Thursday, July 30, 2009

Big Tourneys This Weekend


A lot of big tourneys happening outside of Ottawa

Colorado Cup

Elite pool looks awesome, Open less awesome but features Canada's Blackfish and Texas Shootout champs Prairie Fire from Kansas City, and the Women's pool looks very interesting.

New York Invite

It's a lot less cooler to say New York Invite than Middleton Invite (cause when the fields at 1.5 hours away from the fields... you're not really staying in New York or playing there, same downside of the Boston Invite)

Bitterness aside, this 15 team tournament should be a doozy. Highlights will include:

  • Canadian Teams GOAT, Phoenix and Mephisto
  • Portland Oregan team Rhino
  • Seattle B Team Voodoo
  • North Carolina's Wilmington
  • Replicants from New York get to show their mettle in Power Pool play.

Mixed Up 2009 Preview- Co-ed In the Capital!


The Annual Mixed Up Ultimate tournament takes place this weekend. I promised a review, and here it is.

Defending Champs: RIP from Montreal

Format: Pool Play.. Pre quarters Sunday, every pool has Sunday championship possibilities. getting to finals will not be easy.

All the big coed teams (save for Monster) should be there this weekend as a preview for Nationals.

Pool A

Liquid from Waterloo has been tough all year and expect nothing less this weekend. Most of the male players had a great weekend at No Borders and will be ready to play a faster/aggressive style of play. Andrew Higgins is the man, but I should really point out two other members of the squad- former Fabulous Flying Flamingo Yaacov Illand and lefty huck specialist Stefanie Wong.

Gecko from Sherbrooke is the second/third best team in La Belle Province and have only had one bad tournament in two years (nationals) while BFC squeaked into nationals but hopes to turn the season around in front of their home fans. Solid is a local pickup team that will feature some talent, and a very speedy receiver in Aaron Steele.

Pool B

RIP is the best team in Quebec according to regionals and they will tune up before nationals with heady competition. Former Ottawa resident Andrew "Batch" Batchelor finds himself on a team with high hopes and good results. Tundra from Toronto is lead by Craig "Frogger" Froats and features a serious deep threat game. I have no idea where Tundra is now in comparision to years past, but we will find if they are ready to make a big step this year.

ARSE (Andy R Stewart Experience) is a local pickup team of players who condition/train under the great Andy Stewart. Can't say much more about the team (I choose not to as co captain), but I am sure they will be enjoying themselves and saying things like "Up down... Down Up" all weekend. Big Fish from Ottawa lost on universe in the game to go to nationals and will be looking to take out frustrations on unsuspecting opponents.

Pool C

ONYX from Quebec City was last year's nationals silver medalists. The rich get richer, as former Phoenix Player Jonathan Lestage joins their d line corps. Lestage is a great player that would be a great locker room presence.. if for any reason the team found itself in a locker room (You get my point). Kung Fu Grip is a fast rising team from Rochester with big wins this summer against tough foes. Practice is an Ottawa team that will feature the talented Keith Bourdon and Ken Maclean. Polatouches is Sherbrooke's B team and given the talent on GECKO and lack of mens/womens team, should be a tough match for all comers.

Pool D
Prophecy from Quebec City had a tough QC regionals and was looking for women as of this week. Zen Asylum had a similar time at Ontario regionals. Trouble Light is a Guelph team that might try to steal a spot in pre-quarters. Umani (Quebec City) and Plogg (Sherbrooke) are unknown teams that add to the amazing support Quebec lends to this tournament.

Pool E

The Company from Waterloo is the top seed in the pool and should expect to hold it. However, Hard from Montreal had an excellent match versus RIP at Comedy of Errors and might be a sleeper. Arrested Development will be adding a very high end Ottawa player for the weekend who will be of great help. Capital Punishment has a name that pays homage to the first open team from Ottawa and features mostly league players from Ottawa. Flying Saucer competed at Comedy of Errors and had some mixed results.

Pool F

Quebec's support continues in this pool. Tabasco and Friends might be seeded very low considering their performance at Comedy of Errors. The B1 team on Sunday might have a tough pre quarter match. I've never heard of Rotomixte from Quebec or Bulldogs from Toronto, but I do not expect them to be dangerous pick up ringer teams given the New York Invite is happening this weekend. Goyam already played at Comedy of Errors and had some trouble handling the big boys.

