Monday, December 22, 2008

Public Service Announcement: UPA Survey


Given the recent threat to the College series, the UPA is now trying to assess their product and make changes to their service.

Here is the info the survey link.. if you're involved in college ultimate, here is your chance to have a say. The UPA is listening.

I'm sure you're all aware of the College Restructuring Task Force the UPA has set up. The UPA has created a survey to get feedback on some proposed changes that will take affect for 2009. Please take 5 minutes out of your day and fill out the survey yourself, then take another 30 seconds and send it to your teammates, other team contacts, etc. If you're a TD, RC or SC, send it to your team contacts from last year or this year. The more people who take the survey, the more accurate the results will be in helping the Board make some tough decisions. I believe the survey is open to alumni as well.
To read more about the Restructuring Task Force:
Survey should only be open until the end of December, so don't wait. The results could have a great impact on your 2009 season, as well as your team in future years.
Thanks in advance for your help,
Dave Branick
Metro East Open RC

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Player Award Nominees- 2008


As part of Canadian Ultimate's end of year review, I'm looking for nominees for the following awards

-Best Canadian Open Player in 2008
-Best Canadian Womens Player in 2008
-Best Canadian Coed Player in 2008
-Best Canadian Masters Player in 2008
-Best Canadian Junior Player in 2008

This includes performance in the calender year 2008.

I'll put the most popular nominees from each category in a poll and let the readers decide who would get such awards.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Economy Hits Ultimate...


Yesterday, I asked people to give me the storyline of the year. My focus was on the positive- The great tournaments, the great teams, the great players and the great plays that made the year one to remember.

Now a sad story might be the story of the year.

There are rumblings in the ultimate community about the death of GAIA. It is strongly rumored that their parent company is in receivership. It seems that the economy and the downturn the global market has endured has taken its toll on ultimate business. (Their website is "closed" and they thank the viewer for their patience... perhaps a very poorly worded final communication)

I discussed the state of GAIA previously. My take on their current state at that time was not pleasant. I've always wished them (and other ultimate companies) well, and found the rise and fall of GAIA particularly fascinating.

So, let's discuss what lead GAIA to this place in their history. When did they jump the shark? Will stories of ultimate business be a trend in 2009?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Storyline of the Year?


Whether we like it or not, the year is ending. As per tradition, it's time to look back and reflect on the past year. Ultimate had a busy year in Canada, hosting a worlds and national/college championships.

So what was the best storyline of the year in Canadian Ultimate?

Was it the UBC women winning a UPA college championship? The Open worlds championship over the incredible USA squad? The third consecutive mens championship in college ultimate? Maybe that I stopped posting for months and Haig stayed vigilent in his grumpiness? lol

I could make a poll list, but I would prefer to open the floor to stories I might not know about. Tell me about the people and the event that should be considered the best story of the year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Brian Burke is "Great"- But can he rebuild the Leafs?


We have a lot of managers in this world. We have fewer leaders than we need. We have even fewer great leaders that can thrive in many situations. In ultimate, there are several captains and coaches that are known as being great. But would they be able to lead a completely different team?

I had a great chat at the national sport organization's annual pub crawl Wednesday night about Brian Burke. Someone disagreed with my statement about his draft record. Being the stats nerd I am, I had to look up the stats again and put something together to prove/disprove my point.

It's still too early to judge his Anaheim draft work. However, we can look at his 1999-2003 tenure with the Canucks. What I found is attached, and the numbers are very sad for Leaf fans.

Total Stats
Players Drafted 42
NHL Players 11 26%
Players Over 50 Games 6 14%
Players still in the Show 6 14%
Actual Canucks 4 10%

If you take away the number 2 and number 3 overall picks of 1999
(Sedin) the numbers are even worse.

So, hiring Brian Burke to rebuild a team's on ice product through young players and the draft is a very risky business. His track record suggest that even with five years, he can promise you 10-14% of the players he drafts will make the NHL past 50 games. Consider the Sens
had 23 NHL players from the same period, with all but one top 5 picks and many years not getting to draft until after the 20th selection or later.

Sorry Leaf fans... your new leader's fatal flaw is exactly what you need him to be best at.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Practice: Some Rough Numbers


I've been trying to agitate some of my readers in previous posts regarding whether or not A and B teams in a city should practice together. Breaking conventional wisdom is hard.

Here's a quote that really caught my attention

"Practice Time is Limited"

Strong statement, let's try and look at the rough numbers.. Over the course of the year, you probably practice as follows:

6 months * two practices a week* 4.3 weeks per month* 2 full hours of practice minimum = 103.2 hours of practice for the average frisbee team.

Then add the offseason sessions: 4 months of one practice a week, 2 hours per practice= 34.4 hours of practice..

So, your average team spends 103.2 + 34.4 hours of practice time during one year.. about 137.6 hours of practice time.
137.6 hours is a lot of time. You have time for a lot of integration. In fact, with 137.6 hours of practice time, the issue might be complacency more than getting specific team plans rolled out and mastered.

With proper attendance (which should be a given) you really have no excuses about a lack of practice time. Oh... that's right.. practice attendance is always an issue for "elite" teams in ultimate.

So, how many hours of the practice time you spent with your team was efficiently used, in your opinion? See the poll on the right?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Leadership Crisis- The UPA College Debacle


I think we might be the only sport that still lists executives/task forces and lists their years of playing experience. To roughly quote Mike Downey, CEO of Tennis Canada:

"When I bring in a candidate for an interview, and they tell me the reason they want to work for Tennis Canada is because they love playing tennis, I show them the door."

Now, Mr. Downey comes off sounding a little harsh. He's actually extremely jocular and very candid. However, he's been in sports long enough to know loving your sport doesn't make your leadership material in the sport. It doesn't prevent you, you just need something more.

There are many people more informed and more outspoken about the current crisis regarding the future of College Ultimate in the USA. To my knowledge, it seems like their was a power struggle between the UPA (which was the incumbent of providing college series service) and the UPA at one point felt the need to educate and discourage its membership to participate in the NCUA. It seems as thought the upstarts have relented and will be taking a backseat to the UPA in running college tourneys.

Scared $hitless, the UPA is now bringing forward a task force to make the championship series better for all involved. It's reactive management, but it might lead to a better product. Thank you cultimate.

I am sure there are many good people within the UPA brass. I hope they learn from this experience and try to make their relationship with colleges and other ultimate groups much tighter and resistant to competition. Much like the IOC lucked out when the owner of Helms Bread generously agreed to drop its rights to use the Olympic and USOC logos on its "Olympic Bread", The UPA has dodged a bullet. For more information on the bread incident, pick up a copy of Selling The Five Rings: The IOC and the Rise of Olympic Commercialism.

The fact that the college series incident got to the point that it did is a sign of poor organization and poor leadership. As the sport continues to become more exposed and more valuable, the UPA and other groups (including CUPA) will have to step up and clearly be the leaders of the sport.

How do you view the developments? Do you think groups like Cultimate should be able to easily come into the market and provide an alternative?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanks for the Love!


48 comments and counting to my first post back. I really enjoyed the heated debate between posters. So much so that I will use this post to touch on the subjects asked/discussed by you.

Phoenix/Firebird Merger- How did it work out?
  • It worked out great.
  • There was lots of movement during the season. Players played up and down throughout the season.
  • I can't believe more teams in this country don't do it. If you won't practice with b teamers because it "affects the level of play", you're clearly short sighted and elitist. And you'll pay for it later on.
  • I think that although GOAT and GT are not fully integrated... I think they are another model to look at. It's very nice to see good players move through the system...
The University Season
  • Yes, I missed my favorite season and the one that drives my blog visits through the roof
  • Yes, it's too short
  • Yes, U of T won the open title AGAIN and it wasn't close
  • Yes, UBC won the women's title again and it wasn't close
  • Yes, I do think it's important to spread the game to cities and areas that need exposure to ultimate. However, the teams absent from nationals really sent a message to me about being careful about where we put university events.
  • As is often the case, easterns was the true nationals. I was delighted to see Western come one step closer to winning the crown, finishing second to U of T. Now, with Scott Hislop returning next fall from exchange, can he and Mark Lloyd deliver?
The University Season in Canada
  • I still prefer the fall season over spring
  • I like the idea of an indoor tourney or indoor series, it may very well help our team's chances at college series tournaments in the spring
  • I think CUPA will be stepping forward with better direction and better planning in the coming years with regards to the University series.
Competition Committee
  • Qualified persons should definitely sign up!
  • The link via Higy is right here

Bonus: UPA versus Cultimate
  • Nice job UPA, way to sit back and not protect your products and your business
  • The barriers to entry in Ultimate business is quite low. That's an understatement
  • I didn't know much about the National Collegiate Ultimate Association and the people behind it, but I am quite sure they're not that great,,, just an alternative to an existent service that also leaves the consumer wanting.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A good reason for not posting


I'm on my honeymoon. Little or no posting this weeks folks.
Publish Post

Have to say that I am excited for the sectionals taking place this weekend.

It's the busiest sectionals weekend of the year? Which Canadian teams will be joining the likes of Capitals in Regionals?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why don't we have an award for the Top University Player?


Poll question is simple: Should CUPA have an award for top female and top male university players?

And, if you think so, what should be the criteria
-Excellence at the respective CUUC
-Combination of play at regional and national college championships?

How should it be selected?
-Selected by CUPA and tournament director
-Selected by the winning teams of each division
-Based solely on a poll and popular opinion

What should the name of such trophies be?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hot and Heavy... Chicago Heavyweight Championships


This weekend, UPA semi finalist GOAT will not defend their title at the Chicago Heavyweight Championship tournament. Thus, a new contender must emerge and seize the title, and earn the right to wear the belt.

Haven't used so many boxing phrases since the late 80's... you know.. when boxing was relevant and Larry Holmes was dropkicking opponents off of cars in the parking lot!

The tournament schedule is here and the tourney site is here. Clearly, there is still lots of talent among the 40 teams in the division. Given the amount of relative unknowns in the four elite pools, I think by the end of Saturday there could be some upsets. That is, teams note ranked first in their pool may be sitting in the quarterfinals come Sunday.

The only Canadian team making the trip down is Phoenix from Ottawa. It has been a wild season for the club, experiencing great highs in some tournaments and disappointing lows in others. This tournament will serve as both a tryout for new players and as a team primer for the sectionals and regionals tournaments that are quickly approaching.

On the women's side, there are many teams but few of the elite ones that will be in Sarosata in November. One team that I would definitely love to see is Showdown from Texas. A strong Chesapeake Open and the fact that these ladies are Texas girls is enough for me! Seriously, they could be an emerging team.

Friday predictions for the finals?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Should Throwers have a "Pitch Count"?


It seems like every single one of us, when we start this game and started to take it seriously, was instructed the very same advice by wiser/better players:

"If you want to improve your throws, go outside of practice and throw."

I also heard the following
  • If you want to get better at throwing, you have to throw as much as you can
  • You should emulate players before you who (allegedly) threw thousands of discs a week to improve
Hard to argue at the macro level. Practice and you will greatly increase your chances of getting better. Here comes the but...


I have the following issues with that advice that is given to so many players
  1. Practice doesn't necessarily make perfect, but it surely makes permanent. I see a lot of players learn less than optimal techniques for throwing, and then ingrain them into their throws. Players might be able to throw a lot less if they do it right.
  2. Face it, we're evolving as a sport. It's not just about throwing anymore, one has to improve their overall fitness in order to throw further and more accurately.
  3. Now that we have so many young players who start well before the age of maturity, I worry that the mechanics of throwing big throws in ultimate (the pulls, the flick bombs, and the huck)
The idea about youth and their throwing patterns comes to me as a result of another sport I am passionate about- baseball. I feel very alone cheering and watching baseball these days, but I always enjoy "experts" talking about managing young pitchers. We're talking about the young arms of the Oakland A's in the early 1980's. the Texas Rangers of the mid 80's the Chicago Cubs of this decade (See token Kerry Wood and Mark Prior picture) and the list goes on.

Do you know who Mike Norris, Edwin Correa, and Jeff D'Amico? Probably not. Mismanagement by coaches and managers cut short very promising baseball careers.

