|Elliot and anticipated a fun game, |
woman behind us? Not so much
I have been to a few games, and I have been watching lots of clips of professional ultimate via the AULD's instagram account, so I knew what to expect. Most of the rules are the same, with the exceptions of having referees, violations or fouls producing changes in yards on the field or possession, and double-teaming. Only that last one really would be a major change, as one can only be single-teamed in all other levels of ultimate. To be surrounded by two adversaries cutting off almost all throwing lanes would be a challenge to any ultimate player. I imagine they have to practice this. The opponents--the Toronto Rush--set up sideline plays on purpose to double-team a thrower. It did put much pressure, but the turnovers the Ottawa Outlaws committed were mostly their own mistakes.
As the highlights on instagram indicated, there are plenty of layouts on defense with some very successful bids. There were probably not as many long throws (hucks) as expected. There were more scoobers (backhand upside down throws) than in any game I have ever played in. Speed still kills, as TO had one or two guys who consistently could go deep and get not just open but wide open.
The referreeing had some interesting impacts. On one play, the referees blew the whistle while the disk was in the air, and it would have been a score, except the throwing team, the Rush, had called timeout apparently. So, they negated their own score. Plus what was incidental contact was often called, leading to the offense getting the disk on the endzone line, akin to a football receiver getting pass interference. The picture to the right is a foul that was not so incidental as the Outlaw player tripped and then tripped up the Rush offensive player while the disk was just about to reach them.
Unlike all other sports, I can imagine myself playing. I was never good enough as these guys, but in the old days, I used to occasionally play with and against folks who ended up on the Montreal professional team. As I watch, I can see what throws I would want to make (fewer upside ones) and hopefully make good choices. But I would never get open as all of these guys could shut me down, and, of course, I would be a tremendous liability on defense. The game is similar enough to what I am used to. The big difference, besides the athleticism, is that they do much of the time (but surprisingly not all the time) get spaced out really well so that the cutting lanes are open and that their are almost always good cuts.
It was a great way to spend an evening, watching what this sport I have loved for so long is becoming even as I start to have serious doubts about how much longer I can keep playing. This summer of injuries was most frustrating. The question for the winter is whether I can make it through most or all of the season without needing serious physical therapy. If I can't, that will be the end of my ultimate career. If I can, I will keep playing. To be continued.
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