Dobson Upsets Coddington To Win Best Damn Tourney

Even a malfunctioning truck could not keep Carl Dobson from destiny. Despite never being able to exceed third gear, Carl Dobson traveled an hour and a half to the Best Damn Freestyle Tournament Period and pulled off the huge upset, defeating Arthur Coddington in the finals of this turboshred individual shred competition.

Dobson’s skills have been obvious since he returned to the competitive scene a few years ago. He is one of only a few players who includes triple spinning catches as a regular part of his game, and he mixes up his catches with solid variety. He has not made an impact in freestyle’s traditional formats mostly because he does not have a regular teammate.

Sunday’s event was a test of the new turboshred format, in which players are judged on their individual combinations while playing with others in a jam setting. An enthusiastic contingent of nine Bay Area freestylers turned out to freestyle and try out the format.

On Sunday, Dobson battled through two elimination rounds to reach the final against Coddington. On paper, Coddington was the favorite, but Dobson had scored a very close second in the semifinals so anything could happen. In the turboshred format, that’s even more true because only the player’s two best combinations count. All it takes are two big combinations to win.

Coddington hit consistently big throughout the four minute final, scoring four 80 point (out of 100) combinations on one judge’s sheet with a variety of styles, from technical turnovers to multiple spinning pulls to tumbles. Dobson was less consistent, but when he scored he scored big. The combination that put him over the top ended with a double spinning phlaud catch. The judges saw a close battle, with one judge scoring a tie, and the other giving a slight ten point edge to Dobson. The final score was 320 to 310, a well-earned victory for Dobson that reinforces what many had already seen, that Dobson is a formidable, dangerous competitor in any competition.

One of the unique features of the Best Damn Freestyle Tournament Period was that no player was eliminated. Every player had a chance to play three times. Something was at stake in each round. Placing high in a jam kept a player in the running for a high finishing position. Placing lower meant the player was relegated to battling for one of the lower finishing positions.

First Round

The nine competitors were divided into two jam groups. The top two finishers would advance to the Semifinals, and the rest of the players would move on to the Consolation Semifinals.

The first jam was a sign that the turboshred format creates a different kind of competitive atmosphere. Players were relaxed and rooted each other to hit bigger combinations. The players caught something like six catches in a row to start the jam. Arthur Coddington won the first jam, hitting combinations that included a spinning skid, tumbling catches, Pandora (a legover saturn pull) and several aerial phlauds. Greg Riley’s signature standing gitis was dialed in, and he finished second. Mike Esterbrook and Tam Wolfe each played solid for third and fourth places, respectively.

The second jam had a totally different flavor. Whereas the first jam was about individual combinations, the second jam featured lots of passing and co-oping. From the judges’ perspective, the scores may have suffered from the co-oping, but as the players exited the field it was undeniable that they had a good time. Within the five person mob-op, Carl Dobson came out on fire. His first move was a double spinning behind the back pull. He ended up winning the jam with Mark Regalbuti in second. Both advanced to the Semifinals. Mark Blakemore, Doug Korns and Chris Phelan moved on to the Consolation Semis.


Mark Blakemore got his bearings in the first round then dominated the Consolation Semifinals. Doug Korns didn’t get enough good throws in the first round. He got what he needed in this round and hit big enough moves to put him in second place. Mike Esterbrook would have been a favorite to place high in the semifinals, but a cut hand between the first round and semis threw his game off, allowing Chris Phelen to find his game and nab third place. Tam Wolfe has made breakthroughs this year by playing patiently, letting her combinations develope and giving herself time to complete moves. In the semis, her new level of poise bumped her above Mike Esterbrook into fourth place.

The main semifinal was a close contest among Arthur Coddington, Carl Dobson and Greg Riley. Mark Regalbuti was off his game, and didn’t make the impact he wanted. Arthur, Carl and Greg each hit huge combinations throughout the eight minute jam. Arthur kept missing his most ambitious sequences and was unable to gain a clear lead. In the seventh minute of the jam, any of the three could have won, and any of the three could have placed third. Arthur and Carl made the most of their last possessions to up their scores and secure places in the finals. Arthur won narrowly over Carl, with Greg in third and Buti in fourth.


Placement in the semifinals set up a series of one-on-one playoffs.

Seventh Place Playoff: The first match featured three players instead of two due to an uneven number of entrants. Chris Phelan, Tam Wolfe and Mike Esterbrook battled for seventh, eighth and ninth places. The pain in Mike Esterbrook’s hand had died down, and he hit an skid sequence early in the round that gave him a comfortable lead and seventh place. Chris and Tam jammed closely and ended up tied for eighth place.

Fifth Place Playoff: Mark Blakemore and Doug Korns poked fun at the cooperative spirit of the first round by faking some passes to begin their playoff. It was a close match, and Mark edged Doug 439-406 in the end.

Third Place Playoff: Mark Regalbuti rebounded from a bad semifinal and found his game again, but it wasn’t enough to outscore Greg Riley, who hit even more gitises and his new money move – the spinning scarecrow.

Finals: A close battle as detailed above, with Carl Dobson upsetting Arthur Coddington by a narrow margin.

Final Standings

1. Carl Dobson

2. Arthur Coddington

3. Greg Riley

4. Mark Regalbuti

5. Mark Blakemore

6. Doug Korns

7. Mike Esterbrook

8-tie. Tam Wolfe and Chris Phelan


(Top two finishers in each pool advance to Semifinals. All other players advance to Consolation Semifinals.)

Pool A (four judges)

1. Arthur Coddington 375 points

2. Greg Riley 331

3. Mike Esterbrook 252

4. Tam Wolfe 182

Pool B (five judges)

1. Carl Dobson 728

2. Mark Regalbuti 627

3. Mark Blakemore 533

4. Doug Korns 491

5. Chris Phelan 353


(Top two finishers advance to fifth place playoff. All other players advance to 7th place playoff.)

1. Mark Blakemore 705

2. Doug Korns 635

3. Chris Phelan 600

4. Tam Wolfe 590

5. Mike Esterbrook 560

SEMIFINALS (six judges)

(Top two finishers advance to Championship Final. Third and fourth place finishers advance to third place playoff.)

1. Arthur Coddington 953

2. Carl Dobson 920

3. Greg Riley 879

4. Mark Regalbuti 627

7th PLACE PLAYOFF – judged by Carl Dobson and Arthur Coddington

7th – Mike Esterbrook 215

8th (tie) – Tam Wolfe & Chris Phelan 185

5th PLACE PLAYOFF – judged by Mike Esterbrook, Tam Wolfe and Chris Phelan

5th – Mark Blakemore 439

6th – Doug Korns 406

3RD PLACE PLAYOFF – judged by Mark Blakemore and Doug Korns

3rd – Greg Riley 287

4th – Mark Regalbuti 223

CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL – judged by Greg Riley and Mark Regalbuti

1st – Carl Dobson 320

2nd – Arthur Coddington 310

12 Replies to “Dobson Upsets Coddington To Win Best Damn Tourney”

  1. Posted by Arthur at 10/14/2002 at 10:12
    AM PST

    If you were at the tournament yesterday, what worked best for
    you? What would you change if you were running a turboshred
    event? Did the results in each round match up with what you

  2. Posted by Arthur on 10/14/2002 at 10:16
    AM PST

    People mentioned that it was hard to keep up with judging the
    jam. They felt like they missed some of the action when they
    looked down to mark their score. I noticed that too. How can
    we make it easier to watch the whole jam and mark scores?

    I’d also like to find a way to give more precise scores on my sheet
    instead of 50,60,70 or 50,55,60. I’d like to decide for myself
    what will get a 60-70 score and be able to then give a 64 and be
    more exact.

  3. Posted by greg riley on 10/14/2002 at 10:17
    AM PST

    man, look out if Dobson ever finds fourth gear….

  4. Posted by Skippy Jammer on 10/14/2002 at
    11:29 AM PST

    You gotta love the old UFOS spirit. Carl was old school before he
    was preschool. Way to go CD!

  5. Posted by Tommy L on 10/14/2002 at
    02:25 PM PST

    Congrats Carl! Awesome…Buti said the double spinning
    sealed the victory – way to shred! Wish I coulda been there – I
    spent the weekend moving over the frisbee web site to a new

    – Tom

  6. Posted by Mike & Tam on 10/14/2002 at
    07:15 PM PST

    We were thinking of limiting the number of players to 2 or 3 at a
    time. It might be easier to score and would ensure that all the
    players get an equal amount of throws. (We noticed that with 5
    some players recieved less throws). It was a fun no stress way to
    compete and get together with all our great freestyle friends. As
    for Carl, it was only a matter of time. Lets hope it doesn’t take
    21 years till his next win!