Baseball is very slow to change, but after witnessing the destruction of many young and talented arms before their respective times, baseball teams are realizing that they can't stay ignorant anymore- these young pitching stars are too valuable and costly.

I'm not saying that throwing a disc is nearly as tough on the body as throwing a baseball. However, with the amount of former players in the 30's who complain of shoulder and back problems, I wonder if our arms and bodies have only so many throws in them, and what we can do to increase our throwing lifespan. (core training, fitness, proper technique, etc). I also worry that if guys who started in their 20's are hurt in their 30's what kind of injuries can we expect from players who will have over ten year's experience by the time they reach university?

Do you think players (especially youth players) should have a "Throw Count" during practices and outside of games?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Best School for Ultimate?


As tryouts for universities quickly approach I wonder the following question:

  • Which school provides the best ultimate choice for males and females entering university?
Of course, only the hardcore would choose their college based on the ultimate program. I'm glad I didn't know about the game at that time in my life.

Nonetheless, if a soon to be fresh asked you who the best school was for their gender, which school would you pick, and why?

I have put some options in the polls to the right. I can only put up so many schools, so for those of you who select "other" please post what school and why.

Can't wait to do the college preview.

Possible Factors??
-Graduation Rate of Players to Club Teams
-Experience on the Field (Satisfaction rates)
-Off Field Experience (Parties, Organizational Culture, Etc)
-Development Opportunities for New Players
-Planning and Structure
-Conditioning and Fitness
-Playing fields and access
-School view on the sport and the club

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CUC 2008 Review- Judging the Experience


Just starting to get back into a groove after a solid nationals experince. I will have reviews for all of the divisions, but first I wanted to focus on the non-ultimate add ons that help make or break a tournament experience.

What I Liked
  • The volunteers were great. Really. I know everyone says that no matter what, but I mean it.
  • The water supply for all fields was constant and of good quality
  • I didn't like the lack of free field food, but I did enjoy the quality of food sold. One particular business at GAP fields had a great soup and sandwiches.
  • The website was great.
  • The tournament manual was great
  • I heard good things about the tournamanet party, shuttle, and field food. Unlike Toronto, people claim there were hearty amounts of food for all.
  • The fields were relatively decent and acceptable for nationals play. Yes, there were some fields that had baseball diamond infield for
What I Didn't Like
  • I would have liked to have seen the schedule and results listed on the upa site in addition to website updates.
  • The showcase game (at least the one on friday featuring Nomads and Phoenix took place at the same time all teams played. Thus, these teams didn't get the fan support and interest they deserve.
What I Hated

Due to intense heat for three days and sun burn, I decided to watch the men's finals online with some friends who don't play ultimate, but had great interest. Getting the chance to watch it for free in low bandwith via ultivillage was greatly appreciated.

However, the commentary for the finals (provided by compeitive players) was terrible. Jeters has made a post with regards to it as well. Why did I hate it so much? It's pretty simple:

-They were biased
-They talked about their own friends and their league teams
-They made comments about some girl on the sidelines in a red dress
-They offered no type of intelligence or insight.
-They didn't have a single clue who anyone on Mephisto was (outside of 5 guys)
-They didn't take it seriously

Ultivillage, if you want to be taken serious, get some decent commentators. Selecting players because they are elite players is not a good idea. You have only a few years to nail down the ultimate market before a real online streaming Giant (e.g. Mediazone) wakes up and challenges you, so make your product tough to beat.

Players who commentate, please step up to the challenge. Study the team rosters and know the players. Know their records and their tendancies. Don't make bad jokes, don't talk about your stupid league teams, and don't tell the viewers who you're "cheering for".

Before the legions of fans for these commentators put intheir inflated two cents, watch some real commentators and compare it to the Sunday performance. You'll be hard pressed to find the positive.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Your 2008 CUC Finals


Womens: Stella (Ottawa) vs. Storm (Montreal)
Open: Mephisto (Montreal) vs. Nomads (Victoria/Vancouver)
Mixed: TFP (Vancouver) vs. ONYX (Quebec City)

Also note that GLUM from Ottawa are your national masters champions for 2008.

Should be a great championship Sunday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nationals 2008


I've submitted an open preview to CUPA to appear on their digital magazine.

I'll also be writing a review of each division after nationals. I would have liked to have done previews, but it's been a busy summer.

Looking forward to seeing friends in Calgary!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Canadian Ultimate.. Something to be proud of!!!


If you got the chance to see the Worlds Open final, you saw an incredible match that capped off a great worlds for the whole country and the global ultimate scene.

What was your favorite moment? Was it the shocking results of the Columbians in junior play? Was it the full emergence of the Japanese as an elite country? Canada's results?

Canada had great results in most divisions. Winning Open gold was unexpected.. as the Americans were represented by current UPA dynasty Sockeye. As much as the outcome was shocking and the play of the Canadians was awesome, I was really impressed by the sportsmanship in defeat by the great American team. It says a lot about them.

Personally, seeing Derek Alexander come back from devastating injuries) that threatened his ability to do day to day tasks) and be a go-to offensive handler was pretty remarkable. We're starting to take for granted his ability again, but 'fans' should remember that he didn't have fully operable wrists, elbows and knees last year.

The Open team can thank it's selection committee for keeping the great Furious core and going out and combing the country for Key additions. Players from Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal all played a huge role in grabbing gold.

The Masters team selected significantly less players from outside their region (Toronto) and fell to a great USA team (DoG with some other stars from Condors.. etc). A silver medal in a strong worlds year is good, but in falling short of gold by two points, one wonders if there were some Masters players who could have helped make the difference.

Our Mixed team might have been our youngest Worlds entry ever (outside of juniors). The squad, comprised mostly of Vancouver's TFP, always seem to be underrated as a bunch of kids. However, they just keep winning titles. Most of the players could play in another 2 Worlds before the age of 28... which is crazy!

The Women's team collected bronze. Traffic won the right to represent Canada fair and square, beating what many thought to be a superior Capitals team at nationals in 2007. They had to face the evenutal champs in the semis, and that's the luck of the draw. I think the ladies have to be proud of the way they rebounded and took 3rd place so strongly.

Jr Open lost to a super strong USA team in the finals. I always wonder what will happen to these juniors, and are they in fact the leaders of tommorow. I am sure the coaching staff made sure that learning what it takes to be a champion in future worlds was taught to these players.

Jr Women finished fifth, and they along with the United States probably learned a valuable lesson about the world and the strength of future global rivals. We don't have a monopoly on talent anymore, so team selection, coaching, and planning will be key to winning in in 2010 and 2012.

Trends- Where is Canada Headed?

Here is a medal comparision from Turku to Vancouver
Open - Gold (2004) Gold (2008) Women's- Gold (2004) Bronze (2008) Masters- Silver (2004) Silver (2008) Mixed- Silver (2004) Gold (2008) Jr Open- Silver (2004) Silver (2008) Jr Women- Gold (2004) 5th (2008)

We seem to have replicated similar results from the last worlds, but these results provide just a shell of the real story. I think Canada has to pay close attention to our juniors performance, and take a look at the difference in pts score/pts against differential in each division.

We should be proud of Worlds 2008, but the work for 2012 begins now....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Worlds 2008- Saturday ....the Final Stanza


Very exciting Friday. The Worlds will conclude today, with finals in the men's, mixed and women's divisions.

Now... we sit and watch.


As predicted, Canada advances to the finals and will play the USA. Japan and Britain will battle for Bronze.

It's really going to be a epic match that will stay in people's minds for the next 4 years. It might also be a final call for many of the great Canadian players that have lead us for years.


Canada is left asking themselves what happened in the semis, after blowing a 3-0 lead over the USA, Team Canada rebounded to win the bronze over Australia.

Japan will play USA in the finals. I honestly don't know who the crowd will cheer for. I hope they are kind to the Yanks.


If there was one thing to be proud of as a Canadian on Friday,
it was the mixed team's victory over a great American squad.

As most of us thought in the pool (to the right), Mixed was the division where we thought we had the best shot at gold. Facing the americans in semis seemed like a huge barrier, but this team answered that challenge. Shout out to my boy Scotty Hislop, as well as Tiffany Lin, Kate Crump, Andrea Cheng, and Eammon Watson.

It's not over yet- Japan awaits in the final.


Another heartbreaking loss to the Americans, but a silver medal to remind them of just how well they performed this week.

As predicted, Pete Knowles emerged as a dominant cutter and helped keep Canada close, but the US (considerably better than the 2004 version) were able to win 15-13.

Jr Open

Our Junior team wins the silver medal, suffering a heavy 17-7 loss to our American rivals.

The Germans win the bronze.

Jr Women

Japan further states their emergence to the elite levels with a lopsided finals win over Australia.

Our women finish off a tough worlds with two great wins. They finish 5th. The United States beats Cinderella team Columbia and takes the bronze, winning by one point.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Worlds 2008- Friday Key Games


What looked like a poor Worlds Performance for Canada has turned out to be one that shows promise heading into the final rounds.

Canada updates in bach division


Canada Plays their semis against Great Britain. Our team has lucked out in the semis, as Japan and the USA square off in the other semi. However, GBR will look to do everything in their power to pull off the upset.

While John Hassell, Miek Grant, Kirk Savage and Mark Roberts have lead the team in goals and assists, one can see balanced scoring throughout the roster. That's a sign of team depth and good coaching (employing everyone and saving the best for the finals)


Canada plays their semi against Team USA today, and it will be a very daunting task. USA has lost already in this tourney (to Japan), but their UPA dominance and goal differential in this tourney has to make Canada the underdog.

The other semi has rivals Australia versus Japan. 2004 silver medalists Finland are nowhere to be found in the top 8.


Canada lost a heartbreaker 16-15 game to the USA yesterday, but they are still alive and in the semi finals. They will have a rematch versus the USA, and look to reverse the outcome today. Given the back and forth nature of Thursday's game, our coed squad is definitely capable of winning the match and moving on.

Once again, Japan and Australia are in the other semi.


Canada takes on Australia in the semi, while the USA takes on New Zealand on the other side of the playoff.

It's looking like Canada and USA will have a duel in the final, and Canada will attempt to make up for the dissapointment of the 2004 Worlds loss.

It has been a team effort stat wise for Canada. Expect Pete Knowles to really step up in the final two games

Jr Open

Canada lsot to Australia and were blown out by USA in the prelims. However, they regrouped and find themselves in the finals versus archrival USA.

Mark Llyod of General Strike/Western fame is flat out dominating the tournament. Ian Chan is a goal scoring machine. The Ottawa juniors have given almost zero in terms of goals and assists.

Patrick Roberts and Grant Lindsley will lead the USA into this great battle.

Jr Women

Canada has taken a major step back this year and finds themselves fighting for 5th place. It is very deserving of it's own article once Worlds has concluded.

Australia and Japan will duke it out for Gold. USA tries to beat cinderella story Columbia for Bronze.

Jordan Meron has emerged as a star for Team Canada, scoring 23 goals in the tourney thus far.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Worlds 2008- Exciting Game


I'm following this nail biter via the Internet.. it might be the match up of the tournament..

LogJam 2008 Results


Trip to St Alban's was an interesting one. Here's a breakdown on the weekend

The Tournament and Town

  • St Alban's is a little over 5000 and has a great little town feel to it
  • It's almost impossible for the town's restaurants to handle a tournament rush for dinner, so plan accordingly
  • The fields are directly accross the street/road from a nice hotel call La Quinta. You'll never get that close at any other tourney
  • Field food was good on day one, absent on day two
  • Water was great and refilled often
  • Fields were of good quality. Some fields were REALLY narrow though
  • Tournament format was cool. Late Saturday start, 6 games for everyone, stresses performance in the round robin
Our Team
  • We went down with a smallish roster and hoped we could play our best on point one. That didn't happen
  • We had a miserable first two games versus Providence (we want that one back) and Chuckwagon (Should of been closer, but the better team won)
  • o-2 to start a weekend where we expected to go to semis, we then took off with some great wins versus Prankster Robotics, Good News Everyone, and Magma on Sunday morning.
  • Knowing Prankster went universe with Chuckwagon, we hold out hope that theywill beat Providence and allow us into the semis. It doesn't happen.
  • We end up playing for 5th versus Red Hook. A great game that sees us take half, and then falter in the second half. Outside of one aggro player (who Polish Prince silents with a taste of his own rough medicine) it's a great fought game in the rain.
  • Overall, good bonding weekend for the boys and a nice tune up for nationals
Tourney Results
  • Chuckwagon pleases the local crowd and wins the Open tourney over Montreal A in the finals
  • Ambush (our adopted women's team for the weekend) wins the women's title over Missconnduct

