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.


Sill said...


For what it's worth I had more field food at nationals this year (1 banana and 2 oranges) with no 'free field food' then I did last year at nationals when field food was provided.

I definitely agree on the scheduling . It would have been nice to have all the semi-finals at a more reasonable time so everyone could watch these games. Something for CUPA to think about next year.

Big Smooth said...

You liked the website?? What site did you visit? Calgary2008.com was awful! We're still waiting for Saturday results, the site seemed to crash non-stop during the event, we're still waiting for shuttle bus schedules (page last updated in Feb 08!), and the only photos were from some random dude's (randallq??) flickr page. It doesn't get much more amateur than that.

As for the field food fiasco, it worked out OK for Open since we didn't have to start until noon on the first 2 days which gave us ample time to fend for ourselves.

Another thing for CUPA to consider is making it mandatory to have CUC at a single location. It's hard to support your local teams and watch other divisions when they're at another complex. It also makes things confusing for fans. Maybe that's why there weren't any. I remember seeing A LOT more spectators in Toronto than in Calgary.

Last thing, you're right on with the volunteers. They were everywhere and they were great. Toronto saw a lot of fields without water and with dirty sidelines. Calgary was clean and full of water jugs (with those awesome pumps!). Brilliant.

OK, this is the last thing: UltiVillage did a great job. The commentary isn't pro quality but it sure wasn't as bad as you're making it out to be. Ultimate isn't a serious sport (oooh I bet someone got angry with that one) so why should the commentary be serious? If you don't like it, turn off the volume. They certainly weren't as bad as Harry Neil and Bob Cole on HNIC!

higy said...

Hmm I'm not sure if I agree with the above comments but here's my take.

I thought this year's CUC was the best I've been to. Fields were stellar (with one exception), volunteers were great, party was amazing.

I agree it would be nice to have the fields in one location but I'd rather have CUC be hosted in a variety of cities around the country then the 2 or 3 that can actually pull this off. 2 Locations isn't bad. Sure you may not get to watch the 1 game you'd like to during your bye but there was still a variety of teams and divisions at every location.

Plus it sure beats being at a satellite location for 2 out of 3 days on artificial turn as what happened to several teams in Halifax.

As for spectators: Yes there were tonnes in TO but I saw many in Calgary. You just had to look for people wearing the green volunteer shirts!

After several years of touring I can't stand to eat bagels anymore so the food wasn't an issue for me. Plus it was well communicated that we were on our own, so we planned ahead with cash and grub making this a non-issue.

Photo's are going up as we speak. There's now 5 galleries. If I took pictures I probably wouldn't have energy to get them up right away after a long hot tourny like that. Give it a few days.

Shuttles were awesome. Their schedules may not have been up on the website but our team seemed to know well in advance what the schedules would look like in the morning. And we played early each day.

My thoughts on improvements:
1)Shuttle from the airport-Shuttles were gold but you can probably pick 7 or 8 flights that are going to be filled with Ultimate players on Wednesday and it would be nice to have that when we got in. Same for sunday afternoon. I spent almost 1/3 of my player fee just getting to/from the airport.

2)Results going online. I heard they had software issues with this? Maybe we should just use the UPA score reporter. They had internet hookups at the rugby field. 1 more volunteer to type in the scores as they came in would help all the fans/family across the country.

Minor complaints/suggestions on what I thought otherwise was a stellarly run tournament. (Yes that's a real word)

Sport Management Steven said...

Silly- Field Food wasn't much of an issue of me. The pay for items were pretty good.

Big Smooth- The site was judged by me before the tourney, not during. I hear your points and have no comeback.
As for the commentary, I was probably harsh, but I want some change. You can't compare anyone to Harry and Bob Cole. Those old guys suck. If you hear old games from the 80's by Cole you'll ask yourself what happened to him. (he used to be good).

Higy- I'm not allowed to talk about you on my site anymore. Your own team (Nina) has requested that. :)

Sill said...

Bigsmooth... There were probably 6 times more people watching the games in TO because that's how many more people live there. Plus Calgary had a total of 6 teams (2 open, 2 masters, 1 womens and 1 mixed) and Alberta 9. In 2007 there were 18 teams from Toronto and 39 from Ontario!

Also, all these people complaining about the website. Sure it wasn't the best... but what about the CUPA site?

CUPA just held it's BIGGEST event of the year... has the site even had a mention of it yet? No! I think the first gripe should be towards the CUPA site and developing that into something useful.

Big Smooth said...

Good call on the UPA scoring system. That would have solved the web scoring problem AND give a lot of teams some extra clout in the mysterious RRI world.

All around though, it was a good event for sure.

And yes, Bob and Harry are old and brutal while UltiVillage and Rob are new and... learning.

Andy said...

Bob and Harry are money.

Sport Management Steven said...

Bob and Harry are money?

Yeah, and Matt Millen is an excellent front office man for the Detroit Lions.

Greg King said...

Hey didn't they draft another WR this year. Super Bowl or bust!

As my first nationals experience, Calgary was solid.

I actually didn't mind the field food situation as much as I thought I would, but we were playing later slots, so maybe that helped. The water was always full when I was looking for a refill.

I definitely think one field location would be great, but as one poster already mentioned that would really mean Nats would only be held in 2 or 3 cities. I heard CRU was putting in 8-10 new rugby fields which translates to 16-20 new ultimate fields, which means one location for next time it's in Calgary. The nice thing about CRU was that it is privately owned, so we could buy beer and walk around anywhere and that the party was great.

The website could have used more updates and I agree with using the UPA score reporter since it's the best tool we have to reach other ultimate players right now.

Oh and finally, I do wish they had offset some of the so-called showcase games so that more people could have attended.