If you don't already know, "Ultimate" is short for "Ultimate Frisbee," a sport similar to football... but played with a disc (you shouldn't call it a frisbee), has a lot more running, and far fewer concussions. I discovered ultimate frisbee as a freshman in college, and it soon became a big part of my life.
When it comes to disc, I play a lot. Chances are good that anyone who has played ultimate at least semi-seriously publicly in the capital district has played with me. Here are a few of the groups that I frequent:
- SCUFF - The Schenectady pick-up league I've run for over a decade.
- Chicago Ultimate - A group that plays primarily out of Skinner Park, grew out of COVID, pretty much single-handedly made my time in Chicago worth it.
- Albany Ultimate - Organized league for the capital district.
- Troy Ultimate - Pick-up league out in Troy.
- Saratoga Ultimate - Pick-up league up in Saratoga
- Shen Ultimate - A high school pick-up group whom I mentor.
- Connecticut Ultimate - Organized league for CT.
- Niskayuna Ultimate - Pick-up league out of Niskayuna.
- Berkshire Ultimate - High-level pick-up league in western Mass.
- New Haven Ultimate - A pick-up group in southern CT.
- Burnt Hills Ultimate - A casual pick-up league up in Burnt Hills.
- Moscow Ultimate - When I'm lucky enough to be visiting Russia.
- Ultimate Chicago - Organized league for Chicago.
- Collins Park Ultimate - A newer pick-up group in the capital district.
I also go to plenty of tournaments, and am a long-time member of USA Ultimate.
Captain & coach
Combining two loves: ultimate and teaching. I've been a registered USAU coach and I teach at the beginner/youth/junior level- the basics of the game, how to have fun, the spirit of the game, basic plays and strategy. What I've seen from other captains/coaches, is that they take the game too seriously and players lose interest. While it's important to play hard and give 100%, the all-or-nothing attitude should be reserved for the super-competitive levels of ultimate. To me, ultimate is having fun, and that's how I teach it. A good coach should be able to demonstrate a lot of patience as someone learns, and be able to clearly explain to a player what they can do to improve. And if a player improves and wants to join a serious club or pro team, I can give them guidance there as well. I'm particularly proud of my 2012 captain review (typos and all), where the league secretly polled the players about their captains as part of the end-of-season review, and I ended up with the new “best captain of the league” superlative.
In case you couldn't tell by all the videos in the sidebar, I shoot a lot of ultimate frisbee video. Going all the way back to the embarrassing first day of SCUFF pick-up 2009 to tons of more current videos on my own site, on YouTube, and Vimeo.
I have been called “the most organized guy in ultimate.” I guess it's true on some level, seeing how most tournaments and teams are run. I just like it when things run properly. I tend to approach things with a computer-programmer mindset, preparing for all scenarios and making sure all involved are well-informed ahead of time.
Years ago, when I started playing with a lot of the local ultimate pick-up groups, I was surprised that so few knew that the others existed. And even though they all loved playing, no one wanted to go play with people they didn't know. So I decided to organize a tournament for the local groups to play each other and called it the "Capital District North Pick-up Mini-Tourney." It was a social event to get local players to meet each other, while still playing with those they know. It was a huge success and it's now an annual event that draws up to 100 players every year. And not only that, once people met other local players, they started attending each other's games, bettering overall attendance, giving players more chances to play, and improving the general local ultimate frisbee community. The only downside it is no longer obvious who plays for which pick-up group at the tournament (the players/groups have to decide for themselves). Watch the video of the 2012 tournament.
In the winter of 2013, I was the tournament director for the New York State division of the Indoor Ultimate Championships, and then again asked in winter of 2015 to be the TD, this time as a hat tournament in the men's division.
There are more ultimate-related apps bouncing around in my head than I have time to create. But two that have at least some version online are: