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JIM PARINELLA

Inducted: 2014 - Player

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Jim’s long and storied ultimate career has been the definition of excellence, leadership, longevity and innovation. After learning the game in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Jim first came into the spotlight while leading different contending Boston teams in the late '80s and early '90s, but when he helped form and lead Death or Glory in 1994, he changed the fortune of his teammates and the game of ultimate forever. A gifted athlete who simply could not be covered, Jim was also a strategic mastermind who was an integral force behind the invention of cutting-edge hybrid zones and elegant offensive formations that frustrated and conquered the best teams in the world. As an understated captain who led by doing, Jim delivered results with DoG: six straight National Championships from 1994 – 1999 and three world titles between 1996 and 2000. Arguably Jim's most impressive statistic is an individual one; he has played in a national championship (open, masters, grandmasters) every year since 1992 and is still going!

         


Playing Career | US Nationals | WFDF Worlds | Contributions and Service | Interview

Playing Career

1983 - 1985    Ubiquidisc/North Coast   Cleveland, OH
1986   Crash   Pittsburgh, PA
1987 - 1988   North Coast   Cleveland, OH
1989 - 1991   Earth Atomizer   Boston, MA
1992 - 1993   Commies/Big Brother   Boston, MA
1994 - 2012   Death or Glory (DoG)   Boston, MA
2013 -    No Country   Brattleboro, VT


WFDF World Ultimate Championship Tournaments

Team   Div   Year   Event   Placement
Earth Atomizer   Open   1991   WUCC   3T
Big Brother   Open   1993   WUCC   7T
DoG   Open   1995   WUCC   2
(DoG)   Open   1996   WUGC   Champion
 (DoG)   Open   1998   WUGC   3
DoG   Open   1999   WUCC   Champion
 (DoG)   Open   2000   WUGC   Champion
DoG   Open   2002   WUCC   2
 (DoG)   Masters   2008   WUGC   Champion
  Masters   2011   WCBU   Champion
  GM   2015   WCBU   Champion

 
Jim Parinella (Brian Herman)
PHOTO CREDIT: Brian Herman

 

US National Championship Tournaments  

Team    City   Division    Year    Placement
Earth Atomizer   Boston, MA   Open   1989   11T
Earth Atomizer   Boston, MA   Open   1990   5T
Commonwealth   Boston, MA   Open   1992   2
Big Brother   Boston, MA   Open   1993   3T
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   1994   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   1995   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   1996   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   1997   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   1998   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   1999   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   2000   3T
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   2001   3T
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   2002   3T
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   2003   5T
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   2004   5
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   2005   3T
DoG   Boston, MA   Open   2006   7T 
DoG   Boston, MA   Masters   2007   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Masters   2008   4
DoG   Boston, MA   Masters   2009   4
DoG   Boston, MA   GM   2009   Champion
DoG   Boston, MA   Masters   2010   8
DoG   Boston, MA   GM   2010   3T
DoG   Boston, MA   Masters   2011   11
DoG   Boston, MA   GM   2011   5
DoG   Boston, MA   GM   2012   6
No Country   Brattleboro, VT   GM   2013   Champion
No Country   Brattleboro, VT   GM   2014   3
No Country   Brattleboro, VT   GM   2015   2
No Country   Brattleboro, VT   GM   2016   3

 
 Beach Nationals

Team    City   Division    Year    Placement
No Country   Brattleboro, VT   GM   2015   2
No Country   Brattleboro, VT   GM   2016   Champion

 
 

 

Jim Parinella   2000 Worlds
2000 WUGC with DoG
PHOTO CREDIT: Dennis Warsen

Jim Parinella (Heather Tausig)
PHOTO CREDIT: Heather Tausig
 

Contributions and Service 

  • UPA Board of Directors from 1998-2003, serving as President in 2001-2002.
     
  • Observer for several years, including being the Head Observer for the finals of College Nationals in 2001.
     
  • Beginning in 1994, wrote articles for several publications, including the UPA Newsletter on strategies and skills in ultimate. In 2004, co-wrote "Ultimate Techniques and Tactics" with Eric Zaslow, published by Human Kinetics. It is still in print and has sold over 12 000 copies.

     


Jim Parinella   DoG 2001 (Scobel Wiggins)
Fall 1991, Death or Glory
PHOTO CREDIT: Scobel Wiggins 

 

Interview 

 

Q: What position(s) (e.g., handler, deep cutter, middle-middle) did you usually play?

A: Primary receiver, popper in zone O. I was both a deep threat and a possession receiver. Up to age 35, I also played a lot of D, usually on receivers or as wing or deep in the zone.

Q: Describe your major accomplishments – both as a teammate and an individual player?

A: I was a key part of the DoG dynasty that won six straight Nationals. We had so many good and great players that it’s hard to claim that any one of us was indispensable. I made Nationals 20 straight years, the last 5 in Masters, made semis at Nationals 11 straight years. For most of those years, I played virtually every offensive point and was the first downfield cutter in the called play half or more of the time.
 

Q: Why did you stand out among the elite players of your time?  What was it that you did best, or were known for? 

A: I was always able to get open with the force and I always caught a lot of goals, many of them where I was so open that I could catch them flat-footed. And while I don’t have the classic "sweet throws", I became an effective thrower, adding deep throws and break marks to my game as I matured. I was the key popper in our zone offense, which helped to redefine the way to play zone O. We became so good that teams just wouldn’t play zone against us (more than once).
 

Q: What role did you play on the best (or most overachieving team) that you played on?

A: I was a primary downfield cutter. We had some great receivers (Chris Corcoran, Fortunat Mueller) and many good ones on a team that won 52 straight games at Nationals, so we all were called as part of the four-person play. I would both throw and catch a lot of goals.
 

Q: What year was the peak of your career? During which years were you playing as the "stud" of your team? If you continued playing after your peak years, how did your role change? In what year did you stop playing at the top competitive level?

A: I would be hard-pressed to pick a particular year as my peak, with anytime between 1992, when I was 27 and at my peak physically, and 1998 being possible. I think my single best performance was in the 1995 Nationals. I was the first cutter on probably 75% of the points and led the team in catches in the finals (usually a handler touches the disc the most), which we won 21-10 while committing only 3 turnovers. Steve Mooney commented that he had a hard time finding a good picture of me from the video because there was never anyone else in the frame when I was catching it. As late as 2002, when we came close to winning both Worlds and Nationals, I was still capable of carrying the team on occasion. From 2000 (when I was 35) to 2006 (my last year in Open), I played almost exclusively on the O line, and became more of a possession receiver (and occasional handler, especially near the goal line) rather than a deep threat.
 

Q: Why do you believe you are worthy of being inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame?

 

A: I had a very long career with a prolonged peak that placed me as one of the top players in the game for a number of years. I was a versatile player who had great field sense.

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