Monday, May 31, 2010

The Most Mellow of the Yellows

Time gets away from us, even the immortal denizens of the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion.

But we must pause in this most busy of existences to ponder and wonder at the general awesomeness of Eireann Gilligan and Jon Good, who tonight play their last game in the yellow colours for probably the most popular team in Brisbane, the Mellow Yellow.

In case you missed it, Eireann and Jon depart Brisbane 'forever'* in just over a week or so (both will get a final game in at WUFL and BPL respectively I think).

Jon and Eireann have played many seasons and tournaments for Mellow Yellow, a team they helped found way back in 2006 (I think). They have contributed in many other ways to Brisbane Ultimate too - Eireann also known for her enthusiasm on the Women's scene, and Jon for Directing the Brisbane Premier League for several seasons (along with drinking copious amounts of alcohol and gossiping madly at any opportunity).

But I think it will be for the love that they have shared with all of us through their membership of Mellow Yellow that they will be best remembered. The Yellows are regular winners of the BUML Spirit Prize, and routinely feature in finals series. More importantly, brand Mellow is one of sheer Ultimate JOY and has been for many years and is likely to be for many years to come.

We in the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion have always looked forward to a game against Mellow Yellow, and have never been disappointed.

A lot more could be written! I am sorry time is so short.

So get on down to the BUML Finals tonight and GO MELLOW YELLOW (sorry Cougars - there always has to be a sentimental favourite!).

*by forever, we mean we're sure they'll be back for a visit. But they're like moving overseas or something.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Create a Used Disc Market

This was an idea I was going to pitch to QUDA, but I figured we'd blog it as other folks might find it worth considering.

Ultimate volunteers often want to build coaching kits of discs. These get used with large groups of new players - eg at schools. Generally you're looking at 10-30 discs in these.

But we're usually hesitant to put brand new discs in coaching packs (when we think large amounts of discs, we usually think of the ones that have recently arrived in the country). They're pricey and potentially easily lost etc.

Equally, experienced players like to have new discs, but they are often slow to just straight out donate discs they aren't using much (many players (leaving aside collectors) have 5+ discs at home but only need/use 2-3) (Of course, there are also many people who gladly donate discs).

Why don't volunteer bodies just go out and buy or trade for used discs?

Next time you have a big tournament (eg for QUDA it might be Halibut), tell everyone you're buying or offering trade in deals for used discs.

Set up a little table. Sell new discs for the usual $20. Offer say $10 trade in for a decent used disc, $5 trade for something that's knocked around.

Essentially, you're buying usable discs for $5-10 to go in coaching packs etc, rather than putting $20 discs in there. Significant saving on your volunteer bank account, as well as making experienced players happy and providing discs you're not too stressed about in the coaching packs.

Brisbane Ultimate Strategic Plan (BUSP) - Doing Better at Establishing New Leagues

So as discussed last week, thinking progresss on the Brisbane Ultimate Strategic Plan 2011-2013, and we here at stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion once again have the desire to share a concept and invite some comments. Note that everyone in Brisbane will get a say in the eventual Plan - think of this post as a chat at the pub.

Strategic Direction - Doing Better at Establishing New Leagues

So one of the blobs that regularly floats to the surface when discussing Brisbane Ultimate over the years that we've been paying attention is the establishment of new Leagues. Typically this involves thinking along the lines of at least one of the following:

  1. it seems our current Leagues have run out of field space, so new field space should be found and a new thing set up.
  2. there are lots of pesky beginners (bless them) running around - maybe we should hive them all off into a separate thing (the same thing could be said of elite players too).
  3. we want to grow Ultimate, so setting up a new thing in a place and time different to what we have at present will attract new people, as well as give existing players another opportunity to play.

Each of these lines of thought seem to be articles of faith, and while essentially right are of course challengeable - an existing League can operate across multiple venues, many beginners want to play with and learn from their experienced rather than play in a baby League, new geographic areas aren't that important it seems, etc etc.

Sadly, in the recent past when we've tried to set up new Leagues, the model seems to have been Ultimate sending a few individuals off into the wilderness to find a field and make it happen. There is no willingness to change what exists to support the new.

This suggests to me that our efforts to do this in the past have been ‘opportunistic’ rather than ‘strategic’. I say sadly because these efforts seem to be somewhat doomed to failure. Jangles has been struggling manfully to get some regular northside play going for some time now. In the middle of 2009 JdR tried to get some play happening on Wednesday nights at Nathan, with little success.

Part of strategic thinking is about what sacrifices will you make for what benefits. In the past we haven’t been willing to even consider the balance, let alone actually change anything that exists (ie no sacrifice) to do more to ensure the success of any new ventures.

Strategic decision making is about weighing up what are the best short term pains for long term gains.

So here's a couple of guidelines that might go in a Brisbane Ultimate Strategy, with regards new Leagues.

Have a Solid Core
First, we need to do better than just sending a couple of keen people off into the wilderness. Perhaps the Brisbane Ultimate Strategic Plan needs to say that BUDA will support efforts to set up new Leagues, if:
- the proposed new League is being proposed by an established Ultimate club or group; or
- the proposed new League is the natural extension of an existing weekly Ultimate event (eg training, pickup); or
- at least three teams from an existing League are committed to the proposed new League.

