In two days the Ocean Beach Ultimate Hat tournament will be held, 2012 in Whangarei Heads, New Zealand. It promised to be two days of amazing beach Ultimate, with welcome beers/bag of wine, free gifts, buffet style dinner, beach-side camping, swimming (possibly with dolphins), sun, and smiles.
Mind you, Whangarei Heads is some 30 minutes from the nearest town. As such, it is an isolated community with a limited fresh water supply. Toilet facilities are long-drop toilets and the only shower is cold water supplied by a roof collected supply which may not be available. So players are roughing it :-)
But who needs toilets and showers when, according to the organizers, there is possible Tsunami watching? Clean in a jiffy! ;-)
A week later, crazy Aussie players are celebrating 2012 as the final year of civilization, so they consider playing the last-ever, best-ever Terrigal Towel a must. (BTW, its pure rumor that they already booked for next year, and besides, who's going to bill them the cancellation fee?)
So there you have it: Beach Ultimate fun down-under: Tsunamies and the end of the world :-)
For more than 5 years tournament directors and players in 30+ countries have been using the BULA/WFDF Spirit of the Game Scoring sheet. The last version came out in 2010 and a lot of feedback has been generated.
One of the most consistent comments we received was that teams did not score the same way. To remedy this, the WFDF SOTG Committee developed a document with the objective of the Scoring Sheet and how it should be used.
This is an important document that should be read by all players and tournament directors!
The document is currently available in English and Spanish but, like the scoring sheet itself, we want it in as many languages possible. If you can help with translation, please contact us at email@example.com and I will send you the original Word document.
We have been approached by a new local tour operator in Madagascar that specializes in active tourism. They are preparing a three month's holiday package that will take place in a seaside village in the eastern part of Madagascar. This package is especially aimed at domestic tourism; people living in the capital Antananarivo.
They found Beach Ultimate to be a great fit and are looking for an instructor that is available from July to September 2012. No salary but food and accommodations will be paid for during the stay. They are also looking into the possibility of reimbursing the flight to Madagascar.
Doesn't that sound idyllic? :-)
If you are interested, send a 1-page application letter with your Beach Ultimate experience and why you would be the right person to do this to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the price of the return flight as well as the languages you speak.
It is not uncommon that beginning players get frustrated because they don't get the disc very often during a game. Of course there are reasons for that:
Beginning players do not know where to run
Advanced players don't feel comfortable throwing anything but a perfect pass
The problem persists because it is possible to play a reasonably good game using only 3 players of the 5 players. As long as the 'beginners' are not in the way, they don't need to touch the disc too much.
Practice is one way to resolve this problem, but in Portugal another solution has been found: 3x3 Beach Ultimate.
The endzone of a regular Beach Ultimate field is 25 x15m. This is a perfect area for 3-on-3 Beach Ultimate with two 2-meter deep endzones.
In 3-on-3 Beach Ultimate it is almost impossible to not play one of the players. It also forces the beginner to become involved in the game and not always hide in the stack .At the same time, the game teaches the more advanced players to be more accurate on their throws since the field is so short and a 2 meter deep enzone is really small!
This, and the fact that it is great for conditioning, makes 3-on-3 Beach Ultimate an interesting game.
In January there will be the first 3x3 hat tournament in Portugal. I will be there and will let you know how it went.
Twice this week I was informed about Beach Ultimate's rise in Finland. First I was asked for an interview for www.ultimate.fi. Annariikka Marttinen, the charming editor-in-chief told me that this summer there is more Beach Ultimate in Finland than there is grass Ultimate... Nice :-)
Then, through Facebook, I received footage of a Beach Ultimate field being created in the heart of Helsinki:
Most players in the (grass) Ultimate community know that the World Games are a fairly big thing. A prestigious, high profile event where Ultimate was featured in 2005 in Duisburg (Germany) and in 2009 in Kaohsiung (Taiwan).
Well, Beach Ultimate is getting closer to its own high profile event... The 2012 World Beach Games. We are on the waiting list but if the location that they will chose can accommodate the fields, we have a good shot of getting in...
For many years BULA has be represented in Japan by Matt Kass. Of course when the quake struck on Saturday we were all worried. Fortunately we received word from Matt saying that he and his family are okay. He wrote:
Despite the grim news, Japan and Japanese people can be remarkably industrious and resilient. I maintain faith Japan can and will bounce back. The assistance from abroad has been amazing, inspiring and truly brings humans together. Thank you and praises to all!
We continue to wish Matt and all people and players in Japan all the best.
Matt at the Dream Cup 2010. This tournament was scheduled for this weekend.
Yesterday, on Valentines Day, the feature length Frisbee documentary the Invisible string achieved its goal of raising $25,000!
That is great. Not only did they get the money needed for such an important movie, it took them less than 2 months to raise this money! Sites like Kickstarter.com and Fundrazr.com allow people to easily donate to causes that are dear to them. No longer are there large fundraising events where people try to get millions of dollars/euros. Now a movie can raise $25K or, in the case the Portuguese Beach Ultimate team, just try to raise 3,600 euros to help players go to the World Championships of Beach Ultimate.
One interesting fact about the Invisible String fundraiser. More people donated $100 than the combined number of people donating $10 and $25. Clearly people give with the heart.
An important and interesting piece of information has been made available on the WFDF website: "History of the Spirit of the Game and Observers". The document is must read for anyone that wants to talking about Spirit and/or Observers. It starts in 1978 when Roddick wrote:
"Highly competitive play is encouraged but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players or the basic joy of play. Protection of these vital elements eliminates some behavior from the ultimate field. Such actions as taunting of opposition players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling or other 'win at all costs' behavior are fouls against the Spirit of the Game and should be discouraged by all players."
