Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Obligatory Sectionals Report

I’ve been insanely busy the last couple of weeks and I’m behind on my blog reading/writing. There are several recent additions to what blogosphere (I think we should all start using Luke’s term to avoid embarrassing situations like Parinella calling it Blogworld) I didn’t realize existed. Idris seems to be trying to maintain some semblance of order with his ultimatetalk.com. Our blog has to be particularly annoying to catalogue since it has multiple authors. Meanwhile, it appears that we’ll hit the 15,000 visit mark sometime this morning – not too bad for a blog that was just two guys talking to each other about frisbee. Recent posts have kind of gone astray from our original intent of talking about coaching and strategy. With the college season starting up again, I’m more focused on that kind of stuff and will probably start posting more strategy/coaching after the club season. Speaking of which, I’m going with Chain 15 DoG 3 in the finals of nationals…I believe they’re taking bets over on the Frisbee Spew Site, so get your money in now. On to the obligatory sectionals report…

Chain was first formed in 1981 (making Chain older than half the guys on our team) and has never lost a game at sectionals. With all the complaining that the DoG guys do, I thought perhaps they could understand how painful sectionals is, but then I realized they played Twisted Metal, and as such, they have absolutely no idea. This year was particularly bad as the traditional second team in our section, Tanasi, has gone coed. In the past, we’ve tried many gimmicks to try to force people to play seriously. One year we instituted the if you turn it over your benched rule. That was scrapped after a few points when it became clear that people were turning it over intentionally. Last year we flipped the script and made the rule if you turn it over you play for the rest of the game, and that was actually pretty effective. This year, with the Hammonds in charge, we brought out the alcohol. The rule was – if you turn it over you’ve got to buy the beer. This led to some pretty funny scenarios. In our second game a rookie was cutting in at full speed for Jay Hammond (easily the most obnoxious guy in ultimate) and Jay just absolutely fires the flick at him from like 7 or 8 yards as he turning to clear. Of course, the sideline is all over the poor guy when he can’t come up with the catch. At this point, it might make sense to note that if you’re thinking of modeling your team after Chain….it’s probably not the best idea. I was kind of afraid that some of our opponents would be insulted by our drinking/goofing off, but for the most part our opponents bought into the idea of a fun game and started showboating as well. We somehow get through pool play with no injuries and a 4-0 record.

We had to come back out on Sunday for the finals and we actually took the game pretty seriously and played hard. The one play of note came late in the game after we had caught a huck and called timeout on the goal line. We have this 16 year old Paideian, George Stubbs, that’s playing with us, and he’s been talking about this end zone play all year. Basically, you have a guy run off the back of the stack to the front cone, the thrower fakes the throw, the cutter makes the huge dive and the sideline and stack go nuts like the guy just made an incredible catch. Meanwhile, another cutter sneaks off to the other cone to catch the goal. So everything is going according to plan, George comes off the back with the HUGE layout, everyone goes nuts and their whole team turns to watch. Then my defender starts screaming, “Boston Surprise!” “Boston Surprise!” and sprints over to the break side fast enough to stop the goal. Of course, being alone in the middle of the end zone it might have made sense for me to say something, but instead I stood there amazed. I’ve never heard of this play and I certainly didn’t know what its name was. But this guy, 1)has heard of the play 2) recognized it as soon as he saw the guy layout 3)had enough presence of mind to sprint back over to the break side to stop the play 4)all the while yelling Boston Surprise! Boston Surprise! alerting his team to our evil plan. Crazy. I would have asked him to play with Chain, but he’s obviously way too intelligent.

Anyway, that’s about all I got.


Edelman said...

Hearing about that play reminds me of the good ol' "alpha Klenk Goodson" days of Emory ultimate (actually, the year you were on our team, AJ).

Two plays I will mention that had to be the funniest ever: the first, we are coming off a stoppage of play and I believe Brian Connelly has the disc (it couldn't have been Buffalo because the play wouldn't have progressed due to turfing). We are stacked up and from the second to last in the stack, Jacob Sager yells out, "Iso ME!" and proceeds to tool his guy and get the disc.

Second, Matt Klenk has the disc on a stoppage of play, and we're stacked up. Without even hesitating after the disc is quickly tapped in, he calls out, "Iso I'm F***ing your girlfriend!" and both Sager and Goodson cut.

An honorable mention goes out to Jason Gehrken who cut for the "Iso Tiny Penis" call at UTUT a few years back.

llimllib said...

