Many of us know the Spirit Circle as closing ceremony of a game, where the teams celebrate the Spirit of the Game, thank the opponents and have a chance to give mutual feedback.
This has a big symbolic strength and we must be aware how powerful this is.
Hurdling with the opponent is something pretty unique to Ultimate and is definitely an eye catcher for spectators that don’t know our sport.
The Spirit Circle is such a power tool, that should not be limited to the game closing ceremony but it actually brings much more benefits when done at the beginning of a game.
A survey run during the EUCF2017 showed that 44% of the participants found that the Spirit Circle before the game in general positively influenced the way they related to the opponent during the game. During the same tournament there were just 2 occasions out of about 170 games, where the Tournament Ruling Group had to get involved because games were drifting in the wrong direction.
If we think about it, it is quite obvious that if we have the chance to set expectations before something is done, then we influence our and the opponent behaviour. This is of course much better than e.g. getting the feedback in the closing spirit circle, that the opponent would have wished us to have acted or reacted differently during the game, when we have no more chances to adapt and improve.
Spirit Circle Before the Game vs. Spirit Captain Chat before the Game