It's hard to believe that there is no documentary film about our little rotating piece of plastic that has brought joy to so many people around the world! The histories of similar alternative sports like Skateboarding, Surfing, and Snowboarding have been covered with great documentaries.
This Invisible String Documentary will be a journey into the hearts and minds of the people that started this movement and the subsequent individuals, whom all have paved the way for its continuing global development.
I play Beach Ultimate 2-3 times per week. I don't want to think about what I need to take each time, so I take everything! Of course the standard shorts, dark and light shirts, a hoodie, and sweatpants, but there is a lot more!
Beer glove - I hate warm beer
Beer opener - Duh!
BULA badge - To give to special people
Cold spray - Sprain anyone?
Cones - Always bring!
Disc - Go figure
Garbage bag - Extremely useful when it starts to rain
Hackysack - Timeout material
Hat & Gloves - It does get cold sometimes
Holy Seat - For those dirty toilet seats
Pen - To help me remember
Powerbar, Dextrose, Gatorade - Anything to help my old body
Sandskins - Like Sandsocks but better
SAS survival guide - I don't know why
Sunblock - Of course!
Swiss Army knife - Because you never know...
Tabasco (mini) - I like my food spicy
Towel - The sea is always tempting
Visor - Get the sun out
Water battle - For when there is no beer
WFDF Rules - Don't leave home without them
I think I am covered... :-) Or did I forget something?
What do you think? Is Facebook the new email? When BULA started 10 years ago, email and mailing lists were our main source of communication. Now email is starting to lose ground. People are joining this newsletter much less frequently then 5 years ago.
Sounds somewhat familiar? If you are on any of the BULA webpages, look at the top of the page and you will see that the BULA mission is to "assist, educate, and promote the spirit and the game of Beach Ultimate". Clearly these players are all BULA :-)
Mind you, there are many other ways people can be BULA'ers too... Tournament Directors and volunteers fulfill the BULA mission perfectly too.
Fernando Najera and his group in Acapulco are a good example. For the last 10+ years they have been spreading (Beach) Ultimate in Mexico, and put on a great international tournament.
Every year I write about this tournament. Every year I really want to go. But coming from Europe is no always easy. It can be a long and pricy trip. Nevertheless, if you are closer, or have the time and means, I highly recommend you check it out. I heard great stories about the tournament:
NoTsuOh, the legendary Beach Ultimate team that dominated Paganello for many years is raising money to complete their documentary. The final project will highlight the story about the team during their last year in Rimini, Italy.
They have hired an editor to put together the trailer and complete the project. To finish they need to raise $9,100. It would be great if players can contribute. I know I will.
In an article about the commonwealth games Paul Beckett and Tripti Lahiri recognize that the sports played in the commonwealth games are all sports spread around the world through the British Empire.
Then they wondered, just for fun, what sports might appear in an American equivalent of this extravaganza and which countries would be invited into the "U.S. Commonwealth" to compete.
Naturally Ultimate Frisbee was included. They wrote:
"A quintessentially American sport that derives its name from the flying discs made by the Wham-O Corp. of California. Ultimate has elements in common with both (American) football and rugby, to the extent that it involves two teams trying to move an object over a touch line. It also has the best name of any sporting organization we've found: The Beach Ultimate Lovers Association. At least, we hope it's a sporting organization."
I just finished a great trip: Beach Ultimate in Kilyos (Turkey) followed by Beach Ultimate in Odessa (Ukraine) and then Kiev. Wonderful!
In Kilyos I visited the BULA BUTT with Jonathan Potts, the WFDF President. In terms of the number of teams, it was not a success. However, I know that a seed was planted and that our visit was good for the growth of the sport in Turkey.
The people that were there were wonderful and extremely hospitable. Levent Akis is a great organizer who can get things done. He has an Ultimate video clip in Turkish cinema's, he introduced us to the heads of the Turkish Olympic Committee, we taught kids the game in a football stadium, etc... Together with the local Ultimate community of about 100 players who do other promotions, Turkey can expect some good growth these coming years.
Next stop: Odessa (Ukraine). Again, the hospitality of Beach Ultimate players is amazing. Ivan, a young local talent, showed me around the city, and I attended several trainings on the local beaches. Great city, great people, great food. Loved every minute of it.
Last stop: Kiev Hat Tournament. Or better Kiev HOT tournament. Pfew! Between 35-40 degrees Celsius every day. But what a great tournament! Kiev has some of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. The beach where we played is on a river bank with a great view of the city. You have to cross the river in small row boats that take a maximum of six people. Great level of play, two divisions with 16 teams each. Dima did a great organization and arranged 15 minutes of rain just before an exciting finals started. You can't get any better.
Beach Ultimate is growing... that is for sure. Take advantage of it! Visit new places, meet new people, and make new friendships while laying out on the beach! Life is short and Beach Ultimate is amazing!
I hardly can wait to go to Kiev and play at the 7th Kiev Beach Hat Tournament. Kiev is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, with a lot of interesting sights. The beach is "Dovbychka" - on a uninhabited island (the Kiev nudist resort) in Kiev with perfect soft sand and the peaceful cool river Dnieper near.
The tournament is organized by players from two teams: Dyki Krali and Gigolo (who took the Paganello Spirit in 2009) and they are expecting more than 250 Frisbee players from Ukraine, Russia, Belorussia and other countries.
