I WANT TO RANT!

I wanted to create a section where you could say what’s on your mind. Like if you’re just bummed you didn’t make it into Co-ed, or you have any questions like “Why are there two leagues anyway? Why can’t there just be one?”

So comment below if you have comments to make. I promise it will not fall on deaf ears. I will try to answer all questions I can. If you know me, I always try to take the entirety of the league’s concerns into account when making any decision. But I am prone to making mistakes, so if you think I’m doing something wrong, let me know.

Andy

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  1. 1) Why are footblocks not allowed in LA? They are legal in the sport of Ultimate which has a governing body. Play by the rules.

    2) Why not just have a draft for the coed division. The quality of play would be higher, and I think quality Ultimate in LA should be encouraged instead of discouraged. We are now playing in the same region as the Bay Area: Time to get better.

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  2. I saw the above comment and had to respond to it. Since I’m a young player who goes to school out of state I’m pretty much unknown in the LA ultimate community. By have a lottery it allows players like me an opportunity to play coed. With just a draft I would probably not get picked for coed since no one knows my abilities and how competitive I am, even though in Fort Collins (where I go to school) I’ve proven I can compete with players from club teams such as Killjoy.

    Just my thought on the lottery, I’m definitely in favor of it,
    Trevor

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  3. I think I know the answer to number two, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong

    The idea of summer league isn’t necessarily to be competitive, but to be fun and a good way to introduce newer players to the game with a league so they don’t just play pick up.

    Because the priorities of summer league are 1) fun and 2) to welcome newer players there’s a lottery to give every guy an equal shot at getting in.

    Winter league is where it’s at for higher competition, no lottery there.

    Am I missing something?

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  4. Chuck, I’m happy to respond to both questions. And when doing so, please know I’m doing it in a very light-hearted tone.

    1) For the question about foot blocks, I have to admit that’s mostly my doing. As far as I can remember playing L.A. leagues, there’s always been foot blocks allowed. And I used to have them when I first started running leagues. But after nearly having my own arm broken, and watching numerous vicious injuries occur from them, I made the decision that as long as I run leagues in L.A., I’ll never allow them. I hate them.

    In actuality though, it’s not really foot blocks I hate so much. It’s kick blocks, where people kick their leg up as high as waist level. That’s really where I’ve seen the injuries occur. But rather than make a rule where you can’t kick your leg past a certain height (say, above the knees), I decided it’s easier to just get rid of them entirely. And some other TD’s (but not all) have asked my opinion about foot blocks, and have followed my lead.

    I know that although this is a non-contact sport, injuries can occur from any situation, hardly just foot blocks. I often get comments like “hospital passes cause a lot of injuries. Are you gonna eliminate them too?” And I understand that critique. I just think a rule that allows you to kick your cleated foot directly at someone’s hand is inherently dangerous, and I’m not a fan of it.

    As for your clarifying point about changing the rules of the sport, which is a completely fair point, I can only respond by saying USAU is very clear on allowing any TD the ability to change rules for their tournament. Adding further flexibility, Winter League and Summer League are not USAU sanctioned, so I’m not even beholden to ANY of their rules. It’s kind of like your local baseball league not allowing stolen bases. Foot blocks is not the only change I make. For tournaments, I don’t use the USAU rules on hard caps. And I allow substitutions through time-outs.

    I know most people like foot blocks, so I will say that whereas I usually go with the majority opinion, this is the one area where I’ve admittedly gone against the grain. But although I’m somewhat stubborn on the point, I’m not completely unmovable, and I’d be open to further discussion on it.

    2) A couple people have already responded to your question about selecting players into Co-ed by draft. And I’ll just reiterate kind of what they said by saying that Summer League is a beginner-friendly league. It’s not intended to be the most competitive.

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  5. I believe Andy is ok with footblocks if your willing to run the league for him ;)

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  6. Yes, that’s true. If anyone wants to run St. Pat’s Hat next year, you can definitely have all the foot blocks you want.

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  7. I agree with Chuck that it’d be nice to have a more competitive summer league. The problem I see with the draft model (aside from what Trevor mentioned above) is that, because there are a lot more guys playing summer league than women, we’d end up with disproportionately more experienced men players than women players (since, basically, all women would get into the league while only the most competitive men players would get in).
     
    I would be in favor of splitting summer league into an A and a B division just like winter league. I think this offers numerous advantages. You still get the benefit of having a hat league in which you get to meet and play with new people (which is I think why most people like summer league). You’d also have the added benefit of playing with and against people who are closer to your skill level (which increases the “fun” factor). Regarding the fact that this is a “beginner friendly” league, I think splitting into A and B makes it MORE beginner friendly. Let’s be honest, it’s hard for a beginner to be put on a team with mostly solid players and get involved in the game. I’ve been on summer league teams in the past where a new player shows up the first week or two, isn’t really able to touch the disc much during the games, and then doesn’t show up again.
     
    The obvious drawback is that we wouldn’t be able to play true 4/3 3/4 coed. We’d probably have to go back to playing 5/2. But isn’t 5/2 more representative of what most people play anyway? Most pickup games I go to are always playing 6/1 or 5/2. Even in many coed tournaments, 5/2 is considered an acceptable option. I know there was probably a big discussion about this when the league went to a two division format, but I’d definitely prefer playing in a more competitive 5/2 league.
     
    -Simon
     

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  8. I second the 5/2 format, or at least a 5/2, 4/3 offense chooses. Even if we did still split it men’s/co-ed, more guys would be able to play co-ed this way. What’s the theory behind the 9 and 9 per team even split?

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  9. Got it. Yeah, I’m all for spreading the sport and teaching the game, so whatever spreads Ultimate and makes it palatable to a newcomer is what I want.

    Seriously though, LA is going to get crushed at Regionals for the foreseeable future by the Bay Area. What’s our solution to that? How are we going to get better?

    Andy, I totally agree about people who kick at waste level and break people’s hands when they are clearly beaten on the mark. I’ve done it once that I remember, and the guy gave me an earful and I took it. He was right. I’ve stopped doing it. I broke my hand playing Ultimate in Santa Barbara, so if I become the commissioner of St. Pat’s Hat, I will outlaw Santa Barbara.

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  10. Before next Summer League I’ll put out another survey to see if everyone still wants the two-league system.

    Here’s the background on why we have two leagues for those curious:

    I went to the UPA Organizer’s Conference in Philly in early 2007. The reason I went was ’cause I was losing a two-year battle with the IRS over trying to make LAOUT a 501c3 and I wanted to see what the other organizers around the country had done. (We ultimately lost that battle. We’re a 501c4. But that’s another story.)

    While at the conference, the biggest topic of conversation was how to get more women playing Ultimate. And everyone was talking about how leagues and tournaments need to be more even gender ratios. That would get women more involved in the game, and more actively interested in playing. When I posed the question: “what happens to all the guys who either lose significant playing time or can’t play at all”, the common response from people was “oh well. Sorry guys.” And as we know, that’s usually the case for many beach tournaments. Especially the ones that are 2-2. The actual ratio of men to women in LAOUT is about 5/2.

    Also, at the time I went to that conference, I heard lots of complaints from women in LA about the 5/2 ratio that was common at the time. We were just starting to move to 5/2 or 4/3 offense chooses. I had lots of statistics on Winter League and Summer League teams that I had done over several years, and I found that women, on average, were already getting more playing time then men in the 5/2 format. (Perhaps because men were showing up more consistently to games.) When I did stats in the years we moved to 5/2 or 4/3 offense chooses, women were obviously getting even more playing time than men. And in Winter League, about 20-30 guys a year were simply not able to get on teams.

