Thursday, March 22, 2007

Poll Thursday - Flat Ball?

The Logo Battle ended with Furious taking the final poll and eliminating my favourite - Sub Zero. If I'm still blogging next year in October we'll start another Logo Battle. If you're interested the results the brackets are on a Google spreadsheet for your viewing.

So now we're back to our regularly scheduled "Poll Thursday", and I thought I'd ask how people feel about the name 'Ultimate'. Steve Mooney made an interesting point at the UCPC panel that the name, Ultimate, leaves a lot in terms of what the sport is about. For example - basketball, baseball, netball, broom ball, and football give the sense that they are sports based on a "ball" and some other object. Maybe since Ultimate is a newer sport it should have a name that reflects the sport - maybe 'field disc' or 'discball'? Flat ball was a suggestion during an interview in one of the early Ultimate Movies (someone remind me).

Hockey, rugby, cricket (World cup is on, and it has been great), tennis, badminton, and many other sport names don't reference to the sport in terms of using modern English words in the sport title, but those sports don't have to worry about being recognized by the average person.

So is it time to call "Ultimate" something else?

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Whitey said...

I think "Ultimate disc" would work. I agree it would be nice to have something descriptive of what we do in the name.

"Ultimate Frisbee" is great, but with Wham-O holding the name Frisbee we can't really do that.

Anonymous said...

You could call it frisbee. yours, CTW

Coach Becker said...

I've always envisioned it as one word: "flatball."

Dan said...

This is not flame-bait I promise you, though it will sound harsh:
If ultimate were called "flatball", I would stop playing.

tom said...

I like "field disc".

Adrian said...

The problem is that almost all other sports (I actually can't think of any that aren't like this but I will still say "almost" just in case I am missing something) have had their ball, or their puck, or their whatever derived from the sport itself. They didn't call them bases in baseball because the ball was called a baseball, they called the ball a baseball because the game revolved around the bases. Unfortunately for us, Frisbees were around before the game of Ultimate was.
Similarly if someone tried to make a game based on Koosh Balls, if anyone remembers those things, you would have a very tough time getting away from the name "Koosh" and still making it known to all that it is played with said type of ball.
The only solution I could agree with, if it in fact needs a solution, is to call it something with disc. But honestly, why change the name at all. Even though it can't be called Ultimate Frisbee on paper, it is still known quite irrevocably to most people as Ultimate Frisbee. It's the same with something like Kleenex, or the Heimlich Maneuver. Yes, the rights to use the name Heimlich Maneuver were bought by the British military for some obscene amount of money, it is no longer allowed to be taught as "The Heimlich Maneuver" it is now the "Abdominal Thrust" or something, they were telling me about it when I did my Standard First Aid course.
But anyways, when people say Kleenex, you know what they are talking about, even though it's technically a tissue. Now when people say the Heimlich Maneuver you will still know what they are talking about, even though it's technically now called something else. And in the same way, when someone calls it Ultimate Frisbee, even though that isn't what it's technically called everyone still knows what you they are talking about.

Tom said...

the movie was, i believe, above and beyond (possibly above and beyond 2). Whichever one has a gratuitous wristhook huck in the intro.

+1 for flatball

Anonymous said...

I like field disc. not perfect...but better, in my opinion, than ultimate frisbee.

I think the problem with 'frisbee' (copywrite issues apart) is that to someone unfamiliar with the sport - they hear frisbee - they think toy; they have a preconception of what the sport might be: possibly thinking of something like freestyle or maybe distance competition or something involving dogs.

Were the sport named field disc (fieldisc?), and you mention your sport to someone else, the reaction might be better...'whats that? something involving a field and a disc?...i've never seen such a sport! whats it like'.

and i've never liked the name 'ultimate'; when i tell people i play ultimate, they so often tell me that sounds like a violent sport.

obviously, the name of a sport isn't going to attract people to it in itself...but we could maybe make it easier on ourselves!

Pegger said...

There's always "ulti" (or "ulty", if you're not into the whole accuracy in abrreviations thing). I know some people hate that too.

"Field disc" sounds so abstract and Euro-inspired for some reason.

"Flatball" works but is kind of an in-joke in that we don't use a ball. But "discball" just takes that too far.

How about "Team Discus"? I know it's completely different than regular discus, but ever look at handball vs team handball? Not even close.

Or we could just go back to the original concept of the name to reflect the new corporate master: "Ultimate Discraft". Take that, Wham-O!

OK, the last few are less than serious... ulti or flatball would be my choices if we need an alternative. Even if it meant dan would stop playing.

Anonymous said...

I would chose "field disc," except that it rolls off the tongue terribly. I think "flatball" is an excellent name, as it is quite desciptive and sounds good too.


Anonymous said...

I grew up in the same neighborhood as the Heimlichs in Cincinnati, and i have no clue what you're talking about.

gcooke said...

I think it is a bit of a misnomer that sport names have to be descriptive in order for the sport to succeed.

Check out this thread from RSD:

What about hockey, soccer, tennis, rugby, lacrosse, etc?

Now, as the rsd thread indicates, many of the names listed above come from a historical origin, but they aren't descriptive.

Ultimate will be fine. I don't think the name will make much difference.


tom said...

I think the problem with the name "ultimate" is that it's bloody arrogant and in our case it's meaningless. We basically ended up with some tired buzzword as the name of our sport. It makes me wonder whether if the sport had been invented more recently we'd have ended up calling it "Synergistic Frisbee" or "Proactive Frisbee". At least we didn't call it "Extreme", or worse "Xtreme".

Knappy said...

I like "UltiDisc"

Taylor said...

I looked ultimate up many months ago on wikipedia and they had a bit on the origin of the name. As I recall, the game was created to be "the ultimte sports experience", drawing the better aspects from many games. Take from that whatever you like.