Beach 2.0: The influence of the Internet.

(This is a reprint of the article that appeared in ‘Roar’ the Paganello magazine)
You‘ve heard of Web 2.0? What about Beach 2.0?
flashflight.jpgThe World Wide Web (the name almost sounds old) is, or was, a network developed and run by ‘techies’ (in the broadest sense of the word). To make anything available on the WWW you needed to have at least some knowledge about server configuration, FTP, and of course HTML.
A few years ago this started to change and it became much easier for non-techies to publish pages and communicate on the web. Blogs led the way… Simply put, blogs are like high tech diaries with picture and video possibilities. The big difference is that everyone can find and read them. (A type of exhibitionism that seems to fit well within the Ultimate community: a search on Google for “Ultimate Frisbee” + “Blog” revealed 1.000.000+ entries! 🙂
The media took notice of the rising popularity of blogs and soon the term “Web 2.0” was coined. Yet Web 2.0 is much more than blogs. Take Wikis for example (or is it Wiki?). Wikis allow anybody to publish content on the web and others to collaboratively modify this content. Wikipedia – the people’s encyclopedia – is a huge success (the 18th most popular website in the world).
The recently launched Wikibook of Ultimate Games and Cheers (WUGC) is another worldwide collaboration. This time to create a digital book full of cheers, photos, games, and ”after game” tips. This was not possible a few years ago and will certainly have an influence on the evolution of Beach Ultimate.
I won’t go into why I think Beach Ultimate will evolve differently from grass Ultimate, but no one can deny it is a young sport and is still developing its roots. The very first Beach Ultimate tournament – Death on the Beach in Texas -was only 20 years ago. Paganello, the longest running tournament in the world, started a few years later in 1989… Two years later, the world wide web was born….
In “Beach 1.0” all tournaments had a website (usually run by one of the techies) as well as a mailing list. This was a great way to get the ball rolling, and I can’t imagine running a tournament without it, however technology has evolved and we have now entered the era of Beach 2.0. Power to the players!
Blogs, wikis, photo sharing websites, you name it… More and more players are publishing online and contributing to the growth of Beach Ultimate. Take for example “Vamos a Parlee Playa con Pedro”, a short film by the Mauvaises Herbes Ultimate Club. The video was created as a bid for the Parlee Beach Ultimate Tournament in Canada. After showing the video to the tough judges of the Parlee Beach registration and castration committee, they put the video on This was free and only a few minutes of work. Now players from around the world can enjoy Beach Ultimate silliness from Quebec City by simply searching for “Beach Ultimate” on
Gotta love technology… 🙂
Here is another example: Using the free Google Earth download, and no programming, an online fly-over of the Guarujá beach in Brazil was created in less than 10 minutes. Now everyone can see where the World Championships Beach Ultimate will take place in 2007 🙂
The Beach Ultimate community is taking advantage of Web 2.0: almost half of the tournaments have published their Google Earth locations on the BULA site. It is really cool to see all the beaches where people play: the beach of Magic Maggia in Switzerland, Acapulco, Guarujá, New Zealand, you name it.
It will be interesting to see how Beach Ultimate will co-evolve with new Web 2.0 applications such as Flickr, 30boxes, Ning, and Platial. There are over 10,000 Beach Ultimate players worldwide, 52 tournaments, and a hand full of Beach Ultimate leagues. All of us play hard, play to win, and always have fun. At the end of each game, we get together with our opponent to celebrate the game just played. With new technologies, anyone, in their own creative way, can show how they feel about the sport, and share this with like-minded people. With the help of Web 2.0, Beach Ultimate can be a worldwide sport where the rules are clear and the spirit doesn’t get lost.
Share the joy and keep ‘em flying!


Nice Web 2.0 flavored Frisbee Post.
Greetz from the German Frisbee Blog

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