Friday, May 29, 2009

Link Friday - Siginings, Ultimate Fighter, Summer Meals and Solar financing

My links this week:

  • Where some of the best high schoolers are signed up for College next season. I really like this idea, but nobody (on the list) is heading to Miami Ohio.
  • The Ultimates finally mixed! In this episode of The Ultimate Fighter they played Ultimate. The called it, "ultimate frisbee", but there was some nice layouts among wobbly catches. My two worlds collided briefly.
  • If you're looking for more cheap, fast recipes for your long summer hours spent practicing instead of cooking, here are a few good ones.
  • Today in the Times, one of the Nobel Laureates was ob board with the paint the world white solution. Number one, I hate wearing white shirts. Am I bad for the environment? More interestingly, here's a way you can solar fit your house without paying the up-front cost. It reduces your monthly electricity bill at little risk to yourself. Do I have to wear white if I do this?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poll Thursday - Are you going to pay for Ultimate Pay-per-View?

Last week I asked about the future of mainstream media and Ultimate. From the looks of the results, people believe we're a way off (with a significant number in the the never category). I tend to agree that Ultimate and the Internet are perfect partners. Mainly because I'm guessing will be a niche sport, which can leverage the Internet as a medium for those of us all around the world.

This week the focus is on pay-per-view coverage of Ultimate events. Based on my post this wee, I was wondering if we're ready for pay-per-view feeds from big Ultimate events. And so I leave these two questions to you:

  1. Are you willing to pay to see Ultimate events live?
  2. If yes, which events would you pay for?
Polls right.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gender Blender - One of Ultimate's Mardi Gras

If I were to rank party based tournaments that I've been to, Paganello would be ranked as the Las Vegas of Ultimate and Gender Blender would be the Mardi Gras. I'll be missing my second Gender Blender in a row, but should be back on the seen in 2010.

What's exciting this year is it appears BlockStack will be covering the tournament this year. This might give you all a feel for what it's all about. Here's a trailer, but the sound isn't working for me:


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Best footage yet - is it time to go pay-per-view?

Congratulations to Carleton in the open and Santa Barbara in the womens. Maybe next year I'll get to see the tournament if it's still in Columbus, but I'll have to say all the "new age" media coverage made the tournament for me. If I had one of those smart phones, I could have caught more of the twitter action on Saturday.

Before letting go of the event, I would like to give credit to the UltiVillage summary videos. I watched most of the videos and thought both the video taping and commentary were top notch. Very simple, very informed, good viewing angles, and they kept me interested. I'm not the DVD type to watch an event after the fact, but during the unfolding of an event I really appreciated the coverage.

I couldn't get a good feed for either of the two finals. For the snippets I got, the commentary sound quality was too quiet (post production vs. live production) and I missed having a graphical score being shown since my connection was popping in and out. The angle, however, was perfect for seeing what was happening on the field, and is probably my favourite view of an Ultimate game.

So, I think it's almost time for subscription based viewing of these events. I wonder if the market is there, and how much it would cost to broadcast the event vs. the number of subscribers? I'll put a post up on Thursday asking that question, and maybe the following week asking what price you would pay for such a service.

The problem, I'm sure, is the cost of equipment and people needed to make a high-quality stream. Personally, I have very little experience in this domain, and I couldn't even estimate what the costs would be for the cameras. Another issue is would live subscrtiptions (pay-per-view) significantly impact profit from DVD sales as I would guess the DVDs are a little cheaper to produce in high-quality and would therefore have a larger profit margin (guess).

I still think the DVDs should go the way of Texas Hold'em footage. Multi-camera footage with two versions of commentating (live and after the fact). It's a lot of work, but the post DVD tournament cover is all about stories - the best being documentary form like NFL films and boxing documentaries.


Monday, May 25, 2009

College Nationals - The final day

First off, thanks to all the twitterers (many amalgamated at BananaCut) and the people keeping score reporter up to date. I missed most of the action yesterday, but the highlight reels sponsored by VC and UltiVillage are a great perspective on the rounds. These little clips are top quality with great news reporting; although, they were choppy for me until I upgraded QuickTime.

There's no word on a live feed for the two finals today, but check RSD for info. If I find it out I'll post it here, but there might not be one. I'm picking Santa Barbara in the Women's and Colorado in the Open. Why? Good question.