Mixed Up Results


Brief rundown of the weekend:

  • Montreal's RIP takes Pool A with a 4-0 Day, 3 teams go 2-2 and local coed "A" squad Bytown Flatball Club goes 0-4
  • Onyx takes Pool B with a 4-0 day, while Ringer pickup team Phella goes through a 2-2 day. Monster, Ontario regional champs, has a tough 1-3. Underrated Liquid puts together a solid 3-1 day in the pool of death
  • Polatouches and Tabasco (I told you to watch out for them!!) move into quarters by winning their pool.
  • Big Fish of Ottawa goes undefeated in pool play and D.I.R.T. is the class of the junior pool
  • Like most ringer teams, Phella gets better with each game and makes it to finals versus RIP
  • Quebec City's B squad wins the 9th place bracket
  • The Company from Waterloo wins the 19th place bracket
  • Ottawa Junior B (O2) has a fantastic sunday and finishes above the Ottawa Junior A team
  • RIP takes the final and wins the tournament in time cap 13-9
Congrats to RIP the consolation pool champs, and to the organizers and volunteers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Worlds 2008


Worlds is Going on Aug 2-9 in our home and native Land.

Here's the site

Here are the teams

Poll Question is simple... which of Canada's teams has the best chance to win Gold?

Best of luck to the teams!

Log Jam 2008 Preview..


Tough week for me personally, with the passing of a tremendous uncle. I wasn't able to write much on worlds because of that and a lack of internet conenction at the new home for most of the week.

Firebird heads to St Alban's Vermont this weekend for LogJam. We're going down with a very small but potentially talented roster, so it might be another big weekend for a team having a great season.

12 men's teams, with three canadian squads (Mephisto, Firebird, and Magma).

John Haig Being John Haig Like

Here is how our schedule shapes up

  • Our first game is not till 11am (sweet) and we play our biggest game versus the Providence Pack Dogs. If we win, we really help our chances of finishing top 2 in the pool and automatically making it to semis. It should be a tough match.
  • We then play the top seed Chuck Wagon in another tough match. Our toughest games are the first two, so we better be ready for the challenge
  • We play Zebra Muscles third, and will look to win our third straight from them this year. Zebra looks to improve every time we see them.
  • We finish Saturday versus unknown 'Good News Everyone'. We hope it's not Sockeye taking a break from worlds. Damn pick up teams and their ?? factor.
  • Sunday morning we play Magma and hopefully set ourselves up for playoffs
Little is known about our opponents, but we have the following objectives
  • Be ready on point one Saturday
  • Put teams away when we get the chance, something good teams need to learn before they can be very good or great
  • Have fun
I'm not one to hype american tourneys, but this one looks fun
-Finals for women and men will be in a stadium
-Double Dragon is hosting a game of STUMP. We are told "Don't ask questions, just show up."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MoTown 2008 Results


Detroit's annual summer open and women's tourney quietly went down last weekend. I went to this tournament once in 2006. The good things were the results we had, the teams, the free beer offered (for those who partake) and the quality of the fields. The bad was the fact the tourney almost got shut down by a sheriff/marshall, it was a twelve hour trek, we didn't get water until the afternoon and it tasted of sulphur, and the heat that can't be blamed on anyone. Here are the results.


-Madcow of Columbus pulled a mild shocker and won the title
-BAT and Chicago's Machine took 2nd and third respectively
-Grand Trunk was the best Canadian finisher, going 0-4 on day one in the power pools and then winning 3 games to take 9th on Sunday. Have not played Trunk all season, but I assume they will be tuned up and ready at nationals
-Too Bad was Just Bad all weekend. 0-4 in the power pool Saturday, and 1-3 on Sunday. I find it hard to believe this was the same squad that finished 6th at Borders.
-Roy went 0-4 on day one (Not in the power pools) and ended up finishing 19th. Dissapointing results after a strong No Borders.
-Team of Note: Impulse, an under-19 team from Pittsburgh, went from the 14th seed to 6th place finish. Damn those juniors.


- Unknown local team team called Hooptie takes the crown, beating Madison Jazz in the final
- Canada was represented by PPF from Southwestern Ontario. They go 5-0 on day one and then finish third, losing to the champs in the semis. Still don't know why they choose to go to this tourney over a much better field at No Borders, but they should be saluted for going down and getting results to boost confidence before nationals. They have the athleticism to challenge Stella and Lotus.
-Toronto's Lilly had another tough weekend, going 0-5 on Saturday and losing all games on Sunday as well. I really feel for this team and its players for going through a learning season like this. When your record is 4-19 since June, it's easy to get down if you don't remember that this will be great experience moving into future seasons.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mixed Up 2008- The Final Nationals Tune-Up


The coed division at this year's Canadian Nationals promsies to be exciting. Defending champion TFP will play both worlds and nationals in consecutive weeks, and could face any number of challengers on their way to the finals.

The final major coed preview before nationals on the east coast takes place in Ottawa this weekend. Mixed UP features 30 teams, and is the first tournament to have 5 of the top 6 Ontario and Quebec contender teams involved.

Here's the schedule. It looks like power pools, with the other pools having no chance for crossover at this time.