    To me, that sucks. So the solution I considered was the two league system for Summer League. By making Co-ed completely even gender ratio, you still have plenty of guys left over to make another league of 8 teams, possibly even 10. If Co-ed was strictly 4/3, there would only be enough men in Men’s league for maybe 6 teams.

    I floated the idea to about 50 veteran players in LAOUT to get their thoughts, and most were supportive of the idea. So we tried the two league system on an interim basis that year. After the league ended, I put out a survey to everyone who played, and asked what they all thought. Overwhelmingly people supported the new system. It wasn’t even close. Women were pretty close to unanimous as you can imagine. But even the guys voted in favor of it.

    Now we’re in the sixth year of the two-league system, and every year I feel bad about the guys who don’t make it into Co-ed via the lottery. But this year I’m getting more pushback than normal. So…. it’s probably time to do another survey and get the pulse of L.A. So I promise I will do that.

    And in the survey, I’ll also ask Simon’s question about the A/B split, and see if people are into that.

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  11. I would pick Mingo, btw, in response to that AUDL poll question. Is that his name? (LB’s best player)

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  12. Why is the Winter League tournament on a Sunday?
    Why is it the one Sunday that occurs when Daylight Savings starts?
    I like to get an extra hour of sleep and like to get drunk after the tournament. I can’t do either of those things on a Sunday and with Daylight Savings.

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  13. Jim, for Winter League it’s hard booking fields for the tournament. There’s not a lot of fields options. So we’re usually restricted to the schedule of availability that Valley Municipal Sports offers. They rarely have the fields available on a Saturday.

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  14. Here’s a couple of thoughts. One is about summer league. The other has to do with fall beach league, but is relevant because of all this gender ratio discussion.

    1 – Summer League) It certainly seems that people who do a lot to help bolster ultimate in LA should get immediate preference in this whole “Do I get to play in the league I actually want” thing. To wit: Andy, you serve as commissioner for the league. Do you put yourself in the lottery? I bet not. I bet you put yourself right into the coed league every year. And, frankly you should! You work hard to further ultimate in LA. You deserve to play in the league you want.

    But, for instance, 2 years ago, I was captaining a club team, captaining a beach league team, doing a lot to help and further LA ultimate… and I didn’t get to be in the league I wanted whereas someone who just showed up and leeched off others’ work did. Is that right? Shouldn’t I have gotten a little thank you for the work I was doing?

    (Note: this is part of why I don’t play summer league any more. It certainly didn’t help that on the men’s team I was forced onto, our captain never came, because he didn’t want to play men’s league either. That’s not the kind of experience that keeps people coming back.)

    Similarly, this year, Spike – who’s captained summer league in the past, captains a goaltimate team, RUNS THE GOALTIMATE LEAGUE FOR EVERYBODY AND MAKES THEM KITS, etc., didn’t get into coed. And plenty of people who do nothing for LA Ultimate did. Again, this is some bogus sauce. You ought to give a first-level preference to people who contribute of their time and energies to make LA ultimate better for everyone. It’s only right.

    2 – Fall Beach League) You’re right that guys never get enough PT in beach league. (Note: internationally, and at Huck-It Long Beach, Chicago Sandblast, and Lei Out), beach is 5 on 5. Wildwood, OLOB and LA league are the only major places that run 4v4… and Wildwood’s primary gender division is 3-1, which largely alleviates the gender-based playing time issue.)

    I’ve heard rumors that there’s talk of considering a 3-1 beach league or even a men’s league for the fall… Is this accurate? Because especially in light the 5-2 M-W ration in LA that you describe above, maintaining playing time in a 2-2 gender beach league is tough.

    I would certainly support experiments with 3-1 and/or mens’ leagues for the beach – and, especially since beach league is a Bring-Your-Own-Team league, and not a fun-free-for-all draft like summer league, this might sit better with many more people. They can preselect who they want to play with (more like club), so the issues of not having enough of {whatever} will likely not be nearly so pressing.

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  15. Footblocks – just call a foul if someone breaks your hand. That’s why you have two. Learn to throw with both. If you have only one hand, then that sucks. But you already knew that.

    Summer league – Since LAOUT is a 501c4 we should do more to promote diversity on summer league teams. We should have an even mix of not only sex, but age, sexual orientation, and race that is proportionate to the local community in order to promote the social welfare. All the overflow white guys will have to play in their own league. Kind of like we do already I guess.

    Summer league tournament – If we want to play on Saturday, perhaps we can find a field even farther away like Palmdale or Bakersfield? It might be even hotter though. =(

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  16. First off, Andy, this sounding board is awesome. I always wondered why we didn’t have a general discussion board where people could put down there thoughts and the LA community could have a discusson on our state.

    Chuck – to your response. Yes, we are in the bay area. Yes, we know they have a lot of good teams (defending champions in all three divisions I believe). However, is summer league really where club players are getting better at the game? I find that hard to believe. For me, practice and working out with players who are playing in the club series is where I get better for purposes of improving my game. Summer league is then almost like pickup for me where I try things out, I meet new people and maybe impart my experience to newer players. My hope is that those younger and newer players will soon become great club players.

    However, I do wish footblocks would be legal. I’ve found myself forgetting I can kickblock when I play now because there are so many leagues where it is disallowed. But again, when someone else wants to do what Andy does for LA, that person can reinstitue footblocks.

    Now with regards to ratio of men to women in the various leagues. I’ve been here playing summer league for something like 12 years now. I’ve found that 5/2 is still very unfair to women. With this ratio, women get passed up for guys because the guys get in the way or cut them off. There’s a reason we play 4/3 or 3/4 in the club series for coed. Imagine all of the issues of guys cutting off women and then multiply it by 10 and that’s what you get with a 5/2 format in summer league. Now this may get alleviated somewhat if you have separate divisions and use 5/2 in the more experienced division. But putting a 5/2 format for summer league coed as it is now shouldn’t be considered.

    For EB’s point on preference, I think that what you do for LA should be given preference. Honestly, this will only apply to a handful of people. Those who organize pickup games, those who help run tournaments, those who basically consistently show that they put their own free time and effort towards making the LA ultimate community a better place. These people’s preferences in which league (men or coed) they want to play in for summer league can basically be their “reward” for the time and effort they put in. We play for the love of the game but sometimes it’s a nice gesture to these individuals if they can have a little more say in what division of SL they play. This is especially true if they are baggaged with someone that you KNOW they are with (as opposed to someone baggaging thinking that their baggage will help them get into coed or an unfair baggage, i.e. AJ and Scott Mahr baggaging).

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  17. EB, I was actually present during the draft (because I played against Andy’s goalti team, which is when he held the draft). Assuming the same as you, I asked him. Andy was in fact in the draft, did not get picked, and is playing open. I agree with your point that he has earned to right to play in the league he wants. But then… where’s the line. Using your other examples of you two years ago, and Spike this year… they are great examples. But what about someone who is less obvious, who maybe captained one league team, or made a bagel run at St Pats hat? I think it opens up a can o’ worms.

    Chad Woodard, challenge accepted! Let’s kick each other in the hands and play opposite during summer league, deal? Though it would be very ethical to warn potential captains that as a righty, my draft stock suffers greatly…. silly righties…

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  18. Agreed, this is a good forum for Andy, and others, to answer questions that come up over an over again.

