Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Very Suggestion Fills Me with Anger That Burns Every Fibre of My Being

Its an amusing paradox that nothing gets the haters out like discussions about Spirit of the Game (we will assume you readers are familiar with the flamewars, particularly in the USA, on such matters.

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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Be the End of an Era

The Brisbane Premier League's Director, Stu Austin, announced yesterday that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of the season.

This is a great loss to the BPL, but equally, Stu leaves the role in such excellent shape that the League will have no trouble continuing to be excellent (and of course, he'll still be there playing every week! So no need to get too depressed!)

Stu took on the role of BPL Director back in September 2008, joining an elite group of suckers for punishment volunteers that included his predecessors Jon Good, Andy Lankowski, Stew McGlashan, Jason Ray - all of whom handed over good ships as Stu is now doing - and has managed the last five seasons (Seasons 17-21 for those who keep track).

Efficient and passionate are the two words which spring to mind in thinking about Stu's work and the style in which he approaches it. Stu's passion for elite Ultimate is outstanding. His efficiency in delivering that has been fantastic.

We should also add one element of Stu's directorship that isn't obvious or talked about but it unconsciously prized by players - consistency. Stu established how he was going to share information and run the league and delivered that, week in and week out for over two years - a challenge for any volunteer who's got other things to do.

This is not to say Stu hasn't had a willingness to change, reform and grow the League. Think of the introduction of portafields which brought a new 'professionalism' to the League. Add to that the commitment of two fixed seasons rather than the 'endless play' that players sought in the past, which made ladders and finals all the more climactic and enjoyable. BPL players now have a stronger understanding of competition rules, rostering and reporting, and their value in delivering exciting Ultimate. The League grew to its largest size ever at one point in his leadership, and the quality of the competition has never been higher.

This is not to say we haven't had controversy which we shall address humourously and remind everyone that we play for fun and it doesn't really matter - TomsteveMVP-gate, Passion-no-semi's-gate, 'goddamit the fields are closed'-gate(s), occasional-whiney-email-gate, anything-to-do-with-SteveC-or-Stef-gate - and no doubt heaps of things that anyone lacking omnipotence or an intimate relationship with Stu would be aware of.

Stu has handled stressed out and upset people and irate (or just slightly snarky) emails with an air of confidence and clarity, and we hope he hasn't been too stressed and upset by such events. We suspect the positive relationships he cultivated with the League Captains and senior players (the key to any successful BPL Directorship) helped to ease some of these hassles on the relatively rare occasions they came along.

We in the stately mansion have long appreciated Stu's support for the Brisbane Ultimate Blog and our efforts to help make the Brisbane Premier League competitive and exciting. We (and we include our commenters here) may have occasionally irritated him, but he always seemed to grin back and add value to our enterprise.

So, regards and cheers to Stu. But most of all, WELL DONE and THANKS!

[the above has been edited to add J-Ray to the previous LD list - the fact checker will be punished]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Should We Change the Size of Nats and Mixed Nats?

Following Mixed Nats 2010 (continuing a string of highly appreciated events over the last several years), AFDA has hit the ground running in inviting State and National administrative types their views on some of the key issues surrounding Nationals and Mixed Nationals.

We here in the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion of course (as you readers have no doubt come to expect) have some views, so we'll try to discuss over the next few weeks, starting with the size of Nats and Mixed Nats.

One of the things that regularly comes up is the size of Nationals and Mixed Nats. Since about 2005, the Open and Women's divisions at Nationals have been generally capped at 16 teams, and Mixed Nats at 24 teams. (There have been a few variations - Nationals 2006 allowed two WUCC-bound Masters Clubs expand the Open division to 18, and Mixed Nats this year grew to 28 because of the number of NSW teams wanting to go and the availability of field space. The Women's division also periodically doesn't fill its division.)

The reasoning for capping is generally two-fold. One is it builds the quality of play. As Ultimate grows, keeping the numbers at Nationals the same should see the quality of play continually improve because its frankly harder for chumpy players to get there (see Open Nats in 2003 and 2004). Without a cap, the event becomes a bit of a free-for-all, with a very wide range of talent involved, including near-beginner people who didn't know the rules etc etc (shocking eh?)

The second reason is to smooth out and support volunteers hosting the event. A routine size helps establish basic standards (eg you must have at least 9 fields to host Nats) and knowledge (eg you need to order this many discs). Volunteers (both hosts and AFDA) are always desperate for feedback (ie acknowledgement of their work) and Nationals players generally provide their feedback in terms of comparisons to other years, and negative feedback can be devastating, so there's a driver to try to do at least "the same as last year".

Keeping the cap steady is also powerful for establishing continuity from year to year (9th out of 16 is a definite improvement on 10th out of 16 the previous year, as opposed to being 9th out 12 one year and 10th out of 27 the following.) Having a clear and entrenched structure also helps people plan from year to year - they get to know the qualification system, the draw structure and so forth. This saves a lot of angst - people have appreciated the certainty in size we've had over the last six years. Good policy is by definition something you don't change often, after all.

Still, the other perspective is that its unfortunate that people who really want to go miss out on going to Nationals/Mixed Nats. If the sport is growing, why aren't our major events, after all? Ultimate is about including everyone we can and so forth.

And capping also discourages elite players from going 'long term' and getting involved in weaker teams and risking missing out, meaning that our major events don't contribute to growing the sport outside the event (not that they have to, but it seems most people want us to do everything we can to grow the sport in the ongoing search for greater legitimacy).