What to expect in each pool:
  • Pool A is definitely okay. RIP and Gecko are almost locks for the quarterfinals at Nationals. Bytown Flatball Club is the home team, and they are on a confident wave following their surprising finish at regionals. Tundra is lead by local Craig "Frogger Froats. YNOX is the big question mark... are they a split squad or ONYX or are they a b team?
  • Pool B features Onyx, who is not just a really angry rap group from the nineties.. it's a really good Quebec team featuring some open and women's players who are set to medal at nationals. Their toughest foes will be Ontario Regional Champs Monster, Waterloo's Liquid, and a pick team featuring Stella and Ottawa Open Players. Wannabago gets the prievlege of entering a bloodbath between four very strong teams.
  • Pool C is filler
  • Pool D has Tabasco, which may have some former comp open and coed players who can throw/shoot the lights out. If that old savvy veteran with the Tiley hat is on the field (You know him, Camelot, many other teams) zones will be in big trouble.
  • Pool E is filler. Look to see how arrested development, which has been tutored all year by long time player Roy Germon. does playing at a home tourney.
  • Pool F features the best and brightest juniors in the area outside of our worlds players. Hopefully many will hit fields 11 and 13 to see and cheer them on.
Semi's prediction... Phella, Gecko, Onyx and RIP. Darkhorse is Monster.

Your predictions here.....

Friday, July 25, 2008

No Borders- Worth Every Second!


Well, I made it through my first tournament as a director. In the face of national team selection week at the Canadian Olympic Committee, a crazy condo purchase issue, wedding planning, and my duties as a player, I managed to actually live to write this report. It was every stressed occurance and all the late hours.

Phoenix- No Borders Open Champs- 2008 (Corry Berghout Photo)

From a logistic standpoint, I am so thankful for the volunteer cell coordinators from OCUA. Vanessa Lyon, Sandra Hanson, and Gavin Thompson were so huge for me- constant communication, tacit knowledge, and on day site direction and leadership when I was playing. Our volunteers were great and I look forward to the volunteer dinner of appreciation.

There will always be troubles in hosting an event (field dinner goes awry and we have to find a replacement option, an american team goes awol the day of with no indication, field painter is broken and we have to find a replacement, we battle rain storms and lightning as we paint the lines, liquor inspector shows up) but when your team(both on the field with Phoenix/Firebird and off with the No Borders team) puts in a good show and almost everyone has an amazing time, it really makes it worth it.

I think the 80's tournament party might be a keeper as well! :)

Men's Results

Although we didn't have all the elite teams we wanted yet, we had an extremely strong field of teams from 1-16. Even the talent pools from 17-27 had darkhorse teams that managed to win their crossovers and move up brackets for day two.

Jamie Craig Catches to win on Universe Point- Corry Berghout Photo

I had only one team that wasn't happy about their seed. However, it was a local team that I know well. They needed a kick in the a$$ early Saturday, and it worked as hope. They, along with Firebird and Too bad, managed to win their cross-overs and move into the top 8 pool. In past years, it would be hard to imagine solid teams like Med. Men, Red Circus, and Red Tide moving down, but it happened. (Note to readers, I'm sure Tide and Medicine Men didn't have their full rosters, so please don't underestimate them if you're taking bids for your own tourneys).

Firebird wise, we beat a rebuilding Zebra Muscles (I expect good things in the future), we crushed a very young and mouthy Seven team that did not have Curtis Kile or Jesse Robertson to lead and handle for them, we blew a 3 point lead and lost to GLUM 13-11, and then won our cross-over versus Red Circus by a score of 13-12. Matt Hogel was outstanding for Red Circus. He came back to his hometown and played well.

Sunday, we went 0-2. We simply failed to play to our abilities versus Tombstone. Getting down 8-2 to them at half was sad, and even though we went on a big run to make it a 2-3 point game, they pulled away quite easily. Allen Amos Binks grabbed a callaghan and had the huge weekend I predicted. Binks will be so much better in a couple months, can't wait. We lost a universe point game to Too Bad, score was 17-16. Our team fought well all weekend, but I seriously wonder about our resource deployment and how it affects us on Sunday. To a man we know how good we are, but the past few tournaments we might be guilty of playing our kings and bishops too much in non-essential time and our pawns not enough. It's not an easy answer but we'll get there.

Congrats to the 17th place finishers, The Outsiders, for winning the Sean Green Memorial Cup. The team was from Toronto, but understood the significance of the cup and treated it accordingly.

The finals were epic, and ended up with Phoenix and Friars, a team made up of GOAT guys, Torontula guys and a smattering of everything. Ottawa native Colin Green faced his former team and he wanted nothing more than to make the local crowd boo him in dismay.

There are many great reports about the final. The Polish Prince will have one up soon, Jeters from Friars has one, and they will both give you great insight. Here was my thoughts on it

  • It is hard being the Tournament Director and a member of an open program playing a universe point final. I tried to stay as emotionless as possible during the final
  • The fans were so great. On both sides. Toronto and Ottawa fans cheered for both teams when they made great plays.
  • Jamie Craig was deserving of Tourney MVP because of his universe point heroics and his play on every point. For those of you who don't know Jaimie, he's the older half brother of the Alexander boys. He started ultimate two years ago in his thirties. He works harder that anyone in our program and combines great athletic talent with intelligence to be a leader and a sparkplug.
I honestly can't wait for the teams we will attract next year, and our local team will prepare to defend our title very early.


If you ask any of the long serving female ultimate players in Ottawa, Keith Whyte and No Borders has always been focused on treating the women's pool with equal attention. We did not stray away from that this year, designing a showcase game for Ottawa's best (Stella) and Montreal's finest (Storm)

I have been watching the women's scene since 2003, and I honestly can't tell the last time Storm beat Stella. However, it looks like Storm has benefitted from the teachings of new coach Lorne Beckman and was able to beat Stella 12-7 in front of a large Saturday crowd.

Holly Shapiro of Loose Cannon versus Stella (Photo Corry Berghout)

Saturday Notes
-Vixen goes 3-0 in their pool play and makes the TD regret seeding them so lowly.
-Salty gets rocked on day one, losing all their games included a CUC preview to Scarlett
-Pickup team Dame from Ottawa is super strong and finishes second in the pool.

Sunday Results-
-QUB plays Lotus hard but loses
-Stella gets upset by a 10- lady roster of Loose Cannon (Huge fans of the girls and I hope they come all the way back up for years to come)
-Dame beats Ambush 12-6
-Storm crushes Scarlett 15-1

-Lotus gets by Loose Cannon
-Storm defeats Dame's cinderella run

Lotus managed to go undeafeated throughout the weekend and bring the women's title back to Toronto for the first time since the 90's. They defeated Storm 15-5 in the final.

