Canada vs. Japan Powerpool Match-up Unsportsmanlike Conduct
SOG is an aspect of ultimate that sets it apart from most sports. However, this showing was an awful representation of ultimate. I understand sacrificing your body during competition, but to blatantly layout through your opponent is both disrespectful and dangerous. And to do it over and over again without remorse is disgusting. Ultimate is physical, but it should not be dirty.
Canada are incredibly embarrasing to watch here, and are about as far away from Spirit of the Game as I’ve ever seen in a high level game. They repeatedly lay out through their smaller opponents, causing multiple injuries and flagrantly fouling the Japanese players repeatedly. They made bad calls (Canada called foul while egregiously traveling at 0:45, despite the defender actively trying to avoid contact), screamed in the face of Japanese players after scoring, and spiked the disc at them to boot.
Not shown in the video, at 1:45 after grabbing the shirt and hands of the Japanese offensive player, Canada’s #9 picks up the disc from beneath the person he just injured, indicating that he was too impatient to wait for the injury he caused and wanted to start playing again, despite causing the injury himself. On that bid and his very next one (1:49 above), #9 put both of his arms around/on top of the shoulders of the players he was trying to guard - I really can’t see how one could argue that he was going for the disc at all at that point. Wrapping someone up while bidding isn’t going for the disc - it’s 100% cheating.
One of the Canadian players, Jeff Lindquist, responded in a few places (ultiworld reddit) that the Canadians were under the impression that the Japanese players were cheating (a dispute about the rules of a travel call about which Canada were willfully ignorant and wrong in the end), and that it was only a few players who lost control of their emotions. I appreciate the additional insight to the game, as it helps shed light on the fact that the Japanese were not innocent, as the video might suggest, but the fact is that TC crossed the line.
How you react in adverse situations isn’t excused by saying “well, the situation was sub-optimal,” How you react in adverse situations defines you and your character and TC were shown to be severely lacking. That anyone on TC should think that it is acceptable to go to such extreme measures even as a response to perceived cheating should be indicative that the problem is not limited to a few people - a few people cannot generate an environment where such behavior is acceptable.