Monday, June 30, 2008

Retention Thoughts

On of the givens of Ultimate is the goal of growth. To do this, we focus our attention on recruitment, and rightly so. But something I think Ultimate players and captains and administrators need to give a bit more attention to is retention.

Now, in talking about retention, we shouldn't get away from some of the beauties of the sport, particularly our informality and individualism. We don't pressure people, or force them to commit long-term, either through group-pressure, hierarchy or high entry costs.

I'll always come back to the idea that Ultimate is a great product – lots of people want to play it, we just need to make it available. This is the core about my tips for improving retention for Ultimate.

Ensure communication between administrators and players is open, routine and not overloaded.

Plan at least a season ahead and confirm dates and times.

Link seasons and leagues and teams together to foster easy transition.

Establish routines and avoid changing unless its forced upon you (typically by growth).

If you're an Ultimate administrator, particularly a League Director or Captain, ask yourself some questions like:
  • do you ask people want they think of the setup? You may find out why people are thinking of leaving.
  • do your announcements come on a regular/routine basis?
  • do people have alternative ways of getting information? For example, do you email the weekly draw out, but also have the full season draw available on a website?
  • is it *always* clear when the next season starts, and how long after the end of the current season this is (this helps people to recruit their friends also).
  • do you do something that fills in the weeks between Leagues? Yes, some people like a break (including you), but give them options. Encouraging teams to have team dinners or social events; have the lights and fields available (budget the cost into your league fees) and promote pickup, or invite teams to use the time to train up to the next season; put a week or two of Learn2Play on; put on a Coaching clinic (pay Coaches out of your league fees).
  • do your local seasons start and finish around the same time, so that people can move between them?

Ultimate administrators in my experience have been pretty bright people – world builders and experimenters. This comes with many of us having a University experience. But sometimes we must resist the urge to tinker. Stick to the routine and you'll foster retention.

But on the other hand, when we grow, we often over-think it. Be willing to muddle through and keep people out there playing. Regular play fosters further regular play.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WFDF2008 Ultimate Rules Update: No More Middle

So we're currently in transition around Australia into the 2008 WFDF Rules. The rules of Ultimate are updated periodically, primarily to make them clearer to Ultimate referees (ie everybody). Leagues are changing over at their own pace, but Halibut will be run on the updated rules.

But we figured we'd have a go at noting a few changes here at the blog (although there's a handy change list available, drafted by our own Rubes).

One notable change is that the "middle" call, once available when the Pull went out on the full, is now gone.

The receiving team now has two options: the Brick Mark (see out tip below for finding that), or the point closest to the field of play where the disc went out.

Here's the updated rule:
7.13: If the disc becomes out-of-bounds without first touching the playing field or an offensive player, the thrower may establish the pivot either at the brick point or at the spot where the disc was last partly over the playing field. The brick option must be signalled by the intended thrower before picking up the disc by fully extending one arm above their head.

Note that the definition of the playing field is:
Playing field: The area including the playing field proper and the end zones, but excluding the perimeter lines.

So here's a few diagrams showing some scenarios - the red line is the flight of the Pull going out on the full. The green lines show the two options for the receiver to put the disc into play. (Sorry we can't get the rest of it perfect - time is eluding us here today)

1. Pull goes out the back:

You can either bring it up to the BACK of the endzone (not the front), or to the Brick mark (I know which one will be used 98% of the time!).

2. Pull goes out the endzone sideline:

You can bring it to the sideline where it went out (not the front corner), or to the Brick mark.

3. Pull goes out the sideline:

You can bring it to the sideline where it went out (whether its in front of or behind the Brick mark), or to the Brick mark.

I suspect the rule of thumb when teaching strategic application of the rules to new players is "take it to the brick, unless we're way upfield."

Halibut Is Only One Month Away!

Halibut is on 26-27 July - only one month away.

Halibut is aimed at being the one tournament a year that every Ultimate player in Queensland and surrounds, from the greenest beginner to the most broken oldie, can get into.

If you can't find a team, don't worry, we'll find one for you.

And to Captains looking to fill out their list, lets start the spruik with these fine hunks of flesh, currently making themselves available on the "Looking for a team" list:

Name: Hugh O
Halibut Number: 3
Quote: "Will do dance for a team or spare change."
Position: Prefer top, but will be bottom if required.

Name: Hamish P
Halibut Number: I don't know.
Quote: "Gonna catch a big one!"
Position: Schlong.

Name: Simon U
Halibut Number: A few. They're all a bit blurry.
Quote: "I want to play hard, party hard n b hard"
Position: Snipey.

Any offers?

GLUC4 - Cerberus Rising

It was another big State-of-Origin-free night on the Gold Coast last night. Here's the run down from our man-about-the-fields the Italian Shower:

Well, as I was afraid, 3 Immobile became a three headed monster with all of their 'guns' showing up on the same night. This was unfortunate for The Hard Road as they couldn't find any answers on offense, and were paying the price in transition. 3 Immoblie leaps into the win column with a 15-6 smashing of The Hard Road.

The second game had all the makings of a classic in the first half, ...a few lead changes, and some spectacular ultimate on the way to an 8-7 half in favour of Team Bob. Heat came out flat after the half, and strong performances from the Team Bob ladies sealed the deal for the win 15-11.

Next week we are off to cheer on the Maroons, and the following week sets up a repeat of tonight's games as the Semi-Final match ups.

Here's the table:

I wonder if someone wants to send us some photos some time, for those of us unlucky to be missing the fun?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

GCUL4 - Tonight

BPL 2008-2 Round 3 Draw

Get your tips in!

Galah Star

Back when your main blogger was living in the UK, he was in the inaugural Flaming Galah's Ultimate squad - and a fine bunch of drinkers with a frisbee problem they were.

