Matt Teaches the Flamingitosis Catch

The flamingitosis is one of the most challenging catches. To understand it, it helps to break down the name; Flamingo – Gitis – Osis. A flamingo is when one plants on one leg and catches the disc behind the planted leg. A gitis is a variation of under the leg where the disc is caught around the outside of the leg opposite the catching hand. So right hand catches on the outside of the left leg and vice versa. So, a flamingosis is catching around the outside of the planted leg with the opposite hand. An osis is when one spins away from the catch so body rotation moves the hand in the direction as the disc is flying. Check the links for more details on each. Now put it all together and you have a flamingitosis.

Of course Matt, being the incredible jammer that he is, decided to add a double spin before he caught it. This is not a requirement. To fully understand the body mechanics involved, watch the video. There’s even a nice slow motion section. After Matt’s second spin you can see how he looks over his catching shoulder for as long as he can before his body blocks the view. Watching the disc as long as possible is the key to making this catch.

Another thing I find helpful is falling into the catch. The fall is not required, but for me it opens the window just a little more. You can see in the video, it works for Matt as well.

Episode 38: Jake and Randy Talk About Frisbee as the Great Connector

Randy Looking HeinIn this episode Randy takes an opportunity to share some of his old stories. It sounds like Randy’s road to the Rose Bowl in 1980 was a crazy one.

  • First there was getting to the NAS Tournament in Boulder, hear how Randy used his frisbee prowess during a hitchhiking adventure to avoid going to jail; a great example of how Frisbee can be such a connector.
  • At only 16 years old, Randy worked hard to prepare for his solo routine at the Rose Bowl that never came to fruition, but not all was lost. The routine is linked below.
  • Jake and Randy talk about choreographing solo vs. with others and they discuss the pros and cons.

Poll: What is the Best Type of Bag for the Jam?

Megan Arrives to the Jam with Her Bag

A common experience shared among jammers is packing one’s jam equipment into a bag before heading to the jam. The bag the holds the equipment can be integral to the process. It must hold everything; the discs, whiz rings, nails, glue, slick, shoes, etc. It must be easy to pack and unpack and easy to carry without being too bulky or heavy. Sometimes it must also protect the gear from wet grass or rain or possible worse…the sweat from the dirty clothes after the jam.

When Charles Kuske recommended this poll to me, I took a moment to reflect on the history of my jam bags. I used to use a duffel bag but switched to a backpack long ago for the ease of carrying. At one point I had a special backpack with a Sky-Styler sized disc pouch. I found that I carried more discs than would fit in the special pouch and so moved on to a water-proof backpack so my clean clothes would stay dry. Still, I am not convinced that my bag is the best. It doesn’t quite fit all my stuff, especially on a cold day where I need warmer jam clothes. I’ve seen people use rolling suitcases, and other custom bags that are tailored for Sky-Stylers. So now, Charles and I want to know:

What is the Best Type of Bag for the Jam?

What is the Best Type of Bag for the Jam?

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If you have a favorite bag, please leave a comment and let us know.

Word of the Day: Taco

Failed leaping UTL attempt, resulting in a TacoTaco (verb):

  1. To accidentally bend a flying disc in half, creating the shape of a taco shell. This usually happens during a drop. The player attempts a leaping under the leg catch but misses. As the disc hits the ground the player’s extended leg comes down on top of the disc and forcefully bends it in half. To taco a disc is especially disheartening because the disc will probably have a wobble from then on. 

Example: Oh no, you just tacoed our competition disc!

Episode 37: Dexter Struz from Prague

Dexter Strunz
In this episode we talk to Dexter Strunz, one of the original tournament directors for the Famed Frisbeer Competition.

  • Hear how Dexter, who started as a foot bagger and event organizer, added freestyle to his repertoire in 2004.
  • He shares the origins of the popular Frisbeer Tournament and the sudden interest from others in Prague.
  • How did 15+ great players suddenly appear?
  • Dexter shares tips on the best way to learn the sport.
  • Jake asks Dexter to share some of his favorite memories from Frisbeer, which he has so successfully organized over the years.
  • Dexter gives a personal thanks his freestyle family in the states for hosting him while he and Lucie traveled the world, something he highly recommends!

Poll: If there was an overall event where you had to compete in at least 4 disciplines, would you be interested?

DDC shenanigansThis poll comes from Jan Müller. Jan runs the site doubledisccourt.de and is trying to establish both DDC and Overall a bit more in Germany. Jan is considering hosting an Overall Frisbee event that would include 7 disciplines: Freestyle, Discgolf, DDC, Discathon, Accuracy, Self Caught Flight, Distance. He wants to determine if there is interest among the freestyle community to attend such an event. Though hosted in Germany, anyone from any country is welcome to attend. Players must compete in at least 4 disciplines. So, for those who enjoy Freestyle and are interested in trying other disc sports this is a great opportunity. This weeks poll aims to find out how many people are interested in such an event.