The good news is that you don't need visa's to get in. Furthermore there are some low cost airlines that can get you there and the organization speaks English. They offered to be your guides and meet you, help you get settled in, and get you to the tournament.
Sounds like a great place to play Beach Ultimate to me :-) Want to join me?
If you want to say no to offshore oil drilling, yes to clean energy, take notice:
Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations. This movement is not about politics; it is about protection of coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, and fishing industry.
You can make a symbolic gesture to show you support by going to your beach on June 26 at 11 AM in your time zone. Form lines in the sand and at 12:00, join hands.
The land of the 'Bula Spirit' and home to some of the friendliest people on the planet, small wonders that Fiji remains firmly fixed in place as one of Australia's favourite overseas destinations.
Offering perfect weather all year-round , this sun-kissed, azure-sea surrounded collection of more than 300 volcanic islands and coral atolls and its famously smiling open hearted people table the perfect 'across the board' holiday solution.
Fiji truly offers something for everyone - from romantic hideaways to fun-filled family holidays, from lush, luxury island resorts to boutique cruising and a huge range of soft adventure activities.
'Bula' is a unique concept, it can't be faxed or emailed or sent by messenger. 'Bula' can only be experienced from hand to hand, eye to eye, heart to heart, 'Bula to Bula' - and only in Fiji. It is what sets Fiji apart from the rest of the world.
It sounds like Fiji should be BULA's headquarters... I am in! :-)
Every year BULA plants Beach Ultimate seeds around the world to help the sport grow. It does so by organizing one special Beach Ultimate tournament per year in an area that has potential.
This year the Beach Ultimate Traveling Tournament (BUTT) is going to Turkey 30 July - 1 Aug. The tournament will be held on the beach of Kemer (close to Anatlya). The organizers had already submitted a great bid to host the World Championships of Beach Ultimate in 2011 and although they couldn't beat the amazing bid from Lignano the BULA organization was extremely impressed with their bid and gladly awarded the BUTT to Turkey this year.
Clearly a lot of work has gone into a new WFDF website dedicated to the rules of Ultimate. With hyperlinks that show the difference with UPA rules, official interpretations, scenarios, quizzes, videos, and lot of other goodies. It is truly an amazing website.
Swedish Ultimate is a strange bird. They used to be a power house in the '80s and '90s, always finishing in the top 3 at the World Championships. However this seemed to have subsided somewhat in the last 10 years. Unlike many other European countries their players don't travel much to other tournaments and you rarely hear about them internationally.
But that is not to say that Swedish (Beach) Ultimate is dead. There are still enough players and tournaments and now they are organizing an international beach hat tournament 21-22 August in Halmstad: the Bull's Fat Hat (www.frisbee.se/beachhat or on Facebook).
Is this the start of the revival of Swedish Ultimate? I hope so. I liked seeing their yellow and blue outfits on the field.
Swedish National Beach Ultimate Team at the World Championships in 2004
I just finished emailing a 36-page motion to the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) to have Beach Ultimate officially recognized as a Flying Disc Sport and for the WFDF to co-host the upcoming World Championships.This motion will be voted on by WFDF members at the next World Ultimate Club Championships in Prague in July.
Why is it a good thing for Beach Ultimate to be independent from (grass) Ultimate and why should the WFDF support the next World Championships? Read the motion. Don't be put off by the number of pages. Pages 3-8 are the real proposal. The rest of the pages are supporting material.
Leave it up to the Belgians to come up with an innovative Beach Ultimate hat tournament idea...
At hat tournament players always have to rate themselves so the organizers can do their best to make balanced teams. This can be as straight forward as asking for a single number to represent your level (1-10), or as complex as asking for preferred position, height, physical condition, years of playing, etc...
At JetSet Goes Beach (June 5-6 in Belgium), there is a new system: players give themselves a level upon registration and then the public can vote on their a level too. So far it seems that people were good in rating themselves. Have a look.
I think it is a great idea! Go Jetset!
P.S. The rules say that the player who most overrated themselves has to give a lap-dance to an ugly stranger! :-)
Laying out is probably one of the best feelings in (Beach) Ultimate. I don't do it enough, but when I do I feel great! (even if the layout is not always successful)
On the beach laying out is easier, but it still requires some guts and instinct. London's women's ultimate team Iceni put together a great video on the techniques of laying out and how to practice it. I highly recommend the video to anyone who has not perfected their defensive and offensive layouts:
I just received an email from Judith Laforest, former team Canada player (Maceio, Brazil) and player for Tondeuses Volantes in Paganello. Judith is trying to bring a positive change in her community of Edmundston, New Brunswick. She submitted an idea to the Aviva Community Fund to create a Beach Ultimate pitch in the city, much like the one we had at the World Championships in Maceio.
It is like a very big sandbox that can be used for Beach Ultimate or other sports.If her idea receives enough votes, it will have a chance at sharing in $500,000 to bring the idea to life.
I voted yes! I had to register with my email and a password, but I unchecked all the 'newsletter' options and I should not receive any spam. If you want to help out Judith, and grow Beach Ultimate I would really appreciate your help in pushing her idea to the finals. Please vote for her idea at http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf2698. The voting closes Sunday Nov 15, so do it now :-)
I love getting emails from people like Edgardo Martinez. Edgardo is a Beach Ultimate tournament director in Colombia. He wrote:
Hello Patrick, I am from Colombia, South America, and I am organizing a beach ultimate tournament in my city Barranquilla. The tournament is going to be next week (24-25 Oct). I just wanted to say that your web page have really help me a lot, specially the pictures. I would love someday to make an international beach tournamento here in colombia, specially that the sport is growing really fast down here. You can visit the tournament web page www.diskologia.com
Apart from the fact that it is great that our work at BULA is helping him, look at his Colombian website and you a great Google map of the beach but also two pictures from Paganello, one from Portugal, one from Boracay. Different pictures to make a complete feeling of the sport. Nice!
