Monday, February 6, 2012

Hat-tournament gonna Hat

There was a paradigm shift tonight, a new zeitgeist if you will. The wind of change was blowing, a Jewish troubadour graced the fields singing "the times they are a ...becoming different"
What we put this change down to, I don't know, but it was like a heavy weight has been lifted from our shoulders. Was it a change in the season? A changing of the guard? …of my underpants?
Whatever the case, it seemed like tonight everyone was having fun.
At the end of round 2 we have a clear leader "I am number 4" and a clear fourth place who actually ARE number four "obstruction workers"

Osama Disc Laden vs I am number 4
The weapons of mass destruction were playing a savage 7 game, no subs.  I am number 4 had two subs and still some players who didn't turn up...  The score was close all game, No. 4 leading most of the way but Ladens catching up and evening out the scoreline at one point.  By half time the score was 8-5.  As the second half progressed, the score became even as Osamas got their second wind and as Doug put his jaw on the line proving one of the biggest defensive strategies of the night....  However, no. 4 got ahead again to win with a score of 12-10. 
Lots of layouts by those less intimidated people (...piva) which were even more impressive due to the slippery wet conditions.   Some impressive cuts by William and Kim contributed to our overall score. 
Number 4 played well. 

Obstruction workers vs f-bomb
f-bomb won. Obstruction came out slow again. May have won the second half, but was down too far from the first half. One must wonder how wonderful f-bomb will go when they lose the boy-wonder, Jamie MacDonald, to wanderings in Melbourne. Obstruction have a season long plan to be in the final and things are working perfectly so far.

Tonight has some…girl team on girl team action when osama and obstruction meet. On the other field double YY vs the pubonic plague.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bloggers gonna Blog

While the rest of the state was busily sandbagging their homes and all other sports in Cairns were cancelled due to extreme sissyness, last Tuesday saw the launch of the sophomore season of Cairns Ultimate Disc.

How do you follow up Dark Side of the Moon? with Wish You were Here (look it up Gen Yers) and we followed up perhaps the greatest season of Ultimate disc ever played with 4 exciting new teams and some new faces.

On field 1 'I am Number Four' met the as yet unnamed Team #2. Possibly distracted by the plethora of rad names to choose from Team #2 started a bit shaky. While discussing what would be better than Team #2...Obstruction workers, Shrivel engineering or Yellow Discharge...'I am Number four' took an early lead easily taking the half 8 to 2. However like a poorly scripted adolescent novel, the rights for which have been sold before the book has even been finished so the hollywood refuse machine can churn out some trite garbage to cash in on the trite garbage that is Twilight, 'The Obstruction Workers' made a comeback. Switching to something resembling a horizontal stack, or maybe Feldrunner 'Shrivel Engineering' got to within 3 points of 'IAN4'. Unfortunately Yellow Discharge lost two of their most experienced players to wardrobe malfunction and oldman injury. One feels, however, that this was just the first installment, where the battlers have lost the first round but will come back and knock out Apollo Creed, get married to the vampire and kill He who shall not be named.

On field 2 we had the upset of the season. The mighty undefeated 'f-bomb' met those disease ridden 'Osama Disc Laden's'. Word is 'Osama' upset 'f-bomb's' game plan with the use of some rain and a clever little puppy/fence dealio. It will be interesting to see these two teams meet again as both will have undergone some major 'plastic' surgery (get it Plastic! like a frisbee!!!) Whatever the case, don't be surprised if Obstruction Discharge aren't busily working out their puppy/fence right now in anticipation of their next game against f-bomb. Osama's honorary females, William, Bailey and Liam did their adopted gender proud, with Bailey and Liam contributing plenty of layouts and William wearing his sister's shirt.


With all the new faces it is time to talk about something referred to as 'Spirit of the Game' There are a bunch of descriptions one can find on the internet and this happy blogger would suggest you go do that. However, I am going to take this opportunity to give my take on it.

