Poll: What Do You Do When the Weather Turns Bad?

Winter JamHere in Portland, winter is starting to set in. It’s cold, rainy, and the sun goes down by 4:00p. This weather pattern really puts a cramp in our usual jam routine. It seems each year we make a different adjustment, but we never stop the jam. Many years ago, we’d jam in covered basketball courts and wear extra warm clothes. Then we became members of a local gym and played inside. Now we are back outdoors, but on artificial grass. In this poll, tell us your strategy for jamming in the winter.


What Do You Do When the Weather Turns Bad?

What Do You Do When the Weather Turns Bad? Select all that apply

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Word of the Day – Poach

Randy poaches by picking Ryan upPoach (verb)

  1. The act of taking a disc that is intended for another player. Most often this happens in a mob-op during a pass. As the disc travels across a jam to it’s intended target another player steps in front and makes a play on the disc. Often the intended target player will not have time to react and will make the form of a catch, though the disc is no longer coming. Also, the person poaching will often cause a drop or break in flow because they had to move out of position to get the disc. Basic lane awareness can help reduce poaching. Note that if a player attempts a hoop but accidentally touches the disc, causing a drop, this is not considered poaching. Rather, a failed hoop or leg over is called Defense, or “nice D”.

Example: Hey, you poached my lane. I had a gitis lined up.

Episode 41: Matteo Gaddoni – The Man of Multiple Frisbee Disciplines and World Championships

Matteo GaddoniIn this episode we talk to Matteo Gaddoni, winner of Open Pairs at FPAW 2009 & 2010 with Tom Leitner and Arthur Coddington respectively. Learn more about Matteo at his blog, http://www.gaddoz.com/

Hear how Matteo first started playing frisbee with friends in his hometown of Forli, Italy. In 2002 he started to figure out what Freestyle was, and his newly acquired access to the internet (albeit pre-YouTube) opened his eyes to the possibilities. He soon hooked up with Clay Collera from Rimini, where he saw his first nail delay in person. Clay continued to mentor him on how to do tricks and build his skills but it was Mark Regalbuti and others in New York that taught him about flow. However, Matteo has many people that have brought him inspiration over the years. Both Jake and Randy remember seeing Matteo play for the first time in 2003 at FPA Worlds in Rimini; the “man in the hat” made a big impression on both of them.

Just so you know, Shootin’ the Frizbreeze is syndicated on Stitcher, iTunes, and other podcast syndicators that you may use. Please subscribe and leave a comment, which makes it easier for more people to find us.

Poll: How Many People are In Your Jam Community?

Frisbee Community 2In our recent podcast episode with Joey Hudoklin, he talks about the amazing jam communities in both Washington Square Park and Central Park, New York. We also interviewed Mehrdad Hussanian, who is from Berlin where there is another great jam community. Our jam communities are a big part of what makes Freestyle so great. After work, or the weekend, we know what we’ll be doing…getting together to jam. We push each other to new heights.

On the other end of the spectrum is the lone jammer. When I moved to Portland in 1998, that was the situation. During this time I really grew as a Freestyler. I got to focus on skills like against the spin, upside down counter, and consecutive airbrushing. In 2001, Matt moved to town and the Portland community grew to 2. We jammed constantly and honed our co-op skills.

Yes, jam communities can range in size from one, to many, many jammers. But, no matter the size, they are all near and dear to our hearts. So, sound off and answer the poll for this week:

How many people are in your jam community?

How many people are in your jam community?

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How to Catch a Triple Fake, by Matt

In this brief video Matt demonstrates how to catch a triple fake. It’s a nice alternative to under the leg or behind the back for a disc that is in the waist zone. As a blind catch, it can be more difficult than it looks. With practice, it looks quite graceful.

To execute, do a self set or have someone throw to you. Watch the disc. Reach across your stomach and around towards your back. As you reach, spin your body around to propel your hand towards the disc. Keep you eye on it as long as possible. As you begin to lose sight, snap your body around faster and make the grab.

Matt’s key is to pivot on one foot. Then, a simple bend at the knee allows for adjusting to the height of the disc.

Episode 40: Graf is Back, and he is Passionate!

