HISTORY LESSON OF THE WEEK:
The College Division officially separated from the Club Division in 1984 as the UPA continued to promote and organize Ultimate more. The UPA currently has strict eligibility requirements to play on a college team, and although Ultimate is not recognized by the NCAA yet, some similar standards apply, even as Ultimate is basically only a club program at most colleges. Just like the Club Division, the first few college championships were led by east coast teams (most notably UMass and Penn, as Glassboro’s heyday was ending), although Stanford won the first official championship. UC Santa Barbara (remember the Condors?) dominated the College Division for several years, similar to their Club counterpart, winning College Nationals from 1988-1990 and 1996-1998, also making finals or semi-finals 8 other times between 1986 and 2001. Other major programs through the years included Cornell, who made six semi-finals appearances in the late 80s and early 90s, and a few teams from North Carolina, including UNC Wilmington (Champs in 93, making semi-finals or better five times in the 90s), East Carolina (94 and 95 Champs), and even NC State for a short time in the late 90s. From the Central Region (where Cornfed plays), Wisconsin (known as the Hodags) has become a dynasty of sorts, winning Natties in 2003, before winning again in 2007 and 2008. Carleton College out of Minnesota won Nationals in 2001 and maintains a very strong program to this day, winning the 2009 UPA College Nationals to hold the current crown.The other strongest programs of the past few years include Florida, and Colorado’s Mamabird, who are perennially among the National favorites.
Next week, I’ll talk about women’s Ultimate.
Bonus Trivia: I'm a huge fan of James Bond and was watching "Thunderball" when I recalled something I read in the history books: When creating the very first rules of Ultimate, Joel Silver decided to call the opening kick-off a "Pull" because he saw the skeet-shooting scene in Thunderball and thought it sounded cool (and launching the disc to the other team looked similar to launching a clay pigeon).
LINKS OF THE WEEK:
These videos, produced by ESPN and Sports Illustrated, respectively, are pretty much the extent of mainstream exposure that Ultimate gets* (College nationals is usually broadcast on an obscure sports channel several weeks after the fact, but the main sports leaders have ignored Ultimate so far, even though they air cup stacking, dog shows, and eating contests). Go ahead and watch these videos and laugh, because they are funny, but there are also things to be learned. A lot of people get pissed off that Ultimate is perceived and portrayed this way, as opposed to a legitimate sport, but that is where our culture has brought us, and efforts to change those perceptions have not gained as much traction as they could. That is something that a lot of us are working on, but until then, enjoy the videos. The short, loud-mouthed guy in the Cheap Seats video is Kenny Dobyns of NYNY, who you may recall being mentioned in last week’s history lesson.
Here are some things we can learn from these videos:
1. We have a long way to go toward making our sport look legitimate and respectful.
2. There is a fine line between being a competitive athlete and looking like a jerk.
3. We are playing a game and throwing a Frisbee, let’s remember to have fun!
RULE OF THE WEEK: Now that we've covered some of the most common calls (fouls, picks, travels, marking violations) you will hear on the field, let's go back to the beginning of the game. Rule VIII.B. covers all the nuances of the Pull, including where to take the disc when the Pull goes out of bounds, dropping the Pull (rookie mistake!), and the rarely called offsides call. Warning: this is surprisingly long.
1. Play starts at the beginning of each half and after each goal with a pull.
2. After a goal, the teams switch their direction of attack and the scoring
3. The pull may be made only after the puller and a player on the receiving team both raise their hands to signal their team’s readiness to begin play. A team must have a minimum of two players and a maximum of seven players on the field in order to signal readiness. The pull occurs when the puller throws the disc after signaling readiness.
4. Positioning before the pull:
a. After signaling readiness, players on the pulling team may move anywhere in their end zone, but their feet may not cross the vertical plane of the goal line until the disc is released.
b. After signaling readiness, players on the receiving team must be in
contact with the goal line that they are defending without changing location relative to one another.
c. After the disc is released, it is in play and any player may move in any direction.
d. If either team fails to maintain proper positioning before the pull, the
other team may audibly announce off-sides and a re-pull ensues. The call must be made before any player on the receiving team touches the disc.
e. In games where Observers are used, the Observers may monitor and call offsides as appropriate. The first instance of offsides for each team will result in a warning and a re-pull. After a team has received its warning, any further instances of offsides are treated as follows:
1. receiving team offsides: receiving team starts with the disc at the midpoint of the end zone they are defending, after players set up and a check is performed.
2. pulling team offsides: receiving team starts with the disc at
midfield, after players set up and a check is performed.
5. A player on the throwing team may not touch the pull in the air before a member of the receiving team touches it. If this violation occurs, the receiving team may request a re-pull immediately.
6. If the pull hits the ground or an out-of-bounds area untouched, it is put into play as follows:
a. If the disc initially hits and remains in-bounds, it is put into play
where it comes to rest or is stopped (unless a rolling disc was kicked or hit
b. If the disc initially hits in-bounds and then becomes out-of-bounds
before being touched by the receiving team, it is put into play at the spot on the playing field proper (i.e., excluding the end zones) nearest to where it first crossed the perimeter line to become out-of-bounds.
c. If the disc initially hits in-bounds and then becomes out-of-bounds
after being touched by the receiving team, it is put into play at the spot on the playing field nearest to where it first crossed the perimeter line to become out-of-bounds.
d. If the disc initially hits an out-of-bounds area, the receiving team may put the disc into play:
1. at the spot determined by IX.H (where it went out of bounds,
2. after signaling for a brick or middle by fully extending one hand
overhead and calling brick or middle before gaining possession of the disc,
a. the brick mark closest to the end zone that the receiving team is
defending if brick was called, or
b. the spot on the long axis of the playing field proper nearest to
the spot (where it went out of bounds) if middle was called.
7. If the pull is caught, the disc is put into play at the spot on the playing
field nearest to where it was caught.
8. If a player on the receiving team touches the pull before it hits the ground and the disc then hits the ground, it is considered a dropped disc (the same as an incomplete pass) and results in a turnover.
9. After a pull, whichever player takes possession of the disc must put it into play. If a player drops the disc while carrying it to the spot where it is to be put into play and it contacts the ground before the thrower regains possession, the other team gains possession of the disc at the spot on the playing field proper nearest to the drop.
10. There is no stoppage of play when putting the pull into play. If the disc is to be put into play at a location other than where possession was gained, the thrower starts play by touching the disc to the ground after establishing a pivot at the spot on the playing field where the disc is to be put into play.