Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm coming back.....


I'm coming back... what do you want to discuss?



moses said...

A couple of us on the west coast were wondering how it worked out with Phoenix/Firebird practicing as one team. What do you guys see as the Pros/Cons?

Taylor said...

You missed the entire university season...

joelb said...

university is in the spring now.

Greg King said...

The Canadian university season is more like the university two (maybe 4 at best) week period. Not exactly a season in my opinion.

jordomeron said...

took you long enough trainor... we've been waiting for your honeymoon to end for 3 months

NateB said...

"university is in the spring now."

"The Canadian university season is more like the university two (maybe 4 at best) week period. Not exactly a season in my opinion."

The Canadian University ultimate scene is never going to grow with these kinds of attitudes. The sad truth is that these are the norm now. If we wanted to grow the University game in Canada, more teams would attend Canadian Nationals, regardless of where they were held. Canadian Nats should be the year's signature tournament for Canadian teams. This year's attendance was horrible. Alberta did the best they could with the tournament, but they can't really help that McGill, Queen's, UBC, Western, Waterloo, etc didn't think it was worth their while to fly out.

Should the season be moved to the spring? Yes. But ignoring the fall series is not helping anybody.

Aaron said...

It's not that we don't care about Nats. Both Easterns and Nats were CUPA sanctioned events. So that begs the question to why they were placed a week apart? Acutally more like 4 days.

Western had to drive 8 hrs to get to Montreal. With just 3 weeks to prepare and being a student run program, money and time was a huge issue.

A spring season leading up to UPAs would be great.

T1000 said...

I don't think we should move the CUPA university "season" to the spring. I think it's too easy a scapegoat to blame poor attendance on a fall season, when there are many, many autumn season sports that do just fine. Moreover, putting CUPA in direct competition with the UPA season is not a good idea.

But I do think we need to push the CUUCs later, like other fall sports schedules. And to improve attendance, we will need to institute an actual "season." Right now, the CUUCs suffer from poor attendance within two factions:
a) Good teams who don't want to travel cross-country for one weekend of pushover competition
b) Weak teams who don't want to travel cross-country for one weekend of getting massacred

So how do we get cross-country participation up? I think we need to
a) encourage more meaningful competition (like Easterns) leading up to the championship.
b) Defray costs or add sponsorship incentive for teams travelling long distances.

Given the overall low number of teams in CUPA, maybe we should move toward a conference playoff structure, or something similar to the UK's touring league style. That way, we need to minimize the utter crapshoot in participation and quality of play.

I think a two- or four-conference structure across Canada would encourage local growth, add legitimacy to the Canadian crown by eliminating weaker teams locally, then having heavyweight conference finalists meet for the championship.

And perhaps, if all participating teams were charged a fee at the beginning of the season, CUPA could make this work by affording to sponsor travel for conference finalists to meet. I think total participation in the "series" would be much higher, and in time, I think it would grow.

jhaig said...

Alex's idea, or something like it is smart.

Plus, in lots of places in Canada there is snow on the fields up until exams. Or at least late enough that a season wouldn't work as well as fall.

Taylor said...

Haig is right. Spring does not work with the Canadian school year. (Mooney, if you're out there, feel free to disagree). Last year there was snow on the ground and our sectionals got pushed back into exams/touring tryouts. The year before that fields were frozen at sectionals and we played in driving snow. I know that the boys and girls out west might disagree.

As for scheduling of Easterns and CUUC, CUPA is not to blame. CUUC was scheduled in late August or around then. All it takes is for your captain to email Danny to ask, or email the TD. McGill scheduled their coed tournament without consulting CUPA/U of A and things got messed up. Unfortunate.

Hopefully we can have CUUC later in October next time, but I think U of A's fear of being snowed out if they held it later were legit.

To better develop the sport we need better participation. Why isn't there a Westerns? Centrals? Easterns was a great tournament this year and from what we saw on both sides of the country, Eastern Canada is going to dominate the university scene for a few more years regardless of UBC's attendance.