Since Jan wants to hold this event in Germany, answers are broken into 2 sections; German residents and all others. Don’t worry if you could not attend for other reasons such as living far away. This poll is about learning if freestylers are interested in trying other events.

 

If there was an overall event where you had to compete in at least 4 disciplines, would you be interested?

If there was an overall event where you had to compete in at least 4 disciplines, would you be interested?

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Matt Gauthier Teaches the Flamingosis Catch

Matt Gauthier teaches us about the famingosis catch. This is one of the more challenging catches to master. Also, it has a intriguing look due to the unique body rotation involved.

First, some nomenclature. The basic osis catch is covered here. It involves catching behind the back as one spins away from the disc. A similar spinning away movement can be applied to almost any catch. In this example, Matt is showing us the flamingosis, which is a flamingo with the osis style rotation. There is also gitosis, chosis (chair osis), bad attitosis, and probably a whole host of others. So, take your favorite catch and try to add an osis to it. It can open a whole new world.

Now for the flamingosis. Set the disc up and then spin. If you spin to the left, as Matt demonstrates, then plant on your right foot, kick your left foot out, and reach behind your right leg with your right hand and make the catch. As you spin, watch over your right should as long as you can, then flip your head around quickly and watch the disc into your hand over the left shoulder. Matt points out that the motion is very similar to a phlard. So, one way to begin is by catching a pharld but move your hand to the other side of your leg. This will help you with the motion.

There are also some subtle variations here. For example, the raised leg could travel over the disc before the catch is made. Or, it could move into position before the disc is low enough for the leg to go over. Or it could never go past the disc flight path at all. All are valid but it changes the aesthetic. My guess is that, with a little creativity there are other possible variations as well. If you think of any, please share in the comments below.

 

Episode 36: The Lost Interview with Steve Hayes, AKA “The Beast”

The Beast

Photo by Char Powell

As we practiced to start our podcast, we interviewed Steve Hayes “The Beast”. He has so many deep thoughts about Freestyle Frisbee that we found ourselves fascinated. This is one of those early interviews.

  • Randy starts off with a burning question for Jake.
  • The Beast goes deep on what he considers a good throw.  Who knew he was so philosophical and thoughtful?
  • He talks about the heartbeat of the jam, which is not just about making the hard moves, but about the connection with another person and making them look good. 
  • Jake talks about the hoop factory.
  • Randy, Jake, and Beast discuss flow, and a what that means now and how that evolved over the years.

Poll: When You Go for a Spinning Trick, Which Rotation Direction Are You Strongest?

Sacha Spins

Photo by Anne Gabriel

Many performance based sports like figure skating and freestyle skiing as well as most dance styles incorporate spinning. Freestyle Frisbee is no different. Adding spins to any trick ups the difficulty and adds to the artistic value. I came across an interesting article about different disciplines and the performers prefered spin direction. According to the article it seems that few, if any performers will rotate both ways. It also seems that many “athletes” spin counter clockwise while many “dancers” spin clockwise. Of course there is no rule that says one must spin in a given direction and every discipline has exceptions. The article doesn’t really conclude why one spin direction is prefered over the other, but preferences are quite clear.

This left me wondering about spin direction in Freestyle Frisbee. Perhaps our preference will reveal whether we are athletes or dancers. This Poll asks, when you go for a spinning trick, which rotation direction are you strongest? Note that this not asking if you can do both. Yes, I can catch either direction, but percentage wise I have a much higher chance of catching if I spin counter clockwise. 

When You Go for a Spinning Trick, Which Rotation Direction Are You Strongest?

When you go for a spinning trick, which rotation direction are you strongest?

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History: Appendix 1: The Development of Freestyle in Canada

