club Mixed Tournament
Churchill HS Ultimate HL

Another highlight video from us that I forgot to get up and online. You can see higher quality versions on our website here:
quicktime stream

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Luke Johnson moves to the Midwest

It is a little late notice, but I wanted to let those who may care that I've moved from Eugene, OR and my coaching position with Churchill High School (and the middle schools) to pursue a seminary degree in Chicago, IL. I am now here in Chicago, slowly getting settled with classes that started two days ago. I have been honored to be the coach at CHS for the last 4 years and been part of the amazing ride our boys and girls have let me share with them on. Saying goodbye to them was the hardest thing I've done, and I will miss them more than they will ever know.

I also will no longer be the Oregon contributor and the one who will spew forth high light videos many considered beautiful, while others considered obnoxious.

I hope to get involved in the ultimate scene here in Chicago, but for now have made connections with the college teams here on campus that I helped start 5 years ago. With another year of college elligibility, I plan on playing a little more disc than I coached. I even plan on continuing to play with Oregon's Rhino team this club season and plane tickets are already bought for the Northwest Regionals (and hope to buy ones for Nationals).

I know that I'll be getting back into juniors ultimate some day, but for the time being I hope to follow Churchill and others through this blog and through hopefully more than a few highlight videos.

-luke johnson
former churchill high school open & girls coach

(ps - there will be a YCC Oregon Girls Highlight video coming as soon as I can finish it up)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Preparing for the fall

(consider this an open thread)

Today is the first day of classes for many college students (and some high schools id wager), which alludes to the fact that fall ultimate is right around the corner.

This begs the questions

  • What are you doing to prepare? In terms of recruiting, training, captains, organization, planning, schedule setting etc....
  • What have you done to prepare?
  • When does your season start?
  • Will you be playing as a high school or as a local youth club team?
Or you can talk about whatever you'd like.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to PlayUltimate (2 years and counting!!)

Well, we shamefully neglected to recognize our own birthday... again. Two years ago on August 2nd this site was started with a shoddy blogger template and a dream. Yada yada nostalgia.

A huge thank you though to all of you who come and read, and post feedback, and email the site and play in the tournaments and give us fodder for discussion. I truly enjoy doing this as do the other contributors, and we appreciate you stopping by to read every once and a while.

Over the past two years more than 120,000 of you have come to interact at rates between 300 and 500 a day, pouring over the almost 400 posts to date.

A little recap of where we've been....

A few months ago we released a place where anyone can submit ultimate-related news, content, links, videos, pictures. Then the community of readers decide what is cool, there is the possibility to comment on everything thats added (with nested comments, so beautiful). It has been a huge success, and without much publicity at all has grown to 70 registered users and more than 100 submitted entries in just a few months. I strongly encourage you to check it out, register and submit a few stories and comment on the ones other people submit. The more who use it the more useful it will become to everyone.

Now, you can also drag a link onto your toolbar which will allow you to submit whatever site you are currently viewing with just a simple click - making it even easier to submit things to the site.

As a result of the scope of PlayUltimate expanding I decided to give a name to all the enterprises as a whole - PlayUltimateMedia, which you can check out at In addition to eventually holding information about the "company" you can also see the latest updates from all the different sites in one place.

And a look at where we are headed...

Since the beginning ive had no intention of keeping things small. As ultimate grows, so will we. We've added wonderful contributors over the years to the blog and now everyone can contribute on But stlil we remained primarily focused on the United States.

Well today, in honor of our second year at this gig we are proud to announce PlayUltimateCanada. The latest in what will hopefully become an ever expanding network of quality sources for ultimate-related news and commentary.

We are still searching for a few contributors for the site, so if you live in Canada or follow high school ultimate there please email the site. We are hoping for PlayUltimateCanada to be just as successful as the flagship site so that leading up to worlds next year we will have a ton of international content and information about more of the teams.

So again, thank you for visiting, tell your friends about the site, join the Facebook group, link to the site, you can add the headlines by clicking the link on the lower right hand side, subscribe to the RSS feed.

Happy birthday to us, two years and counting - we couldn't do it without you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More americans play ultimate than Rugby, Lacrosse

From the 2007 SGMA (sports goods manufacturer's association) survey, ultimate has more "frequent participants" than field hockey, lacrosse, fast-pitch softball, roller hockey.

Via the UPA newsletter...

The Sporting Goods Manufacturer's Association (SGMA), the trade association of leading industry and fitness brands, included Ultimate in their 2007 Sports & Fitness Participation Report and the numbers are impressive.

