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New shirts and discs

Place your order here: bit.ly/shirtsdiscs

These are being sold as a fundraiser so that we can send a Malawi Ultimate team to an international tournament in 2021 (or whenever COVID-19 lets us).

Please tell your friends and family they are welcome to order them if they like them.

I will arrange to make deliveries in Blantyre and we’ll see what we can do about getting them to Lilongwe. Orders to other places are likely to incur a charge for delivery.

If you are a regular player in Blantyre or Lilongwe, contact Asher for a special price for your shirt.

WFDF approves Cayman Islands and Malawi as national members

Brings membership to 87 Countries

The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) is pleased to announce that its Congress has approved the Cayman Islands Ultimate Association and Malawi Flying Disc Federation as its newest Member associations, increasing WFDF’s membership to 87 countries.

“To add Cayman Islands and Malawi to the Flying Disc Family during these difficult times is perhaps a harbinger of the return to the organized practice of Flying Disc sports around the globe and further proof of the effectiveness of the WFDF Development Program,” commented WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch. “To be able to expand our membership in the Carribean and Africa shows how the focus of WFDF’s development efforts are supporting the expansion of Flying Disc in all regions around the world. While efforts are obviously more complicated now, we are looking forward to add other candidates for membership soon despite the difficulties.”

“Cayman Islands Ultimate is extremely proud to be recognised by the WFDF,”  commented Cayman Islands Ultimate Association (CIUA) President Michael Kader. In these difficult times, this is truly comforting news. As we look toward our eventual return to the field, we know that WFDF’s support will aid our efforts to grow the sport of Ultimate in the Cayman Islands.”

Malawi Flying Disc Federation’s (MFDF) Asher Jacobsberg stated “As the representatives of Malawi’s teams, we are excited to have established a federation to further the sport in Malawi. We would like to thank the World Flying Disc Federation for all their support. We are eagerly awaiting the time when we can take Malawian players to international competitions to enjoy this great sport with new people, opening new horizons. ”

The approval was given unanimously by the Congress, comprised of the current WFDF members. WFDF Executive Director and chair of the WFDF Sport for All and Development Commission Volker Bernardi said “This is a great sign of the unity of the Flying Disc family and encourages us very much with our development programs. This brings us closer to our near-term target to have more than 90 members, with a goal of 100 national member Federations by the end of next year.”

The Pull

In Blantyre, we’ve had a few discussion recently about what happens when the disc goes out on the pull (the first throw used to start and restart the game) and/or lands in the end zone.

I think the rules for this have been updated over the years, and may be/have been different in the USA and the rest of the world. We’re using the most recent WFDF rules (2020).

The rules about the pull in detail are here: https://rules.wfdf.org/rules/2017/13-7-the-pull

But essentially:

  • If it stops or is caught in the field of play (including the end zone) play it from there.
  • If it lands in play but rolls out, play it from where it rolled out (or the closest point not in the end zone).
  • If it goes straight out, either play from where it crossed the line, or the brick mark (centre of the field about 18m from the goal line). If you want to play from the brick mark you should raise your arm overhead and say, “brick” (the rule changed from clapping about 10 years ago).

For a great pictorial explanation, grab this PDF or have a look at the slideshow below (‘OB’= ‘out of bounds’):

Delay of play

Two related rules issues came up last Sunday, both about how quickly play needs to restart; so I had a look at the rule book to give some definitive answers.

How quickly do you have to pick the disc up after a turnover or pull?

Essentially the answer is: as quickly as possible.

The aim being to keep the game moving at pace.

Attacking players need to (at least) walk to the disc and when there pick it up and play. If they don’t the defending team can call ‘Delay of play’ and if the attackers don’t stop delaying the defenders can start the stall count.

  • 8.5. After a turnover, and after the pull, the team that has gained possession of the disc must continue play without delay.
    • 8.5.1. An offensive player must move at walking pace or faster to directly retrieve the disc and establish a pivot.
    • 8.5.2. In addition to 8.5.1, after a turnover the offence must put the disc into play within the following time limits, if the disc did not become out-of-bounds, and the discs location is:
      • 8.5.2.1. in the central zone – within ten (10) seconds of the disc coming to rest.
      • 8.5.2.2. in an end zone – within twenty (20) seconds of the disc coming to rest.
    • 8.5.3. If the offence breaches 8.5 the defence may give a verbal warning (“Delay of Game”) or may call a “Violation”.
    • 8.5.4. If an offensive player is within three (3) metres of the pivot point and, after the verbal warning, the offence continues to breach 8.5 the marker may commence the stall count.
Taken from: WFDF – Rules of Ultimate

USA Ultimate’s current rule is essentially the same – see XIX.B.

