The WFDF Game Advisor Was Predicted Months Ago

Ultiworld columnist Benji Heywood may have had a bit of influence over the new WFDF game advisors. Take a look at this post from last summer on his blog, Understanding Ultimate.

He wrote:

Imagine an observer (facilitator? advisor?) who:

  • Could cap discussions after a time limit, and send the disc back if needed
  • Knew all the rules well
  • Spoke both relevant languages
  • Communicated the call to spectators
  • Offered an impartial ruling on what happened
  • But could NOT force the players to accept his or her ruling

There’s a lot more where that came from, but he called it! This is basically the exact concept that the WFDF task force decided upon.

Heywood is a big proponent of self-officiation and made this (apparently persuasive) case for an impartial third party without significant powers to make rulings.

I am very curious to see how it works. I do think some of the changes made — like moving from a 60 second time limit on call disputes down to 45 seconds — don’t really solve the problem of endless bickering in tight matches. And how exactly is a game advisor going to work? I’m afraid we’ll see something like this:

Player 1: “Foul! You hit my hand as I went for the catch.”
Player 2: “No, I didn’t. You dropped it before the contact.”
Player 1: “Game advisor what did you see?”
Game Advisor: “I saw the disc pop out of your hand before the contact.”
Player 1: “That’s not what happened!”

*bicker bicker send it back*

I could surely be wrong, and perhaps just the presence of a third party will clean up the game. But with no teeth to enforce calls and vague language about what exactly the game advisor will be able to do in a situation where they need to discipline a player, I’m not convinced this is enough, yet.

But it is a start. And Club Worlds will give us a good look at whether it’s effective or not. 

  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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