Consistent apping also means that there is very little turnover in the players attending Nationals from year to year. If someone wants to crunch the numbers, that would be very interesting, but annecdotally you'd have to assume that somewhere upwards of 75% (quite possibly in the 85-90% range) of the people who attended Nationals 2010 would've attended Nationals 2009 and probably Nationals 2008 as well. We all know that going to Nationals is a great way to grow a journeyman player (and group of players) to the next level, and that this delivers on all fronts when that person gets back home. But equally, these group of people have a vested interest in the present system which shouldn't be ignored when thinking about this.

So the view for change here in the stately mansion is twofold.

A simple approach would be that AFDA could continue with the current caps as minimums, BUT if a host can provide a suitable venue and AFDA is confident they can do it, then AFDA should be willing to enlarge divisions. This needs to be done at the bidding stage. In weighing up bids, if there are differences between them as to the number of teams hosts can welcome, then this should be a factor in deciding. And when the successful host is announced, people need to be told then the number of teams that will be invited (ie several months out and well before players start preparing).

But here's something more daring. In future, AFDA could *require bidders* to describe how they would *concurrently* run Bashionals with Nationals.

Same host (or two hosts in partnership), same weekend (maybe only 2 or 3 days rather than 4), same admin including promotion, same social events (huge muthaflarking parties!), but using a separate venue within the same city - because deep down, its field availability that determines size, but players want to feel like they are part of something BUG. Bashionals becomes clearly Nationals Division 2. If it was keen enough, AFDA could even make Bashionals 'real' by shrinking Division 1 from 16 down to 12 teams (or 24 down to 16) for a few years to establish its numbers as well as making a clearly quality statement about both Div 1 and 2. And the winners of Div 2 could even an automatic Wildcard to Div 1 the following year or something.

Your thoughts welcome in the comments section below, but you can also email AFDA and State/Territory admin types with your constructive views - they love to hear about it.

This One Time, At BUML, I Stuck My Flute ....

Official draw of course over on the official website (see Monday Night League on the link list over on the right there. But here's our artistic interpretation.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BPL Draw - 2010/2 Round 9

WUFL Draw 2010/2 - Semi Finals!

'Scuse Me, While I Touch the (Big) Sky

It's not too late to get a run this Saturday!

As most of you will know there's a little tournament happening this Saturday called Big Sky 10's.

Along with being a fun day out in the sun it also has a more serious side in that it's being run as a fundraiser to help out Mike and Stacey Neild.

Unfortunately one of the 12 teams registered has just pulled out leaving eleven teams and a vacant spot in a twelve team draw. Would be great if enough bodies rustled together to get a twelfth competing on the day.

The organisers have added a team to the AFDA rego page called "I'd like to play". So register yourself for the lucky dip!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Its Kinda Easy, Being Green

So we haven't got the details here yet, but as the little sweetened birds return from Mixed Nationals, they tell me that the Heroes' own nugget-of-love, Dan Stelan, was recognised as AFDA Recruiter of the Year!

Hopefully the details will be up on the website some time this week, and no doubt the Heroes blog will be going nuts once they sober up this morning. But well done Dan, and this is presumably also a tribute to the work of the Heroes Ultimate Club in bringing new people into Ultimate.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fields Closed - Darnit!

BUML was taking a night off tonight, with many players returning or away with Mixed Nationals 2010 being held over the weekend.

But alas, tonight's planned pickup games at Griffith are cancelled as the fields have been closed following last night's rain. :(

Presumably the Heroes Club will invite you to go out socialising with them instead. :)

QUDA Confirms - Go (Way) North Young Man!

QUDA President Matt Boevink confirmed today that Northern Regionals 2011 (the Open Division anyway) will be held in Townsville on the weekend of 19-20 February.

Matt is encouraging all eligible South-East Queensland (and northern NSW) young males to book their flights asap. "You'll get on a team - you just get yourself there!" Return flights are presently in the realm of $150-200.

Townsville are promising to host a Regionals to remember, offering billets and airport pickups to everyone and promising a hot hot party to remember.

Word on the street outside the Firestorm international headquarters were that a few folks were peeved at having to spend a few more precious bucks than expected for what they'd view as their 'automatic' entry to Nationals 2011. However, the flamers seem to have sucked that up with confirmation of the BCI in Canberra in March (between Regionals and Nationals - remember Nationals is three weeks early next year) and recognition they've got to qualify like everyone else. No word yet on Firestorm B, but it seems unlikely that the brains trust will be interested in bringing newer players along when their focus will be laser-tight on trying to bring home a medal at their home Nats. If you otherwise missed it, training starts on 2 November!

Our pals Corey and Jay up in Cairns reckon they'll be able to put the bones of a team together - but anyone from SEQ who's looking to give them a hand will be very welcome. Having such a major event only four hour's drive away may be what gets Cairns Ultimate permanently on the map!

Senior players on the Gold Coast face a tough decision very soon - try to gain a spot on the Firestorm team in pursuit of personal glory, or dig deep and get the Slamtown Flatball Club first to Townsville and then onto Nats. Any early decision here may be important in attracting Brisbane based players who are looking for an option other than Firestorm, although the ambitions of key personalities just over the border in Byron Bay may be influential in the end.

Those in Brisbane may also want to look towards the Heroes, who are also commiting to Regionals and hold genuine hopes of qualifying for Nationals. The Heroes Senior Executive (now properly elected and all) are putting together a strategic plan that will take the Heroes to World Clubs 2014 in Columbia, and the next six months will be vital to developing talent.