DAVET said...

why should we even have a fall university season?

the spring season is sweet and is set up really well and has huge coverage from media in the states.

why not fully endorse it have all the canadian teams commit to it. then maybe UPA's would redraw the lines and have a sectional tournament in Canada.

moving the canadian one to the spring does not work.
having it in the fall means teams miss out on huge high quality tournaments in the states with more competition.

are we that worried about claiming a canadian champion.

easterns is still a good tournament why not open it up to american teams and make it bigger. the fall could become a warm up for the spring.

T1000 said...

I disagree, Davet.

Yes, the spring UPA season is sweet, and I encourage Canadian university teams to participate. CUPA and UPA seasons need not be mutually exclusive. But to say that the UPA spring series gets "huge" media coverage is a touch of an exaggeration, don't you think?

I do think Canadian university teams should commit to the spring series. There's nothing stopping them from doing it. Incidentally, it's the UPA sectional coordinator who decides where to hold sectional tournaments. There's nothing preventing us from getting a Canadian SC -- we just need an enthusiastic volunteer.

A fall CUPA series does not mean that Canadian teams miss out on huge high-quality tournaments in the States. Currently, the CUUCs consists of just one fall tournament. It can easily be scheduled after the UPA Club Regionals. Even if we add more competitions, we can schedule to minimize conflicts.

Yes, I think there is merit in developing a national championship system. It is essential to our development toward becoming a CIS-recognized sport, or even a provincial association sport. It supports CUPA, which aims to serve and advocate Canadian interests in the game. It can be used to develop local programmes, and it adds a fairer-level tier of competition for schools at a time of year when all the UPA tournaments are geared at Club-level play.

The currently underdeveloped, under-attended CUUCs do not reflect an intrinsic inferiority or lack of merit. Rather, I think it reflects a broad sense of apathy from Canadian university teams. American schools are willing to travel tremendous distances to Troublein Vegas, Centex, Stanford Invite, etc; Canadians schools currently show a lack of interest in travel in general. We are not going to reduce that apathy by abandoning our fall programme; indeed, I would advocate that our best hope at eroding that apathy lies in investing in our fall programme.

DAVET said...

the college series gets more media then any other UPA or CUPA tournament.

in that sense it is a huge deal. they have their own broadcast on national television, etc.

they do miss our on huge tournaments.
how many tournaments do you think uni teams can make?
easterns, CUUC, UPA club (x2 for some). and then you think they can also make it to tournaments in the states just because there not on the same weekend. i don't think so. these are students were talking about. there short money and time.

whats the merit in developing a system thats already been developed? i would rather be the UPA college championship winner then the CUUC champion. it means alot more.

being apart of CIS doesn't mean much either. first its hard, Lacrosse isn't even a CIS sport.

then you talk about apathy. maybe its because the competition is not there nor is the eligibility rules. getting romped by some goat club players after you flew 12 hours. that brutal. even if thats never been true or whatever, i guarantee theres tons of univeristy players who were a easterns who were not elligible. and people know this, so its not a legit tournament.

second, theres better tournaments to go to, including club ones. and then people think about the spring and save their money for that.

i think abandoning it is exactly what will encourage participation in the spring series, make teams more competitive and face harder competition and give them more time to prepare and be ready and save money for it. its also going to foster more competitive growth in our sport.

look at queens, they played UPA series and they won easterns and nats because of it. thats how they developed and got better. not playing in the fall, playing in the spring.

T1000 said...

In addition to fall university seasons in which I played 4-5 tournaments, I participated in another winter sport in which I had five competitions in eight weeks, followed by the spring UPA series, for which, in different years, I either flew across the continent or drove upwards of 13 hours. I don't consider this remarkable-- I did, after all, have teammates who did the same.

In short, commitment is an athlete's choice. Reducing the athlete's options does not make him either better or more committed.

If you want to know how Queen's got better, the answer is simple: Queen's played a lot of ultimate, all year, and they were willing to travel far to do it.

