Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poll Thursday - Cool threads

The voters think that USA will be the strength in the Jr. Women and Open division with Canada in behind. The interesting thing with this division is it's the most unknown since there's not much to base the next generation of Ultimate players on, and the time window for playing in the division is small.

Today we distributed most of our Team Canada gear. Everyone was pretty excited to finally get their uniforms, and the poll this week is, which countries uniform will be the most sought after stuff this year. I've only included a subset of teams attending, so feel free to make your comments on who you think will be looking good.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

World champions base on my "useless" statistics

Just for some more world fun I thought I would show you how people will place in worlds based on active readers of my blog. I use a statistical program called Google Analytics to track who visits the blog. This allows me to see where people are visiting the blog.

Pictured Above: A break by Team Canada's Andy in our scrimmage against Blackfish.

Before we all start commenting that this is an unfair view based on English speaking countries, the uselessness of information on my blog, population, internet availability, or the relevance of a smart player vs. an athletic player, understand that this is a meaningless analysis, but fun nonetheless.

So, based on the visitors to the Cultimate Opinion over Jun 28th to July 28th, 2008, the world teams will finish in the following order:
  1. USA
  2. Canada
  3. UK
  4. Australia
  5. Finland
  6. Singapore
  7. Hong Kong
  8. France
  9. Belgium
  10. Italy
If, instead, we base the ranking for the viewers over the last year (July to July), the order slightly changes and we get the following ranking:
  1. USA
  2. Canada
  3. UK
  4. Australia
  5. France
  6. Finland
  7. Germany
  8. Philippines
  9. Hong Kong
  10. New Zealand
Well, that was fun. Still meaningless, but once again USA has got the advantage coming in.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

RSD is a black hole for our money

Training camp for Team Canada Juniors is in full swing. We've got a great group of guys, and everyone is getting excited about the tournament.

Pictured Above: Tim from Team Canada Juniros gets a good grab on Dan and another Blackfish player in one of our scrimmages.

My post today is something that I think our community should seriously consider. When you come to the Cultimate Opinion, you'll notice the Google Adsense advertisements. These little adds sprinkled on the page are attempted to target the blog based on content. Every time someone comes to my blog I get a small amount of money (a small percentage of a cent), and if an add is clicked and someone looks at the advertisement site or buys something, then I get additional cash. This is one of the ways web pages and Google makes money - traffic monetization.

Over the time I've had adsense on my blog I've made less than an hours wage, and you don't actually receive any money unless you have accumulated over $100. So, for something smaller like my blog it's not a big deal.

On the other hand, RSD (rec sport disc), gets viewed many times a day. I would guess at least 5000 or more views per day, which is about 5 to 6 more times than my own blog. The problem, however, is the monetization of that traffic is not accumulated by anyone in the Ultimate community. When you use Google groups (as I do) to view RSD, then all the advertisment revenue goes straight to Google.

I feel we are wasting money, and one of the organizations such as WFDF, CUPA, UPA, or a not for profit Ultimate organization should be making the new RSD. Then we would be making money for ourselves. The added bonus is we might be able to control the spam problem a little better that currently exists on RSD.

I know Ultitalk exists, but I think the community isn't looking for a forum based online community. People enjoy the single thread of RSD with constant topics of all nature and small little previews.

We need to stop giving away our money...


Friday, July 25, 2008

Link Friday - NUTC, Worlds coverage, 100 Pushups, and Economic evolution

Here are some of my favourite links this week:

  • Here is Match's perspective on NUTC.
  • Blockstack describes their coverage at Worlds.
  • This site sets out a plan to get your push up count to 100.
  • This is a fascinating article on an Economies evolution in a Prisoner of War camp. I always find analysis of systems evolving useful in trying to understand how systems I exist within are evolving.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Poll Thursday - and then the Juniors

It looks like the voters favor USA to win the gold in the Master's division with the runner ups being Canada and Japan. I'm a little surprised about the Japan vote, but that's just because I have no perspective on this team. In the mixed division, it's about even between the USA and Canada. Nobody else got any reasonable number of votes (maybe because Japan was left out).

This week in our final poll for worlds pick your gold medalist between the Junior Women's and Junior Open divisions.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Coverage at Worlds, Worlds, Worlds

I've talked to many people speculating about what will happen at worlds. Well, the tournament is coming up in less than two weeks and I think it's exciting. Why?