Pool G

This is a juniors pool featuring teams from Ottawa, Toronto, and Sherbrooke. They will be playing most of their games at Lynda Lane fields 1 and 2. If you have time, make it over and cheer them on.

Matchup of the day will be the 5:40-6:55 at field 1, where OJ and Dirt will face one another in a head to head matchup.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

World Games 2009 Review


The World Games ultimate tournament took place July 19 - July 21.

I want to let people know that Ultimate at World Games sold 39,500 tickets to the games. This surpassed Rugby 7s, which had only 35000. This is a great step forward for the game.

Team USA beat Japan 13-6 in the finals. Canada lost it's bronze medal match to Australia 13-8.

Overall, this has to be a very frustrating performance for Canada. When one watches the coverage of the USA-Canada matchup, the team seems to be struggling to gel, struggling to execute, and the "willingness to compete"was lacking.

Everyone is entitled to an off day and the players picked are still excellent players. But the overall results of the team, the fact that our team got the lowest spirit score of the tournament (Not even close, one particular game did not help), and the disturbing growing distance between Canada and the US at the junior levels is of great concern to me.

Luckily, CUPA has already had a competition committee that is focusing on monitoring these trends and make systemic changes to help curb population and other challenges we will face as the game becomes more sophisticated.

With limited rosters, World Games is not as great an indicator as Worlds about who is the greatest nation in the game. Our 2005 World Games performance was dissapointing as well and yet we won lotsof medals in 2004/2008 Worlds. However, losing to teams outside of the USA is a big concern. It means the world is getting better and we must get better as well.

How do you see the World Games results? Is it time to press a panic button, take note, or simply shrug it off.

If You're Not Going to be at Canadian Nationals....

Interested in seeing some of the worlds best Ultimate players?

7-9:30pm, Magnusson Park on Thursday August 13th the Seattle Sockeye are proud to present:
JamborECC, a fast-paced mini-tournament featuring 3 women's teams and 5 men's teams from Seattle, South America, England and Canada.

Admission is $5, or $3 with a DiscNW Team Jersey or Camp T-shirt. [This helps pay for fields, lights, and hopefully helps to support the international teams.]

Check out the flyer (attached) for more information. We are excited to finally bring Elite Ultimate back within the Seattle city limits. This is our only chance to play in our hometown this year before we head to tournaments in Oregon, California, Florida, and Medellín!

Thanks to the international teams traveling to play at ECC that weekend, and to our generous sponsors (Patagonia, nuun, DiscNW, and Flashflight)!

Hope to see you and yours on the 13th for a great evening of Ultimate,
Ben Wiggins
Seattle Sockeye

Map to the fields (next to the parking lot):

Teams Playing:
Riot: Seattle Women's team
Underground: Seattle Women's team
Revolución: Colombian Women's team

Clapham United: Great Britain's Men's team
Furious George: Vancouver, BC's Men's team
Goat: Eastern Canada's Men's team
Kíe: Colombian Men's team
Sockeye: Seattle Men's team

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No Borders 2009 Review


Pool Play

  • I have no idea how we made it all work and everyone got their games. So much had to go right and be done. Hence, Miracle in Manotick.
  • Pool play had great parity and teams like General Strike, Red Circus and Toba Party impressed opponents.

You heard it here. The party was won by the following cities
  • Toronto
  • North Bay
There were other star cities, but sheer numbers and partying gives the above a nod.

In the Win a Wii costume contest, people went above and beyond the call of dressing duty. The finals pitted Dave "Axel Rose" Hennigar versus Dee "Jacko" Roderique. I had said before the contest that no MJ lookalike could win, unless they moonwalked. Dee did that and saved some break dancing for last. The fans chose her as the winner.

I should also mention that a male player named Aaron did a full own costume of Jennifer Beals from Flashdance. The crowd went WILD.. but he didn't save the water splash till the semis and finals.. and that spelled his fate. Amazing concept though.

Dee has won two party titles in a row. I want a picture if anyone has one, and I want people to try and dethrone this champion "show dawg"!


Here is a rundown of the men's and women's Championship bracket.


We were very happy to have Brute Squad from Boston make the trip this year. They are a great team and feature players like Dory Zipperstein that Canadian fans know of and want to see. Further, we have equally strong teams at Borders like Lotus, Stella and Storm who are making this tourney a strong event for women's top clubs to consider.

Pool Play for both power pools went exactly as seeded. That might be the only time ever for me.

