The Ultimate (Frisbee) Catch-All

@EvilDead, I'd recommend trying to sign up for a hat league then. You'll be put in with people with skills/physical-gifts all across the board. I've done two hat leagues here now, and both were relaxed, fun, and very accepting. There was never a shortage of playing time either, but whether thats a + or a - is subjective.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
@EvilDead, I'd recommend trying to sign up for a hat league then. You'll be put in with people with skills/physical-gifts all across the board. I've done two hat leagues here now, and both were relaxed, fun, and very accepting. There was never a shortage of playing time either, but whether thats a + or a - is subjective.

I think we looked into that before and they only let you sign up individually (not with a group). Otherwise we would have worked out great. I could just be thinking winter hat leagues though. I'm not sure if its the same for the summer.

@EvilDead, for hat leagues you can buddy up once. So you can pair up with one other specific person and be on the same team. They cap it so that an established team can't come in and take over the league. There is supposed to be a draft league this Spring, so if you or one of your friends captained he/she could draft all of your group first and pick from the pool of remaining players to round out the team.

Thanks, I will look into those this spring.

We played for a couple hours on Sunday. Once we were warmed up the 30 degree weather was fine, the rock solid turf covered by a fine layer of snow was another story. Think a "Slip and Slide" on a pebble-stone driveway.

Turf and I are close friends, but he is abusive to me. 3 weeks in a row I've layed out on indoor turf and scraped my knees to the point where they were both bleeding. I didn't make the catch any of those times :(. There's some sort of pick-up game at Harvard on Friday afternoons where people go play outdoors, but it's in some weird heated tent. I haven't been yet as Fridays are typically super busy for me, but I heard good things.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
Turf and I are close friends, but he is abusive to me. 3 weeks in a row I've layed out on indoor turf and scraped my knees to the point where they were both bleeding. I didn't make the catch any of those times :(. There's some sort of pick-up game at Harvard on Friday afternoons where people go play outdoors, but it's in some weird heated tent. I haven't been yet as Fridays are typically super busy for me, but I heard good things.

That'd be worth going to just to play in a crazy place like a heated tent!

S0LIDARITY wrote:
Turf and I are close friends, but he is abusive to me. 3 weeks in a row I've layed out on indoor turf and scraped my knees to the point where they were both bleeding. I didn't make the catch any of those times :(.

It's the showering afterwards that's the worst.

Yup. I usually put Hydrogen Peroxide on before and after the shower, but the shower itself is the hard part.

Played in my first indoor tourney a couple weeks ago. It's just a one day thing with sub-on-the-fly rules. I was incredibly out of shape, and all of the Boston club players that came up didn't help, but it was nice to be back at it. Normally we just play an ultimate-based game called boot in the winter, but it's not really the same.

And I have a pretty strict no layout policy on artificial turf. I've torn up my knees way too many times to do that again.

@Koz were you at Fight the Night in Portland?

@EvilDead, Here's the Harvard pick-up game details.
6:30pm - 9pm Fridays at 65 N. Harvard St, Allston

S0LIDARITY wrote:
@Koz were you at Fight the Night in Portland?

No, I couldn't make it this year. There's another overnight tourney coming up in a week or two I believe.

Apparently the MLU Boston Whitecaps had open try-outs last night. I found out 1-beer into trivia-night at a bar within a ten minute drive of the facility. I was a bit bummed out that I couldn't participate, then I realized how out of shape I still am. Then I found out it would have been $40 to participate in try-outs. I have it on good authority that it takes about $300 to reserve that gym for the evening. Now I want to go home and watch 'The Gang Gets Invincible' episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I do think charging a fee to try-out is reasonable; it deters less serious applicants, covers costs that people will gladly pay, and can help compensate the evaluators. I have paid more than $40 for one day of Ultimate, but it was at Wildwood. I'm considering getting season tickets to support Ultimate as a spectator sport, but it would have been fun to see how the competition in the MLU looks. For reference, the Philly MLU team won the AUDL last year, but virtually the same roster posted a 15-18 USAU record on the year without attending many high-profile tournaments.

I signed up for a throwing clinic put on by Brodie Smith on Sunday. I have my doubts about his teaching abilities, but he's in town for the Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference. Hopefully that means he'll bring some other heavy hitters with him. I don't think I need a throwing clinic, but I still think it's a great opportunity. If anyone else is interested there's a FB event page for it. It's at Danehy Park in Cambridge.

EDIT: I don't want rack up a post count talking to myself so here's an edit.
The throwing clinic on Sunday was more introductory than I expected. Very focused on fundamentals. I'd estimate that 85-90% of what was taught was things I already knew and had been teaching to freshmen during my time in college. Another 10% were little things that I either didn't realize I was doing wrong or minor changes to reach a more consistent form. The other 5% I would consider debatable; Brodie's points were strong, just not absolute truths.

