Monday, August 31, 2009

Nothing Quite Worth a Full Post

- Blogger is being a bit painful at the moment, so apologies for the slow posting.

- But many of you will see the return of the "recent comments" feature over there on the right. Let's see how long that hack works. But in the past, it has certainly made people more aware of the comments added to various posts.

[edit]- Its sad that the US has decided against sending a team to the World u23 Championships. Yes, the u23's have been pulled together quickly, but I'm sure many will see the US not attending as a great embuggerance and disappointment. It IS a challenge for a nation as large as the US to pull together a team in the timeframe, but I don't think anyone would view it as an insurmountable one. It just seems to come across as "if we can't put a full effort in, we won't be coming half-arsed". And more annoying, when Australia goes and wins Gold ;), the clowns on will be rambling on about asterisks (as they did following WUCC2006), without realising that being the best in the world isn't just about on field performances, but all the fundraising and organisational effort and commitment that it takes to get there too. This one's still going folks.[/edit]

- We hope everyone heard Dr Chris Burwell (aka Buzz), who seems to be ABC radio's latest celebrity scientist, at least going on his long segment last Wednesday (which alas has not been posted on the web).

- JdR's old team in London, the Flaming Galahs, recently won a big final, and some dude got keen and posted the highlights on Youtube. Keep an eye out for Dan Berry (shortish rednut with silly grin) - JdR taught him everything he knew.

- We haven't yet mentioned the delightfully named Delirium team that will be representing Queensland, and indeed, the free world, at Mixed Nats in Hobart in October. Follow the link to love the Handfish, and slap the backs of those skilled enough to be selected:
Suze, Maylin, Megs, Notty, Laura, Jen C, Steph, Stu, Dusty, Jimmy, Andy L, Dan Blacklock, Hugh of Townsville, Jo-el VW (Canadian), George S and big bad Stef 'knee permitting' Rappazzo

- And because he's great and we don't post as many pictures as we should, here is Dan with a small child.

Friday, August 28, 2009

BPL 2009-2 Round 3 Results

Tipping results are being kept up to date, but are not being published until seasons end. We will give you some insider information though: Jdr has maintained his Pete-like record of 0 tips out of 6 so far this season.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Volunteer Idea for You - Bringing Back Those Who've Left, Without Leaving Your Desk

Here's an idea for doing something good for Ultimate for anyone with some time on their hands and easy computer access.

Many leagues (and tournaments and clubs) have been using the AFDA registration system for several seasons (if not years) now.

So why not spend a bit of time going through all those lists of past registrations, and make yourself up a list of all the people who have left your League in the last few years.

Then contact them (email would be easiest and often leads to a conversation). Tell them the League is still going, and when they can next most easily get back into it. If they don't want to come back, ask them why they left and what changes would attract them back.

Collect some stats as you go. Sure - lots of people have good reasons - they leave town, they get injured, etc. Maybe there are a lot of people who left for a particular reason that can be changed. Maybe there are a lot of people who would come back for a particular reason.

Let your League Director know you're doing this, and let them know how you go.

One of the things we could do better as a sport is retain players. For most of the 'hard core', life without Ultimate is unthinkable. But for most mortals, its probably not that difficult to ease out of Ultimate, particularly if the regulars don't seem to notice or care or try to get you back.

A polite email out of the blue, saying that you remember them playing but noticed they'd stopped, and that you'd love to see you back for the next season coming up, or would love to know what else might attract you back, may well grow Ultimate more effectively than many other things we do.

Spankin' Baby Girl

Just in case you missed the news.

"Just wanted to let everyone know that Emma Taylor (Spranklin) had a baby girl this afternoon. Molly Isabelle Taylor born at 5.52 - 7 pounds 13. Both are well!"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thoughtful Tuesdays: Using Your Gregory Peck

Which body part do you think most Ultimate players fail to use effectively?

The legs? There seems to be plenty of times someone could’ve run a bit harder.

The brain? Certainly there’s time when poor decisions get made.

The hands? Bad throws and dropped catches are certainly out there.

The heart? Yes, you know you should’ve laid out for that one.