The big winners of course are the TownsVillains in gaining a local qualification event after spending the six previous years travelling south. Hosting what's effectively the State titles is a great headline in recruiting and promoting Ultimate in Townsville, and of course they'll be able to put the absolute best of their locals on the field. A 'Townsville B' team is planned too, so as to begin exposing the future of Townsville Ultimate to some high level competition.

QUDA has indicated at this stage that it expects to keep the Women's division in Brisbane.

It's all building up to Nationals 2011!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mixed Nats Fireside Chat - with Big Hugh!

Editor's note - so in running short of time this week, we've neglected to post this interview! Obviously the Townsville Ultimate Blog is too focused on its upcoming League Finals to provide adequate coverage to the TownsVillains assault on the senses of the people of Bathurst. Anyway, here we go again.

Brisbane Ultimate Blog: Hi Hugh - thanks for coming in to talk about the TownsVillain's trip to Bathurst. How does the team think it will go?

Hugh: The team can field a relatively strong line and is the best team Townsville's produced for a Mixed Tournament with enough depth for a few really good lines, but still some new legs out there. For two of the players this will be their first ever tournament. Sadly we've lost the ever reliable Matt DeWitt only a week out as he's one of the best handlers Townsville's produced and we wish him well with his health.

BUB: How do you think the other Queensland teams will go?

Hugh: I've only had a cursory glance at the other 3 Queensland teams and I think I saw their results from Regional Qualification. I think John Doe will finish in the top 8 but the others don't look quite as strong. I think the Villains will be a better team than the other two Queensland teams just based on how we went against John Doe at Halibut, it was a pretty close result. However, their preparation and team structure will have improved dramatically since then.

BUB: Looking at the draw, who do you expect to beat?

Hugh: Our pool has recently been bumped up to 7 teams with the same number of top qualify places to go around so competition in the pool will be even more fierce. With challenging but potentially beatable teams at the start of both our pool days, these middle ranked teams will really decide how we finish the tournament. If we come out strong at the start of the day we could earn ourselves a higher spot.

We're hoping for a top 12 finish, and it would be a dream to finish in the top ten but realistically I think we'll be fighting hard in the 12 -16 bracket. Still a noble result if we get it. I think the new unknown challenges for our team will come from how we start the day, the larger pool and the loss of just one experienced player from the team.

BUB: Bathurst is slightly out of the way - is anyone on the team got any unusual travel plans?

Hugh: Bathurst has been a pain in the arse for those from Townsville to get to - its funny seeing people from frickin' Sydney or Melbourne whine! For us it's already difficult enough to get a team to afford the flights. University for most of the team is heating up so SADLY this doesn't leave anyone with any time or motivation to go on a exciting historical gold mine tour of the region or learn about the history of car racing. But still, we're sure Bathurst is going to be well worth getting too.

BUB: Let's talk party. Do your own thing, or team costume for the party?

Hugh: Party theme was announced only recently. We'll try and come up with a theme, but already having trouble thinking outside the box. Hopefully we get to sift for gold on the first morning with the late start and maybe that'll bring some inspiration.

BUB: Are your handlers, receivers, or defenders going to win games for you?

Hugh: One of the American pick-ups we've received this semester has been Shelby, he's gonna probably be used as a handler though would usually play mid or deep. At Halibut his gun flick against most zone defences either broke through them or sent rocket hucks to our speedsters who only had to outpace the deeps long. It'll be pretty hard to beat.

Deanna Finn is a newby and youngin' but is already understanding the immediacy of cutting and has good timing on her cuts both deep and long, with her speed it might see her wrack up a few points.

Obviously we've got the likes of Mike Larson who'll be doing much of the captaining of the team on the field, lots of insight into the other teams strengths/weaknesses will see some creativeness on D and O and will be interesting to have. Intense focus on shared goals from the whole team will be our real driving force and is what'll win the tight games for us.

BUB: Anyone carrying any injuries?

Hugh: Shelby recently rolled an ankle. Mike's feet are a bit fucked up. Sarah's done something to her knee. Chris did an ankle too. Hopefully we'll be right come Friday and we'll rest up when we get the chance. Then we'll battle the sore dancing feet and hangovers on Saturday and Sunday.

BUB: How much preparation has the team done?

Hugh: Team preparation has mostly involved improving fitness through playing hard points and using limited to no subs in the three local Ultimate Frisbee nights in the week as well as personal preparation.

The Townsville Royalty Hat was timed to coincide with preparation for the tournament and gave all our players a good run in the heat with almost no subs in general but even less for Mixed Nats players. It was placed two weeks out to give everyone time to recover.

As far as team tactics, a lot of clashing events took the wind out of the sails in the later part of preparation to implement anything too new but we'll play our game and we'll do it well.

BUB: Do Halibut or Lovefest results count for much?

Hugh: The Halibut result is encouraging. It was a slightly different team from what we have now but the core was similar.

BUB: Who do you like to play against more - ACT teams or SA teams?

Hugh: Don't really know. I think ACT would be nicer just because their top team we won't beat but we'd stand a chance at any lower than that just going off 2008 Mixed Nats results. I don't know much about SA teams but they look to have more depth, we're facing their number 1 seed as the top of our pool so we'll find out soon enough, no point intimidating ourselves beforehand.

BUB: Thanks Hugh - best of luck then!

Hugh: Can I just say, "Hi Simon!" And "Let's f$%king do it Townsville!"

Nice Photoshopping There

Mixed Nats has started!

Livescoring is available. Don't forget them southerners are on daylight savings time.

There's also some stuff being shown via youtube. Alas, we can't see it at our present location, but post any tips in the comments!