Graf Catches Gitis

Photo by Michal Maciolek

First note of importance, Steve Hayes turned 70 proving, yet again that frisbee truly is the fountain of youth! Happy Birthday, Beast!

Mehrdad Hussanian AKA Graf, returns and talks about how he learned the hard way about preparation for competition. He can’t say enough good things about Fabio Sanna, both as a person and as a player; Jake and Randy pile on! Mehrdad’s shares his thoughts on a choreographed vs. a spontaneous routine during a competition. Graf, Jake, and Randy have a passionate discussion about today’s game vs. that in the 1980’s. Has there been some extreme amnesia during the 30+ years between then and now about all the great players? Graf shares his “two hearts” as he considers the future of the sport. He wonders if playing to the audience, as a way to grow the sport, would cause him to lose what he loves about it. Everyone agrees that remaining authentic is key. Speaking of moving the sport forward, are you willing to experiment a little here and there?

Live Streaming of Jam Britannia is coming up. Jake explains that he has struck a deal to have full ownership of content which eliminates advertising in the middle of a routine, or any possible copyright issues with the music. Of course, this costs money, and your donations go a long way to making this happen. Any benefactors for the live stream are welcome!

Jam Britannia III Will Be Live Streamed

Jam Britannia IIIThere is a last minute addition to the Live Streaming schedule: Jam Britannia III. Jam Britannia III takes place on Nov. 11-12, 2017 in London, England. Thanks to Chris Belaj, you can watch the event live, here on FrisbeeGuru.

As the name suggests, this event is in its third year. It takes place indoors in a beautiful gym on a forgiving rubber floor and will feature CoOp, Mixed Pairs, and the Westerfield Challenge. This fun event attracts players from around the globe. If you can’t make it, watching it live is the next best thing.

Watch here

For more details about the event, check its Facebook Page. Also, don’t miss the the promo video below.



History: Appendix 2: The Tipping Story

Matt Tips

Matt Tips the Disc Under His Leg

Prior to the beginning of the IFA Newsletter in 1968, very little information about the nature of disc play was available to anyone. There is next to nothing about tipping documented before 1968, but no doubt that there were some people doing some tipping somewhere. After all, an integral component of the guts game was tipping and bobbling in an attempt to catch the disc before it hit the ground. After 1968, outside of the guts game, we hear about people tipping, smacking, or slapping the disc up in some manner before making a catch or trick catch.

Alan Blake of the Chicago area Highland Avenue Aces guts team is often mentioned as the earliest of the guys at the IFT to do multiple tips; two, maybe three before sealing the disc. Scott Dickson said that he, Vaughn Frick, and John Sappington were doing some of that kind of tipping as part of their Frisbee play in the early seventies at the University of Michigan; maybe in response to seeing Alan Blake at the IFT, or maybe just as part of their creative way of playing with a Frisbee.

In 1974, some of the very top leaders in Frisbee gathered at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, for at the first Octad. Berkeley Frisbee Group guys Victor Malafronte and Roger Barrett were in attendance, and so were John Kirkland and Dave Johnson from the Boston area. Jim Palmeri was there from Rochester NY, and of course Gary Seubert, Dan “Stork” Roddick and Bob “Flash” Kingsley, the originators and promoters of the Octad, were there. Another notable Frisbee name in attendance was Jon “JC” Cohn, a Cornell Ultimate star from nearby Maplewood NJ, the birthplace of Ultimate. Rounding out the field was a guy from Philadelphia, a guy from North Carolina, and a whole slew of Frisbee players from the Rutgers Ultimate team, most notably, Irv Kalb. Basically, the forefront of Frisbee play from the entire country was there, and their styles of play accurately represented a good cross section of the state-of-the-art of Frisbee at that point in time. The jamming that these guys were doing in-between the events indicated clearly just what was going down in the various regions of the country. Notably absent from the play was fancy controlled tipping. Despite the fact that the Eastern Trick Catch event to be contested awarded a bonus point for each tip a person completed before doing a trick catch, no one was doing any multiple tipping at all. Occasionally you saw one, maybe two tips at most when the guys were warming up for their Eastern Trick Catch match, but even then, not very often. Because of the strong guts like throws being used as a strategy in the Eastern Trick Catch event, it wasn’t conducive to try for tipping bonus points.