    I agree with what has been said that if someone runs a league they can do what they want. We are all amazingly lucky to have Andy, who will take out input into serious consideration(many others wouldn’t). Let’s not take that for granted.
    - I think it is fine if foot blocks aren’t allowed in summer league, they should be allowed in winter league though.
    - On EB’s point, I agree with how it is now. Ultimate is a pretty exclusive club. Summer league is a great place to draw new people in; it is the only league I would tell someone they should sign up for as a new player. It helps all of us to bring in new blood, if only to keep the parties lively. Also, unlike more popular sports, it is very possible that a player new to the game could very good in just a few years (Henny?). It behooves all of us that care about LA ultimate to try to expand it. To this end, it seems like if we let everyone who is already involved in ultimate get what they want, we keep this club that much more exclusive. As someone who has captained quite a few teams in LA, and didn’t get into coed this year, I still think this is the way to go. People should captain because they want to do it, or to give back to the community, and not to get themselves into a league later.
    - It seems like we want more women in summer league, I think we should reward people that bring them in. Give any guy who baggages with a first time female player automatic entry to coed. It won’t take any spots because the woman probably wouldn’t have played anyways.
    -On beach league, keep it 2-2, otherwise, women are going to be sidelined like they are in 5-2. If men aren’t getting enough playing time it is because you have too many guys on your team. If that means that there aren’t enough teams for the guys, a mens beach league could be interesting.

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  19. Thanks everyone for writing. I really appreciate this public flow of dialogue.
    I’ll just be addressing EB’s point about a more merit-based system to get into Co-ed in this post.

    I certainly agree with helping people who help the community. It’s an excellent point. And there ARE ways I can get some people into Co-ed who are the obvious most helpful ones. But much like Kief said, at what point do you make the distinction?

    Goat had floated around the idea of a merit-based system for all things LAOUT a few years ago, and we kind of discussed it a little. Some things (LAOUT officers, running tournaments and leagues) were pretty obvious. Some were a little less obvious (captaining teams, running a pick-up game). And some were really hard to determine their value (setting up fields, helping out TD’s with various things, veterans who are good with newer players, writing recaps and articles for the website, and on and on) So unless someone was willing to come up with a complex matrix to decide the value of anything anyone does, that most people would agree on, then a merit-based system is hard. (But you know, if anyone wants to tackle that project, I’ll definitely take a look at it.)

    And then the next question is…. how many times do you put someone in Co-ed who helps out? Every year? Most years? Do you base that on how much they help out? That probably all goes into the matrix I imagine.

    For me… to keep my sanity in running Summer League, I like the lottery because it’s fair to everyone. And yes, it means some people get in some years who don’t really help out at all. And others who do a lot of work get shut out. BUT… there IS a Men’s League. And it’s good. And I’ve played in it. Because I do put myself into the lottery every year, and I didn’t get in one year, so I played Men’s. (Kief was right that I didn’t get in this year, but I’ll be captaining, and captaining helps you get into Co-ed, although it’s not a guarantee. I also need good captains in Men’s.)

    Having said all this, I want to say that I DO get some people who help out free passes into Co-ed. It does happen. I just don’t publicize it. I don’t help the same people every year, but I try to help where I can, because I do appreciate what people do for the community.

    But I also don’t want people to feel like they’re obligated to help out or you don’t get into Co-ed. A lot of people have busy lives and would like to help out more but simply can’t.

    And fear not, Spike has a spot in Co-ed this year if he wants it.

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  20. Sweet. I have been looking for a good place to rant. Here are all of my opinions:

    1. I didn’t get into co-ed this year, meaning I’ve won the lottery 1/3 years I’ve been in it. This sucks. I get enough testosterone exposure playing club open. And because I’m not in co-ed, Fei is not playing co-ed because she only wanted to play if we’re on a team together, so co-ed is down a lady because of it.

    2. Beach league should should be 5v5. And let’s orient the fields north/south like they are at Lei Out to avoid upwind/downwind games.

    3. I probably had 4 footblocks called back during winter league. Some of them were a couple feet from the thrower. I’m probably not going to stop doing it because it’s ingrained in me. I’m just going to footblock you and smile as I hand the disc back to you. However, Andy, I support you in making whatever rules you want. I love the time-out subbing and hard cap rules.

    4. The summer league tournament is one of my favorite days of the year (behind Thanksgiving and Lei Out weekend) and I’m super bummed I’m gonna miss it this year.

    5. I don’t think summer league is how LA is going to close to gap with the bay area. If anything, it’s best to bring in as many new players as possible because we’ll get more overall talent that way. On the other hand, I would love to see a league that was decided completely by draft because I think it would be a lot of fun. We have 3 leagues that are BYOT (winter, beach, goalty) and 1 that is done by draft. Maybe beach league or winter league could be done with a no-lottery draft? And then a second draft for B division?

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  21. I LOVE the idea of another lottery league

    I also love winter league and BYOT

    Here’s a few options

    1) An all mens league that doesn’t conflict with coed summer league. I know this doesn’t solve the lottery problem, but there’s an all women’s league that doesn’t conflict, why not an all men’s league that doesn’t conflict. This way, all men would play, not just those who are only playing because they didn’t get in to coed. There’s enough time between winter league and summer league for at least 8+ games, or do it after summer league if club season doesn’t make it too much of a hassle.

    2) If the previous idea works, maybe it could replace men’s summer league. If that’s the case, maybe there’s enough women to make summer league strictly 5-2 stretch out the ladies and expand the number of teams.

    3) Forget the first two ideas and find time in the spring/fall for a draft only league

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  22. I love DOT’s idea of a 100% draft league! LA gets really clicky and the same groups play with the same people in several different leagues it seems like. I’m telling you, SF’s Winter League is the best league I’ve ever played in and it’s draft only. All the girls get in, and based on how many girls sign up, there’s a draft for the guys, and every year a lot of guys don’t get in. The good news is that if you’re good and new to town, you just have to meet a few people and then you’ll get drafted as an unknown in the 7th round to a team that already has ballers from rounds 1-3, and then you get to win the league! So it’s good to be new to town or really old (e.g., Tim O’Leary).

    Totally agree that Beach League should be 5v5 and oriented north-south. 3-2 helps the gender problem, and I agree that 4v4 beach Ultimate is like that stupid version of bowling in Boston with the little pins. Did someone say that? I agree with that.

    Lastly, I cried last night, so I think everything is going to be ok with everything, and I’m excited to captain a men’s league team!

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  23. Here’s some responses:

    - Chuck, I should’ve included Mingo. Good call on that.
    - Jeff Chai, good call on your comments about 5/2. I forget to mention that. Yeah, women weren’t really complaining about 5/2 because of the playing time issue. They were saying that in 5/2 they tend to get overlooked more, which I would agree with.
    - Scott, guys who bring in new women do get extra chance to play in Co-ed. That’s a good point you brought up, and I wanted to mention that I am currently doing that.
    - Dot, sorry about this year man.
    - Thies, I refer you to post #10 of this thread. The one I wrote where I give the background for why we have two leagues.
    - Chuck & Dot, Summer League IS a 100% draft league. It’s just that there’s two of them. But if you wanted a 100% draft league for ONE league, I refer you to post #10 where I wrote why we have two leagues. In essence, our Summer League is exactly like SF’s winter league except that we have the spill-over Men’s league for the guys who don’t get in. (In fact, it was the comments from the Bay Area guys at the Organizer’s Conference who didn’t have a spill-over Men’s league that was the basis for me creating it.)

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  24. Bandit, good call on being an amazing pillar of the Ultimate community.

    Post 10 will go down as one of the best posts ever in this thread.

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  25. I love this forum, its very interesting to see the issues LA ultimate faces.
    This is just something I’ve been wondering, it doesn’t really apply to summer league. Anyways, why is it that the LA area seems to be stuck on running either a center stack or H stack and nothing else like a side stack or split stack? Is it that people see some significant advantage to running these stacks, or I just haven’t seen enough LA teams play? Either way I’m curious to see if my assumption is true and if it is, why its that way.

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  26. Not a rant, just some of my thoughts on some of these issues that others have brought up in their posts:

    First, is there a way to permanently add a discussion board to the website?

