WFDF Releases Worlds Spirit Scores, Canada Near Bottom

Earlier today, the World Flying Disc Federation released the Spirit of the Game (SOTG) scores from the recent World Championships in Japan.

Patrick van der Valk, the Chair of WFDF’s SOTG committee, said in the press release, “The goal of the Spirit of the Game Scoring System is to recognize teams that serve as models for the sport, as well to help identify teams that need guidance regarding poor on-field behavior and lack of respect for the rules. WFDF is committed to SOTG as a core component in Ultimate, and we will continue to take efforts to ensure that all players are taking responsibility for fair play.”

Each team ranked their opponents’ spirit in five categories: Rules Knowledge and Use, Fouls and Body Contact, Fair-Mindedness, Positive Attitude and Self-Control, and Our Spirit Compared to Theirs, ranging from 0 (Poor) to 4 (Excellent).

The lowest total spirit score went to Japan’s Mixed team — which scored 8.00 points out of a possible 20. South Africa’s Mixed team scored the highest with a 14.60.

Spirit, perhaps for the wrong reasons, was one of the biggest issues of this year’s Worlds. A particularly unspirited game between Canada and Japan’s Open teams was the focal point of the tournament.

Japan scored just above average with an aggregate score of 12.40. Canada was fourth from the bottom with a score of 10.60. They were tied for last place in the “Fair-Mindedness” category and second to last in “Fouls and Body Contact.”

Due largely to the Canada/Japan game, many have called for WFDF to implement an observer program like the one that is in place in the US and Canada. Robert “Nob” Rauch, WFDF’s President, told Ultiworld this week that their members don’t want observers and that there are other ways of enforcing spirited and fair play.

WFDF’s press release touched on the discussion:

[quote]In response to concerns voiced regarding unsportsmanlike conduct in certain games at the recent WUGC, WFDF Rules Committee chair Rueben Berg commented that, based on the WFDF Conduct Policy, avenues are available to deal with unsportsmanlike conduct during any WFDF event, if these issues are brought to the attention of the Tournament Rules Group (TRG). The measures available to the TRG include the ability to censure a player or team, adjust a result, order a game to be replayed, or disqualify a player or an entire team from the event if a player or team “exhibits violent, obscene, abusive, disruptive or illegal behavior, cheats, or otherwise attempts to create an unfair advantage for themselves or disadvantages others through circumvention of the rules; or otherwise causes substantial hardship, inconvenience or annoyance to spectators, officials or players.” According to WFDF, a number of teams were contacted during the tournament regarding their Spirit scores but no official complaints were lodged with the TRG during the tournament.

Following the event, WFDF has been communicating with several national associations regarding their teams’ spirit score performance and areas for improvement.[/quote]

Rauch reiterated their position against observers. “WFDF will continue to support the position of its members that Ultimate remain self-officiated,” he said. “Self-refereed games, at all levels, have worked well for more than 40 years and we believe that, with ongoing commitment by the players, this system will continue to showcase Ultimate in the best possible light.”

Full SOTG scores are posted below:

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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