Spirit is not something one can place rules on. As soon as rules are added then it will exclude a vital aspect.

For me, being perhaps the most experienced player this season, it means not exploiting rules to my the same time, having one of the most inexperienced teams, it also means other teams not exploiting my team mates.

Spirit will mean remembering that we are playing in a beginner's league, that the result means little in the grand scheme of things and the most important thing is that everyone on the field enjoys themselves.

It will be keeping in mind that it is very difficult to watch things objectively and you may need to defer to a team mates view of things as they may be less invested than yourself.

You see what looks like really good spirit in games where one team is much better than the is easy to be nice and not argue things when you are destroying the other team. To judge a team's spirit is when the points are close.

Most issues and arguments happen, especially at our level, when people don't know the rules. It will behoove everyone to keep up to date on the rules and read them as often as they can.

(you can also read about the anti-doping rules, Gene Pool)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Sequel is Never as Good as the Original

The second season of the Cairns Ultimate League starts Tuesday the 24th of January. With the first game on the horizon it has brought much excitement and anticipation to the Dakota household. Of course I am reminded of what my dear old mother, Granny Dakota used to say: 'Expectation is the mother of disappointment...but you can just call me mum.'

The 24th brings us 4 new teams and many more questions. So far none have revealed their names, deciding, perhaps, to unveil their sobriquets at a time designed for maximum impact and thrill. We have all experienced the lethal blow an opposition's decidedly snappy appellation can deliver, especially when one has spent little thought or time on one's own.

Without any formal monikers the teams shall be designated a random number and for the extent of this piece shall be referred to as such.

On Field Two we have the aptly entitled Team #1 competing against those Y chromosoners Team #3. Team #1 will need some time to determine who is the chief chef, with a team with too many cooks. An obvious strategy would be for little Alecha 'Deena' Piva to throw long to Liam, the clear choice for a team without any other noticeable deep players. However, will Bailey, Kim, Will, Michelle and the lovely Mrs Dakota stand for this hoggery? One must say, it is easy to imagine the women's rights movement taking control and simply ignoring the chaps. We have seen evidence when the ladies,like an angry suffragette, decide to teach the boys a lesson before. Whatever the case, with a small roster of players and a need to field 7, we at least know there won't be anyone sidelined for the game in the opener of this beginner's season. Team #1s opposition, the formidable Team #3 are the early favourites for this season. The team has picked up Doug from the wilderness of Aurukun, who will bring to the team the Noel Pearson, direct instruction model of ultimate disc. If his team don't play well, at least they'll be literate. One imagines, this very tall, very strong team should have little trouble accounting for any opposition, particularly in the beginning of the season. With Jacob, Jamie and Stuart H reigning in the air as Doug, Corey and Jeff Cotter provide them with semi accurate long throws, ably backed up by those young up and comers Brent and Adam this team are the expected winners and have everything to lose.

The spotlight now moves to the main event of the evening, over on Field One, as the perfectly balanced Team #2 take on the testosterone sodden Team #4. Where Team #1 has too many cooks, the question for Team #4 is who will lead? With ranks filled with quiet, serious men, who prefer to get the job done, will Team #4 suffer from a lack of organisation? Will the quiet, serious men be able to communicate with one another. Will Anthony have a monumental meltdown on the field (again)? Opposing Team #4 is, at the very least, the best looking team to grace the fields of Cairns ultimate. Team #2 enter the league with a solid game plan, knowing initially they'll be on the receiving end of some drubbings, content that at the business end of the season they'll all have learnt plenty and will be savoring the frustration of the opposition. Working on a strategy of intelligence, Team #2 has almost exclusively sought female players. However, while on paper it may appear the team has an excess of estrogen it is soon lucidly clarified when one sees the double Y, ubermenschness of Murray, Stuart C, De Vechi and Dakota. This all results in a perfectly balanced team , one half right brain lefties, the other left brain right handers, an even spread of Goldman's 8 multiple intelligences, equalized melancholic, Cholerics, phlegmatics and bloody sanguines, the sexy Team #2 may just end up being the perfect ultimate disc killing machine. Thus Spake Zarathustra!!

Whatever the case, breath is bated in anticipation of the premiere social event in Cairns' busy entertainment calendar this year, and this season will only be topped by the next season and Gordonvale SHS' speech night.

Sorry this was so big, but that is the way Mrs Dakota likes it.

Make sure you register on the AFDA website and see you Tuesday Heathens!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The CULT - Grand Final Review

"dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun, dun dun dun; dun dun dun, dun dun dun, dun dun. bada-bum, bum bum, bum bada-bum bum; dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun, dun dun dun."

And so it was that with the overtures from Star Wars playing gently on the wind, The Cairns Ultimate League (on) Tuesdays drew its first season to a close.

Congratulations to The Empire Strikes Backhand for their ruthless pursuit of the title; The Dark Lord himself, Liam Gillions, marshaled his troops to an 11-8 victory over Apocalypse Meow and clinched an unbeaten season.

The grand final game was like something lifted from George Lucas' playbook; it brought us a cliff hanger ending and left us all wondering "will the Rebel Alliance come back and destroy the Deathstar?" "Will Luke have his cut off hand replaced with a better, robot, hand?" "is it really OK that that dude just kissed his sister?"

Of course, in this situation, Luke Skywalker was played by a drunk Martin Sheen and Obi wan was a fat, crazy Marlon Brando, but the special effects were every bit as good as the original!

Skills wise, the level of this one was very high; uber-tight points led to some fairly tetchy moments and a few pedantic calls and some *really* long breaks before the huck helped to build tension; but perhaps the biggest tell tale of just how close to the wire this one ran was the fact that two of Empire's new recruits were sidelined for the better part of the game. Talking to some of the stormtroopers afterwards, no-one seemed to know quite why this was the case, but it was baffling to me and no doubt frustrating for them. After all, winning a grand final you didn't get to play in doesn't leave you with the same feeling of elation it would do if you actually got to play.

Overall, it was a well fought final battle, but not one where SOTG reigned and not one where Ulti was promoted as being "more than a game ... its a lifestyle."

The 3-4 playoff was no less hotly contested as Boomstick pulled out all the stops in trying to get their first win of the season. Sadly (for this journalist), it was not to be; with The (absolutely) Incredible Huck taking it with an 8-5 victory. Although Boomstick managed to contain the early run that Huck has managed to start with in previous games, the Green Machine kept wearing the deadites down until they set up a handy lead. With mere minutes to go, Boomstick managed to clinch two key points, but it wasn't enough to secure the game. On a personal note, I was completely stoked that rookie Ash Batterham, who scored Boomstick's first point ever, also scored our final point for the season. That's symmetry kids!

There is something about Huck/Boomstick games that never ceases to amaze me - it seems like both teams lift and the competitive juices flow like vitticulture byproduct from Bacchus' cornucopia ... which brings us to the dummy spit. Anthony Hwaha ... one of the best spirited players in Cairns Ulti: you sir, spat the dummy like it has never been spat before (and coming from me, this means something!). I don't bring this up to embarrass Anthony, but rather to highlight the way that, moments after 'the incident', both players were able to stop, talk, apologise and get on with the game; now that's good spirit!

To finish, I want to speak as president, not as a blogger: Thanks to everyone who has made this possible. To Anthony, who took the job of treasurer on (something I could never do); to all the captains for their support, ideas and guidance; to the stalwart players who have come with us from the park to our league and finally to everyone who has given our sport a go for the first time this season; sure hope you come back next year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The CULT - Semifinal Preview

Hold on you your hats kids, 'cause this week is going to be a big one. Both games (probably) have foregone conclusions, but underdogs can still bite and the two top ranked teams had better be ready for a scrap!

