Sunday, March 09, 2008

Ultimate Frisbee 101

Seven on seven, can't move when you have the disc, and the field is setup like a football field with two end zones. A simple and fun game, that can get extremely complex when skill, weather and strategy are factored in.

In baseball, the rarest two things are the triple-play and a perfect game. In Ultimate Frisbee, the rarest plays are the "Callahan" and the "Greatest."

(YouTube examples of the Callahan and Greatest plays are below. The second video starts out as a slide-show, but eventually gets to an amazing--AMAZING--greatest)

A Callahan occurs when, as a defender, you intercept a pass in the opponent's end zone. It counts as an automatic score, and is so rare because you have to push the opponent all the way back to their end zone, and then intercept a pass in that end zone. If you think in football terms, the only way it would be possible is if one of the defensive linemen bats a ball up in the air, or a defensive back intercepts a screen pass in the end zone (which I've never seen). Unlike football, you can't intercept the ball at the 20-yd line and run it in, because in Ultimate Frisbee you can't run with the disc.

The "Greatest" is aptly named. It occurs when the frisbee is sailing out of bounds, and someone on the offensive team jumps from in-bounds, catches the disc, and while still in the air throws the disc back in-bounds, where a teammate catches the disc. You can probably imagine the rarity of this play. The disc has to be sailing out of bounds, but close enough that someone on your team can reach it by jumping, which is rare. That person then has to be able to jump and throw the disc in the air--which not everyone can do. Then on top of all that, the throw has to be decent enough to catch, and there has to be a teammate around to catch it! I've witnessed countless almost-greatests, where someone jumps, catches and throws the disc in the air, but there is a defender there to smack the disc down.

Yesterday, I caught a Greatest and scored a Callahan.

I had an absolute blast at Slog in the Bog this year. It is a one-day ultimate frisbee tournament--the first tournament of the new season. The Tacoma team I played with got placed in the "A" pool, so we had our work cut out for us. The #1 team in our pool was comprised primarily of Shazam members, and Shazam has won the National Championships two out of the last three years. We took Shazam to "Universe Point," which is a sudden death, winner-take-all point to end the game.

Now, Shazam wasn't taking this tournament too seriously, just out to have fun and start getting in shape--but they've still got very athletic and skillful players, so our team was very happy to give them a run for their money. Yesterday our team went 1-4, but we played three teams that have consistently been better than our team, and we lost those three games by a combined four points (two games we lost on universe point, and we lost another game by two points).

After the tourney, we all headed down to Federal Way and partied it up with some Guitar Hero, quarters and Mario Party. It was good times, and I can't wait until next weekend and the PLU BBQ!

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Blogger BWoP said...


4:49 PM  
Blogger The Wife said...

All I can say is you were in Federal Way and you didn't think to stop and say "hi"? WTF?, dude! I'll give you a pass this time . . . but I'm not forgetting - I am a woman, after all.

11:47 PM  
Blogger The Wife said...

I brought a little piece of the east side to the south end with my red car and red shoes.

Next time . . .

And the memories OF Federal Way weren't bad, were they? Or just the trip home?

10:27 PM  
Blogger BWoP said...

Potlatch - I will probably be playing with a reunion team if I go.

It's my favorite tourney in the U.S. (second on the all-time list to Paganello, natch).

Will let you know once we get closer to July.

11:55 AM  

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