Category Archives: Uncategorized

Free coaching clinics through DiscNW this fall, 2017

It looks like DiscNW is still accepting registrations for a free Sept 16 coaching clinic, and may offer another in October of this year (2017). This may be of interest for beginner coaches (<~2 years experience) working with elementary or middle school players.
I attended one of these last February and it was very helpful. It’s facilitated by the amazing trio of Shannon O’Malley, Heather Ann Brauer, and Alyssa Weatherford.

Schteattle Schtick: build ultimate skills in a fun game with 75 youth & 25 discs

Ok, here’s how Seattle kids play Schtick.  We’re gonna call it Schteattle Schtick and it’s best played with 10-75 youth players (assisted by their coaches and/or parents) and lots of discs — at least 1 for every 3 players.  (If you have more players and discs than this, you should play Galaxy Wars instead.)  Either way, you’re in for a lot of fun and intense aerobic conditioning (even if there are minor inconsistencies with developing good fundamentals, e.g. you’re allowed to run with the disc)…

Schtick field schematic (from )

Here are the basic rules of Schteattle Schtick — forged on the first-mucky then sun-hardened grass fields of the DiscNW summer camp fields.  The main difference from standard Schtick (described below) is that there is no stoppage of play upon scoring (in fact there really isn’t even any “keeping score” amid the mayhem), and there are no pulls — even at the start of the game.  The Seattle variant simply adds these stipulations:

  1. The game cannot start until all players and all their discs (half the total available which must be at least 10) are packed inside the scorebox they will be defending.  Everyone must be ready to rumble, and silent (ha, ha).  The coach (or some responsible person) yells “go,” or whistles, and everyone runs amok.
  2. The only way to win is to get all discs out of your territory (across the middle line (hint: always keep at least one in reserve to counter stockpiling).  You get a billion bonus points for getting all discs not only over the middle line, but also within the scorebox you are attacking (it’s never been done, BTW).
  3. Dimensions may vary based on team size and field space available.
  4. Follow the rest of the standard rules (see box & links below).

Local variants:

  • If you have even more kids, you can add scoreboxes, e.g. two boxes per side!
  • Played with a 2×2 box and a triangle half that size. Triangle worth 2 points. But we never really keep score of course!
  • If you have way too many kids, try Galaxy Wars…

What is (Schtandard) Schtick?

From —

  • It is played with 2 or more discs (AKA “Frisbees”) simultaneously.  Usually you play with about 1 disc per 2.5 players. (see official rules)
  • It is way more fun than most sports.
  • It can be played on grass, sand, or snow, and has many cool variations.
  • Players may run with the discs (unlike ultimate).
  • The playing field consists of a middle line which bisects the globe into the 2 teams’ territories. On the ground within each territory, about 20 meters from the midline, is a 2×2 meter scorebox.
  • 8-80 players are divided into 2 teams. Each team is assigned one territory to defend (like capture the flag).
  • Scoring occurs by getting a disc to rest on the ground within the scorebox in opposing territory.
  • Players with a disc who are tagged by an opposing player in opposing territory must relinquish their disc.
  • In practice, the play of Schtick is flexible enough to permit people of widely different disc skills & athletic skills to legitimately face off on the same field.
  • It is imbued with a spirit of the game that is rarely paralleled in a sporting world otherwise geared for jocks only. More important than athletic prowess is a flexible mind & willingness to try.
  • It is fun for every player almost every time. See what people are saying.

Using to illustrate drills

Whether you’re trying to coordinate a practice plan with an assistant coach or “flipping the field” and giving your youth players some homework related to your offensive system, the website can be a useful resource.  The site allows you to register and create your own animations of drills, tactics, games, etc.  You can then embed the animation (e.g. in your team web site), attach a YouTube video that further illustrates the animation, and then share the product via Twitter, Facebook, or a public or private link.

As an example, here’s the embedded version of a simplified horizontal stack continuation drill we use for 7th graders to help them begin to understand when and where to cut and throw to open space —

You can also search their database of plays, drills, and tactics. Sadly, a search for content tagged “youth” in the Ultimate sport only returns 4 results (as of fall 2015).

Screen grab of all "youth" ultimate content on in fall 2015.
Screen grab of all “youth” ultimate content on in fall 2015.

Let’s generate some more youth-specific content!

Foul resolution in the women’s 2013 National Championships

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.2013 champ women pat

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
Observer resolves

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?!