New SOTG scoring system

More info at:
Cap for SOTG winnersToday we launched a new Spirit of the Game scoring system that is much more objective than most systems, yet still has some subjective influences.
It started with the idea to use/adapt the Swedish Fair Play system that was promoted through the WFDF in 2004. However after several discussions within the BULA-Rules workgroup it was decided that this system was too subjective and we wanted to improve the SOTG rating system that originated by Fadi Hobeila and Christine Sura in Montreal (Canada).
Lorne Beckman (Canada), Rue Veitl (Germany), Raoni (Brazil), Tim Finan (USA), José Pires (France), Rahim Resad (Singapore), Filipa Bringel (Portugal), and I spent over a year discussing and improving the system so it could be used to create a worldwide Beach Ultimate Spirit of the Game rating standard.
Are we happy with it? Yes… for a beta version 🙂
You will be the ones to tell us if this is a step in the right direction. We sent an email to all Beach Ultimate tournament directors and asked them to test it. In order to further improve the system we want (and need) feedback! Download the .pdf version below and send comments to [email protected] or leave them below.
In case you are wondering what the cap is all about… The symbol is the Chinese symbol for Spirit/Energy and Lookfly, the SOTG sponsors of the WCBU in Portugal in 2004, is so kind to offer this to Beach Ultimate tournament SOTG winners this year. So if you see someone with this cap, you know he/she is good company 🙂
And now…. without further ado…. (drum roll)…. The BULA Spirit of the Game rating system (version 1.06beta. Last update 26 February 2006)

If you need a free PDF reader, you can download it here.
Keep the Spirit. It is what makes this sport the Ultimate!


Nice work folks, seems like a good system and it’s nice and clean and simple. Some of the examples of bad behaviour represent such appalling behaviour that I’d almost prefer to see them not described (standing on the disc, holding an opponent) in case it gives people (bad) ideas. If we were going to use this system locally in my city league we’d probably want to delete a few bits of the text for that reason.
I’ve only heard of one instance of shirt pulling (and that was in a women’s game at WUCC2002) and I hope never to hear of it again – not because I don’t want to know, but because it should never, ever happen.

  • HI, great job! Just want to mention that there is a lot of errors in the french version (spelling and grammar…) Could someone review that version?

  • Looks great and it’s good to see the spirit being taken care of and fair play promoted. This years Ocean Beach tournament are giving it a go this weekend. Thanks!

  • Hi Guys
    I find great that so many people spend so much energies in trying to define proper rules for the spirit of the game voting system.
    Starting with the assumpion that it’s impossible to describe with words something so various and somehow untouchable like the SotG, I find that this approch is good.
    I mainly like the canadian system of giving + and – points. I find that this is the best approach and help to focus at least on some major part of the spirit.
    I agree that the minus points look for an ultimate player very extreem.
    I actually never heard about intentional fauls and if something like that happens, I think that it really doesn’t matter how many + points a team have: a ZERO in spirit is for me the only vote I would give.
    Also an unsportsmanlike behaviour is something that should be penalised to a rate much higher than -1 or at least -1 for each bad behaviour (even though when it starts, it normally comes down like an avalange if the captains don’t succeed in stopping it in time).
    If unjustified calls are penalised (I find it correct), I would give positive points, when a player makes a expecially good call (which maybe penalizes his team). This is something more that “understanding the rules”: one think is to understand the rule, the other is to admit a foul or an out-call in a critical phase of the game.
    Otherwise I find the other + points good as they are.
    A final comment: you write that the vote range can go from 0 to 10, but there are just 4 negative points, so the lower score should be 1.
    I hope that my comments can help to make the system even better and that we finally make it to have a world wide standard SotG Voting system.

  • Hi! This looks very well balanced to me. Especially the examples may help a lot. Keep us updated about the experiences in all the different countries and tournaments. We may give it a try with the Junior tournaments we organize, if this would be fine with you. Keep the good work up!

  • Hi,
    Bravo to you all for the effort. It’s always nice to see when people actually change something instead of just complaining about the way it is.
    There is one thing I don’t quite agree with: giving a point for spirit because the other team has a nice gift in the line up. Or because they sing a really nice song. Or give out alcohol! These things are nice gestures, and they indeed can make a team more likeable, but they should contribute in no way to the spirit of the game ranking. A good speech – maybe this has something to do with the game. But far less than what happens on the field.
    I just don’t think the goal of the sotg is that everyone exchanges gifts after the game.

  • Hey Bula,
    Good work on this new SOTG rules format. It’s great to have examples, helps you to be more objective. And it’s great to allow teams to make up their “bad” behaviour if they clearly express a desire to help resolve the issue quickly and smoothly. After all we’re all human, and doing your best to right the wrong is a big part of being spirited.
    Keep the spirit smiling,
    PS: Umm, Patrick, I hope being hungover will be regarded as a legitimate excuse in BDP…:-)

  • An anonymous poster wrote:
    >I just don’t think the goal of the sotg is
    >that everyone exchanges gifts after the game.
    Let me address that issue because it was an discussed in the group before we launched the system.
    The idea is not that everyone exchanges gifts. The idea is that everyone get together after the game and the two teams “leave a positive impression”. This can be a nice speech. Gift, songs, etc… are great too but not mandetory.
    A team that simply walks away after a game is missing a part of the spirit that we find is important in (Beach) Ultimate.

  • I like the idea and it even got used at the recent UKUA Mixed Tour 1. I didn’t get the time over the course of the tournament to make 10 decisions about each team in reality. Things to do at a tournament have a pecking order when I’m team captain and unfortunately marking teams on SOTG doesn’t come high because I have to be ready to get the team to play and lead.
    The real problem lies with the subjective ness of the subject. If plus points and negative points are essential then I would say this is an elegant solution. I think when it is down to me to decide do I give them the bonus point at the end because one of them actually knows the rules properly then it’s too detailed.
    A much simpler system that gives you neutral, good and bad SOTG or a 1, 2, 3 rating would cover the situation. Although I don’t think I would be totally happy with that either.
    Good work and by far the most representative of the veering opinions of what the real SOTG is.

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