First off, I'll be at the field this Saturday around 9:30 AM to set up the new lined field. This will be my second go at it (did it Thursday solo), and would greatly appreciate any help. Plus, if I teach other people how to set it up, then we can use it during the rare games I miss.
Labor Day is quickly approaching, which means it's Cookout time again! Same deal as our Memorial Day / 4th of July events, please RSVP with what you plan on bringing, or bring some small cash donation ($5) for someone to go shopping and pick up stuff that people didn't bring. The event is up on Meetup right now --- http://www.meetup.com/ultimatefrisbee-166/events/30074561/
--- so don't delay.
A list of upcoming ultimate social events on the horizon:
- September Birthday Bash at John's place (Saturday, September 17th). Meetup event and details will be coming soon. Probably very similar to the recent parties at Patty's and Zoot's houses.
- Jim's band is playing at some bar, somewhere, sometime. There may or may not be hot chicks attending. More details once Jim sends them over to me.
- Dinner outings, probably the last Friday of the month? More details from Tabitha later.
- Costume Ultimate! Halloween weekend (Saturday October 29th & Sunday October 30th). Costumes will be optional, but strongly encouraged.
- Holiday party! Perhaps at someone's place. Perhaps a bowling alley, or bar/restaurant. Perhaps holiday games.
If anyone will be interested in coordinating / hosting these or any other events, please let me know.
Next on the agenda...As those of you who played Thursday know, we now have lined fields! Well, one lined field. I'll discuss this in a Q&A format, because it seems appropriate.
Q: Why lined fields?
A: Every now and then for the past couple years, someone will mention "Gee, wouldn't it be great to have actual lines?" Mostly because, aside from games immediately post-snowfall, it's often difficult to tell if you're in bounds or in the endzone.
Q: Is that really a big concern?
A: Not really, but it slows the game down a bit (especially when a long time goes by without an in vs. not-in call made), and occasionally people get upset when they disagree with a call that was made.
Q: Haven't there been ideas for lined fields already?
A: Common ideas thrown out have been paint, chalk, a whole bunch of cones, etc. Not really viable / desirable options for us.
Q: So what's this one made out of?
A: Richard recently mentioned that he played a few games in Michigan on fields that had been lined with a heavyish ribbon substance. I remembered seeing something like that at the NexGen / Machine game (even though they were on a football field already).
Q: Where'd you get it?
A: A cursory glance online showed that pre-made kits are available, but cost something like $150-$200 / field. Additionally, the sizing wouldn't quite work out since we usually don't have the space for a regulation field (though we're reasonably close...I think). After perusing the website and talking with some people, I stopped at Menard's a picked up materials for a significantly more economical solution.
Q: So you made it?
A: Yeah. Wednesday, Zoot and I assembled most of the field we played on (henceforth known as the "orange field"). So the next time you see Zoot, please thank him for his help.
Q: What'd you use?
A: Marking tape (it's kind of stretchy, an inch thick, brightly-colored) for the lines, key rings for the corners and midfield, and then these small ceiling hook things used as stakes to hold the rings in place. Also, an extension cord reel to roll it all up.
Q: Anything else noteworthy?
A: Since the tape lies pretty low, we used four cones for the corners of the field, to mark the back of the end zones. If you're far enough back that you can't see the yellow tape marking the front of the endzone, then it probably doesn't matter too much.
A: The yellow endzone tape did not stay very straight during the game. In the future, we'll have rings and stakes at 1/3 and 2/3 of the way across, heavily pushed down so that the barefoot folks don't get hurt (did a test of this Thursday, as long as they're down far enough we're fine). This will keep the tape lower and straighter, so there will be much less chance to trip. Additionally, some ring-type thing (possibly a rubberband?) somehow attached to the reel would make it easier to tear down the field. Having cones or off-color tape at the brick marks on each side, and at "mid-field" horizontally, would be a plus as well, and a pretty easy addition. Small steps though.
A: Personally, I thought it rocked. In addition to basically instantly having a clear idea of whether or not you're in (which was a bigger deal to me than I thought it would be), there were some benefits that were unexpected. First, there was a disc sailing out the back of an endzone, and I knew where/when to stop my feet to be able to catch it in bounds (dropped/missed it anyway, but it was a good learning experience). Second, people seemed to better-respect the endzone lines during pulls. Not a huge deal at all, but it gets us incrementally closer to a "real game," which is important to some. Third, it looks kinda badass. One of the folks remarked something like "I've been to tournaments that didn't look as nice as this." One slight potential negative here: as we look "more professional," we might be a little more off-putting to new people. Instead of just being "a bunch of dudes and dudettes tossing a frisbee around," we're now "a somewhat organized group of people playing some game that might take skill and athleticism."
Q: The future?
A: I've got (most of the) materials for another one or two, so that's on the horizon. I doubt we'll have these show up much during our weekday games now (they take a longer time to set up / tear down, and daylight is becoming more of a precious commodity). However, I can definitely see these being the standard for weekend games and summer weekday games next year. Pulling the fields down seems to be best as a 2-3 person job. Set-up would likely go much quicker with 2-3 people as well. We're definitely at the starting end of the learning curve. Also, the field was sized to fit into the majority of places we put our fields. There are a few locations (such as up front) where this probably won't quite work. Perhaps the solution is to have two "standard" fields, and one smaller "utility" field that will fit where we want it to.
See you on the (really cool orange) field,