Later Disappointed

Tonight was the latest Ulti game. In typical Ulti fashion the game started late. I rode to the game which gave my legs a chance to warm up. Throwing with the team, then a little stretching, and I was feeling pretty good.

We started the game off alright. I was a mid in the horizontal stack (which I still don’t totally like) and I was doing pretty good there. I was getting free and making a few good catches.

I was only on for about four point when I started to feel something funny in my right quad. I tried to take it a little easier for the rest of the point, but my guy got a break on me so I pushed a little bit and I felt a small twinge. I backed off right away and when the point was over took a break on the sideline.

I came back for a point later but I could not run fast, and I could not cut. Pretty useless.

Instead I stayed on the sidelines getting to know my team and offering advice to some of the new people.

In all I was very disappointed with tonight’s game.

Game Throws

Last night was the first game of the Ultimate Summer league. I met up with my team early and got to know some names. As we went around the circle we all said who we were and approximately how long we had been playing for.

Wow, our team has some experience. The least experienced person had played one season already. We didn’t have any complete newbies. Bonus.

The first game didn’t count towards the season, so we went out to have some fun. I am definitely not in shape for running, but I was amazed at how quickly my throws came back. Backhands, forehands, and even a hammer.

My cuts felt pretty strong and I didn’t really ever feel like I was in the wrong place so that was a bonus. I threw pretty well in the game even though I was never called on to be a handler. Previous seasons I was often a handler which meant I didn’t run as much as I wanted. Maybe this season will be different.

In the end our team even won the game which was a bonus. The team got along well, played well, and had fun. This looks to be a good season.

As a super bonus for me, when I was getting my cleats on I felt something in my right shoe. I pulled out my pair of riding glasses that I have been looking for. I thought I lost them when I was in Nelson last summer. Now I remember that at the end of the last summer league season I was wearing them. Woohoo!

Sideline Trying

Last Ulti game of the season. Kinda sad really.

The game itself was alright, though I don’t feel like I played all that well. I was running pretty hard and reading the disk pretty good. The only one play that stood out for me where I knew I played well was a sideline catch. The disc was way out of bounds, but I managed to keep a toe inside the tape, then catch the disc as I fell to the ground. I love catches like that.

Nearing the end of the game my catching went to pot. I couldn’t catch anything which was really bad since I was a handler, and I dropped more than 1 throw right on our end zone line. Talk about failure.

The final point was a little lame. Nobody was really trying and everyone was goofing around. The other team was trying to throw a hammer to win the game, and most of their throws were hail mary, get it close to the end zone and hope someone catches it, throws.

Eventually someone on the other team caught it and the game was done. I had lots of fun this season, and there was a recent email about fall league up at UVic. I have to decide if I want to keep playing, or wait until next summer again.

Cleanly Checking

Last night was our last double header. I was pretty stoked to get out and play both games, but as it turned out I could only stay for part of the first game.

I worked hard during that time though. There was a wind so we zoned quite a bit. Since I was giving it my all I was part of the cup. While cupping, I even felt like I knew what I was doing. :O

While handling I felt sharp, and my throws were pretty accurate. This is always a challenge in the wind. I also did a good job of breaking people checking me and getting passes off.

A weird call led to a point for our team that I didn’t feel good about. A pass to me was pretty low to the ground, but when I caught it, my fingers were a couple inches above the ground. I know I caught it cleanly. Someone on the opposite team called it down and we went back and forth a couple times. Everyone else was still running, the count was still going, and I had the disc. I was frazzled and confused when the most senior guy on the team who heard what was going on called for a pass. I passed it to him and he threw it for the score. When we were lining up I felt pretty crappy on how it went down. I should have either contested the call (and the disc would have went back to the thrower), or I should have tapped it in and kept playing. Thing was, my check was still counting, so in my mind the play was still going. Not my favorite point.

The opponent who called the disc down is an excellent player. Later in the game when I was checking him he had a fantastic catch. The disc was hucked to him in the endzone, and even though I managed to get to the right position at the right time, and gave the disc a healthy swat (couldn’t catch it), he still managed to snag it for the point.

Another point we decided to do a huck and zone. Once I saw who got the disc, I waited a couple seconds for the deep zone marker to meet up with me, then I broke for the end zone as the huck was made. I managed to outsprint my check, and handily caught it for a point.

Today I have a sore foot though. I bruised or strained something in my right foot so that when I put all my weight on it, it hurts a lot.

Next week is the last regular season game, then the final BBQ. I’m going to miss playing again.

Wave Planned

BC has been in a bit of a heat wave the last couple days. It’s been hot, but I’ve been enjoying it. Mid 30’s yesterday and today, and a little higher over the next couple days. Someone on the news called it the heat wave of a lifetime. That I doubt.

It helps that I work in an air conditioned office, and the AC actually works. This is not the case with the AC in my truck. Yesterday I had to drive Yoshi up to Duncan. He is having a vacation with my sister for the next week. The drive was very warm, and I was more concerned about Yoshi than I. All the windows were open, and even on the Max AC setting, the truck was blowing out warm air. Driving fast on the highway got the air moving enough to keep me and Yoshi cool(ish). Any time traffic was backed up and moving slowly was when it got a little much for me.

Tonight I have an Ulti game. It is supposed to be hot, hot, hot out. Not sure how I will fare, but I do plan to take loads of water. 3X as much as normal. I am drinking lots of water today, and also planning on keeping my head wet as much as possible during the game.

Thursday I have another drive planned, so hopefully it will be a little cooler by then.

Now that the warm weather is here though, I keep hearing people complain that it is too hot. This irks me since the same people complain when there is too much rain, not warm enough, not enough blue sky. What are the perfect weather conditions? Quit you’re whining and complaining. Enjoy what we have. It is gorgeous out, just a little warm.

Forfeited Chemistry

Last night’s ulti game was awesome. We actually forfeited since only myself and two others showed up. We managed to scramble a bit and get a line on the field. The other four players had just played a game so weren’t exactly fresh.

Right off the bat this new line had some chemistry. We flowed the disk up the field making crisp precise passes. I struck for the endzone all alone, and almost got snubbed by the handler. He was looking to throw it elsewhere, and it wasn’t until his girlfriend yelled that he tossed it to me.

The sun was pretty low making vision difficult, but we perservered and the team made some excellent defensive moves. There were several hand blocks by our team throughout the game.

I was amazed at how I felt the entire game. I had wheels. I could break free of anyone last night. As such I was able to cut to the endzone and catch for many points. Also, since I had wheels, we did a semi zone so I was in line to mark one of the handlers. Each time we pulled I had to boot it down the field to try and cut off the throws.

One offensive play that stands out for me was when I was striking for the end zone, and my check had a better position than I to catch a high floater. I knew I was beat so I stayed back a bit. He actually didn’t catch it, but swatted it. The disk didn’t drop as he planned, but instead wobbled and floated a bit. Seeing my chance I raced at it, dove, and got lucky grabbing the disk shortly before it hit the grass. Did I mention we were in the end zone? I dove and made the point. Sweet.

Another stellar play we did was when we had the disk right on the end zone line. Mike called for the moses play with me set to receive the throw. Everyone stacks up in the end zone clogging everything up. When the disk is in play, suddenly everyone peels for a sideline, each person a different direction than the person in front. The last person back then has a clear run at the disk. Just like moses splitting the red sea. It worked for the second time this season.

Anyway, everyone I played with was appreciative of the energy and drive I had. For me it was a perfect night. It wasn’t too hot, it wasn’t windy, I felt like running, and I was having a great game. Can’t wait for the next one.

Accomplish Huck

Ulti tonight was fun. I needed to get out and run, and I did accomplish that. I cupped a bit, handled bit, and made some decent cuts.

Something I need to work on is my memory. This is the first team I have played on that changes things so much between points. Positions, the force, man versus zone. Once the disc is in the air I seem to forget what was laid out. I’m lucky if I can remember who my check is. Once tonight I had the force totally backwards. That is bad for so many reasons.

My throwing and catching were good though. I had a few excellent throws to open players and I was proud of that.

We did a couple huck and zones due to the wind and I was part of a couple of them. I even managed to catch a point on one of them.

There was another endzone play after a huck where my teammate put the disc just out of my reach. Running my hardest I was just a couple steps too far away. Quite frustrating. In retrospect I wonder if I had laid out, maybe I could have got it. Who knows.

