Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Professional Ultimate?

Because my region (California) has almost nothing to update you on, I would like to instead pose a philosophical question:

Ultimate continues to push itself into the mainstream sports world. Would people prefer that it to followed this trend, becoming another commercialized, professional, and truly organized sport, or would you have it remain the mostly unknown and unloved sport that it is and keep our community intact.

Throw out your opinion.

PlayUltimate Contributors - Thomas Sanchez

Name: Thomas Michael Sanchez
High School Team: Dark Meat *CHP* (Alameda, CA)
College: I am currently a UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, or University of Oregon hopeful
Currently Living in: Alameda/Oakland/San Francisco, California
Years Playing: 3
First Heard of Ultimate: 8th Grade, but back then “Frisbee was for losers”
Ultimate Accomplishments: Went to National’s my first year on the team, Won the California State Championships in 2005, Made Semi’s at Westerns in 2005, and perfected the full-field chicken wing.
Favorite Tournament: Savage seven tournaments and the National/Western Championships
Mentors/Role Models: Michael DeSousa is my Buddha, Jeff Cruickshank is my hero.
Why you have expertise on the region you are reporting on: I am a Co-Region Coordinator for Northern California, Captain of the California State Champions, and I play a lot of Ultimate all over the place.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas.... (a present from the PlayUltimate staff)

Happy holidays from the PlayUltimate staff, though hopefully not too many of you will be checking in today, and instead feasting on Christmas candies and turkey and whatever else, we'd just like to announce that we have a bit of a present for all of you this holiday season.

Announcing our newest contributor....

Thomas Sanchez from Alameda, California

Thomas will start checking in soon with a contributor bio, and you can expect high school updates from the northern california area to start rolling in soon after. With this addition we have expanded our coverage from coast to coast (again), bringing us to 6 contributors from three time zones, four states, and more than five high school communities from around the country. We are continuing to expand and hope to eventually canvass the entire ultimate playing United States, that of course will take time, so for now, thank you for reading and we promise big improvements over the next few months, and perhaps a few very exciting announcements regarding high school ultimate coverage......

but you'll just have to keep checking back for that.

Merry Christmas world, and in case we dont see you, have a sweet new year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A few maps - on the growth of High School ultimate in the US

above are the states with upa sanctioned state championship tournaments for 2005

and then for 2005

and then above are the states who have had active programs this fall (any team which reported scores to the upa score reporter)

quite interesting to see how the sport is growing. i plan on doing a few more of these maps after the spring season gets started/finishes. because as far as i know the spring season is the main one for most high school teams.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

PlayUltimate Contributors - Matt McCabe

Name: Matt McCabe
High School Team: St. Joe's Prep (Philadelphia)
College: University of Pittsburgh
Currently Living in: Pitt / Philly
Years Playing: 5
First Heard of Ultimate: 9th Grade
Ultimate Accomplishments: Started high school team at SJP, selected as PHUEL All-Star twice, received PHUEL Spirit of the Game award 2005, Prep reached the PA State quarterfinals and PHUEL semifinals in 2005
Favorite Tournament: playing in PA State champs was pretty awesome, and watching Mid-Atlantic Club Regionals was also pretty cool.
Accomplishments in Regards to Journalism: I currently work as an editor for the Pitt News (daily collegiate newspaper), received a Catholic Standard&Times award for an article i wrote in high school, yada yada
Mentors/Role Models: Mike Panna, Rosser, all the OLD SAG guys, and the current Pitt team

I was first introduced to ultimate on my first day of school freshman year. We had orientation activities to get to know fellow students and one of the activities happened to be playing ultimate on the front lawn of the school (a patch of grass maybe 15 by 25 yards - surrounded by concrete and the rest of North Philadelphia). I had never experienced anything quite like it, but i picked it up easily enough, and occasionally from that point on would play in the front yard with friends. One of whom was Mike Panna, a freshman like me who loved the game. However, he was unlike me in the fact that he had a flick, hammer, scoober, knew how to cut, knew what a force was, knew what zone was, etc. His older brother, Chris had played for Scranton and went on to play for Philly's open club team, which was then Rage.