The question here is how to get more athletes excited enough to do the same. An underdeveloped fall programme has not helped so far, and abandoning it altogether should not be expected to somehow make a change for the better.

DAVET said...

you didn't respond to what i said, but you think you did.

my point is that in the fall on top UPA club, touring teams etc. then 4-5 tournaments apparently for fall university. you think students can still make even more tournaments to the states.

also i can guarantee everyone is not in your blessed financial position.

(this has nothing to do with your winter sport or spring)

and i disagree about queens. maybe someone on the team could comment. but if they had only every played easterns and CUUC's they would not have been the players and team they were. ya the played alot and its becaused they played in the spring. you keep saying that the fall is good for developing the sport and canadian teams but its not.

you don't get better playing teams on your calibre. you get better playing people and teams that are way better then you and the competition doesn't exist for many teams except in the states.

i think the fall season should just be a collection of tournaments and they should invite teams from the states.

Taylor said...

Look what I've started (again).

For our part, all of our players were elegible for Easterns. We were also missing several top players and we pulled out the win.

The last thing I'll say on the topic (for now) is that team development is best done over the summer. This has been beaten to death here and on PJ's blog, but the thing that propelled U of T from quarters and semis level to 3 CUUCs in a row was getting players into the club system. No other factor was as important. Guys who have played 6-8 tournaments together and practiced 50 times over the summer are going to be well prepared for the Fall (and the following Spring).

T1000 said...

I'm sorry, I was unclear.

What I described was my typical year at Queen's circa 2004-2006. The 4-5 tournaments in the fall included U.S. tournaments, Easterns, CUUCs, and an invitational Queen's tried running. We committed to playing as much as possible-- that meant playing both CUPA and UPA. Then we played the UPA spring as well.

I am trying to say that Canadian university ultimate participation in any competition whatsoever is already very low at present. Abandoning the fall programme cannot be expected to encourage more participation. It is not a solution-- it is inaction.

The fall programme did not inhibit UBC's, Queen's, or U of T's ability to get better-- it did, though, give more options geared at Canadian universities.

DAVET said...

who cares that u won 3 CUUCs.

did you ever make regionals?
i think thats embarrasing our national champions can't comepete at the sectional level with american colleges.

if you develop in the summer thats sweet. alot of the queens guys got better in the summer. i just don't see the need for the fall 'season'. its not a season and theres not enough competition i would rather devote my time to playing in american tournaments or a canadian one with american teams.

ur right it gives options. and their choosing canadian tournaments then not participating in the spring.

and ya CUUC's never inhibited but it def. didn't help them get better.

moses said...

I say big kudos to Toronto for attending and winning CUUC 3 yrs in a row. It's commitment like that that's going to make the CUUC work in the long run. Canadian University Nationals isn't going anywhere, and it'll nice for those guys to look back on the history books and see that they accomplished something.

It's a bummer that most Canadian universities don't compete in the Spring UPA series, but I guess the lack of the spring season is a function of living in a cold, snowy country.

So if the Fall is the only season that really works for all Canadian universities, the difficulty is in getting western teams (UBC, UVic, etc) to buy in to playing CUUC, especially when they have they have a better series (UPA) with less travel that they can compete in in the Spring.

I like the Westerns/Easterns idea with the best teams moving on to CUUC. It at least might get some new smaller universities involved over the next few years, which will eventually spill over to more teams attending Nats.

Maybe the biggest issue regarding Canadian college teams(and club teams for that matter)is how can we provide a better competition structure if Canadian teams are no longer allowed to compete in any of the UPA series?

Aaron said...

Wow a lot of comments in a short period of time. I'd like to comment on a few issues.