The Eastern Trick Catch (ETC) event had been conceived by Dan Roddick as a way to showcase fancy trick catching skills along with accurate throwing skills. It was the primordial ancestor of the competitive freestyle that subsequently came onto the Frisbee scene. The ETC format consisted of two players standing in twelve-foot diameter circles set 30 yards from each other. Each player in turn would throw the Frisbee to their opponent, such that it would pass through the circle. If the throw was short or outside the 12-foot diameter marking, the thrower would lose a point to his or her opponent. If the throw successfully passed through the circle, the receiver would score one point for a trick catch, and get a bonus point for each time the disc was tipped before making the trick catch. Well, it didn’t take long for the strong accurate throwers like Victor Malafronte, Dave Johnson and John Kirkland to figure out that a blazing hard throw would be difficult to catch, and even more difficult to tip for the bonus points. This strategy went completely against the concept of what Dan Roddick intended for the event, which he duly noticed before that inaugural ETC competition commenced. Guts already existed, and Dan was looking for a kinder-gentler type of game to showcase fancy catching skills, sort of a counterpoint to the guts game. The attempted solution was to lengthen the distance between the circles to 40 feet, figuring that would take the steam out of the fast throws and allow the fancy stuff to commence. It helped somewhat, but it didn’t deter the strategy of throwing hard and fast. The bottom line was that the tipping part of the game was almost nonexistent, and the game failed to be an incentive to learn multiple tipping type moves. So, the fact of the matter was that as of the first weekend of May 1974, controlled consecutive tipping was definitively not part of overall Frisbee play in general. Apparently, no one had seen it being done, and no one was trying to do it. Everyone who knows Victor Malafronte and John Kirkland know that if these two guys had ever seen anything like controlled multiple tipping, they would have immediately sucked it up into their repertoire of Frisbee moves faster than a dry sponge could suck up warm water. If John and Victor weren’t doing a particular Frisbee move, there was a good chance that no one else was doing it either.

At the first American Flying Disc Open event three months later, August, 1974, the same general group of players from the Octad gathered to try to win the brand new car that was being offered as first prize. Other Frisbee notables that hadn’t attended the Octad also showed up. There was a contingent from NYC that included Kerry Kollmar and Mark Dana. From the Chicago area were John Connelly, Tom Cleworth, and Bruce Koger. The University of Michigan guys, Scott Dickson and John Sappington showed up along with some of their Humbly Magnificent Champions of the Universe (aka Humblies) guts team members, including John and Jo Cahow. There were also many new faces to the Frisbee scene; it was Dave Marini’s and Doug Corea’s first Frisbee competition. Kerry Kollmar and Mark Dana sort of set the scene for the incessant jamming that took place all weekend. They induced many of the other players to partake in such jamming. It was a cool scene that included attempts at multiple tipping as a matter of course throughout the play, quite unlike the dearth of tipping at the Octad three months earlier. By the end of the Saturday of that weekend, some of the guys were smitten with trying to outdo each other in seeing how many times they could tip the disc before catching it. Some of the guys were even doing 4 and 5 tips before attempting to catch the disc.

The start of the final round the next day got postponed by heavy rain. Everyone crowded into the St. John Fisher College gymnasium to wait out the rain, and of course jammed to their hearts content. You could barely find a spot in the small gym to throw. John Kirkland introduced an amazing air-bounce throw, which when done well would set the disc to hovering slowly right above the recipient, just begging to be tipped. Virtually everyone was trying their hand at this newfangled throw, and virtually every time one a person received an air-bounce throw, the recipient took advantage of it and tried for a record number of multiple tips. Each new record lasted only minutes as the total number of tips climbed from 5 to 6; then 7, 8, 9 and 10 in short order. The only thing that kept the record from going over ten consecutive tips in a row was that the rain stopped and the disc golfing and DDC commenced. With golf and DDC occupying the players for the rest of the day, no time was left for jamming, and that was the end of the informal tipping contests.

Then two weeks later, at Jim Kenner’s and Ken Westerfield’s Canadian Open Freestyle for Pairs event in Toronto, it became crystal clear that some of the guys had taken multiple tipping to the next level.

