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Ultimate Fallacies

To prove that Ultimate Frisbee is a complete and utter sham, I've dissected just the first three paragraphs of the rules and come up with NINE major fallacies.
What do Christianity and Ultimate Frisbee have in common?
  • They were both created by people of the Jewish Tradition**
  • They both promote ignorance (this is true, do you know many enlightened christians?)
  • They are both cults (there is no question about this)
  • The both use a misguided sense of morality as a means of control
  • The both share a lack of tolerance for non-like minded thinkers (wait, that's the definition of bigotry)
  • Arguing with an Ultimate player is a lot like arguing with a Christian (you go round and round and nothing ever gets resolved)

**Many people have incorrectly assumed this to be an ethnic slur or anti-semitic.  Just because I used the 'J' word doesn't make me an anti-semite.  The reason this is relevant is the same reason it's relevant to mention that a disproportionate 25% of attorneys are Jewish while only making up less than 2% of the general population.  Additionally, 50% of attorney's are Catholic while Catholics make up less then 1/5th of the US population.  The prevailing theory for this disparity is that Halakha, the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the Written and Oral Torah, is so ingrained into the Jewish tradition (which by virtue of the Old Testament's inclusion into the Bible makes Catholicism a derivative of), that it's difficult to differentiate law from lifestyle and Jewish and Catholics entire mental framework is legalistic.


It is from this perspective that the above observations were made.  Everyone in ultimate Frisbee is their own lawyer, their own judge and their own policeman.  There's an old saying that a person who represents himself in court has a fool for a client, which is why real sports have referees.

It has always been my understanding that the two main progenitors of the game were Joel Silver and Irv Kalb.  Joel is widely credited with inventing it and Irv was responsible for codifying the first formal rules revision in the early 70s and subsequent versions through the 70s.  Johnny Hines, Buzzy Hellring and an assortment of others also had a hand in the formulation of the rules, but I leave this in for historical context and reference.

Fallacies in Ultimate Frisbee

Directly from the UPA** rules (sorry, as you know I can't bring myself to refer to the UPA as anything other than the UPA)

1) (1st paragraph) It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, ......
Read it again, carefully. Implicitly, this line (in the very first sentence of the rules), states that the only reason for penalties in sports is to prevent cheating.  This is patently untrue.  The entire game rests on this one falsehood.  The wording is almost insidious in how it conceals what it is really saying but if you rephrase it ...there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions because no player will intentionally violate the rules... (same exact meaning, sentence just flipped), it's much more obvious.
2) (1st paragraph--same sentence) ....but rather a method for resuming play in a manner that simulates what most likely would have occurred absent the infraction.
This is actually impossible.  It might be when you play a two dimensional game (although even then I would argue against the concept), but when and if you ever understand how to 'drive' and you become a three dimensional player, there is simply no way to resume play as if there hadn't been an infraction.  Imagine trying to resume a football play in the middle of a play action pass. Impossible.  Of course, 40 years ago, there was no way to anticipate somebody implementing something like the Triple Threat principal in Ultimate, but at the same time, the game just hasn't changed to accommodate advancement in ideologies.
3) (1st paragraph) In Ultimate, an intentional infraction is considered cheating and a gross offense against the spirit of sportsmanship. Often a player is in a position to gain an advantage by committing an infraction, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules**. The integrity of Ultimate depends on each player's responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game™, and this responsibility should remain paramount.
Wow, they actually trademarked SOTG?  So that's where our $300,000 went.  This sentence is a huge problem.  It fosters bigotry (definition of bigotry: lack of tolerance for non-likeminded thinking).  Bigotry is a huge problem in the culture and is part of why change is so slow in coming.   There is this inherent you're either with us, or against us kind of mentality built into the linguistics of the rules.  Bigotry is why it's so hard for me to find a team to let me coach them (wait, he thinks differently, that can't be good. we'd better play it safe).
Please don't impose your misguided sense of morality on me, or anybody else.  There are no absolutes when it comes to morality and this rhetoric doesn't belong in the rules for any game.  I"m not saying that conventional sports don't have a way of dealing with abhorrent behavior and in fact, this is my whole point here.  They do have a way of dealing with it, rather than just attempting to legislate it out of the game by attempting to manipulate using a guilt trip.  A misguided sense of morality as a means of control.  What does that sound like to you? (hint: it involves grown men wearing robes and burning incense)
There is also an underlying problem with this clause that most people don't understand.  Maybe you've experienced this and not understood what was happening.  When you call someone for traveling or whatever, the reaction is typically the identical kind of reaction you would expect as if you are accusing them of cheating.  Have you ever noticed this?  I call completely legitimate traveling violations on players and all they do is scream at me indignantly, as if I was the person who was in the wrong when all I did was make an honest and appropriate call.  Have you experienced this kind of behavior?
Do you understand what I'm saying here and can you relate to it?  What this clause is saying is that rules violators are inherently cheaters.  Very dangerous stuff.
**And let's not even get started for how in sports like basketball, committing fouls at the end of the game is a tactical and strategic part of the game and obviously not considered cheating.  Do you 'gain an advantage' by it?  Of course.  Wow, people in sports actually pushing the rules to the limits to try to win?  Is there something wrong with that?  Again, this rhetoric is suggesting that pushing the envelope on what the rules/boundaries are is bad and something to be discouraged.  Pushing the envelope is what sports is all about, but then Ultimate isn't a sport.
4) (2nd paragraph) Ultimate is a non-contact disc sport
Again, this is ridiculous.  Ultimate may not be a collision sport like football (although I've seen some pretty sensational collisions over the years, far more dangerous than you would ever see in basketball or soccer), but there is a much contact as soccer or basketball (and more and more contact every year). Just watch this classic video (I love the way her head bounces off the ground)
Unfortunately. because of this particular fallacy, there is nothing in the rules to limit the quantity and severity of contact.
Secondly, ultimate is not a sport at all.  A game?  Yes.  A sport?  Not in my book and not in the book of the guy who invented Ultimate.  Not with codified dogma, and that is exactly what these rules present.  In any dictionary definition for a sport, the word competition is used and Ultimate was built with anti-competitiveness as a prime directive.
5) (2nd paragraph) A player may not run while holding the disc
Simply not true.  Sure, there are conditions, but the statement, as written is totally false and misleading.
6) (3rd paragraph) Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player
This is somewhat outrageous to me.  The rules for the game are inherently unfair and yet the responsibility for fair play is placed on the player?  Who wrote this stuff?