What happens if the pull is delayed after a ready signal?

The rules we use (WFDF) do not really specify, but, again, the idea here is to get play restarted as quickly as possible:

7.1.1. Teams must prepare for the pull without unreasonable delay.

WFDF – Rules of Ultimate

The USA Ultimate Rules go into some detail about how much time can be taken and penalties for going beyond this, but as we use the WFDF rules, I won’t go into those – if you want to, look at VIII.C.

One thing that we might note is the order suggested by the WFDF rules:

  1. Receiving team signals that they are ready.
  2. Receiving team stays still, each player with a foot on the goal line – so pulling (defending) team can pick who to mark.
  3. Pulling team signals readiness – pulling team all need to be in their endzone.
  4. Once the pull is thrown all players may leave their endzones.

How we should play

I just watched this really interesting video by Ryan Lowe; it’s ostensibly about picking a team, which may not really seem relevant in Malawi, but actually he talks about what makes a great experience for people new to the game.

There’s loads of advice in here both for those of us who are more experienced, and for those who aren’t. I think if we use it to reflect on how each of us plays we’ll all get better quicker and have fun doing it. We do lots of this already, but emphasising it will only help.

One bit of jargon he uses is the term ‘handler’: this just means one of the key throwers (often a more experienced player with a good throw).

I’m particularly impressed by what he says about:

  • Passing to open players
  • Understanding when you aren’t really open – although you might think you are
  • When to ‘dump’ and when to try trickier throws
  • Time with the disc

What do you think? Add a comment below.

(BTW, Ryan has loads of other really useful tutorial videos on his YouTube channel and website.)

Blantyre Ultimate League

We’re now getting so many players involved in Blantyre I think we really have an opportunity to get a league going. I hope this will encourage more teams to get started and for us to develop our skills and tactics.

Structure

Teams

Initially I think we may have enough players for three teams; and we have three venues at which to base them:

  • Limbe at Hillview
  • Sunnyside at SAIPS
  • Nyambadwe at SAIntS

Each of these teams should aim to field a mixed-gender team of between 12-18 players a each Saturday meet-up. It may be that we need to work up to these numbers and we start with teams of 7-10.

Games

If we start with smaller squads then games up to 7 points, with a maximum duration of 50 minutes would make sense. However when we have full-sized squads (14+ players) we should play to 15, with a maximum duration of 90 minutes.

So, with the shorter games we could play 7.30 to 11.00am. With longer games we’d need to incorporate lunch and work out how we avoid playing at the hottest times of the day.

Seasons

What is the best way to create seasons so that we get regular groups of players turning up – and maybe allow/encourage some training too?

  • Games every week?
  • A game one week, then training the next?
  • Games every month?
  • Something else?

Obviously the more frequent the games the shorter the season would be.

Questions

  1. How often should we play?
  2. Can we incorporate training?
  3. How do we divide the teams? Do we allocate players to try to create fair teams; or do we encourage players to play for their local team and develop their team if they are lacking?
  4. Can people switch between teams?
  5. Do we have an age limit or allow everyone to play?
  6. If we do have an age limit, how do we include those outside of it on game days?
  7. How do we deal with gender splits?
  8. What else needs to be considered?

Add your answers and comments below.

To register your interest in playing in the first Blantyre Ultimate League, click here:

Off to SA for All Africa Champs

It had been my hope that we would be able to take a joint Lilongwe-Blantyre team to the All Africa Ultimate Club Championship that is happening this weekend in Johannesburg, but it just proved too expensive for most of our players. There will be Malawian representation at the event, however, as our players were invited to join the All Africa United team. So both Lilongwe and Blantyre are sending a player: Frank ‘Fula’ Makowa and Asher Jacobsberg (me), respectively.

Generous support has been given to ensure that we sent an actual Malawian, who also happens to be one of our best players. Thanks very much to all those who have contributed:

  • Sam (Blantyre)
  • Akeel (Lilongwe)
  • Asher (Blantyre)
  • Mina (Lilongwe)
  • Michael (Blantyre)
  • Sille (Lilongwe)
  • Nick (Blantyre)
  • Chris (Lilongwe)

Just got some Malawi flags for us to take

Any further sponsorship would be greatly appreciated.

As a cobbled together team I have no idea how All Africa United will compete against teams that play together week in week out, so we may come back broken men, but hopefully having also had a lot of fun.