In their respective routines, Irv Kalb and Tom Cleworth both showed absolute mastery and control over multiple tipping. They both went from struggling two weeks earlier to get 9 or 10 consecutive tips at the AFDO, to having the number of tips not even being a factor. They could tip the disc until the spin ran out if they wanted to. They limited themselves to maybe 20 or so tips per reception, opting for form and control quality over raw quantity. They both demonstrated that they could pop in an elbow tip or two in the middle of a consecutive string of finger tips. They used their total control to set the disc just in the right position to seal the sequence with a flowing trick catch. It was mind-blowing at the time and a foreshadowing of things to come. Significant to note, that at this time John Kirkland had still had not developed this kind of control in his tipping. But that condition was soon to be rectified, John never settled for second fiddle to anyone for long.

Based on these observations, it seems clear that unlike most facets of disc play, which were often created and developed by two or more people independently of one another and slowly evolved into moves we know of today, the art of multiple controlled tipping had a finite seed of beginning, which can be historically pinpointed. Then with the catalyst of Cleworth and Kalb demonstrating the worth of multiple tipping in a freestyle routine, tipping burst onto the scene in one fell swoop of a revolution, needing no evolutionary process or development for it to catch on. Virtually overnight every Frisbee player who played on a regular basis incorporated tipping into their mode of play. Contrast that with DDC, which started in 1970, but did not get adopted into regular play until 1978. Or disc golf; with the first historically known record of the game being played in was in 1926, but it was not adopted into regular play by the whole Frisbee community until 1974, some 48 years later!

Even tipping’s closest counterpart, the delay, did not catch on immediately. The delay was first publicly demonstrated in August of 1975, (St. John Fisher College again), but did not become widely used until the 1977 competitive freestyle season. Case in point, neither of the number one and two place finishing teams in the 1976 WFC freestyle finals used the delay as part of their routines, they both still used controlled multiple tipping as the connector between moves, a full year after Freddie Haft first displayed the delay move in competition.

Last Article | Next Article coming soon.

Thanks to the Freestyle Players Association (FPA) for sharing this information with FrisbeeGuru.com.

The entire document is stored on FreestyleDisc.org, as is the FPA’s Hall of Fame.

Episode 39: Joey Hudoklin has the Keys to the Highway

Joey GitisJoey explains how frisbee represents something much deeper to him. He was originally inspired by the band, Hot Tuna, admiring how they followed their own artistic path.  It was the OCTAD Jersey Jam tournament in the mid 70’s that spurred Joey’s interest in competing.  He shares his strategies on pushing the limits of his skills.  He also talks about the creation of many of the moves that continue to make freestyle exciting. Joey shares some sound advice for young players as well as his approach to balancing choreography and spontaneity.  Will we ever see the lost routine between Joey and Richie Smits?  Do you have a lost routine that you pine over? Let us know know the comments.

Jake talks about what your generous donations are used for.

Poll: How Many Hours of Practice Does it Take to Be Proficient at Freestyle Frisbee?

Bob Boulware Inverted Roll

One of the things I love about Freestyle Frisbee is that there is no end to learning. There are literally an infinite number of tricks, skills, and combinations to be mastered. This type of continuous growth it what keeps me engaged. But I recall being a new player and feeling frustration. It seemed like the most basic skills were far out of reach. Getting that disc to stay balanced, making good throws to my friends, knowing when to try the next trick vs going for a catch, and not hitting myself in the face with the disc all seemed impossible.

I stumbled across this Ted Talk video. The speaker, Josh Kaufman, says any skill can be learned with 20 hours of practice. Certainly it takes more than 20 hours to be an expert, but Josh claims you can be proficient enough to be past the frustration phase. To prove it, he learns to play the ukulele for his talk.

Now, I didn’t log my practice time when I was becoming proficient at Freestyle but it sure seemed like more than 20 hours. Then again, I didn’t exactly follow a plan. I just grabbed a disc when the mood struck and tried whatever skill I was interested in at the time. 

This is an interesting question as we try to initiate new players into the sport. How long should they expect to work at it? The poll for this week:

How many hours of practice does it take to be proficient at freestyle Frisbee?

How many hours of practice does it take to be proficient at freestyle Frisbee?

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