But these aren’t the part I’m thinking of.

Kids, the body part that I wish people would use more of is the NECK.

Using your neck to swing your head around means that you’re absorbing a heck of a lot more about what’s going on around you. More information, particularly about what your team-mates and your opponents are up to, equals better decisions.

Next time you’re watching a game, watch a player you consider ‘average’. Chances are that as their team takes possession and they move into their offensive position, their neck isn’t doing much, aside from holding their head up as they look at the disc.

Maybe they’ve had a look at the person marking them. Maybe they’ve had a look at the defenders between them and the disc.

But that’s about it. They're probably just settling in to look at the disc.

Then, watch a really good player. Often, they’re good because they’re fast, fearless and have mad skillz with the disc.

But I’ll be you’ll see them looking around themselves (at least until they decide its time to deceive an opponent into passivity by ‘playing possum’).

Good Ultimate players really give their neck a workout. They're gathering information about what is the best cut for them to make relative to their defender, what are their full range of options for their next pass, who amongst their team has the best mismatch and chance to get free from a defender, who needs a quick switch of defender, what else is happening in the zone outside their immediate area, etc etc.

Now, this is somewhat less for players who are always the longest, mostly as they can survey the field without looking around too much (although if they are on Offence, the ability to see everything should be a bit of a give-away that they are too long).

“Staring at the disc” is possibly acceptable if your team has an offensive structure and tactic that is so well defined, drilled and foolproof that you don’t need to know anything about the 12 players on the field, aside from yourself and the person with the disc.

But if you’ve got an offence that requires some sort of decision making by you, then having all the information available to you by looking around is going to help a lot!

BPL 2009-2 Round 3 Draw

Tips have been tight so far with 6 of the 10 tippers sitting on 100%. At the other end of the scale is Jdr, who has shown UQ a lot of love, resulting in 0% from 4 tips.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Return of the Badman's Birthday Bash

Registration is open.

We don't need to spruik this one.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Adelaide!

Despite Port's dismal failure against the Lions on Saturday night (after being ridiculously ahead), Nationals 2010 will be held in Adelaide from Sat 24 April to Tuesday 27 April (Monday 26 is the ANZAC Day Public Holiday).

Time to start counting down those days ....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Border Crossings

For those in Brisbane who like to venture southwards on occasion, in pursuit of Ultimate pleasure ... from our intelligence provider on the Gold Coast:

The legend continues.

This coming Saturday marks the next date in the heated series between Byron and the Gold Coast.

This rivalry has traditionally been played as an 'open' only series ofgames. But this time around we will first play mixed game...potentially two depending on numbers. And then split into an Open game on one field and a Women's game on the other.

Games start at 1:00pm, and will probably go until about 4:30pm. At the fields in Byron Bay.

The aftermath will feature a collaboration of chaotic party styles, a few post game bevveys, and then a wild night in Byron Bay . A few of the Byron lads have offered
bed/couch/floor/camping space to make itaffordable for us to stick around for the night. ALL are welcomed... including any Brisbanites who are bored with
the drab monotony of the city life. (we'll divide ya amongst us.)

This WILL be a great day... come early, bring your surfboard.... contact one of the usual suspects to let them know you're coming ...

Also, don't neglect to get Badman's Birthday Bash on your calendar - 29-30 November.

BPL 2009-2 Round 2 Draw

This week is the first game for Cobras. Will people support them in the tips? Will Dojo use the bye week to train? Well, we already know the answer to one of those questions.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Smack my Beach Up

So, congratulations to the Brisbane-ites who've been selected on the Australian Beach Ultimate teams to play in October's Asian Ultimate Beach Championships in the Philippines.

Stephanie 'Stunner' Levasseur and Megan 'Bouncin' Barnes were selected on the Mixed Team, while Adam 'Jangled Ankles' Beu and Pete 'Pallen' Allen made it onto the Open Team.

No doubt these youngsters will be asking advice from a few of the medalists from Queenslanders who were part of the Australian triumphs at the World Beach Ultimate Championships back in late 2007 (the Open team rolling the Boracay Dragons in the process). But then again, Australia are already hot tips to win, so the pressure is high!