I might be biased because I'm heading out for the action, but even for Worlds in Finland and club Worlds in Australia I got really excited. Now, however, the opportunity to be a part of the even means I can cover the event in some details.

I've asked one of the Team Canada Junior coaches and my girlfriend, Lexi Marsh, to give her perspective at worlds, and I'm open to including anyone else who would like to give their perspective of events at the tournament. In other words, we're trying to pass on what Worlds is all about.

I'll be flying out early to Vancouver to start our Junior training plan and to get some Sushi, but I won't be commenting on many of our team plans, results, and strategies until the conclusion of the tournament. Instead, I hope to capture a variety of aspects at the tournament.

This is your opportunity to comment on what you would like to hear about Worlds, and I'll take all suggestions into account. I'll be posting regularly if not more than my 4 per week posting rate for the next little while, but I think an event like this is worth it.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tournament 12 - Tournament of point

No Borders happened in Ottawa this week. In my mind, it was a tournament of single points. I played one point, I watched GT lose a tough game by one point against Medicine Men, and we lost the tournament by one point. Point taken.

For those of you who missed it, the final between our team the Friars, and Ottawa's team Phoenix was one heck of an Ultimate game. It started off like many finals do, and at 8-3 it looked like we were down and out. Slight adjustments and momentum swings changed the face of the game, and we brought on the competition.

Phoenix asked me if we wanted to time cap the game or play to win by two. In my opinion, for the sake of the fans, we played to 15 hard - simple and exciting conclusion point.

It looked like we had a chance to win the entire thing, but Phoenix pulled out the 15-14 win (to their credit) on a back and forth universe point with two amazing Ds, a hand block, and an unconventional finish. Our team smiled and took the loss as best we could. We threw around the excuses to help soften the blow, and accepted the loss like Friars, finishing the tournament off with a chant.

We've all been there, or will be there someday. Universe point, as we like to call it, is the one single point to win the game. You score it, you win. They score it, you lose. I've been on both ends of the coin in finals, semis, quarters, and pool play.

As a fan, it's the epic ending of our sport, and it makes me believe Ultimate is watchable, but like basketball, it happens all too rarely. In this case, however, the fans got what they paid for.

As a player, these points are tough. They're the times when you have to deal with the pressure, and a loss can cripple a teams psyche. The thing that you have to learn, and it was clear on Sunday, is if we treated the beginning of the game with the same focus and drive as the last points, we could have significantly changed the situation. Focusing is simple when pressure is on, but focusing is hard when you repeat the motions of a sport in non urgent situations (even at the start of a final).

In my mind, I counted three early focus errors that were a major difference in the game. People don't look to the beginning of the game for failure, it's always about the last points. In reality, each point has equal weight, and no error is more or less important than the other. Any time that coin flips, and the Universe lands on your head, try to remind yourselves that a team needs to focus and push consistently throughout the game and a tournament. This will decrease the chance that the same result happens next time. That's my point.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Link Friday - The tournament heir, more drugs, Peloton theories, Idiots in Rome, and Live Ultimate?

The links this week as I head out to No Borders in Ottawa and I'm back in Canada for Worlds:

  • This appears to be the tournament of the year - Labour Day. The open division is stellar. I wonder if ECC let an opportunity disappear, as the teams going will experience some nice facilities. I'm guessing the beauty of Santa Cruz, CA and a well run tournament will make this the new prince and princess of the Ultimate calendar behind the the king and queen - Sarasota, FL.
  • Here's another article on the latest sports enhancing debacle here in the UK. With worlds coming, make sure that you're staying clean for the one random drug test that might happen at worlds (I'm not sure we can afford it). If you are taking steroids for Ultimate, then don't take an IQ test either because you'll fail that too.
  • This article on the biking Peloton was interesting an funny. I think it somehow relates to the recent arguments and rules about team sizes. I feel that a small team means that both teams don't go out full strength and try to save energy. The ethical rule breaks mentioned in the article are similar to when a team (maybe fitter) starts going full speed while the opponents try to maintain energy for the entire tournament. Also, this concept of enrgy saving might have some application in relation to when to put zones on (if you assume zones are energy saving defences). Maybe all of this is too big a stretch.
  • I couldn't pass up on not passing this article on. I've been following the credit crisis without any opinions other than a "what the hell is going on". This article (with a great title "Idiots Fiddle while Rome Burns") really captures the bizarre world of governments bailing out lenders...socialist capital idiots. I know we live in our own little worlds, but we should at least be aware why we won't be able to afford tournaments.
  • Google has created it's own browser based 3D world - Live. I wonder if teams could use this to practice plays, positioning, or even compete against opponents elsewhere in the world.