Stating this clearly helps to manage the expectations of the membership, and remind keen volunteers that successfully setting up a new League in Brisbane is probably going to need more than a couple of people. You need a solid base. Even if you think you can recruit a lot of new people into the sport, you need to have enough experienced people to bring them along into a new sport that doesn’t have officials to tell you when to start, what to do, what not to do, etc etc.

So, if you want to set up a new League, you need to have a sizable number of people willing to make the sacrifice of leaving their present comfort zone of League play, for the longer term benefit

Then Look for Fields
If one of the above conditions can be met, then the next step is to secure fields at the desired weekday and time. This is purely mechanical, and everyone has ideas about where and when would be nice, as this is the easy bit (this is also why discussions previously have always jumped straight to this, ie people at the pub saying “what we really need is a league on this night in that suburb”. The hard part of this has usually been in a willingness to spend a long time looking and building potential relationships. Its very rare for a field provider to have a field just sitting there empty at a time and price we’d be interested in (of course, when this happens it’s a good thing if we’re ready to jump!).

Financial Subsidy
I haven’t talked much about obvious sacrifice yet, but we’re getting to the harder end now. In supporting new Leagues, we will need to make a clear decision about whether existing Leagues financially subsidise new Leagues or not.

In the past we haven’t really and clearly (we sort of have, and its been ad hoc). The ‘new leagues’ element of our strategic plan needs to explain this clearly one way or the other.

I think they should, because new Leagues need to be able to make a loss so as to attract players, and because players in existing Leagues benefit from having new Leagues. They benefit in terms of great legitimacy for our sport, for making it easier for new people to come into the sport, for reducing the load on existing Leagues, and for increasing their own long term choices.

It is also necessary to make the new Leagues attractive. Say for example the new League gets enough field space for 90 players, but to start it only attracts 45. If those 45 have to pay close double to support the fixed costs of the League, then this won’t be very attractive.

Hence, perhaps the form and amount of subsidy provided should be based on the budget of what the new League would charge as a player or team fee if the new League were relatively full – ie if the new League would cost $40 if it was full and had around 90 players, then you charge something close to $40 (rather than $70) even while it has 45 players for its first season and is getting established. Brisbane Ultimate as a whole adds in what it has too, taking that money from other Leagues. (Figures above are just rough for example).

Calendaring ‘Subsidy’
A second thing we haven’t done too well in the past and could do a lot more about is ensuring the best possible launch of a new League by adjusting the calendaring of other Leagues.

As discussed earlier, to succeed, new Leagues need to have a number of current players join it from the start. Current players at the moment are getting all the Ultimate they want (this is a topic for another post – are we seeing a decline in growth and the level of volunteering because the old motivation of wanting to grow Ultimate so you could play more yourself is now gone?), so there are few reasons to join a new League.

In planning new Leagues then, we need to launch them at times when there isn’t a lot of other Ultimate on, and going a step further, actively reduce the amount of other Ultimate available.

Again, obviously this involves some sort of sacrifice for current players – eg having your League season start moved and length possibly shortened for reasons outside your immediate League.

A lot of the above will annoy people. These are hard decisions to make. But this is what real strategic planning is about. This is what we have been missing in Brisbane, with our general disorganised ad hoc approach, and we’re getting left behind by the other capitals around Australia.

Of course, I’ll caveat again that a strategic plan is intended to be a guide. Stuff can change and you need to be able to go with it – eg Oakman Park just offers us Wednesday nights out of the blue. Equally, a strategic plan is ideally representative about a series of decisions a group has made, about the sacrifices its willing to make for the goals it is most eager to attain. To make Oakman Park work, where Northside and Nathan Wednesday’s didn’t, we need to think outside our present box.

As usual, comment lines are open.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

UPA Becomes USAU

The Ultimate Players Association (UPA), the governing body for Ultimate in the USA, has renamed itself USA Ultimate.

Friday, May 28, 2010

BUML Draw for 31 May - Finals!

Next Monday night brings an end to this Season 1 of BUML 2010.

There's more happening after that, but its a subject of another post!

Here's what's happening on Monday night:

Grand Final Division 1 - 8:40-9:40 Annerley 3A
Chimichangas vs Wushi Finger Hold

Grand Final Division 2 - 7:30-8:30 Annerley 3A
Mellow Yellow vs Kelvin Grove Cougars

3rd Place Playoff Division 1 - 8:40-9:40 Annerley 3B
Plastic Scourgery vs exQUisiTe

3rd Place Playoff Division 2- 7:30-8:30 Annerley 3B
Heroes vs exQUisiTe

Ranking Games - Annerley
Mongo vs Baby Chimis - 8:40-9:40 Annerley 5
Frisky vs Bermuda Triangle - 7:30-8:30 Annerley 5

Ranking Games - Griffith
Discheads vs Poachers - 7:15-8:15 Griffith 2
Dyspnoeics vs Griffith Go-Go's - 7:15-8:15 Griffith 1

Sars in Uganda

So a while back, the delightful Sara Carghill ventured off to Uganda, carrying with her a bunch of discs that folks in Brisbane donated. Here's what's happened since then.