1. It was difficult for teams located in university towns to make it to Alberta for a 3 day tournament. UT being in a transportation hub, allows them to just cab to airport and fly out. Imagine arranging 1 way transportation for a team of 30 people just to Toronto Airport from London, or Kingston. I don't know how you guys delegate team organization, but just arranging rides for 30+ players with only 3 cars to Montreal was quite the challenge. Financially speaking, let alone the time some of us took to get things worked out. I'm not saying that NATs wasn't worth going for, without the financial capability it was difficult. Finishing 2nd this year in Easterns definitely left a bad taste in our mouths and we (Western) would have love the change to play against UT again.

2. Season in spring is interesting and worth considering. UPAs are often in the middle of Canadian universities' exam period. We might or might not be able to attend, changes from year to year. Having a few Canadian university tournys would attract US teams to come up for, as they would love to prep for UPA college series. In my opinion, it would also increase the level of play in the Canadian scene. As for the snow factor, who knows, we had snow storm in the middle of October in London this year. As I said, it's just worth considering, not saying we should abandon the fall season.

3. On developing teams. UT has a unique advantage as most players, I presume, live in Toronto year long. It is easy for UT to throw their players into the club system and get better and play in a similar system. I don't think you can say that for ANY other team other than UBC maybe. Just from Western team, we have players from Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Hamilton, New Brunswick and I'm personally from outside of Canada. If only all of us can get together for 3 weeks in the summer and practice and play together, I can only imagine how much better we could be. Same could be said for Queens, Guelph, McMaster, etc. Teams in the states have a full fall season just for try outs, splitting team into A and B, teaching rookies how to play the game. That's 1 major reason why i believe they're getting so much better. For us? What's the next open tournament after CEUUC or CUUC?

DAVET said...

carleton has a good development system with pheonix and their highschool scene is good.

there is tons of tournaments to go to in the fall in states that have good competition thats what canadian teams need to focus on going to.

NateB said...

I just don't understand how winning a national title isn't enough incentive. Say what you will about Toronto's built-in advantage, but they work harder than anyone else in the fall to chase that title; 5 practices a week from the first week of school until CUUC hard. Maybe they could concentrate on the UPA series and make it to the semis of regionals or something but no one gets a prize for that. No one is going to remember that you lost to Ohio State 15-9 on some cold day in the middle of your exam period when you should be studying for that economics exam on Monday.
Everyone remembers National Champions. Ask anyone who's won the title and they will tell you how much it means.

Aaron said...

So Nate, are you implying that other teams don't practice 5 times a week? I can tell you that Western do practice 5 times a week too and I believe that other teams do too.

It's not about incentive. It's about money. When someone can't afford it, they can't afford it. I'm not gonna blast my teammates for being not supportive of CUUC when they can't afford a long trip to Alberta.

If teams don't go through those 15-9 losses and bounce back, they'll never be champions. I'm sure UT went through a building period before winning 3 CUUC. No one becomes overnight winners. It's not about going down to US and embarass ourselves. It's about getting the exposures that Canada cannot provide at THIS moment. In the long run, we should continue to support the Canadian scene and hope more turn out will increase. Right now, there is a problem with tournament attendance and it's not about incentives of winning a prize. We should figure out how to make tournaments more affordable for teams and look to CUPA for some creative solution.

Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

PS. I think this is good discussion. Here, we all have a common goal and that's to raise the level of play and attendance in Canadian university tournaments. With some thinking and initiative, things will happen.

NateB said...

Aaron, I can completely see what you are saying with regards to cost. It's not cheap to fly all over this country, especially on short notice since it's rare that CUUC's location is determined before August. I guess I just feel like a lot of the reason that the teams that don't attend CUUC give is more apathy than financial. "Where's the glory in winning CUUC?" is a common refrain. My issue is with attitudes like DaveT's, not yours.

The more teams attend CUUC, the bigger an event it becomes, the more people want to work towards winning it. I just wish people wouldn't run to the UPA for competition instead of seeking it out in Canada. Easterns was a hard-fought tournament for everyone that attended with a lot of good games.

Also, my bad for implying other teams didn't work hard, I should have written "work harder than". I was really just looking to highlight the fact that U of T's success isn't handed to them on a platter.

DAVET said...

national championship.

i guess it can be called that. but anyone can go.. including any university team.. and any person in canada. theres no eligbiility its not legit.

why don't you ask the thunderbirds whether it was better to win CUUC's or THE UPA COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP and have their game broadcasted on TV.

lank89 said...

i'm assuming you are refering to the lady thunderbirds because the male contigent lost in the finals to U of T in 2007.

It is hard for us to sit here and say that we should be focusing on CUPA or UPA competition, when i think it really is to be determined on a case by case basis. UBC has a solid system and framework and so they are able to field a team of UPA eligible players. they are also a school sport if i am not mistaken and recieve some sort of support from the school, so they are able to travel to tournaments like vegas and Centex. Where as a program like Western that does have talent, and developed a good amount of it, still doesn;t have the numbers to send a strong UPA eligible team of more than 10 players. So we are able to use Easterns as a tournament to send our program as an A and B team to let our younger or more inexperienced players to play against some good Canadian teams. So should we turn our focus primarily to UPA, i dont think so (but hope we will be able to by the time im a senior). Its all relative i think.

DAVET said...

yes the lady thunderbirds. (was that u of t team all eligible)

wouldn't you rather see your teams (A and B) play against not only canadian school but american colleges that you might face in UPA's. it would raise the bar of competiton.

did western make an effort to make CUUC's. and obviously you find UPA's more appealing then 'being a CUUC contender in your senior year" wouldn't you rather be a college championships contender.

lank89 said...

us not going to CUUC this year as Aaron already mentioned had a lot to do timing, as well as money. I also personally had to deal with Club Series. So CUUC this year was tough not to make. Last year we also had a team able to go to vancouver but exams and injuries stopped that from happening.

i already think we can contend for a CUUC crown, and with the optimistic off-season we can hopefully win one before my senior year.
I'm hopefull that in the development of our prorgram (which trainor loves to talk about) we will be able to take the next step and make a legitimate run at UPA championships (we planned on attending sectionals last year but got rained out and then we rescheduled for our exam period)

My point was that there isn't a definite answer for which path of competition is the best to take, Canadian University ultimate is still growing, i look to the strenght of more Quebec teams this year, rather than just McGill, and some programs are going to grow faster than others and until we are all at the same level, i think programs should play where the feel they are going to learn/develop the most.

T1000 said...

I just don't understand an attitude that says that a Canadian championship division is not worth developing (or improving) just because there are more challenging options.

Of course the UPA series is more challenging than Canadian competition, but so what? There are hundreds of weaker or mediocre tournaments out there who cater to their share of the ultimate world, and they don't disappear just because there are stronger tournament series around. Heck, the whole point of college-only tournaments or college-only divisions (and on the opposite end of the spectrum, Masters divisions) is to provide a venue where the skill level is tighter. These tournaments exist because weaker teams don't yet have the experience, interest, or confidence to justify the expense and commitment that goes with travelling.

If that's where the Canadian game is (and with few exceptions, most Canadian schools belong in this boat), then let's build an appropriate system that develops teams so they gain the experience and confidence to compete.

So let's not get rid of the CUUCs and just tell teams to go to the States. I think we can make a system that works and encourages participation, and fosters growth in the Canadian game.

Queen's won CUUCs before it ever first went south to play in the UPAs. You could say it provided the confidence to try out the next level. And Flowerbowl's weaker Open division (as opposed to the Elite division) is a common test for teams trying to decide if they're going to attempt CUCs. So let's develop a working system. Let's give people a division, and give them titles. Even if you can't be UPA champions or WUGC champions, you can be Canadian champions, and before that, you can be Easterns champions.

There's no doubt that right now, in its current format, CUUCs don't work well. I don't there's not enough competition to justify one, gigantic, free-for-all national championship. So let's adopt a structure that makes more sense, caters more to smaller, weaker, local teams, who don't think they're good enough to travel, let alone participate in the UPAs. This is why I support a conference system.

moses said...

