Flow vs Consecutivity

Flow and consecutivity are similar yet very different in my mind. When judging presentation I look for flow, when judging difficulty I look for consecutivity.

Flow has to do with keeping the crowds’ interest by maintaining a certain level of play – maybe not hitting everything or staying consecutive the entire time, but whatever bobbles, the’s or even minor drops don’t distract from the overall flow the team had built over a period of time…while one quick drop might not break the flow one long drop or two quick drops may. Other factors can effect a judge’s interpretation when judging the degree of flow. For example, keeping the disc moving between team members often makes the routine flow more than having each player just do long center delay combinations. When you watch some vintage footage of the Coloradicals you notice not only how well they flowed but how the excitement would build as they kept the disc moving and as they kept hitting moves. But don’t forget, they weren’t just doing easy moves the whole time…they had to be doing risky enough moves for their to be excitement in the first place.

Consecutivity. Consecutivity is very straight forward. Is a player going from move to move without hesitation or does he have to reset the disc or do a the before going into the next move. Now you may wonder, “What’s the big deal? It’s not that hard to go from one move to the next.” This is true for some moves but far from the truth for others.

For example when doing an under the leg center delay it’s easy enough to regain control of the disc on your finger after you’ve passed the disc under a leg. Now try the same move but add a spin after you pass the disc under your leg and before you regain control on your finger. The mastery of the move can be shown in competition by how much control you have of that move.

If you do an under the leg pass and then pull the disc under another leg directly off the first set – you’ve shown three things. One, that you’ve mastered the first move to the point where you can set it into a relatively small pull out window. Two, you’ve mastered the second move to the point where you can pull the disc from a relatively good set with little room for error. Third you’ve shown you’ve mastered the transition from the first move – which involves balance and footwork.

So, difficulty as it relates to consecutivity is maximized when players do moves into other moves when the margin of error for the moves themsleves and for the transistion between those moves is minimized. Diff is also maximized by the technical substance of the moves which correlates to how technically difficult the move is. How hard is it to do that move under the current conditions, what’s the degree of restriction, the amount of time to master the move, how risky is it, etc.

As you can see just judging difficulty is difficult.

Now, try to take into consideration all that I’ve mentioned and try to judge multiple players doing different moves with muliptle discs all at the same time….then in the middle of their combos the 15 second tape guy says “mark”. Doh!


Bookmark the permalink.


  1. In freestyle footbag, we’ve got a term called ‘the’ where your leg does a movement that’s supposed to go around the bag in the air, but doesn’t actually go around the bag. It’s coiner, Kenny Shults, says he took the term from freestyle frisbee; his description was that it was essentially what it was called when you broke the consecutivity that you speak of above. Does this term mean anything to you? I think it might have been spelled differently (perhaps “thuh”?). Thoughts?

    • In Freestyle Frisbee, a The is when you’re not doing a trick. One theory is, everything should be a trick and each trick is consecutive with no pauses or breaks. So a the is a blank moment. My guess is that it originated with “The” catch…you catch the disc with 1 hand but no restriction, spins, or anything…the way most people would catch. But it expanded over time to a “the delay” or “the brush”.

      One interesting difference between freestyle footbag and freestyle frisbee is that footbag is very percussive and doesn’t have a stop point. Frisbee has times when the disc in spinning on your finger and there’s the catch, which is a natural stop point. So most Thes in frisbee tend to be the catch. The rest are more open for debate. Not that I’m foot bag expert ;-).

      We do have leg overs and hoops that are sometimes not clean. E.G. The disc doesn’t go under your leg or through the hoop..or the hoop was not really closed. We don’t call those a The. Maybe we should…”the hoop”. We also have a catch called a presention. It’s basically a the, but your elbow is on the inside of your knee…like a fake figure 4 catch.

      Of course, dropping the disc is the ultimate deduction. So a the is better every time.

      BTW – I know Kenny. He plays freestyle frisbee with us sometimes! I’d play footbag with him, but I have ZERO foot bag skills.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.