Hi folks,

I really wanted to send out a massive thank you to everyone who donated a disc for me to take to Uganda - especially the Mcnaughton dynasty who once again demonstrated their limitless generosity!

I wish I had videoed the responses of some of the recipients - they were pretty happy!

I was actually very lucky and managed to make friends with a Peace Corps teacher who was already teaching Ultimate to her students. She was doing this with a couple of fairly sad looking discs, so to give each student a relatively shiny disc of their own made a huge difference to everyone's enthusiasm!

I was able to join in on a few of the games - these involved dodging the anthill mid field, avoiding the goat in the endzone, steering clear of the machete weilding sideline grass cutters and having such a cracking good time!

Just to let you know where the discs ended up:
1. A teachers college- they're aiming to get to the annual tournament in Kampala this year
2. A local school for the deaf

Thanks again!!


BPL 2010-1 Round 13 Results

For those lacking skills at math going into next week, here's the read from LD Stu (please post tips elsewhere though:

So at the pointy end of the league; if Passion and Lovers win their final games next week then Lovers take the 4th semi final spot. If Passion and Slamtown both win their games by a lot (+13 points combined) then Slamtown will take the 4th semi final spot. Cobras take it under all the other options.

Dojo (minor premiers), Passion and Buggers are through to the semi finals barring any forfeits but could finish in any number of positions, Heroes have been out of the running for a while.

It's going to be an interesting set of games!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Would aL Do?

This is probably the correct answer. In any situation, its best for aL to huck it long.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brisbane Ultimate Strategic Plan (BUSP) - New Player Friendly

So folks (including the Lord of the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion) are starting to work on the Brisbane Ultimate Strategic Plan 2011-2013. The process is going to be something like a small group doing some thinking and writing together, before putting a draft document out for everyone to consider and provide feedback on, probably via a meeting of something.

To help smooth some of this, occasionally there'll be some posting here on the blog, being as it is a central point for many members of the "chattering classes" of Brisbane Ultimate. So today, a ramble about the importance of new players and what we could be our strategies for getting more and managing them better.

One important thing to keep in mind - the BUSP is not going to change things tomorrow. Some things included in the BUSP may occur at the start of next year, others may be agreed to be good ideas but deferred until 2013. The timing of change is one of our key strategic issues, after all!

Strategic Direction – Making All Leagues ‘New Player Friendly’

There is regularly talk about how to integrate new players into Brisbane Ultimate. Its taken as an article of faith that we want new people to join our sport, and we generally do a good job of this, if in a fairly ad hoc manner.

Thinking about how we integrate new players is frequently tied up with how to manage ‘beginners’. I’m keen to separate out these ideas, as discussions about ‘beginners’ lead us to a belief in the need for beginner leagues run by kind hearted experienced players, which is valid but only takes us in one direction.

At the least, the problem with a concept of a ‘beginner league’ falls over when the beginner league goes into a second season and most people who’ve gotten used to playing at that place and time aren’t beginners any more!

‘New players’ thus includes ensuring we welcome people who are familiar with Ultimate and new to Brisbane. As Ultimate continues to gain wider recognition world-wide, and as people continue to come and go from Brisbane, this will be a growing flow of players. We need to be new player focused to ensure these people come and play Ultimate with us, rather than taking up other options competing for their time in their new home.

My thinking in terms of strategic plan 2011-2013 is that we endeavour to define how all Leagues in Brisbane can be "new player friendly". If we establish this, then we have something that we can try to do consistently across the different places and times to play in Brisbane, as well as carry from season to season.

I also say that by ‘all Leagues being new player friendly’ I include BPL or any ‘elite’ League. The difference between BPL and other Leagues is that the LD puts emphasis on whether new players are welcome onto Captains. A BPL Captain could decide to take on a rank beginner (and in practice may well do that if they have a superb athlete who they think they can train up quickly). In contrast, in our ‘non-elite’ Leagues, efforts are make by LDs in cooperation with Captains to ensure that all new players can find a place on an existing team, or if numbers require it, new teams will be set up specifically to accommodate new players, often with leadership support from spirited experienced players.

So, to be new player friendly all Leagues could (and please remember, I propose these as general directions, not iron-clad orders):

· Program at least one night before the start of each season’s fixtures, where new players are specifically encouraged to attend.

This allows new players to have a no obligation taste, find the fields and get a feel for the League, learn to play, to find a team, etc etc. It gives existing players an easy way to introduce friends etc to the League. (Even an elite league would benefit from this, as players from could give playing at a higher level a go.)

This week (ideally two really) also helps LDs and Captains to get the season and their teams together, and returning players to get going again.

Leagues can do this how they want. Some might run it on a team basis – ie training nights. Some might run specific ‘Learn to Play’ if there are experienced players/coaches willing to teach. Some might run pickup at least so there’s an opportunity to turn up and have a go.

I also say 'program' in that if one of these nights is rained out, it isn't 'replayed' - its just too bad and fixtures should still start on time.