Keep up the great work Edgardo!
P.S. If you are in Colombia next week... first time tournaments are always special!
I was approached by the tournament director of the Chennai Heat Beach Ultimate tournament in India. He wanted to know if his tournament could be BULA approved? He likes the Discraft discount and he also values the legitimacy BULA approval brings. It allows him to get more international teams to participate.
He told me that the tournament would adhere to all the BULA criteria except...they play 7-on-7 Beach Ultimate..
As far as I know this is the only 7-on-7 tournament in existence and since time was of the issue (the tournament is 2-4 October) we allowed them to be BULA approved this year. It will help the growth of the sport in India.
However it brings up an interesting question: should BULA accept 7-on-7 Beach Ultimate as another version of the sport?
Asia is waking up to Beach Ultimate. Here is an article from Nina-Noelle Hall in Singapore:
Hurtling through the air, the red plastic disc escapes the desperate grasps of clasping hands and instead plunges, untouched, into the warm sands of Siloso Beach. Mere inches away lie the defeated: two panting players, now face-planted, who both missed the whizzing disc. 'Hey guys, how 'bout catching it?!' jokes a shirtless and sinewy defenceman toward his two sprawled teammates. A middle finger and a smirking face caked with sand is all he gets back. Trash talking is just part of the game in this popular twist on Ultimate Frisbee where, like volleyball, the adrenalin-pumping game has found its way to Sentosa's sands. This is Beach Ultimate. More...
I love good Beach Ultimate pictures! Images that bring back feelings you had on the field. The catch, the defense, the layout...! Especially the layout is a great beach feeling. No worries about hitting the ground. Let it go and go ho!
There are some very talented Beach Ultimate photographers out there. Rene Westenberg, an old teammate from WAF (Holland), was probably one of the first top Beach Ultimate photographers. Just have a look at the pictures in Hargen he recently took.
Stephen Chiang on the other side of the Atlantic is another great photographer. His pictures of LeiOut last January were amazing!
And then there are photographers like Marco Luz that hardly know the game and just do well. Just look at the picture of David Pimenta that is now used for the BULA Monster BUTT, happening this weekend.
For more great pictures, check out our royalty free pictures page. Lots of great shots that you can download and use for tournaments, posters, articles, etc...
Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories (Canada), is not the most obvious place to find Beach Ultimate. However, in Ultimate loving Canada, local players are not deterred by geographic constraints and the following email was sent to local players:
Denis/Aaron and Jenny/Simon are having a party on the 8th (Saturday). That is awesome, and you should all attend. During the day though, is there interest in having a beach ultimate tourney? We had one last year with 4 teams of 5 or so per team if I recall, and it was a lot of fun.
So, if you will be in town and are interested in playing, reply to this email and I will see what we’ve got in terms of numbers."
I wonder if they managed to get enough players. If so, it would qualify as the most northern Beach Ultimate tournament in the word.
Most of the beaches in Hawaii are not very conducive to playing disc but a local group have made some strong relationships in Waimanalo over the last several years. A few years ago they had a summer beach league that lasted about 8 Saturdays.
They are also holding the 5th official Tweedle Beetle Beach Battle August 8 & 9 a Waimanalo Bay Beach Park (a.k.a. Sherwoods or Waimanalo Bay State Recreation Area) map
It’s always been pretty low-key and not highly advertised; mostly just local players. One year they did get an entire team of women from Japan and now they want to see if there are more travelers around.
Travelling? Wanna play beach ultimate in Hawaii? Sounds and looks like fun to me :-)
This blog entry is the last thing I am doing before I turn of my computer and head over to 6 days of pure fun on the beach. I will be in Meco (Portugal) where there is a bar and a beach and 144 Beach Ultimate players from 17 countries. No contact with the outside world. The world as I normally know it will no longer exist... In its place is that special spot called Bar do Peixe and with temperatures of 35 C (~94 F) it is going to be a hot one!
Disc magazines come and go. UltyLife magazine had a fairly short lifespan, and I know I have seen (and forgotten) others over the last 30 years.
Has finally the time come for one to survive? The Flying Disc Magazine is aimed at all disc sports so there is a larger audience. Multimedia and social networks can boost viewership.It has an online version (www.flyingdiscmagazine.com) as well as a print version.
I bought a copy of the print version (probably only available in the US) and really liked it. I am a 100% Beach Ultimate player, but it was great to read other stories. One story, about some great disc golf holes in Santa Cruz, made me want to huck that disc!
4-on-4 Beach Ultimate sometimes seems like an illegitimate child. It was started by Tim Finan in Florida with the hope that it would get mainstream TV interested. Shorter fields, a 6-second stall count, and a two-point score when the disc is thrown from endzone-to-endzone were to make this sport more spectacular. Jose Cuervo (a tequila brand) put some money into it, but it never took off.
It is still played in the US, mainly at one of the largest Beach Ultimate tournament in the world: WildWood. However it never really took off anywhere else. Traditional grass Ultimate players preferred larger fields, 'normal' stall-counts, and more a strategic game.
However, slowly but surely 4-on-4 Beach Ultimate it is taking root. There is now a 4-on-4 Beach Ultimate league (LBU44) in France. 11 teams played in this winter's phase with 3/4 of French Mediterranean players participating. LBU44 isn't only French: this summer two Spanish teams will participate too.