I found it really interesting that Brodie Smith's forehand technique is drastically different from George Stubbs, 2011 Callahan winner. Smith teaches the standard two fingers tight on the inside of the rim and the thumb on the flight rings. Stubbs preaches that you should actually pinch the disc between your thumb and index/middle fingers away from the rim.

It was definitely a good experience though and Brodie Smith was a surprisingly good teacher. He was also a funny and very humble. I'm even more excited for my Spring season which starts April 7th.

S0LIDARITY wrote:
Stubbs preaches that you should actually pinch the disc between your thumb and index/middle fingers away from the rim.

I have a disc here, and I can't interpret this description to an actual grip.... can you perhaps post a picture of what you mean?

I grip the disc like Smith does, apparently. The other method I've seen is to grip it with your index and middle fingers spread - apparently it gives mre stability but less power... I've never had a stability problem with my grip though.

AndrewA wrote:
S0LIDARITY wrote:
Stubbs preaches that you should actually pinch the disc between your thumb and index/middle fingers away from the rim.

I have a disc here, and I can't interpret this description to an actual grip.... can you perhaps post a picture of what you mean?

I grip the disc like Smith does, apparently. The other method I've seen is to grip it with your index and middle fingers spread - apparently it gives mre stability but less power... I've never had a stability problem with my grip though.

Yeah from the description I throw it like Smith does as well but a picture would make it more clear. I was never taught forehand though, its just how I have always thrown a frisbee from when I was a kid. I throw disc golf discs the same way and can get quite a bit of power with it (360 - 380 ft. max throw). With 2 fingers on the rim you can really get that extra snap or whip needed to create the stability for a long flight.

Edit: I just thought about it and noticed that when I throw a forehand with my hand shoulder height or higher I spread my pointer out from the rim to keep the disc level. That's usually just to get around a defender who's blocking low or for a shot that curves left though.

Smith was vehemently opposed to fingers spread. I was initially taught to spread them for shorter passes that need more stability. He argued that it helps with consistency to only have one grip, and that the spread grip is terrible for distance throws.

I'll post a few pictures tonight or this weekend on the Stubbs technique, I don't keep any discs in my cubicle.

Yeah, spread grip is terrible for distance throws. I only use it in very specific situations. I find it necessarily to get the proper spin /grip on the disc when throwing a forehand with my arm extended over my head.

I found a gif of how my normal hold is with the exception that I push my pointer into the rim instead of the back of my other finger.

OK, I see. That just sounds weird. It sounds like he is trying to use the disc to create the snap instead of pushing with his fingers. In disc golf no one throws forehand that way. I'm going to try it out and see what happens though.

I found the AMA post from George Stubbs.

Jorgestubbs wrote:
Sure: Hard to do without showing it, but I'll do my best.

I believe that the best way to throw a flick is leading hard with your elbow and following with the pinky side of your hand, palm facing up. So for the grip, this means that the edge of the disc is fitting in between your ring and middle finger. Your index and middle finger are pressing on the bottom of the disc (NOT the rim) and your thumb is pressing on the top of the disc (not the rim, and enough so it makes a dent), which creates a pinching affect. The throw then snaps off the outside of your middle finger. Your ring and pinky fingers should just provide some support to make it stable. When you throw, you're moving your wrist side-to-side (palm upward) instead of forward and back.

Many people throw their forehands using their index, middle finger, and thumb to grip the rim of the disc, and throw with their palms facing forward instead of up. I think that this is a disadvantage for power and versatility. The one advantage it might have is for inside out breakmark flicks, but that's not worth it.

Hope that makes sense. I did my best.

I'll also post a picture of what my best approximation* of Brodie Smith's grip was. It's a little different than EvilDead's gif.

*Dude's got big hands, I don't.

@EvilDead, I've tried it with little success. I only gave it 4-5 attempts though. I think the key points are:

1. Putting both fingers on the rim can get your palm perpendicular to the disc when it should be parallel.

2. His grip allows for more versatility. You may be able to get more power from the middle finger on the rim, Your furthest target in Ultimate is 380 feet away, full-field to opposite corners of the endzones. In disc golf, it's could be 500ft.

Okay - I re-read your initial post, as well as Stubbs' longer explanation.