Game 1: Huck versus Meow

I think most people would expect this one to go to Meow, and I agree that it likely will, but I don't for a second think that this one is going to be a walk over. Huck's intensity (especially in the first 30 minutes of a game) is always dangerous and it will be up to Meow to stay focussed, move the disc around the field, and tire the Green Machine out. This is definitely a game of exploiting weaknesses and if Meow pick Huck apart, they will romp home.

Conversely, it is going to be up to Huck to shore up their weaknesses with judicious substitutions to make sure the intensity doesn't wane. Huck are probably the only team with the height to take it to Cephas in the endzone and they need to make certain that they rotate their big men to cut him out as an option.

Game 2: Empire versus Boomstick

After a 15-1 drubbing last time, Empire have got to be confident coming into this one. With Sweet Harriet Booth coming back from her sojourn with the Australian wilderness, Empire have a glut of handy handlers and ready receivers all primed to bring it to the Deadites. Having said that, the last time the top and bottom of the table came together, it was more competitive than the scoreline suggested. The only question now is: Have the Deadites learned to catch the ones that count?

Unusually, this one is probably going to go down as a strategy scmategy game, with both teams doing whatever feels right on the night. Will Jacob be fit to play? If not, what will Liam choose to do? Find another reciever, or hit the endzone himself? Anything is possible in this one, so make a point of staying behind to see it happen!

Don't forget: I'm raffling off a sweet PRIMAL disc in support of Movember and this is your penultimate chance to get tickets!

See you on the pitch, Ed

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The CULT - Week 6 "Real" Review

OK, ok ... another big week has come and gone and we are looking down the barrel of our first finals series ever!

Game 1 was a case of dejavu all over again! Huck and Boomstick lined up for another tug of war matchup. Despite a full length layout by yours truly on the first point to try and take control of the tempo, Huck came out super athletically and ran to a 4-1 lead. With the pressure building, Boomstick clawed their way back to bring things back into contention and leveled the scores at 5all. The back and forth continued with Huck ahead 7-6 when the 45 minute time cap was reached and so it was that overtime commenced. With a minute to go, Boomstick were up 10-9 but Huck scored to level things up. A dropped pass on the line put the disc back in the deadites' eager hands, but that same enthusiasm saw the disc sail out of play, giving it to Huck when the Universe Point Rule came into effect. As Huck brought the disc into play, an unlikely deep reciever took off, building speed as he reached the endzone, catching his exhausted defender unawares. One desperate chase later, the plastic dropped into the Huckster's waiting hands. It was over and Huck took the second double overtime victory this season. This one went down to the wire and was very hotly contested. Easily the most valuable thing was that despite some tense moments, spirit won out in the end and all players left, smiling about the game that was, and the game that could have been.

Special mention should go out to Michelle who, as the only girl on Huck, played almost every point! Going to be a very interesting finals series for all concerned, I reckon!

Game 2 was, as expected, red hot. With Jay (somewhat amazingly) coming out to lead his team, it was a genuine contest between the two top placed teams. End-zone battles flared and in the end, it was the introduction of newcomer Niel Teale who made the difference for Empire. As we have come to expect, the Stormtroopettes, Katie and Krystal were impressive in the middle, cutting to the open spaces and looking for the plastic. Jason Dent found the endzone a number of times off some sweet Nick Murray passes and the Jacob/Wetnose combination paid dividends (as expected). Unfortunately for Jacob, a big fall (and dislocated shoulder) in the endzone brought his night to an end early and it will be a case of 'time will tell' regarding his availability for Tuesday night.

For the Apocalyptos, it was a case of sticking to what works. This is by far the most 'settled' team in the league, having kept the majority of its players start to finish (oh, wait, that's BoomStick too). Jay marshaled a solid offensive strategy, which mostly came up with the goods, but a few crucial drops under pressure cost them dearly! It was pleasing to see Piva slightly more mobile, using her speed to create opportunity and playing a role that is running to her strengths (i.e. running). Cephas played a good endzone game, as did Tyler who has really learned what it means to cut to the corners. Frustrating for Meow handlers was the amount of endzone traffic they had to contend with, making throws difficult to time. Communication is definitely key for all teams in this regard and it is going to be an area of growth next season for cutters to time their runs and clear out if the throw isn't there for them.