Anyways, one of the Galah's is an actor (the delightful Caroline Martin, a handy cutter), and I now see she's in a major motion picture, as they say.

It's just been released here in Australia, so check out

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Halibut 76

Halibut registrations have hit 76 players across 8 teams.

There is still plenty of space for you to get your team together or just register yourself, but TIME IS RUNNING OUT (although I've forgot the closing date, its not far away). And of course getting your team regoed helps us here at the Brisbane Ultimate Blog to get started on your team profile (check the halibut tag below to check out last year).

If your team is looking for extra people, why not cruise the "Players Looking for a Team" list and email them? There's some hot properties there.

Women's League is Coming!

The Brisbane Women's Ultimate Frisbee League (WUFL) is starting its new and improved season in less than two weeks.

You can register here.

The League runs from 8 July to 26 August and costs $40 which includes fields, lights, a team shirt and gourmet final night bbq. Its at the Oakman Park fields in Toowong.

Its good to see that established clubs UQ and Mellow Yellow are entering teams in the new competition. These teams will benefit from the outside support. (Will Minx take the field?)

We get the impression here at the stately mansion that we're about to see a big move forward for Women's Ultimate in Brisbane. Faahhbulous, dahlink!

Holy Guacamoly

... how many people were at Annerley last night? A LOT! BUML might be changing the B for Brisbane to a B for BIG!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mater Hospital Pickup

Did you know that there's a regular pickup game on Wednesday afternoons, from 4.30pm until dark, at St Lawrence's Oval behind the Mater Hospital?

Its "run" by smooth Andy and lanky Dan - you can get the regular info by sending an email to

Friday, June 20, 2008

BPL 2008-2 Round 2 Tipping Results

Congratulations go to Jdr for being the only person to have a perfect week of tipping.

BPL 2008-2 Round 2 Results

Golden Compass

As reported via email, our local juniors team is go Go GO for the Australian Youth Ultimate Championships. Good luck fellas and well done team and organisers. My favourite piece of comedy/tragedy so far is that the spare bus driver had to be bumped to make room for the players!

Anyway, so far the team has been named "Northern Lights" which isn't bad for a first effort (something needs to go on the rego sheet, after all). Now I am sure that the bus trip will make for some deep introspection* from the lads as regards a "proper" name, but consider the comments section open for your suggestions!

The team:
- Torren ‘Toz’ Lamont, he of the Byron Clan, lean of muscle, quick of grin.
- Isaac ‘Izzy’, Abraham ‘Abi’ and Jordan ‘Jordy’ Stone, the brothers three of the MIGHTY Channon, Disciples of the Donnie,
- Tane Crosby, the great unknown, the rolling darkness.
- Zac ‘Devinity’ Devine, the nickname says it all.
- Tarik ‘Ricky’ Sandhu, from out west past Birdsville or something.
- Jack ‘Birch’ Lilwall, everything to see here, stop moving along and look.
- Reece Stewart, top BPL player.
- Will Larkin, Captain Carrot, leader of the Zoo Crew.
- Trevor Lovering, not an eediot.
- James ‘JJ’ Jackson, master of damage.
- Doug Crowley, the Dog of War.

(any improvements on this mostly made up commentary are most welcome)

As Bruce the Bruce points out, "If you see any of these guys around the traps, tap them on the shoulder and give them your best wishes."

And don't forget, there's plenty of opportunity to give their foes the old on-line flaming over at Ulti-talk (link up top left). And here's a silly photo for no real reason.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Halibut Registration

Here's the link for Halibut Registration:

Don't forget to include your head size.

If you're having trouble registering, get in touch and I'll help - jjderooy at yahoo dot co dot uk

GCUL3: The Heat is On

Here's the Drum from the Italian Shower:
In game one Heat took a commanding lead and looked strong at 6-1, but 3 Immobile found some mobility (and experienced subs) and found themselves scratching away..... the closest they got was 8-5 when Heat put the foot down. Final score, 13-9 to Heat, this gives them their first win of the short season. I still reckon 3 Immobile is a force to reckoned with, if they are ever all there on the same night.

The second game saw two undefeateds battle it out. And it was a hell of a battle, never more than a two point lead, and 2 or 3 lead changes. The Hard Road were successful with a deep game game early on, but an efficient Team Bob Zone worked in taking that away. With time expired, Team Bob had a one point deficit and the disc, they made good with it, and were able to float pass their way into the end zone to end the game in a draw - 10-10. Looks like they both remain undefeated. Helluva game.

And here's the table:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Halibut and Mixed Nationals Qualification

Halibut is on the horizon (only five and a bit weeks away - got yourself on a team yet?), and has traditionally been billed as the Queensland Championships.

Meanwhile, its been confirmed that teams from South Queensland wishing to attend Mixed Nationals in October and Brisbane will have to go through some sort of qualification process.

Just to pass on the information from the Halibut and Mixed Nats organising committees:
Halibut will NOT be part of the South Queensland qualification process for Mixed Nats.

So get on out there an organise or get onto a Halibut team and have a fun weekend, and come August or September we'll be sorting out getting yourself to Mixed Nats.

Halibut's vision is for every Ultimate player in Queensland and anyone who wants to come and visit to get on the field.

Update: The team rego goss for Halibut at the moment is:

Confirmed: iCarrot (Brisbane), Plan B (assorted southerners), Mellow Yellow (Brisbane), Goldiggaz (a better type of southerners), SFC1 (Gold Coast).

On the Grapevine: UQ Lovers, QUT-Qs, SFC2, Byron, plus various players from Townsville and maybe Armidale will be looking for teams. Plus no doubt a few more that we haven't heard about yet.