LBU44 in France became an association in April and they have been trying to get more cities to help and to get sponsoring and an assurance. They have contacted Beach Soccer and Beach Volley in France in the hope to do demonstrations during their competitions this summer in Marseille. Lastly on 4-5 July, they are organizing the 1st French Cup of Beach Ultimate 4-4 in Valence... So they are not sitting still :-)
Will 4-on-4 Beach Ultimate ever be a TV favorite? I don't know. I think it doesn't matter what format we play this game in, TV only sells to the masses and the masses we are not. We don't have referees and that is something that many people don't understand. Too bad, but that is reality. In the meantime, we just smile and think that people are missing out on something amazing that can be played by everyone: Beach Ultimate
My mother-in-law has given the F-word a new meaning: Frisbee!
According to her it is bad for our kids (My wife and I have an 11-year old and an 8-year old). We go to too many tournaments and they should be doing other things with them. True, sometimes we take the kids. Sometimes we don't (and then they frequently stay with her :-).
However she seems to forget that we only play Beach Ultimate. So we take the kids to the beach. Most of the time the weather is great. What better place for kids to be than on the beach? It is better than being behind the Nintendo, TV, and the Internet all the time. They are not always looking forward to it, but once they are on the beach they have fun and run around.
I like my mother-in-law, but she should realize that the F-word is not a bad thing.
A college team from Oregon was removed from competition after five players shed their pants and underwear on April 11 during sectional play at Oregon State University in Corvallis.
Sandie Hammerly, executive director of the sport's governing body in the United States, the Ultimate Players Association in Boulder, Colo., said she and the association's championship director, Will Deaver, support the punishment. "You have to wear clothing — it's in the rules," Hammerly said.
For years we have been thinking about creating a European Beach Ultimate League. However that is not as easy as it seems. There are lots of tournaments in Europe but that is one of the reasons it is hard to organize. Beach Ultimate is still relatively small and players usually only travel to places 1-2 times year. There is a core of players that go to many hat tournaments but 'traveling teams' are few and far between. In addition, adding a series of tournaments will take away from other tournaments as well as dig into the finances of the players.
One interesting thought it to create a ladder league like there is in the UK (www.regionalultimate.co.uk) with one final tournament.
How would that work? I'd love to hear from Beach Ultimate lovers what they think...
It is interesting to see the differences in how people feel about using Observers. As far as I know no observers have ever been used in Beach Ultimate and, as a founding principle, BULA approved tournaments and Championships will never allow for observers.
Is this logical? Not always. There are definitely situations where an observer could have made the a better call than the players. In the situation below the defensive team (SeXXXpensive with whom I play) was sure the offensive player caught the disc out of bounds. However the player called himself in. Correct? Who knows? We contested, the player maintained the call and a point was awarded.
I believe the onus is on the player. It has to do with honesty and respect. If the catcher has doubts he should send the disc back to the thrower and play on. If he truly believed that his foot was in then so be it. He/she has to make the right call.
I am glad that the WFDF took the Observers out of the rules a number of years ago. Players should be capable of having a great game, that is fun to watch, hard to play, and make their own (and the right) calls. Observers might assist in a certain part of the game, but they also take away from something that is unique. Let's be honest... in case of doubt, back to the thrower and play on! This is something unique we should work to maintain. I know it is not always easy in the heat of the game but it can be done, learned and taught!
I can't believe I left this weird story from the BULA Blog until now. It is a true story, nothing has been modified.
Two years ago we played we played Beach Ultimate in Meco (Portugal). The weather was unstable. There was a lot of rain around us, but on the beach it was perfect. Enough sun to heat us up and not too much wind. For years we had been joking that each time we play on that beach we are helped by the 'Frisbee Gods' because 95% of the time, 12 months a year, we have good weather to play, irrespective of weather forecast or the weather a few days before.
I decided to take a picture of the sky. After I came home I uploaded the picture to our team's blog. Here is where the weird part starts...
Upon uploading the picture the result was not really the picture I took. What showed up was a grainy picture of a girl with a bathing cap from the 1920's, multiplied several times. But that is not all, a small thumbnail of the actual uploaded picture can be seen in the left top corner.
For the last 4 years BULA and Discraft have been offering a tournament directors discounts on discs (plus many other goodies such as free game discs etc...) in return for, amongst other things, a Discraft banner that needs to be displayed at the tournament.
Recently I was at a tournament that enjoyed the sponsorship offer. However, the first night one of the organizers came up to me and told me that they had forgotten the banners at home (which was a few hours drive from the beach). So we talked on what else they could do to keep their part of the deal. After a few drinks a crazy idea came up, and on the last night of the tournament this was the result:
Never a dull moment with Beach Ultimate players! :-)
It took me by surprise when I saw the announcement for a Spanish Beach Ultimate tournament promoted by SportsVest 2009. I quickly went to their site and was confused... what is this? It looks like Spring Break for undoubtedly many intoxicated British students. After surfing around the site I was no less confused. Probably because my university years are long gone but there was just too much info to deal with.
So I contacted the person that brought this tournament to my attention. I wanted to know if BULA should be promoting this tournament as I had my doubles. As it turns out, James 'Chef' Melzack is an Ultimate player who has a wealth of experience organizing tournaments and who assured me that he always puts players first. He told me that the tournament qualified to be a BULA tournament and that was just what I wanted to hear: enough playing time, SOTG, parties, etc... It should be a great event! :-)
It will mostly be UK student teams but we hope that perhaps some Spanish, French, or other European student teams will go too. That would make it the first international Student Beach Ultimate tournament in the world!