The event itself is likely to be a cracker, as the hosting Boracay Dragons are well known for running some great events.

Its great timing locally too, as the folks on the Gold Coast are getting things moving on some regular weekend beach pickup - expect I think to see Stephanie, Megan and Jangles down there often (Pete is still awol o/s), tearing up the sand and working on their tans.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Portafield Trips and Tips

So BPLers have now had a couple of weeks to use a portafield (thanks to LD Stu for an outstanding effort in getting these organised and here, and to QUDA as well).

It certainly makes a difference to the visual feel of the field, particularly at night. The portafield line is certainly more visible than even the chalked sidelines!

There have been a couple of times that people have been caught on the porta-lines, but given the stretch in the material, people seem to be able to recover safely.

Part of the challenge is that the field is not 100% flat (although its pretty good really). But a couple of centimeters of dip is enough to put a tight porta-line above the ground and able to catch a foot.

Perhaps its worth considering some extra very small pegs for a couple of spots? You'd need to feel that the metal isn't a safety issue though. I'm sure the BPL Brains Trust is considering options. Maybe juse a few small timber screws will have enough grab if the soil is dry and firm. But someone will probably need to remember to put them back in if the line gets snagged during a game.

One thing is clear though - teams need to have 2 or 3 people putting the field out and spending 10 minutes doing it, rather than one person doing a 2 minute jog as with cones. Having one person on the roll while others are ensuring the porta-line comes out flat (rather than twisted) will also make things safer and look tidier too.

What's your experience been so far?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mongo Wins Inaugural Brisbane Indoor Ultimate Championships

So Ekka Wednesday has been and gone, and the inaugural Brisbane Indoor Ultimate Championships (proudly sponsored by the Brisbane Ultimate Blog) were run and won by the all-gingerbread squad of Mongo, who took the final 14-11 over the Indooroopilly-based Newcomen House, after two minutes of extra time following an 11-11 battle for the ages!
Indoor Ultimate is a rarity in Brisbane - the weather is so nice you wonder why you'd bother going inside. But the propect of an afternoon of Ultimate that didn't involve smearing sunscreen all over yourself attracted 45 players plus a few fans. And the weather gods "smiled" on the TD by sending light rain just as the tournament was starting, and a brief thunderstorm during the Final. Truly, this was a good use of a midweek holiday.

The tournament was played at the Clem Jones Centre on Zahel St, Carina (just up the road from Adilia's stomping grounds). The venue was excellent, and the operators we very pleased to have us. The blue masking tape used to mark rectangular endzones worked very well too!
The view from TD Central.
The most attractive team at the tournament was obviously Si Si Columbia (below), although despite pushing several teams during the round robin, Nathan's jovenes didn't quite have the legs, picking up the wooden spoon at the end of the event (but still smiling).

Si Si Columbia - all smiles - including Swedish pickup Emil, in Brisbane for a week's holiday.

Defeating the Columbians with a steady improvement through the day were the combination of UQ Haters and the various pickup players (including Nealo visiting for a week from Fiji).

Assistant TD Rohan helps to add some 'cute' to the front row of the UQ Haters/Pickup

While teams decided they were too tired for a proper playoff for third (and to think, after the first 20 minute game, people were complaining of not enough game time ... this tune soon changed as the afternoon wore on), on countback, the much fancied Skyneedle came in fourth on countback (fancied in a sexual sense, rather than a punting one, I think?).

Skyneedle convey their team name through liturgial dance. Silent George was NOT hungover during this tournament.

This left third place to Team Canada, who outperformed their much fancied outdoor team, who could only make 4th at the recent World Games.

The hockey stick didn't make the photo, alas. And apparently, Yeronga "is too" a part of Canada.

The Final featured what we believe was the first electronically scored game of Ultimate ever seen in Brisbane. Thanks to the scoreboard team of Paige, young Master Laedwig, and JJ.