So over the years Mike and I continued to play, or rather he played and taught me a hell of alot of what i know, and we decided to start a formal team at the beginning of our junior year. In the fall of 2003, we played in our first tournament, and i played in my first game of organized high school ultimate. It was sweet. We got creamed for the most part, but our team was athletic and by the time our class graduated we had a team of 30+ athletes and the Prep had become a perennial contender within PHUEL.

After I graduated i attended the Philadelphia Ultimate Camp, where i was taught that what i thought i knew, was in reality virtually nothing about the game. After that week though i left with some significantly more solid fundamentals. In August i began school at the University of Pittsburgh, where i tried out for and made the A team. Since then i have participated in 5 tournaments in 4 different states, including the Classic City Classic in Georgia. Recently I was elected President of the team, so yay for beaurocracy.

Hopefully that provides you with a significant enough background into my ultimate career. I hope you enjoy the site, and come back often, we are always looking to add contributors (if you are interested email us at, and eventually hope to have extensive coverage of high school ultimate from all over the country.

To view information about the professional Matthew McCabe, feel free to check out this site.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

PlayUltimate Contributors - Joel Houmes

Name: Joel Houmes
High school team: I'm an old guy and they didn't have them back then (teams...not high schools, smart a....)
College team: Northwestern University
Current residence: Cincinnati, OH
Where you first heard of ultimate: From the youth leader at my church
Years playing game: 22....yikes. Does that make me Old School? Please don't tell me if you have my replica jersey.
Notable accomplishments while playing: Back in the day, Northwestern was a top 20 team.
why you have expertise on the region you are reporting on: I am going into my fourth season coaching in Cincinnati. One year as an assistant at Lebanon High School and three as head coach at Lakota High School. I also coach the select team that participates at Youth Club Nationals.
Any high school or college accomplishments in regards to writing/journalism: doctoral thesis is 238 pages guaranteed to put you to sleep. Who needs drugs?

While I have played for years and years and years and years, the last few years coaching have been by far the most rewarding. Now that I am in the Masters division (read old and slow and tired), it is a good way to get my competitive juices flowing. Besides, how great is it to have a group of players that have to come and play whenever I want? Bonus.

Like a lot of players, high school ultimate was a disorganized rabble for me. My friends and I rarely even played with boundaries. As you might imagine, games quickly turned into regular huck fests. I suppose those days planted the seed that would later develop into a player that considers every huck a good huck. College offered structure for my game as well as the finer points of good team offense and defense. Perhaps my greatest college accomplishment was actually getting knocked out in a game at college sectionals. You have to appreciate the little things.

Since college, most of my playing has been in summer leagues with the occasional venture into club tournaments and punctuated by the occasional odd injury (cracked an arm laying out onto a sidewalk). Now I mostly play vicariously through the players I coach.

Youth Ultimate Cincinnati I have been a bit tardy in getting my first post in on the Ultimate scene in the SW Ohio/Indiana/Kentucky area. I've been out tossing the disc in the snow. Is there a better excuse? I coach the Lakota High School team in Cincinnati and will post here as I see interesting things. Today I will talk about our league and other area teams. Future posts will talk about the teams in our league and notable players both past and present.

Here in Cincinnati we are going into our 7th season. I don't know all the details, but our league has the rather unfortunate name of "Youth Ultimate Cincinnati" or YUC. We started with 4 teams in 1999 and have steadily grown to where we had 14 teams last year. We play as a mixed league (usually 5/2) and our season runs from mid-March to mid-May.

The 500-pound gorilla in our league is the Home School team. I'm sure that many of you are now chuckling at the concept of a Home School team, but remember that they only play one sport. They start their kids playing in second grade, so by the time they get to high school every one of them can throw well and knows all about their offensive and defensive schemes. While they are not the most athletically gifted team, they play a decent zone and really make you pay for your mistakes. They have not lost a game in three years including last years' first Ohio state championship.

