Ipod While Playing?

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Ran into a new experience the other night....a player wearing earphones and listening to music while they were playing. Some of our players were concerned and asked that he take them off. He was resistant but complied. Since I've never run into this before, just wondering what others thought and whether there is anything in the rules that pertain to this.

Concerned about what?

I've seen this happening before, and didn't feel like I had any reason to ask them to remove the earphones. I was annoyed but not really concerned.

"just wondering what others thought"

Wow. I think it's disrespectful to the other players and anti-thetical to spirit of the game.

I believe people have the right to music. However, my only concern is the possibility of safety.

I would be okay with a stereo; however, that I feel that having earphones in the ear blocks the noise from getting into the ear. It is sorta wearing ear plugs while playing. It is quite dangerous and a lot of potential hazardous situation can occur.

Dangerous Equipment?

Deaf people have absolutely no right to play ultimate with us. It endangers us all. They need
a special league with special rules and waivers.

*bzzzpt* Back to the real world...

Listening to music or wearing earplugs are not safety concerns. Not looking where you're
going is a safety concern. If you choose to move without looking, relying on your hearing
(which can be done safely, but only in rare circumstances), you need to be pretty sure of your
ability to hear and assess your surroundings to be able to do it safely.

If you can't assess the safety of your action, whether because you can't hear or can't map
what you do hear, yet still choose to move without looking, then that's dangerous. To be clear
moving without knowing what is where you're going is dangerous. Not being able to hear all
that well is not.

This falls directly into the bin of "I don't like it, it must be against the rules" along with
sticking your arms out to box out, counting the stalls loudly, the D always cutting you off with
just enough time for you to change direction, and others.

I'd tend to agree with Temple. It may be rude (socially disrespectful) but I don't think it contradicts the SOTG clause per se. That clause, as I understand it, focuses on respect related to fair play, and not respect of all social norms, for example. If the player started colliding with people or continuing to play after calls were made, that would be a different story...

Temple. Good Point. Didn't really think of it that way. I will keep that in mind.

BTW: I never said I didn't like it though.

I would argue Craig that SOTG places a higher premium on respect for others than general social
norms. But, I should add that I find the trend towards insulating oneself from the sights and
sounds of the world around you befuddling in the extreme, so I cannot fathom why anyone would
want to play ulty with a tinny mp3 distracting them from the game.

Agreed, CK: SOTG does require more respect of others than is normal for sports. I just didn't think it's purpose was to cover all social norms.

Don't get me wrong: I think playing with headphones is goofy at best. This is a team sport for crying out loud. You're not on a jog around the seawall, you're engaged in an activity that requires communication with others. Maybe his captain should have asked him to remove them...

I have to go put a fresh onion on my belt now!

Hahahhah, you guys kill me.

What difference does it make to you if I have some soft classical music in the background. If at ANY point I thought it impacted the safety of myself or others, I would not wear them.

It IMPEDES hearing in one ear, it does not block it. I am not insulating my self to any of the experiences around me, and am able to communicate freely with both teammates and opponents. Explain to me again how, or why, this is being perceived as disrespectful?

If anything, I would think these blinders that I have on should be criticized first. Bad for SOTG if you look off open unders in favor of a huck. My teammates might appreciate that at the least.

I'm glad you had the stones to just ask me about it on the sidelines, I'll make sure to not disrespect any of you again and take them off after warm up.

Again, my deepest apologies.


It is a bit surprising that only one person noticed that this could be a hazard to players, but for the wrong reason. While impeding ones hearing is not advisable during a game, the main reason not to do this is that it has the potential to harm. When people are running around and arms are flailing a cord could easily get caught on someones hand or arm and the MP3 player could get yanked from its holder and smack someone, Or the player wearing it could fall and land on it, an MP3 player is not forgiving.
Anyone who may wish to comment further on this should look at

IV. Equipment - B

for consideration first.

I also noticed a player wearing dangerous equipment last year during the summer league. This player wore this device that hung on his ears and rested on his nose. It inhibited sunlight from passing through to his eyeballs. This is unacceptable in the same way an iPod inhibits sound from getting to the ears. He said he only wore the equipment outside and not during the indoor league or at night, but this is not right. I also saw another guy wearing cloth around his head with a firm piece of cardboard covered in more cloth that stuck out from his forehead. If the disc is in the air and he doesn't tilt his head, he may be struck by a disc, causing injury.