Fingers on the buzzers, please.
The Final was tough and uncompromising - partly because of the endurance nature of the tournament, partly due to a bit of unfamiliarity with the rules (never fun when passions are high). Newcomen House took the best posed team photo of the day, before switching to light shirts and entering the fray.
Can't wait for the next party at Dan's house. Note this was also the first competitive outing for a Cobra shirt.

Leaping Leon takes a catch during the Final.

Full time saw the scores locked at 11-11, reflecting the closeness of the event which included a large spectator contingent. After a quick chat, two minutes of extra time were agreed too. After a slow start, the run of points went to the fast-finishing and gingerbread smelling MONGO!, who took home the title of Brisbane Indoor Ultimate Champions. W00t!
We are the shit, mon-go.
Alas, the budget this year didn't allow us a trophy, but good things come to those who wait. And its all about bragging rights anyways.
Thanks to everyone who came and had a good time, particularly the Captains for organising teams, and other who helped out on the day.

We'll be back again in 2010 ... and you can even register now!!!

BPL 2009-2 Round 1 Results

Note the inclusion of Passion's new logo, in support of the Mike Neild's performance in the 2008 movie, Salute:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Put Your Hand in the Hand of the Man Who Hucked the Frisbee

I think this is fantastic.

We have all grappled with not knowing what is going on when there's a call and a discussion that happens out of earshot.

Many have had the idea of using hand signals and such. But it has taken the sheer grit, gumption, intellect and general good looks of Rueben Berg to bring this not only to fruition, but to have them endorsed by the world-wide governing body WFDF.

This kind of stuff is also going to help those times when not everyone on the field is fluent in Ye Ulti-English, which is surprisingly often when playing both internationally and even at home against sub-human meatheads like the .

For a start, lets hope everyone in the BPL has a look at these, and starts to use them. Maybe we can even laminate a copy of this on the back of the scoreboards (Janlges?)

Check them out and start memorising here.

BPL 2009-2 Round 1 Draw

Following a shocking blogging effort last BPL Season, the regular draw, results & ladders will be posted on the BUB this season. Rest assured that young Will has been severely punished for this not being done last season. Sure, it wasn't his fault, but we enjoyed it just the same.

With the return of the draws & results, will be the tipping competition. And this season may even have a prize! So here is the first weeks fixtures (no points for tipping the team with the bye to win, lose, draw, or not show up). Inter-staters more than welcome to take part in the tipping, and are highly encouraged to do so. Get tipping people!

Monday, August 10, 2009

BPL Season 2 Fixtures

Super-LD Stu has posted the draw for the upcoming season of the Brisbane Premier League (starting this week ... hmm, better get blogging ... I mean, training). The official location for the draw is over here, but here's a cut and paste for those who find the Brisbane Ultimate Blog easier to get to.

Get Your Disc Out for a Free Beer

With the public holiday in Brisbane this Wednesday, there are some folks getting together for an Ultimate socialising and drinking session this Tuesday night (11 August).

It'll be on at the RE (aka Royal Exchange) Hotel in Toowong - right near Toowong Railway Station and the Toowong Village Shopping Centre, and also very convenient to the University of Queensland. From 7pm.

BRING YOUR DISC - if you have your disc out, Molly (or someone Molly nominates) will buy you a beer (at least until the money, proudly supplied by the Brisbane Ultimate Blog, runs out)

That's RIGHT Ulti-FANS - the Brisbane Ultimate Blog is adding to your fun, by encouraging you to GET YOUR DISC OUT and show people what a frisbee is, and maybe they'll even ask you what its all about.

Bronzed Mike talks World Games

Having returned from the stifling heat of Taiwan and his recent selection at number 34 in the Huddle's mock draft, Mike took some time out to visit the pools of the BUB Manor, then sauntered inside to discuss his recent trip and achievements at World Games. The discussion went a little something like this:

BUB: Mike, thanks for avoiding the swarm of Taiwanese girls outside to come in and have a quick chat with us about your recent trip to World Games. Nice little medal around your neck as well we see.

MN: Thanks for having me on the page. The medal is very nice, a real point of pride from my 7 years of Frisbee.

You'd think those Taiwanese girls would have had enough by now hey?

BUB: Oh Mike, no one could ever get enough of you. We were hearing reports of crowds up to 5,000 people for some of the games over there. Given that the biggest crowd in Australia will be a couple of hundred people at a Nationals Final, what was it like to play in front of those sorts of crowds? Any signs held up saying "Marry me Mike Neild"?

MN: There were a few signs up in the stadium, no proposals that I noticed however it was a big stadium. During the opening ceremony for the whole event the stadium was full (40,000 or something) and there were people hanging out on the outside of the stadium watching on the big screen.

During the course of the 3 day Frisbee tournament 39,500 tickets were sold and during our Sunday night game against the host nation Chinese Taipei there were an estimated 10,000 to 12,000 people in the stadium. It was absolutely incredible! I have a vivid memory of standing on the line at the start of a point three quarters of the way through the game. The commentator on the loud speaker was firing up the crowd and Mat Dowle was standing 5m away from me and yelling in order to make himself heard while calling the line, it was like nothing I've experienced before.

BUB: 12,000 people?! We'll have to try and get that to the next BPL Final. One of the big wins to come out of WG05 was the high level of spirit at such a competitive tournament. Australia won the spirit at WG09, but how did you view the overall spirit of the tournament? Feel free to name names if you like.

MN: The spirit was good at the tournament. Possibly slightly higher than at a World Championship event. Spirit is based heavily on respect for the individuals and team that are at the other end of the field. Respect between the players of the top frisbee nations in the world is very high. As always there was some fiestyness between GB and Australia however it never became disrespectful.

BUB: Don't worry about those brits, we'll have the ashes soon anyway. Heroic Australian Co-Captain Jonno Holmes was on a drip prior to the bronze medal playoff and then returned to the field to help lead the team to victory. Do you consider this a greater sporting moment than the incident involving Graeme Smith and his broken hand at the SCG earlier this year? How much did this boost the team?

MN: Yeah Jonno looked pretty ordinary for a couple of days there and I suppose we needed to get him onto the essential salts or magic drip a bit earlier. He was so important to the successful performance of our team on the field that without him at top ability we struggled.

I was absolutely inspired and impressed by his performance in the bronze medal game after such a tough preceeding 48 hours. A total captain's effort.

BUB: Graeme Smith, eat your heart out! Given that most of you have been playing non-stop since WUGC training camps around 1.5 years ago, do you plan on taking any time off now to have a bit of a rest? Or are you going to keep going while the going is good?

MN: It is a shame that opportunities to play for Australia are so rare. I have feelings of regret that during the window of top level performance that I have as an athlete (while the going is good) I will only attend a small number of events for Australia. These feelings are mixed with an interest in not completing multiple running sessions each week for months on end.

To answer the question I'll lumber around at league with the Cougars, QUTies and Buggers for the rest of the year however travelling and tournaments hold very limited appeal for me at the moment.

BUB: How did you find the standard of the overall tournament? Did it live up to the highest level in our sport? Were any games easy at that level?

MN: They were all hard fought, desperate games. Credit must go to the host nation Chinese Taipei for developing themselves into a dangerous and challenging team. The results at the tournament give credit to the even nature of the teams, with all of the top 4 teams beating each other at various stages. There were also excellent individual challenges during every game, it was great.

It is different to playing with the Dingos though. The shortness of the tournament maybe, the fact that every game was challenging and vital to the overall result. A wonderful experience

BUB: Well Mike, thanks for your time today. We will let you get back to the autograph signing.

MN: Yes thank you Brisbane Ultimate Blog. The autograph joke is now a little less fantasy and a little more real - still pretty surreal and funny though.

Also thanks very much to everyone from Brisbane who wished me good luck and passed on their congratulations when I came home down at league or at the halibut. It has been really nice to feel the support of the community and I was well aware of the responsibility to represent the home frisbee community well while over at the tournament. Thanks again.

Mike waves to the fans as he enters the stadium.

The Crocs receive their bronze medals.

Mike signs some autographs for some adoring fans. Next shot was Mike being mauled by naked, screaming Taiwanese girls, but could not be shown for legal reasons.