Poll Thursday - Mixed and Masters are up next

The poll opinion is that USA will take the Gold in both the Open and Women's. Japan is the closest challenger in the Open division, and Japan and Canada are the closest runner ups in the Women's division. I'll be honest that I'm getting hyped up for the tournament, and I hope that everyone else is. It's going to be interesting.

We continue with gold medal contenders at worlds in the Mixed and Master's divisions. Check out the poll to the right.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tournament 11 - Lesson 1 - After age 30, the more clothes the merrier


I've never heard that sound come from my body, but as I jumped over the two person hurdle in a spirit game, that's the sound that my calf made. Not wanting to wreck the game I ran over to my spot and watched the game continue. One 1st degree tear later, and I had the opportunity to watch a tournament from the sideline. This didn't stop me from dancing that night after a few beers, and having a great Saturday night, but it did leave me lots of time to think about what I should have done better.

Pictured Above: There's a picture of the suspect calf. It looks strong here.

Lately, many of my ultimate photos show me in hoodie and pants, and underneath I'm wearing compression clothing and tights. I've also been doing hot showers in the morning to loosen up the body before playing, and stretching early in the morning.

In comes Ultimate, camping, a young team to keep up with, and an improper pre-season training, No shower, not as much early morning preparation, and not enough attention to detail. The result is - snap.

Many people have asked me, why do you wear so much clothing? The reality is I'm just trying to keep my body warm and avoid - snaps - much like sprinters do even on hot days. It's amazing how a snap reminds you of the details you need to take when playing this sport, and if I can pass any of this on to those young bodies that currently heal fast, get into the details young and your body will go farther in this sport with minimal snaps. This old dog can't seem to learn new tricks. At least my short term memory will get me warming up properly the next few times.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tournament 11 - Opinions can get you in trouble

I write a blog that is about opinions. Just because I write my opinion doesn't mean I stop there. This weekend was a classic example of me vocalizing my opinion.

As I've explained before, the mixed tour in the UK is a 3 event series of tournaments where teams move up and down in the rankings, attempting to be the illustrious tour winner. This weekend, the Thundering Herd came away with this years coed tour, and congratulations to them.

Pictured Above: Eric getting a big grab over a Condor at UPA Championships 2007. I'm excited to see lots of the Goat guys over the next few weeks.

What was most interesting about this tour is GB mixed made their appearance for the first time. From the rumor mill, I had heard that they had bypassed on previous events, because they chose to train as opposed to play mediocre competition that the mixed tour had to offer. Well, low and behold, the competition (BAF) took them out in the semi-finals.

Since mixed tour 1, any conversation that came up with mention of the GB mixed team would send me off into a rant.

"How can they not be playing in the tour?"
"Competition and playing as a team has more value than focused training."
"It would help the whole of the UK push their game up."
"It's good to play against opponents and test your plays out."
"Huge error!"

In other words, I had an opinion. This last weekend I watched the mixed GB team, and I started ranting like before. This time I was set off by seeing them, but I was unaware that there were non playing GB coed players around hearing my opinion. Not that I would retract what I said, but maybe I would have flavored it a little sweeter than the salt and spice I was spewing out.

I like the GB coed team, and have considered supporting them at worlds. Some of the young guys are going to be great players, and the team looked good, but they made an error in preparation. Hopefully, the next GB wave will appreciate that the difference between the cream of the crop and the next layer is fine, especially when we're talking about a team sport. Also, hopefully, nobody takes my opinion too much to heart. I've made errors as a captain, and so has every other captain/coach.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Link Friday - Alyson Walker, Left handed conspiracies, Advertising strategies, and Start saving

Link Friday is on Friday this week. I made a little error on the auto-publish last week. Also, many of these links, other than the first, aren't directly related to Ultimate. Anyway, the links this week are:

  • Global TV makes a nice vignette on Alyson Walker and her trip to Worlds. Is it really known as "Ultimate Frisbee". For f%ck sakes, we need to change the name.
  • In this article they take a statistical look the left handed advantage in Baseball. For all the lefties I've played in Ultimate, they also seem to have an advantage. On the other hand, they get called for travels more than right handed people, but that's just funny.
  • A look at the breakaway in cycling and how it favours advertisers. We just don't get the coverage to make Ultimate advertising sensible. In other words, we still only have participants and no real fans. If we did, then the stall down would be a great moment for advertisers; 10 seconds of advertising plus the contest down call.
  • If you didn't know, I'm big on personal finance. This article makes a good point (yet rarely known) on one of the most important concepts in saving and investing.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Poll Thursday - Women and Open at Worlds

From last week, we have one of the most interesting polls I think I've ever run. It's clear that we come from a diverse range of sports. The majority team sports are basketball and european football (soccer). Many people played individual sports, and even some people didn't participate in a sport before Ultimate. I would love to talk to some of the individual sports and athletes from sports other than my background (basketball and hockey). Basically, it would be nice to get differing opinions of what elements of those other sports they've brought over to Ultimate.

With worlds quickly approaching, it's time to make our picks for winners in various divisions. Will start off with the most anticipated divisions the Open and Womens division. The choices will include my picks for top contenders and the other category (poll right).


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Worlds - USA the giant

If we scored the 2000 and 2004 Worlds based on a medal ranking (3 points for gold, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze) we would get the following rankings noting that these sorts of exercises have been discredited and rethought in many forms.

Pictured above: Adam Sigelman of Boston marks a Pike player at the Boston invite (Photo courtesy of Jaleel Paje).

In 2000 the country rank would be (Jr. Open, Jr. Women, Masters, Mixed, Women, Open):
  1. U.S.A. 13 (1+3+3+3+0+3)
  2. Canada 11 (2+2+1+2+3+1)
  3. Sweden 5 (3+0+0+0+0+2)
  4. Finland 3 (0+1+0+1+1+0)
  5. Germany 2 (0+0+2+0+0+0)
  6. Japan 2 (0+0+0+0+2+0)
In 2004 the rank would be:
  1. Canada 15 (2+3+2+2+3+3)
  2. U.S.A 14 (3+2+3+3+1+2)
  3. Finland 2 (0+0+0+0+2+0)
  4. Great Britain 1 (0+0+1+0+0+0)
  5. Australia 1 (0+0+0+0+0+1)
  6. Sweden 1 (0+1+0+0+0+0)
  7. New Zealand 1 (0+0+0+1+0+0)
  8. Germany 1 (1+0+0+0+0+0)
Based on this simple system we can see that the U.S.A. has done well, with the exception of the Women's division. Don't expect that to be the case this year.

My early feelings for Worlds this year is that the U.S.A. will again be strong in all divisions pushing for another full set of medals. The U.S. college Ultimate system that has been developed through the UPA and countless people's efforts, and the U.S. high school Ultimate system will mean that the U.S.A. will continue to dominate for at least the next decade. The camps, such as NUTC and DiscNW, and initiatives like UCPC are mostly unique to the states and are years ahead of development in other countries.

Pictured Above: Jason Lobb of Grand Trunk goes up for a disc playing the a team in Red (Picture courtesy of Jaleel Paje).

Canada, though doing well in the past rankings, can't compete based on the simple population game and lack of innovation. Canadians have some of the biggest city leagues in the world, organization at the College and High school level, but without the local competition and push, we're a step behind. Again, popullation is a big factor since a small country is better off focusing on a few sports (like hockey) than over diversifying.

Canada can still expect to compete in all divisions, and possibly, pull off the success seen in 2004, but it'll be tough to continue finishing high in the world rankings as other countries put money and organization into Ultimate. This again gives me the opportunity to implore Canadian teams to treat UPA series as the most important events in the Ultimate calendar and forget about our local Canadian Nationals. I still strongly believe our Nationals should be Canadain opens (even if no teams come from other countries). I'm talking to a wall here, but Canadian Ultimate players need to understand how big an issue this is.

As for the rest of the world, Japan and Australia are the most hyped to have their biggest worlds yet. Both countries faired well at World clubs in Australia, and they've made major initiatives in organization and funding into Ultimate. There will be a number of other countries pushing for medals, and I expect this Worlds to be the most diverse standings we've seen yet. As much as medalling is of importance, remember that an event like this is great because it brings people who love this sport together from all over the world.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I want trading cards or an action figure

Regardless of what level you achieve in Ultimate, you have to realize that you're not a pro athlete, you're not famous other than in a small circle, and you must love the sport and the people in it if you're willing to commit so much time and money. There's nothing wrong with that, and there's nothing wrong with trying to introduce elements of bigger sports. I've been known to call (and been made fun of) our desire to be bigger than amateur athletes - sim athlete.

