New T-Shirt Design and Colors

It’s been about a year since we introduced the FrisbeeGuru T-Shirt an opened our store. Since then, many of you have purchased shirts and mugs and joined the Wall of Gurus. In celebration of the one year anniversary and of all the great support and feedback we’ve received from you, we are introducing some new items.

First up is a new set of colors with a yellow circle. With this we complete the rainbow and can match any color pallet for your tournament or jamming wardrobe.

Next up is a new T-Shirt design. It’s a word cloud Freestyle Frisbee terminology in the shape of a hand. With this T-Shirt you can proudly display your love for Freestyle Frisbee and entice your friends to ask, “what is a nail delay?” Who knows, maybe this will be what leads someone into our fine sport.

Remember, all proceeds go directly to supporting our mission, so don’t hesitate to check out our store. We thank you for your support! Don’t forget to tune in to The Jammers 2018 Live stream. You might even see me wearing one of these fine shirts on the stream 😉

Episode 67: Joey Hudoklin Goes with the Flow

Joey Hudoklin

Photo by Scott Star

  • Randy calls out a couple great players that deserve to be recognized.
  • Joey talks about competing indoors vs. outdoors. There are a couple different schools of thought, as you all know.
  • He also comments on shorter vs. longer routines stating that flexibility might be a good direction to go in.
  • Joey takes it a step further and brainstorms ways that the categories could change to shake things up and reward different styles.
  • Have you heard of the 24 second clock? Joey shares Craig Smith’s concept and how it can be applied.
  • For new players, he encourages them to master the fundamentals. It is amazing how this philosophy can be applied to life.
  • Randy and Jake get a little out there, but we still love them.

Jammers in Jacksonville will be live streamed next weekend, hope you’ll tune in.

Impressions from VA States 2018

Bret Schramek at VA States 2018

Photo by Scott Holter

I was unable to attend Virginia States 2018. Fortunately for us, Alex Cornwell attended for the first time in his life. There is something special about Virginia States that is almost indescribable. If you have not yet gone, I highly recommend you go as soon as you can. Not surprisingly, Alex was inspired by his first experience there and has offered up the story below.

 

On 4/28/2018-4/30/2018 I went to Virginia for my first time at the Virginia State Championships. So I was a Virginia Virgin. No more! This is the oldest (42 years) tournament in the country. It encompasses several different disciplines; Frisbee Golf, Double Disc Court, Freestyle, and competitions in Distance, Accuracy and MTA. Although it is primarily composed of people from the good ol’ USA there were a few foreigners. And of course, we have some of the best in the world in a variety of events.

This article is about my personal reflections on the whole Virginia scene. I had been urged to go for several years. One reason that I could not attend is another event around here, the Visit Artist Studio Tour, one of my favorites of the year. This year however, the VA States was a week later. Another was inertia. Suffice it to say no matter the date, this will not be my last one. 

Something really unusual happened on the Thursday I arrived. I was walking down the street to get to the Capital Ale House, a recommended watering hole. I saw a guy with a Frisbee hanging out with another guy. I asked him if he was there for the Frisbee tournament and he replied, “What Frisbee tournament?” We chatted for a few and then I told him where I was from. Turned out he had been to my little town of Hastings just north of the City and had a friend in common there. We played a bit and then sat by the river bank. He pointed out that just across the river was Washington’s birth place and the location of the famed cherry tree. I share a birthday with the Father of our Country. And I met this guy all because he had a Frisbee in his hand.

There were a bunch of us at the hotel which made it a more festive occasion. It was great having breakfast with people there. And then there was the hot tub. That was a very important accoutrement to the whole shindig. A number of us took advantage of the situation.

Now Laszlo’s. For all the uninformed, which I largely was until Friday, Laszlo’s is the group that puts on the event. It’s kind of like the event itself. It has to be experienced to truly understand it. They provided a ton of food which was available all weekend till about 6p. For $40 it was all you could eat and drink although they did have things A la Carte too. All homemade, all vegetarian and very good. A huge thanks to all those hearty souls who helped out. They set the whole thing up Thursday and cleared it on Monday with the help of Rob Fried and I who roped me in.