Totally agree with T1000 here: Winning a smaller tournament is a huge confidence booster and is necessary in taking teams to the next level. I'd go so far as to say that having a goal of making finals at CUUC or CUC and then making them is way better experience than competing in the UPA series and finishing 13th at Regionals.

One other comment about teams not attending because of exams, injuries, money, etc - People need to commit to a tournament before things like minor injuries and exams creep in. The leaders on the teams need to buy their plane tickets as soon as locations are announced. The other players will follow (and usually find the money somehow if they don't have it.) If this doesn't happen, you get nowhere, as the entire team just sits there and waits for enough people to magically commit.

jhaig said...

Just to clear stuff up for DAVET, Queen's won CUUC before most of us knew what the UPA series was even about. We just went south to play because beating the same teams was getting old. You know, bigger and better things. And even after playing in American tournaments we still found time to dominate our home tournament.

CUUC needs to be fixed (so does CUC, but it's not as bad). Ideally I think it should be a more exclusive tournament with one or two qualifying regional-type tournaments.

If that means placing it later in the year and restricting it to cities who don't get snow until November, then so be it. Or just tough it out and roll the dice hosting it later. It snowed most days in 2002 in Winnipeg, but we were still able to play.

Taylor said...

Sorry Trainor, you're blog has been hijacked.

I like all this discussion. CUUC is not the same as a college UPA title. The best description so far is that it's a stepping stone. Let's not forget the big picture here: we're talking about college ultimate. Club is the real deal and everything else is just prep. That's personal, not team, prep because only the top players on all of our university teams will ever play in Sarasota. At CUUC 06 in Ottawa I didn't play in the finals, but I was thrilled nonetheless. In Vancouver in 07 I played 3/4 of the points in the finals and had the biggest game of my career up to that point. That was possibly my sweetest victory. This year was very different because I was playing as a leader and was playing for my teammates on the sidelines more than for myself.

Each of these was a progession for my personal game. 06 was simply inspiration to improve. 07 was a realisation that I could bring it in big games. 08 was a confidence boost before heading to Sarasota, which made a big difference to my game.

I would suggest that any form of competition offers a learning experience. Probably the worst of these forms for learning is blowing out a novice team. DaveT, until your team is blowing out every team at CUUC I don't think you should complain about the level of competition.

Finally, yes, all of U of T's CUUC teams have been elegible. Every captain submits a roster in advance and hands in registrar letters to CUPA. I'm not saying teams don't have illegals on them, but that's not going to be a problem until that team wins the title.

jhaig said...

I would hope DAVET was eluding to the fact that CUUC eligibility requirements are silly and almost non-existent. But that is clearly a debate for another day.

Aaron said...

So I think we all agree that the current university tournament system is not appropriate for Canada. Can someone elaborate on the conference system in UK?

If the "conference" system is how I imagine it to be, say... 4 teams advance per division(say there's 4 division). Total of 16 teams to CUUC. Wouldn't that actually lower the level of play? Since majority of the stronger university teams (From what I know, which is limited) are located in Ontario and BC. Unless we somehow split Ontario into 2 divisions, then Quebec/East and BC/West? Sorry if this sounds confusion. I'm trying to get a grip on the whole concept. If that's the case, I would disagree with this system as it is similar to the Detriot Redwings situation in hockey, where the play Columbus, St.Louis. Some divisions would have 4 weak teams advance. Where Ontario would have to choose 4 of UT, Western, Guelph, Queens, Mcmaster, Waterloo, all, in my opinion deserve to compete in CUUC.

Also should we open up Canadian series to US teams? It is during their tryout season, I think it will attract a lot of teams up to use it as a tryout tourny. Also the lower drinking age also might be attractive to them...

I agree that CUUC is currently a stepping stone for bigger tournaments such as club series. However, is that the right way to go? I don't think it should be like that, but it is.

belanger23 said...

"Where Ontario would have to choose 4 of UT, Western, Guelph, Queens, Mcmaster, Waterloo, all, in my opinion deserve to compete in CUUC."

... and carleton.

jordomeron said...

haha yeah and carelton... sucks thst they didnt show better ast easterns though. BAD luck with the seeding.

Aaron said...

I apologize, Carelton and U of Ottawa too. However I think they're close enough to Quebec to be placed there. If not, that just proves my point a that Ontario would be a saturated division.

RK said...

One major issue with the university ultimate season is even more obvious after reading this debate. All arguments and points are pretty much about CUUC or CEUUC and possibly mention of a qualifying tournament, but in all reality, we need to start lower, with just more competitive tournaments. The Canadian university season is dominated by 'party' tournaments, specifically co-ed party tournaments and then one or two competitive ones if you can convince people to fly across the country.

I think the first step is to start getting more and more local Open tournaments where more internal (internal in this case referring to within a small geographic region) competition can be developed. This also gives opportunities to schools that don't have teams or would never end up at CUUC unless it was an hour drive away, if there's a tournament one town over.

I propose an Ontario school (preferably Guelph, Waterloo, or McMaster) develop a competitive open tournament. The location works because it's the closest for UofT (and other Toronto schools if they were so inclined), Mac, Guelph, Waterloo, Western, Brock (apologies if I've missed anyone) all within an hour or so distance. Buses do go between these cities, making transportation much easier (we've all dealt with coordinating rides at school, I'm sure). It has enough potential and is close enough to the border that some US schools may be attracted as well as the other Ontario or Eastern Canadian schools which aren't within the smaller radius.

There's enough competition available among those 5 or more schools that even if it's just a one day thing it would be worth it. And frankly there should be more than one of these happening in the fall, but one's a start. A pick-up team involving players from other schools that can't field a full team is another way to encourage participation.

Captains of the aforementioned schools should feel free to contact each other (or me) and discuss these arrangements. An 'open university' division could even be tacked onto one of the already existing co-ed tournaments in Guelph, Loo, or the Hammer.

Other than that, snow and exams are way bigger obstacles for spring ultimate or a bigger fall ultimate season than you guys let on. The ones who are willing to play in the snow are the people who are already involved in the competitive system. The more people we can get to be interested in that level of competition, the higher and higher that level will get.

westwell said...

having unused bids similar to CUC across Canada should work for CUUC as well. for instance...this year, Alberta, the Prairies and Quebec all had one unused bid each, which were reallocated to BC (1) and Ontario (2).

so, given the amount of interested teams for each "region" (TBD) in Canada, allocate the bids appropriately and hold regionals if the number of interested teams is greater than bids. having teams play other schools close by allows for tournaments with minimal travel expense for each team and fortifies university competition.

i would think most canadian teams would rather win a hard fought local rivalry (ie. western vs. UofT, carleton vs. mcgill) than a game versus some US team like carnegie-mellon or puget sound. i know i would.

i somewhat agree with each side of this debate: on one hand, having about 5 weeks to find players, hold tryouts, practice and attend a national championship makes for a very dense season, especially given the lack of funding and field time most universities provide for competitive club sports such as ultimate. being in school full time with midterms doesn't help much either. on the other hand, everyone is in the same boat. it's also about pride, having your priorities in order and playing for the canadian title. if you're better than everyone else, you become national champs. it's a position few players get to brag about. having your s*** together and getting your school work done ahead of time isn't rocket science.

speaking of students, there's the money issue. i wanted to go to vancity two years ago to go to CUUC, but to better ourselves as a program (and save everyone money), we opted instead to play two fall tournaments within driving distance and play more tournaments in the early spring down south. you could argue that this hurt canadian ultimate growth, but it gave our team more experience and brought our game to a higher level. if all teams had enough determination (and money) everyone could better themselves. motivation and dedication go a long way.

trainor, what if you had a post on:
-cultimate's shenanigans and your views?
-thoughts on referees vs. observers
-thoughts on new canadian ultimate magazine
-interviews with more great players (worlds players, Sarasota players, etc)
-interview with the infamous Frank (please)
-tactics on how to get more Matt Dunigan ultimate coverage

Aaron said...