[a strategic alternative might be to not do this, but instead make a much bigger effort to use and support ‘pickup games’ to fulfil this avenue]

· Have the establishment of multiple divisions as a long term goal for any League

I guess it’s a given that all Leagues seek to grow, and that they will if necessary seek multiple locations to support this growth (or at least, this would be discussed in other parts of the strategic plan). Multiple divisions multiply the entry points for new players. They also strengthen retention of players, as players get to play at a level that suits them – they get a more consistent experience from week to week, and can aspire to improve and move up. Multiple divisions also seem to be easier to manage than a single big one.

A rule of thumb for Brisbane Ultimate could be that any competition that achieves 8 or more reliable teams should get cracking on planning to split into two divisions. Equally, if we have two competitions on the same night and within a reasonable distance of each other, then once they achieve a certain collective size, we should encourage them to merge and ‘divisionise’ themselves.

· All League seasons should start around the same time of year

Aside from the obvious of being able to do a single promotional effort, and also making it straight forward for individuals to move between Leagues. Leagues starting around the same time helps new players get into the League that’s right for them. [this assumes a separate discussion that agrees that LDs cooperate to plan the year together across all of Brisbane]

· Look to have more and shorter seasons, rather than fewer longer ones

There is great benefit for LDs to have longer seasons. A large part of your admin effort goes to getting the season started, teams sorted etc etc. Ongoing players like longer seasons too, as they want routine rather than the non-routine of seasons finishing and starting. Frequently they also express the desire to ‘play every team’ for social or competitive reasons.

But, the start of the season is the best time for new players to join. So increasing the number of starts will increase the opportunities for new players. Draws can be constructed to manage this.

Shorter seasons also tend to be cheaper in pure dollar teams (although not necessarily value for money due to slight loss of economy of scale). A 16 week season might cost $160, where a 6 week season costs $60. Which one is more appealing to a new player?

· Leagues should have mechanisms so that new players can join during the season

As the sport gets more competitive, so too do Captains and players want to see consistency in rosters etc through the season. But, to be welcoming to new players, we need to have mechanisms that allow these people to join during a season. The nature of this should vary of course depending on each League’s circumstances – eg an elite League might have an LD acting as an impartial drafter, who allocates new players to specific teams based on their sense of ‘balance’. Another League may leave it to Captains to recruit as they wish during seasons (typically people bringing along their mates), based on what this means for their individual team’s ‘time on the field’ and so forth. There could also be fee reductions etc for the new player and/or a team that takes them on. What is important is that new players are not turned away.

I'll conclude by reminding that the above is only one train of thought in terms of the BUSP, and the ideas here need to be compared to others and decisions made (the most important thing in doing a strategic plan is that you make hard decisions and commit to sticking to them for the next three years). So for example in saying "have more and shorter seasons" to make it easier for new players, we would have to balance that against a desire to have "round robin + finals seasons" to support competitive play, "only one or two seasons" to reduce administrative load, and so forth.

Anyway, ramble out. Comment lines are open - minds are also open to all ideas!

Tentative Next Season Dates for BUML and BPL

With the current seasons of BUML and BPL drawing to a close, folks are starting to inquire about the start dates for the next seasons.

I believe the Directors of each League are still finalising the plan, but for the moment, its probably ok to PENCIL in:

BUML - Season 2 2010 starting on Monday 28 June.
There will be some sort of play every Monday between the end of the current season and the start of the new one. Keep an eye on the new BUML website for official announcements.

BPL - Season 2 2010 starting with training night on 29 July, games on 5 August.
BPL has a solid break between the two seasons it has each year. Keep an eye on this blog or the dog-cup yahoogroup for official announcements.

Ultimate Frisbee in Cairns - May 2010 Update

We here at stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog occasionally receive an inquiry about Ultimate Frisbee in Cairns, and to save ourselves some time we figured we'd post a bit of info here.

A main reason for these inquiries is the number of people who visit Cairns for a few days or weeks or months, and are looking for a run around.

When we last posted, there wasn't much going on.

But we've received an update from some locals, and yes there is now a regular game:
In Cairns we have a regular game on every Thursday except when it POURS!

We often get about 6 on 6 of regular players.

We play at 5 pm (often 5.15-5.30 ish until dark, outside the Cairns
Hospital on The Esplanade).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bit Slow on the Uptake + Invite to Comment

Sometimes we're well ahead of the game here at the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion, that given the cyclical nature of time itself, we are also sometimes well behind.

So we've neglected to note the rise of the new Monday night Brisbane Ultimate Mixed League (aka BUML) website -

The back end is still under construction, but its the place to look for draws and results.

And with the new season of BUML just around the corner, the comment lines are open for any suggestions from the anonymous or not on what they'd like to see changed. Longer games? Earlier starts? More divisions? Less Julz?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Finals Week 1 - 24 May - BUML Season 1 2010

What tha? The season seems both long and short, and now its finals time!

Remember, just about everyone gets a game both weeks of the finals.

Division 1

Semi Final One - Annerley Field 3A 8.40-9.40pm
Chimis (1) v ExQUisiTe (4)
Semi Final Two - Annerley Field 3B 8.40-9.40pm
Scourgery (2) v Wushi (3)

The winners of these Semi Finals play each other next week in the Final. The losers play off against each other next week for 3rd place.