I think a lot of people saw that play after this year's potlatch, when it was a clip of the day (http://www.ultivillage.com/newsite/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=37).

Williams College tried to run that play on my team at a tournament this year. the break side cutter made a nice bid, but I was guarding him and saw that the disc wasn't thrown, so I just started yelling "not in, not in". We stayed on the marks and the thrower turfed it.

Edward Lee said...

Isn't there supposed to be a guy parked at the cone with a camera as well?

Kyle said...


Despite the fact that you warned us of the non-coaching nature of this blog, it actually brings up an important point: How can a team gain something out of a Sectional Championship (or any event) without any real competition?

I've played on a number of teams where the sectional results are a forgone conclussion. In order to make something out of those tournaments it is important to challenge yourselves. Set specific goals for each game: redzone efficiency, number of turnovers, number of hucks for scores, etc. Or if you are working on a specific play or set - # of completions out of that play or that set. The goals should (as always) be challenging but attainable. And the rewards for achieving/or penalty for failing should get the players to buy in:

AJ will do 50 push-ups if we have fewer than five turnovers.

If we have five or more the whole team will run 3 70 yard sprints.

A weekend for sectionals doesn't have to be seen as a weekend where you can't practice. It simply provides you with a different way to practice and gives you a great opportunity to practice focus. That practice will come in handy when you need to run your plays or focus for your games at Regionals or the UPA Championships.

parinella said...


We had a "penalty box" one year. After turnover it over, either you were exiled for two points (you had to jog two fields over and wait), or you went into the penalty box, about the size of a trailer (y'all should know about that), for 1 minute while everyone was allowed to throw discs at you.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of George Stubbs and endzone plays I have a story about both.

At NUTC (National Ultimate Training Camp) last year, a team caught the goal near the endzone and sideline and called a timeout. George Stubbs was the opposite team. The offensive team drew up a brilliant play. They asked "which guy on the other team is going to be so overzealous for the d" and the answer, of course, was George Stubbs. They lined up with a diagonal stack with the guy Stubbs was guarding at the front of the stack, and a girl as the dump. The disc is tapped in and the thrower fakes back, then the girl cuts up line for the goal. Stubbs poaches off of his man and almost makes a layout attempt on the fake. The marker had heard the strike call and shifted so the thrower threw to the wide open front of the stack man (who Stubbs should have guarded) who proceeded to swing it to the back of the stack who was running break.

When I heard Stubbs and end zone play that's what I thought he was going to suggest. :)

Keith said...

All that love and respect for your defender, and ya can't even shout out Brian Edgerton from GA Tech?

Parinella know why it may have grabbed such a location-based name?

Edge said...

Thanks for the plug, Keith, but I was happy with the anonymity. How am I supposed to sandbag my summer league rank once my ultimate genius is out in the open?

I owe most of my trick play knowledge to Mike Nash at Spring Collegiates '04. A couple of tough losses had bumped us into the B bracket, and we really wanted to go to the local Hooters and watch Tech play in the final four. In an (surprisingly difficult) effort to lose the game, we ran the strangest offenses we could think of, including the Boston Surprise.

Nash also mentioned a play which I've never seen, but would love to see in action:
Off the turn, two offensive players walk up to pick up the disc, start arguing, and eventually get into a wrestling match over who should get to pick up the disc. Their teammates come over, circle around them, and start cheering them on. Eventually, everyone gathers around to watch, and then the fight suddenly stops. The offensive players bust to the endzone, and someone puts it deep while their defenders try to figure out what just happened.

Harding said...

I'm sorry to hear about Chain's lack of any competition at Sectionals for decades. Hopefully that problem will shortly begin to be remedied. Granted, we lost the finals by quite a few, but I still thought it was a competitive game and, like AJ said, Chain was playing for keeps, not screwing around like they did on Saturday. Anyway, see you guys at Regionals. And yeah, the Boston Surprise is not that much of a secret, though it is a pretty funny play, especially it works and you're the team running it.

luke said...

usually, when a team starts yelling out their play names, and 'd' calls... i like to yell hot cleveland steamer or dirty sanchez.

Bob Michael said...

I like the play but would suggest its been around even longer. Princeton pulled it on the Brown B team while playing at Georgia Southerns in the spring of 2002.

I would question the spirit of the game with that play, entirely deceptive, with the sideline joining in to make noise and celebrate and cause confusion on the field. Trickery is not really the point of ultimate, and I think it falls in with heckling and jeering as far as spirit is concerned.