So having written the harshest thing up front, let us now slide down to today's minor issue and relax a bit.
As part of its consultation with key administrator types and other well-knowns, AFDA has asked for views on adopting a BULA style spirit ranking sheet and system for use at Nationals and Mixed Nationals.
Our views here at the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion have been posted extensively before - the last time this came up after Mixed Nats 2008. Go read it, we're rather proud of it. Actually, its all you need to know on the topic.
Basically, its a bad idea done for all the wrong reasons. Just go read the post to grasp this if you haven't already.
But as we like to generate new content for you readers and provide advice based on our vast experience and intellect ... (we put that statement there to flag you to remember that we here in the mansion want it both ways - to be serious and not. We beg your indulgence on these matters based on your recognising the effort we put in here. But enough disgression).
Here's what in our humble opinion should go on a piece of paper about Spirit that could be given by TDs to teams after each game:
1. Did people on your team talk to the opposition before the game and give them information to help them help you manage the game in a spirited way - eg inexperienced players, language barriers, your team's culture of play, the sorts of staff, spectators and supporters who will be nearby, etc?
2. After the game, did your team discuss, as a group, the Spirit shown in the game and agree, as a group, a simple rating for the opposition (assuming the TD asked for this)?
3. Did you provide feedback to the opposition on your sense of their Spirit?
4. In your team's discussion, did you find out things about the game - particular rules, or perspectives on things that happened - that you didn't know before the discussion?
5. Did your team talk about your own Spirit, and if possible identify where the group and individuals will do better next time?
6. If you recognised that your team showed poor Spirit or could improve, did you inform your opponents that you have recognised this?
7. Will you hold the group and individuals to this recognition that you will do better next time?
Many teams do some of these things without needing such a list, just as many teams provide sensible spirit scores without a sheet of rules for working it out. But hopefully the above encourages people to put more thought into their Spirit, just as Ultimate requires more responsibility than other sports.