Level Up: Spiking in Ultimate Frisbee

Spiking in Ultimate Frisbee is the act of throwing the Frisbee downward on the ground (or elsewhere) in celebration, usually after scoring a point.

Spiking is controversial in Ultimate Frisbee, as critics of spiking argue it is a direct affront on the spirit of the game. Advocates of spiking counter-argue that spiking is a form of expression (sometimes cultural), which can thrive alongside spirit of the game.

This level up article will introduce the merits, advantages, and disadvantages of spiking in Ultimate Frisbee.

There are two ways to view the purpose of spiking a Frisbee – for internal motivation, or for external motivation.

Internal Motivation

Spiking pumps people up. Spiking might pump you up.

If spiking the Frisbee pumps you up, and makes you play better, you should do it.

With two caveats:

  • Don’t ruin or lose the disc.
  • Read the room. If you’re playing casual pickup, it might be a bit much to spike after scoring.

It’s as simple as that – if spiking helps you play better, then do it!

External Motivation

Spiking can pump other people up.

If you have teammates that play better when someone spikes or celebrates with the disc, then you should do it!

In fact, you should strongly consider getting creative with your celebrations. Get your teammates involved, do a dance, or act something out.

The above caveats still apply, but there is one more to consider – after you’ve scored a point and celebrated, there is still more Ultimate to be played.

Make sure you don’t take too much time celebrating. The next pull is less than two minutes away.

Alternatives to Spiking

As mentioned above, if spiking makes you and your teammates play better, it’s probably in your best interest to do so!

However, it may not always in your best interest to spike the Frisbee in celebration. After all, your opponents may use it as motivation.

I had a teammate who was a world class defender. I observed something about him – when an opponent scored on him and spiked, he used that as motivation. He didn’t get scored on often, but if his opponent spiked, he never let them score again in that game.

Here are some alternatives to spiking, when you score in Ultimate Frisbee.

“I’ve been here before.”

Instead of spiking or celebrating after scoring, try flipping the disc on the ground, giving a few high fives, and jogging off the field. 

Why?

Because you’ve been in the endzone before. You’re going to be there again. It’s no big deal – it’s what you do.

This is a pretty strong contrast to the spike and celebration, but it can work, and be equally demoralizing to your opponent.

“Let me help you…”

If you opponent falls down, lays out, or loses their footing trying to prevent you from scoring, simply extend a hand and help them up.

After all, it’s the nice thing to do.

There’s also some subtle shade here, if you want. It lets your opponent know that, despite their absolute best efforts, they couldn’t stop you from scoring. Not only that, but you’re willing to help them up off the ground – just so you can turn around and score again on the next point.

Again, this can be demoralizing to your opponent, as you show them the futility of trying to guard you.

“I can go all day.”

Instead of spiking or celebrating after scoring, just keep going. Sprint around the endzone a bit, keep those cleats moving. The energy you have is sure to energize your teammates.

It’s also going to demonstrate to your opponents just how much extra energy you have.

After all, you can go all day, right?

Spiking can be a great way to pump up you and your teammates, but it isn’t the only way to react after scoring in Ultimate Frisbee.

Level Up at Spiking and Celebrations

You can check out a short “Top 10 Celebrations” video below – be sure to see “I can go all day” in number 7.

You can level up your Ultimate game with other Level Up articles below.