I’ve been reading a lot recently about the on-going difference of opinions about self-officiation in ultimate at the National level. A central issue in the developing schism is the common complaint from spectators about the delays related to fouls and their resolution. I think miking the involved players, or at least a nearby observer, so that the crowd could listen in on the discussion would boost spectator interest, education, and value. I’d be excited to see this tried, at least with all observers in the games of the Triple Crown Tour organized by USA Ultimate, and with the referees officiating at the games played through Major League Ultimate or the American Ultimate Disc League.
A good example of this potential solution is the live-mikes used by some (one?) of the observers in the women’s 2013 National Championship game. I’ve provided the times of a couple fouls in which you can figure out what is going on because of that live audio feed. It’s fascinating stuff, giving insights both into the personalities of the players and the nuances of the rules and game! It would have been even more interesting if one could hear the players right from the start of the foul call, but even getting part of the discussion of the foul and associated rules was captivating.
Lauren Sadler went for it
Fouls called by colliding players nearby
Observer made call
Silly travel called, then lifted
Turf in the endzone
Foul called by thrower
Contested by marker
As a coach or parent, would you be more willing to take your players to an MLU or AUDL game if instead of refs the semi-pro players were miked and self-officiating?!