Freestyle Players Association
Comments about our sport from a variety of people.
The major factor inhibiting the growth of disc sports is the quality of flying discs available to the general public. Discrafts Wham-Os, and Innovas want to fly. Humphrey Flyers and the other pathetic knock-offs do not. Those are only meant for advertising, yet those are the ones most likely to end up in the hands of a novice. They are worse than garbage, because people blame themselves when those aerodynamically unstable insults to our sport don't fly. Humphrey Flyers are Humphrey Die-ers, and they're killing us.
It intrigues me that there is a certain percentage of Ultimate players who are fairly sophisticated at MAC lines and brushing. They don't consider it freestyle, since they don't delay. So freestyle" may seem like a big step for people to take, but they are inevitably drawn to the intermediate skills like quick throws and quick catches, and on up. Just as long as it seems like fun, without having to be an "artiste".
Response by Rick West
The success of any sport, in my opinion, should be measured by the number of grass roots participants and not the size of tournament purses. If people are motivated to participate in a sport exclusively by the money they can win do we want them?
I prefer a "Rugby" model of development. Its played all over the world, has its own unique culture, and people, for the most part, play for the pure love of the game.
If we want people to watch, we need to go where the people are. We have a good product, but folks in general won't search us out. Putting finals of tournaments in a setting where we have a captive audience would be best.
As a player, to be honest, I find myself trying to get better in order to turn on other players. There is nothing like a knowledgeable player getting off on what you do. That is, are the majority of us doing this for ourselves or for "audience appreciation"? I'm not convinced there is an easy answer.
Regarding weather, I've not known a tournament site chosen due to it's weather...unless it is indoors!
Lori Daniels and crew ROCKS.
All the "foreign" players kick a..all the "domestic" players too!
Consider me registered for Seattle.
But I digress...
Arthur Coddington, FPA World Co-Op Champion
Some of the things I liked about FPA Worlds in Hawaii:
1. Nikki Ross has never dropped in FPA Worlds competition. She's 10 years old. She competed with her dad Richhi in mixed and caught everything with tons of music cues. Then the next day she competed in co-op with her dad and fellow junior Evan Hanneman from Seattle and caught everything again. Are there any other active players who have never dropped at the FPA Worlds?
2. Juniors and new worlds players. Nikki Ross, Evan Hanneman (age 13), Jake Gauthier (can he possibly learn any faster?). If worlds are in Seattle next year we'll see tons of other juniors who could not travel to Hawaii.
3. The weather. The rain kept temperatures down and we had near perfect conditions on Sunday.
4. Freestyle on TV. Nice work Lori for arranging so much pre-event publicity, including a live dawn broadcast for the Fox morning show with a reporter who could actually jam.
5. Tents and water at the site. These amenities made the difference. Can you imagine having no shade during those 90 degree, 90% humidity hours or no protection from the rain? How many cases of heat exhaustion would there have been without the complimentary cold water?
6. Big turnout. I heard sixty competitors entered. That's up there with any recent worlds, and it's all the more impressive given the remote site. Plus, we had three players all the way from Sweden and one from Switzerland. Those countries are, like, near Europe. How can we get to 100 competitors?
7. Dave Lewis & Gina Sample's one-drop performance in the mixed semis. This was an aggressive routine, and the only drop came on Dave's attempt at a back roll to a double spinning gitis. Way to bail!
8. Dave Schiller & Randy Silvey's one-drop performance in the pairs finals. I haven't seen it yet but I heard it was great.
9. Dave Schiller & Amy Bekken's winning mixed pairs routine. Polished, difficult & clean. That's why they three-peated.
10. Peter Bowie. How come no one does any of his moves? Oh yeah, they're harder than sin.
11. Pineapples in the players package.
12. The judging machine. Bethany Porter was the head judge. She whipped us into shape and we churned out the scores faster faster faster. The non-player announcer kept the intros short and pumped the audience up to see each group.
13. Media. Planet X. ESPN for a day. Pam documenting the whole tourney. Plus the usual pack of player videographers. I think we're covered.
14. Mary Jorgenson persevering through a horrible travel mixup and arriving at the field minutes before her mixed pairs semifinal on Friday.
Things I didn't like about the FPA Worlds in Hawaii:
1. The weather. Maybe the FPA can get some big money from a drought-plagued country next year. Pay the FPA a million dollars to have the worlds in your country and we'll guarantee to bring you rain. It's three years in a row now that the worlds have been disrupted by storms. Who got on the bad side of a tiki god?
2. Small Audiences. Lori Daniels has shown us how to run a well-organized worlds. She used all of what we've learned over the past few years to put on a great show. Now we have to get more people to watch.
3. Traffic & nightmarish street design. The choice was to sit in traffic for twenty minutes on the way back to the hotel or take a shortcut and get sucked onto a one way street and transported way way out of town. Next year the Seattle people should hire some helicopters to take players from place to place.