There are two sides to this belief. While some of us feel things such as uniform restrictions make the sport more professional, others of us believe that we should remain a rebellious entity within sport. Our team names, our non conformity, and our self-officiating make the sport great, and these tenants should be maintained.

Pictured Above: One of the latest MMA figurines for sale.

Good points from both sides, but I'm not going to argue for either side today. Instead, I'm here to push the entrepreneurs out there for two things I would like added to the merchandise world as we continue our sim sport. The first is modelled after the latest UFC action figures. I, for some reason, would like to have Ultimate figurines. I don't know why, and as a business model, they don't really make that much sense, but I would like at least one of myself.

What makes more business sense is trading cards. For those of us familiar with the likes of Tops (O-pee-chee for Canadians), Donrus, Fleer, Upper Deck, and whatever new trading card company has entered the sports card market, sports cards are currently sized 2-3/4 inches by 3-5/8 inches and show a player picture on the front with some statistics and/or writing on the back.

Pictured Above: One of my first baseball cards of my favourite baseball player.

How would Ultimate cards work? I've had a few ideas, but the best ever would be a per tournament set of cards for every player at a tournament. Day 1, the camera people would go around getting the photos of everyone, names, and other details, and Day 2 you could buy packs of cards (15 random cards per pack). I still think it would be cool trading for your own team, yourself, or your friends.

"I'll trade you this Alex Nord for your Peter Jamieson," I'll say.

"That seems like a dumb trade," you'll say.

"I'm Peter Jamieson."

"I still think it's a bad trade," you'll say again.

I've thought and discussed this concept multiple times with people. We think it's possible to do, but a business model would need to be created and the technology would need to be well planned.

I remember having a card made of myself at basketball camp. That was in the early 90s, and the advances in technology should make this process cheaper and easier. So far, nobody has pushed the concept, and I'm too busy trying to make other careers happen. Although, if anyone is interested in the idea, I would consider a partnership and provide some of my ideas I haven't shared here.

I'm still surprised that merchandise companies don't have post cards of tournaments. We all ignore our friends and families to play Ultimate, so it would be useful if the full postcard package was available at tournaments to say hi to mom. I'm giving these ideas away for free...expect this one at Worlds.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Poll Thursday - Where are our sporting roots

It's pretty clear that the Score Reporter (or RRI as I call it = note RRI is a rating system and score reporter is scoring tracker) is a tool favourite for many of us. It was good to see the score reporter updated for the Boston Invite. Your picks were also pretty close. It was clear that the votes thought both Goat and Boston would be in the finals, and Boston leads the season series 2-0.

This week the vote is on what was your major sport before coming to Ultimate. This was a question I've been wondering for a while, and with a conversation last week, it made sense to bring this up as a poll.

The problem with a poll like this is the number of sports, so I'll list some mainstream ones and some general categories. Also, you can only pick one sport (poll right).


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Link Friday - Updates, Buzz Bullets, Leet, and more total flatball

Some interesting reads this weekend. I'm in Stockholm with my girlfriend, and this post is supposed to be auto published. It may not have a full set of links I found interesting.

  • Match Diesel's blog must have switched his RSS feed since I haven't heard much from him. For any of you with the same problem, you might want to catch up, and get his opinion of the Boston Invite.
  • The Buzz Bullets seem to be the most elusive team in Ultimate in terms of who they are and what they do. MSSUI article gives more info then I've ever put together on my explorations through the Internet. I'm glad to see that the rumour I've passed around about them working for the Garage door installers is mainly true.
  • My friend Norm Farb passed me on a link to the latest sport Leet. This sport has an approach to marketing that heavily contrasts ours, but if you dig a little, the game is very similar (though the depth of rules is lacking). Apparently, the game is quiet popular in Finland, but as I read I wondered if this was just all made up stuff with some good music and video footage.
  • More total flatball. If the concept ever takes off then it will be Rinus Michel (1928-2005) we'll owe thanks to. Another person you wish you could have talked to for a few moments.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tournament 10 - Conversation 1 - Total flatball

I've decided from now on, I will occasionally call our sport flatball. Call it my own marketing for the new name and attempting to make the name publicly open unlike the word Fr!sbee (partially hidden for trademark reasons ;). So, what is total flatball?