This year's SGMA Sports & Fitness Participation Report has overall participation figures for 86 sports in eight different categories (aerobic activities, conditioning activities, strength activities, individual sports, racquet sports, team sports, outdoor sports, and water sports). Ultimate was included for the first time and ranked higher than Rugby and Lacrosse, two comparable field sports. To request a full complimentary report from the SGMA, please click here.

Participation Type (x's per Year) Casual (1-12) Regular (12-24) Frequent (25+)
Soccer 6,214,000 4,770,000 3,381,000
Ultimate 2,211,000 1,038,000 824,000
Lacrosse 804,000 45,000 305,000
Rugby 275,000 29,000 379,000
so consider bringing out that statistic next time someone decides to spout the participatory inadequacies of ultimate.

(a side note, we know that much of the growth has come for ultimate in the youth division... aka you. congratulations, and lets continue to grow!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What do you want from the UPA?

As mentioned previously, PlayUltimate will be conducting a series of polls / surveys to figure out what this community (high school ultimate players and fans) would like from the UPA.

Consider this the first exploratory round. Post anything you think you would like, as someone who is involved with high school ultimate, from the UPA.

The most heralded comments will be combined into a poll (or series of polls) and the UPA will be contacted with our findings.

The lists/surveys/polls will be put up on Thursday, so for the next few days consider this your open forum.

You do not need to be a UPA member to comment, nor do you have to sign in to Blogger. Anyone can voice their opinion, keep in mind though that you will be respected much more if you attach a name to your opinion, and it will make it much easier for people to respond to you.

Try to keep it focused on the high school scene, lets get it started...

Friday, August 17, 2007

UPA releases poll on age requirements for YCCs

Fresh off the discussion and debate in the comments here on PlayUltimate regarding YCCs and player age requirements, the UPA has put a poll up on their website asking for member input... Except you dont have to be a UPA member to vote.

Check out the poll by clicking here.

What do you think of their question?

The current age restriction for the UPA Youth Club Championships is under 19 as of June 1st. This allows players with college experience to participate. Should the age restriction be revised so that players must be under 19 and cannot have played on a college roster?

feel free to answer in the comments

reminder: as mentioned previously, PlayUltimate will be holding an open discussion in the coming days as to what you would like the UPA to do for high school ultimate in the united states. specific ideas, specific questions, which will be tallied and put into polls where you can rank their importance, the site will contact the UPA with our findings. Look for those threads to be posted sometime early next week.

Non-YCC stuff: USN Spring Season highlight reel

cool stuff out of Nashville, Tennessee

a reminder that you can always submit things to PlayUltimate - just send us an email, the address is - if you forget its in the pink square on the right hand side of the page.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

YCC reaction from the Pulse

Ryan has posted on his personal blog a quite detailed account of his experience at the YCC tournament this year. Check it out by clicking here.

some excerpts -

Denver was a team that relied a lot on their handlers and big receivers going away from the disc. We were able to limit the damage their handlers could do with give and gos and upfield resets, while taking away the deep options with our marks and shutting down in-cuts with our legs. Standout players on Denver were handlers #8 and #12, along with #10 who was their go-to guy downfield. He came up huge on a lot of early grabs, although we thankfully managed to limit his damage later on. We did have two ridiculous plays of our own - Jesse hucked backhand around a forehand forcing mark, throwing a bullet to the breakside of the endzone, which Stephen tracked down, utterly roasting his defender. And earlier, Jake Rainwater annihilated his defender on a jump ball just outside the endzone, for his first real sky of the weekend. We called the play "Make it Rain."

[...] (<< this means a lot of text was in between these two quotes and they have nothing to do with each other, other than both regarding the YCC tournament.)

During that point, incidentally, I saw/heard some of the nastiest and really uncalled for comments by some Paideia parents. When Noah made a clean bid on Michael Terry (nearly getting the D), his momentum caused him to roll on the ground afterwards, coming up on Terry's ankle/achilles from behind. Mike Terry crumpled to the ground and had to take an injury after this accidental and freak injury. But the Paideia parents accused Noah of trying to injure him, saying that he'd been making reckless and unspirited bids all game, which was just a ridiculous claim. First of all, Michael Terry had taken injury subs earlier in the game after no contact with Philly players, meaning he was nowhere near 100%, and also, Noah's bid was completely clean, as were all of his during that game. It wasn't a no-chance bid where he landed in his knees from behind, it was a legitimate bid where he bumped him from behind after rolling on the ground. Rob Olson and I got loud and obstinate defending Noah at that point.

read the whole account of the weekend cover to cover by clicking here.