On Referees, TRGs, and WUCCs

You’re probably thinking by now that I’ve said all I can possibly say about the nuances of the various officiating systems. I do tend to go on about it a bit¹.

But here we go again…

Is there any meaningful difference between a referee handing out punishments during a game, and a group of officials meeting afterwards to discuss retroactive sanctions? Continue reading

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Pulling, Part 4 – Rollers

(See Parts 1, 2 & 3 on these links)

The roller pull is my absolute favourite throw. You don’t always have the right wind for it – a left-to-right cross-headwind is perfect (for a right handed backhand thrower) – but when you do it’s enormous fun to use, and there’s no better feeling in ultimate than watching someone lay out to stop the roll just as the disc says, ‘Not today!’ and turns sharply towards the sideline out of their despairing reach.

Why rollers?

Check out these two pulls (on consecutive points, so presumably in similar wind) from the recent Pro women’s game.

Continue reading

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Pulling, Part 3 – Blades

In my first recent post on pulling, I talked about distance versus hangtime; in the second (published on Ultiworld) I discussed the shape of throws that might help maximise these things.

But today, something completely different. There are times when a traditional pull is not the best option. In fact, I’d say that you should be looking at rollers and blades far more than most teams currently do. Continue reading

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On Cocking the Wrist


Should you cock your wrist to throw a backhand?

That question, like so many others, is a lot more complicated than it might seem. If your coach is saying you must cock your wrist at the start of all your throws, they’re wrong. But if they’re saying you should never do it, they’re wrong there too.

Let’s look at some examples of throwers and their wrists, many of them taken from Joe Marmerstein’s helpful archive of throwing form. Continue reading

Posted in Skills and Techniques, Throwing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

On Pulling for Distance

Most of us try really hard to pull as far as we can to start a point. Is that really our best option? Of course, distance is a good thing. If we can throw it deep in their endzone, then all things being equal that’s better than putting it on their brick mark.

But all things are not equal. Continue reading

Posted in General comment, Pulling, Skills and Techniques | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

On Sideline Catches

It’s time for an apparently unpopular opinion. I guess that’s one way of getting back into this after such a long time of not posting…

Claudia Tajima recently made #1 on ESPNW’s Top 10 Plays, and was rightly lauded for an extremely athletic play. It’s brilliant stuff. But was it the right play? It seems to me likely that there’s an easier way to make this catch.

The gfycat is here – I don’t think I can embed it in this article easily – but here’s a few stills:

Continue reading

Posted in Catching, Skills and Techniques | 3 Comments