Frank and Todd

Interviews 6 Comments

In this episode I talk to Frank Huguenard and Todd Leber (Ulticritic). We talk about who they are, why they do what they do, and their views on many different topics.

Todd Leber: I started playing in 79’ in high school in Fairfax va. Moved to wilm in 81’ as a freshman joined local team, cape fear gale force. After 5 years splintered off with a nc combo team called nobody and whored around for a few years then hooked up with the local college kids for a couple years on the college circuit (hosted 89’college nationals, founded college easterns tourney, td’ed dozens others along the way) coached uncweed, started wilm summer league, captained club team to its first nationals appearance in 92 and pretty much fizzled after that competitively. In 95 planed out formation of NUA. Hosted and reffed in 96 club allstar showcase (first official game of ultimate ever to be officiated by a 6 man crew) then hosted a 7 team elite nua tourney (dog won) then nua fizzles out…..only to be reborn and die in 2005 then morph into MLU in 06 which again dissolved. At that point I took off my promoter hat and put on my critic hat and became ulticritic.

Frank Huguenard began playing Frisbee in the late 1960′s and being from a large chaotic family in Indiana, grew up fiercely competitive. By the late seventies, Frank had become fairly proficient with a disc and being athletically inclined, when he heard that there was a Frisbee-centric team sport on the Purdue campus, he immediately took to it and became involved with the sport called Ultimate. Being a square peg stuffed into a round hole (a competitive jock amongst a culture designed specifically to  accommodate neither), Frank has spent decades ostensibly miserable in a environment (ironically created to emphasize fun and inclusion) that he consistently experienced as hostile and unaccepting towards him, his out of the box thinking and his unconventional throws & moves.

Late in 2003, after watching the movie Dog Town and Z-Boys (a documentary highlighting the birth of modern skateboarding), Frank set out to understand why Ultimate Frisbee never realized the same evolutionary growth and explosiveness that the Skateboard community experienced.

In this ground breaking interview, we’ll hear from Frank in his own words just how he’s come to the conclusion that Ultimate Frisbee was developed intentionally to thwart innovation and evolution and how, from a historical point of view, the game was simply never meant to be competitive. In response to his own conclusions regarding Ultimate Frisbee, Frank has developed an alternative new sport called Dischoops that he feels is everything Ultimate should have been but is not.

More information on Frank at

Meredith and Kyle

Interviews No Comments

While out in Boulder at my first UPA Board meeting I managed to snag Meredith Tosta and Kyle Weisbrod for a quick interview. Kyle was the UPA’s Director of Youth Development from ’02 to ’06, and Meredith took over his position in 2006. During the interview we cover what’s it’s like to head up US youth Ultimate as well as how they found themselves working at the UPA.

DeAnna and Chase

Interviews 3 Comments

In this episode I talk with DeAnna Ball and Chase Sparling-Beckley, this year’s UPA Spirit Award winners. We talk about what it’s like for them to have won the award as well as cover their thoughts on tough marks, the best tournaments they have ever been to, and how they got started in the world of Ultimate.

DeAnnaDeAnna: I was born in Gary, Indiana and grew up in Northwest Indiana (otherwise known as “The Region”). I did my undergrad at Purdue, where I first started playing Ultimate with a group of engineering grad students (1991). I attended Ohio State for my graduate work, and earned my PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in 2001. For the last five years, I have worked as an editor for science textbooks at Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. I also teach at Columbus State Community College.

In the time that I’ve lived in Columbus, Ohio, I have played Ultimate with the local men’s team, women’s teams from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Ann Arbor, and Columbus, as well as a year of mixed with Cocoa (out of Columbus). I have played in the local summer league and have been minorly involved in the Columbus Ultimate Disc Association (CUDA). In 2006 I stepped in as the coach for the Ohio State Women’s Ultimate team–Fever.

I have volunteered for the UPA as a Women’s Regional Coordinator (Central Region. 1999-2002) and am the current National Women’s Director (2002-current). I have attended about 150 tournaments in the 16 years that I have been playing Ultimate, including participating in 5 UPA Championships (San Diego in 1999, and in Sarasota 2004-2007). Currently I am stepping out of competitive Ultimate but hope to play locally and continue attending tournaments.