Stella finishes a dissapointing 5th and is not the highest placing Ottawa team (Dame). Despite this, they should be confident heading into nationals with their regionals championship.

Storm, Scarlett, Salty, and QUB remain mysteries heading into nationals, but all showed great moments.

Lotus Versus Storm Final
Source: Andrew Leach and Ultypics

Friday, July 18, 2008

No Borders 2008


I am insanely busy (tournament, olympics, condo, wedding plans).

Here is the tourney site with schedules listed

I'm very excited about the talent pools in both divisions. Feel free to make your predictions of the winners.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ontario Women's Regionals 2008


The Ontario Women's Regionals take place this weekend. There are five teams, and 4 bids:


Shannon Becker-Boston 2008
Corry Berghout Photos

Here are some previews of the teams:

Stella- Despite a young roster, Stella is poised to take the number one seed at regionals. They are lead by the same girls who made UPA college followers say "Ottawa Who?". New members to the team continue to get outside praise for improvement.

Lotus- Let's be honest here- the Capitals are able to compete at UPA nationals based on strong talent coming from both Toronto and Ottawa. Lotus could very well take the regionals crown. They will also be a favored to be semi finalists at No Borders next weekend.

PPF- 2nd place finish at Jazz last weekend, and had an excellent TUF. I saw them play last weekend and I was very impressed with their athleticism and their love of the big play. They are the first legitimate threat to Stella and Lotus in this province in a long time. If they can keep producing bid d's and get better decisions when near the red zone, they'll scare teams at nationals.

Scarlett- Outside of Carrie Lugg, they lack a lot of big game/throw experience at handler. However, I was really impressed by the improvement this team showed at Jazz last weekend. Lots of athletes.. and willing to grind it out on every point. Major hurdle is getting the offence going, especially off of a turn.

Lily- Not sure where the team was for Jazz last week. They defaulted. It's a fight between Scarlett and Lily for the last bid to nationals, and Lily has the home field advantage.

Best of luck to all teams this weekend!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jazzfest 2008 Results


Huge thanks to Jazz 2008 tournament director Sonia Scalise and her team for a great tournament this year, as well as the final results and pictures below.

Tournament Itself
  • Visiting Montreal in the middle of the actual Jazzfest is fantastic. It's hard to mess it up.
  • Field food was great and the free BBQ on Sunday was greatly appreciated. Trying some cold apple cider on a very hot day was refreshing.
  • It was hot all weekend, but some very light breezes and plenty of trees for shade were great.
  • Sadly, our fields were a bit rough on Saturday. Most fields were fine, but our pool had fields that were not quite up to competitive par. Some major holes and a hill just before one of the endzones were the main culprits
  • I definitely would recommend the tournament experience to other Canadian teams.
Firebird Experience


Well, as boldly predicted, we made it to quarters after an excellent Saturday.

Firebird 13 Raynet 6

Not our best game, but a good start against a team from Trois Rivieres. If you ever played on bad teams, you have to appreciate being on a team that doesn't play their best but pulls it out easily.

Firebird 11 Tabasco 10

This was a team full of Montreal vets who have played coed and open. We started off well and lead by a score of 5-1 at one point. I was sat off for an o point and thought nothing off it. Next thing I know, it's tied and we're fighting to try and take the half.

We lose the half, but come back and take a lead which our o line held onto.

I would say that this is one of my better games this season. It's also the game where I knocked a "leg humping: mark to the ground, right on his back. After he called foul, I retorted "Stop humping my leg!!!" He admitted to said humping ("yeah.. I was humping your leg") and got back up and started the stall count at zero. Good laugh, good spirit.

Firebird 13 Zebra Muscles 7

The matchup we were waiting for was tempered by the fact that Zebra had a small bench. It was very hot and we wore them down very quickly.

At this point, no one on our team is standing out, but everyone is doing well.

Les Ringards Famléqiue 12 Firebird 10

This was a pick up team featuring some Montreal talents, some Queens alums, the Dowlers, and none other than the Beast (Scott Stinson). Hard ultimate, but fun to play.

This one was a little surprising. We shortened the bench early and we got into a big hole. Our team really felt the heat and the exhaustion from playing in such temperatures, We go back to the "bench" and they are more effective. They simply keep it simple. We close it to one but the Ringards finish us off at time cap.

On to the quarters, moving up to 5th going into the 2nd day.


BearProof 15 Firebird 6

Talk about letting one get away. They had one medium size dude with amazing jumps and blazing speed. He torched us. They had some Penn state guys who really shut down our long game and solid handler/bail defence.

We very well could have walked away from this game had we went underneath and adjusted, but it never came. I personally felt like I did little to help us win. It was very frustrating.

GLUM 15 Firebird 13

These Ottawa match-ups between us and the old guard of Wax and GLU legends is not usually pleasant. $hit gets said, calls get argued, and no one plays their best.

This was not the case.

Facing a strong GLUM squad (bolstered by PHX d line stalwart Jaime Craig and some ex Firebird/PHX grads), we got off to a rocky start. After giving up a cushion we ended the half going on a run and making it close. We kept inching closer and closer, but we can't make it all the way back. Appreciate GLUM for finishing the game past time and playing a good game with us. They are going to be dangerous come nationals and upas this season.

Worst case scenario- Our valued cutter Adam Binks seperated his "good shoulder" and is likely out for the rest of the year. Few guys have dedicated as much as to the game and struggled through as much injury/illness as Adam in his short career, so I hope he can come back from this.

One last piece of advice- Do not P%ss off Ian Brooks. If he's slacking off and not doing much, that is not a good time to argue a call with him, and set him off.

Overall, a tournament where we won a lot, finished top 6, got lots of playtime, and had some of our lesser known players get a chance to shine. Phil Boisvert, Josh Tai, and Eric Mathieu are but 3 of these examples.