Do we have an updated e-mail list of the organizers of each university team? I think we should contact each other and get something going. It is off season right now, what better than to plan the coming spring season and fall season. I agree with RK's point that we don't have enough open tournaments. This year I went to CEUUC and that's it. A bunch more party tournys.

jhaig said...

I know in the past Queen's hosted an aditional tournament in the fall. For the most part teams from Southern ontario (except guelph) didn't make the trip, not sure if Queen's still runs that tournament. On the womens' side, Carleton hosted a 4 team one day tournament this fall which was succesful. The Carleton men's coaches have talked about hosting a similarily small indoor tournament this winter.

So there isn't much stopping people from hosting their own tournament, but that won't change CUUC. What's needed is some sort of meaningful pre-season and a more exlcusive national event to ensure that you aren't flying across the country to either win or lose mostly blow-out games, or to attend a 6 team event.

T1000 said...

Just in response to Haig:

I think there might be some merit in making the championships a 6-team event, but it's a balancing act.

As it stands, CUUCs allow anybody to attend (because we feel we need the numbers), so it lacks cachet. If we made CUUCs exclusive, then it would become a worthy goal to "qualify" for them, and the skill level will be tighter.

We would have to change some things, though. With fewer teams in attendance, we would need to find ways to make it worth the participants' time. Longer games (21pts?) would be an obvious necessity, and the promise of exclusivity and skill parity help. But I think we would need to find funding for a travel stipend for the finalists (~$2000/team?).

higy said...

I like where the discussion has gotten to (people making suggestions to improve the situation as opposed to whining to each other about commitments and whatever). CUPA has been getting organized for the first time in years. I'm not sure if others have come across this but they are currently taking applications for a competition committee (to discuss and implement these various changes to CUC and CUUC).


I encourage anyone with strong opinions on the issue to apply for the committee (it's a small commitment, forms are due in January).

higy said...

Better link

Competition Committee

Aaron said...

Higy, you're always full of surprises.

Taylor said...

Since everyone's all excited about the idea of more university tournaments I've been in touch with the admin here and have inquired about booking our pristine indoor field for a 1 evening indoor tournament sometime this winter. Obviously it's hard to justify heading to Toronto for 1 night of ultimate for the Eastern Ontario teams. Trainor tried this last year and unfortunately it fell through. Since we're all talking about strengthening the Canadian university scene I would suggest mixing up the teams so that we can get to know eachother. Perhaps an all-star showcase game?

If anyone is interested please feel free to get in touch. torontula.ultimate@gmail.com

I'm suggesting this because there seems to a demand for competition and I think it'd be fun to break up the winter tedium. Otherwise, I don't do indoor.

Greg King said...

Wow, this has become a good discussion. I'm glad to see that there are a number of individuals who have posted who are interested in trying to improve university ultimate in Canada.

My original comment was overtly negative, but I was disappointed about this season went with Easterns and Nationals on back to back weekends. I agree that turning our backs on the fall season doesn't help it improve, but we have to come to terms with a couple of things:

1. We can't compare our series to the UPA Spring College season. We only do it damage. The population and density of schools is completely different in Canada and we need to develop some sort of model that takes this into consideration. It's easy to say that US teams fly to tournaments but in my experience, it is much cheaper to fly in the US than in Canada.

2. We can't have a spring series in Canada. Unless it's indoor or takes place only in Vancouver or Victoria. The shorter school year and the weather limit holding any large tournaments at this time of the year. It's not that players wouldn't play in the weather, it's that we wouldn't be able to get fields because they would be snow covered or sopping wet from the melt and I don't think any organization, municipality or school is going to rent fields in that condition.

I think that a fall season with some set dates for tournaments would work best. I like where Alex is going with improving local or regional competition (by having 2 or even 3 tournaments) and then having a clash of the top teams at a set date later in the fall (early November would be cold, but possible in most places).