Hey all! You probably don’t know who I am, but if you’ve been on our website you may have seen me in the ARIA team page. My name is Candace (or Ace), and I recently moved from NYC to the Seattle area and have been working with ARIA for the last few months. I wanted to give you my own personal recap thoughts about the ARIA Ultimate Game of the Year that we had on April 7th here in Seattle.
First off, the weather was akin to some of the hurricanes my mother in Florida describes. Swirling winds and cold rain, not quite the best of weather to debut our new disc, but a fitting tribute to launching a Seattle company! For those of you who only play in glorious sunshine, I’d like to take a second to lay out why this weather was so difficult. In windy conditions, the disc requires a bit of extra spin to cut through any headwinds and fly straight. In rainy conditions, the disc requires less spin in order to make it easier to catch. You can see the difficulty in the situation when both conditions are present, as you both need more spin AND less spin on the disc, go figure!
Games with such weather often lead to one of only two outcomes: you become so frustrated and aren’t enjoying any aspects of what you’re doing, or you just have to laugh at the things that happen on the field because sometimes they aren’t in your control.
I consider ourselves very lucky to have had two rosters completely full of people who were able to take the weather in stride and laugh. The spirit on the field was so palpable you could feel it on the sidelines; you could see it behind the camera lens in the smiling faces of the players. There was no competition on the line, no high stakes to fight for in this game...at least for the players. For those of us who were anxiously biting off all of our fingernails in the nervousness about how this game would turn out, the stakes were pretty high. We were showing you all a new disc, and as ultimate players we’ve all reacted to new discs or seen reactions from others over new discs, we know how the story can go.
So what did I notice? I noticed seven players on the line, fourteen people on a field, fans and teammates cheering from the sidelines, one disc, and a game of ultimate. I noticed the high energy, the smiles of the players, the great plays and nice throws, the good defense and solid offense. What I didn’t notice was the disc. The disc didn’t take away from the game being played in front of us, it didn’t detract from anything happening on the field, and it performed excellently in the wind and rain. You may wonder why I say that as a good thing that the disc wasn’t the center of attention. It’s a great thing, because it means that the ARIA disc is doing what it was built to do. It’s a tool to bring people together with a similar goal in mind; to play a game and to celebrate a community and it’s values. If you don’t believe me, ask the players who were there!
I know that while we are just a disc, we aren’t JUST a disc. We are trying to change the world through our disc, by putting discs into the hands of thousands of people across the globe. We already have 700 discs prepared to go to social organizations who will use them to spread ultimate and create environments where anyone can feel safe and welcomed. The disc as a tool on the field is made to be familiar, to not change the game...but the disc as a tool outside of field is meant to change the game. We have lofty goals and hopes that we can get more discs into the hands of more people... we believe that ultimate is intrinsically good for the world. Dreamers change the world, and in this case...ultimate players can change the world through a dream and a lofty goal. Let’s change the world.
Photo credits to Tino Tran Photography.
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