Final Results


1st – Mephisto

2nd – Stimlus Package

3rd – Bear Proof

4th – MIT Geek Mystique

5th - GLUM

6th - Firebird

7th & 8th - Les Ringards Famléqiue & Zebra Muscles (left before end of game… no socres given)

9th - Provedence Packdogs

10th - BIEFS

11th -Double Dragon

12th - Tabascomen

13th - Demon

14th - Run Silent Run Deep

15th - Ray Net

16th - Magma

17th - ROY

18th - DQ & Friends

19th - OPUS


1st - Storm

2nd - PPF

3rd - sMITten

4th - Fusion

5th - QUB

6th - Bleu Nuit

7th - Scarlet

8th - Fish Fingers

Ottawa Results
GLUM finishes 5th
Firebird finishes 6th
Scarlett finishes 7th

Mixed Regionals Update- Quebec and Ontario


Some second hand reports of the Mixed regionals for Ontario and Quebec.

Seth Sezant Grab-
Cory Berghout Photography


According to the UPA Score Reporter, Here are the final results (original seed in brackets)

  1. Monster (1)
  2. Mayhem (4)
  3. Bytown Flatball Club (6)
  4. Liquid (2)
  5. Big Hammers (3)
  6. Tundra (5) ____________________________________________________________
  7. Zen (8)
  8. The Company (7)
  9. Big Fish (9)
Monster wins it's first regional crown, and will look to carry on the success at nationals. No team went undefeated through the tournament, so it remains to be seen who will outrank their Ontario rivals come nationals. Time to train and prepare for Cow-town.


According to OCUA fourm posts, the following four teams have qualified for nationals:


(Teams eliminated: Rockstar and Polatouches)

Given how strong RIP performed at tough, other provinces should be concerned about the fact that two teams beat RIP and will be at nationals.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ontario Mixed Regionals Preview- 2008


9 Teams. 6 Spots. It's that simple.

Very exciting tournament in Kitchener,Waterloo this weekend. Mixed Ontario regionals to determine the 6 teams going to nationals.

The website is here, and the seeds heading in are as follows: (in order of seed)
Alex Benedict Photos

  1. MONSTER- Toronto
  2. Liquid- Waterloo
  3. Big Hammers- Toronto
  4. Mayhem- Hamilton
  5. Tundra-Toronto
  6. Bytown Flatball Club- Ottawa
  7. The Company
  8. Zen- Toronto
  9. Big Fish- Ottawa

Note* I see Glory from Brampton and Druid from London on the CUPA list, but don't see them on the tourney website.

I haven't played coed for a couple of years, but I can give a prediction for who will take those 6 spots.

Liquid- 2 years ago this team peaked at Northern Flights and looked like a serious team with great speed and very solid ladies. Politics and dissent ruined that team and they reeled back hard. As long as they have Andrew Higgins, they have a great chance.

Big Hammers- Features a lot of old wily veterans, including Paul Chambers. The man can still get it done. Expect either great things from this squad or a total discombobulation. They may be adding a highly coveted female who play in the national championship finals at CUC 2007.

- They have been together for years and have built up the quality of their team. Hilary Leung is known for three things in ultimate- Having great straight line speed, being Stephanie HUI's boyfriend, and being the most dedicated Monster out there. They had an amazing regionals last year and will qualify once again

Tundra- Is this the team Greg Lang plays on? I can only hope for their opponents that they don't wake him up. Lang at his best is worlds good. Lang on the other end is more of a .... well... smoking and angry. Colin (Oops, I mean Craig, not his awesome younger brother who plays open) Froats and the rest of the team are also solid, and they'll look to improve on last year's solid results

BFC- Last year's silver medalists at the nationals stage overcame a huge regionals disaster to almost secure the worlds bid. This is not the same team. Last year's secret (talented women) has remained a strength, albiet with different girls. On the guy's end, it's really the chance for Geofford Seaborn to play the way he's thought to be capable of and lead this team to nationals.

Mayhem- All I know about this team is- they get it done.

The rest

Big Fish- I know. But something tells me if Gavin Thompson is at the helm, something crazy could happen. At the start of the year, this team was a serious threat to make nationals with Glenn Ford, Julie Thompson, Jer Gaudet, and Gavin handling. They even had a deep threat in Jamieson Mackay. Ford will not be with Fish for CUC purposes, and Mackay has moved up to BFC. Nationals is in serious doubt, but Gavin will get naked.

Zen- They get the butt end of so many teams in Toronto. If they continue to develop talent as they have in the past (Eric Lau, Melissa Lundgren), then they are doing their job.

The Company- They sound like they mean business.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Montreal JazzFest 2008- Let the Predictions Begin


The Bird will be at Jazzfest this weekend. Whoever is not at the tournament from the Ottawa program (PHX/FB) will be at a very crazy party. I can't say any more.

I was going to post the schedule days ago but it was flawed. It was then rectified almost imeediately (nice work TD) and we have the following schedule and the open teams are as follows:








MIT Geck Mystique




Run Silent Run Deep


Burlington, VT

Ray Net



Ottawa, Ont.

Zebra Muscles

Rochester, NY

Participation Fish

New Jersey



Providence Packdogs

Rhode Island

Bear Proof



New Hampshire




Ottawa, Ont.

Les Ringards Faméliques


DQ & Friends


The Swingers

Montreal, Qc

Hit or Miss

Hamilton, ON

Stimulus Package

We're playing Zebra Muscles, Tabascomen and Raynet on Saturday. I haven't seeing the new look Zebra Muscles yet (They lost a lot of their old guard and are headed in a youth movement) and these other two teams are Quebec squads I haven't seen at all.

Teams to watch include Mephisto and Providence Pack Dogs. Mephisto is a standard for solid and consistent results. The Packdogs lit up everyone they faced at Boston last week. Expect Run Silent Run Deep, Glum, MIT to make it to quarters. We'll be there too of course. :)

Women's division

Here are the teams
Here is the schedule

Here are my thoughts
  • Storm has to be the favorite
  • Who the hell is Fusion from Winnepeg? I smell a stacked team.
  • I think PPF who should be coming to my No Borders tourney.. is going to be in the semis
  • I think the MIT teams in both women's and men's got some sweet seeds. Hard to live up to such rankings
  • I think Scarlett is underseeded. They are very serious about this tourney