    Automatic entry into coed: Some persons mentioned that there are those who do a lot for LA ultimate who should be able to play summer league in whichever league they want. As a solution to Andy’s point of where do you draw the line, I would suggest that anyone who runs a LAOUT league (winter, women’s, summer, beach) or a LAOUT tournament (St. Pat’s Hat) could get automatic entry into coed in the year he ran the league.

    Gender issues: As a woman, I am obviously in favor of keeping a league with an equal gender ratio. It’s really on all of us to do what we can to encourage more women to sign up for summer league to allow us to keep that equality and to allow more men to play coed. We also all need to help keep summer league a friendly learning environment so women who come to play will want to sign up again.

    A/B divisions and/or no-lottery all draft summer league: It has already been said, but summer league is not the forum for playing the most highly competitive ultimate; it is for having fun by playing in a local, competitive environment. It’s a place to get new players introduced to the game and for emerging players to learn from veterans. Eliminating a place for those of different levels to play together contracts rather than expands our community and our collective knowledge and experience.

    Alternate suggestion: Instead of limiting everyone to one league, I wonder how many men could play coed if women were allowed to join more than one league. What if there were a Mon/Tues league and a Wed/Thur league? Men could only play in one, but women could play in both. Downsides would be only getting to play against half of the other teams in summer league and having two tournament champions instead of one.

    What most prompted me to post: It is really lame for a woman to threaten to not play summer league because she can’t be on the same team as her significant other. Yes, it sucks, but there are other opportunities for playing with hand-picked teammates. Summer league is for meeting and playing with different people. If you want to hang out on the sidelines together, go watch each other’s games.

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  27. 10: “trying to make LAOUT a 501c3 and I wanted to see what the other organizers around the country had done. (We ultimately lost that battle. We’re a 501c4. But that’s another story.)”

    I was going to say that LAOUT seems more like a 501c4 than a 501c3, but then I saw that 501c3 includes organizations to “foster amateur sports competition”.

    On the bright side, 501c4 means that LAOUT can be a Super PAC, and use its money to unduly influence federal elections!

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  28. Tracy, I think there are a lot of reasons women threaten not to play summer league if they can’t baggage with their significant other. My significant other is unwilling to make the 45+ minutes drive alone. If we were on different teams we’d have to drive to balboa twice a week. Id rather not spend an extra 3 hours a week in the car just to play my game and watch her game. This is compounded for people further away. Not everyone is 10 minutes away. Furthermore I dig hanging out with my lady at ultimate and its one of the reasons I dig ultimate so much, its something we both enjoy together. Summer league is certainly good for meeting new people and playing with different people but not everyone is there for that reason.

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  29. Any one that cries too much about not getting into Co-ed, wan wan. at least you have a 2nd chance to play Ultimate. I think that Andy Should get a free pass into Co-ed if he wants it. I do like the idea of free pass if you bring a new Female in. The idea of not letting a married couple in is wrong we should try not promote more time apart for them(maybe a old way of thinking, but I’m old so fo, lol), for some people the drive to balboa is very long. And yes i would love to bring in women from the IE but not being able 2 carpool from here sucks, some college plays can’t play if they can’t.

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  30. Where’s the like button?! I’d also like to be able to log into LAOUT with my Facebook ID and share my rant comments on my Facebook and Google+ statuses with just a single click.

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  31. Yes, we totally SHOULD have a message board on here. I can’t wait for the flame wars. It will be epic.

    Tracy: I agree that it’s lame for my gf to not want to play summer league if we’re not on the same team. The sad fact is that she just isn’t as into ultimate as a lot of us are, but she likes me so she’d be willing to play just to humor me. And as much as I love summer league, I don’t want to be there twice a week.

    Andy: Summer League is not a 100% draft league because the pool of men is filtered through a lottery before the draft happens. Yes, everyone is drafted, but there’s still an element of randomness to it.

    It’s a good system for the purpose of making summer league accessible to everyone. Summer league is the best entry point for beginners, so I am all in favor of that. I just have always thought that SF winter league sounds fun, and it would be neat to have something like it sometime in the year. There could still be a spillover league, too, but the level of play in the spillover league wouldn’t be as high.

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  32. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the Bay Area draft league had a cap on the number of guys, and it was first come first serve to reach that cap. That’s my memory from the Organizer’s Conference. I vaguely remember the guy saying it filled up for guys in 15 minutes one year.

    We did the same thing for the first two years of our two-league system, and the first year it filled up for guys in about 5-6 hours. And the second year it filled up in under an hour. I heard numerous complaints that it was unfair because some guys couldn’t get to a computer in that time. So that’s when we switched to the lottery.

    But if it’s true that it’s first come first serve, it’s the same as our Summer League then, right? I mean in both cases, not all guys can play. The only difference is Bay Area bases it on who signs up first, where we do it by lottery. Am I wrong?

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  33. I could be wrong, but I was under the impression the bay area league went like this

    as many guys that wanted signed up, 20, 100, one million guys!

    But only 100 or 200 of those guys actually got to play because they got drafted?

    Like all other sports, there were players hoping to get drafted but didn’t…

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  34. So all the women get to play, but they weed out the weaker guys through the draft? That sounds terrible to me.

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  35. When I was a captain in SF Winter League, we drafted 8 or 9 rounds of guys (and 6 rounds of women) and then of the guys who didn’t get drafted, the Commish (Henrik) got to place one guy per team as he saw fit. All the rest of the guys were out. There was no spillover league.

    There was probably some time cut-off to enter yourself as a guy into the draft, but the draft itself determined whether you were gonna play or not. It was friggin AWESOME! (No doubt due to the fact that it was the off-season and players from Jam/Revolver/Fury/Zeitgeist/Mischief/Polar Bears/etc. populated the teams.)

    Oh there was also a rating system that the commish handled which rated the men and women by round, so star players were 1st rounders, the next tier were 2nd rounders, etc. and if you were a captain and you were a first rounder, then you didn’t get to draft in the first round (sucked). However, if you were Whit Clark and for some reason were ranked as a 2nd rounder, you were in good shape or if you were Beau Kittredge and Marty Cochran and for some reason were allowed to baggage together, you were also in good shape.

    That’s all I remember. What’s so terrible about that, Bandit? As a guy who playe club and pick-up and who played Open and Coed, I loved it because I knew who all the unknowns were and drafted amazing teams full of James Harden’s and Darren Collison’s to destroy the elite player-captains who didn’t know anyone who didn’t go to Stanford. It sort of incentivized you to get out and meet other players. Or something.

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  36. You know what else was cool was there was a male and female captain, and if a guy was a good player but made dangerous plays (e.g., crashing into women and jumping over crowds), he would get some clear feedback by the draft when he didn’t get picked. Black List, dude. Beat it.

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  37. A) Andy you rock. Thanks for everything you do for LA Ultimate, and thanks for this discussion board.

    B) Summer League is more a social/rec league as opposed to pre-Club series warm-up. That being said, I appreciate the “No Footblocks” rule, and I F-ing LOVE footblocking. I just don’t think the risk is worth the reward, particularly with young or overzealous players.

    C) There’s a definitive difference between the Co-Ed league vs the Men’s league. It’s clear that everyone prefers the Co-Ed league, otherwise no one would care. I’ve played both and can say that the Men’s league is more intense than Co-Ed, and I assume it’s because we don’t have the fairer sex around to mellow everyone out. I feel like if you want a more intense competition level men’s is what you want.