Parsing all that, my grip is more like Stubbs' than Smith, though probably not identical to either. Pertinent points (I keep a disc in the office):

- My palm faces up when I throw
- My middle finger is jammed against the inside rim of the disc, but facing upwards, not out to the side
- My index finger is tight against my middle finger, facing up against the bottom of the disc
- My ring finger is resting against the edge of the disc, as support
- My thumb is pressing down (not that hard) on the top of the disc

S0LIDARITY wrote:
@EvilDead, I've tried it with little success. I only gave it 4-5 attempts though. I think the key points are:

1. Putting both fingers on the rim can get your palm perpendicular to the disc when it should be parallel.

2. His grip allows for more versatility. You may be able to get more power from the middle finger on the rim, Your furthest target in Ultimate is 380 feet away, full-field to opposite corners of the endzones. In disc golf, it's could be 500ft.

I'm very curious to give it a try. Imagining it in my mind, it just seems like it would feel awkward. I imagine Smith's throw is with his palm more perpendicular or diagonal to the disc?

I learned to throw with the split fingers and taught myself to do the unsplit or power grip over the years. I actually throw with both grips still. Longer or faster throws use the power grip, but if it's a short throw and I need to loft it at all, I go back to the split.

Of course, being left-handed I don't throw a ton of forehands anyways.

As promised, I did my best to demonstrate the Smith/Stubbs grips.

Smith Forehand
IMAGE(http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/chwala/IMG_0016.jpg)
IMAGE(http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/chwala/IMG_0019.jpg)

Stubbs Forehand - I'm not sure I get my palm close enough to parallel with the disc on this.
IMAGE(http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/chwala/IMG_0017.jpg)
IMAGE(http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/chwala/IMG_0018.jpg)

Smith Backhand - I don't remember an exact description of his backhand grip, although he did walk by and say perfect as he pointed to my demonstrated grip. The big note was to not curl all of your fingers tight to the disc. He said that reduces the range of release-points, high and low releases especially.
IMAGE(http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/chwala/IMG_0022.jpg)
IMAGE(http://i713.photobucket.com/albums/ww138/chwala/IMG_0023.jpg)

EDIT: I know colored discs are often blasphemy but I tried to find one that would provide better contrast against my pasty skin.

Thanks for the pics, I was picturing Stubbs a little differently so that clears it up. It looks like I don't throw it like either of them. If you took the Smith grip then put the pointer under the middle finger so both were on the rim then you would have my grip. I have seen that backhand before but always forget to try it. Its used in disc golf as a accuracy / control grip.

I've used that same backhand grip since Kindergarten. I was the puller on my college team, I haven't tried my hand at disc-golf though.

I'll try to remember to post some pictures of Smith's tips on footwork tonight. I looked at some tournament pictures on Facebook last night and saw that a lot of people turn their non-pivot foot in a way that is really inefficient and bad for your knees.

Here ya go.

There are some really good disc golf courses within 45 minutes from Boston. Its totally worth checking out.

Hmmm, I've never done that follow-through with my left hand. I'll have to try that once the fields near me start to dry out.

Looks like the closest Disc Golf Course for me is the one in Burlington. I didn't have good luck just searching for disc golf in Google maps.

I use DGCoursereview for that. It has course pictures and hole distances too.

Borderland State Park in Easton is the best free one. I work about a mile away from the Burlington course and its not that great. It's only 9 holes and 7 of them are in dense trees. It would still be OK to get the gist of it. I always see Ultimate players / teams at various courses using ultimate discs too so it would be a fun way to practice different throws.

Edit: Here is the GWJ thread I created a while ago.

I found it rather difficult to photography myself last night so I found some pictures to highlight the proper/improper footwork on throws.

Ideal backhand
IMAGE(http://burtgranofsky.smugmug.com/Ultimate/NE-Regionals-2011/i-VDnxGrd/0/M/Reg2011__1470-M.jpg) The marker in this picture is one of my indoor teammates. He made it onto the Whitecaps roster and is probably the best player I've ever played with.

Ideal forehand
IMAGE(http://burtgranofsky.smugmug.com/Ultimate/NE-Regionals-2011/i-hv9X5Pw/0/M/Reg2011__1508-M.jpg)

Destroys your knees backhand
IMAGE(http://burtgranofsky.smugmug.com/Ultimate/NE-Regionals-2011/i-zHSWwMr/0/M/Reg2011__2369-M.jpg)
Note how the thrower's toe is pointed towards his target on the non-pivot foot. It twists your knee awkwardly and requires extra effort to step out of.

Destroys your knees forehand
IMAGE(http://www.ultimatephotos.org/Ultimate/WUGC-2012/Day-3-Pool-Games/i-qNZSvWV/0/M/DAY3_123515_HA4I4014-M.jpg)
Note how the the thrower's heel is the leading edge on the non-pivot foot. Again, this twists your knee awkwardly and requires extra effort to step out of.