7) (3rd paragraph ) ...but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, ..

Wait???  Where else in the world of sports is there mutual respect between players?  This is completely artificial.  When a rookie steps on to the basketball court with Kobe Bryant, is there mutual respect?  HELL NO!!!!  Mutual respect in Ultimate means that some punk can foul the crap out of a veteran and not know he's done anything wrong.  Mutual respect is a horrible idea.  Idealistic in principal but a bad concept in practice.  It's part of why ultimate has never evolved.

8 (3rd paragraph) ..... adherence to the agreed upon rules,....

Do you see what they did here?  In a subtle way, they made you agree to these rules when in fact, if you've read through this post, there's no way you can possibly agree with the first three paragraphs.  This has all the makings of a religion, or a cult.  Anyone who disagrees is an outsider, a heretic.  Very dangerous wording used here but no one has ever noticed or questioned it.  Been there for decades.  If you don't agree with these rules (you shouldn't by now), you're ineligible to play.
9) (3rd paragraph)  ...... the basic joy of play....
I'm sorry, after the 1500 travel calls on me over the past dozen years (on totally legal moves) the 1500 pick calls on me the last dozen years (on perfectly legitimate picks--and the worst part of these is that a defender will go from being 15 feet off of me when he called the pick, to standing right next to me when he set up (a fucking thousand times this has happened)) and the 3000 or so fouls I've drawn over the past dozen years, somehow the basic joy of play is long gone.  And this is just the past dozen years and doesn't include the first two decades I played.
All in all, at least 9 significant and undeniable falsehoods built into just the first three paragraphs of the rules. The rest of the rules all are then developed based on the premise of these basic tenets, etc.  I would suggest that none of these are minor nuances and when added all together, you've got a serious issue with Ultimate Frisbee, as it is currently configured.
10 (XVI.H.) Fouls (II.E): It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible
I just put this clause in for completeness.  Obviously, this rule, which has been in place since the 1st edition of the UPA rules, is not adhered to whatsoever.  Especially by the punk ass bitches playing the game these days.  There simply isn't any effort made not to foul.  In fact, I would argue that since intention is such an important constituent to the way the rules are written that the game actually encourages lack of awareness so players can plead plausible deniability I didn't mean to do that (in the spiritual world, we have a word for that, you know, lack of awareness.  We call it ignorance).
So, you may have been working under the assumption that the rules for Ultimate were thoroughly thought out.  Codified by a committee of the game's best minds.  Debated and vetted over for the past 40 years to create a fair and level playing field for competitors to excel at their best.  OK, maybe Ultimate has a few idiosyncrasies but every sport has those and the game is rock solid, isn't it?
No.  It's all a lie.  This is Joel Silver.  Hollywood producer (Matrix Trilogy, Sherlock Holmes, Lethal Weapon, etc.).  When he invented ultimate in the late sixties, he himself labeled Ultimate Frisbee an anti-sport.  Don't take me word for it (that ultimate isn't a sport), the creator of the game himself makes that claim.  Does this guy look like he has any business developing a competitive field sport?  The biggest lie of them all was that that this framework would create a game that was the most fun for the largest demographic of people.  This assumption underlies the entire philosophy that went into these rules.  And from the first edition, way back in the early 70's, ultimate has remained largely unchanged.  In fact, for every rule in the past few editions that has moved the game forward [slightly], there are two rules that moved it backwards and the game is still pretty much the same as it always was.  Gigantic end-zones, no penalties, arbitrary rules (tell me again, why is double team illegal?) and inconsistent/fuzzy boundaries.   Oh yeah, play dischoops!!  It's fun.