Spirit standings for the 2014 spring elementary league

While the standings for the 2014 spring elementary league are ranked according to wins on the DiscNW site, below is a version of the standings ranked by spirit score.  Perhaps the counterpoint (antidote?) to the increasingly competitive world of adult ultimate is glorification of the Spirit of the Game in youth ultimate?

If so, it is particularly fitting that the team with the most Spirit in the entire league comes from the youngest of the divisions.  Congratulations to T. Marshall 3/4–Mooses from Division C, winners of the 2014 spirit award with a high score of 4.86 averaged over 7 games!!

And, with no further ado, here are the winners of each division!


Division: A

Team Overall Division Spirit
Won Lost GF GA Won Lost GF GA
Whittier WUF Gang 5 2 56 47 3 2 37 34 4.71/7
T. Marshall 5th Grade -Purple Reign 4 1 40 38 4 1 40 38 4.60/5
Bryant Blasters 5th 1 6 40 53 0 6 29 51 4.57/7
JSIS Lightning Goats 4 2 52 37 3 2 41 34 4.50/6
Three Cedars Waldorf Echo 5-3rd Grade 3 2 43 33 2 2 33 29 4.40/5
Evergreen 5th Grade 1 5 33 49 1 4 30 43 4.33/6
Wildcats – SCDS 5th Grade 5 0 54 25 4 0 43 24 4.20/5

Division: A2

Team Overall Division Spirit
Won Lost GF GA Won Lost GF GA
Seattle Waldorf School 5th Grade 2 4 37 52 2 4 37 52 4.67/6
UCDS2014 4 3 58 49 3 3 47 45 4.57/7
Blasters 4th/5th 5 2 64 40 5 1 57 32 4.43/7
Eton Phoenix Yellow 1 6 31 67 1 6 31 67 4.43/7
Sanislo Allstars 3 4 52 46 1 4 35 40 4.43/7
Bright Water Elementary A Team 0 6 17 46 0 4 13 31 4.33/6
Salmon Bay Elementary 4/5 1 6 37 64 1 4 31 43 4.29/7
Bertschi School—Bugaboo FC 5 2 54 44 2 2 27 34 4.29/7
West Woodland Wildcats 4 3 48 50 4 2 42 39 4.29/7
Assumption St. Bridget Bulldogs 6 1 61 34 4 1 47 28 4.14/7
T. Marshall 5th Grade–Meese 5 3 59 58 5 2 56 47 4.12/8
Pacific Crest Montessaurus 7 0 74 18 5 0 52 17 3.57/7

Division: B

Team Overall Division Spirit
Won Lost GF GA Won Lost GF GA
Bryant Blasters 3rd/4th 4 3 43 44 3 3 33 41 4.57/7
Daniel Bagley Stingers 1 6 22 56 0 5 12 46 4.57/7
Bright Water Elementary B Team 3 3 38 35 2 3 29 32 4.50/6
Olympic View Elementary 3 4 36 45 3 2 29 26 4.29/7
Evergreen 4th Grade 7 0 76 22 5 0 49 18 4.29/7
Uco-op Blue Cheese 5 2 56 43 5 1 51 33 4.29/7
Soundview Dolphins – 3rd-5th 1 6 24 57 1 5 23 46 4.14/7
Eton Phoenix Blue 5 2 47 39 4 2 39 35 4.14/7
Laurelhurst Bears 3/4/5 grade 4 2 41 43 2 1 30 24 4.00/7
Flying Saucers (wallingford consortium) 2 5 40 48 1 4 27 38 4.00/7
Salmon Bay Elementary 3/4 4 3 54 37 2 3 32 32 3.86/7
Wildcats – SCDS 4th graders 4 2 57 35 3 2 48 31 3.71/7

Division: C

Team Overall Division Spirit
Won Lost GF GA Won Lost GF GA
T. Marshall 3/4–Mooses 3 4 42 45 3 3 38 37 4.86/7
JSIS Lightning Goats 2 5 2 53 41 5 1 49 28 4.57/7
Green Lake Dragons 1 6 24 66 1 3 15 40 4.38/8
Evergreen 3rd Grade 3 4 43 37 3 2 34 19 4.29/7
UCo-op 3rd Graders 0 7 20 65 0 4 13 35 4.29/7
Laurelhurst Bears 3/4 grade 3 1 31 14 3 1 31 14 4.25/4
St. Thomas Falcons 4 3 42 39 4 1 36 19 3.71/7
Wildcats – SCDS 3rd Grade 1 6 20 58 1 5 20 44 3.71/7


Seattle Country Day School had the lowest Spirit score in every division in which they competed (A, B, & C).  The lowest scoring team in the A2 division was Pacific Crest Montessaurus.  Because SCDS and Montesaurus had the most wins in Division A and A2, it is tempting to suggest that the dominant teams generally get the lowest Spirit scores.  However, based on wins in Divisions B & C, SCDS ranked 4th (out of 12) and 7th (out of 8), respectively.

Looking at all the spirit scores versus the % of wins (within a division), it appears there isn’t a strong correlation, though the overall slope is negative.

spirit vs wins overall
In youth ultimate (DiscNW elementary league in spring 2014), Spirit scores decrease slightly as the % wins within a division rises, but the correlation is weak (R^2 = 0.037).

The mean Spirit score is about 4.3.

spirit vs wins by division So generally, the more you win more likely it is your spirit score will be (slightly) lower.  But the relationship barely holds in division B and the slope is positive in division C.

2014 Spring Jam elementary tournament

Registration is open for another week if you’d like to put in a bid for the 2nd annual Spring Jam co-ed elementary tournament.  The competition will take place on Saturday 5/31 from noon until about 3pm in Lower Woodland Park (field #02).

This year the tournament has an exciting new format — 5 vs 5, instead of 7 vs 7 — and if it is well-received the same reduced team size may be used next year in the 2015 Spring Elementary League.  While the primary intent is to ensure that each player gets more contact with the disc per point, an added benefit may also be reducing the likelihood of collisions/injuries between players who are just beginning to play the game.

Register by next Thursday, May 29 at noon for $65/team  here — http://www.discnw.org/events/springjam/ — but note that bid acceptance is on a first-come-first-served basis.

Another great twist in the normal rules for this age is to allow the offense to choose the nature of a 3:2 gender ratio.  After each point is scored, the incoming offense can choose to field 3 girls and 2 boys, or 2 girls and 3 boys.  The defense must match by gender for that point.

Other details:

  • Fields will be abbreviated (70 yards long; 25 yards wide; 15-yard end zones)

  • Games will be hard capped at 60 minutes (no soft cap).

  • Games are to 11 points or until the hard cap, whichever comes first.

  • Teams each have one 90-second timeout per half, regardless of overtime (different from USA Ultimate rules).

This should be a fun experiment for youth ultimate in the Seattle area.  Overall, this portends a great direction for Spring Jam, an event that from 2010-2012 was aimed at novice and intermediate high school players who wanted to try a single-gender tournament.

Here’s hoping this format and location works well for the growing number of elementary teams in the greater Seattle area.  Maybe it will work so well that it will become the Spring Reign for elementary players, allowing Disc NW to use the limited field space in Burlington to accommodate more middle and high school teams in the future?

Tough decisions for beginner coaches

In my 2 years of coaching elementary ultimate, I’ve rarely had to make decisions that affected my team’s success.  For the most part, my players absorb enough of the rules of ultimate during practices and on the sidelines to be able to self-officiate without adult supervision during games (though I wish I could eavesdrop on their foul resolution more often!).

Is this coach a damper on his team?
Is this coach a damper on his team?

Today, though, in the glorious heat of the Disc NW elementary spring league playoffs, I was presented with two decisions (see below) that challenged me, and ultimately affected or could have affected the outcomes of our games.  What would you other beginner (or experienced) coaches have done in each situation?  (Feel free to answer and/or discuss in the comments!)

Situation 1: two girls or too few girls?

At the beginning of your game the opposing coach explains that they only have three girls so wonder if it would be okay to play 5 boys and 2 girls at a time.  That way their girls will have a sub and won’t get too worn out for their subsequent games in the playoffs.  Your roster, though, only has 5 boys and 5 girls, so if you agree then you won’t have any boy substitutes.  Knowing that agreeing would conflict with one of the league rules (about playing at least 3 girls), but also being sympathetic having been in the same situation, what would you do?

Gender Ratio: Teams must field a minimum of 3 girls. In order to promote girls in ultimate, more girls may be fielded if a team wishes. After the first 3 girls, gender ratio matching is not required. Teams must play down if they cannot field 3 girls.

I agreed, but said that I wanted the opportunity to return to the 3 girl:4 boy ratio if we were down at the half.  At the half, we were down 6 to 1.  We switched back to normal rules and it made a difference: we started catching up, but not fast enough.  In the end, we lost 11 to 3.

If asked again, I think I’d still say yes.  But next time, I’ll suggest that we play with the official ratio first, and consider changing to a 2 girl:5 boy ratio only if *their team* is falling too far behind at the half!  Another solution might have been to drop down to teams of 2 girls & 3 boys for that game, as that would have enabled all of our players — our boys and their girls — to get an occasional break.