GCUL3 - Tonight's Draw

Get your tips in! ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Lots of people in Brisbane tell me they want Brisbane Ultimate to get better and bigger.

This is the week to do something about it.

Next Monday 23 June (and continuing on 30 June), Learn to Play is being held at the Annerley Fields off Victoria Terrace. Its FREE and all that.

Promotion is about providing the information, and giving people a 'call to action'. This is the week for that. If you tell them about Ultimate this week, and they seem interested, then they can do something about it straight away by going along to Learn to Play next Monday. If they like it then they can get into the new seasons Monday night league, or Womens' League, or get picked up by BPL teams too.

If you do something about promoting Ultimate this week, then you don't have to do anything about promoting Ultimate for the next 15 weeks.

Maylin has decided to do something about it, and is organising people to show off Ultimate and hand out fliers at the West End Markets this Saturday (be at Davies Park at 9am with a light and a dark shirt).

A couple of rogues reckon they are going to put fliers on windscreens at the Queensland Netball Centre on Wednesday night.

Many of us have run out of friends to tell about Ultimate, so go that extra mile. Think about people you'd like to see in Ultimate and go find them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ultimate Field Measuring, and a Rule of Thumb for Bricks

Here's the dimensions of a "full" Ultimate field. Of course, we often reduce these to fit onto soccer fields and avoid goal-posts or cricket pitches. (100m of open space is rare) But the magic numbers are 64, 37, 18. Say that to yourself 10 times and drill it in. 64, 37, 18. 64, 37, 18. 64, 37, 18. 64, 37, 18. 64, 37, 18.

Also, check how far the brick mark is. 20m. That's a lot further than I usually see in Brisbane Ultimate. Almost 1/3 of the field. Its that size for a reason - to punish poor pulling.

Often though, after having gone and retrieve a disc that's gone out on the Pull, we're not so keen to jog over to the centre of the goal line, then take 20 steps out. Its a detour, and you look a bit lame (maybe we should consider some small or different coloured 'brick cones' for BPL).

Here's a bit of a rule of thumb. Since we usually have half-way cones for some reason, imagine some diagonal lines joining them to the front end zone cones. Put yourself where the diagonals cross (ie, where you think you're about the same distance from all four cones), and you're 1/4 of the way down the field (about 16m if you've got a full sized field). Then take another few steps and you've got your real brick mark.

Edit: For those who don't quite get it, here's a picture. A further tip for making it look like you know what you're doing is as follows: after you've retrieved the disc, bring it to the front endzone cone, sight the half way cone and walk towards it, until you've crossed the other imaginary diagonal (or feel you're halfway across the field). Then take your four steps forward.

BPL 2008-2 Round 2 Draw

Remember to get your tips in before the start of play to be eligible for the wonderful prize at the end of this seasons tipping competition.

In Today's Curious Snail

Did you know that a famous Brisbane Ultimate Frisbee player can now add "and is a writer Courier-Mail" to his bio.

Check out page 19 of today's Courier Mail. No photo alas.

Next time of course, we want to see a metaphor about Spirit of the Game in there.

Friday, June 13, 2008

BPL 2008-2 Round 1 Tipping Results

If you don't have your picture next to your name it's because I don't actually know who you are.

Also, someone posted their tips in time for the round, but posted as "anonymous". Hint: If you want your tips to count, I have to know who you are!

BPL 2008-2 Round 1 Results

Thursday, June 12, 2008

BPL Tipping

In light of the recent interest over the tipping of BPL games during Season 1 of this year, we at the stately Blog Manor have decided to implement a more official type tipping competition (while still keeping some of the errors and inconsistencies of the old one) for Season 2 (have you registered?).

The tipping competition will be administered by guest poster Wetnose and all decisions made by Wetnose will be final, unless overruled by the almightly blog master, Jdr.

The rules for the upcoming season's tipping, which are both simple and complex, are contained below:

1. Tips must be made in the comments section of the blog post that details the draw for the upcoming week.
2. Tips must be made before the start of games for the relevant week.
3. A correct tip will earn 1 point, and placings will be decided on a percentage basis rather than a number of points basis. Any ties will be decided on number of completely correct tipped weeks. If it is still a tie, then both parties lose (or something else that is decided at that time).
4. To be eligible to win, you must tip at least 6 of the 10 regular season rounds.
5. Any persons tips can be changed by Jdr or Wetnose at their decretion and they reserve the right to declare themselves winner if they feel (this power will only be envoked with people like Churchill and Jangles).

So thems the rules! Here is the link for the first week of BPL Tipping. Stay tuned each week for updates on the leaders in the tipping race and make sure you get those tips in before 7:30pm QLD time to make yourself eligible. The prize (not yet revealed) is sweet, so make sure you get in there and win it.

New Housemate at Stately BUB Manor

We here at stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog manor are taking a step towards a bigger world today with the addition of Wetnose to the blogging roster!

Liam will be moving into the leaky teenager-pad basement of the blog, keeping you all up to date on this season of BPL with draws, results, tables, and particularly the all important BPL Tipping Competition. We're still sorting out the house rules (don't pee in the fridge, leave the animals alone) but I'm sure everything is going to be ok.

Welcome aboard big fella.


ITEM: We got email asking how to enter this "BPL tipping thing". Each week when the BPL draw gets posted (usually some time on Wednesday), go to the comments section, and leave your three tips for the week. After Round 10, if you've tipped at least five weeks, we'll tally up the averages and announce a winner. And yes, there is a small prize, although the adulation of several is probably more valuable.

ITEM: Ventura of Margate writes "Check out the editorial in this week's bMag for a journo giving Ultimate a go." I suspect she's heading down to RAW, where I'm sure Confessor Maylin is working to convert a few ladies into regular League players.

