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?

Monday, September 24, 2007

CEUUC 2007 Women's Recap- Galloping Gee Gees

CEUUC 2007- Women's Review

Defending national champion Ottawa successfully managed to hold seed and win the 2007 Canadian Eastern University Ultimate Championships.

Congratulations to the Champs!!!

Listed below are the teams in their final rankings order.

  1. Ottawa- C@ck of the Walk once again. Like Toronto A on the men's side, they are the class of their division.
  2. Toronto A- They had very tough games on Saturday and Sunday against the champs. They had some very talented and experience players, but fell short.
  3. McGill A- Outclassed in their semi final with Toronto A, but generally happy with their weekend.
  4. Queens-Kingston- Have to be happy with final finish, but probably would have liked to have scored more in both their semi and their 3rd place game. Their offense lacked punch throughout the tourney.
  5. Western A- When a team like Western loses coed champ/ world junior alum Tiff Lin to injury before the tourney starts, that loss is felt very heavily. However, the 12 women present had a strong Sunday and secured 5th. Equally impressive is the 10-8 loss to Toronto A. Their quarterfinal effort was not their best work.
  6. Guelph- Par for the course.
  7. McMaster- Is the ladies team on the upswing as well?
  8. McGill B- They held Ottawa to 9 points in their quarterfinal. Sadly, they could only score 3 themselves.
  9. Toronto B- Second team beats Carleton and Nipissing A teams. That's a sign of club strength
  10. Carleton- Is there a tipping point to right the ship? Priority number one- more bodies and strong coaching!
  11. Nipissing- Not quite as strong a finish as the men

CEUUC 2007 Open Recap- Spider Biten... Again!

CEUUC 2007
Open Division Review

Another great university tournament in the books. As I said before, many eastern teams saw this as their nationals for 2007. After Saturday, there was hope for many teams.

2 of the three pools showed no surprises at the end of the first day. Goat and friends.. err Torontula showed up with many of their good players (unlike previously reported) and had a comfortable first place pool finish. McGill survived a close game with Carleton to take pool B. In pool C, Western beat Queens A and finished undefeated to steal a better Sunday seed. Curtis Kile and Nippising went 2-2 and squeaked into the quarters. We also learned that Jeff Lindquist was in fact playing for Guelph, and he finally had a great receiver.

The fun before quarters wasn't over. 2 crossovers (Backdoor baby... great tourney format) were held to determine who stayed alive for the tourney title. Nipissing, Ottawa A, Sherbrooke, and McMaster were involved, and the North Bay and Hamilton teams moved on.

In the quarters, Torontula defeated Nipissing, Carleton surprised Queens, McGill spanked McMaster and Guelph upset Western. Guelph stormed back from an early deficit and squeaked by 10-8, another key win over their much larger southern Ontario rivals.

In the semis, Toronto handled the inexperienced Carleton team, while Guelph continued its run with another upset over last year's Cinderella team, McGill.

In the final, Torontula's experience, depth and skill got the best of small town Guelph. This is the second straight Easterns title for Tula, and one must give full credit to the champions. Last year they trailed Western by 4 points early on in an Eastern playoff battle, and they showed tremendous spirit and mettle during that game and in the past two years.

Here is the final ranking of the teams and some thoughts.

  1. Toronto A- You're feeding the open club system in Toronto, and you're setting things up for future years. You'll always have a strong advantage in recruiting and development (as does Ottawa), but you'll have to be efficient in doing so. With success comes emulation and teams built to beat you.
  2. Guelph- Jeff Lindquist has a new toy (receiver) and they reportedly lit it up all weekend. This team has to feel great after a 2nd place finish, and a lot of wins in tight games. This team plays a good system and they work well together under one leader. I still worry the team will be f%^ked when they lose Lindquist.
  3. Carleton- Another big winner this past weekend. I'm not sure if they will have GOAT player Andy Corey next season, but the future looks great with Kielan Way, Allen Amos Binks and other youngsters leading the way in the next 2-3 years. Luke Phelan stepped up as a coach. That was quite evident just by watching his enthusiasm during the game against Ottawa B.
  4. McGill A- A step back from last years nationals run, but a solid tournament nonetheless. 2 years ago this program was floundering, and now the team expects to finish top 3 every time out. That's progress.
  5. Queens A- Secured 5th when Western forfeited. The program is definitely in a rebuilding year. Recruiting heavily from the west as they have done before is a must. The program success in Ottawa (Carleton/Ottawa) is also a negative for nearby Kingston/Queens.
  6. Western A- A disappointment given that many felt only Tula could safely beat this team last year, and this year looked very promising after Saturday. Western overcame a short bench and some huge losses ( a fractured ankle to their national coed champion handler Scotty Hislop, and the absence of converted CIS track star Steve Armitage and two of their three captains from previous years). Expect a strong run during the spring upas this coming year. This team is started to recruit talent, but they must frankly play more in the off season and in summer to ensure the results their athleticism promises.
  7. McMaster- New uniforms (Will collared jerseys become popular?) and better results.
  8. Nippising- The squeaked into quarters, and they probably won the party. Mission accomplished.
  9. Ottawa A- Disappointing Sunday followed by crossover loss. However, they finish on a strong note and finish 9th. The key take home is that a) They're becoming more relevant and b) They know they need to develop depth and no handler/star combo can serve as a fix.
  10. Sherbrooke- Solid tournament. Wish I had seen more of them.
  11. Queens B- Best of B
  12. Western B- A lot of athletes.
  13. Toronto B- So many bodies. Some will develop I am sure.
  14. Ottawa B- Is this the one B team who could beat their A team?
  15. McGill B- They partied with McGill's ladies. That's not all bad is it? :)