So if you are a student and want to have some fun in Lloret de Mar, here is your chance: the SportsVest Spain tour (March 28th - April 3rd) includes: 3 days of beach ultimate, 4 nights accommodation, 4 nights of parties, Guest DJ's Scott Mills, Scratch Perverts & Urban Knights.
I wish all online communities would merge. It would make them much more valuable to the users. For example, Spinn-City (www.spinn-city.com) has some great features but not enough members (~80) to make it really useful for anyone.
Spinn City Disc Museum
I love this idea. So many discs are made and many have a special meaning to us. Whether it is our first disc to play with, a team disc, a fun tournament disc, or a special occasion disc. We remember our discs. Unfortunately we lose/break discs and when that happens we feel a loss. The disc museum is something that is a great feature on the site, if... more people would add to it.
Spinn City has something I have not seen in any other online disc community: Major sporting Achievements, Major spirit/party Achievements, and Most beautiful Tournaments. I like this feature!
Spinn City has other features such as an event calender and picture uploading, but those you can do better with ffindr and facebook.It is too bad that there is little action on the site and there is no real reason for return visits. Perhaps this will change in the future. If so, I will post it here on our blog again.
Earlier this year I wrote about a new LinkedIn group called Disc(o)Tech. Unfortunately I have not seen any use for/from it. However there is another disc related LinkedIn group that is more active: the Wonderful World of Ultimate. There are currently 181 members and a few days ago a new discussion was started: "Should the Ultimate Frisbee groups on Linked in merge? And how?".
So far only two responses, but give it time... :-)
I love LinkedIn for professional purposes, but is there any value in segregating it into hobby/sport groups? If I want to hang out online with my Beach Ultimate friends I go to Facebook (which I do not open to my professional network ;-). Facebook is great and has lots of Beach Ultimate players using it. Way more than LinkedIn users.
For example: at the 2008 Bar do Peixe Beach Ultimate tournament there were 140 players from 16 countries. Of those players, 27 made an online digital albums (=20%, which is probably a record in the Ultimate world). Of those 27 there were 23 (85%!) that used Facebook! That is amazing.
If you are not on Facebook, you might be missing out. I know there are privacy concerns and personally I don't download all the millions of applications. However it is a great way to keep in touch with your friends that are miles away.
Erick Fix, a humble handler, cameraman and editor from the North East has used his talent to craft an adrenaline-pumping highlight video of Wildwood. He is calling on you merry folk to make a difference in this crazy mixed-up world. He works for an internet fitness video website and causally asked if he could put together a video for the Wildwood tournament that occurred a few weeks ago (see our coverage here, here, and here). The bosses shrugged and agreed. Little did they know his master scheme to dominate the site with the power of our glorious sport...
Now he is reaching out to the global (Beach) Ultimate community with his plea: his video needs to get more hits than anything else on the site. Currently, the highest rated video on the site is a bodybuilding video....for the love of god...a bodybuilding video. In the name of all that is round and plastic please send this link (http://www.myfitnesschannel.com/on-location.asp?video=27) to all the players you know and watch the great video every day. If not for yourselves, for our sport...
There has been some confusion about catching the disc while the foot is underneath the line. Here is the response from Lorne Beckman, the person who has been involved in all the BULA rules as well as most UPA rules:
First let’s clarify nomenclature: a person's foot cannot be "underneath the line". "Lines" are conceptual. A person's foot can be underneath the coloured tape, but the coloured tape is not the line. The coloured tape is only an aid to mark the lines. See the BULA addendum to the WFDF rules:
2.2 The perimeter of the Field of Play is the Perimeter Line and consists of two (2) Sidelines along the length and two (2) End lines along the width.
2.2.1. All lines shall be marked with colored tape between five (5) and ten (10) centimetres wide
The conceptual "line" exists as a plane that extends infinitely upward and downward parallel to the pull of the Earth's gravity.A person who catches the disc with a foot which is underneath the coloured tape is therefore squarely on the line, and therefore, out-of-bounds. If the disc is caught by someone with a foot before the tape and then the person’s foot slides underneath it, he/she is in-bounds.
I hope that clarifies it. Let me know if you have any questions.
Are European female Ultimate players an endangered species?
I can't but shake the feeling that European women's Ultimate is not doing well. For years we had problems getting them to play, but they showed up anyway. However, this year there are 3 instances that make me think... hmmmm... are female Ultimate players becoming extinct?
The European Championships Beach Ultimate could not find 6 countries that could field 9 women to play in France this year
Wonderful Copenhagen Ultimate, spring's biggest tournament, will not see any women participating this year
Bar do Peixe, one of the most female friendly tournaments in Portugal, had more than its fair share of women canceling this year.
Are European female (Beach) Ultimate players an endangered species? I hope not! Look at what the alternative is:
Games are more fun if there’s something on the line like a cup of beer. Gatorade can be substituted for beer. Boxed wine can be substituted for Gatorade but nothing can replace common sense.
Cups on Sticks - Secure two three-foot durable plastic sticks into the ground a disc-and-a-fist length apart with plastic cups overturned on top of them. Set up another pair directly across about 30 feet away. Two teams of two take turns throwing a disc to try to either knock the cups off the opponent’s sticks (1 point per cup) or get the disc through the sticks cleanly (2 points). If you knock a cup off an opponent’s stick but the cup is caught before it hits the ground you get no points. However, it must be caught one-handed, as the other hand must be holding a beer. Game to 11.