Canadian Open FrisbeeIn 1970, Ken Westerfield and Jim Kenner moved from Michigan to Toronto, setting up their Frisbee playing headquarters in Queens Park. Playing Frisbee freestyle and object disc golf became a daily event at the park. In 1971, with a hundred dollars each, bedrolls and a Frisbee, they set out to hitchhike across Canada, stopping to do improv Frisbee street performances at popular annual events, the Klondike Days in Edmonton and the Calgary Stampede in Alberta. Concluding their cross-country hitchhiking tour in Vancouver, they made their summer home in the Yippie (Youth International Party) founded “All Seasons Park” (tent city). This park was a protest against the Four Seasons company plans to build a complex on two blocks adjacent to Stanley Park, which was inspired and modeled after People’s Park in Berkeley, CA, formed two years prior. Westerfield and Kenner, although not politically affiliated with the Yippies, still made the protested park their home while performing nightly Frisbee shows in the historic Gastown area, in front of a railroad car turn restaurant, oddly enough called Frisby’s. Because of the urban settings, free-styling with a Frisbee at night in front of crowds in the streets was very surreal. They would bounce the disc off the buildings, throw around statues, skip the Frisbee through traffic and throw over mobs of interested spectators. In the fall of 1971, wanting to return to Toronto they needed travel money. Continuing to perform at Frisby’s, they decided they would try to collect money like street musicians. It was a success. Returning to Toronto they lived in the notorious counter-cultural Rochdale College while performing Frisbee shows on the Yonge Street Mall. Nightly, thousands of tourists and Torontonians would enjoy displays of their Frisbee expertise, while friends would use a Frisbee to collect donations. Wanting to add professional legitimacy to their Frisbee show, they approached Irwin Toy, the distributor of Frisbee’s in Canada and proposed their show to promote the Frisbee. Their first professional performance was a basketball half-time show at Jarvis Collegiate Institute in Toronto. The students loved it; Westerfield and Kenner were only paid twenty dollars each for the show, but more importantly, they had proven that their show would be beneficial in helping the company to promote the Frisbee. In 1972, they were retained by Irwin Toy to perform at special community and sporting events across Canada. Each year beginning in 1974 their Canadian tour would end in Vancouver where they would conduct their Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships (1974-1977) on Kitsilano Beach and Stanley Park. These Irwin tours also included teaching and conducting contests for the Jr. Frisbee Program assisted by the Canadian Parks and Recreation. This program was adopted from the successful Wham-O, Jr Frisbee Program in the United States.

Canadian Open Frisbee Championships 1975Ken Westerfield and Jim Kenner teamed up with Andrew Davidson, early Canadian disc sport promoter and Jeff Otis, event coordinator for the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), to produce the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships in conjunction with the Canadian National Exhibition. The event began in 1972 with Guts and Distance, and later added Freestyle and Accuracy. In 1975, the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships moved to Toronto Islands where disc golf, ultimate and the individual field events were added to the original events that began at the CNE.

Actually, in 1973, Westerfield and Kenner, wanting to see if there were other Frisbee freestylers, had decided to add their idea of a Frisbee Freestyle competition to the 2nd Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, but due to a lack of competitors, the freestyle event was canceled. The only two other freestylers that showed up in 1973 were Victor Malafronte and Jo Cahow, who performed a Freestyle demonstration that wowed the crowd. This was the first time Ken and Jim would see other highly skilled freestylers. Unknown to Ken and Jim at the time, there had been the beginning of a growing Frisbee freestyle swell in the United States centered in Berkeley, New York, Ann Arbor, New Jersey and Chicago. In 1974, at the 3rd annual Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, Westerfield and Kenner introduced the first ever freestyle competitive event called Freestyle which was attended by players from each of the above-mentioned areas.

Vancouver Open 1974Later in 1974 Kenner and Westerfield organized the Vancouver Open Frisbee Championships at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver, BC. They included their second big freestyle competition where Bill King, Jim Brown and John Anthony made their first competitive appearance.

Also in 1974, Westerfield and Kenner approached Molson Breweries with the idea of performing Frisbee shows at basketball halftimes in Canadian universities as the Molson Frisbee Team. Always looking for unique ways to get into the university market, they accepted their proposal and were more than impressed with the results. The next year, Molson’s used their show exclusively to introduce a new brand of beer called Molson Diamond. In 1975, with Molson’s sponsorship, Westerfield and Kenner moved the Canadian Open Frisbee Championships, from the Canadian National Exhibition to the Toronto Islands. Molson’s would continue to sponsor their Frisbee shows and events for several years. Along with promoting Molson products, this would help Westerfield and Kenner to promote their new sport everywhere.

Mary Kathron After 1974, interest in Frisbee and disc sports exploded across Canada. Jim Kenner and Gail McColl moved to London, Ontario and founded their disc manufacturing company Discraft. Ken Westerfield and Mary Kathron began a Professional Frisbee show called GoodTimes, performing in Canada and the United States at universities and sporting events. Also, there were several sponsored Frisbee touring shows coordinated by Bob Blakely as IFA Director at Irwin Toy with Orange Crush, Air Canada and Labatt’s Breweries. Orange Crush even provided logo painted motorhomes with several touring Frisbee teams to do shows at fairs, sporting events, shopping malls and schools across Canada. Bob Blakely, Ken Westerfield, Mary Kathron, Ron Leithwood, Mike Sullivan, Brian McElwain, Kevin Sparkman, Stuart Godfrey, Pat Chartrand, Peter Turcaj, Gary Auerbach, Jim Brown, Bill King and John Anthony were the touring freestyle performers in the series and became the foundation upon which Freestyle grew in Canada.

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.