PPF and Sugarshack were relegated out of the top 8 after day one and a surprisingly strong Toba Party from Winnipeg and Salty from Halifax made the jump to Sunday Quarterfinals.

Stella, Storm, Lotus and Brute Squad made semis as expected. Brute and Lotus made it to finals and put on an amazing show for Rogers TV and the fans that gathered. With the score tied 10-10, the game went into hard cap. A hard fought point ended when Brute Squad won on universe and became the 2009 champs. The image in this post is from Rene Champagne and he will upload many tourney picks at his site

Taking off my TD hat, here were my observations from watching women's play when I could stop dealing with fields and admin
  • Malissa Lundgren has come a LONG way from Zen and looks to be a big body presence that can make d's and make throws. I was really impressed with her play
  • Brute Squad was a deserving champ and their talent is spread out through the team. I hope we have helped spark rivals that will lead to a return from them
  • It seems like Lily has drastically pulled away from Scarlett in the Toronto-Ottawa B team rivalry, and I hope by nationals this will not be the case

Proud to say our tournament has gotten to the point were quarters provide excellent parity, and very good teams go home at this point. Red Circus, General Strike, GLUM and Medicare had this happen to them despite a realistic shot of winning it all.

In semis, Phoenix Moondoggies was an epic battle of Toronto versus Ottawa. Specifically, the match up of Ottawa Native Colin Green versus Phoenix's Kielan Way one on one was what fans really keyed on. Moondoggies won and moved to the final.

Mephisto overcame a 5 point deficit with NADS to take their semi. NADS were a great team this year and their chance to win No Borders was very real this year. However, Mephisto continues to have the mettle to win these kinds of great battles.

The finals were set. Mephisto allowed a short benched Moondoggies to add some great pickups to make the TV a real challenge. Clearly, tough quarters and semis hampered both teams, with Moondoggies reaching a little deeper for a 13-7 win and the No Borders Championship.

My Thoughts
  • Phoenix had a strong weekend at times and proved to many they will be a Nationals threat
  • I did not get to see General Strike play due to non stop TD work.. which sucks. I can tell you that Kyle Parker and company look like big organized squad that might win Nationals on home turf this year.
  • The Montreal program is on the rise. Mephisto is classy.. and so is Demon (way better this year) and Magma (also improved).
  • I hope the NADS make another run to win next year. I thought this might have been the year
  • GLUM might be the best masters team I have ever seen

No Borders 2009 - Being a TD is Tough!!!


No Borders celebrated its 25 anniversary this weekend, and it seemed like this year might be the best run and best played tournament of all time.

With Rogers TV coverage of both men's and womens finals, newspapers and TV stations sending reporters to the field throughout the weekend, and an excellent field of men's and women's teams, the only thing that could go wrong was the weather. With our UPI fields, it would takes weeks of constant rain to cause trouble.

We got constant rain. Fields that were perfect mid week now had standing water on Friday. City fields were shut down. With teams already having flown in from Boston/New York/ Vermont/Halifax/Winnipeg things were bleak. We had to take care of these teams, the intrests of the tournament and the interest of the local league and field owners.

Well, thanks to the tremedous help of local league OCUA's management team, we were able to take the necessary steps to work with our field specialists, assess all fields and make sure we had a proper plan to move forward. Myself and two other schedulers (Kevin Korecki and Carl Sharpe) designed full schedules for different scenarios of fields until the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning. 42 teams is hard to plan out when you were already at virtual capcity with 19 fields.

Due to all of this work, we were able to get all Saturday games in with 6 less fields and one extra time slot. Teams helped ensure we preserved the fields as best we could. Pool play in men's and women's was excellent and showcase games in power pool play were entertaining for fans.

With 100 millimeters of rain during the weekend in the city, a day of field use and forecasted Thunder and Lightning called for Sunday, I had to make a very tough decision- Cancellation of all games, cancellation of all games except top 8 men's and womens.. or sit in a corner and cry.

For the sake of the No Borders history, we worked out a schedule for top men's and women's play and cancelled Sunday games for all else. Response from the fields and the party (Try being the TD at a party when you just said almost everyone's games are cancelled)

Yes, some rare people were major jerks all weekend, but that was about 1% of the all players. I was amazed by the support and response from teams regarding these decisions,. I am thankful. It made every hour without sleep spent trying to work out a way to ensure play worth it.

In summary, the tournament went on as best it could, my faith in ultimate teams and players is unchanged and healthy, and a huge thank you to everyone involved.

Next post focuses on the good stuff.