Rob was one of the people who urged me to attend. He took second in Freestyle with Daniel O’Neil. To put it mildly, they shredded. They were up against tough competition with the three winners World Champs merely about 30 between them. The competitions were very intense.

I had never seen Double Disc before and it was a revelation. The catches were either safe and mundane or spectacular. The throws were all at least modifications on the basics usually highly angled. Some were completely made up on the spot and there were a number of throws that are unique to Double Disc.

Distance was won with an astonishing throw of 212 yards.

One of the most gratifying aspects of the whole event was playing with a couple of kids. I have always enjoyed teaching youngsters. It was great to see them with some of the crème de la crème of the Frisbee world. One kid had never caught a trick catch and after a little instruction, he made several utl and btb catches. And the jam got spread yet again. Parenthetically, that’s one of the most important facets of the whole Frisbee scene, passing along techniques and information to children. Of course, many of the moves and even the games that were displayed over the weekend were not even invented when many of us were that age. They are hooked!

Kudos to the organizers Erics Wooten and Olsen for their work behind and in many cases in front of the scene. I got the very cool newsletter last year with my name and the address misspelled; classic Frisbee. The best indication of the success of the tournament is the love not only from the participants past and present but the people who put it on and the spectators as well. I really appreciate their hard work. Yes I know it’s a labor of love, devotion and dedication to the sport and the event itself but it is still work. May it continue to shine!!

If you’re on Facebook, Scott Holter has some great photos from the event here and here

The Jammers 2018 Will Be Live Streamed

The Jammers 2018 LogoThe Jammers 2018 will be streamed live from Jacksonville, Florida. The event takes place on Jacksonville Beach on May 26-28. The actual competition is only one day; most likely on May 26 but may shift based on the weather.

The Jammers will be host to most of the top US players as well as many locals and regulars who boast unique skills that are not seen often seen at other events. Just to throw out a few names; James Wiseman, Daniel O’Neill, Ryan Young, Pablo Azul, and Jeff O’Brien. That, plus some of the best playing conditions; ample hard pack and a stiff, steady breeze make the Jammers an enjoyable event to attend, or to watch. As a final twist, this year’s event will be using the the dial based judging system.

So, don’t miss it! Tune in May 26th at about 1pm EST (UTC-4).

Episode 66: John Kirkland – Stop Thinking About It, Just Be Present

John Kirkland - Friz Whiz Mini

  • John Kirkland talks about pendulums, air molecules, and the beginning of the chaos theory – or, is it just go with the flow?
  • Frisbee is a combination of structure and feel, it is about marrying the two. Using the past, the future, and the now, makes it come together.
  • John shares some of his innovations…which he says mostly comes from watching others and taking a little bit from everyone.
  • When touring with the Globetrotters, he believes he was the first to do a self-set to practice.
  • John, Jake, and Randy talk about the “osis” and its’ many applications.
  • They also talk about finding the surprise in playing and the human reaction.

The Jammers will be live streamed the last weekend in May, and they will be testing the dial system. Be sure to tune in!

A Glimpse Into the New York Freestyle Frisbee Scene

Alex Cornwell

Alex Cornwell

For this post we have a guest writer, Alex Cornwell. Alex is one of the many, long time Frisbee Players in New York City. Anyone who attended FPA Worlds in 2016 probably met Alex. Being in the New York Jamily has touched Alex’s life. In 2016 he was inspired to learn that the Jamily extends far beyond New York. In this article, Alex shares his love and appreciation for Frisbee with us and the world. Thanks, Alex!

 

Frisbee: just the word invokes feelings of summer, beach, camp, park, etc. We picture a Frisbee and imagine it soaring in the sky. What makes it so magical? Dr. Stancil Johnson, who wrote one of the classic treatises on the sport of Frisbee: “A Practitioner’s Manual and Definitive Treatise”, declared, “When a ball dreams it dreams it is a Frisbee.” Freestyle Hall of Fame inductee, Dan “The Stork” Roddick, riffing off Dr. Johnson’s comment, declared “when a Frisbee dreams, it dreams of being Freestyled.”