We love the tinkering on this profile shot of our pal Reece.

We should also point to the full preview over at Forcesideline!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ok, Let's (Quickly) Talk Mixed Nationals 2010

[Editors Note - This mammoth post has gotten out of control and we're out of time to finish it properly. Apologies for this. But given the work that's gone into it, we'll leave aside our usual quality controls and post it anyway. Apologies again for those who don't get the attention they deserve]

So earlier this week, Nat and Tati and child and the QUDA trailer set off for Bethlehem we mean Bathurst for the promised land of Mixed Nationals 2010 (is that enough mixing of metaphors for you?), and thereby flagging the start of the exodus (dig that Bible as a cultural touchstone) that leave those of us who can't go missing out on League games at BPL and WUFL this Thursday, and BUML next Monday (although there'll be pickup available instead).

Anyway, enough gripes, let's check out the tournament and who we're sending.

Mixed Nats 2010 is being hosted once again by the fantastically well organised Hills Ultimate Club, based out of Western Sydney. They're holding the event in Bathurst because its practically impossible to find a suitable venue in overcrowded Sydney. In contrast, regional centres have the space and moreso are exceptionally welcoming to the idea of a bunch of nice frisbee players coming to spend thousands of dollars locally.

Apparently there's been some whining about going to Bathurst, but the BUB totally supports the venue, and reminds the whiners that nobody is forcing them to go.

Anyway, Mixed Nats is a three day tournament, this year featuring 26 teams. The draw is over here and essentially starts with four pools through the first day and a half. After that the top team in each of the four pools go direct to quarterfinals. The teams that came second and third in each pool cross over to battle for the remaining quarterfinal places. And those eight teams battle it out from there. There's a similar structure for the bottom half of the draw.

Queensland is sending four teams to battle for Mixed supremacy over 20 or so other teams from around the joint, which includes NZ this year.

John Doe - "Eeeeere we go!"
John Doe is the top ranked South Queensland team, and goes to the tournament seeded 11th overall and into Pool D. The Does have prepared with a heavy training schedule, and championships from the Queensland Qualifier and Halibut under their belts. Under their belts is also where they keep those loud loud shorts that Maylin's teams keep coming up with.

Day one should start relatively smoothly against Mr Burns' Casino who came eighth in the NSW Championships, despite a solid build-up via Halibut. But things will toughen up real quick and spotters will be making their predictions on John Does' final resting place when they face NSW number two's Jericho Turnpick Bandits and Canberra's best in Team Happy . A hard hard first day is then finished with a fourth game, this one against Tasmania's finest LOG! The Musical(featuring Huddy) who are seeded 14th based largely on their effort at Mixed Nats 2009, and which may well determine who goes through to the pre-quaters and who doesn't.

If exhaustion allows them, the team will party hard that night, before returning to face The Incredibles (SA's third ranked team, seeded 19th) then finishing up Pool D against locals the Bathurst Bulls (26)

Sugar - seeded 16th Pool B
Joyfully start the tournament on Friday morning with a game against top seed 1980 (the gag is all the players on the team were born in 1980) as a warmup. Dusty doesn't get out of bed to piss for this kind of stuff, but hopefully they'll still score a few points thanks to Paul. Sugar then sweeten up against eighth seed Friskee (NSW3) and Megapussi from the North Island of the Eastern Territories (aka NZ). Sadly, I think we can suspect that the NZ teams are all seeded very low. Day 2 should be a bit easier but more vital in terms of the eventual placing in the tournament, against South Australia's Ultimate Evolution then the big battle against Bender.

UQ Ultimate Lovers - seeded 18th Pool C
It all depends on Nathan's clutch. The pool is also smaller giving less margin for error. Day 1 against seventh seed Funny Duck (Vic 2), half of Newcastle Pie, Canberra B aka SOMA. Day 2 is against second seed and top Victorian team Moredisco, and Warpath.

Townsvillains - seeded 20th (top seed from North Queensland) Pool E

Their first two games are really must win, against middle to low range NSW teams the Mix Masters, Wagon and Special Cause, before finishing Friday against Hills who will be tired but still very deep and strong and probably whip some exhausted Villains we're afraid.

Day 2 is against an underseeded Blacksheep of NZ, and then it'll be time to get out the Gargamel outfits for the game again the best of South Australia in Smurf.

BEST OF LUCK QUEENSLAND, and make sure you have fun and mix it up if you can.

Special kudos also to the Hills Ultimate Club, who are now pretty much the default organising committee for any major tournament you'd care to think of.

Party Theme is Golden. I shudder to think the number of folks who're going to turn up in shower curtains.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BUB Fireside Chat with AFDA Secretary Mel

Welcome back to BUB Fireside Chats!

Once again, the Brisbane Ultimate Blog confirms its place in the absolute stratosphere of Ultimate Frisbee and Internet-related flam-flimmery by gaining an EXCLUSIVE interview with one of the shining, nay, let us say, BLAZING lights of the Australian Ultimate firmament, Australian Flying Disc Association (AFDA - our national body) Secretary Mel Gangemi.

Brisbane Ultimate Blog: All praise to AFDA *genuflects* and kisses the Secretarial pinkie ring.

Mel: Settle down there.

BUB: Sorry, we’re just a bit overwhelmed.

Mel: You shouldn’t be! We’re very approachable in the AFDA.

BUB: Ok, we’ve contained ourselves again. But thanks for agreeing to the interview, especially with Mixed Nats coming up this weekend.

Mel: You’re welcome. It’s great to have someone interested in what we’re up to, and willing to spend some time finding out! Of course, we’ll have a few exciting bits of AFDA info to share at Mixed Nats this weekend!

BUB: Yes, we’re looking forward to seeing if Badman’s Birthday Bash scoops the pool again. Yeah Bads!

Anyway, we’d better ask you some questions, but first, perhaps for those who’s horizon’s don’t stretch far beyond Brisbane, you could tell us a little about yourself?

Mel: Well, where to start. While it’s hard to think of a life before Ultimate, I’ve been playing Ultimate now for about ten years. It all started at the University of Sydney, and has continued more recently in Melbourne, in particular with the wonderful women’s team Honey.

While some may be in shock that I have a life outside of Ultimate, I work as a lawyer for the Australian Government Solicitor. However, much of my non-work hours are spent playing, socialising and administrating Ultimate - nowadays in my role as the Secretary of the AFDA.

BUB: That sounds pretty important. Is it like those dudes who run the Unions and stuff? Are you the Jenny George or Greg Combet?

Mel: Not quite. Being AFDA Secretary doesn’t put you on the fast track to a plumb seat in Parliament with the Labor party.

However, there are a number of important things I do as AFDA Secretary. The Secretary is the AFDA Director charged with overseeing the organisation’s operations. Much of this is performed by the wonderful Mr Simon Wood, who I work closely with to ensure that we respond to correspondence, maintain our insurance, liaise with stakeholders like the ASC and so on.

The Secretary also oversees other core activities such as the AFDA AGM, preparation of the AFDA Annual Report, AFDA Awards, AFDA policies, codes of conduct, membership agreements and more.

BUB: So is “Director of Operations” code for “key paper pusher”?

Mel: I’d like to think that I do a pretty awesome job at pushing that paper BUB.

BUB: But – I don’t see that much paper on the Ultimate field?

Mel: That’s right BUB – we have eight directors on the AFDA Board and some directors focus more on Ultimate playing (e.g. Piers Truter as Director of High Performance, John Hempel as Director of Events and Luisa Fearnside as Director of Development). Other directors such as our Treasurer (Carlie Ryan) and Director of Marketing (Paul Keighley) focus more on the tools we need to promote and grow the playing side of things.

BUB: When you first joined the Board you were living in Sin City – but are now in Melbourne – how does it work with the Board and the AFDA’s employees spread so far across the country?

Mel: Surprisingly well! For a community of nerds, we are all pretty IT saavy and run most of our dealings by email. Important decisions are conducted by on-line poll, and teleconferences run through Skype or equivalent. Wander past a laneway cafe in Melbourne on the way to work, and you’re likely to find me enjoying the brew and dealing with AFDA Business.

BUB: Is it true what they say about Melbourne coffee?

Mel: Only positive things can be said about Melbourne.

BUB: Even Melbourne weather?

Mel: Did you say something?

BUB: So what’s on the immediate horizon for the AFDA at the moment? Say like between now and the end of the year?

Mel: Well, for our players, Mixed Nationals is this weekend of course, with approximately 400 of our members making the trek out to Bathurst this year. Apart from determining the best team in the country, the AFDA will also be announcing the recipients of the second round of grants from its grants program as well the recipients of the AFDA Awards for 2010.

Then, over the weekend of 13-14 November, the AFDA Administrators’ Conference is to be held in Melbourne – which is probably the highlight of the AFDA Calendar. The conference, which is held annually, brings together key administrators from each of the State Associations and the AFDA together in one place. We get to share ideas and discuss problems that face each association. We also get to work out how we can do things better. And sing some mean karaoke along the way.

BUB: Isn’t this just one big talk fest? Or do things happen?

Mel: Well, last year – our State Associations indicated that they wanted more help with administration. In response, the AFDA employed Anna Haynes as our Development Officer. Anna has been working with each of the states to improve their governance, as well as provide on the ground support.

BUB: And just back to Mixed Nats for a second (and totally off-topic from AFDA-stuff). Your team has landed top seed thanks to an outstanding effort at the NSW Championships. Does this say anything about the strength of having a restrictive selection policy?

Mel: There are certainly plenty of monkeys on the team. But I think most people will agree that the field at Mixed Nats this year is wide open. It’ll all come down to who plays well on the day – reputations won’t matter for much. The top NSW teams of course look strong – MCMLXXX and Jericho – and SA1 – Smurf – will be looking to build on their excellent performance at World Clubs. MegaPussi of NZ will be another team to look out for....both on and off the field.

BUB: Ok, now Mel, as you know you’re a bit of a celebrity in Ultimate circles … stop blushing, its true … so we should do a proper bit of quizzing so that your fans can know how they can best be like you.

Mel: Oh gosh.

BUB: Favourite throw?

Mel: Are you trying to exploit all my secrets? I’ve always liked a good I/O forehand.

BUB: Favourite person to receive your throw?

Mel: Any one of the lovely Honey ladies. There’s nothing like a good honey pass.

BUB: How do you like to score?

Mel: Enough with the innuendo. Surely Brisbane Ultimate has more exciting things to ponder....

BUB: No, we're all about the scoring here. But next, favourite annual tournament?

Mel: Halibut of course!

BUB: Woo – 10 points there Mel - what a pollie! And what’s your favourite pre-tournament breakfast?

Mel: I’m a weetbix kid. I took a stash with me to Prague this year.

BUB: Relationship status?

Mel: I’ve been married for the past four years to the ever-patient Tim. I’m not sure if I should read anything into the fact that Tim’s been living in the US on secondment for the past few months.....

BUB: All hail TIM! And what will you be wearing to the party at Mixed Nats?

Mel: I have the gold sequined cowboy hat lurking in my fancy dress box is firming as my likely attire.

BUB: Lucky Tim! ;) Who’s your tip to win this season of the Brisbane Premier League?

Mel: Looking at the leader-board, it’s a tight competition, and certainly very strong in the self-promotion if those websites are any indication. But, everyone in Melbourne is still talking about Collingwood’s flag, so perhaps it will be the season for Dojo Mojo.

BUB: Favourite Ultimate website?

Mel: Why, the Brisbane Ultimate Blog of course!

BUB: Right you are there! Well, I guess we’re nearly out of time, but have you got anything else you’d like to add?

Mel: Thanks for asking me to come onto the BUB. It’s been swell!

BUB: Thanks again Mel!

And with that, Mel returned to the gold-plated AFDA Force 2 hovercraft, and darted off …

Mel and others will no doubt be monitoring the comments section - so why not pose your own questions? And let us know who else you think we should be grilling next time!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The What-Now? Oh Yeah, That BUML Thing I Was Talking About ...

We're not too sure that people even know what Monday night Ultimate looks like at the moment, having lost so many recent nights due to rain. But checking out our advanced weather station on the roof of the stately Brisbane Ultimate Blog mansion, we can see its been sunny all weekend, and is sunny today, so we figure people will be all over it like Oprah on a ham.
The official draws are of course over here and here, but we've reproduced below for those who like their colour or the chance to tip their teams.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Getting All Billy Bragg On Your Bottom

So the good commisars of Union of Socialist Canberrean Ultimate have confirmed the move of DisKapital from January to November, and are inviting everyone from Brisbane, indeed Australia wide, to head on down for some good old communist-themed (ie hat - from each according to his ability, to each according to his feet) Ultimate Frisbee tournament play. Just in case you don't get the pun in the tournament's name, check out here (as opposed to here).

Canberra and DisKapital are famous for its man-of-steel (some say, Stalinesque) style of play that saw one guy spend three days afterwards in intensive care (no laughing matter). Thankfully they've eased back on the tractor throttle a bit, I think because Leon (not Trotsky, the other one) is otherwise engaged updating his facebook status. Rumours that you can only play with your left hand are unfounded.

It's the weekend after Badman's Birthday Bash to maybe you can string together some sort of road trip. You could probably peristroika pretty easily from Byron to Canberra that week too! Test out your systems for BCI3 as well.

DisKapital 2010 - Remember the Shitsu Tonka!
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November 2010
Rego over here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

WUFL Results - 2010/2 Round 6

Round 6 Results
Moulin Rouge 14 defeated Titanium Nachos 4
Missfire 7 drew with Wonder Women 7

BPL Results - 2010/2 Round 8

Round 8 Results
UQ Lovers 13 defeated Moreton Bay Buggers 12
Slamtown 15 defeated Heroes 4
Dojo Mojo 14 defeated Cobras 11

Competition Ladder following Round 8
1. UQ Lovers - 19pts
1. Dojo - 19pts
3. MBB - 17pts
4. Cobras - 16pts
5. SFC - 15pts
6. Heroes - 8pts

Spirit Table will be updated when the data is available.

Round 9 Draw - 28/10/10 - Note No Games Next Week
Field 1 - UQ Lovers v Dojo Mojo
Field 2 - Cobras v Heroes
Field 3 - Moreton Bay Buggers v Slamtown

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Two Events You'd be Totally 27-Cat Crazy to Miss

These really are two essential tournaments (although we don't want to oversell them and see them overrun by undesirables ...)

Big Sky 10’s
At the Gap Soccer Club
On Sat 30th October

Badman’s Birthday Surf and Turf Bash (Stef’s Birthday Too)
At the Belongil Fields at Byron Bay
On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November (but be there on Friday night)

The Correct Answer is 'More Frisbee'

WFDF is surveying folks who attended recent international events in Prague, Florence and Heilbronn to get feedback to improve future events etc etc.

If you were lucky enough to get over there, then head over here and offer your thoughts. Even if you're a bit critical, remember to say thanks!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Don't Be Like Carlame ...

With all the rain in Brisbane, it can be tempting to be like Carlame (or is that, Carloser?) and forget about Ultimate and stay home, rather than heading out to Archive where your blogger ventured last night. But we disgress - if you're stuck for some tipping action, check out the Finals series in Townsville and slot in those tips!

Monday, October 11, 2010

You Don't Need Your Ouija Board Today

Strange but true! Many Brisbane-based Ultimate players will be surprised when they discover that the fields will be closed and there will be no BUML tonight.

Slightly more relevant - anyone want to recommend the pub we should gather at instead tonight? Maybe with some pool tables?

EDIT: The call has been made - meet at the Archive from 7pm if you are missing your frisbee buddies (as well as your Ultimate). BRING A DISC and have it out to show it off to the general public. The BUB has a limited number of prizes available to the first few people with discs that we see (assuming we make it along).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

While It Rains - For Your Reading Pleasure

Recently posted by Jack L on the Brisbane Ultimate lists....

Hello all,

A short while ago Molly put out an email to the mailing list about a free sports forum provided by the Government. I recall Nat also went to one a little while back? I went along to see what it was like and found it to be waaay better than anything I had hoped for. I have written a review here of what was involved giving my reccommendation for these sessions in case anyone was intrigued.

On Tuesday 05/10 at Nudgee College, Boondall, I attended this free forum provided by the State Government's Department of Communites and needless to say, I was very impressed with the material presented by the more-then-qualified speakers.

The night included four speakers on the topics of recovery, psychology, coaching and performance analysis. The night was organised by a man called Brad Reid, who would be the contact if you would like to attend any more of these nights, and was hosted by Grant Mitchell a.k.a. Curly, an Australian Basketball legend.

The first speaker, Chris Weier, spoke about training and recovery. Chris mainly focused on recovery, the methods used, the time frames and nutrition involved. He also talked about methods that help gauge where you might be in your stage of recovery. He briefly touched on strength training methods with an emphasis on body weight excersies. This information could be very handy for Ultimate players who are looking to get into a bit more serious training. I have studied fitness myself and this man still had so much to teach, and his brain was brilliant to pick after the presentations! If you are interested in training with this man or undertaking fitness qualifications, he can do it all. Visit his website

The second speaker, my favorite and an extremely good entertainer was Dr. Phil Jauncey, a sports pschologist. Apart from having a rediculous list of athletes he has worked with (and believe me, he likes to name drop in his stories and jokes - ranging from NRL teams, including both finalists this year, the Australian cricket team
and just about every Australian Olympian) he has a great sense of humour and at times I thought I was at a stand up show! Very memorable. Phil spoke about the difference between the mindset of someone who chokes or fails compared to success. I found this very enlightening and he certainly put a few things in perspective for me. I am interested to see how well I can play the head game using his advice next time I
play some high pressure Ultimate.

The third speaker, Mike Young a.k.a. Youngy, a American baseball coach with international titles under his belt, so good at his job (he even has a wiki page:, the Australian Cricket team approached him and hired him as their fielding coach. And this guy had never even heard of Cricket in his life! Youngy spoke about coaching and what he thought was the most important qualities of a successful coach. He definitely brought up some ideals and processes I will keep in mind next time I coach someone, Ultimate or otherwise. Though this was mainly aimed around youth development, it can still be applied anywhere else.

The last speaker, was a real inspiration and a veteren Paralympian, Brendan Bourkett. When Brendan was young, he was the vicitim of a hit and run which
resulted in an amputated leg, he went on to break several swimming records at multiple Paralympics. Brendan is now a coach for the Australian paralympic swim team and a professor of Sport Science (Biomechanics). Brendan spoke about biomechanics and the best forms of analysing movements. He also had a lot of interesting footage from Beijing he used as examples, including a swimmer with no arms and one leg, who actually placed in his race against swimmers with more limbs!

These fantastic speakers, hard copies of the subject matter available and free food supplied, I really felt like I should have been paying for this night. I highly reccommend these events to anyone who has a thirst for knoweledge in the areas of fitness or coaching.

There is a repeat of this particular night coming up in November as well as dedicated nights for each subject (and ones not covered here eg nutrition). Hit up for the calender of events, they are mostly located around the south side but still pretty accessible to Brisbanites.

If you managed my novel, thanks!


Friday, October 08, 2010

BPL Results - 2010/2 Round 7

Round 7 Results
UQ Lovers drew with Slamtown 13-13
Moreton Bay Buggers defeated Cobras 14-10
Dojo Mojo defeated Heroes 15-7

Competition Ladder Following Round 7
1. Moreton Bay Buggers - 16pts
1. UQ Lovers - 16pts
1. Dojo Mojo - 16pts
4. Cobras - 15pts
5. Slamtown - 12pts
6. Heroes - 7pts

Spirit Table Following Round 7
(noting no scores reported for Slamtown's Round 6 forfeit to Cobras, so assuming Slamtown scored 0/10 and Cobras 0/0)
1. Moreton Bay Buggers - 56.5/70 or 80.7%
2. Heroes - 55.5/70 or 79.2%
3. UQ Lovers - 54/70 or 77.1%
4. Dojo Mojo - 50.5/70 or 72.1%
5. Cobras - 42.5/60 or 70.83%
6. Slamtown - 49/70 or 70%

Round 8 Draw
Field 1 - UQ Lovers vs Moreton Bay Buggers
Field 2 - Slamtown vs Heroes
Field 3 - Cobras vs Dojo Mojo

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Anti-Eddie Rabbitt

So the recent record month of rain in Brisbane has put a few Ultimate players out. We guess its worth revisiting how we manage field closures on League nights - to reprint a post from back in March:

For those pondering a year of rain, generally what happens with regards League
night cancellations is:
- Annerley and Oakman let us know as early as they can, but by 4pm at the latest.
- Griffith generally have a groundskeeper inspect the fields by 2pm, and then let us know.
- Generally, Ulti admin people will wait until they get info from the field owners, and then email closer info out to everyone (at the latest, soon after 4pm). Hassling field owners early generally just encourages them to default towards closing the fields, rather than waiting to see if they will dry out through a day.
- The fields may well get closed after 4pm, or when we arrive at the fields, we might
cancel the night ourselves (rule of thumb is if it is currently pouring, or there is surface water visible on the field, then we don't play).

Rain is an inexact science, remember kids.

Use your common sense - if its been raining a lot, anticipate that the fields may be
closed or open. Then keep your eyes out for an email after 4pm.

People might moan about missing a night of Ultimate, but its better to have
good fields all-year around.

For those who want a bit more detail on these things, read on!

Few things frustrate Ultimate players more than being told they can’t play Ultimate tonight. It’s a little bit like a junkie not being able to get their fix, except maybe without the hallucinations (except in Tomsteve’s case, I guess).