    D) My biggest complaint is just not knowing what I’m paying for. But listening to Andy’s rationale, I’d rather play Men’s than not play at all. (And there are times, I’d rather only play Co-Ed so I checked that box on the registration page). Unfortunately, I don’t have a good solution to change who gets into Co-Ed, as Co-ed seems more fair. But I feel like NEW players should play Co-Ed their first season. More on that below.

    E) Growing LA Ultimate.
    Part 1: If people are concerned with competing with the Bay Area, I feel like that’s a scenario that only partly deals with Summer League. Summer League’s big asset is to attract new talent (good or bad) to ultimate. A chance to get them hooked on the sport and culture. There are a lot of people who played “frisbee” in college, but don’t know that a true sport exists. I think we need to do outreach to grab a larger base of people and show them what the sport can be. LAOUT is an amazing resource if you know about Ultimate. But if you’ve never truly played Ultimate or don’t know what it is… you’re SOL.

    Part 2: We should re-vitalize the league to make it more social and approachable for people who aren’t already in the league. (I’m totally stealing a page out of Kickball for those who play). We should have a Newsletter, Photos, Social events/bar challenges, Power Rankings, Shit-talking, etc. to create a little community out of the league that would be approachable by all levels of players from Vets to newbies. Creating that culture will get people excited about the league and games each week (hopefully meaning more than just playing Ultimate with a team for a couple hours a weeks). This would work better if we can have one night a week for all games to played, and hit the bar afterwards. So you would truly get to see everyone each week, but that’s probably a different story based on field space.

    Part 3: All NEW players should be accepted into Co-Ed their first season so they have a super positive experience their first. The idea being, that they’ll come back next season, and even bring their friends. The more people we have playing ultimate, the more talent we have to pull from for the Club season.

    Part 4: (Not sure this exists already) As far as Club teams and competing with the Bay, we should create a little circuit for the teams in town (and OC and San Diego) as a Club Preseason. And really foster the Club community by providing competitive events to help tune up the teams. We should also strive for B-Teams if we don’t have them already to draw talent from. And all of this comes full circle as the B-Teams can draw from the Summer/Winter League communities we built through community outreach/Newsletters/social events… etc.

    Thanks for letting me get my two cents in!
    -c

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  38. I don’t think the problem with summer league is the draft, or the men’s league vs co-ed or the existence of footblocks, I think the problem with summer league is that it has become a really unwelcoming place for people who are new to the sport and/or the LA community.
    I know that summer league is supposed to be the league that’s centered around getting new players interested in the sport but, I think Scott maybe said it earlier (or at least someone did, I’m too lazy to fact check) but I’ve captained a lot of teams where the new players showed up once or twice and then I never saw them again. Sometimes, as a captain who wants to be competitive, that’s great because it improves the overall quality of the players on my team and makes it more likely for us to win. But winning the summer league tournament is not the point of the league, and as someone who actually enjoys teaching people how to play this sport, it’s really frustrating because you don’t get that opportunity. I imagine it took a lot of courage for those people to sign up but it’s extremely overwhelming stepping into this community when you don’t know anyone, and it’s one thing to sign up and pay the money and try and do it, but to do it week in and week out for a whole summer, that’s difficult. If it weren’t for Erick being so nice and welcoming when I started playing 8 years ago, I probably would have stopped. We’re a tight knit community and for those that aren’t on the inside it’s a really difficult environment. There are obviously people who are overwhelmingly welcoming but as a whole I think this is a really hard community to crack.
    Even for players that are new to LA Ultimate but have played ultimate elsewhere it can be intimidating. My summer team last year had 5 new players, 2 of which had never really even thrown a frisbee, 1 had played in one previous LA league, and 2 were new to LA but not ultimate. Captaining that team was probably one of the more difficult things I’ve done in my life (I know, boo hoo) and it’s the sole reason I’m not captaining this year. The 2 new players ultimately stopped coming half way through the season, partly because they moved to San Francisco, or so I believe I was told, who knows really. Both of which had a difficult time getting the opportunity to really get a complete grasp on the game. Perhaps this was my fault and I should have been a better captain. The one who had played in a previous league stuck it out throughout the season and I think ultimately came out a better player though he was constantly having trouble getting on the field. And honestly, I’m surprised that the other two are still playing in LA with the “warm” response they got from the people on my team and the other teams.
    So what’s the solution? Do we make a rule that at least one inexperienced male and female are on the line at a time? Would that even be enforceable? Do you do A and B divisions? If you do that then what experienced players end up going into B to do the teaching and will those people be happy about that? Do we try and make LA Ultimate a tad bit more inviting? Have parties for new potential players? Have a party the first week of summer league or somewhere mid-season where new players and old can get together and mingle?
    I don’t know, but I think we should do something because other than a handful of people, I feel like the consensus for these complaints is that you’re in the league you don’t want to play, that it’s not competitive enough, and that you don’t get to play how other people play it in other places.

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  39. Chuck, I tried to get into SF Winter league when I lived up there. But because no one knew who I was, they didn’t even cash my check. LA Summer league, in my opinion, is far superior. Everyone gets to play. Because of my experience with league, it was very difficult to get plugged into the ultimate scene up there and I ended up not even playing club because I lost interest. Then, when I moved to socal, I got heavily involved.

    Andy, the format you have here lets everyone play, and that is what a league is supposed to be. When people want to play at a high level, they play club. To Chuck’s point, it would be great to have and A and B league. But no option that leaves people outside looking in should be considered, imo.

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  40. This thread is totally amazing. Thanks for setting it up, Andy.

    I realize now in hindsight, that what I REALLY want is for LA Winter League to be a 100% draft league and get rid of the bizarre cliques like Marshall and Kong (guilty), so that we can mix it up and meet new players and play at a high level. It’s the off-season, so all the clubbers can play, and there’s something really cool about being on a team with a couple of the top players in the area, some upper-level players, some lower-level players, and some newbies that are going to learn a ton. That’s what I loved about SFWL.

    Kief, that’s weird you didn’t get drafted. I think of you as pretty well-known. Suffice it to say, you would’ve been my diamond in the rough if I were drafting that year.

    I just remembered something, they had pick-up on Wednesdays and league games on Tuesday/Thursdays, so if you didn’t get drafted, you could play the pickup games and you could also fill in on Tues/Thurs for teams that were short on players. So some dudes definitely did that.

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  41. @cwhitman – I feel like LA Ultimate has many of the things you mention; social events, bar outings, power rankings (kind of – I mean there is a ranking system for our drafts (both co-ed and men’s, it’s simply and appropriately not made public), etc. I’m not sure if what our community needs is “shit-talking” per se, but there’s that as well. In addition, not knowing if you are male or female, I’d also like to point out that there is a very impressive and newly designed B Team for men – it’s called Gridlock and is at least peripherally affiliated with Renegade. Together, the men’s teams had almost 100 people show up to their hat tournament / initial try-out day which is awesome, frankly.