This article will delve into how I got my start and my personal reflections about the Freestyle Frisbee scene in general and particularly in New York. I have been very blessed to be part of this wonderful community for about 10 years. I have been playing Frisbee for over 40 years, but the last 10 years have been just a revelation.  

When I was in high school, I played quite a bit but we never had anybody that was that good. Collectively, we had 5-6 throws and 3-4 catches and that was it. There were no other moves. We did play all the time however. Consequently, we got the “Heaver Bug” as opposed to the “Jammer Bug.” I, for one, was hooked. I played on and off through college and beyond.  

For years in Hastings where I live, I have been known as “Frisbee” or “Frisbee dude” or something similar. I was the best Frisbee player, or close to it wherever I played. Now, that is not always the case! Occasionally, I’d join in an Ultimate game at SUNY Purchase or play at the Clearwater Festival. There, I was in my element – just another ordinary good player! 

I started going to the Sheep Meadow in Central Park, New York about 15 years ago just heaving with anyone who was decent. The Meadow is one of the Meccas of the Freestyle Frisbee World. The Sheep Meadow is located on the West Side of the Park and is about 15 acres; so named because sheep roamed in the area years ago. Central Park’s website notes, “In the 1960s and 70s, Sheep Meadow became the scene for large-scale concerts, the televised landing on the moon, peace rallies and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. But these events, and the lack of management and maintenance, led to the lawn becoming severely eroded — a virtual dust bowl. In 1980, it was restored and has been maintained by The Central Park Conservancy ever since”. The New York Park’s Commission, in its infinite wisdom, refurbished the area.  Now it’s beautiful.

It is here, by the manhole cover, in the middle of the Meadow, where we congregate every Thursday for a gathering called “All Star Thursday” (A*T), as long as the weather is nice and the Meadow is open. When I first started going to the Meadow, I didn’t even feel comfortable being in the same space as the legends. They were so far beyond me in ability I was astonished. Now, I am one of the gang, albeit less skilled.  

On any given day, the Meadow is filled with hundreds of people. Many groups bring a picnic or just hang out. The sport that people play the most is…you guessed it…Frisbee. Yet, as one who has witnessed the elite in the sport, it is still amazing to me that they not more recognized. Not many even pay much attention to them, although the level of play is consistently astonishing. In 2016, the Freestyle Frisbee World Championships were in Brooklyn, and the Meadow had one of the greatest assemblages of freestyle Frisbee talent. At one point there was a jam of about 15 people which was EPIC. Yet not many non-freestylers watched. If, on the other hand, freestyle Frisbee was a more popular sport and the crème de la crème were out, there would be a larger number of fans watching and the players would be much more recognizable.  That doesn’t stop the freestylers from coming out though. They are diehards – even in bad weather.

One thing I have noted many times and others have commented on is the closeness of the community.  The spirit of inclusivity is an important component. There is a phrase that the jamming community uses, “Jamily.”  Jammers are all around the world, and anywhere there are jammers, there are family members.  It is really one big family.  Most people who attended the 2016 FPA Worlds were not staying in a hotel or even an Airbnb. They stayed in people’s homes.  

I was in Virginia recently for the Virginia States and the whole family concept was really brought home. The love for the people who set up was palpable. And the love of the organizers towards the participants, some of whom were the same, was also obvious.

The community is the same at the Meadow. Freestylers encourage each other and push them to bigger and better feats of Frisbee madness.  If someone has made several unbelievable moves in a row – but hasn’t either caught or passed the Frisbee – a common refrain is, “Now what?”  Another common refrain when someone pulls a new move is, “Look at you now!”  Another one is, “waka-waka” for an especially incredible move. Other expressions of support and/or challenge are prevalent. This sense of encouragement is a very important component of the whole scene. 

One important occasion is the awarding of the Gamboa.  It is a small statue with a hand holding a Frisbee in the nail-delay position. After a consideration of a few regulars including the previous winner if present and a brief ceremony, the Gamboa is presented to the person who displays the best technique following a brief speech. This feeling of spreading the jam not only is translated to the veterans but, more importantly, to the newbies. The concept of Spread the Jam is crucial.   

NYC Jamily. Lou is Yella!