ITEM: Have you registered for Halibut yet?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Guest Blogger Week - the Chump from Frosty Canberra

Guest blogger week here at the Brisbane Ultimate blog thunders on! Today, we welcome aboard John 'Bags' Horan, he of Canberrean fame and keeper of the rubied crystal spleen of Fyshwick United. When I asked him to consider Brisbane Ultimate, his eyes turned krisykreme glazed, his tongue loosened, and his mind wandered back to 2002 ....

The was movement on the yahoogroup, for the word had got around,
that G-Man had fueled his old mercedes,
Gathered Greeny, and that seppo Ryan, and to Halibut was bound.
A likely group of lads and ladies,
looked on G-Man's stately old steed with some concern
and muttered about savage points and sun.
They looked about for a strong cutter, or at least one who would learn
and said "That Horan, he's stupid but he's young."

And so it was that I admired G-Mans air con and over-speed warning
on a model long superceded,
as we sped on down the Newell at 2:00 in the morning,
and prayed that no spare parts were needed.
You see an old Merc is fine to drive, strong and stable under load,
But there aren't a lot of them around
and if steam erupts from your bonnet on a smaller country road
Spare parts are nowhere to be found.

So when that steam poured out we were thankful Leon wasn't far behind,
And while G-Man and Jules found local beds,
I slept because I couldn't drive and we all pretended Leon didn't mind.
But old Greeny and Ryan plotted darkly in their heads.
In Brisbane all those years ago the tallest man was five foot ten,
A bloke with lungs like mine could dominate the field,
And the old hands knew that I was 18, "a dolt" in all the wrong ways then,
Before the advent of Mike Nield.

So after we pulled up at 8, and snoozed until game on at nine fifteen,
G and Jules had not arrived,
I don't recall the team we played, but the breakfast was the best I'd seen
and the shirt I got has just survived
to this very day, by contrast I was wilting. Lunch found me facing dehydration
With Ryan and Greeny trading winks
I fired up and ran all arvo fueled by youth and holy revelation
in the miracle of sports drinks.

See the two old hands were throwers and had smarts enough to spare,
and each point saw us fielding only one,
So if Greeny, say, had caught the disc and put it in the air,
Ryan told me where and when to run.
Sometimes Greeny would just yell "Horan" once the disc had left his hand,
and Ryan would yell out "right" or "left"
so I could stop clogging and chase it down before it got the chance to land.
I was stupid but I wasn't deaf.

Teams were loath to mark me well and let someone worthwhile go unchecked,
though Mat Ryan came to chase me for a while,
And Leon warned I'd better give the guy no cheek or I'd get decked
so I continued following directions with a smile.
He looked quite mad and I was sure he would erupt before we ran too far,
as I cut on defense just in spite
I hoped that with some work his ears might go the way of G-Man's car
But he remained intense but still polite.

I really don't recall the scores, teams or games in detail any more,
And I've been back to Halibut since, twice,
Our name was "FAAACT" but no-one knew if it was just three a's or four,
I drove again the next year but the time I flew was nice.
Committment is spending twice as long in the car as you do getting to play,
These days people skip such epics with a flight.
We split the drive home staying overnight with Badman at the Bay,
but it's worth the drive again this year if my knee was just alright.

Ich Bin Ein HalibutMuncher.

Register for Halibut 2008.

Top Tipper

Just to continue the interruptions to Guest Blogger week, and before the new season of BPL hucks off, we'd better wrap up the tipping from last season.

At a quick go-over*, we had five people tip more than one week of BPL - so cheers to will-i-am, JdR, Wetnose, aj and gref for their efforts.

Worst tipper? Well, you'd figure it'd be JdR with his perrenial following of spooners Rawhide, but of the 8 weeks he tipped, he scored 12/24 for 50%. Still pretty poor.

No, the worst tipper was AJ, with only 6 right over five weeks, or 40%. Good effort Aaayj!

Middle of the road was Wetnose, scoring 13 right over seven weeks, or 61%. Wet had a few 3/3 weeks, but also a few 0/3 weeks. His regular tipping of Messy was of note. He and Messy should get married.

At the other end of the tipping scale ... well, there's one guy who only tipped three weeks but got 7 right, and another who tipped seven to get 16 right. The three week guy got a better percentage, but he was only tipping on weeks where everyone did well, so maybe he was just picking when the favourites were very favourite.

So despite the 78% success, we're only going to give Gref second place, but good to see you're getting your tips in early for next season.

Congrats to will-i-am for tipping 16 of 21 or 76%! Will, you've won the first BPL/BUB tipping contest, and will get a fabulous bumber sticker when next we catch up, as well as the adulation of several.

*You want it to be fully correct? You do it yourself!

BPL 2008-2 Round 1 Draw

Guest Interrupted: Mixed Nats Allocations

Just to continue the interruption of Guest Blogger Week (I guess we can call this "half-time").

One of the reasons I got some guest bloggers in this week as I figured I'd be well distracted with AFDA stuff, finalising the revised Mixed Nationals policy. Well, the policy is now sorted and info is up at

Its been a tricky bit of work and went through 12 versions and myriad variations before we were able to settle on something that seemed fair, workable, and appropriate to Mixed Nats.

For Queensland, I think the immediate impact (or one that will come on 1 July, when allocations are formally determined) is that:

a) North Queensland (Townsville) gets one guaranteed spot at Mixed Nats every year;

b) South Queensland (Brisbane/Gold Coast) gets two guaranteed spots at Mixed Nats every year, but in 2008 can expect to pick up two reallocations, to make four teams welcome for October at Kalinga Park.

Our friends at Byron Bay and Armidale have a few options: a) compete for a slot via the NSW Championships (NSW are likely to get 7-9 slots); b) compete for a slot via the Queensland Championships (should QUDA decide to hold a championships); c) ask for AFDA to allocate it the AFDA slot.