On the other hand, I think I recall correctly from the 2013 coaches meeting that the main rationale for having 3 girls on the field all the time is to ensure that girls get close to equal playing time in youth ultimate.  So, dropping down to 2 girls in any scenario would mean that my 5 girls — all of whom have practiced hard and showed up on time to play — would get less playing time than they expected and that the rules say they deserve.

So, on second (or third) thought, since I want to be a strong advocate for girls in ultimate, next time I’ll insist on sticking to the rules.  If they want to keep their girls fresh for the later games (and give them less playing time than they expected), let them play down one girl.  My girls would be happy to double team one of their stronger players — boy or girl!

Situation 2: when is enough enough?

Your team has had an awesome, finger-biting game, trading leads multiple times with another team that’s a great match — both in skill and spirit.  The score is tied at 10-10 with 5 minutes to go before the 1-hour hard cap.  Your team pulls, but the opponents manage to score with 3 minutes left.  Thinking the game is over because generally the first to 11 wins in our league, their team cheers and starts flooding onto the field.

But you know all the league rules regarding scoring and caps, right.  They’re not that complicated —

  • Point Total & Game Times:
    • Games are to 11 points.
    • Mirror halftime at 6 points, and take a short timeout (2 minutes or less).
    • The hard cap is applied at 60 minutes (15 minutes before the next round).
      • Teams should finish the current point (if between points, finish the next point).
      • The team that is ahead at the end of that point is the winner.
      • If the game is tied at the end of that point, play one more point (“universe point”).
    • Win by 2, unless a time cap or point cap is in place.
    • Point cap at 13.

You walk over to their coach and venture “You have to win by 2, don’t you?”  They suggest that it depends on whether there’s any time left.  You look at your watch and point out there are a couple minutes left.  But you both agree that there’s only about 15 minutes before you both start your next playoff game.

Do you press to play one more point, knowing that if your team does manage to tie it up, you’ll have/get to play “a universe point” and cut further into your team’s chance to rest?

I decided to ease off, giving the opposing team their win and my players a full 15 minute break, hoping the re-charge would help them take home a victory in their final game.  How sweet it would have been, though, to win that most-memorable-of-the-whole-season-game with a universe point!



Girls ultimate clinic (all ages, female only) offered by Riot

Here’s a belated Mother’s Day present:

Sign up with your daughter or other female youth player to learn ultimate basics and crazy tricks from members of one of the best women’s teams in the world.  Seattle’s Riot is hosting their 19th annual clinic on Sunday, June 15, 2014.  You can sign up for 1/2 day ($25/player) or full day ($45/player) by registering here —


  • When?   9AM-3PM (Check In and Day of Registration begins at 8:30AM)
  • Where?  Magnuson Sport Meadow (big grass fields adjacent to dog park)
  • Who?     YOU! Your Friends! Your Mom’s and Aunt’s! and Seattle Riot hang out and play Ultimate all day! Or for half the day!
  • What?    Returning sessions include: Learn to Layout! Ultimate 101! Reindeer Games! and more!  Want to see a new speciality clinic out there? Let us know in your registration!

More details (copied from the above link):

2014 Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Clinic

The Seattle women’s team, Riot, is once again partnering with DiscNW to offer their 19th annual skills clinic for women and girls of all ages, experience and skill level. We’ll spend a day focusing on skills and strategies appropriate to every level of ultimate play. Whether you are brand spankin’ new or a seasoned vet, we’ve got something for you! Registration includes a free disc and a yummy lunch. So, bring your rain gear (just in case) and cleats and join us for a fun community event!
Seattle Riot formed in 2000 and has won World Club Championship (2002) and UPA Club Championship (2004 & 2005) titles. We play both to be the best ultimate team in the world and to display the highest level of spirit. Riot is dedicated to supporting the Seattle ultimate community and encouraging the participation of girls in ultimate by coaching juniors and college teams and offering clinics. The Women’s Clinic is one of Riot’s primary fundraisers for the year. Proceeds go directly to the high cost of fields and tournaments. Seattle Riot appreciates your support!

2014 Fryz clinic for elementary & middle school players

This June 7 (Saturday) the high school Fryz team is again hosting a clinic for elementary and middle schoolers.  All of the coaches are on either girls Fryz, ranked first in the nation for HS ultimate, or boys Fryz, also in the top 3 in the nation.

Fryz Elementary/MS clinic (link to site)


  • Saturday, June 7, 2014, 9-12 a.m.
  • on-site registration starts at 8:30
  • print and bring waiver (direct download link)
  • $10/player
  • Magnuson Park (Turf Field #7)
  • Bring dark and light jerseys, lunch, and plenty of water