Beer Box - Played 2-on-2 or 3-on-3. A small square demarcated by cones or shoes forms the box. The object is to catch the disc inside the box. You have to reset about 20 yards outside of the box before attempting to score. There are cans or cups of beer as the reset markers. To reset and begin play you must first take a three-second sip of beer at the marker. If you finish the beer, your opponent has to run to the cooler to get another one while your team gets a 3-on-2 power play. You score by catching the disc inside the box.
With permission from Tony Leonardo's book "Ultimate - The Greatest Sport Ever Invented By Man" (link to review)
“It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.”
-- Thoreau, Walden 1854
What is it about modern culture that makes authorities feel the need to impose a foreign language, way of life and religion on a people that live in communion, unashamedly nude deep in an impenetrable forest? In a culture where no one bothers to keep track of their age, the well intended, but genocidal policies of outsiders have been ravaging western New Guinea’s highland tribes, as they slowly succumb to alien modernization.
One force driving this aboriginal extermination is the frontiersman psychology. Sledding to the Poles, summiting Everest, rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, it’s all been done. We live in an age when uncharted earthbound exploration is virtually at an end, yet I partook in a particularly unique adventure; I taught naked Frisbee to natives who still dwell in the Stone Age. Someone had to do it. (More...)
Only a few people know the real story behind the game... Forget the hippy stuff, Ultimate Frisbee was developed around 300 A.D. in the Aztec province of Yucatan, near the city of Palenque. Ultimate Frisbee (in the Aztec Ul-ta-kool Fusz-bah, literally "gliding death wheel") was used both as a form of entertainment and to settle minor land or mineral rights disputes between Aztec tribes. The teams were typically comprised of slaves, widows, and orphans who played for pitchers of Ouaxchica, a sweet and refreshing Aztec rice drink.
The Aztec kings immediately recognized this peasant sport as a golden opportunity to ruin something good by making it a blood-sport. The "frisbee" was soon serrated and made razor-sharp; the losing team was fed to wild dogs, who were then drowned in lakes, which were then drained; and the frisbee fields were littered with small pieces of metal, chunks of diseased flesh, and swarms of killer bees. These innovations were undone in the 19th century by Lord Shelby Darrow, a noted Aztecologist, who is considered the father of modern Ultimate Frisbee, the step-father of Competitive Shuffleboard and the dead-beat dad of Ultimate Darts.
Beach Ultimate has long got its players from the grass Ultimate scene. There are beach tournaments galore but few leagues. However this is slowly changing. Portugal had the first national Beach Ultimate organization: BUG-P. However a second organization just got started: Associação Paulista de Beach Ultimate (APBU) in Brazil. No grass, just beach :-)
APBU is now organizing the national Beach Ultimate league March - September 2007. The first games will be on Praia do Centro in Peruibe. Here is a picture of the local team "Jararacas Beach Ultimate Team":
Where will the next 'beach-only' Ultimate organization come from? Spain? Italy? New Zealand? US? Mexico? Any bets?
Frisbee inventor Walter F. Morrison test flies a re-issue of the Pluto Platter Frisbee disc Thursday, Dec. 28, on the beach in Carpinteria, California. The original Pluto Platter Frisbee disc, designed by Morrison, made its debut in 1957.
It is a common claim made by Ultimate Frisbee players that ‘anyone’ could play the game. However Andrew Thornton, a long time Ultimate player, has published research that shows that Ultimate players struggle over their (athletic) embodiment and identity. His research shows that although Ultimate players reject and limit identifications with dominant sporting ideals they also continue to embrace some of their qualities. This process of identification suggests that maybe not ‘everyone’ will be able to become part of the Ultimate community...
Interested in reading more? Here is the published chapter (.pdf) of his PhD thesis. This chapter was originally published in 2004 by Belinda Wheaton (Ed.) in Understanding Lifestyle Sports: Consumption, Identity and Difference, London: Routledge, 175-196.
There is lots of stuff going on on the beaches around the world. In Portugal last weekend there was the 10th edition of the Bar do Peixe tournament, Wildwood in New Jersey is aiming to have 196 (!) teams this year, and in Belgium there are 2 new Beach Ultimate tournaments this year... We need more people writing reports, uploading pictures and videos...
Who wants to blog twice or 3 times a year on the BULA Blog? Contact me at patrick @ beachultimate.org if you are interested.
(This is a reprint of the article that appeared in 'Roar' the Paganello magazine)
You‘ve heard of Web 2.0? What about Beach 2.0?
The World Wide Web (the name almost sounds old) is, or was, a network developed and run by ‘techies’ (in the broadest sense of the word). To make anything available on the WWW you needed to have at least some knowledge about server configuration, FTP, and of course HTML.
A few years ago this started to change and it became much easier for non-techies to publish pages and communicate on the web. Blogs led the way… Simply put, blogs are like high tech diaries with picture and video possibilities. The big difference is that everyone can find and read them. (A type of exhibitionism that seems to fit well within the Ultimate community: a search on Google for “Ultimate Frisbee” + “Blog” revealed 1.000.000+ entries! :-)
The media took notice of the rising popularity of blogs and soon the term “Web 2.0” was coined. Yet Web 2.0 is much more than blogs. Take Wikis for example (or is it Wiki?). Wikis allow anybody to publish content on the web and others to collaboratively modify this content. Wikipedia - the people’s encyclopedia - is a huge success (the 18th most popular website in the world).
The recently launched Wikibook of Ultimate Games and Cheers (WUGC) is another worldwide collaboration. This time to create a digital book full of cheers, photos, games, and ”after game” tips. This was not possible a few years ago and will certainly have an influence on the evolution of Beach Ultimate.