Seriously though, if you have an iPod shuffle or nano and you have the cord on the inside of your shirt, with the unit tucked in somewhere, are you really hurting anybody? If the cord gets ripped out and it hurts your own ears, that's your fault. If you want to risk having the ipod dig into you on a bid, it's the same as glasses or a hat. I think the guy has the right to wear it, but he risks looking like a douche. I personally wouldn't wear one because I like to hear the communication from my team, and I wouldn't want a team member wearing one because of communication and the douche factor, but if the other team wants to wear it, I'd let them and encourage them to turn the volume up. I'm more worried about getting hurt from going up for a disc in the endzone in a crowd of people, but I'm still going to go after the disc.

Nicely put Squiggsy. Personally I still think it is a hazard, but it seems that our opinions differ.

You seriously worry about falling on an iPod, but not on a cleat, stick, rock, etc?

I think you need to take a look at the risks in Ultimate, you may be missing some things that
would scare you to death.

Also, Emmanuel, when you see one of those triangular orange cones, do you know which side
should be up and why? Just wondering. You may be missing out on some serious fretting

If he had the device on his arm, and accidentally fouled me, I would rather be hit by his arm than the device. If it is not hard surface, it can still have corners on it that digs into the muscle. I wouldn't want a dent in mine or anyone else's face.

People generally don't jump with their cleats forward, so cleats are not as as much of a concern in ultimate. Soccer is a different story. That's why soccer have a dangerous action called if they kick too high when someone is trying to head the ball. Of course, you can also get kicked in competitve ultimate.

If the person cannot hear the interaction of the game, it disturb the flow of the game (ie, cannot hear stall count, foul call...etc and keeps the play going). This frustrate everyone else on the field because it is extending stoppage of time.

On another note, isn't it against the rule to wear sunglasses that are too dark or reflective such that your eyes cannot be seen through them. I still see people wear those.

Uh oh, the annual sunglasses topic is started early this year!

"On another note, isn't it against the rule to wear sunglasses that are too dark or reflective such
that your eyes cannot be seen through them. I still see people wear those."

Sweet Jeebus. I hope that whole post was a troll. If so, it was brilliant.

If not, you need help.

whenever one puts on headphones, they're putting out the message, "I am tuning the world out, including you people", which is contrary (slightly) to SOTG, contrary (slightly) to safety (you can't hear footsteps behind you) and contrary (not slightly) to your team being competitive..

Team: "DISC UP, Johnny!!"

Johnny: "bawitaba, dejang a-jang, jicky-jicky, said the boogie said up jump the boogie..!"

bottom line, as said by others; it's dumb, one would look like a douche and I don't think this issue will come up at all in league this year...

Squiggsy and Sultan are so on the money with this. Any personal risk posed by an ipod, with the exception of looking like an idiot, disappears when considered against the other hazards inherent in our sport. You owe it to your team to put the bloody thing away and focus 100% on the game.

Music rocks :)

Regarding personal risk, one shouldn't compare an Ipod to a cone or even sunglasses. The latter
two have a function related to the game, an Ipod does not. The chance an Ipod might cause
injury may be almost zero, but it exists. Further, because the device serves no purpose and
could be distracting, there's a very good rationale for banning them from the playing field.

I usually wear my watch when playing ultimate (or pretty much any sport, for that matter). To date, I have not hurt myself or anyone else with it. Even so, every time an opposing player asks me to remove it, I do so without question.

I got a chipped tooth from an inadvertent watch in the face once upon a long time ago. R.I.P.
dental plan benefits. Now such an avoidable occurrence would cost me hundreds of dollars or else
I'd have to go beg Swigger to put his hands in my mouth for a discounted rate. It's exactly the
kind of nightmare scenario I can envision with iPods too. (just heckling ya Alex!)

Optimally, one should remove all jewelry and accessories that don't serve a function in relation
to game play, before playing a sport where body contact may occur.

People should not be able to wear hard cleated shoes, nor knee or ankle braces with hard
surfaces. Eyeglasses are out, same with wedding rings. Teeth must be covered with a mouth-
guard to prevent chipping other players' teeth. More than that, people should have to cover
all bony protrusions and surfaces with medium density foam, so as to prevent chipped teeth.

Before every game, there must be a FOD sweep of the entire field and its immediate
surrounds. Every stick, stone, and pebble that could potentially cause injury must be
removed. All chairs, bikes, coolers, etc must be at least 10m from the sideline.

Further, the disc must be swaddled in foam rubber. Several years ago, I chipped a guy's tooth
with a flick in Fall league at Killarney. My intended receiver missed the hard pass, but got just
enough on the disc to deflect it up and into the mouth of a defender 5m downfield. This is a
serious hazard.


Give me a break.

Oh, Keam. I asked about the cones, as a way to expose the hypocrisy of the 'safety
conscious' repliers to this thread. I'd guess at least 90% of the players I've shared the field
with have no idea how to safely place one on the field. I go around fixing the cones, only to
have well-meaning, but ignorant people un-fix them.

If you place a triangle cone on the field with the point up, it is a serious hazard to anybody
who would fall on it. The cone in that position can support almost a hundred pounds of weight
before it collapses. Landing your soft bits on that could cause serious internal injury. If you
lay the cone on its side, it collapses easily and has near zero chance of serious injury, while
retaining absolutely 100% of its intended function.

I go around laying the cones on their side. Anal retentive people with a need for tidyness, but
a lack of critical thinking, go around and often 'right' the cones.

I don't know about you, but I've been in a position, and seen others in a position where they
are laying out near an endzone cone quite often. I've laid out on cones both hard point up and
soft point up, and seen others do the same. I'll tell you it's *way* less pleasant to land on a
hard-point up cone. The risk of serious injury for an improperly placed cone is much higher
than a watch/ipod ever would be.

Where's the indignant and hyperbolic fear mongering over the cones? Where I ask, where?!

I want to hear a story about someone getting hurt by a cone. Anyone got any?

"Where's the indignant and hyperbolic fear mongering over the cones? Where I ask, where?!"

Cones are necessary to the game. Sunglasses and cleats serve a game-related purpose as
well. Jewelry and personal computers don't. It's quite simple Temple. Nobody's being
indignant and hyperbolic about it but you. Have fun with that.

"Oh, Keam. I asked about the cones, as a way to expose the hypocrisy of the 'safety
conscious' repliers to this thread."

Reasonable requests to avoid injuries, however unlikely, while recognizing the inherent risks
of all sports is hardly hypocrisy. Accusing anyone of that after the difference was spelled out
a few posts above is curious. Troll much?

It's quite common in rugby for the ref to have all the players present their cleats to make
sure there's no dangerous burrs on the cleats that could cut or injure. This is a sport where
body contact and injuries are common. Yet, they check your boots. Hypocrisy or just plain
smart to reduce risk where possible?

Coincidentally, today I was riding behind a woman walking on the trail beside the Arbutus rail
line. I couldn't hear the music coming from her iPod but despite three reasonably loud
attempts to gain her attention from about two feet behind her, she didn't notice me until I'd
ridden past. This stupid debate came to mind of course.

"I go around laying the cones on their side. Anal retentive people with a need for tidyness, but
a lack of critical thinking, go around and often 'right' the cones."

It's a veteran move (cones on side). Just because someone doesn't know your purpose, hardly
means they have a lack of critical thinking. You apparently can't even grasp the difference
between how cones are part of the game and jewelry and iPods are not, so I wouldn't saddle up
that high horse just yet Cone Ranger! :-)

Why am I discussing this with you? You were the one that said sunglasses shouldn't be allowed in
ultimate, because they're unsafe:

Keam on sunglasses: "They might be "sport-safe". They also could fall off during a layout bid
and the arms could poke you or me in the eyeball"

There's simply no bridging the gap in our respective ideas on common sense.

Good question. Especially since the flaw in your argument has been explained to you a couple
of times.

Common sense is taking simple precautions against unlikely occurences. Like the elastic
straps most sports stores sell to keep glasses on your head. Or not running around with a thin
metal and glass box containing a li-ion battery on your person while engaged in a sport where
ground contact and collisions are not uncommon.

Since we're off-topic, why don't you attach little tags made from athletic tape so there's a
'please read' note on your cones. Tape plus Sharpie plus:


equals a simple solution to your complaint.

Thanks for using my last name a lot BTW. You're probably helping me with SEO.

Ah yes, I forgot about the lithium ion batteries. I change my stance: allowing people to run
around the field with potential explosive or acid bombs is terribly reckless.

Actually I've already come up with a perfect solution to the cone problem. Paint one base of
the cone dark green or black (the correct base obviously). No reading or comprehension
required. Immediate correction of behaviour through the simplest of human interface. All we
have to do is have the league only dispense cones like that and we're gravy. I'd even
volunteer to buy all the paint and do all the painting myself. Maybe I'll bring a can of paint
with me around league this summer...

Regarding how I call you, I hope you aren't mentioning it because it's disturbing you. I do it
because of a flaw in our forum. Allowing users to change the name that posts are written
under, makes following a topic a few months old nearly impossible. If people want to change
names, by all means, create a new forum account, but I don't think people should be able to
alter the history. You can read a post from last summer and see three people talking to each
other all using different names. Without knowing the chronology of handles, it's a mess.
Naturally, this problem is offset by the fact that you can't search on our forum, so nobody will
ever read a post more than 10 topics deep, so the problem is mostly moot anyway. That's an
aside for another topic.

If you change your handle it's reflected in every post you make. Look at the Animals or
Olympics epic threads and you can see that the software has renamed every post I've made
to show my current nickname, so anyone foolish enough to waste their time wading through a
thread could easily see that the same person has been making the posts, even if they've
changed their nickname. Frankly however, I'd prefer you used the name I've selected for the
forum, or at least my first name, on the basis of politeness. Few people like to be addressed
as underlings and that's the tone it gives off IMO. Further, if someone chooses a certain
name, that's their right. It would be disrespectful to call someone who likes 'Robert' as Bob,
or Rob, without checking it with them first. Just as it would be rude to call someone by their
old name, if they went to the trouble to have it legally changed to something new.

Personally, I don't think it matters. What is said is more important than who said it. Focusing
on who said what only takes away from the debate. Additionally, people learn new
information and change their views on things. Jumping on someone for being inconsistent
because they've incorporated new data into their worldview just encourages retrenchment and
defending of outdated ideas. Ideas don't need an author. Progress is best achieved in a messy
fashion where outlandish ideas are given a chance too. If you want people to change their
minds or behaviour, you'd best give them a way to do it with their dignity intact.

As to the cones, your idea might work, but it wouldn't explain why. Share the knowledge and
you create an educative virus where the information can be passed on in any venue. "This
Side Up" markings can only work on one person at a time. A tag explaining why can have one
person read it, go back to the sideline and educate 10 others. Much more effective IMO.
Correcting behaviour without context doesn't work as well. You have to mark every cone.
With a tag you could probably mark one cone in eight and the system still works.

Regarding the rugby comparison, it isn't much of a comparison. In rugby, extensive physical contact isn't just an inevitability, it's an integral part of the game. Further, in several situations (a scrum of ruck, for example) the ball can only be moved with feet, while there may also be people on the ground around the ball. (in fact, it is common for player to illegally but intentionally rake opponents with their cleats.) As a result the frequency of studs contacting skin is much, much higher, hence the focus on the condition of their cleats.

There aren't people on the ground around the ball during a scrum.

I wasn't comparing the sports, but rather offering up an example of reasonable precautions for
unlikely events, esp as most rugby players know their cleats will be checked and tend to be
proactive in keeping their cleats safe (in my experience). Is your objection with the example or
the sentiment?

Way to see his point. What about a ruck?

Maybe the scrum wasn't a great example, but regardless I think my point it still valid: because cleats-to-skin contact is almost certain in rugby, checking for sharp studs is a reasonable precaution for a very likely event, and not the example of trying to eradicate a minor source of injury in a rough sport that you were making ti out to be. As such, I was taking exception with the example, although I do also take exception with what I believe is the sentiment. The whole ipod issue is ridiculous - this is the only occurrence I've ever heard of, and even at that the risk of injury is minute.

Part of my point about the rugby example was that because there's a rule and inspection,
players self-police. I can accept your point that it's (cleat contact) pretty common.

Regarding this being a singular occurence... if we allow iPods, one person will do it, then another
and another, and sooner or later two distracted players will run into each other and somebody
may be seriously hurt or permanently injured. We stress safety in this league and that should
remain at the top of our priority list.

I also think the danger from a metal, glass, battery combination in a game where body and
ground contact is pretty common remains a slight, but real possibility. I can't find a rationale
that justifies letting a player's preference for a sports soundtrack trump the safety of others.

If two players, both wearing iPods, run into each other and seriously injur each other, I think that is just nature's way of thinning out the herd and making the methaphorical chain stronger by eliminating a few of the weak links.

Playing with an iPod makes as much sense as arguing over the semantics of rugby on an ultimate forum. You can do it if you want, but it makes you look douchey.

Thank goodness the Grand Arbiter of Doucheyness has weighed in.

"if we allow iPods, one person will do it, then another and another, and sooner or later two
distracted players will run into each other and somebody may be seriously hurt or
permanently injured."

So many gems in this thread, Keam, but that's a beaut!

News flash, we do allow personal audio devices, and we always have.

The iPod was introduced in 2001, digital audio players have been on the market since 1997,
the walkman was rolled out in 1979.

Ultimate players have owned personal audio devices for 30 years. Is this the 'sooner or later',
the moment when the first, that 'one person', has started doing it? Have the flood-gates
finally broken? Are we heading for a perfect storm!?

Oh the huge manatee! Dogs and cats, living together!

They've become more ubiquitious in the past thirty years and less prone to skipping, that's why
you see more people using them during sports activities now. I very much doubt any of the
tape-based music systems would have worked very well during an ultimate game. There's also
much cheaper versions that people probably aren't as worried about wrecking.

Now, we're seeing them on the field and discussing the appropriateness of their use during a
game. Well, I am. I think you're just trying to win an argument using sarcasm.

This thread is silly...

I agree that the risk of injury is low, less so than playing the game itself. But i agree wearing an ipod while playing a sport is basically just rude. Team sports are social activities, why would anyone want to have a teammate that is intentionally isolating him/herself?

It's silly, and yet you can't resist offering your opinion. Can't be that silly.

Am I not allowed to have an opinion on things I find silly?

You can have any opinion you want. I was just pointing out that you apparently find the topic
engaging enough to comment.

ok...thank captain obvious :)

hmm... sounds like a rules change coming....

Every player is required to wear iPods with the sound of a metronome set to one tick per second so as to remove the fast count arguments.

I'll let you know how it goes.

"I think you need to take a look at the risks in Ultimate, you may be missing some things that would scare you to death."

I dunno... Temple maybe just playings devil-advocate, or he might actually mean what he said here. I don't mean to be rude Temple, I don't go reading all your posts here and there... I do read a bit though.

I just want to ask a question to those who are advocates of not using an iPod. I do want to mention I have a bias. I like my music and I enjoy it to death.

1. Is the only 'major' reason you are fighting this is because you think listening to an iPod is rude?

If so... I believe, there is a way to explain the situation differently...
(Assuming that you are still allowed to listen to all the calls... and it is just a minimum distraction like wearing sunglasses).

What if I told you if you listened to an iPod and it made you play better... It changes your mood and allows you to play better and maybe even nicer and safer.

Lets go on a big stretch... What if I told you, you have noises in your head (People talk to you) and you need to drown them out and you listen to an iPod to get rid of the noises?

Does these two senarios change your view? Same situation, just a different perspective.

The first thing I want to say about Temple's comment. Is the risk really that high if the individual understands the situation and critically assess the pros and cons of using an iPod other then offending other people (For those other people I ask you ask yourselves those questions that I have posed).

The second thing is... I believe he's absolutely right '...you need to take a look at the risks in Ultimate, you may be missing some things that would scare you to death.' I am sure every individual understands that playing Ultimate can get you injured in many countless ways (It's obvious). If everyone is aware of this people are able to be able to responsible for their own actions.

Just an aside... I think this is the reason why I play Ultimate. I believe when push comes to shove, this sport has the mentality of respectability (SOTG). I believe those people who listen to their iPods are not there to do disrespect anyone; it is just that they enjoy their music that much and feel that it would add to their game. Their intentions were not to disrespect but to enjoy. However, people have the inherent emotion that it is disrepectful to listening to music while playing.

Well to finish the thought... If you are complaining about the safety issues of listening to an iPod while playing... Then... I have no idea why you are playing Ultimate. No offense.

We could also all wear something like baseball spikes or track spikes. They might add to our game (on a hard field, for example), but they are dangerous to other players. The same argument could be made for iPods.

No jer, it really couldn't.

An Ipod shuffle (an absolute non-hazard as far as an object goes. Hit the turf many times and didn't feel a thing.) in one ear with music at a very moderate level in NO WAY resembles Baseball spikes. At all. I'm assuming you've actually seen those metal blades they sometimes wear? And you still think they're comparable?

I have had my foot stepped on many times, and spikes would have done serious damage.

I cannot speak for every person who listens to music, but I fully believe I am participating both in the competitive sport and social event that we call ultimate. I do this at no increased risk to those around me, nor to myself. It also increases my enjoyment.

This outcry against ipods has me a little baffled. Whether its your insulted sense of sotg, or your sense of safety, I don't believe either are truly compromised due to my particular decisions in regards to a shuffle.

As far as being a douche? The ipod has nothing to do with that, I already got it covered. Leave the Ipods out of it.

Perhaps my word choice was poor. I wouldn't say they are comparable, as the level of danger is significantly different. (as an aside, during my first exposure to ultimate back in intramurals, I wore my old baseball spikes for lack of better equipment, and even attempted a number of footblocks before being told that neither were safe -- what fun for my opponents! ) What I was getting at is that they both present a potential danger to another player, either through cleating or through reduced awareness of a player on the field, and neither danger is sufficiently offset by the benefits that they provide.

If you wanted to stretch the same argument to the cleats that are currently worn by players, it would be a little more difficult, as the game of ultimate would not be the same without the increased traction provided by cleats. In that case, the benefits outweigh the dangers (in my opinion, anyway).

Sunglasses, hard knee braces, watches, all of these could have the same argument imposed upon them.