I am sure that many of you who follow ultimate closely don't know a whole heck of a lot about ultimate in Cincinnati. Historically, we don't travel much. Those of you familiar with the midwest will know that it can be quite a drive to get, well, just about anywhere. Until recently, to find other team to play, we would have to drive to Pittsburgh (4-5 hours), Nashville (4-5 hours) or Atlanta (6-7 hours). So...we chose to spend most of our time beating up on each other rather than travelling around and playing other cities.

All of that is starting to change though. With teams now in Cleveland, Columbus, Indy, Lexington and Bloomington, I am looking forward to taking my team on the road more. Plus, last summer we put a team into the Youth Club Championships. We finished 5th but played pretty well for a team overloaded with freshmen. Look out for us next year.

See you on the field.

PlayUltimate Contributors - Nick Kaczmarek

Name: Nick Kaczmarek
High School: Bethel Park
College: University of Pittsburgh
Other teams: Coach of Pittsburgh Impulse (youth club team)
Lives in: Pittsburgh
Years playing: 3

First heard of Ultimate in: 11th grade
Accomplishments: 2004 PHUL Championship w/ Bethel Park
Involvement in Community: I help with High School Gym demos, write weekly reports for the Spring High School League, coach the youth club team, give clinics for high school teams, etc.
Favorite Tournament: Nationals at any level
Mentors/Role Models: Henry Thorne

I was introduced to Ultimate in 11th grade by Steve Grassel and we quickly joined PHUL and finished second that first season to Mt. Lebo. We got serious in 2004 (well as serious as a group of 7 close friends can get about Ultimate in high school) and attended a bunch of tournaments including Juniors Terminus (3rd place finish was a highlight at the time). We also won the league that year. I was one of those confused throwers with a righty flick and a lefty backhand until Dave Lionetti told me about all the wonders of being a lefty (like being incapable of travels and impossible to mark). Playing on PITT finally woke me up during my freshman year and got me to finally improve as a player. My most meaningful experience in Ultimate so far has been spending a summer coaching a great group of youth players from Pittsburgh, but that'll be topped eventually.

PlayUltimate Contributors

So you read the content, perhaps you subscribe to the rss feed, perhaps you stumbled upon us following a link from somewhere in the vast reaches of this internet. No matter how you read the site and no matter how you found us, undoubtedly you are currently wondering who the hell we are, why we have any expertise on the subject of high school ultimate, and where the hell we come from.

Well fear not, because for the next week each of the contributors to the blog will be posting a brief bio, with hopefully everything you could ever want to know about them.

So check back in often, cause you will not want to miss these.

Hey, we promise once the seasons start up again, we will have a slew of timely and interesting content.

Further - if you are a budding journalist, or have an inspiring amount of insight on the high school ultimate scene, or you hail from a region we do not yet cover, drop us a comment with an email - we WANT more contributors, ESPECIALLY from the following regions - north west (washington, california, oregon), south east (georgia, north carolina), north east (new england, massachussettes, etc), great lakes area (minnesota, wisconsin, michigan) - so if you fit in to any of those categories, or perhaps you are just naturally sweet. leave a comment with an email address and we will contact you.

Monday, December 19, 2005

YCC in 2006

The youth club championships were a big success last year, but there just weren't as many teams as everyone was hoping for. I kind of believe this was because of short notice for a lot of youth areas and they couldn't get teams/money together in time. So, this year I'm kinda expecting a boom... who's planning on sending a team this year - and in what division. Also, if you don't really know where to start, Pittsburgh was in the same situation last year, so if you have questions, I might be able to help out. But seriously, who is going because this is eventually going to be THE showcase of Youth Ultimate and it would be sweet if it was sooner than later.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Role Models for "Young" Players

So this issue has bugged me for a little bit, and since it is the "off-season" for most high school ultimate players, i figured i would bring it up.

first off a little exercise...

1. name five nba players
2. name five nfl players
3. name your top 5 sports role models from any sport

not too hard eh? ok now try this -

name five upa club players
name your top five ultimate role models

for most high school players, this is where the difficulty comes in. as a sport, we dont have, at least as far as i can see, those players that are universal. everyone that plays basketball has heard of michael jordan. everyone that plays soccer has heard of pele, for cycling - lance, etc.

as a sport i think this is something perhaps we are lacking. we have the local role models, the coaches, the alumni of your teams, perhaps local college players you've seen play, etc. but what we lack is the nearly idolized distant role model. the one you watch from afar, perhaps send for an autograph.

so - to the point of this long rambling post. if you disagree with me, who are the universal role models for ultimate? (name names) and if not, have you seen any players (lets keep it in club, which is undeniably the closest thing to pro for ultimate right now) who are worthy of such acolades?

i wanna hear names here. and if you cant answer either of the above questions, how about this one - do you think ultimate needs or wants a michael jordan?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

open thread

in the absence of any new content (which i promise is coming...), an open thread to discuss whatever you want in the world of high school ultimate. i see that the junior worlds team post a few back has been getting a bunch of comments, so feel free to post your thoughts here.

who are the best players in high school now? who were the best? what makes the best player? who are the best teams? why are they the best teams?

start the spewing, the only opinion that sucks here is the one you think and then decide not to post.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Resources for High School Players

So many in the ultimate world have commented on what could be described as the "knowledge gap" with other sports. When you play basketball, you know all the rules, and to feel like you can play at a high level you know all the fundamentals, perhaps you watch the pros, you know what types of drills to do etc. However in ultimate it seems as if on every team there are only a few if any of those types of players, and usually those are the ones who have assumed the burden of teaching everyone else around them how to play.

The long and short of it is, following that model, ultimate can only progress so far. Individual players need to make strides to learn about the games themselves. They need to first off know all the rules, otherwise you are just shooting yourself in the foot. And further, the ones who wish to become good, need to go further and learn the strategy of the game etc.

So without further ado, i post for you, a list that i have compiled off the top of my head of sources for high school players in particular to better their game...

Ultimate Websites and Media - Jim Parinella's blog - one of the
foremost experts on ultimate, has played for Boston's Death or Glory
for more than ten years now - DOG is a team which won something like 5
back to back national championships in the early 90s, this year they
went to natties and reached the semifinals
- video from Colorado University's recruitment camp. These are the
types of players you need to be able to beat one on one, point after
point, to compete at the national level - ultimate frisbee strategy and
coaching information, very useful if you want to learn more - frisbee spew, commentary and thought
provoking thingers from the ultimate community - a bunch of the ultimate blogs compiled
into one site. it takes posts from jim parinella, and other top club
players from around the country and puts them all on one page - if you dont already go here
daily, you are missing out. almost every single day there is a new clip
of the day. the company produces dvds featuring the top ultimate action
in the country. right now they offer something like 3 or 4 dvds, with a
new one coming out every few months. definitely some awesome stuff.
they also have a compilation of user submitted links on there which
could probably help you. dvds are reasonably priced and well worth the
money. michael jordan didnt learn to play bball without watching wilt
chamberlain and bill russel on tv. you have to learn from someone.
- gaia offers a few ultimate DVDs which are all very worthwhile. but
above all, i strongly STRONGLY recommend buying I Bleed Black. if you
want anything for christmas, ask for this. holy lord is it worth it.
and its only selling for $20. that is an absolute steal. the dvd is a
documentary of the UC Santa Barbara team of 2002 i believe and their
run at a national championship. it goes through their practices, team
meetings, everything. its amazingly valuable. the trailer can be seen
here -

Ultimate Books

there are also a bunch of books availiable (hello christmas presents!)
written by the legends of the game...

