Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Playoff Spinoffs

This past Sunday kicked off the last week of Ultimate playoffs for the winter indoor season, and nothing beats getting a new pair of superawesomecool cleats than digging them into some turf and zoom-zooming around!

But first, let me walk you through a typical game for an elite Ultimate Frisbee athlete such as myself:

What I think we look like...

Everyone knows awesome Ultimate players can do disc tricks.  I am not an exception!  Who me? Oh, why yes, I can spin discs on my finger.  Just ignore Tav there.  He's CLEARLY jealous.  Or he had to close his eyes in complete AWE at the awesomeness of my skills.  Wait...

What I actually look like...
Sometimes being elite doesn't always come naturally.  It takes hard work and concentration.

Once your hands and wrists are warmed up and you've gotten comfortable with handling a disc, it's time for a team meeting.  Now, note: just because you're super elite doesn't mean you don't listen to the captain.  You have to listen very carefully and very seriously.  A sign of a really good player is one who can listen and follow directions.  It's all about team work.

Yes, I see what you're saying.  Today's strategy is that you want the girls to handle the disc.  While I mull this over, clearly Melissa is against this idea.  When I'm done mulling things like this over, the result is that I am also against this.  It goes against my Frisbee DNA. 

Basically, the handler is the main person who touches the disc.  Whenever our team is on the offensive (ie. trying to score a point - it took me forever to figure this out!), there's one main person who takes the disc and controls it.  As in, picks it up and decides where and who it goes to next.  The handler is typically understood to be the strongest/skilled thrower.  This is not typically myself.  So this would be the main reason why I'm against this tactical decision. 

BOOM!  This is what a cutter looks like! Zoom zoom!

Since we started out on the team last year, I don't know if it's a Disc Pigs strategy, but mainly the girls on the team are what's known as the cutters.  If you read my Frisbee 101 manual that I put up in a previous post, you'd know what I'm talking about.  But in case you didn't (I forgive you), cutters are the people who do the most running.  And they're supposed to run so fast they effectively cut the grass as they run. : voila, cutter.  So, it's pretty much been programmed into me that I am a cutter.  The Frisbee gets D'd by my team and my first instinct is to RUN!  Even if I'm right beside the downed Frisbee, my elite Ultimate Frisbee brain says RUN!  So you can see my conundrum when all of a sudden I'm told I must pick up this disc.  It was a learning curve. 

What it looks like: Me handling the disc
What actually happens: I freak out that I'm holding the disc that I usually just throw it away and there's a turnover
But a good Ultimate player must learn to adapt.  If we are called to handle the disc, we must handle the disc.

Sometimes an elite Ultimate player is called to make the ultimate sacrifice and take one for the team in the name of keeping possession of the disc or scoring.  Basically, a handler is in charge of getting the disc to the end zone, but cutters also have responsibility.  In order to maintain possession of the disc, a handler can't always throw the disc directly to a cutter or anyone else on their team.  Because clearly, whoever is stalking the cutter can anticipate this and interfere and smack the disc down, thus causing a turnover.  In order to avoid this, cutters and handlers need to work together and the best way to do that is for handlers to throw the disc in a spot just beyond the cutter and it's the cutters job to GET to the disc.  Sometimes, the disc can go a little bit beyond the cutter's reach and normal players would usually let it go.  Elite Ultimate players layout.

What I think I look like
THIS is what a layout looks like.  It's intense and painful and requires sacrificing your body for the good of the team.

What I actually look like
Or you know...if you haven't gotten a chance to actually layout, you could practice.  But whatevs.  Same diff.

Sometimes, the intensity of the game could cause even the best of us to...lose their shit, per se:

What I think losing my shit looks like and what it actually looks like
On good days, regardless of little hiccups such as this, good teams such as that of the Disc Pigs usually manage to pull a win.  Why? Because we're bosses.

Badass pose if I ever saw one!  We RUN this field!
And winning ALWAYS calls for a victory pose:

So that's your typical Ultimate game, pretty much.  It was actually this past Sunday's game to close off the Sunday league winter season.  Disc Pigs pulled an awesome win to secure third place!  And that's definitely nothing to scoff at considering last year when we first signed up, we finished in dead last and were happy about it! *LOL*

In all honesty, it doesn't matter what place we finish in.  The whole point behind Ultimate Frisbee that gets highlighted more than winning or losing is what's called the "Spirit of the Game".  It gets made fun of a lot by the people at the office since I may have conveyed it incorrectly.  But basically, since Ultimate is a self-refereed game, it relies a lot on the attitude of each player and the hope that each player fully abides by the "Spirit of the Game" which in a nutshell is just making sure that you play hard, but you play fair.  This attitude transpires into "spirit points" for each team after every game.  Maybe the "spirit part" gets a bad rep because I keep doing spirit fingers every time I say spirit points.

What?! You don't know what spirit fingers are!?

But basically, all those little parts of the game make it why I LOVE THIS GAME SO MUCH!!!

This Wednesday evening will be our last game for the Wednesday league and I am SUPER pumped.  We're playing for 5th place (out of six teams *LOL*) but again, that is no laughing matter, yo!  Wednesday league is a more intermediate league than Sundays and we play it without our main handler that plays on Sundays.  The rest of the team looked at this as an opportunity to play more advanced teams with the hopes that with each game that we play, we learn to get better and play together as a more cohesive team.  The next intermediate season, I reckon (did I seriously just use the word 'reckon'?!) that we'll give some teams some serious run for their money.

In the meantime, Spring/Summer season starts in June which is played outdoors with a little change in pace since it's 7-on-7 as opposed to 5-on-5 with MUCH more field space.  I am SUPER pumped to play and for the in-between month of May, Melissa and I have signed on to play for Mondays and Wednesdays just to make sure we don't lose our edge in the month wait-time!

If you haven't already signed up for an Ultimate team, I have no idea what you're waiting for!  Sprinting full out before grinding to a complete stop and then doing it over and over and over again for a full 55 minutes until the game is over or you vomit is CLEARLY the most awesome thing ever!

Who knows....we may just come face to face on the field *squinty eyes*

Remember: When in doubt, layout.


1 comment:

Marti Wills said...

I have never played ultimate frisbee before or any sport really and now all of a sudden i feel like i want to :P

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