Lilongwe women triumph, but Blantyre retain the mixed title

Last month saw the 3rd Malawi Ultimate Battle, between the Lilongwe and Blantyre Ultimate teams.

It was a great weekend of frisbee, with the level of play all around improving each time we meet.

As well as the mixed game for the tile of Malawi Ultimate Champions – to be the holders of the prestigious Malawi Ultimate Hippo – we had three other competitive games.



Women’s game

These kicked off with Lilongwe Women vs Blantyre Women. I’m sorry to say that this was a bit of a whitewash, with the Lilongwe team really outplaying Blantyre. There was no lack of heart or effort from the Blantyre women, but as a club we need to do more to develop our women’s skills.

MVP on MVP action
  • MVP (Lilongwe): Emma
  • MVP (Blanytre): Liana

Malawi vs the World

Our next game mixed up players from Blantyre and Lilongwe, but pitted Malawians against players from the rest of the world.

Fittingly, Malawi were victorious. Hopefully this bodes well for Malawi’s ability to compete on the international stage as Malawi Ultimate develops.

The World, wearing the Malawian flag shirts (confusingly), vs Malawi, in white
  • MVP (Malawi): Andrew
  • MVP (World): Momcillo

Under 20s

Our final warm up game was for our younger players, again the teams were mixed gender and mixed between Blantyre and Lilongwe.

There was fantastic play by all, with skill and commitment matching the, expected, youthful energy!

Caleb showing great form
  • MVP (winners): Momcillo
  • MVP (losers): Chris

Championship game

The final game of the day, which strecthed into the night, was our mixed gender Lilongwe vs Blantyre game.

Lilongwe took the first point easily and Blantyre looked a bit shell-shocked. Blantyre confidence was boosted, however, when Zack Brady pulled off an amazing diving catch to grab the frisbee from Chris’ feet.

Zack pulls off the catch of the game

There was also great defensive play, with Mina blocking Blantyre from what looked like a certain score right on the goal line.

Despite the high stakes, and the game swinging back and forth, excellent Spirit was shown all round, notably by Ian, who took time to explain his thinking and came to amicable agreement over some contentious issues.

The final Spirit Circle of the day
  • MVP: Zack
  • Spirit Champion: Emma

Final score: Blantyre 15 – 11 Lilongwe

3rd Malawi Ulimate Battle

This Saturday will be the third meeting between Malawi’s two biggest (only) ultimate teams. We’ll be competing for the chance to be crowned Malawi Ultimate Champions and win the MUC Hippo Trophy.

Malawi Ultimate Champions Hippo Trophy

In both previous meetings the visiting team has been victorius, this time Blantyre Ultimate hope to break that form.

Before the main event there will be a picnic and various warm-up matches, and afterwards a party at Baobab Backpackers. All players and supporters are encouraged to come to the whole day.

Programme

Venue: Saint Andrew’s International High School, Nyambadwe

13.00   Picnic lunch – Blantyre players please bring a dish to share

14.00   Women’s game (20 minutes)

14.30   Malawi vs The World – mixed Blantyre and Lilongwe teams, Malawians vs citizens of elsewhere (20 minutes)

15.00   Under 20s – mixed younger players from Blantyre and Lilongwe (20 minutes)

15.30   Warm-up game awards

16.00   Headline game: Blantyre vs Lilongwe

18.30   Party at Boabab Backpackers, Sunnyside – including Headline game awards

Rules

Games will be self-refereed and played in the spirit of ultimate and good sportspersonship. If any dispute arises, we will defer to the WFDF rules: https://rules.wfdf.org/

Warm up games

Warm up games will be played on a 20 minute timer. The team with the most points at the end of 20 minutes wins.

Women’s game: if possible, this will be Blantyre vs Lilongwe, otherwise mixed teams.

Malawi vs The World: it’s up to each player to say where s/he is from.

Under 20s: we may change the upper age limit depending on who is able to play.

Headline game

Teams should do their best to have the same gender split. This will likely mean three women on the field for each team.

The headline game will be played to 15, with a margin of at least 2 goals. The hard cap will be 17. This means if one team reaches 15 before the other team reaches 14, they win. However, if the score is 14-14 then the game goes into overtime. To win in overtime a team needs to get a 2 goal lead or reach 17.

There will be a 10 minute half-time break when one team reaches 8 goals.

If neither team has won after 90 minutes (including the half-time break) the game will end; at this point the team with the highest score are the winners; if both teams have the same score the game is a draw.

The winners will take home the Malawi Ultimate Champions trophy. In the event of a draw it shall stay with the current holders.

Download: Programme and Rules