    @jamesrenfro – I feel like there’s this stigma against LA League play and competition vs. fun/welcoming. Based on what is being reported by the likes of Kief and Chucktown, what sounds exclusionary to me, is SF’s League. I started playing in Chicago, in their 650+ person summer league and the attitude was the same as it is in LA. Essentially, it was “we’re here to have fun and to win, and if you are new, I’ll show you how to throw and remind you which way to force, but if you force the wrong way too many times, you will be the brunt of some eventual frustration.” The very first point I ever played, I tried to take a sub halfway through the point. Do you think they looked at me, a brand-new female player and thought, “we really want this young lady to come back and play and feel welcome doing so?” No. They LAUGHED at me. And told me to turn around and finish the point. But I came back the next week. And the week after. In fact, I don’t think I missed any games that first summer. We don’t have to coddle new people. They should show up, learn the game, ask questions, and come to the bar afterwards. It’s pretty simple. We were all new to the sport at one time. And, I actually think that on the whole, we’re pretty good at making new people feel comfortable. Maybe it’s because I captain a Women’s League team and basically the entire point of that league is to welcome new players. I’d like to point out, however, that we had at least 15 brand-new players at Women’s League this season and a few of them have signed up for Summer League. That’s a huge win. They felt welcome, and yet still wanted to win those games we played. I’m not sure if it’s about being a “better captain.” I do think it’s about being organized. For example – if someone isn’t showing up, do everything you can to get them to come. I emailed, Facebooked, and eventually even called those newer players who were absent week after week. The reality is, it’s really unlikely that your new players felt unwelcome – I mean, you’re a welcoming guy and a good leader – and much more likely that they simply weren’t that interested in playing a hard sport with a steep learning curve. It takes commitment (how long did it take you to learn how to throw a decent flick), dedication (maybe they work far away, last summer I was commuting down to Orange County and it would take me 105 minutes to get to Summer League, not everyone is going to do that), and it takes being in shape, which not everyone cares about. In short (or long, sorry), Summer League isn’t all about captaining a team of people, each of whom shows up every week. You just can’t be held responsible for that. It’s about playing Ultimate with friends, some established and some new.

    I do like your idea of a mid-Summer League party. That’s a great idea. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, if you will. If we have it at a bar, perhaps those non-Ultimate players around us will say, “[L]ord, what fools these [Ultimate players] be!”

    Lastly, a shout-out to Mr. Andy Bandit. For everything that he does, for creating a format that, minimally, allows everyone to play, and for keeping LAOUT.com running well.

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  42. Summer League – A draft league that excludes people based on ability would be an organization I’d no longer associate myself with. No one likes being picked last or worse still, signing up and being told they were not deemed good enough to play.
    In my opinion, LAOUT is for the greater frisbee community, not the top tier of players seeking the most competitive games possible. In Los Angeles there are club teams, tournament teams, beach league, LEIOUT, and winter league teams where people are split based on ability. That’s more than enough.

    On making summer league more welcoming for new players.
    1) Ask the other team if they have a new player, and put them in at the same time.
    2) Throw to them when they make a good cut. Seems obvious, but it’s amazing how often that doesn’t happen.
    3) Don’t put pressure on new players to “Make a call.”
    4) Encourage them to go in and play.
    5) Teach them how to play, and let them know when they did a good job or made a good cut (especially when they didn’t get the disc).
    6) Don’t call a travel on someone who can barely throw unless it’s truly egregious.
    In short, be kind and patient. One person being a jerk can ruin a new person’s experience. So can a nasty spat over a call. If it wasn’t for the Marshall winter league team, I would have never come back to LAOUT after my first two experiences in St. Pats Hat. I’ve still got the names of the people that were jerks burned into my brain. It was that shitty an experience. One I hope to never repeat for anyone new, which is part of the reason that I captain.

    Winter League – I know I’m in the minority here, but I liked playing a game or two against teams that were wildly better when I first started. I would suggest a weighted schedule for Winter League, with no A or B pools. In a well done weighted schedule, I’d like to see most teams having
    1 game against a team much better
    1 game that’s a stretch to win
    3-4 games against what is the preseason best guess of even matches
    1 game that’s a stretch to lose
    1 game where you are the veteran team, showing someone what a better ultimate game looks like
    Obviously, it doesn’t quite work out that way for the top and bottom teams, but it can still be made pretty close.

    Huge thanks to Andy and everyone that puts in the time to run or assist in running the events and leagues that make LAOUT so much fun.

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  43. ill “like” andy’s comment

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  44. oops, mean seth’s. Especially part 6. I knew a shy player who was not very good but that went to a pickup game every week, then someone yelled at them rather profusely on the field one day. That was the last week i ever saw him. I know if i was new like that I probably would have quit as well.

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  45. I see where Seth is coming from. “No one likes being picked last or worse still, signing up and being told they were not deemed good enough to play.”

    That being said, I think a league like Chuck is describing could be wicked fun, specifically for those who are super competitive.

    Summer league is great, I love playing with newer players, helping them learn the game and socializing after the games

    Winter league is great because it’s more competitive, everyone there wants to win and because of how the teams are formed you get to play with friends/players of their choosing.

    Neither of those leagues should be replaced

    BUT

    If we could find a way for a third all draft league, that would be awesome.

    It would be a great opportunity for higher level players to play with someone they wouldn’t generally see at pick up, or play with at club/winter league. There would be no pressure to teach newer players (not saying they shouldn’t, but don’t HAVE to). Players could just show up and play some high level ultimate in a league setting with people they generally wouldn’t have otherwise.

    Yes, some people would end up being chosen last, or not at all, and that sucks. BUT, it wouldn’t be like the league would be replacing summer league specifically an equal opportunity league.

    Yes, I know ultimate is supposed to be all lovey dovey super friendly beginner welcoming winning comes last. But in reality, it’s a sport and there’s no shame in playing a sport to win. Even in ultimate, so long as you’re able to separate when it’s ok to put winning at the top and know when it should take a back seat.

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  46. I’m with Chuck. Make Winter League a draft only league. Get rid of the cliques and the A/B/C divisions. Or make the teams smaller and keep A/B, because if you allow ALL women to play it won’t be this super competitive league that you envision unless the lower tier ladies are scared away from signing up. Furthermore, keep it 4/3. If you have 5 high level guys on the field and 2 mid-tier women, it will difficult for the women to get involved on the field. Let the spillover make a B Division that is captained by one or two enthusiastic A Division players that have time for 2 Winter League games per week. Let the A Division people play both if they have the time and patience to help improve the second tier. Maybe incentivize the A Level players by allowing them to play B for free?

    I know at least one summer in Atlanta they had a short “invitational” draft league. It wasn’t Regionals caliber play, but everyone knew what they were doing. Winter League is already fairly exclusive but without the draft.

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  47. 100% draft Winter League or 100% draft Beach League

    Preference?

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  48. Or we could do every league as a hat draw. People love St Pats.

    Or every week is a hat draw and we keep personal win-loss records to crown the individual champion of Los Angeles.

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  49. I am all in favor of more parties. We have a ton of people and I bet we could throw our weight around a little bit. How about an “official” kick-off party and/or mid-season party? Instead of a bar tab we could probably negotiate for happy hour prices all night since we can bring hundreds of people to a random bar. We could do it anywhere in LA, too, so there are lots of options.

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  50. Reading through this, I have to comment on the draft league in SF. I ABSOLUTELY HATE THIS IDEA!!!!!!!!! I have no delusions about my abilities or lack there of. But I enjoy getting out and playing. If we did a draft league like was being described in SF, I’d never get to play. I’ve only played Winter League twice in all my years here (and that’s despite some effort by my part to play and getting shafted several years). I like Summer League the way it is because it’s about working hard to win, but having fun doing it.

    As to the co-ed/men’s summer league, I’ve done men’s the last two years, and I’m thrilled to be back in co-ed this year since I felt out of my league in men’s. We’ll see if I’m just out of my league period this year, I guess.

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  51. I love the idea of an all draft league, but I hate the idea of it replacing winter or summer

    As mentioned before, summer league is about fun and being beginner friendly

    I also love the idea of “round up your possy” and see how you and your friends fair against them and their friends. Sure it’s clique-y but at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with people wanting to play with who they choose for once

    let’s hear it for a short all draft league between winter and summer league!

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  52. Couple things to add here:

    1) Going back to posts #s 37 and 41: I’m captaining LA’s Club Open B-Team (Gridlock) this year and will be leaving practices open for everyone until the roster’s finalized in mid-to-late-August. While Gridlock will strive to be as competitive as can be (and while I personally am driven by a goal to get back to Nationals), it would be a disservice to developmental talent to ostracize them because they’re not far enough along as-of-yet. Balancing these two will be a tough task this season, but I really do believe in Ultimate and the Spirit of the Game, and this challenge won’t get in the way of helping to give back to something that gave me so much.