At the end of the game we were still down a couple points, so we chalked up another loss. One thing we can be proud of is that we scored an upwind point while being zoned.

Rusty Guiding

The ulti game was pretty decent tonight. I hadn’t played the last couple weeks, so I felt a little rusty in the game. During the warm up my throwing was fine, even with the windy conditions, but my catching was atrocious.

During the game my catching got better (thankfully). I was doing well tonight. I handled a fair amount and made some good passes, even guiding some of the newer players on where to go, then throwing the disk to them.

I caught at least one point, which always feels great. I made some good defensive plays, even getting an excellent D block at one point. I did get burned a couple times on defense, but I couldn’t run 100%. I even managed a halfways decent pull to start a point.

I felt like I was cutting pretty well, but sometimes I had to stand still while the mess in front of me cleared. It seems whenever that happens I get yelled at by a couple of the veterans. I can’t run forward since someone is cutting in front of me, and someone from my team is also cutting behind me. It is a mess.

The zone cuts are definitely starting to sink in with me. Putting on the zone, and me being mid-mid I am not entirely comfortable with but I am getting better. I get the first position correct, but I always screw up when the person forcing the handler changes. All of a sudden I am out of position and have to hussle to get back in position.

My biggest goof of the night was I totally screwed up a force. I knew the force was away, and when my check got the disk I put on the force hard and didn’t waver. Unfortunately I was facing home, and by the time I realized what I had done (after having more than one person yell at me), it was too late and the other team had scored a point because of it. Now, to explain a little bit, with the direction we were playing, the force normally would have been home to make the thrower throw a flick. We reversed it so the catchers would be facing the sun, and also hoping that a backhand throw wouldn’t have enough spin to cut through the wind.

Anyway, fun game, good team. We lost by a little.

Double Push

Last night was supposed to be a double header at Ulti, but I was only able to stay for the first game. It was a great game though.

Before the game, the team showed up early and we got in a good warm up. We did a drill called three man that was good for getting handlers to remember to break their mark. At game time we only had 2 subs while the other team had what looked like 9.

We played well on a near windless night. My throws were pretty good, although I did lead one guy a little too much. He had made a break for the end zone which was perfectly timed with me getting the disc. I had an opening and put the disc up high in front of him. As it was coming down I could see he was a couple steps too far behind it and wouldn’t be able to catch up.

Defensively I was pretty solid. My running legs felt strong, and I never felt mismatched against an opponent. I even managed to block a couple throws.

We even used the opportunity to work on our zone coverage. This was good to do since it helped everyone remember the different positions and what they are supposed to do there. One thing I like about Ulti is learning. It still seems like every game I am learning something new. Putting that into practice during the game is the hard part.

I was even able to incorporate a push pass for a point into the game. Whenever I warm up I try to practice every throw I know, including the push pass. This is a short distance pass, and isn’t very safe. I had the disc right in front of the end zone line. We were about to score and my mark was forcing me home. A teammate passed my mark on the break side, and cut to the home side. I saw him coming and would have had to turn more to do a flick, so instead I did a quick push pass which happened to work out since he caught it for the point.

At the end of the game I packed up, and as I was walking back to the truck I was very happy with how I had played. I felt great too, and was sure I could have played another game. God thing we have a few more double headers later in the season.

Windy Thrower

Ultimate was on the agenda tonight. The game was pretty good for me. I felt like I played pretty well, once I got the first couple bad throws out of the way. Once again it was windy making throwing for the newer players difficult and daunting.

Along with the wind comes a zone defence. This was something I never did when I was first learning. We always played using the vertical stack no matter the conditions. This was great for learning, but definitely is not how we do things now. The zone is makes learning the game just that much more difficult.

One of the zones we did was a 1-3-3. There was one person as the mark, then three players as a wall, then the other three as another wall. I was the lone guy chasing the disc. It actually felt good to be out runnig, though I did get the force wrong a couple times.

I also made a couple good defensive blocks. Those always feel great when you poach off your check a little to entice the thrower to him. I managed this a couple times, and swatted the disc down.

I even managed to catch for a couple points. Weee.

In the end we lots 7-6 which was unfortunate. We scored more than one upwind point which is very hard to do.

Next week we have a double header which should be intersting this early in the season.