In the fantasy bracket I've done horrible in the women's sitting in close to last, but in the men I'm middle of the pack, though everyone seems to have picked this bracket quite well. I'm enjoying the tournament even though I'm on the other side of the ocean.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Link Friday - Wolframing Ultimate, Green Project, Casseroles, and Albert with Marilyn

Here's a great set of links:

  • [New Blog] "The Eternal Battle of Love and Hate" covers womens division Ultimate. There's a great preview on the College division, and they're looking for contributors if you're up for writing Ultimate.
  • Link to the new math based search, Wolfram, with a preset search for my blog. Unfortunately, today it doesn't seem to show the stats it did earlier (2,000,000th blog...woo hoo). Here's some stats on and The Huddle through the same engine.
  • Based on a talk by Al Gore, I found this green project. Personally, I can't wait to own a house so I can kit it up to collect solar energy.
  • This post teaches you how to make a generic casserole. This is a great option for the busy Ultimate player who needs to eat.
  • One more fun optical illusion - Albert Einstein mixed with Marilyn Monroe is a wild illusion.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Poll Thursday - Ultimate Media Maturity

Two weeks ago, I asked if we had any preconceived ideas in Ultimate that assumes certain things about how to play just based on historical ideas. It was a loaded question in many ways and the responses matched my thinking.

This week, on the eve of College Nationals, we've made an attempt to setup an information flow from the tournament to viewers (twitter based). I'm pretty excited about the coverage that potentially will be there, and I won't be constantly hitting refresh in score-reporter. Still, our information setup seems to be dwell in modern media where individuals, as opposed to mainstream media, provide the data we want. My poll question this week is, how long until we get mainstream media coverage (poll right)?

Note, that question has so many problems. For example, what's the definition of mainstream media? The point is more, when will the sport be covered for a revenue based media company.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

College Nationals Twitter Administration

Hey Folks,

David Hunt has asked me to pass on this message:

" I was hoping everyone posting nationals updates on Twitter could agree on a hashtag for their updates. I say we go with #upanats so that tracking down everyones updates is a bit easier. I'm also thinking of getting a page up on BananaCut to aggregate all the info but that depends on if I have time to throw it together or not.

The RSD post is here:"


College Nationals - Fantasy, Scores,Twitter, and more

Maybe there's one more practice, but most teams by now have set there nationals fate in motion. Here's a few items to keep yourself interested in the action:

  • Rodney has set up a fantasy bracket system for both the Womens and the Open. I don't expect to fare well in this bracket, but I always enjoy a good fantasy round.
  • Score reporter has both the Open and Womens brackets up. These will be updated relatively fast.
  • For those of you who will be roaming and not by a computer, I've collected a fair number of twitter resources that will be reporting on happenings during the tournament.
  • I'm guessing Spin Ultimate will be covering the tournament with write-ups. Now that's some good thinking.
  • Finally, the main site for the tournament is here.
Good luck to all,


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tournament Lesson 1 - Missuldisc and the good times

Haven't done one of these in a while. Based on injuries, trying to make a career, and lack of commitment, I've been off the tournament circuit for a while. Fortunately, I joined Flump on a trip to Italy for Manny's (front in the picture below) stagdoo. The tournament, Missuldisc; the weekend, awesome.

Pictured Above: Flump in our glorious pink and orange. Manny is in the front and the mountains are in the back.

This was my first time playing Ultimate surrounded by the Alps and just off a beautiful lake. In other words, it's hard to beat a location like that for an Ultimate tournament. Our hosts (Frasba Dal Lac) and the teams we played were great. The food was amazing with beer to match. In all, I would rate this as a great party tournament with some decent Ultimate. Being a small tournament, if you get a chance to go, take it.

The hosts went beyond just running a tournament. Frasba Dal Lac also ran a clinic for young local kids on the Saturday. Now that's good community thinking to help guarantee the venue for years to come. They worked for about six hours playing with the kids and teaching the basics of the game while hosting thr tournament and playing games.

So what's the tournament lesson? It's one of those nostalgic comments you get from your elders, and something I'm slowly appreciating as my playing time reduces. Take time to enjoy Ultimate for what it is, because the great people and the times are hard to find elsewhere [queue violin music ;].