Photo by Rob Fried

Another aspect is the Yella phenomenon. Someone who is Yella has been absent from the scene for a week or more. T-shirts have been made with the inscription “Who is Yella”. There is also a heckler-in-chief, often one on the disabled list, not a fun place to be by the way. His or her role is to gently poke fun at the participants challenging them to more elaborate moves. The goal once again is to bring out the best.  

The community is way beyond all the physical stuff though. The community, as I mentioned, is really one big family. When people need a place to stay, a bed magically appears in a Freestyler’s house. Many times a guest jammer, either announced or as a “Mystery Guest”, will come to the Meadow and be greeted warmly by the people there. And then the jam gets spread! When tragedy hits, as it inevitably does, the community is there to support each other. When a beloved member of the community passed away recently, the first one to do so, prayers went up before and after. People shared reminiscences and pictures online and together. And during the freestyle Worlds in 2016, there was a brief ceremony by the manhole cover. There was someone, a 19 year old, who had only been in the Meadow a couple of times. She commented on the closeness of the community. A couple of weeks after she got her first real taste of ZZzzs. She was already dreaming about it. She’s caught the “Freestyle Fever” and now has begun competing and is doing very well in such a short time.  

My favorite thing with Frisbee is teaching. This is my small way of Spreading the Jam. Throwing is what I do best. It’s very gratifying to see a kid who at first can’t throw very well, and then with a pointer or two they improve dramatically.  When I was in VA, with the help of a jammer, we taught a kid to catch a couple of catches for the first time. And as I point out to the younguns, many of the moves that are common now were not invented yet when I was their age. Kerry Kolmar, one of the elites, states in his article, Falling into Frisbee “the truth about Frisbee is that its greatest gift is not just enjoyed by those of us who have mastered it, but also reflected in the joy that it brings to people the first time they try it. Watch a child throw a Frisbee for the first time and you’ll see what I mean. In its simple, miraculous design, Fred Morrison gave the world a universal tool for communicating.”

So where does this leave us? Back at the beginning. With the beauty of the Frisbee. Spreading the joy of Frisbee. Spreading the jam. When we dream, we dream of playing Frisbee!

 

Episode 65: Dave Lewis & Arthur Coddington Go Mental

  • Have Jake or Randy ever lost a nail during competition?
  • Dave & Arthur discuss their mental approach to competing.
  • We hear about the 1996 FPA Worlds journey and how they dealt with doubt on their way to their first FPA Open Pairs title.
  • Is it possible to win a bet where no one loses?
  • Hear about the rivalry between the 2 co-op teams of Dave Lewis, Arthur Codington, Dave Murphy & Randy Silvey, Larry Imperiale, Bill Wright and how they each pushed each other.
  • Was the Holy Roller planned or was it fate?

Jake and Randy love their Frisbeeguru coffee mugs. Perhaps it’s time you to fall in love as well.

 Dave, Dave, and Arthur winning co-op at 1997 FPAW.

In 1998 the co-op finals took place on Saturday. On Sunday, the winning team did a demo for the crowd. Below is their demo. Without the pressure of competition, they shredded even more than usual!

 

Black to the Forest 2018 Will be Live Streamed

Black to the ForestBlack to the Forest 2018 takes place on May 5th and 6th in Freiburg, Germany. Thanks to Chris Belaj, it will be Live Streamed here! The event is hosted by Alex Wegner and Sacha Scherzinger.

On Saturday, May 5ht they have an interesting format in mind that they call “Pocket Check”. Its designed to see how deep players pockets really are. Teams of two are formed randomly by drawing names from a hat. Then the teams face off against each other in a battle style format. The plays not playing the active battle pick which team played the best using General Impression. If the votes lead to a tie, the tie breaker is a battle of Speed Flow. This tie breaker will further test a team’s depth of skill.

On Sunday they will have a CoOp round. At this point it is unclear to me if CoOp will use a more standard competition format or will continue with the Pocket Check concept. We’ll all just have to tune in to find out.

All-in-all this should prove to be a fun event for both those in attendance and those spectating. Thanks so much for putting on the event and for bringing us the action! Check out the facebook page for more details.