Division 2

Semifinal One - Annerley Field 3A 7:30-8:30pm
Mellow (=1st) v ExQUisiTe (=3rd)
Semifinal Two - Annerley Field 3B 7:30-8:30pm
Kelvin Grove Cougars (=1st) v Heroes (=3rd)

The winners of these Semi Finals play each other the following week in the Final. The losers play off against each other the following week for 3rd place.

Playoff One - Annerley Field 5 8:40-9:40pm
Mongo (5th Div 1) v Bermuda (5th Div 2)

Playoff Two - Annerley Field 5 7.30-8.30pm
Frisky (6th) v Baby Chimis (7th)

The winners and losers of Playoffs One and Two play each other the following week.

Playoff Three - Griffith Field 1 7:15-8:15pm
Dyspnoeics (8th) v Poachers (9th)

Playoff Four - Griffith Field 2 7:15pm-8:15pm
Discheads (10th) v Griffith Go-Go's (11th)

The winners and losers of Playoffs Three and Four play each other the following week.

BPL 2010-1 Round 12 Results

- The results of the Dojo-Slamtown game and Cobras-Buggers game means that, barring a Dojo forfeit next week, Dojo have the minor premiership secured.
- Buggers have to lose both of their games and have results go against them if they are to miss the semi finals.
- Heroes are mathematically unable to make the semis.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What time is it?

Many of you at BPL will have noticed that absence of timers in the past season or 2. This is possibly a result of some time obsessed people taking these timers for their own personal use, but we here at the stately BUB manor feel that it would be harse to jump to this conclusion (and our legs don't really feel like jumping much), so would rather say that nature took its course and these timers feel back to the land from which they first came through no fault of any disc-wielding maniac. As a result of whatever happened to these timers, the number of timers has been slashed from 3 to 1.

The number of close games in the past few seasons decided by time cap rather than points cap, has seen the necessity for correct timing reinforced. As a result of this and also because of their high level of player involvement in BPL, Firestorm has decided, through their wonderful treasurer who also holds a place at the mightly BUB table, to invest in some new timers for BPL use.

With that in mind, we travelled down to Ye Olde Market (aka ebay) and purchased 3 black, shiny new timers. Telegram carriers delivered these to our place of trade via postage methods earlier this week, and therefore tonight will see the debut of these timers.

We request that all BPL participants take care of these new BPL assets, as they are provided for the use of the players and make the whole experience of BPL more enjoyable. Also, when setting these timers please note that the timers use minutes and seconds (rather than hours and minutes) so please don't set them to 01:20 unless you have another engagement to get to, try setting them to 80:00 for a more enjoyable and fulfilling game.

The new timers as viewed in the market place windows

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

How I'd Redo NUFL

All the below is prefaced once again by being the hopefully coherent but nonetheless armchair-based thoughts on someone who's not going to run or play in NUFL any time in the near future. But thoughts offered in the best possible sense ...

So for a few years there, Australia had a thing called 'NUFL', the National Ultimate Frisbee League, which was in some ways a success and some ways less so.

NUFL was a success in helping solidify some key Clubs around Australia, and in providing high level Ultimate between Nationals and international competition. The challenges that NUFL seemed to face related to timetabling and costs - elite players often faced conflicting and overwhelming demands for their money and time (both in terms of their weekly Ultimate game and training and the various teams and tournaments they may be involved in), and NUFL as a series of events was conceived as involving Clubs training hard.

A big goal that arguably was never really pursued, was to make NUFL a high profile spectator event, both within the Ultimate community and as something that could be promoted to the wider community.

With all this in mind, here's a set of connected points on how I would redo NUFL for 2011 onwards:

  • AFDA commit to three years and then review (so 2011-2013) to give clear direction.
  • One two day weekend tournament (although a Friday night opening game may be considered, featuring at least one local team, as would a Saturday night feature game - one night game would be Open, the other Women). AFDA and our community is better able to give one event its support, both in terms of administration and promotional support for a single event.
  • Open and Women's divisions.
  • Rename it to reflect this (its not a League any more). Maybe 'AFDA Presidents Cup' or 'National Ultimate Frisbee Cup'.
  • Have it around four to six weeks after Nationals (but commit to a number). Putting it in May/June makes it a good continuation for elite players between the Australian National season (Jan-April) and the international season (July-August). Put the dates for all three years down as early as possible (just as Nationals each year is locked in well ahead).
  • The top four (or five) teams from Nationals qualify and are invited to compete. Basically, if your Club does well at Nationals, then you keep training after that (and several top Clubs will plan for that option). Clubs will be strongly motivated to back up or improve on their performance at Nationals.
  • That said, there's a maximum two Clubs per division from a single State, so as to maximise promotion ability as a 'national' event.
  • Keep the number of teams low, so that only a few fields are needed, to enable access to higher profile venues and maximise the spectator experience (everyone is kept together rather than spread out over a larger venue as at Nats). Indeed, if the draw can be done such that there's only one-two-three games on at a time, all the better.
  • We want to support Clubs being autonomous, but also our elite players who may not be members of the very best Clubs for various good reasons. So, either: current members of the Australian National Open and Women's teams who are not members of Clubs that qualify via Nationals are able to drafted via some mechanism onto those Clubs (I haven't done the modelling here - if the model suggests there are a LOT of these people, then consider instead entering them as an 'Aussie All-Stars' Club/team.
  • If Youth Nationals is anywhere around this period, then prevent under 18 players from playing, unless they are members of the Australian Open and Women's teams (this model is all about reducing event-conflict so we need to give a clear direction to such players. We presently need our strong young players to lead other youth, and young players have years to get their chance at this event).
  • AFDA invests and pays for the tournament. In making it a showcase, AFDA provides the fields, gear, amenities and meals. This motivates AFDA to ensure the event is a showcase with quality, accessible fields, and invest time, effort and money in promotion. It also motivates AFDA to ensure the wider membership is engaged with the event. AFDA may generate income via spectator drinks and food sales, as well as asking the local State association to contribute (its local Ultimate players who get the free show, although interstate spectators are also strongly encouraged).
  • Clubs and players pay for their own travel and use their Nationals uniforms.
  • Clubs and players commit to any marketing activities AFDA comes up with to promote the event (eg the Friday night game, wearing their uniform on the plane, signing discs for raffle, anything reasonable really). This may include AFDA providing promo packs to players (a shirt, flyers etc) and Clubs (press releases, posters) - these could even be presented back when the team accepts qualification at Nationals.
  • The event is held in the same city all three years, so as to gain benefit from continuity of both administration and promotion. AFDA would make this decision based on the availability of a venue that offers the best possible *national* exposure for the sport (I'd prefer Sydney as our largest city, but if a good venue can't be found, then consider Melbourne (second largest city) or Brisbane (third largest and better weather at that time of year, although sadly less likely to have a team qualify, so maybe not)).

If its not obvious, consider this similar to the World Games model. It might also be worth considering the above as a Mixed event, slotted into November, six weeks after Mixed Nationals (mixed Ultimate is more interesting to the media, and November has less football on, although we don't get the 'international preparation' element).

BPL 2010-1 Round 12 Draw

Happy Birthday Fluxie!

Yes, 18 May is the birthday of that stalwart of the Mellow Yellow and Moreton Bay Bugger teams, Ryan 'Fluxie' Flux.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Historical Documents - UQUDC

Deep down in the catecombs below the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion is the museum and file room.

Here are stored many relics and documents from bygone ages, remembered only by the wises and eldest of sages (eg Buzz, T-Ross, Gen)

Such as these disc designs, which we believe were used by the UQUDC (University of Queensland Ultimate Disc Club) back in the bright days of the 1990's.

Anyone who wishes to reminise, the comment lines are open.

Just to Cleanse

After that last post, we figured you'd prefer some content from elsewhere:

Check out Simmo’s new website -

Black Betty celebrate the end of the season -

The Heroes are trying to name their mascot -

Move Along, Nothing To See Here

So if John McNaughton and Tom Tullet got married and adopted a teenaged daughter, would we call her 'Cheesecake'?

Young Talent Time

The Australian u19 Open and Women's teams are having their second last training camp at JF O'Grady Memorial Fields off Brougham St in Fairfield here in Brisbane this weekend, before jetting off to the World Junior Ultimate Championships in Germany in something like 80 days or so time.

This is a great chance to go down and check out the talent. A coup too for Brisbane to be the base for this camp and the next. The computronic system here in the stately Brisbane Ultimate Disc mansion tells us they'll inject $40,000 into the local economy, as well as increase the happiness index considerably!

Aside from the mad training, the teams will also be playing games against Brisbane-based players at 1pm on Saturday and 1.30pm on Sunday. This'll be a good time to go down for a look.

Why not drop by and show your support? Remember, there are eight Queensland-based players in the squads who'd love to see you there.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sponsorship on Discs Thought

This is for those not-for-profit or event bulk disc importers around the country (eg QUDA).

One of the goals of our grassroots-oriented administrative bodies is to get as many discs out there being used as possible.

Next time we want to order a couple of hundred discs, see if anyone knows a business that would pay say $2-5 per disc to have their design put on it.

In the past, we've usually thought about sponsors paying for the whole disc, but that's too pricey to be attractive. With further thought though, it doesn't need to be that.

So long as the design is attractive, players generally won't be fussed. An alcohol sponsor might prevent us using that specific disc at schools etc, but generally groups like QUDA have a range of disc designs available.

If the sponsor wants the discs for themselves, then they need to buy them for the same price we sell them to players (or that price less the sponsorship amount).

But otherwise, for a few bucks per disc, a sponsor is getting their name out there in the community, and a disc distribution group is getting cheaper discs. They can either sell the sponsored discs more cheaply, or stick to the usual price and make a few bucks for other projects.

And One Rule to Ring Them

It is fantastic that both the AFDA and WFDF have recently made announcements about activities to improve the rule knowledge of players.

All Ultimate players are referees.

Imagine if you were watching some other sport, and the referee didn't know the rules or got them wrong. There'd be a furor!