Friday, May 15, 2009

Link Friday - Canadian Ulti Politics, Calahan, and Stoics

My favourite links are:

  • This post discusses a recent comment in the world of CUPA and Canada's world team. There's some good discussion for those of you who care about the upcoming World's event.
  • With Callahan voting coming up the campaigns begin. RSD has various campaign posts (too many to fairly list so I took a by-date sample). Even The Huddle has gotten into the thick of it. Unfortunately, as a media outlet they made specific picks without a full review of the entire field, which would have had more value to me even though I'm not voting.
  • I've always dabbled in philosophy, meaning thought about some of the big questions philosophers try to answer using their more rigorous methods. I'd never read into Stoicism until this article fell in my lap. Just like a hypochondriac, I think I might be a Stoic.
  • Oh, and one more: ... for some of us this is a huge step forward on the web.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

College Nationals Twitter Resource

No poll Thursday...

Instead of your regularly scheduled post, I thought I might offer this blog to collect twitterers details for those of you kind enough to help us stay in touch at UPA College Nationals. Feel free to post your details in the comments or email me (jamieson dot peter at gmail dot com) and I'll bump you into the main post and link to this post on the right sidebar.

For those of you who don't have accounts on twitter, you'll need to get one if you want even more up-to-date info than score reporter.

Twitterers at College Nationals:

Possible others courtesy of Paul:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Legatum Prosperity Index ... What?

First off, the Legatum Prosperity Index is a measurement on a number of human factors in a nations population. Why am I talking about this?

Clue one is based on last Thursday. I had the fortune of heading to Italy on a car trip for a tournament in Italy. More on that in a post later. The car trip to the tournament started in London, UK and went through all sorts of countries on the way to the Italian Alps. Our team and had a great time both at the tournament and on the road trip (along these lines).

Clue number two happened today while I was watching a Frontline documentary on China and youth in China. The documentary struck me with two key things. The first, is not related to the post, where one of the women described herself as a human machine (another reason for me to push my research in social directions). The second was about a man who had found religion and finally felt complete.

This second point made me wonder if Ultimate and being part of the community can replace a need for religion. That's a bold statement, but just remember this is a thought experiment.

As I looked into the broad topic of religion I found a narrower concept that we could look at on the relationship between religion and happiness. The Legatum Prosperity Index was the link here and shown the correlation. So, instead, I thought an interesting question or research problem would be a similar Legatum Prosperity Index between sporting communities.

Since we're all biased here, I'll shoot out that Ultimate players will win the happiest section. These past few days I've been at the peak of happy, but over all the years of Ultimate it's been amazing. Thanks all...


Friday, May 08, 2009

Link Friday - Genius, Ultimate Facebook, Ultimate Camp, and Housing Inflation

The web is alive with Ultimate happenings:

  • [New Blog] Caught this blog (Movin' On Up) hitting on my blog ;) Good feed on Atlantic happenings.
  • Along the lines of Gladwell's Outliers: This article tells you how to get good at Ultimate and possibly become a Genius.
  • Facebook for Ultimate. Interviewed by Lexi, this new Ultimate endeavor, Ultispace, may be the next big thing in an Ultimate Social network. I'm wondering if Frisbee Finder, Score Reporter, and these guys should sync up.
  • Next Level Ultimate camp is advertising for those of you high schoolers in the Wisconsin area.
  • This video really captures an interesting point on our lifestyle inflation


Thursday, May 07, 2009

Poll Thursday - David vs. Goliath

Last weeks poll was on who would move on from the Great Lakes Open Region. Funny how the order is significant on the poll result, and the actual result was Illinois first and Michigan second. Ohio State almost took out Michigan in what must have been an exciting game.

This week, there's a well written article by Malcolm Gladwell on weaker opponents beating stronger opponents (tip blog criticism and Taylor for the article). My poll question is: do you think there is some preconceived rule that we assume is correct and play by in high-level Ultimate that weaker teams can rethink and exploit (poll right).


Wednesday, May 06, 2009

In the faith of Twitter - Barca beats Chelsea

Based on my last post, I'm trying to make blog-twitter with only a 140 character message. That goal will fail due to a few pints, and my opinions on the walk home. This entire post is based on "no excuse" Ultimate and play for the sake of the game.

On my walk home, about 30 minutes, I went into Chelsea country, and heard the drunken cry of...
but what about that foul, but what about that penalty, but what about ...

Cheeky ;)

Oh the excuses, for a game that was won based on two, in the flow of the game, goals. That and a first leg miracle 0-0 draw. And yet, when your teams loses it becomes personal. Ultimate tends to sit in a different world. We submit to the concept that sometimes the opponent is just better on a given day (even if that day is 365 days a year). There's no shame on winning or losing. If anything, that's what I would like to see in Ultimate in the future. If not, we can make another new sport ;)


Twitter and Ultimate - Any other good uses?

