Monday, July 23, 2007

Cottage Weekend 1 - Lesson 1 - The layout is not impressive

I spent the weekend sitting by a fire or staring out on the lake in Quebec. No ultimate, but I did bring some of the UltiVillage footage of Flowerbowl'07. My family was willing to watch some of the footage because few of them had ever seen me play, and they wanted to see what I spent most of my weekends doing.

As expected the crowd of ten or so dwindled down to about four including myself. These remaining fans were all males who watch different types of sports from English Premier League to golf to hockey (NHL and Junior). As they watched the game, which had lots of drama because of the tight game, they never really became enthralled with the action.

Pictured Above: Firebird and Roy air action (photo courtesy of Jaleel).

I've talked about this before in posts such as this one and I've thought of some ideas on how to make the sport more spectator friendly. What really surprised me the most was how my three viewers reacted to layouts.

The layout, I thought, is our slam dunk. Well, apparently not. I don't know if they were desensitized by the number of layouts there were in this game, but actions that a fellow ultimate player view as spectacular plays were treated as actions that were almost expected. To some degree the fans were right and they expected that a player would always layout for a disc, but that means our slam dunk is really just a common action on the field. Do we need to install trampolines on the field?

In the end, they enjoyed watching the Furious vs. Goat game and catching a view of what I do. They were impressed with the amount of running we did and they really enjoyed the pull - Mike Grant's in particular. Maybe the pull is where it's at and we should have field goal attempts along the lines of Rugby and Australian Rule's Football.

After my first experiment, of those 30% viewers I captured for 20 minutes, I think Ultimate could hold onto one of them for the entire game with a better presentation and commentators.



jaleel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaleel said...

how did they respond to layout D's?

Jeters said...

They were more impressed by the O layouts than the D layouts. I think it is hard to understand how the hitting of the disc to the ground is a turnover.


H2AZ said...

Every time I've watched ultimate with a non-player, they've always been way more impressed by hucks than by layouts. Perhaps they can relate better to throwing, because most folks have thrown a disc - when they see a big pull or a ridiculous forehand put they realize, "wow, I can't do that - these guys are good." Jumping on the ground? They don't understand the game well enough to know why it matters.