Next week is the semi final, with Meow playing Huck at 6pm (ignore the schedule, we changed it out of necessity!!!) and Empire playing Boomstick at 7pm. The beauty of our current organisation is that all four teams are still fighting for a spot in the grand final ... tres excitement!

Don't forget to bring your money for the Primal disc raffle ... $2 a ticket or $10 for 6!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The CULT - Week 6 Review

Wow! Is it really the last week of our regular inaugural season? un-freaking-believable!

Week 6 is, as always, going to be a big one. Both games are going to be 'grudge matches' this week, with Meow looking to upset the rampaging Empire and Boomstick looking to take the win they failed to achieve last time they squared off against the hydra-like Huck.

Game 1 The Incredible Huck versus Boomstick

Hydra-like seems fitting for the green machine in that they have never actually had the same playing roster for two consecutive games. More than that, they seem to constantly be on the brink of player collapse, only to see 2, 3 or 4 new players turn up to swing their fortunes.

From all accounts however, they seem to have settled on a solid list of 8 players thanks to a serious recruitment drive and we're all just going to have to hold our breath to see if they can retain them until the finals.

After the tightest game in CULT history last time these two teams met, its got me jittery thinking about tomorrow night's bottom of the table clash! After thier drubbing at the hands of the Evil Empire last week, Boomstick need to beat the Incredibles by a whopping 9 points to move from the bottom of the ladder, so its going to be a case of strike hard, strike early for the deadites; if they let Huck get out to the 4 point lead they did last time 'round, its all over. The problem, of course, is that Huck are hard starters ... the first 15-20 minutes of any Huck game this season have been explosive. Certainly, you can expect to see the deadites moving the plastic around the field in an effort to drain the momentum from the Huck offense.

As for Huck? Who can tell what they'll do. If they're smart, they'll stick to their gameplan from last week, playing a zone offense to minimise the amount of running they have to do early in the piece.

Paramount for both teams is going to be discipline. The side that can reign in their emotions and stick to a gameplan will pull of the win. Who will it be? Only time will tell.

My Prediction - Boomstick 11-10

Game 2 Meow versus Empire

This is the game we've been waiting for since week 3. Last time these two juggernauts met, it was a seriously under-strength Meow that tried to stick it to a full compliment of Storm Troopers. This week, players on both sides wait with baited breath to see whether the grizzled old man of strategy will bring his progeny down to the fields to watch daddy stick it to the man. If Ricardo takes the field, expect to see a real backwards and forwards game. Both teams have strong handler-deep combos and if it goes to a huckfest, its going to be a long night for everyone. Personally, I think the game will be won and lost by the defensive marking. If teams can get their defense to shut down the primaries, it comes down to a battle of the middles. Meow have significantly more experience in the middle of the pack, but The Empire have some good middles of their own. Particularly impressive in the last two weeks have been their new women, who have consistently cut into open space, burning defenders with regularity.

Ultimately, this one is going to come down to leadership and communication. Both teams have the potential to take the win, but it is going to be a clear case of maximising that potential and adapting quickly to changes as they occur.

My Prediction - Empire 9-8


This week and next, I will be raffling off a brand new PRIMAL disc this week to raise funds for Movember. Primal are an Ultimate club from Perth and this disc is an inexact* replica of the one Brodie Smith used last week to break the world record for the longest huck in Australia's history! Moulded in sweet white plastic and hot-stamped with metallic blue foil, this baby is a beauty! Raffle tickets will be $2 each, or 6 for $10 so buy yourself a bunch and save!

If you would like to grab a fistful of tickets, or donate to my movember fundraising, see me tomorrow night and I'll happily take your money (or give you a link to donate online).

*completely inexact. The only real similarity is that they are both frisbees.