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Our Rules

by Ryan Morgan

No one gets four strikes in baseball simply because they think its wrong that the rules allow only three. You don't pick and choose which rules to follow. You play by the rules of the game. Whether or not you agree with it, the Spirit of the Game concept is a fixture in the official rules of Ultimate so we, as players, have an obligation to adhere to it. But in the middle of a game, especially one with much at stake, what does it mean to adhere to a concept that is so vaguely defined? 

We've all heard cheers of "good spirit" raised by opposing sidelines when a teammate concedes a contested play. But yielding to an opponent's opinion cannot be what the rules mean by Spirit of the Game. Instead, the core of the Spirit of the Game concept is a mandate to play with integrity. Playing with integrity means playing as honestly and as objectively as possible. But it also requires the courage to stand by your honest opinion. 

To me, Spirit of the Game means calling it the way you see it. It means not yielding to an opponent when your honest perspective differs. On the flip side, it means not allowing a vocal teammate to influence your perspective. And perhaps most difficult, it means not allowing the fact that your decision may determine the outcome of the entire game to influence your perspective. 

It's true that Spirit of the Game is often abused and disregarded. I have just two comments on those that play that way. First, disregarding Spirit of the Game is cheating, plain and simple. There is no faster way for a player to lose my respect than to disregard Spirit of the Game by knowingly making false calls to gain a competitive advantage. Second, any victories achieved without upholding Spirit of the Game are hollow victories. We commit hours and hours of time and energy all year long to compete on the field to determine the better team. All that effort is for naught when one gains a competitive advantage by cheating instead of by putting in hours on the track and at practice. 

huddle Issue 24 Spirit Of The Game

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

by Tully Beatty

The Real Issues With Spirit
by Lou Burruss

Even If No One Is Watching
by Lindsey Hack

A Tennis Analogy
by Brett Matzuka

Our Rules
by Ryan Morgan

Codifying Spirit
by Ted Munter

Spirit Of The Games
by Taylor Pope

Character When It Matters Most
by Chelsea Putnam

The Blender
by Charlie Reznikoff

Two Principal Components
by Adam Sigelman

What Goes Through Your Head
by Ben van Heuvelen

What We Do
by Ben Wiggins

My Turn As That Guy
by Anonymous Elite Open Player





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