June 16, 2016 by Charlie Eisenhood in Livewire with 1 comments
Today, the New York Times published one of the better mainstream news articles you’ll see about ultimate. The article circles back to the long-time debate about officiation and Spirit of the Game in ultimate.
It quotes multiple stakeholders — WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch, USA Ultimate CEO Tom Crawford, MLU Executive VP Nic Darling, and AUDL Marketing Manager Tim DeByl — about referees, observers, and self-officiation. There’s nothing groundbreaking here for a close watcher of the sport, but it’s a nicely put together story about the situation.
Some choice quotes:
“One of the things the [International Olympic Committee] found intriguing about ultimate is that it kind of embodies the Olympic ideal. The athletes treat each other with dignity and respect. It’s a really unique ethos. It is baked into the sport; the I.O.C. saw that right away.” – Tom Crawford
“Sometimes a call between two players happens quickly, and you don’t know what’s going on. Games occasionally fall apart, there are some bad calls by players, and that’s a bad fan experience.” – Tim DeByl
“Once you move the sport from being player-focused to being fan-focused, referees are able to facilitate the game and make sure it operates at the best pace and the best spirit of fairness.” – Nic Darling
“We believe [referees are] unnecessary, and [the AUDL and MLU are] missing a big marketing opportunity.” – Nob Rauch