21 June 2007

Viewing plays online

Freisey prompted me to search for online videos/animations on ultimate tactics, plays and drills. Here is what I found.
  • The videopapers I have spoken about before
  • Java animations of 85 plays/drills, plus the ability to make your own.
  • Flash animations of a few plays, with the ability to drawn your own "coming soon"
Got any others?

Crikey, ultimate can be played by 100 000 people world wide for several decades with elite teams dedicating small fortunes to this sport... but we don't have focussed programs to share and distribute plays and tactics. The textbooks and online tools are only just emerging, taking baby steps. I guess this is usually driven by the dollar in most sports.


  1. Great blog Owen. Glad to have discovered it!

    I think one reason we don't see the 'uniformity' of plays and naming is that we don't yet have a spectator base, requiring a commentariat.

    At the moment, the people involved are almost all 'current players', and our engagement is almost always 'face to face'.

    Hence, we haven't had to codify how we communicate with each other.

    Face to face with another player, if they don't understand the phrase "lets go puppy fence", you can quickly explain it to them.

    Other sports have commentariats - writers, radio and tv commentators - who need a consistent language to speak to fans.

    But maybe the internet will speed this up for us.

  2. I'm not sure that the mass media coverage of major sports do describe many tactics. Most spectators are not players and haven't played (eg 99% of female AFL spectators). Footy commentators on TV don't describe tactics much - I have followed AFL fairly casually for 8 years and only saw an explanation of a tactic in the mass media for the first time this year (it was Buddy's Box.) I can't name a single other AFL tactic other than kicking more/less, handballing more/less and flooding, which are hardly detailed tactics.

    In cricket there are some: Richie might go over the yorker vs out-swinger, but batting orders, field placements and timing of bowler interchanges are never really analysed.

    I suspect any hypothetical media coverage of ultimate would also focus on the personalities, basic style of play and simple stats.

    Perhaps sports develop their tactical uniformity and depth as professional coaches move between organisations, and needing to analyse other teams' tactics to keep their jobs.

    I agree the internet will change things.

  3. I disagree that it will be the internet that will change this [improving consistency].

    Rather, it comes from interaction of players from separate areas : regions, zones, leagues, cities, coming together to play Ultimate together.

    There aren't many examples of representative teams that blanket regions, not like in the sports Owen outlines.

    It's because there aren't many if any competitions that demand it, yet.

    The internet encourages niches and discourses, not eliminate them.