I won’t go into why I think Beach Ultimate will evolve differently from grass Ultimate, but no one can deny it is a young sport and is still developing its roots. The very first Beach Ultimate tournament - Death on the Beach in Texas -was only 20 years ago. Paganello, the longest running tournament in the world, started a few years later in 1989... Two years later, the world wide web was born….
In “Beach 1.0” all tournaments had a website (usually run by one of the techies) as well as a mailing list. This was a great way to get the ball rolling, and I can’t imagine running a tournament without it, however technology has evolved and we have now entered the era of Beach 2.0. Power to the players!
Blogs, wikis, photo sharing websites, you name it… More and more players are publishing online and contributing to the growth of Beach Ultimate. Take for example “Vamos a Parlee Playa con Pedro”, a short film by the Mauvaises Herbes Ultimate Club. The video was created as a bid for the Parlee Beach Ultimate Tournament in Canada. After showing the video to the tough judges of the Parlee Beach registration and castration committee, they put the video on video.google.com. This was free and only a few minutes of work. Now players from around the world can enjoy Beach Ultimate silliness from Quebec City by simply searching for “Beach Ultimate” on video.google.com.
Gotta love technology… :-)
Here is another example: Using the free Google Earth download, and no programming, an online fly-over of the Guarujá beach in Brazil was created in less than 10 minutes. Now everyone can see where the World Championships Beach Ultimate will take place in 2007 :-)
The Beach Ultimate community is taking advantage of Web 2.0: almost half of the tournaments have published their Google Earth locations on the BULA site. It is really cool to see all the beaches where people play: the beach of Magic Maggia in Switzerland, Acapulco, Guarujá, New Zealand, you name it.
It will be interesting to see how Beach Ultimate will co-evolve with new Web 2.0 applications such as Flickr, 30boxes, Ning, and Platial. There are over 10,000 Beach Ultimate players worldwide, 52 tournaments, and a hand full of Beach Ultimate leagues. All of us play hard, play to win, and always have fun. At the end of each game, we get together with our opponent to celebrate the game just played. With new technologies, anyone, in their own creative way, can show how they feel about the sport, and share this with like-minded people. With the help of Web 2.0, Beach Ultimate can be a worldwide sport where the rules are clear and the spirit doesn’t get lost.
I just found out, to my great horror, that the UPA has trademarked the phrase “Spirit of the Game”. This must be the greatest oxymoron in Ultimate history!
Discraft resellers have already been told that they can not put the phrase “Spirit of the Game” on discs unless they have approval from the UPA. That is insane! Is this Ultimate? Is this the Spirit of the Game?
I have asked the UPA for clarification but so far they have failed to respond to my emails. Is this patent trademark worldwide? Can you actually do this? Take a phrase that has been used since the beginning of the sport and trademark it? What about the name Ultimate? Is the next step to trademark our game and we all pay the UPA for playing it? Or lets trademark the stall count: stall one™… stall two™… stall three™...
I can't believe this. I am shocked!
UPDATE: reponse from Sandie Hammerly (Executive Director UPA)
The Ultimate Players Association does own the US trademark registration on the mark “Spirit of the Game” (since 1997), as well as SOTG, Ultimate Players Association and UPA.
While I was not a part of the UPA when this process was started, I can assure you that the organization’s goal in doing this was not to keep players and organizers from using the marks, but to protect our sport and players from commercial entities and business who might acquire the mark and prevent us from using it unless a licensing fee was paid…or possibly not at all.
When organizers have asked us for permission to use the mark, to the best of my knowledge, we have never said no.
"Really Useless Product Award: Nite Ize's Illuminated Flying Disc takes the prize. Imagine a Frisbee with LEDs that costs $20. Now if it only came with a built-in MP3 player… "
—Steve Bass (PCWorld)
I am a 'techy' and love gadgets... but Steve.... have some non-tech fun too...
Flashflights are great at night. Not every night, but when you are with a bunch of friends on a beach. Couple of beers (you can still do that in Europe ;-) and a Flashflight... I think it is worth $20!
And you know what? When you layout to catch the disc in the sea (a wonderful feeling you should try some time)... the disc still works. Something you can't say about most MP3 players...
Being Dutch and living in Portugal is probably not the same feeling as being a man in a woman's body but it is an interesting experience nevertheless ;-).
I grew up with Nordic Ultimate: grass, field shortages, rain, indoor season... The spirit was almost always great but when there were ever any spirit problems on the field they were dealt with more a 'rational' approach. Less 'passionate'. This is how grass Ultimate developed from the start. The first Ultimate evangelists came from the US, Canada, and Western Europe. The style of play, the way most Ultimate players behave (good and bad) is very Western, very Nordic. Intellectual hippy-jocks, someone ones told me...
Beach Ultimate will eventually have more Latino players than Nordics. It is inevitable. In Portugal we play 52 weeks a year on the beach. The lifestyle is more inviting to go to the beach and play disc. The future World Champions will come from the relatively insignificant Ultimate countries such as Spain, Italy, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico or Portugal (no offense to all the already existing great players/teams in those countries!)
How will the spirit evolve? No doubt the beach puts players in a great mood. The sea is calming, that sand feels great to walk on, and it seems the disc was made for the beach... :-) Mix in the more relaxed attitude towards life and a bit of hot Latino spirit and what will we get? Will the future spirit of Beach Ultimate be like a Mexican spicy dish? A Brazilian samba? Or more balanced Chinese sweet and sour soup with distinct Ultimate overtones?