I'm moving on to be a so called technology-based-professor in a university setting, and for that reason I try and stay on top of new emerging technological trends, as much as possible. The reason for this is two-fold: one, the students I teach will be embracing these trends and living with them as normal parts of their lives, and two, these trends have an impact on science, research, and the world that we can't even guess.
Before, I get into things, I'd like to congratulate all of you who have migrated to feed readers for your internet reading (as I've suggested in the past). My daily reads on this blog are now 50% RSS reads and 50% browser clicks for the first time in the blogs history. RSS amalgamating tools are one tech tool that I think is great - it's the modern newspaper tuned to your likes.

But back to twitter. I'm a little nervous about the hype. Normally, when a new technology is hyped I have a vague sense of why it could be important. I've watched TED talks on twitter and sort of get the micro-based reporting element of twitter, but in general I don't really get it. My concern, is that I'm shifting into that age that says, "That music is just loud noises...why do they like it. It's nothing like the good old sounds of [favourite band here]".

Recently, I scanned this e-book (Why Bloggers Need Twitter) and I still don't see a significant impact for twitter. I guess I feel it's a mini version of a broadcast communication point - a mini-blog. Maybe I'm trying to make twitter too much. If it is a mini-blog, then the value is that it can be quick information dispersion, and that's where I'll leave it in terms of technology.

Now, given what I think twitter is, how does it impact Ultimate? So, far we've seen it as one of the best live score reporters. That, in itself, is pretty useful. If someone could add the score report with a 15 second video showing the score, then it would be really cool. I can imagine watching the early rounds of a tournament with scores and mini clips coming in at a regular pace.

Here are a few ideas of other twitter uses for Ultimate:

  • From a team perspective it's a quick wat to broadcast messages about practice, but does it differ from e-mail that much?
  • Ultimate blogs commenting might be more lively (along the lines of RSD) with a twitter network.
  • UPA and Ultimate organizations could get out reminders in another form to their membership.
That's all I could think of. I think in our game the live score report is the killer app. Hook that up to score reporter and tournament directors around the world will have a network that has value, and we might as well make some money off it with ads.

The final question is should I sign up for twitter? I don't want to be one of those anti-facebookers castoff as social rejects (social ludites) as they miss steps forward in modern technology (right Chua ;).


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Keystone to Cutting Moves

Last week I did a broad stroke piece on your move repertoire and some ideas on how to incorporate the idea into drills. One coach in my history, Magnum, gave me a key piece of information that I believe all people should base their cutting-move repertoire on. This applies to both handler reset cuts (dump and sideline) and general cuts.

Initiate a first direction cut at full speed and continue in that direction unless your defender fully commits to defending your initial cut.

For example, when running a sideline reset as a handler, start with a cut roughly 45 degrees moving towards the sideline at full speed. After three or four steps if your defender is not committing to that cut then continue up the line, otherwise reverse the cut and retrace your steps backwards (a full speed reverse).

This is the first move you should have in your cutting-repertoire. It's a very simple idea and very effective, but it's incredibly challenging to become an expert at. The challenge is in reading the situation and developing team chemistry to understand how your move meshes with others.

Imagine this. You initiate your cut from the horizontal stack, at maximum speed, in the direction of a deep strike. Now, what is your response if ...
  • ... another cutter strikes deep.
  • ... your defender doesn't commit, but a poaching defender is in a good position.
  • ... you reverse your cut but find that your lane has been taken.
... and the list goes on. There's an infinite number of "what ifs" that can be made up. Even reading when your defender has committed to your first cut is hard to do, and this skill alone takes practice. In all, these decisions come down to experience and taking advice from more experienced players and coaches.

Still, with one basic cutting-move your repertoire can be very effective and once you add fakes, different movements, and teamwork the repertoire quickly grows.


Friday, May 01, 2009

Link Friday - NYT, UPA board, and Elite Sport Psychology

The interesting links this week are:

  • New York Times has an article on Ultimate (saw it on a friend Laurent's facebook). The article is good in terms of discussing the athleticism of the sport versus the classic stereotypes we get in these articles. Still, it's not in the sports section.
  • [New Blog] For UPA followers, there's a direct blog for UPA board members to post to.
  • If you're interested in sports pshycology, there's a good five part series at this blog. So far, this is the second of five posts. This one in particular is focusing on how simulation training (visualization with a plan).
  • Finally, this is a funny picture I found on a random internet walk: