Friday, December 08, 2006

No Hitting, but Tough - Part II

Hey Folks,

I've given you a bit of time to think about it. If you've read my blog I've always looked at Ultimate and asked questions like, "Should juniors be playing ultimate or not?" and "Is the tournament format crazy?"

Pictured Above: Two more pictures of the Capitals at UPAs (both from Shawn Chua's collection)

I ask these questions because I feel that Ultimate is a tough sport. It's tough, and I look forward to playing hockey in the winter.

The question is why is Ultimate tough. I think there are a few key physical factors:
  • Very little positional play - you can't rest, and if you are, you're hurting your team.
  • Full field play - means the entire field is a threat so you can't play too much easier (maybe zone) in different positions on the field (as opposed to most other field sports).
  • Format for tournaments - they're just too long and we play with too few players (this applies to most sports).
  • No on the fly subbing even with timeouts.
Another reason ultimate is tough from the psychological side:
  • Throwing in conditions is tough since the disc is relatively light and oddly shaped
  • Catching is challenging for the same reason
  • Defending is an uphill battle (you feel open to attack)
I'm sure there are more reasons, but it's a tough sport. Maybe we don't hit, but we all push ourselves.

Ultimate definitely isn't the toughest sport. It lacks pushing your mind and body to the extreme. It lacks danger and physical contact.

So, my rankings would be:
  1. Mixed Martial Arts (still has the word Ultimate in it and includes wrestling)
  2. Marathon runner (representative for the extreme individual sports)
  3. Ultimate
  4. Badminton
  5. Hockey
  6. Squash
  7. Basketball
  8. Football
That was fun,


Anonymous said...

Why is Badmiton so high?

Jeters said...

I think badminton is extremely tough with respect to endurance and psychology. Badminton is the representative for the net and racket sports.

The matches are long and grueling with constant swings. There are no subs. It's tough...


The Cruise said...

Badminton at high levels is tough.
but the majority of the US plays it at a level closer to croquet than tennis. That's where the confusion comes from.

The other confusion is the word "tough".

It means a lot of different things to different people. My definition of the word seems very far away from yours, I wouldn't rank the sports anywhere close to how you do.

Jeters said...

Yeah, I tried to define it, but it is very subjective.

What would your ranking be for interest sake?

I'm glad I didn't add curling to the list ;)


Anonymous said...

But is it really fair to put individual and team sports in the same category? I don't think so, they're totally different. I would say that mountain climbing,F1 racing, and Boxing are the toughest sports but I would never compare them to team sports; to me it's like comparing apples and oranges. Agree, disagree?

Jeters said...

In any of these comparisons it is never fair, but they are fun and generate great discussions. It's like comparing individual in a sport over different generations ala Micheal Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain.

I guess we could just compare team sports, but that's no fun (probably makes more sense).


Anonymous said...

I agree with you i think ultimate is a very tough sport when it comes to tournament format (many games across many days). However the sport that i consider the toughest in the world is Australian rules football (AFL). AFL is full contact with no form of padding, helmets or body protection. Massive field, and only 4 subs (until there are injuries then there is less).
You should check it out.

Anonymous said...

For reasonable comparisons, we need to compare these sports across the board, at the highest levels acheived. We can't compare our tier 5 league team to a professional F1 racer. Rather, we should be comparing the work of top dogs on Sockeye/Furious to the likes of Jorge Palazuelos and Anthony Koutoufides (who recently elevated his super athlete status by winning "dancing with the stars"). take THAT Johnny Weismuller!

Anonymous said...

"Should juniors be playing ultimate or not?"
A: Yes.

Juniors are extremely important for the growth of Ultimate.
Even though you say ultimate is such a 'tough' sport, that shouldn't discourage anybody, especially juniors, to play. Besides... Every sport is mentally and physically challenging. Despite the fact that every sport entails certain risks, that's what fuels some competitive players to reach teh next level - the competitiveness.

Juniors ultimate is key. AND it's amazing to watch. At higher levels, these kids will throw themselves in every direction to do everything in their power to get that disc. Even with teams that have the most experienced juniors, games that you would think to be one sided; well, aren't. They make big throws and big catches and it's quite exciting to watch.

If you've seen the juniors finals at the Canadian Ultimate Championships in Winnipeg last year, you'd agree with me that it was one of the best ultimate game I've ever seen.

Juniors are becoming more and more a crucial part of competitive ultimate. We now have youngsters on pretty much every team. (eg: the capitals girl on the mark in the first picture in this post is a junior. 16 yrs old) Comp teams are relying more and more on these juniors. And rightfully so: I don't know where they learnt this stuff but these kids can play!

Ok, I'll cut it here, sorry to have wandered slightly off topic.

my 0.02$ about junior ultimate :)