But for Brisbane-ites its likely to be a fact of life this Summer, with weather forecasters tipping the wettest in many many years, particularly after the wettest September on record. BUML had three disruptions over the last five weeks, which was probably getting close to as many we’ve had per year over the last decade.

So its worth sharing a bit more knowledge and going through the processes for field closures.

In particular, there’s plenty of angst about “what’s the cutoff point for closing a field, and when is the decision made?” The key thing to remember when answering this is that the weather is a law unto itself, and no matter what processes you’ve got in place, it may make the decision for you (or make it very hard to make a decision!)

The fields used for BUML on Mondays and BPL on Thursdays are managed by a group of volunteers who make up the Annerley Recreation Club. The agreement Ultimate has with them is that if they want to close the fields, they will let us know by 4pm at the latest on the day. They may let us know earlier. They don’t let us know if the fields are open – no news is good news for Ultimate players. Emailing a League Director and asking if the fields are open will get you an answer of "well, they aren't closed".

If its not very obvious based on the general weather, then a volunteer from the ARC will go and look at the fields in the afternoon and make a decision – generally this is someone who lives nearby who will go for a look, maybe after picking their kids up from school. Remember, this is a volunteer group after all.

Like Ultimate, the ARC wants the fields to be open – any time we are there, there is usually also some of their soccer teams wanting to train, and of course if we don’t play then they lose out on income.

But that said, they are slightly more willing to miss out on training to keep their fields in good condition for weekend matches and as ‘owners’ they think more long term and about the cost of rehabilitation than the average sportsperson.

ARC have been flexible in the past when its been a bit 50/50 about closing the fields and we’ve had Finals on and they’ve agreed that its important that play goes ahead. They’re also nowadays more aware that we play fixtures and competitions on weeknights, which are more important to go ahead than training sessions.

If there is rain after 4pm then the responsibility shifts to League Directors. Generally, before putting the lights on, the League Directors will examine the fields. If there is surface water visible (ie puddles), then they’ll cancel play.

So this week, there was a fair bit of rain over the weekend, but Monday was sunny and would’ve dried the surface of the fields out a bit and Annerley were ok with us to play (there’s a bit less sensitivity with soccer fixtures being done and maintenance coming up). But the big dump of rain after 6pm on the already damp fields meant the water stayed on the surface and Chris and Adilia realised play couldn’t go ahead.

The Griffith fields are managed professionally by Griffith University. The University has a group of grounds staff who manage the campus, and they generally examine the fields during the morning rounds, and make the decision about closure on return to their office. This is passed on to office staff who then contact us (meaning there’s no chance to argue).

This usually happens by lunchtime. Generally for BUML, Ultimate admin types will hold back on passing that info on until we’ve got an idea about what’s happening at Annerley, as multiple emails or changes through the day would lead to confusing.

Yesterday I think people thought they were being a bit rough in closing the fields – we had a beautiful sunny day ahead to dry them out. We had a similar situation in early September where the fields would’ve been lovely. But then last night’s the late storm made the difference.

In comparison to volunteer-based field providers, Griffith do give certainty and early information. But there’s no room to negotiate with them, and as more purer ‘groundskeepers’ rather than ‘players’, they’re more inclined to close fields than keep them open. There's a stereotype that groundskeepers would like nothing more than pesky sportpeople to stay off their fields altogether! ;)

Much like Annerley, the operators of Oakman Park are volunteers, although being an AFL club they’re a bit more tolerant of a rough surface than folks whose balls roll on the ground. They also have a smaller venue and there’s less people put out by changes. As a result, their volunteers are more willing to make a call based on general weather conditions and forecast rather than waiting until someone can inspect the field itself, so we generally get an email from them at some point during a day. Equally, League Directors will made a decision on arrival at the field, if its apparent that there's plenty of surface water on the pitch.

Rain disruptions are also a reason why League Directors sometimes seek to keep the draw somewhat to themselves. If the draw hasn't been published, then they have a bit of room to move in rejigging the competition. But as the Leagues in Brisbane become bigger and better organised, the benefit of retaining such flexibility shrinks against the need to give more people clarity about what's happening when.

Construction at Oakman Park

Wests Junior AFL (operators of Oakman Park where we play Ultimate on Wednesdays and Thursdays at the moment) are currently installing a new shade area out the front of the clubrooms.

Construction is well under way and it should be completed shortly. Currently the patio area is not available and the home change room are been used as a store room.

During this time please access the toilets from the back and restrict access to the construction site to a minimum.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Griffith Closed Tonight - Games Moved to Annerley

Griffith have closed their fields for tonight. Annerley presently have their's open (assuming no further significant rain today – so please keen an eye on your email up to 4pm as usual).

As per earlier in the season, we will move the Griffith games to Annerley, but some will be at different times. If a team feels significantly disadvantaged by the change, please get in touch or discuss with the opposing Captain before the game – but generally the view is that everyone wants to play something rather than nothing.

The following games are now moved from Griffith to Annerley as follows:

6.45pm Field 5B Heroes vs Discheads
8.15pm Field 5A KG Cougars vs Bermuda Triangle
Field 5B Ghost Who Walks vs Dyspnoeics

Friday, October 01, 2010

BUML Draw for 4 October

WUFL Results - 2010/2 Round 4

Round Four Results
Titanium Nachos 13 defeated Wonder Women 5
Missfire 12 defeated Moulin Rouge 5

Competition Ladder following Round Four
1. Missfire
2. Titanium Nachos
3. Moulin Rouge
4. Wonder Women

Round 5 Draw
Wonder Women vs Missfire
Titanium Nachos vs Moulin Rouge