Tuesday, September 30, 2008
So, some of you frisbee-folk will have seen the announcement that QUDA have taken me on as a paid casual/adhoc Executive Officer. It's aimed at involving roughly 2-8 hours per week (although at the moment its about 0-5), and is modelled roughly on the roles Woodie and Pottsy provide to AFDA.
The role’s primary activities are supporting the Executive, supporting volunteers,
liaising with stakeholders (such as Queensland Government, AFDA, and field suppliers like AJSC), coordinating QUDA’s coaching services, and generally promoting Queensland Ultimate. We had a trial month during June and again in August and it seems to be going well so far.
A driver for establishing the role has been the general exhaustion of the current crop of volunteers, a backlog of administrative and policy development activities, and my offering of my services as part of a long term career change (I'd suggested thinking about it for next year, but Bruce was keen for me to start ASAP).
For me, of course, its great. I can *justify* doing even more frisbee admin stuff than I was before (which I think was a fair bit), because I'll be getting paid for it.
But its a difficult line to cross, and I'm really intending to straddle the divide between paid stuff and continuing on some volunteer stuff.
On the volunteer side, I'm still planning to stay on as AFDA Secretary until the next AGM. I'm still planning to be involved in events (like the Mixed Nats website) and organising and being on teams. And, you'll be pleased to know I'm sure, I aim to keep posting regularly on this here blog.
But please feel free to call "Check feet, Jase", as it were. If I'm doing something QUDA is essentially paying me for, I'll try to remember to put "Jason de Rooy, QUDA Executive Officer" on it.
I've got a million ideas and things to do, and I'm sure you do too. Its pretty exciting. Do me one favour though, if you're asking for a hand. Remember the resource is limited, as it were.
Cheers, and we now return you to your regularly scheduled Brisbane Ultimate Blog service.
While Bads hasn't been able to book the same venue, all the same high end food (that is, gourmet and special), fun-focused Ultimate and warm and lubed Byron-ite welcome will be there.
It’s a Mixed Hat – so guys and girls all register as individuals, and Mr Badman will randomly put you in a team. You can of course try giving Mr Badman a birthday kiss* to influence the selection process.
Its also in the 'Surf and Turf' format – one day of grass Ultimate, one day of beach Ultimate.
When: 15-16 November
Where: Byron Bay somewhere (about 2.5hr drive from Brisbane)
Register at: http://www.afda.com/rego/showdivision.php?divisionid=924
Accommodation: Bads recommends booking some camping space at Clarkes Beach Caravan Park, or even a cabin or caravan.
Or you can camp in his yard if you are nice and get in early. Or ask one of your Byron friends if they can spare some floor space.
*Bads will provide you with a definition of a "birthday kiss", on request.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Speaking of semi-regular topics, we’ve been meaning for a while to do something along the lines of “things you have to get your head around when learning to play Ultimate”. I’m sure you can imagine there’s a gold mine of topics here!
One thing to get your head around is that it doesn’t matter what the score is.
We’re inspired to write today because of a report in today’s Australian on last night’s Storm/Sharks semi-final match (rugby league for all those who’re unfamiliar). The Storm won 26-0.
Apparently late in the second half, a penalty was awarded to the Sharks that could’ve gone either way. Being footballers and trained from birth and by design to question referees constantly, the Storm protested heartily to the referee. After taking a couple of seconds of grief, the whistleblower turned to the Storm and said, “Guys, its 26 to nothing,” and left it at that.
Its clear in the context of the report that the journalist viewed that as a just or even merciful response. But one thing to get your head around in Ultimate is that this isn’t the done thing (at least between experienced players – it’s a bit more flexible when beginners are involved).
If you’re doing Ultimate right, you play the same way and interpret the rules the same way, whether you’re winning 15-0, losing 0-15, or playing in the final of the World Championships and its 15-15 and the next point wins. That’s the spirit of the game. And that’s something to get your head around.
Friday, September 26, 2008
There's nothing quite like a Frisbee game. I remember how exciting it was to go down to a field with a bunch of guys and girls, all with their own "thing" and all that. We'd run around and throw a Frisbee to each other, and that, boy I'll tell you, is when those different outfits would all merge together in a kaleidoscope of colour. It was really really cool. And that, my friends, was some really Ultimate Frisbee.
But it just couldn't last. The kind of disorganised coordination those pink/purple/grey shirted, boardshort-wearing, leggings clad, floppy hatted, upsidedownandbackwards-visored dudes brought into our lives was a flame that burned too brightly. Gone are the days of the Sons of Yoda, Bongorilla, Craddock's Dog, the BUDs, the Fluid Druids and the like, when you'd be lucky to see clothes on these people.
Remember when Omo Erectus all grew different moustaches? That was the stuff, man! But in their place have come clones all wearing the same outfits and the same LukeAA-smooth faces (and I mean, laxative smooth!).
I wouldn't be surprised if these so-called modern 'Ultimate Clubs', with their identical team shirts (imported from overseas no less!), aren't actually good friends who spend their time together laughing, singing, smiling and pulling innocent pranks, for crying out loud!
The last time I tried to go to what now passes for a "frisbee tournament," I was just plain confused. Had I joined the army or something? These people seem to be wearing weapons-grade sports fabrics and stuff.
Having the same shirt on for each team member is not only disorienting — it's completely bugluging insane. I used to know everyone's face, the backs of their heads (they're all run long once I got the disc), their running style, all that.
But now – now I see that Alex Whan has set everything up so he just throws when he sees Yellow! Hey, next thing you know, Steve Cameron will be throwing to a particular team-mate, in black with a number 6 on him, rather than just chucking a bomb to the endzone to see how big a leaping pack he can generate!
We need to get back to the days of being unable to distinguish, by outfit alone, who is a hardcore frisbee player, and who is just a normal person going about his evening. This is how we used to get more people playing frisbee. Just walking around outside the lab or in the Great Court, throwing frisbees to people!
Sure, there were some teams in the 1990s who tried to have the same hairstyle — I think it was one of T-Ross's teams — but they were still all over the place with the different colours and curly versus not curly, and then it all thinned out. Usually, I'd be hesitant to call anything without a full head of hair a frisbee team at all, but I'm grasping at straws here.
The real tragedy is, the kids today don't know what they're missing. My daughter goes crazy for this team, the Dyspnoeics, who she claims are the best team ever. But there's nothing frisbee-like about them! They ALL have the same blue shirts – they even look identical to the other teams with blue shirts on. No daughter of mine is going to support some pack of effort-clones who can't just pick up something off the floor of the squat before they wander down to the park.
Why, just about the only thing that maintains their individuality is their wide range of perverse sexual practices.
Times sure have changed, for the worse, I guess. Hopefully the "same shirts" fad of these last few years of frisbee will fade, and we'll return to the glory days of Ultimate, when a team's handler was not only distinguished by lazy ass and tricky throws, but by his pink tutu, single kneepad, fluro zinc, Dr Phil leather gear, and most importantly by the trademark headband he wore to disguise his identity while eluding mobs of screaming girls who would chase him down the street, forcing him to duck into an old-fashioned phone booth and pretend to make a telephone call.
Remember, if you see people dressed in matching Bugger or Minx or Rawhide or Cougar shirts, they're really just either thugby-ites looking for beer, or worse, agents of THE MAN, trying to keep you DOWN.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
So I promised Wetnose I'd write something about last week's Brisbane Premier League Final. BPL is usually his beat as I haven't played this season, and I don't really think I'm much chop at game analysis, but then I did go down to watch most of the Final, and of course Wet was busy winning so his thoughts might be slightly biased.
But mine are a bit too. The Messy Buggers simply smashed the UQ Passion, something like 18-8 (I left before the last few points). It was a pretty one-sided match to watch – I think it was something like 9-3 at half, but by that stage I was over having a quiet one with Jon while he got a lot of exercise updating the scoreboard. I'll be checking out the promised footage on the Dojo blog to see a few replays.
The Buggers came out of the blocks very well and scored fairly smoothly to be something like 3-0 up before a Passion time-out to regroup. It was clear that the most prominent Buggers, Mike and J-Ray, had truly brought both their A-games and their … I guess ruthlessness is the only word I can think of (but I mean it in a positive sense). They were there to score points and stop the opposition from scoring points, damn straight.
Passion tried to counter it seemed (from the outside, and I'm sure there'll be comments from the readers amongst them) by just frickin' firing themselves up. There was a lot of yelling and chest banging coming from their time-out and sideline.
But I think this just resulted in a lack of cohesion, as each player's 'fired up' level is different. A few Passion players completely busted their guts running hard and trying to make something happen. Others tried to think more quickly and better. Passion also tried to zone for a bit, but it seemed half-hearted and the weather didn't really support it. Maybe if they'd tried it from the start it might've turned out differently.
I'm writing mostly about the Passion D here, because it seemed that's most of what they did. Their O didn't particularly stick in my mind.
So why were they so dominant? Which leads us to - how do you beat the Bugs? (At least, this is where conversation seemed to turn to once it was clear the Passion were out for the count) I think first they're going to make it slightly easier, at least with a short season to come, by re-jigging the Bugger squads again – mostly to keep it interesting for themselves to play with different guys, and to keep building up their newer guys.
I don't have any magic answers – I'm not smart enough. It's clear you've got to contain J-Ray as much as possible, but to do that you have to remember how quickly he can fake and accelerate to get free, get the disc, and release it. You can't put your usual "dump-covering-guy" on him, but one of your very best defenders, who must be completely focused on Jason and nothing else upfield. Maybe Passion needed to throw J-Mac on him or something. But even then, there's only so much you can do.
You've also got to bite the bullet and put one and a half or two guys on the most dominant player north of Sydney. Crowd Mike, both on the in-cut and the long - make it so the handlers can't even see him. How you do that in the context of still covering the remaining offensive players is a challenge that only the best teamwork can deliver, particularly given the talent down the Buggers line.
Speaking of the Buggers line - he's often the target of good natured humour (often self-inflicted), but I have to say that Wetnose had a cracker of a game and remains underestimated and in the shadows of some other leading lights. All the Bugs played well. Some of them I don't know (the Buggers need to work on their media-liaison and website, obviously! ;) ) so I'll leave individuals there.
But that's all overstating the surface. Yes, there are a couple of outstandingly good players in the Messy Buggers lineup, who can score lots of points, and they've got plenty of quality running around them. But the Bugger's real talents, and the talent of the team as a whole, comes from their team discipline. The senior Bugs can't get D's on their own – everyone knows that if the dominant player is marking you, your job is to get him to follow you into the half of the field that your team doesn't want to use - and they moved the disc a lot and pull defences out of shape by some full team running. Its the pressure and teamwork that guys like George, Reece and Kanowski are adding to the Bugs that are getting them these trophies.
Going on last Thursday night and what I've seen of them in the past, Messy don't really do anything fancy or tricky or unusual. Their O is a vertical stack with primaries and secondaries and well timed cuts and flow. Their D is primarily fast man. But they work very well and very hard as a team. They recruit fit players, and bring their newer guys along in steady solid steps, where it seems other teams are telling their less experienced players to do 15 things at once.
So to summarise - from the sideline, it’s the discipline and week-by-week player development of the Messy Bugger that delivered them this big win, and they've lifted the bar for the rest of the BPL to see if they can match that.
Shout out too to Rawhide who took Spirit for the season (the virtual trophy cabinet of this newer team is filling up), and to Dan Walls of Dojo for landing this season's MVP. And to the 120 or so people I counted in the crowd. And Jon and Rob for their love of beer.
Monday, September 22, 2008
This is what came in.
While it's ripe for captioning, we can't bring myself to do it. It is of course itinerant Queenslander Pottsy getting a massage before a game at Worlds (either that or its a UQ Passion player after last Thursday night).
Maybe the comments section is the place?
This is because of what I can only call one of the slightly 'selfish' reason for volunteering (I'll write elsewhere some other time about the good reasons for volunteering). A great 'selfish' reason for volunteering towards the end of your Uni career is beefing up your curriculum vitae and giving you material to stand out from the crowd at job interviews, and getting some good referees.
Being a bit further along the career path than many Ultimate players, and having sat on many selection panels (including for graduate programmes), I am routinely surprised by people fresh out of uni who hope to gain a position based on their GPA, and perhaps to stand out a bit due to a part-time job they've had, or the sports or music they played, and many positions they held in High School.
Alas, the problem is that everyone has a GPA. You don't stand out by having one. Even if you have a high GPA, so do lots of other people. And if I may tangent further – an organisation that recruits purely by GPA is probably one you don't really want to work for. Yes, these are usually companies with lots of valuable kudos and hence have many people seeking jobs there, so they need something simple to start with. But relying on a GPA is the laziest form of recruitment I can think of, and organisations that are lazy about who they recruit are going to be lazy about making their workplace a good place to be. (This is not to say "Don't work hard or worry about your marks" - what I mean is "Don't rely solely on your GPA to get your career going.")
Part time jobs are useful to have on your curriculum vitae. Personal interests are really only a useful trigger if your interviewer shares those interests. Roles you had in High School generally don't bear a lot of scrutiny – you were a lot younger and probably a lot different then, and teachers and parents still had a significant influence upon these things (I've never met a House Captain who wasn't also a student favoured by teachers, for example).
But backt to Ultimate - Ultimate is also becoming an excellent place to get a couple of good personal/work referees. Amusing as it might seem to some, these days there are some "fine upstanding members of the community" who play Ultimate. Doctors, lawyers, senior public servants, engineers, executives, small business people, scientists, and so forth. These are people who understand the work environment, and also people who value others volunteering to organise Ultimate (as they've often been there and done that too). An enthusiastic fellow Ultimate player can make for a stand-out referee, along with your existing work-related ones. Some CV's have a Work Referee and a Personal Referee on them – stand out a bit by having a Volunteer Work Referee as well (and any other 'experienced' workers out there - I encourage you to pass on some of your advice in the comments section below).
But anyway, think about some of these connections you can make when you've done some volunteering for Ultimate, and you find yourself in a job interview. Here's a few examples:
Volunteer job: Food at big tournament
Fill Your Interview With: "Food is the most important thing to a sportsperson, and everyone has their own tastes. At a recent Ultimate tournament, I managed to feed 200 people over two days. I had to get a few helpers to get it all to happen. Our feedback showed everyone was happy with what we provided them."
Translation: I have skills at large scale logistics, managing people, and customer service.
Volunteer job: President of club or association
Fill Your Interview With: "Our club had a great President but he graduated and left town. To be frank, we floundered for a bit because nobody would step up. But eventually I did and in doing so, I learned a couple of valuable things. One was that people just want someone to take the lead and get things going. I was surprised at how quickly everything seemed to just start to happen once we had me take up the role. We ended up having one of our most successful years, with our membership increasing by 50% over the twelve months I was the President."
Translation: I have leadership skills, or at least a willingness to take leadership roles.
Volunteer job: Coaching at schools
Fill Your Interview With: "I volunteered to teach Ultimate to kids at schools. Mixing school hours with University lectures and everything else was a challenge. It was great to watch the kids improve – a lot of them are now playing regularly outside of school and wanting to play when they get to University."
Translation: I like to help other people improve, I can adapt quickly.
Volunteer job: Webmaster
Fill Your Interview With: "I managed my club's website for three years, and even though I've left University I'm still running it. When I started, we only had a basic page of contacts, but I've added a lot of functionality. Partly its been for fun and to help out, but I've been given some 'wish lists' from the other players, so I've had a few challenges – either in the coding or in managing people's expectations in terms of what's possible or worth doing with limited volunteer resources.
Translation: When I take something on, I commit to it long term. I take pride in a job well done. I like to be challenged, but can manage expectations of non-technical people.
This isn't meant to be an endless list, but hopefully it can get some of you thinking about what you're going to be doing after you finish University, and maybe how fitting some Ultimate organising into your schedule in the next year or two can help.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Congrats to the Buggers on a disciplined win, and commiserations to the Passion.
Thanks to Jon Good for running a final Final!
No doubt the Dojo blog will soon offer some spy-camera analysis of both teams' strengths and weaknesses, as we head into the last season of the year.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
There's now a "Subscribe" thingee, which I think can help people who can't look at blogspot.com websites from work, to get posts via email and other routes. It's also useful for the Cheeseburgers amongst us, who just like getting email. Anyway, have a play and let us know how you go.
We've also added two Northern Hemispherey blogs that we keep checking out - I think many people are now familiar with The Huddle, an 'elite advice magazine', that also has a regular blog.
Plus, the Cultimate Opinion is now there. It is updated most days by a generous
Finally, Blockstack TV has been added. The guys seem to be recovering from Worlds, but I have been enjoying their videocasts while training to work lately.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This team has been slightly below their best this season. They started out strongly and were on top of the table after six rounds with a record of 5-1, but suffered greatly during the Worlds period with four straight losses to finish the regular season 5-5.
Back at full strength, their strong showing last week against their brothers and minor premiers, Slippery Buggers, with a resounding victory of 15-7 should show that these boys are back to their best.
The boys in pink have had an up and down year. They showed that they can be amazingly good, then showed that they can be disasterously bad. Their season includes a 15-9 loss to a 6-man Dojo team.
Last week, however, they dismantled the wasabi-smoking Dojo with a clinical 14-8 victory that showed that they are more than capable of taking care of a hammer dependant opposition.
Passion have had the better of the Messy boys so far this season. With a victory against an under strength Messy of 15-6 in round 5, then a victory over a near full strength Messy of 12-10 in round 10, Passion have had the wood over Messy in recent times. These two teams met in the Grand Final of last season also, with Messy Buggers prevailing 16-12.
Players to watch
Messy Buggers - Jordan Kravitz
While he may not be an American Woman, this all American, terrorist killing, BBQ cooking, tobacco smoking man will be a force during the GF. Newly arrived to the shores of Oz, people are only just starting to realise that this Seppo can play, and Passion will need to treat him accordingly.
Passion - John McNaughton
Cheeseburger, as he is unaffectionately known, missed the semi final due to an ankle injured sustained during the warm up to that game. Expect him to bring more strapping tape than Jangles brings excuses, but his ankle should not stop him from being the unstoppable force.
Messy Buggers - Mike Neild
The newly wed Mr Neild will try to be the immovable force that meets the unstoppable force of Cheeseburger. Expect these 2 to be matched up against each other all night, and expect Space Needle to chase and pull down throws more than any human ever to have walked the earth. EVER!
Passion - Nathan Litzow
Nate, as he likes to be called, is a key member of this whole team, especially on defence. With Passion likely to run a puppy fence for most of the game, expect to see Nato on the mark, trying to stop the momentum that the Messy handlers like to get going.
Now for the reason for you guys to turn up to the Grand Final. Free food and beer! League director Jon Good has announced that there will be a free BBQ and beverages for all attendees at tomorrow nights big game. Good sources also claims that there will be prizes for best and most heckles, and also for best supporters outfit. Spinnaker Sheppard has already said that he will be bringing an awesome outfit, so I encourage anyone and everyone to try and beat him and shut him up.
Thats all from us here at BUB. Get some tips in if you want, including score predictions (remembering GF's are point capped at 17, not 15) and there may be some prizes for correct picks or closest picks.
Monday, September 15, 2008
It's not uncommon to see people being unclear on this kind of stuff.
Its also worth noting that the people involved in WFDF are some amazing volunteers, putting in a very large amount of time and effort for very little response that isn't typically ignorant or irritated.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Final round this week .... and some big games leading into the finals.
Will Bermuda be the first team to roll UQ Lovers this season?
Can Mellow Yellow deal with the Simon/Jangles/Chaddie show?
Playas - Dyspnoeics - two teams we can never spell properly?
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Congratulations to Messy Buggers and Passion for once again making the final. Hopefully it can be as exciting as the last one.
Details will be released shortly by soon-to-be-forgotten BPL League director Jon Good and we will pass them on accordingly.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Despite a hard push here at the formerly independent and non-partisan Brisbane Ultimate Blog for our own candidate, Mr Wetnose Esq., and the efforts of write-in candidate Tomsteve, Stu took the vote.
Expect sweeping changes as the new regime tightens its grip on power, including upon the press.
Hang on, there's some banging at the door.
GREETINGS READERS. BOW DOWN IN THE NAME OF YOUR NEW LEAGUE DIRECTOR, AND THE NEW MANAGEMENT HERE AT THE BRISBANE ULTIMATE BLOG, NOW RENAMED THE SNN OR STU NEWS NETWORK.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT AND SHINING. THE REMNANTS OF THE OLD REGIME ARE TO BE DISMANTLED AT ONCE, AND THE ARCH TRAITOR good IS TO BE HUNTED DOWN AND TRIED FOR HIS CRIMES, AND EXECUTED BECAUSE WE KNOW HE'S GUILTY. DID WE SAY THAT? WE MEAN, HE WILL GET A FAIR TRIAL, AS WILL THE WETNOSE, WHO IS NO DOUBT COWERING UNDER A COUCH SOMEWHERE, THE RUNNING DOG.
LONG LIVE THE KING.
RETURN TO YOUR WORK, PATRIOTS.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
To the tune of the B-52's Love Shack ...
Lovefest! Baby, Lovefest!
[Guys] Well you'll see an email now in your little inbox
That says "Only five days 'till the
[Ladies] LOOOOOOVE FEST!
Lovefest ... yeah yeah.
[Ladies]Go headin' down the Sir Fred Schonnel Drive ....
Looking for the Ulti-jijive, looking for some Ulti-jive ...
[Guys] There's several teams, that are looking for kids
To play this weekend at the Lovefest!
Just email the Nat-man, he'll take about 20
So c'mon, and don't forget your juke-box money!
[Ladies] The LOOOVE FEST is a little old tournie,
Where .. we .. can .. huck it long yeah!
Love fest babeeeee!
[Lad] LOVE FEST BABY!
More seriously - Lovefest is Brisbane's biggest fun-focused tournament, in the true spirit of Matzuka.
Here's the blurb from the wonderful organisers:
Lovefest is coming this weekend. If you are interested in playing, get registered, and get into it.
All teams are welcome, from all walks of life. If you are a Mixed Nats team looking for a run, a uni team needing to get some action in the leadup to AUGs, a YUFL team wanting to build on experience, or just a group of friends looking to run around, come play.
The cost is $600 / team for a 2 day tournament (includes lunch and dinner on both days), so the more players you have, the cheaper it is.
($400 / team if there are only get enough teams for 1 day.)
There will be a party with slave auction on Saturday night. The theme for the party will be "Tops and bottoms."
Be there for the love. Register now so we can sort out how many fields we need for how many days. http://www.afda.com/rego/showdivision.php?divisionid=889
Remember, every time you score, yell "BANG BANG!"
Monday, September 08, 2008
Hot off the press this is the new RAW brochure for October - March! Click to make bigger.
RAW is the Brisbane City Council's sport and rec programme for women. Getting on the cover is some great promotion!
Cover girls are Beth Rougier with the lay out, Ali Christy and
Catriona Okely from WA.
November Women's Month features in this RAW brochure where we'll be
doing sessions at Oakman Park.
Photo by the smooth Roger Barnes.
Friday, September 05, 2008
The teams selected to play the Games are:
1. Canada (Bronze medalists at 2005 World Games)
2. United States of America (Gold in 2005)
3. Japan (4th in 2005)
4. Great Britain (taking the slot Finland held in 2005)
5. Australia (Silver in 2005)
6. Chinese Taipei (host - Germany hosted the previous games)
Many Aussies will recall the amazing hospitality of Kaohsiung, which hosted the first Asia-Oceania Ultimate Championships last year (where we picked up Silver again, this time behind Japan).
The World Games is a quadrennial event held the year after the Olympic Games. It is
held under the auspices of the International World Games Association (IWGA) and is
made up of 32 International Sports Federations. It was previously held in Akita, Japan and Duisburg, Germany. For more information about the World Games go to:
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Go and read his post and then come back.
I too often get stuff from Ulti-boosters about how Ultimate Should Be at the Olympics, but I'm not really interested. I guess mostly I don't see any chance of a return for the investment of time involved (that is, there's no chance).
Simon has done a great job in listing the key official/formal hurdles. These are generally used in describing why sports are in or out. The sports "in the queue" all tick these boxes ahead of Ultimate. I'll leave aside the principled (that is, not cost-related) resistance from some quarters within Ultimate to drug testing (who opposite it mostly, rightly, because its stupid for sports to test for and sanction against non-performance-related but nonetheless illegal recreational drugs).*
But back to my main point - for me, the "political" hurdles facing Ultimate are far greater than the formal ones.
Sports get into the Olympics because countries lobby for them. Powerful countries will lobby hard, and they will seek coalitions of like minded countries to seek the entry of sports.
Why would a country seek to include a new sport at the Olympics? Primarily, it would be because they reckoned they had a chance at winning medals in the sport.
Lots of medals.
This is one reason why we see sports that can offer lots of variation within their discipline (which are mostly individual sports) continue strongly at the Olympics. There are dozens and dozens of medals available in rowing, swimming, sailing, boxing, skiing, wrestling, cycling, and so on and so on.** But there's only two field hockey medals, two football (soccer) medals, two volleyball medals, two ice hockey medals, and so on. See where I'm going here? Countries and the IOC like to see lots and lots of medals handed out, and Ultimate isn't going to deliver on that.***
The other political issue for me is – how many countries really have a crack at winning a medal if Ultimate were at the Olympics, and hence would support its inclusion? Sure, this would change if countries decided to chase, but at the moment you can only see the USA or Canada taking Gold. Even if countries like Australia or GB did look at investing in it, they have to think about supporting 24 or so players to chase an outside chance at a Gold – not a great rate of return. Now, the USA is a sporting super-power, but I can't see them getting Ultimate into the Olympics on its own (even with Canadian support). The fact is that the international Ultimate playing field is hugely lop-sided, so you won't see Ultimate at the Olympics as a result.
But like Simon, I want to offer some suggestions to those people who are passionate about Ultimate Should Be at the Olympics.
!. Keep working on Ultimate's unique character. This makes it more marketable, particularly to broadcasters who have a significant influence over a sports inclusion (and then its ongoing profile!). Broadcasters have to fill in the space between covering their own country's major medal hopes, and there's scope for them to flip to Ultimate if its different to all the rest (Ultimate also makes for good 'feature reports'). That is, don't look at other sports and try to emulate them.
2. Get Ultimate happening in Asia and South America. If you're thinking about countries lobbying to get new sports into the Olympics, these are the areas that are 'under-represented' (most sports (and yes, there are plenty of exceptions) included in the Olympics are European or North American in flavour). But if Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Colombia, Venuzuala, Uruguay, India, China, Chile, and so forth think they have a chance at Olympic glory through Ultimate, then its got a better chance of happening. Why else is taekwondo, table tennis, badminton and judo there nowadays?
3. Keep offering views on what's presently wrong with the Olympics, and the inconsistencies about what sports are in and out. Ultimate stands very close to the Olympics' traditional ideals (this is one reason why Ultimate players think it has a real chance at getting into the Olympics). Should the wind change and the Olympics seek to return to those traditional ideas of good sportspersonship, fair play, less money, more equal opportunity, and so on, then Ultimate will be well placed to move up should other sports fall by the wayside (and my tip is that a few traditional sports will soon fall aside due to corruption).
A final thought to those Olympic boosters. There's plenty of reasons for keeping Ultimate out of the Olympics - the most commonly notes is that Ultimate traditionalists are wary about whether self-officiating and fair play can stand up in the present high-money Olympic environment.
But if you get Ultimate to the Olympics, there's a chance you'll end up limiting the sport. Who among the general public gives a toss about fencing, or diving, or shooting, or archery, except for maybe a couple of hours every four years? I kind of see more for Ultimate than this. Sports like soccer, athletics, skiing, triathalon, basketball, baseball, etc - they're at the Olympics because they have a great profile that has nothing to do with the Olympics. I think Ultimate has the eventual capacity to be a wide-profile sport played by a lot of people, but the Olympics could box it into perpetual niche-ness.
*To continue the aside, be frank, if Ultimate had any chance of making it into the Olympics, we'd be doing drug testing and Ultimate players who wanted to try to represent their countries at the Olympics would be making decisions about their habits.
**What is the frickin' difference between being the fastest over 100m and 200m (in swimming or athletics), or 2000m or 4000m (in rowing or cycling), or a few kilos difference within weight classes for fighting sports, etc etc. Frickin' nothing, its just tradition that you get to give more prizes out. If the IOC were ever idealistically serious about reducing the 'size' of the Olympics, rather than eliminating sports, they'd consider be a cull within sports.
***That said, team sports are largely more interesting to watch, and thinking about the power of the public and of broadcasters (who want people watching (for a long period), are a key reason they're a big part of the Olympics.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
While the official tipping competition has finished (winner to be announced once the whiz bang fang dangled computer finishes its calculations) you can still tip who you think is going to win for a bit of fun. Also some pre-semi trash talk wouldn't go astray either.
Will the spice FLOW and Melange bring together its disparate PARTS into one to produce a LARGE-SCALE geological breccia above a subduction zone environment?
Or will the UNSWALLOWABLE Titanium Nachos belie their status as a popular CORROSION-RESISTANT snack food, and reveal themselves as Not Another Completely Hucking Operation?
You NEED to be AT Oakman Park, off Union St in Toowong, tonight from 7.15, where you can MUNG out on the free BBQ and HOSE your throat down with free drinks, to FIND OUT!