AFDA have recently appointed a National Rules Officer, the wonderful Jo Creswell, who's role is to promote rule knowledge amongst players. AFDA also hosted a Rules Forum at Nationals 2010 in Adelaide, which led to lively discussion. Check out Jo's introductory post.

Meanwhile, our own Rueben Berg, the very busy Chair of the WFDF Ultimate Rules Committee, recently launched the WFDF Rules Website. Go and have a look.

Is there someone reading this who'd nominate themselves or someone else as the BUDA or even just BPL Rules Promotion Officer? We here at the stately mansion would love to see a weekly email highlighting some rule or other, either drawn from AFDA and WFDF's work, or in response to a local query along the lines of "in a game at League the other night ..." We would faithfully reproduce your emails here on the Brisbane Ultimate Blog!

And some philosophy for you - the best way to understand the rules is to ask questions about them. To paraphrase Professor Sumner-Miller, to ask "Why is (this rule) so?" is the best way to learn and be able to explain to others.

Explaining a rule your own way, and hearing a rule explained differently by different people, helps you to grasp the platonic concept of the rule. So in the case of "what happens if the disc is thrown after a pick is called", my answer is "The moment when someone calls 'pick', play officially stops. Someone saying "Pick" is the same as a referee blowing a whistle in other sports. Anything that happens after that is irrelevant. The grief we have is that not everyone hears the call, and sometimes throws are thrown. Maybe we should all have whistles? But that doesn't change the fact that play has stopped."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yay - A Baby!

The newest member of the Brisbane Ultimate community - young Mr Sebastian born yesterday 13:18 9 May 2010. 550mm long, 4.03kg (8 pounds 14). Mum and bub doing great, and Dad we imagine is over the moon.

The Urge to Surge

Did you hear on the grapevine that 15 people turned up to the Labour Day Monday disc golf session? Wow!

Seems people are liking the free-ness and relaxed-ness of disc golf, particularly going into the cooler months.

The gang meet every Sunday at 3pm at the carpark on the corner of Hyde Road and Wilton Terrace, to play the Fairfield course. Bring a drink, a hat and any old disc you've got (or you can usually borrow one). Portable esky optional.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Offered Without Comment

BPL 2010-1 Round 10 Results

Fair Play Fame at World Games 2013

Latest news from WFDF:

Mr. Pascual Guerrero, President of Executive Committee of the World Games 2013 Cali said,

"We figured we could use the World Games to promote worldwide the idea of taking responsibility for ones actions with regard the environment. "

"We are using the sport ULTIMATE as a symbol for this initiative. ULTIMATE has no referee and players have to use the principle of fair play to determine the course of the game. It makes them take resposibility for their actions. It creates an understanding of moral and ethical principles and reveals bad behaviour."

If you hadn't picked it up elsewhere, the World Games 2013 will have the theme "Fair Play for the Planet". So it looks like Ultimate will be one of the keys to marketing the sport (it also helps of course that hosts Columbia are just so damn good at the sport too!)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The World Loves a Well Dressed Man

So, in final battle, the Cobras were voted the best team in the BPL, 35 votes to 28.

Well done to Slamtown for making the Final, but well done to the Cobras.

Comment lines are now open. And check out our new poll up in the top right there.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Nationals Review - A Firestorm Perspective

We were lucky enough for Messr J McNaughton stumble into the stately BUB Manor after he was de-throwned as the head of the Storm of Fire, allegedly following some form of salary cap scandal. Before he realised where he was and escaped, we managed to strap him down in the dungeon and force some answers out of him regarding the recent Australian National Championships held in Adelaide, where Firestorm finished 8th.

1. How do you feel about Firestorm's drop in placings from last year with what seemed a better quality team? Is this a reflection of the growing strength of Australian Ultimate, or did the team just lack the fire in the vital games? Did injuries or fatigue play a key role?

We were disappointed with the result. We were aiming to improve our placing this year, due to a stronger team and better training regimen, so to drop a few places wasn't fun.

The competition was certainly significantly stronger than last year - this was certainly the highest standard of competition I've seen at Nationals, evidenced by the fact we played the reigning champions for 7th. I-Beam really stepped up, Sydney made a strong return with their Colony teams, and Karma were good at home. Chilly, Fyshwick and HoS are great teams, but even they couldn't crack top 3 this year.

Having said that, there were certainly things we could have done better. Our conditioning wasn't up there with the top teams, and we struggled to put together a full consistent game (Karma may have been our best performance there). Injuries were certainly a concern - we lost a good handler/cutter in Dean a month before Nationals, and a number of players were carrying injuries that both restricted their lead-up training and impaired their tournament performance. Conditioning will be a big focus of coming seasons, as this should also help our mental game and our injury prevention.

2. You did have 3 games go to Golden Point, and your final placing game was only decided by 2 points. Was it just a matter of a couple of lucky breaks not going Firestorm's way that made the difference between a 5th place finish and the 8th place achieved?

I could never really argue for lucky breaks as the deciding factor, as tempting as it seems. I think our biggest weakness was our offence - while we worked hard on defence this season, and played it pretty well, we struggled to adapt to different conditions and different kinds of defences, The inability to really dominate on offence and score consistently in tight situations would have been one of the biggest deciding factors.

3. Did you have any idea that I-Beam would be the team to take the title? At what point during the tournament did you start to think they could do it?

Honestly, not at all. They were 4th last year, and that was in the absence of any real Sydney threats. Their early season results were nothing special, with a 3rd placing at Regionals and something similar at BCI.

Their Nationals roster, though, was very strong and very experienced. They have a lot of very talented players who know each other very well, and they understand how to play with each other. I think the warning bells for other teams started when they upset Chilly on day 2.

4. With the top 4 slots being taken up by Eastern teams, and Southern teams filling the next 3 spots, what do teams in the North need to do to mix it with these teams.

Regular competition is a huge part of the Eastern and Southern strength - they have multiple strong clubs that can take each other on regularly. Firestorm are already planning to increase our travel to tournaments in future, to overcome this problem.

Most of these teams also have players that have genuinely been to the top level, playing in National finals in the past and representing the country with the Dingos. We are a relatively young club, and our individual players don't quite have the same experience and understanding - while we've got a lot of great young guys coming through, there's still quite a way to go. Hopefully in the next few years, we'll have more guys becoming involved in rep teams, or moving to senior player roles where they can develop the edge for winning big games.

5. Who from Firestorm really stood out for you during the tournament?

I have to mention Pete Allen and Dan Young as block-getting machines. Those boys really stepped up and played the best defence I've ever seen from them. Jangles had a really strong tournament, consistently offering open cuts and making good choices. Silent George, Jules and Gref took on some really tough match-ups over the weekend and made some great plays.

As much as it sounds like the regular club line though, I was really excited by our depth at Nationals. Everyone was able to play and perform at that level, which was excellent.

6. Do you think that a home Nationals will benefit Firestorm and other Northern teams next year? In what way?

A home Nationals will be great for us. From a club management perspective, it opens opportunities for promoting the club and helping it to grow; from a players' perspective, it's a lot cheaper (making more lead-up tournaments viable) and it's nice to sleep in your own bed. This is a great chance for the club to grow rapidly in various ways.

7. With so many Northerners in the Thunder team, how did you see this team go at Nationals? How do you see them going in Germany at U19 Worlds in a few months?

I actually saw very little of Thunder at Nationals, which was disappointing. As a group, their skills are better than in previous years, and they've been physically well prepared for a long time. I think that Nationals would have been great for their play, and with another couple of months and camps under their belts, they should be a genuine force in Germany.

With those last words, we decided that Jmac had endured enough punishment of a constant slideshow of pictures of all Australian Ultimate players that had ever worn a mankini, and we thanked him and released him from our clutches.

Get Off the Wall - Let's Ditch Mixed Nats

So occasionally here in the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion we take some of Badman's goodies and take on the 'way things are' and wonder if they couldn't just be a bit different. Take this as seriously or unseriously as you want.

Today - let's ditch Mixed Nats.

Now, there's nothing wrong with Mixed Nats. The folks in Tassie last year ran a great event that everyone involved enjoyed, and I'm sure its going to be the same this year in Bathurst. There is presently nobody in the country talking about ditching Mixed Nats (which is why its an interesting topic to blog about)

But a heck of a lot more could be done with this event.

It's in Spring, which is a great time to showcase the game and recruit new players.

Australian players believe in the Mixed game, and this also is a great showcase element. It's after the main international play period, so elite players come to it a little bit more casually than other national events.

And at the moment, Mixed Nats just seems to dominate this part of the calendar (along with AUGs (when its not in Perth at least). There are a few other smaller events around that people go to for fun and that's groovy, but they're in the shadow of Mixed Nats.

So why doesn't Australian Ultimate instead embrace the concept. Make Mixed Nats bigger and better.

So why not ditch the single three day tournament we presently have and ...

>> Spread it over three weekends (maybe just two to start, but three is the goal).

Have three separate tournaments, held around the country, with points accrued and a final or finals series at the end to crown the Mixed National Champion. Yes, you can call it a tour if you want.

Have cities bid on a multi-year basis - eg Brisbane could bid and host MixedNats1 for 2011, 2012 and 2013. We all know that 'going back to the same place' makes it easier to organise tournaments.

One event in August, one in September, one in October. Each event must cater to at least 16 teams, but otherwise be open to as many teams as they can take.

Priority entry is given to teams that register and pay their non-refundable deposit to all three events. Priority is also given to Clubs that played the previous year (yes, lets foster permanent clubs). After that, its open season.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

That's Just Beachin' Excellent!

For those high achievers out there, get Beach Worlds in Italy in 2011 onto your scope, so that you're on the right track for the first Beach World Games, currently being mooted for late 2012/early 2013.

The Beach World Games are envisaged as being run along similar lines to the World Combat Games to be held soon in Beijing.

The wildest thing? The Beach World Games are being conceived as effectively free for participants - ie flights, accommodation, everything paid for by the event.

If you thought the stakes were high during recent selections for Australian teams, picture this kind of future.

Things you learn by following President Pottsy's twitter feed ....

BPL 2010-1 Round 10 Draw