    2) I too like the idea of a league that’s completely drafted or picked at random a la St. Pat’s Hat, but I have no idea where it’d fit in the yearly schedule; between Summer and Beach is the Club Series, and between Winter and Summer is Women’s/the College Series. Maybe have Beach and this other league at the same time, with one on Saturdays and one on Sundays?

    3) Dot, if you’d really like to play co-ed this year, you and Fei could take my captaining spot. My plans to get a co-captain are falling through, and I feel like I’m cheating the system by captaining co-ed without a female counterpart. Just promise me that you’ll a) wear a jersey with my face on it for every game, or b) wear my kilt for the tourney.

    4) In the distant future, after the combined Provinces of Northern America fight back against the zombie hoards using sharpened discs and laser-y flicks, a statue of Andy Bandit will be erected in the middle of Balboa Park, preferably depicting him icing AJ during a finals game at a tourney.

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  53. Who is OddJob and can we be friends?

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  54. So 100% 5v5 Beach League?

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  55. Bryan, thanks for the offer! But I decided not to captain this year because I can’t go to the tournament.

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  56. Mark, I feel like I should respond to your comment. The SF 100% draft thing wouldn’t knock you out of the league. It might be better because if you’re not drafted, you’d be playing in a less competitive division as a result. More about fun, less about measuring up.

    Just a thought. I think it’d be better to do it with Beach League than winter league since the teams are so entrenched in winter league anyway.

    I’d just like to report that I am the highest (self-)rated player in the men’s division, and I’d just like to thank my parents and my coaches. Dutchy, Mike Payne, you guys always believed in me. Mike Denardis, you told me I could do anything if I put my mind to it. Mr. Carnevale, you taught that you have to earn it in life. And due to a binding endorsement contract, I’d just like to say that Powerade is delicious, and it cools you off on a hot summer’s day, and we look forward to their release of the new flavor: Mystic Mountain Blueberry.

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  57. @Chcuktown – you also get the reward for the most name-dropping on here thus far. Oh my god – you know Mike Denardis and Whit Clark? You are so cool. (Just messing with you dude. I think you’re cool regardless.)

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  58. If men’s league is perceived as being the secondary option is there a way to add some more value to the league compared to Co-Ed?

    Some quick ideas are:
    1) Lower dues for open
    2) Introduce DOT’s “3 Points of Partying Plan” for that league only
    3) Hold the lottery earlier and start men’s league sooner so they have more games but still end at the same time?
    4) Free Mystic Mountain Blueberry on game night.

    When I played in the NY/CT area which is run by WUDi the best guys wanted to play in the open division, not mixed. The was supposed to be a vesting period of a year or two for new/unknown guys.

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  59. Because if there’s any party I want to go to, it’s the all men’s league party.

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  60. I think it’s worth mentioning, any of these ideas that people are excited about – be that another draft league or more summer league parties – You can create it and it will happen. Ideally, I imagine this being a discussion/suggestion rant page. But when it comes to implementation is up to us as individuals.

    If you want to organize a summer league kickoff or mid season party, that would be amazing! Start up another league, do it!

    It’s often discontent that spurs people into action. Just don’t expect your discontent to spur OTHERS into action for you.

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  61. First of all, I love you Andy Bandit.

    Second of all, I don’t have a ton of opinions, but it seems to me (according to my own observations and not according to any scientific experiment or data collection) that women playing in co-ed leagues don’t get the disc very much. And I think that’s too bad. I’ve voiced my frustrations on this topic before, and I know there are a lot of reasons why this happens, but I just wanted to say it. And now that there is this forum, I’ve said it.

    THROW TO WOMEN.

    Third of all, I love you Andy Bandit.

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  62. I’ve also thought it would be neat if the leagues were split by geography. For example a north-western league and a south-eastern league. They would consolidate at the end for playoffs/tournament . I have a lot of friends from pick-up that would love to play in a league but can’t do the marathon commute to Balboa.

    Just a wish. Keep up the good work!

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  63. We should mandate 4 passes before anyone can throw into the end zone, like in Hoosiers.

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  64. Oooo, I have an even better idea for coed now: let the women draft the men they want on their team.

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  65. Keith, your idea of the North/South league currently happens in our spring Goaltimate league with an East/West split. Mike Dow had also suggested a couple years ago doing an entirely geographic based tournament where the teams were all divided completely based on location. And I LOVE that idea, even though some geographic areas will get toasted in that tournament, but it’ll be fun to play alongside only the people who live closest to you. I vow to put together that tournament at some point in the near future.

    Chuck, you have no idea how many women have suggested to me that the women should get to select which guys make it into Co-ed.

    Foca, there’s some small subtle differences between Men’s and Co-ed already. In past years, Men’s had played one more game than Co-ed (not this year though, cause we’re over budget, and I couldn’t make it work), Men’s plays games to 17 whereas Co-ed is to 15. And Men’s has smaller rosters so more playing time for each guy.

    Also, I wanted to throw out some stats for you guys. About 1/4 of all guys who sign up request to play in Men’s. It’s not that everyone wants to be in Co-ed, so let’s dispel that myth.

    The rule where anyone who lost out in the Co-ed lottery two years in a row got automatic entry to Co-ed this year only affected 16 guys (and 3 of those guys never signed up, even though I emailed them all). I thought it would be a lot higher. I was kind of surprised about that.

    Also, we clearly need a Message Board. There’s so many topics on here, we should break it up by topic. I really love that you guys are writing so much. It’s awesome! I’ll talk to Allen and Bofa, who designed this site, about creating the Message Board.

    Broccoli, I love you too.

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  66. If Chuck is the highest rated player in men’s, that must mean that Corey “Godfather of LA Ultimate” Sanford must either be in coed or not playing SL at all. After, this is the man who is a 10 in all categories.

    The geography may be an interesting idea, but I like how I’ve met people from all over, not just my general niche (Westside).

    I agree with Brocc. Although it’s been better than it was when it was 5/2, women don’t get thrown as much because guys are getting in the way or guys somehow have a brain fart when they see a woman open. I’m not sure if there is a fix especially since SL is a draft and you’re throwing a lot of players together who are unfamiliar with each other.

    Seriously, can we create a discussion board? Otherwise, this chain of comments is going to get very very long (TWSS).

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  67. Corey IS in Co-ed. But he told me he’s so overjoyed with making it into Co-ed, that he decided not to put all 10′s this year.

    Now he’s only the 6th highest self-rated player.

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  68. All this talk of women not being thrown to enough is kind of blowing my mind.

    I’ve been playing competitive organized sports since I was 8 years old from small fry baseball to high school basketball to college rugby and everything (including ultimate) in between. The one thing that that has been instilled in my from a very young age is to trust your teammates and on the court/field of play you treat them all the same.

    Specifically in basketball I’ve been taught, if I see someone wide open for a jumper/lay up I HAVE to give them the ball and trust them to make the shot. That’s something I’ve brought over to ultimate. I guess it’s just me, but I can’t imagine seeing someone open and not getting them the disc (unless of course it involves making a throw I don’t have) regardless of skill/gender. I’d be willing to bet the teams of these guys who look off open girls are generally unsuccessful.

    Is there a way to make this a poll Andy?

    I’m really curious to see how serious of a problem this is. Is it just a few apples spoiling it for the bunch, or are there A LOT of guys who aren’t passing it to open players.

    Maybe a women’s only poll regarding how often they’re looked off?

