Thursday, September 27, 2007

Question for the University Captains- Nationals Versus UPAs

Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A Macdonald, believed one of the major roles of the federal government was to induce a climate that forged trade among provinces and territories. Tariffs, making the Canadian National Railway private, and subsidization to companies are just some of the many ways we've tried to keep people in Windsor from doing business with people who live in Detroit.

140 years later, and the gravitational economic pull with the States is still in full force, maybe even more impossible to deny given our free trade agreement (allegedly), our weak politicians and the strength of global corporations.

This "pull" (pardon the pun) does not stop with Ultimate. Canadian teams have to make a decision about whether to send their teams to Nationals in Vancouver or attend the nearby UPAs in the spring.

By Vancouver hosting nationals, the tournament still offers the chance for a Canadian championship, but comes with expensive plane tickets and lodging/food/transportation costs. The fact is students have budget, and not many teams from the east have their clubs in order to fund raise and plan such a trip.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear UBC and other teams say "We do it every year!". True, but would the BC teams be as vigilant if they didn't enter with such a high probability of finishing top three in the nation?

The second option, to cash strapped clubs, is to skip nationals and play in the UPA spring college series. Sectionals and Regionals are close, and the quality of competition is both great and deep. You may not have much of a hope to make the sweet 16, but you may learn more from defeat and save some money.

So, I'll ask captains and wannabe captains alike with a poll (see right):

Which tournament is more important for eastern clubs this year?


Jeters said...

Everyone knows my opinion. UPAs are where it is at. The best Canadian teams can barely qualify for a UPA Nationals. If we want to get better as a country we need to be playing against better competition. Fortunately, that competition is a drive away instead of a flight.


Sport Management Steven said...

Your definitely not the only person who thinks that.

Anonymous said...

Why pay over 600$ to fly out if you can get the same (if not better) competition at Sectionals?
If a college club wants to improve, it has to weed out which tournaments are worth it for them. CUUC just doesn't make the cut.

Anonymous said...

You're right. I will chime in and say that UBC does it every year. I will also agree with you that it is mostly because we have a great shot at finishing well at CUUC each year even with skeleton squad. However, UPAs are where it is at, the reason we can come to CUUC each year with 11 guys and come top 4 is because we play in UPAs. The competition in the US is so much better. It is such great experience for teams to play in the UPA series or even the "pre-season" tournaments such as Vegas. If your team can do both, do it, in my mind, CUUC still has the allure of winning a National title and is beginning to have better competition. Go to CUUC for the shot at a National title, go to sectionals/regionals for great experience and if youre in the Metro East Region, maybe even a shot at UPA Nationals.

ps) sometime we have to travel over 1600 kms just to go to Regionals......that sucks

canadian said...

Sorta off topic but...

Because of CUPA's ridiculous university eligibility rule I'm not even sure if you can compare the UPA College Series to CUUC.

If we want to develop our university ultimate scene CUPA needs to change their university eligibility requirements to adopt those of the UPA. This would make CUUC a real university championship instead of a championship awarded to the team with the best "riggers" (eg. often grad students or CUPA "exceptions").

Do any Canadian university teams only take players to CUUC that are eligible for the UPA spring series? (possibly just UBC?)

Jeters said...

For the two different qualification rules, I would look to the difference between CIS and NCAA. Our Ultimate model is very similar to CIS rules. It's like how Canadians seem to prefer a 3 down football game.

You're definitely right that the grad students give some teams, like us, an advantage, but as high school gets better the grads will fade from the sport as the young kids come in knowing how to throw and play.

Finally, I'm sure some teams send a legal UPA team to CUUC, but not many of the doctorate granting schools.

I think the UPAs are where it's at, and the high school ultimate is the other key in this puzzle of pushing Canadian Ultimate.

Sport Management Steven said...

Wow. So many good points to hit on.

-I definitely feel for BC and teams from the west (Teams like USask) who are flying ever year if they hope to attend nats.

-I want to saw that all teams should strive to make it to both. UPAs for the skills, and CUUC for national glory and culture fostering. The problem is half the schools or more have a hard time grasping the concept of fund raising, planning or transfer of knowledge.

-WRT legal players, Do we even have a screening process for our nationals at this point? Defining the rules and enforcing them go hand in hand. I think there are many problems, and this should be another post issue.

canadian said...

Jeters, out of curiosity, what are the CIS eligibility requirements?

I'd also like to note that my school has a lot of players that are definitely not eligible for the UPA College Series (including myself after this year).

In the fall, we consistantly finish amongst the top teams in Canada and then in the spring we go to sectionals (with B-teamers and without our grad students) and we can't even qualify for regionals. I suspect that this happens to a lot of Canadian Uni teams and I think that its definitely not helping develop our Uni Ultimate scene.