Tag Archives: Sports

Ultimate Frisbee Lingo

Main Piece:

J is a member of USC’s ultimate frisbee team. In Ultimate Frisbee there are many terms that are used during a game to talk about strategy, they are:

“Laying Out” is when you jump forward and go parallel to the ground to catch the disk

A “Bid” is when someone jumps to get a disk

A “Blade” is a frisbee that’s thrown really vertically

“Bookends” are when you block the disc from being caught by the other team, then you catch it to score a point

“Cutter” is the catcher, “handler” is the thrower

“Chilly” is what you say when you want someone to calm down and not just throw the disc immediately.

Context:

J is a sophomore at USC and a member of USC’s Ultimate Frisbee club team. He has competed on this team for two years and enjoys the sport very much. This was taken from a text chat with him discussing ultimate frisbee.

Thoughts:

While at USC I had played with the Ultimate team for one semester before quitting to focus on other things. One thing I hadn’t learned are the terms above. I find that they would definitely be confusing to any new fan or player that has not heard of them before. The only term I knew from J’s list is “Chilly”. During one of the games I played in my one semester on the team, I remember people saying “Chilly” right people got the disc, and I was unfamiliar with what it mean. However, since it sounds similar to “chill” like “chill out” I understood that it meant to calm down. Other terms don’t make much sense to a new player like a “Bookend” for instance. How would one know that it is a term for blocking a disc? I think that this language reflects the culture of Ultimate Frisbee and its uniqueness as a sport as a whole.

Peppering

Context: The informant is a current junior at Cal Poly SLO. She plays volleyball at the intramural level and has been playing volleyball since middle school.  The following is an interview between me (DM) and the informant (EM)

EM: Peppering is a warm up drill between two to three players as a warmup drill where the people pass the ball to each other in different variations of bump, set, and spike.

DM: What version are you most experienced with?

EM: The version I’m used to includes two players. It starts when one member passes the ball to the other. That second person sets it to the first and the first spikes it to the second. Once spiked, the roles are interchanged and the cycle starts again.

DM: What other versions are there?

EM: Although the way I explained is the most common version, as long as you maintain the order of bump, set, and spike, you could call it peppering. It could be with a net in between or just in a circle, you can pepper almost anywhere.

DM: Why is it called peppering and where did you first learn about it?

I’m not too sure why this drill is called peppering though, it was just something I was taught. I learned about it in my freshman year of high school on my varsity volleyball team from my coach.

Thoughts: I’m curious about why the drill is called peppering. It shows the resourcefulness of volleyball players since volleyball nets aren’t as common and since volleyball normally requires many people to play normally. Since they aren’t able to always have a court, the concept of peppering adapts to where and how many people are available.

Track Team Superstition

Context: The informant had been speaking of memories with her track team in high school.

Piece:

Informant: Yeah so, there was this like consp.. I don’t even fucking know… okay so basically my coach said that if you ever like dropped the baton, like the relay baton during track practice that like that for sure you were like you were like… I don’t know something about the relay… and the actual race was gonna get super messed up. And so if you dropped the baton you always got severely punished on the team and one time this girl Maya dropped the baton and then the coach made the whole team run two miles because she like takes it super seriously and apparently that’s the only way to cancel it and uh. The weird thing was that it wasn’t even that if you dropped the baton during practice you were gonna drop the baton during the actual race it was just that something is gonna go wrong like nobody knows what. Usually it was about somebody being injured or like someone going down and have an injury if the baton was dropped in practice.

Collector: Um so did you like…

Informant: So I never dropped the baton before but it was always really scary and I knew the punishment was gonna be something really ridiculous if someone did it um and plus um because of the fact that our coach believe that if your dropped the baton it resulted in someone being injured, everybody would be on edge for the track meet after a practice where someone dropped the baton. So it was kinda like an extra pressure added. So it made it that I was on the relay team freshman year and we never dropped the baton.

Background: The informant, a 19 year old USC student, ran for the track team in high school. This piece reflects the beliefs she shared with her team. This belief also helped push her as an athlete and created a sense of camaraderie within her team.

Analysis: This superstition is a homeopathic superstition, as it follows the “like produces like” ideology. If the baton is dropped (which is considered bad) then a team member will get injured (also considered bad). But once they run laps (which is good for athletic ability) then the predicted injury is reversed (also good). This belief amongst her track team is a piece of shared knowledge that connected the team. This idea provided standards for the team and brought the team together through the common goal of safety. This also is a sort of preventative measure against injury, which is incredibly important for sports. What is particularly interesting is that the coach enforced this shared superstition through punishment. Superstitions typically are an individual choice, but in this case the team felt obligated to do so and almost forced into believing the superstition. This piece shows the power of sharing beliefs with others and how it affects an environment/group of people. It also enforces a core value of American society which is success, and by believing and following through with this superstition, the team is led to success.

I got singles in my britches

Text

I got singles in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah (x2)

I got singles in my britches

and it really really itches

(turn around and scratch butt)

I got singles in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah

I got doubles in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah (x2)

I got doubles in my britches

and it really really itches

(turn around and scratch butt)

I got doubles in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah

I got tipples in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah (x2)

I got triples in my britches

and it really really itches

(turn around and scratch butt)

I got triples in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah

I got home runs in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah (x2)

I got home runs in my britches

and it really really itches

(turn around and scratch butt)

I got home runs in my britches

Yes I do

Yeehah  

 

Background

The informant use to sing this song at her soft ball games. They would use this song as a way to not only boost their own morale, but to also intimidate the other team. The song made her feel proud of herself and proud of her team.

 

Context

The informant goes to college in Southern California and grew up in Newport beach where she attended a nice public school.

 

Thoughts

This song boosted the team’s morale, as the informant said it did, but it also gave them a way of feeling like they were truy apart of a group. It was a way to separate them from the other team. Knowing the song was also a way of separating themselves from people who did not play softball or baseball and may not know the song or even what “singles” or “doubles” mean.

 

Pre-game ritual: Goalies

 

Main Piece

Informant: Before every game starts, when I am in the crease, I’ll tap the right post with the handle of my stick and the left post with the blade end.

Background:  The informant is my brother. He is a senior at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. There he plays goalie for the club hockey team and has been playing at a club level for well over a decade. He first learned of this superstition through his first goalie coach. He has done this act before every game he remembers playing in. For the informant, the act has become less superstition as he has gotten older. Still, the informant continues this ritual as it has become second nature in his mind. The interview took place over the phone and was recorded for transcription.

Context: The informant will do this act around 30 seconds before the game starts. The informant has been a committed teammate and goalie for the better portion of two decades.

Analysis: Sports are ripe with pre-game superstition and rituals, just like this one. Hockey goalies are especially habitual in the pre-game routines. Whether it be tapping the post with their stick, eating a certain meal or throwing up before the game (Yes, that one is true). However, this is not restricted to only hockey or goalies themselves. Players of all positions in all sports have their own specific pre-game rituals. (For a list a list of similar superstitions of professional athletes, please see Jeff Mclane’s 2008 article, For The Eagles, Superstition Is The Way (TCA Regional News)). Specific to this piece, I found the transition from superstitious behavior to second-nature for the informant interesting. While it might have started out as a superstitious pre-game ritual intended to bring good look for the upcoming game, it has since morphed into an acknowledgement of origin for the informant. The informant does not continue this ritual because he feels it will bring him good luck. He does so because he became the goalie he is today through tapping each post. When the informant continues this tradition, he is reminding himself of everything he has been through to get to where he is.