For South Queenslanders, I think the following is worth thinking about (all my humble opinion!):

- ensure Halibut is all about mass participation amongst South Queensland (along with our guests from elsewhere). Let's get out there and organise lots of teams and make sure every Ultimate player in the region has an easy pathway to playing (particularly given some notable people will be absent at Vancouver for Worlds). (Remember too our Townsville friends are all coming as individuals and will be looking for teams.)

- let's see if we can organise those who want to play Mixed Nats into three or four strong teams (including an "A" team?). Start letting people know if you want to organise a team!?

- we'll still want to hold a qualifying event around late August, for those teams. I think Lovefest is still aimed for mid-September?

Ok, let us mirror and get the second half underway. And don't forget its not too late to be a guest blogger this week (I'm talking to you, JMac, Pete, gref, and anonymous!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


So hopefully you'll have notice we've been playing with the layout.

Need to sharpen up the new banner though. But I've made the page wider and fonts slightly smaller.

And for some reason I can't get recent comments to show on the front page.

But its coming along. Any other suggestions welcome.

Guest Blogger Week - Speculating on Spectators

Guest poster week continues, this time around featuring a GIANT of Australian Ultimate Frisbee blogging, Mr Simon Talbot. Simon is the local 'big man'* of the Ballarat scene, recent member of the AFDA Board, and new national Universities Coordinator. So here's Simon ...

Ultimate - A Spectator Friendly Sport?

It's the dream of many an Ultimate player - for their sport to be played live on TV on a Friday night on FOX Sports 3. Or to have crowds of thousands cheering every layout score and heckling Wetnose. But obviously we've got quite a way to go before some generous sponsor/network executive takes a punt. I've heard many people discuss whether ultimate is a spectator-friendly sport, most arguing that it isn't and some drastic changes would be required. Me? I think changes are needed, but only subtle ones...

Problem: Foul arguments creating lengthy breaks in play.

Solution: I dunno...maybe have the players learn the rules?

Seriously...listen to the next foul argument you come across. I bet you that in 95% of them there's at least one player who doesn't know what the correct ruling should be. If we ever get a chance to showcase a full game of ultimate on the telly, one of the most vital considerations would be that the players involved know the rules of the sport inside out. The laws of ultimate place the onus on the players for knowing and upholding the rules - how about they actually do it?

Problem: The crowd doesn't know what the call is.

Solution: Create some simple hand signals for the players to use.

It happens in every Final - play has stopped, there's a bit of discussion, and the murmurs among the audience begin - "what was the call?" If our current audience (ie: players) aren't able to spot why a stoppage has occurred, how can we expect non-players to understand? In all other sports, refs/umpires use hand signals to communicate decisions to all players and spectators - why not use something similar in ultimate? There's too many different calls to have different signals for all of them, so how about some simple ones to notify the other players and the crowd, and then the players involved in the foul can sort out the details.
* Foul - one raised hand.
* No contest - both arms raised, forming an X.
* Contest - both arms raised straight.

The armchair spectator won't then need to know the intricacies of the rule - just that "player X called a foul, player Y contested, so the disc goes back." This would be similar to many other sports - you don't need to know the rules in detail, just enough to work out what's going on. I watch and enjoy rugby union only knowing two rules - passes must go backwards, and you have to release the ball when tackled. The ref's hand signals explain the rest as we go along.

Problem: Current tournament formats don't attract spectators.

Solution: Learn from other sports.

Ultimate all too often gets compared to field team sports, eg: soccer, AFL, hockey. Why not compare it to other types of sports. For example, I feel ultimate is very much like surfing and skateboarding - very participant driven, requires unique skills, and each sport has a "culture" associated with it.

So let's look at tournaments, such as NUFL - all day affairs, many games going on at once. Now look at tennis and golf - all day affairs, many people competing at once. And they get thousands of spectators to their tournaments. We should tell them to bring deckchairs and a picnic lunch - make a day of it.

Problem: Most ultimate games don't "look" very organised.

Solution: Aesthetics.

Lines, uniforms, a scoreboard. No brainer, really.

Feel free to comment with any other problems. I'll then shoot them down with my brilliance.

Thank you for reading, and for more of my crazy man ramblings, go to It will kill at least eight minutes!


*Sociologists studying the Victorian Ultimate community have compared it to the Papua New Guinean traditional tribal system, where local 'big men' or 'big women' run the show and are allowed to huck at will, regardless of team strategy.

Guest Blogger Week: Townsville Rant

Guest blogger week continues, with an old fashioned rant from Simon U, all the way from Townsville!
Hey there JDR,

Thanks for the invite to post. I have to offer 2 cents worth on QUDA. Here i go yay!

I love going to to Brissy to play in tournaments. The Brissy folk know how to put on a good tourney and I love the level of competition.

However, what does QUDA do for me as a player playing in Townsville. My opinion is "not a lot". The only thing I have seen from QUDA as a TSV player is disc's and as i spent sometime as the a committee member i did not see a single cent come up here.

We were asked to fill out forms for some funding if we need anything and I personally filled out 5 forms asking for some excessive things such as a van/trailer but also a lot of basic things such as money for cones and further first aid equipment. I heard nothing and saw nothing from this request. The only thing that i while a member of TSV committee got was a bill for membership fees.

I would love to know why it was so much each semester and had a few players hurt themselves and got no reply from QUDA about what steps to take to use the insurance we pay.

I love Brisbane Ultimate but its clear that QUDA is a Brisbane thing. QUDA being the father figure of TSV I think that it has done very little for us at all and that's one reason why we do struggle each year to get a solid league playing.

Thats my 2 cents worth thanks for listening.