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  69. On Kong, we don’t use our women very much, Stephen. We have good women too.

    Let’s call it Sadie-Hawkins Winter League next year and the girls pick the boys. Why is that not a good idea? What is particularly bad about the girls picking the boys? Anyone not picked gets to play in the men’s league anyway, so no one is left out, and the girls are DEFINITELY looked off regularly, so why not let them pick guys who can throw to women (i.e., me) to play in coed?

    I am turning into Corey Sanford.

    Also, Damien Scott, Beau Kittredge, Tyler Grant, Nick Handler….(@Remy)

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  70. 1. everyone knows Jeff “I’ve played more ulty than anyone alive” Landesman is the true Godfather of LA Ultimate.

    2. I’m down to 6th because I sandbagged my rating. I’ve been in the draft, I know how it works. Sandbaggers always get on the best teams! Afterall, what 41 year old isn’t the 6th best player in their league?

    3. Chuck — turning, maybe, but you still have a long way to go, you lovable name-dropper, you.

    Corey

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  71. Having just spent too much time reading this entire board, and coming from a city with a HUGE ultimate community, I thought I should contribute somehow. Not sure if I’ll be helpful here, but I’ll give it a shot.

    For those who don’t know me, I’ve just moved to LA and come from Ottawa, Canada where we have a Summer League of around 5,000, with roughly 354 teams playing 5 nights/week. We’ve grown to a point where we have a board of directors, paid staff who run the league and we own our own fields. /bragging

    Through the league, 11 club teams are supported. The club teams are given a certain budget from the league in return for volunteer services. Things like being waterboys/girls at tournaments, score runners, cleanup duty. And running clinics. It’s that last thing that I think really helped grow the sport. Especially in the lead up to club tryouts and the beginning of summer league, the club players put together either free or low cost rules/skills clinics to encourage new players and give them a jumping-off point to start the season. Also a great way to see new talent that has just moved to town. Word of mouth has always been our strongest marketing tool, but in the last few years we’ve reached out to local news programs/networks to cover tournaments (even have televised and announced games!) We also involved many of the club players in a series of what we called “Ultimate 101″ skills clinics. It was a 4-6 week series where for a 2-3 hour block you focussed on a given part of the game. I believe this was split into Very beginner and Intermediate beginner so that you could play and learn with others close to your level. The skills clinics were usually run in the winter season so as not to compete with the Club series. We also made a point of recruiting at the college/high-school level.

    All that said, I’m not sure how feasible some of those things are here, given geography, popularity of the sport and other challenges I’m sure I’m forgetting. It would also take a colossal amount of effort and a dedicated group of volunteers. I think we have the people, and I know that I would love to help and am definitely putting my hat into the ring of people wanting to grow this sport in LA.

    Also, though I’ve only met him a couple of times, I have to say that I too love Andy Bandit. Hearing all of the good things you’ve done for our sport in this city, and how much time you’ve taken to read and respond to all of the concerns and opinions voiced here is just further testament to your awesomeness. Thanks, Andy.

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  72. The person with the disc always wants to throw it down field to make the long bomb score in the end zone. Most of the time, the person running in a man. Most of the time, there is at least one woman open for an easy 10 yard gain while the long bomb is questionable at best. And which throw is made every single time?

    I’m a guy, and I get frustrated when I’m looked off in favor of a long bomb, especially since it rarely connects.

    I have always said that the secret of a co-ed team winning or losing is how well they use or don’t use their women. If you ignore them, you are only using half your players. That’s just stupid.

    As stupid as at least half of the long bombs are.

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  73. Wow, thanks for the rundown of Ottawa’s Ultimate community and how it’s run. That’s so great!

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  74. This is great. I hope a lot of people are reading it.
    Few things I want to comment on, mostly about beach league.
    - if you suggestions about how to improve the beach league, please email me at LABeachUltimate@gmail.com that league is always evolving and suggestions are always welcome. I got a great one a few weeks ago.
    - I’m am planning on adding a men’s 5×5 division to the beach league this year (part of this depends on the city cooperating, but that’s the plan). There will still be a 4×4 co-ed division.
    - Beach league was created as a 4×4 league for a few reasons. The fields are smaller and we could fit in the space we currently play in. 4×4 is a BULA approved game. being 2M/2F makes it harder to play while looking off your women, although a few teams have played and won with 2M/1F on the field. And having the cross gender 2 pointers really made throwing to our women valuable.
    - yes, there’s plenty of beach, and we could move where we play, but it’s a nice location, close to the farmer’s market which a lot of people utilize and there’s free parking.
    - the fields were set up east/west so we could fit more of them next to each other in a closer space. yup, we get up wind/down wind points, but so goes the game of Ultimate.

    - Volunteers are always needed and appreciated and I’m in favor or rewarding them with free entry to leagues, first in line to food at a party, a reserved or free parking spot, or other freebies league are giving out.
    Sometimes, in the case of the youth leagues, I know a lot of people volunteer for free and that’s wonderful. But most people don’t step up to help out at leagues or tournies and you should know that we need your help on a regular basis. I think what they’re doing in Ottawa is great. I’m all for LAOUT donating financially to club teams to a certain extent if they are giving back to the Ultimate community. I will say that I don’t think they should get both money and free stuff from LAOUT for volunteering, but certainly one or the other.

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  75. Goat, maybe Dot and I can combine and send you an email. I sort of like his thinking on Beach League. Thanks for all your service, bro.

    Also, just to clarify, I wasn’t making fun of the Ottawa League Post. (I realize I am sarcastic often, so I just thought I’d clarify.)

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  76. I brought this up on the summer league comment page but thought I’d bring it up here. The lottery has been in place for about 4 years. If a man has played in men’s division for 2 or more years he now gets an auto-bid for coed the following year. My question is if a man has played coed for 2 or more years does that give him an auto-bid for men’s the following year to make room for those who are trying to get in? I’ve heard of lucky, but c’mon! I’d love the opportunity to play coed again.

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  77. Randy, I don’t have any rules on players who play a certain number of years in Co-ed having to switch to Men’s. This gets into the whole issue that was brought up earlier in this thread about players that some people feel should always get into Co-ed automatically, and some players who should sometimes get into Co-ed automatically and I’d have to work all that into the equation.

    I’ll think more on it though. But I’m also trying to avoid creating this very complex matrix of rules that will just make a lot more work for me, or for the person that I put in charge of doing that.

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  78. God this is great. Can we talk about how Brady V has not only NOT cast tangential conspiratorial aspersions down on us proletariat, but has made the most cogent comment of all?? I leave LA for one month and the cooky has become sane. Four passes before scoring a la Hoosiers. What a thought. Miss you LA.

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  79. I want to rant about the results of that superhero poll. I’m pretty upset about it.

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  80. Footblocks should be allowed in all leagues.

    Beach League should be 5v5 with north-south fields.

    Winter League should be draft-only.

    Professor X should’ve won the superhero poll.

    Rho has won 20 in a rho because he has played and coached in different divisions/games for several years and drafts good teams (as it should be).

    Bandit is a true champion.

    Benjamin Brin should get more recognition for all his work with the Youth Leagues.

    Mingo is my top male prospect in LA Ultimate.

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  81. Yes.

    No and no.

    No.

    No.

    Yes.

    Good god YES!

    Yes.

    I wish I was still in the loop.

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  82. Mingo gets my vote for most spirited college player and he is playing for Csulb this year again. Huzzah!

    He also gets a tie for best mustache. Who he tied with? Sean mcchuloh.

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  83. I feel foot blocks should be allowed for winter and summer league and not beach because no one wants sand kicked in their face.

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  84. Yeah, that’s fair. I think Mingo should be allowed to footblock on sand though. Not sure why.

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