I live with my partner Beth, 4 cats (Jake, Casey, Matilda, and Angus) and 3 dogs (Cody, Sidney, and Marty).


ChaseChase: You can learn all about Chase here, here, and here (PDF).

I started playing ultimate in high school in Seattle, Washington, with a team named MoHo. From Seattle I attended college in Northfield, Minnesota at Carleton and played with the Carleton Ultimate Team for four years. During school in Minnesota I also started playing Club ultimate with the Minneapolis Men’s team, Sub Zero. After graduation I moved back to Seattle and began playing with Seattle Sockeye, where I have been for the last four years. Since moving home I have also been coaching ultimate at local high schools, and at the youth club level.

What would you ask?

Questions No Comments

Early next week I’m talking to Chase Sparling-Beckley and DeAnna Ball about their recent Spirit Awards. After that I have MikeG, Frank, and Ulticritic scheduled to talk about the future of the game. My question to everyone out there is:

What would you like to ask them?

You can post your questions in the comments section of this post, email them directly to me, or better yet, post them in the voice comments section of this site. (Voice comments have the chance of being played during the podcast.)

Tiina and George

Interviews No Comments


In this episode I talk with Tiina Booth and George Cooke about their experiences running NUTC and the UCPC. We also cover some stories about their lives and their vision for the future of Ultimate.


Tiina Booth

Tiina Booth moved to Amherst in 1989 when she was hired as an English teacher at Amherst Regional High School. In 1992 she founded the Amherst Invitational, the oldest high school ultimate tournament in the U.S. She coaches the boys’ varsity team at ARHS and in 1997 was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” for her coaching achievements.

In 1998 Booth co-founded the Junior National Ultimate Championship, which her team eventually won. For the next four years, her team finished in the top four, with runner-up finishes in 2001 and 2002. The following year, the Hurricanes won the national title again in Birmingham, Alabama; they repeated in 2004 in Corvallis, Oregon. In 2005 they won the Easterns Championships in Pittsburgh and finished second at YCC in Minneapolis.

Booth also coached the U.S. Juniors Boys Team at the World Ultimate Championships in 1998 and 2000, winning the gold and bronze medals respectively. In 2004, she coached this team again with Michael Baccarini and they took home the gold, with a victory over the Canadian juniors in the finals. She is currently working on a book about ultimate with Michael Baccarini, which is due out this month!

In 2001 Tiina founded the National Ultimate Training Camp, the first overnight Ultimate camp in the world. Since it’s first year with only one session of 28 campers, NUTC has expanded into 3 sessions of 100 campers each. Campers have come in from all over the US and several foreign countries.

In 2007 along with George Cooke, Booth founded the Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference. The conference brings together Ultimate personalities from all over the US for a full day of lectures, panel discussions, and the Ultimate Expo.

She has coached such players as Stephen Rouisse (Colorado University, Johnny Bravo), Josh Ziperstein (Chain, Brown, DoG, 2005 US World Games team), Darden Pitts (DoG), and Will Neff (Twisted Metal).


George Cooke

George Cooke: I was born in Philadelphia in 1964. I moved around a bit as kid, but grew up primarily in Ithaca, NY. I was introduced to the sport of Ultimate in 1976 at Hampshire College , where my father was teaching summer school mathematics. I also developed an interest in music while in high school, and the Cornell Ultimate furthered my interest in Ultimate. My friends and I formed the first Ithaca High School team in 1981. I attended UMASS/Amherst and played for ZooDisc in the fall of 1982. I dropped out of the sport in 1983 to pursue a career in music. It was at UMASS that I met my wife and we were married in 1992.

My wife and I moved to Boston in 1991, prior to getting married. I started working at Boston College, where I work now in the theater department. I pursued fame and fortune as a musician in the early 1990′s, but had more success as a sound engineer as I toured the country several times. Our daughter was born in 1997, and it was then that I was re-introduced to Ultimate. I made my debut at Nationals in the Mixed Div at the age of 35. I retired as a player in 2005, and I have been coaching the Wellesley College team since 2003. My family currently lives in Newton, Mass.

If you’d like to read more about George head on over to his website.


Lots of the information from Tiina’s bio was taken from and

The UltiVerse – ep1 – About This Site

Site Stuff 5 Comments

Listen in to find out what this site is all about.