Thursday, August 27, 2009
Biggest tournament of the weekend happens in Poolsville Maryland. The Chesapeake Open is one of the two big American tournaments (along with Labour Day) that serves as the tune up and preview for the UPA fall series.
The tournament has three divisions (Open, Womens, and Mixed) and the talent pools look very strong this year.
Some strong Canadian content with Invictus (Calgary) making it all the way to this tourney. Despite being crushed 15-3 at CUC 2009 semi-finals by Mephisto (Montreal) two weeks ago, they are seeded 4 spots above the defending national champions. This could be one of two things- UPA tourneys shun CUC results, or the TD is simply trying to give a team from Alberta their money's worth in pool play.
GOAT of Toronto seems to be well seeded and will look to find themselves in the finals.
Others teams of note to watch include top seed Revolver, Ring of Fire, and the undefeated Prairie Fire from Kansas!
12 women's teams in this tournament, and for what the division lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. At least 10 of these teams are in the elite category.
Canada's hope relies on the third seed Capitals, who are regrouping this year for another Ottawa-Toronto upa finals run. After such strong years for Lotus and Stella, it will be tough to merge the two teams and select the best players.
Other team of note is Iceni from London/United Kingdon. This team makes the trek across the Atlantic, and we'll quickly get to see where the stack up versus some of the very best in North America.
One thing that really impresses me looking at the teams is the continuity of some of the teams/programs. There seem to be fully set team names and programs in cities, and this helps get a better read on teams when you can compare year to year results.
No Canadian teams or teams from abroad, but it looks like the tourney has drawn the best from the eastern part of the states. Of note will be Axis of C'Ville featuring former Sockeye star Chase Spalding Beckley, and the very strong AMP from Philly, which has played in five tournaments this summer already and has won all but three matches.
Special note is Kung Fu Grip from Rochester NY, which came to Ottawa for Mixed Up this year and has really seemed to gell as a co-ed team this year. We all still miss Zebra Muscles (open) though!