As the title alludes to, there was too many calls being made during the USA Ultimate College Open Championships between Florida and Carleton (which Florida won fyi). In typical college ultimate fashion, there was a lot of hucks, a lot of d’s and a lot of calls.

Which leads me to the topic of this post – the calls.

The game had 4 observers, who were making active calls like line, down disc and stall count violations. However, they were also stepping in when they felt that the the play was going to get out of hand. Which I think is cool. Don’t want the game to escalate and have fights happen.

However, the amount of calls that Florida was making during the few points I watched was gross. The smallest travel calls that meant nothing since the guy with the disc didn’t have an advantage. Little pushes here and there. And there’s a reason Florida received 2 TMF (Team Misconduct Fouls).
– correction: Florida and Carleton both had 3 TMF (thanks @Zach Johnston on Facebook)

I don’t want to see high level ultimate run the same course as high level soccer with people diving and being pussies. Seriously. I think a lot of this exists in ultimate because people are soft. Especially a lot of the kids playing sports nowadays. They’ve grown up expecting things to be given to them, expecting to be congratulated even when they finish last in a tournament simply for “playing”. I think we are way too easy on the next generation of athletes and I wish someone would coach these teams with a sense of toughness and grittiness instead of letting the college players (and consequently a lot of club players) get away with such weak calls. Yes it’s a non-contact sport, but contact does still happen.

What are you thoughts on where ultimate (and for that matter, sports in general) is heading? Do you see the same issues I do, that we’re being too soft on our kids? I’m not the only one saying this. Bill Beswick (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Beswick) a highly respected sports psychologist who has worked with some of the best athletes/teams in the world talks about this in his seminars.

I think it has to start at the younger levels of ultimate (and sport) but it’s not too late to implement it now. Get some toughness back and let’s all stop playing like such wusses. We can still play spirited and respect our opponents. In fact, I think playing soft and calling everything is even less spirited than is playing a bit aggressive.

Just my 2 cents.

Written by Ultimate Rob

Rob McLeod is a disc sports competitor, a 13 time World Record holder (including 6 Guinness World Records), 10-time World Champion, 2 time Quadruped title holder and currently holds the Canadian Distance Record. He created ultimaterob.com in 2009.