Co-founder Josh Coxon Kelly introduces the latest addition to The ShowGame – Discussion
If there’s one thing Ultimate players aren’t afraid to do it is to stand still calmly with a hand in the air and command the rest of a fourteen strong whirl of athleticism to freeze all sport in an instant to, well, have a chat. As players of the game we have all had to become accustomed to this emergency stop, and with it occurring at such a frequency and pervading with equal importance a rainy 3 on 3 at the park and the World Championships it is easy for the intervention of ‘a call’ to become so familiar that we forget that it is something that instantly separates our beloved sport from just about any other the world over.
|Katey Forth (Texas Showdown) in a call. Photo courtesy of Brandon Wu, UltiPhotos.
Discussion is hard-wired into our sport. We place the burden of fairness on not only those whose sense of impartiality is stressed the most, but also at the exact time that it is most stressed. Championships, trophies, medals, victories, and most importantly a crucial, yet fundamental sense of honesty all rest on our ability to first to play with that sense of sportsmanship, and secondly to use words and dialogue to solve any cases where any player believes the rules to have been breached. All in all, our positions as both officiators and players lead to a sport that we all share the responsibility to co-create each time we play. There is no (outside of the US) external interference or incentive – we between us train for, stage, and compete Ultimate.
On-pitch is not the only site where debate can be found at Ultimate tournaments. Sidelines, tents, hotel rooms, bars, minibus and car journeys home are the site of team bonding but also naturally bubble into forums where we compare and form our various opinions on the many facets of our sport. The hope of this section of TheShowGame is to amplify the viewpoints that these discussions are composed of, no matter how complementary or discordant they may be.
In this section will be posted pieces that tackle issues and debate head-on. Taking Ultimate as our lead, we encourage opposition, expect disagreement and expect and encourage mutual respect at all times. And so with this introduction comes a call to writing. Far from a pulpit, this is an open floor. So please – more than ever – get involved!
JCK @ tSG