Cheers and looking forward to Halibut.
Love Simon.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Guest Blogger Week: Spirit of the AJ

Guest Blogger Week is here, and we kick off in style with a visit from our great mate AJ!

Spirit in games is alive and well in Queensland Ultimate with all three northern teams taking out 1 (The Pass), 2 and 3 (Firestorm Zippo and Troopers) in the mens and Minx coming second in womens. This post is not about how to play with good spirit or how to improve, its more on the technical side- How do you award spirit points? Currently we award points for spirit out of ten. I have been asked many times, like the rest of you, what I thought the opposition deserved in spirit for the game? I was never told how exactly to judge spirit at first but slowly picked up the jist. Did the team play fairly? Were there foul calls that were touchy? Was there some unneeded physicality? How was there sideline? Still this doesn't give much information about how to judge. Experience counts for alot when awarding spirit points, the more experience you have the easier it becomes as you have seen the world, seen the funny, the stupid and the insane games. But what about for the rest of us, youngun's? How can we decide if a game should get 7 or 8 or 9?

Some people want to change the spirit score to be a simple 1 or 0. Yes this game was well spirited or no this game wasn't. This can take the guess work out of putting down a 6 or a 7. It can also define how we qualify a game to be spirited. By just have a yes or no system, it comes down to the team captain to choose one or two aspects of spirit and judge it based on that. Some captains may rank up highly that the game was competitive on both sides, and that all fouls were called (this points to good spirit in terms of the team knowing the rules and obeying them, as frisbee is self refereed we need to make sure even the newest member are up to date. There is nothing worse then watching some one at BPL getting fouled and not calling it. etc.) others may take a different view. I think will this may be simple and easy, there is another way.
I am of the view that there should be some accountability to the spirit scores that way a team can realise how it can improve. If the average spirit of the league increase, Im guessing the overall quality in the end will improve aswell. I thought of an idea which was being using the in Indian Premier League (not ultimate, cricket!). The umpires, not the players awarded each team a score out of 10 for fair play. There were 4 components to the score- respect, spirit, etc. I researched this idea and found this has been put forward in other leagues overseas ( The Vancouver league some it up nicely-
"One of the biggest limitations of the old SRS (Spirit Rating System) was the
variability (or subjectivity) of spirit evaluation. The key to the new SRS
is to NOT equate your score with the traditional notion of a grade. If you
are scored a 5, it is NOT because you failed. All teams will be rating your
spirit according to the same scale. The new SRS is intended to emphasize the
really important points that make up the 'SPIRIT OF THE GAME' and help
remind you of them every time you enter a team's spirit score."
That may not be the answer, maybe something different (more in the IPL vein), 4 scores- fair play (4), respect (4), competitive(2*) and general- safety, awareness, team being late without notice, (2) for a score out of ten.
The last point I would like to ask the readers is, If a game (specifically in BPL or NUFL, any high level league) is not competitive (where a team is fielding a full or close to full squad) get a lower spirit score? I ask this as we are discussing how the various leagues move forward and there are already players that have expressed their concern that BPL is becoming diluted. The question is if you are expecting a high level ultimate game and you get a game where it becomes 15-0, are you happy you played this game? Was this game spirited maybe? But isn't it the oppositions job (and note I am only talking about the high level leagues - top division in each state etc) to remain competitive in the league otherwise reform with new players or disband the team to allow for a new team/players instead of continuing on?
Thanks AJ - and dear readers, its not too late to recommend someone to post during guest blogger week, or even send something in yourself! Contact us a jjderooy at

Friday, June 06, 2008

Fish. Barrel. Firearm.

So an anonymous commenter dredged up the post about out of date websites, and the problems they create. And yes, its kinda obvious. So here's JCU's, which if you click to embiggen, hasn't been updated since before World Clubs back in '06. Here's another one - UQ has a great site now, but if people found this one instead, they'd think nothing's happened since Unigames in '06.
According to this, Fakulti packed up show back in 2006, before then even headed for WUCC:
But kudos where its deserved - the Heads of State website is getting a redesign, and some content (if you dig for it). Well done lads (yes, the front page is only ipsum lorum, but there's a little bit of content creeping in there elsewhere ... bit worried about the new banner though!)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

And Now on "BPL Chat with Jangles and Wetnose" ...

BPL starts NEXT WEEK so we hope you've registered your ass! I notice a few teams look a bit light on. Anyway, once again the Brisbane Ultimate Blog looks to bring the elite of opinion-makers aboard, and invites their thoughts on the upcoming season. So we welcome Jangles and Wetnose.

Brisbane Ultimate Blog: Hey guys, thanks for coming on the blog to preview the upcoming season of the Brisbane Premier League, Australia's best local Open Ultimate Frisbee League.

Jangles: Thanks JdR, pleasure to procrastinate?

Wetnose: Screw you Jangles, but its good to be here, JdR. I managed to fit you into my otherwise hectic schedule.

Blog: I see. Well, before we go into the new BPL season, what did you think of the old one?

Jangles: Well, last season saw Slippery Buggers start off with some pretty poor performances, but with some soul searching we were able to figure out a structure that worked. The expansion to six teams seems to have reached a point were you have to show up expecting to actually run.

Wetnose: Last season was a real cracker. Our last game of the season went down to double game point and determined whether we would have finished between 2nd and 4th, which would have changed our semi final opponent to Passion, in the end it wouldn’t have really mattered as WE SMASHED THEM ALL!

Blog: Ah, ok. Chill, dude. Were there any big surprises for you during Season 1?

Wetnose: The attendance rate by Buzz was quite high compared to past seasons so that was impressive. Also the attendance at the grand final was awesome, its really good to play in front of a large crowd that are heckling and cheering for you.

