Saturday, September 05, 2009

All Frisbee, All The Time

All what?
Ultimate Frisbee. (Or just Ultimate, if you prefer.) Apparently it totally is a real sport. And it better be for all the effort I'm putting into it.

What effort?
I'm playing Social and League, and practicing my throws, and going on runs to get fit, and playing in tournaments.

That sounds fascinating. Please tell us more. *Rolls eyes*
Thanks, I will. So I started playing Social at the start of the year. You may remember I won Most Valuable Female? I was also playing Womens League then, although I did nothing particularly spectacular there.

I spectacularly stood around talking.

This semester I'm playing Social and Mixed League, and - check this - going to Mixed Nationals.

How can you be going to Nationals? You just started playing.

Good point. My argument is usually either (a) they were desperate for girls, (b) they think I'm good enough even though I'm clearly not, or (c) I am awesome, depending on my mood. My team kinda depresses me, honestly, because they make me realise how not good I am, but on the other hand, playing with and against awesome people makes you awesome, etc.

Also, frisbee is odd in that most people come to it from another sport. Basketball has helped me a lot with defence, field awareness, things like that, but is no help at all in reading the disc, throwing it, etc. But given that some people already have basic fitness and sportiness, they are able to get up to a reasonable standard fairly quickly.

That is a basketball catch if ever I saw one.

In related news, I predict that Tassie will be having a heatwave on the weekend of the 10th-12th of October.

Any other tournament news you'd like to share?
Why, yes. As you know I went to Keith, and lost my adidas drink bottle (devastated!), and was very hungover. I hope I have learned my lesson about drinking to excess before the tournament is over. (Clearly I didn't, to which the Smurf/Pillow Fight training after the AWI will attest.)

The what?
The Adelaide Women's Invitational. The AWI is an awesome tournament first held last weekend, which utilises a 5-2 women-men ratio (very unusual for mixed frisbee which is usually 4-3 or 5-2 guys' way). It happens at a good time, in that all the other comps around at the moment are mixed, and playing all (or even mostly) girls is totally different.

Me and the AWI tourament organiser on the post-tourney pub crawl. It's all fun and games until you have to get up and play frisbee the next day.

My team (MUD!) won Most Spirited, came second overall, and I won Most Valuable Beginner Female. (My prize was a pink fluffy tiara. How awesome is that!)

So basically you are the best of the all the crap people?
Well, yes, I believe I have said something like that to someone in an effort to make my "I won a pink tiara! I am so awesome!" sound a little more humble. However, I don't think I will continue to refer to it that way. For a start, beginner doesn't mean crap, it just means new. And secondly, that's kind of doing a disservice to the award itself, which (I imagine) is meant to recognise and encourage and promote newer players, and playing it down negatively doesn't help that at all. So therefore, thirdly, I am happy with the fact that I am one of a whole bunch of new girls who are working their way up the ranks of SA Women's Ultimate, but by no means do I think the tiara means I am the best. player/beginner. ever. Yet.

Yet, hey?
Yes, yet. I plan to be fricking awesome sometime very soon and I am struggling with the part where all that isn't happening now now now. Like, my catches in the end zone are getting great, and I have pictorial evidence to prove that ...

... but my throws are shithouse in games, although they're getting better in one-on-one practices.

Not to mention I'm in an interesting place between beginner and real player, where I don't want to be treated like I don't know anything, and would like to recognised as a legitimate player on a team, but on the other hand I still need pretty much everything explained to me and will do nothing if I don't have something specific to do, and I wait for other people to call things when it's really up to me now. Which is what I want! But not!

Ok, chill. So ... one-on-one training? What the hell kind of sport is this?
One where people are very very helpful. Plus there aren't any coaches that aren't players, and everyone knows everyone, and most people are totally eager to share what they know. Not to mention frisbee practice goes better with someone to throw with, so I have been recieving instruction from some awesome ultimate players, who get to ... practice catching bad throws? Everyone wins!

My effort at a forehand.

Everyone knows everyone? Like, actually?
Yeah pretty much. Frisbee is a very social sport, played by a fairly small and tight-knit community, and one which places a high emphasis on good spirit. This leads to more hanging around watching and after games, which leads to ... people having too much time on their hands, playing Fantasy Ultimate, where you pick a positive (person who if they do good you get points) and a negative (who you want to do bad so you get points), lots of heckling and crap from the sidelines, which is all in good fun but can be confusing to play to, as your sideline players are a totally valuable asset and people playing fantasy, not so much. But yes, good spirit, good friends, everyone knows everyone. Yay ultimate!

But you can't actually know everyone, can you?
Unlike basketball, where I played with roughly the same group of girls for ten years straight, frisbee teams change way more often, meaning you play with a lot of different people fairly often. Thus far, I've played on this many different teams: Red Hot Go, Fury-ess, Blue-nami, Try Sarah's Tops, Rasczak's Roughnecks, MUD, Donna Hay and the Cupcakes, and Pillow Fight (and I'm playing for 7 Wonders this week).

So, you don't have a life anymore, basically?
That is it, essentially, yes. The cult that is ultimate has taken over my life, I have a bajillion page list of things I want to learn or get better at, and I really, really want a frisbee shirt with my name on the back. Then I can totally retire. Until then, all ultimate, all the time.


  1. But how can it be any fun if you don't have a ref to heckle, and who do you blame when you lose?

  2. This was an extremely interesting read! What a great insight into the perspective of a relatively new person to ultimate. You clearly know and understand a great deal about the sport and it's nature. I never thought about how the term "beginner" might be construed. You are totally right- you are just new, not necessarily a beginner. And now you're not so new any more. So what to call you? 'tis a difficult one, since I can't call you a learner, because we're all still learning every day. I'll have to ponder this one... Oh and that bajillion page list? Is that the one on the villis napkin written in sauce? :)

  3. Ohh... I wanan play Ultimate! Actually, I was thinking about what you said before, and I might see if I can get a Frisbee scholarship when I get to uni. =) That would be so.. so.. uh.. ultimate?


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