    Mike & Tam

  7. Posted by Mike Ocon on 10/15/2002 at
    01:12 AM PST

    I’m wondering how we can implement this here in Holland
    where freestyle is not organized beyond the P.U.D.S. that I know
    of. Any suggestions?

    Mike Ocon

    European DiscGolf Grandmaster Champ 2001-2002

    p.s. Freestyle , for me , has a place at the 2003 DG
    championships in England, buet then I have very little say in
    that, cetrainly in 2005 to commemorate the 1985 WFDF
    DiscGolf and Freestyle tourney in Helsingborg, maybe here in

  8. Posted by Laerbs on 10/15/2002 at 11:23
    AM PST

    Carl – way to go holding up the Chico Airhead legacy! And what
    do you mean, no regular partner, AC? Carl and Ron Coutes play
    every other day. At least they did in Chico in 1980 🙂 Spin to
    Win! I say fine!

  9. Posted by greg riley on 10/15/2002 at 09:55
    PM PST

    It is problematic to score a turboshred event because by the time
    you’ve looked down to score an individual move (much less try to
    describe it), you’ve probably missed the next move by the
    following player. The rush to return your focus from the score
    sheet to the disc action, i think, can cause the scorer to
    generalize their scoring rather than being as discriminating as
    they might be otherwise. A possible answer might be for each
    scorer to have a buddy assisting them by writing down the score
    the judger calls out, so the person judging can keep their entire
    focus on the action and perhaps be more exacting in their
    assessment of each move. In the later rounds of a turboshred
    event, there are certainly extra bodies around who could assist in
    such a fashion…

  10. Posted by Arthur on 10/15/2002 at 10:03

    I was thinking about the buddy option too. As long as there are
    people willing to be scribes and potentially miss seeing the action
    in a round, it might work.

  11. Posted by Lisa Hunrichs Silvey on 10/16/
    2002 at 09:08 AM PST

    Wow! What a fun event! Sorry we missed it… very different from
    how we tried it at the Ocean City TurboShred in the Northwest.
    Our structure was to give the person ONE throw (three separate
    times) to do their best, then scored it. This format sounds like a
    lot more fun, since everyone is playing together, and each
    jammer can feed off the energy and fun-factor of the others! I
    think Greg’s comment and Tam’s suggestion are worth trying:
    give each judge a “writing buddy”, and let players jam in groups
    of three to allow for ample disc time and lots of interplay.
    Where’s the next event? Wheee!

    Love, Lisa

  12. Posted by Carl Dobson on 10/16/2002 at
    11:28 PM PST


    Wow, thanks for the kind words. I enjoyed reading your write-up
    of the Best Damn Frisbee Tournament Period! almost as much as
    I did participating in it last Sunday. I am still having a hard time
    believing I out pointed you in the final round. You were doing so
    many incredible series I felt like I was the one getting schooled
    out there. Your amazing AC.

    What I’ve been thinking about this week is how much fun the
    turboshred format is. I liked the dynamics it creates. I especially
    noticed this in the semi round with Greg, Buti, You and I. There
    was a cool energy building during that jam off that I haven’t felt
    in regular format competitions. There was no distraction of
    remembering co-ops and interacting with your teamate(s), and
    drops didn’t hurt for long. The focus was more on on combining
    my best moves under an ever growing sense of urgency to shred
    as the other players raised the bar. Can you imagine a semi-
    elimination round like that with Murph, Shillman, Dave Lewis and
    Tom Leitner all death jamming full out!

    I think you have hit on something here, Arthur. I can’t wait to
    play in another one. Yes, there may be some bugs to work out.
    Five people in one jam was probably one too many. Three or four
    seems like the best to me. Judging was a bit tricky. I think with
    practice and familiarity with scoring series of moves I could do a
    better job. A helper/spotter might make it easier to record moves
    as we’re thinking about a score, but it might make it more
    cumbersome, too. Maybe we could just tell all the jammers to do
    their best two series at the start and then we wouldn’t have to
    worry about recording all those lesser scores afterwards.


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