Jangles: Mostly heckling, I'd guess Wet. But I was surprised at just how awesome Season 1 was.

Blog: How about that Final?

Wetnose: What can I say? I was good, I mean REALLY good. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty good anyway, but that was something special. That’s the kind of game people talk about for years. I know I will be.

Jangles: I didn’t go.

Blog: Why's that, Jangles?

Jangles: I don't want to say. It might penetrate my air of mystery.

Blog: Um, okaaay. So looking at the new season, how are the Buggers preparing?

Jangles: It's all about recruitment. Recruiting is still being done with two High Schools under the Buggers wings. I am sure we will be able to get some new young runners in over the next few seasons. Also with the recruitment of QUT and Mike's other sources then you may see a few more friendly neighbourhood Bugger faces around in the near future.

Wetnose: Of course, we are trying to get Jangles to learn how to layout. It’s been almost 3 years, and the guy can still count the number of layouts he’s done on one hand, and even those weren't much good. Also, we have been scouting the local schools for new, young talent. It seems that every season our talent pool goes young and young. I think I might have to sign up your unborn child now to play in the first season in 2023 JdR.

Blog: Lordy - the very thought! So they're trying to squeeze out some of you old guys? If you keep recruiting, there won't be space for some of the lamer amongst you. Are the Buggers keeping the same Slippery/Messy groups, or rearranging again?

Wetnose: Well we don’t like to give too much away, but we are basically keeping it the same. We have a lost a couple of personnel so there is a bit of new faces and a bit of a shuffle to compensate for that, but other than that it’s the same. Look out for some new Buggers shorts to match the new Buggers shirt soon.

Jangles: What he said. I'm sworn to secrecy on the other stuff.

Blog: Do you think that there's still a place for "boutique" teams like Rawhide and Dojo, or is the future just about "super-clubs" like the Buggers and UQ?

Wetnose: The boutique teams will always have a place in the competition. I mean, someone needs to play off for those bottom 2 places.

Jangles: Well interesting I have heard rumours that Rawhide are trying to step it up a notch and are starting to do some training lead by lucky Stu. I think you will find that more and more teams will have to start stepping up as the League continues to grow.

Blog: How do you see Season 2 of 2008 being different from Season 1? Colder?

Jangles: If you're feeling cold then I am sure Wetnose will give you a tight mark. I think that the new Buggers teams will be strong and I suspect that you'll see at least one Buggers team in the Final, as usual.

Wetnose: It happens every Winter and while I hate to say it, I think teams will struggle to field 7, or even 5, players ever week. Soft. It will be a real test as to the strength of growth for the league whether we can field 6 teams every week with 7 players. Also, look for Slippery Buggers to race up the ladder. They got their sh*t together at the end of last season so watch out I say.

Blog: How much of a shake up do you expect with players away in Vancouver for part of the season?

Wetnose: I think it could open up the season a bit more than usual with Mike, aL, Piers, and Mat R away. This will affect Lovers, and both Buggers teams, although I think Lovers will be hurt the most with two players missing. Look for Lovers to slip into the bottom 2 this season (assuming the UQ team make up is the same as last season).

Blog: So lets put some predictions firmly on the table - who do you expect to see in the Final at the end of this season then?

Jangles: Buggers v Buggers! But I am a bit biased so my outside chance goes to Dojo for some reason. Maybe its just that they're a bit prettier than the others.

Wetnose: Well the Buggers have had a team in the Grand Final in every season they’ve been in the league (eight) and have won six of those. So I’m gonna say that it will be a Buggers vs UQ final. Which UQ team will really depend on what the make up they have for this season. Although, Dojo may rekindle their form of last year and get there. But I can’t say that Rawhide will be up there, although I know that breaks your heart JdR.

Blog: I'll let that slide, because my love for Ultimate overcomes all. But no love for UQ then?

Wetnose: I’m always about the UQ love. A bit of grope with Churchill or Dean, it’s all good.

Jangles: I hate UQ with all my guts. No I don't. What? Someone else seems to be writing my answer here?

Blog: Don't worry about it Jangles. Eventually I get bored waiting for you to email me back. Anyway, thanks guys – I'm sure a few of our readers will look forward to matching up with you on the field soon.

Jangles: No worries. Thanks for a chance on the mic.

Wetnose: Well, Jangles will be injured but will still play ridiculous well and win the game for his team. And if you didn’t want to hear that, he would have told you that himself anyway.

GCUL2: Bobbin' on Bob

The Gold Coast Ultimate League hit week two last night, and sweet it was. Here's the Generalissimo's report:

The early game saw 3 Immobile taking a 4-0 lead on Team Bob, but a key time out, and some lifted play brought Team Bob back to trading points at 5-5, and 6-6. It seems 3 Immobile might have run out of fuel, as they had no male subs. Team Bob scored two in a row with time running out to win a defensive battle at 8-6.

The late game also featured an early lead for The Hard Road... up by three early, but Heat kept it in range, and were very opportunistic. After the half, both teams traded points, right to the bitter end. 'Universe point' as its known, offered two or three possessions, and good game ending chances for both teams. But in the end, Levi 'Slowhand' Walz came down with the winning reception to keep The Hard Road undefeated - 13-12.

Next week there will be no league games due to Origin - pick up will be on instead

And here's the table after week two:

Lo! A Dark and Hungry Force Arises!

Its still a few weeks until BUML kicks off again (have you told your friends about Learn2Play yet?), but one of our spies recently returned to the hidden Brisbane Ultimate Blog's underground reinforced laser-guided concrete bunker* with the following news ... written in blood (although why he used his intestines for punctuation marks I'm not sure)!

There is a new team rising in South East Queensland. The upcoming season of the Brisbane Ultimate Mixed League will see the debut of a brand new type of Frisbee, the way of the Cougar.

The Kelvin Grove Cougars are a team of band new first league players that are facing the challenge of Ultimate Frisbee by entering Brisbane's growing mixed 'intermediate' league. There is currently only one player on the team who has participated in an afda or quda event previously however this is a team stacked full of keen bodies and studious minds.

Don't go out in the Jungle alone, you might come across a Cougar.
*Obviously we're in an arms race with the Canberra Ultimate Blog

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

More on Wide World of Sports

Just to note that last weekend Wide World of Sports did a 20 second followup to the Nationals story from the week before, essentially mentioning that they've had a flood of inquiries and here's the website address.

WWOS have also posted the segment onto their own site. Feel free to go and give it some hits and comments if you have the time. Meanwhile the youtube posting has hit over 2,500 views.

No Change to Nationals, But Ruminations on Recruitment

So some of you may have followed the nation-wide debate about a proposal (originating with thoughtful Matt B.) to move Nationals from April to October.

After plenty of consultation coordinated by the immeasurable Simon T (certainly a model for the future … the consultation I mean, although Simon has a certain je ne cest quoi, its true)), the outcome is no change.

My personal view is that this is the right decision. But before anyone thinks "so why did they bother considering it" (aside from "it’s a good thing to consider people's ideas, particularly when they challenge the status quo"), for me the discussion helped crystalise a few things in my mind about recruitment (the idea for the change was about improving recruitment early in the year).

I was reminded that many Ultimate players, as ex-University students, tend to view recruitment in "O-Week" terms – you put in a pile of effort once a year and recruit a whole bunch of people as a result. And you do this at the start of the year of course.

This type of thing is central to a lot of sports – you see lots of banners for "sign on days" in February and March for various football clubs and so forth. Its a common form of sports recruitment.

But realising this threw up a few insights, for me at least, that coalesced into a different view of how we "should" do recruitment for Ultimate.

Universities and Schools aside, the Ultimate "season" is a) spread throughout the year, as our sport is played all year round (particularly in Queensland). This is why its sensible to do a short 'learn to play' thing at the start of each and any season you run (do a 'have a go' thing if you have a more advanced league like BPL).

And b) if anything, the proper start of the Ultimate season is in Spring – August/September/October – when people shake off the Winter cold and want to get outside and run around a field or a beach, not at the start of the year when they're doing 'new year resolutions' stuff.

If your volunteer resources are mostly about doing a single big (non-school, non-Uni) recruiting thing a year (which it shouldn't be, but then I don't expect you to agree with everything!), then do it in Spring and get them playing through Spring and Summer and Autumn.

Ultimate is a great product. It markets itself. We forget that. To those of us at the 'centre' of Ultimate administration, we have a harder time seeing that – because we've already approached every friend, workmate, casual acquaintance and neighbour to get them to give Ultimate a go. As individuals, we've run out of people to recruit, so we think recruitment is hard.

But in reality, people who are new to the sport are always talking to their friends, workmates, casual acquaintances and so on.

So to me the biggest issue for recruitment is whether or not there is an easy way for new people to get in (and further in) and to bring their newer mates in to – what seems to be called 'pathways'. We need to think more about pathways.

The most common issue for this is basically "space". Partly this is field space – can you handle more people? And this is straight forward to resolve (not necessarily easy of course, but a basic problem). But also this is space within a team.

If your team is mostly full, and you get a couple of newbies on board. That's great. But what do you do if the newbies want to bring their friends?
So wherever we can we need to keep teams turning over their players and individuals leaving teams to go off and start new teams.

Not only does this build the pathways and make it easy for new people to come in, and for them to bring more people in, but in my humble opinion this also reinforces the great product that's the Ultimate culture – when a team is made up of people of a range of skill, from old hands to rank beginners. Beginners need a bit of the basics to get on the field, so a couple of weeks of 'Learn to Play' is great. But after that, they have the best experience within teams of a range of skill, where there's plenty to learn and experienced players want to invest in improving their team-mates.

And of course, when we're talking about pathways, we're also talking about pathways between leagues (as people seek new experiences) and to tournaments. But that's a post for another day.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Big Spoon - Big Cup

So congratulations to Big Spoon, the (surprise?!) new Townsville League Champions.

The last night of Townsville League kicked off with semi-finals. The undefeated Team FKA took on 4th placed GoodLooKing, while second placed Second Skin faced Big Spoon.

GoodLooKing were the first to throw away the script, pushing FKA so hard that the scores were tied at time cap, leading to a Golden Point Battletm of epic proportions. In the end the donkeys got away to a 10-9 win, but the energy expended in the tropical humidity would haunt their big asses later.

Meanwhile, Big Spoon shook the ladel and rolled Second Skin for something like 11-7, setting up what was expected to be an engrossing Final after a 30 minute break.

Alas, where the Spoons came out stirring, Team FKA felt like the proverbial flogged horse, and were disappointingly smushed 11-1!

Next season is set to get going in August (just after the Townsville mob go south to take on the mighty Halibut!

BUML Season 1 2008 Final Standings

Just been meaning to get this up, for the record. Have you registered for next season yet?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Next Week is Guest Poster Week

And there are still a few days spare, so don't hesitate to email me at jjderooy at the

It doesn't have to be a lengthy rant (although those are tolerated). 100 words on anything to do with Ultimate and Brisbane is enough. A poem. You can be anonymous. Or yo could send a photo and suggest a funny caption, or just do some rough photoshopping. It could be about someone you like to play or hate to play. It could be about some unloved part of Brisbane or Ultimate or both. It could be fantasy, or your plans for Halibut, or somewhere other than Brisbane you'd like to play Ultimate. How about your first impression of Ultimate in Brisbane, all those days/weeks/months/years ago. Anything.