Pictured Above: Kai Yokoo setting up for a hammer at Mixed Tour 2 (photo courtesy of Sam Hird).

After the Mixed Tour 2 event, our car load headed back to Silsoe (home to our host Andrew Tate) and watched some Euro finals with some good food and talk. Talking with people more familiar to football than myself, I asked a question about Total Football, a term I had heard in discussions about Holland football.

Total football is a concept where football players are allowed to leave a position and the other players in the team will replace that position. This leads to a game where any player could be playing any role. This was a revolution in football strategy.

Total flatball is this Total Football concept applied to Ultimate. The concept being that we are all handlers and cutters. No doubt, there are many teams that already apply this concept, but there are many teams that don't. As a captain or coach, you should start thinking if you have the personnel to apply the concept. At the least, you need to have practices where the roles of the team are somewhat mixed if not reversed to help players understand the nuances of other positions on the field.

The next question is if we make an effort to incorporate total flatball will it make any difference in our game. Against both a zone and a man offense, I feel that this style of play gives you more strategic options. The main reason is that much like those annoying games where teams don't play as you expect, a total flatball style of game introduces something different for teams that expect more rigid roles.

This is especially true for the "death of the static handlers", a concept many have been pushing for over the last few years. Active handlers result in better spacing, less poaching, and more disc movement. Against a zone, the total flatball concept can be devastating. I believe that zones are used to hide defensive weaknesses, and zones should be beaten againt strong teams more often than man. Total flatball will destroy zones, and might be your team's solution if you can't seem to break a zone with the rigid dump and swing method.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Tournament 10 - Observation 1 - Boo to the new pull rule

While the likes of the Boston Invite was on many people's tournament radar, I had the fortune to head up to Burton-upon-Trent for Mixed Tour 2. Our team had a solid weekend, the party was exceptional for a tour event (hosted by our friends at BlockStack), and the weather was agreeable until our last game that had some hard rain.

Pictured Above: Another nice picture by Marc Hodges from Cleveland No Surf. I like the non-traditional viewpoint of the Grand Trunk pull.

The weather in some way reflected my mood, or my mood reflected the weather. Regardless, I was behaving badly in my final game, and I apologized to my opponents. Playing coed is tough for me, but coed plus the difference between the UK and Canadian style of game gets to me sometime.

I thought I would talk about the value of the party, since I really appreciated the event. I thought it made the tour event that much better. I've always made a big push for dancing at tournaments where your only concern isn't necessarily high level Ultimate. Even when it is, a good party and a reasonable bed time can be a benefit.

Speaking of parties...happy Canada Day. This is the first time I've been outside Canada for the July 1st celebration.

Enough asides - I wanted to talk about the new pull rule in the WFDF. Here's the rule in my own words. If a pull goes out of bounds, you have a choice. Take the disc to the middle brick point or bring the disc to the point on the sideline where it went out. This as opposed to getting to "middle" the disc if it goes out of bounds. You can read the details here (page 4), and if you're going to worlds you should, because those of us who appreciate the UPA rules are going to find some major differences.

My first question is why the change? I've been thinking of a reason why you would want to not keep things the same. My first thought is speed of the game, but there's no real delay of games rule in WFDF so that can't be the reason.

My current thought is to give the defense an advantage. If you're on a team that can't pull deep, then it now makes sense to practice a pull that goes out of bounds and far enough out of bounds that you can set a trap defense.

So, maybe the rules are trying to introduce a tradeoff. As teams begin to pull out of bounds at just pass half a team now has the choice of starting at the brick or trapped.

More questions come to mind:
  • Is this to negate the advantage of teams with good pullers?
  • Is this to make windy games even less exciting?
  • Is this a special rule for when someone makes a horrible pull that goes out right near their own endzone?
  • Is this to get me upset, but give me post material?
  • Is this a typo in the rules?
Well, it's something to think about, and I would love to hear some reasons for the change. As you can tell, I'm not thrilled with the new rule. Pulls should be about keeping the disc in play, and this rule makes other strategic options viable.

Another interesting thing I noticed in the rules is there doesn't seem to be any mention of holding the line before the pull (meaning standing so your opponent can clearly see you). Why can't you clump up, wait to see the opposing team put their arm up, and then form a line and put your arm up to signal readiness. Is it bad spirit if it's not in the rules? Probably.