Ultimate Techniques and Tactics - written by Jim Parinella and Eric
Zaslow, awesome diagrams, graphics, tips for training, drills, diet,
everything you need to know, and right now on amazon its around $13,
not too bad at all

The Fundamentals of Ultimate, written by James Studarus, i own it, not
as good as t&t, but not bad, only $8 as well

Ultimate: The First Four Decades - written in part by Adam Zagoria,
with tons of contributors - if you want to know why you play the way
you do. why you have the championships you have etc. where the upa came
from. who won championships of the past. who started the sport. who if
the jerry west of ultimate. the babe ruths, etc. if you want to know
where the sport is going, where you have the potential to go, you have
to know where it came from. this book has just been released. it comes
with a dvd. its apparently amazing. i havent gotten mine yet but holy
hell will i. it will sell out, i can promise you that. because they are
running from such a small printing firm they only have a limited number
of copies, and it will sell out.

Ultimate Camps

Ok, so you want to do more than just read things online, and watch some
videos about ultimate. During the summer there are tons of camps around
the country for high school ultimate players - - the Philadelphia ultimate camp, if you are interested in ultimate and want to get better this is the camp you want to go to. you will be taught by mostly
OLD SAG players (Philadelphia's Masters team) many of whom were on the
national championship team a few years back, and most of whom played at
nationals this year. - the undeniably most prestigious ultimate camp in
the country. if you want to be one of the best high school players in
the nation, this is something to think about. top college and club
players from around the country travel to the boston area every year to
help coach and run the camp. if you go there, you learn from the best. - i dont know too
many things about this camp, except that it is basically a recruitment
tool for Colorado who is one of the most dominant teams in college
ultimate. they were in the finals last year, they won the year before
that. they are a perennial favorite. definitely worth looking at if you
want to get yourself recognized - the upa has a
few other camps listed

Do you have something we left out? Feel free to post a link as a comment

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Juniors Players Playing in College

While i had wanted to have a comprehensive list of all the juniors players playing for the major college teams this year, time constraints forbid it. So instead i figured id give you my resources and let you see for yourselves what you can find.

This weekend is the most prestigious college ultimate tournament of the fall season - the Classic City Classic - held in Atlanta, GA.

Score-o-matic will be there reporting up to the minute statistics, but what is neat is that they have team and player profiles for everyone involved in the tournament. Thus, if you are really interested enough you can find out for the most part, which players played in high school.

By no means have i even begun to do enough research to list all of the players competing this weekend who played in high school. But for anecdotal sake, i will post below those who i first hand know of or have heard of...

Name - College - High School

Tom Annen - Wisconsin - played for Madison West

Brad Bellinger - Pitt - played for William Tennent outside of Philly

Skylar Brunnel - Pitt - played for a high school in Rochester, NY (im blanking on the name)

Jake Christian - Pitt - played for Wissahickon in Ambler, PA

Evan Jenkins - Pitt - played for Mt. Lebonan in Pittsburgh, PA

Nick Kaczmarek - Pitt - played for Bethel Park in Pittsburgh, PA

Matt McCabe (me) - Pitt - played for St. Joe's Prep in Philadelphia, PA

Garrett McInnes - George Washington - played for St. Joe's Prep in Philadelphia, PA

Tim Pierce - Wisconsin - played for Madison Memorial

Dan Sigal - George Washington - played for Pennsbury

David Vatz - Pitt - played for Mt. Lebonan, Pittsburgh, PA

Reed Verdesoto - Pitt - played for CB East High School in Doylestown, PA

this is just a list based on people i know personally or whom i have found while lightly browsing the score o matic sight. as you can see my list is heavily metro east, so if you know someone who will be playing this weekend at CCC who played in high school, comment with the info, i for one would love to hear it.

perhaps later we can open the can of worms as to the greatest juniors player of all time? chase? zip? nord? your thoughts are welcome as always

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

PHUL Top-Billing

There has been tons of trash talk popping up on the PHUL B-Boards about which team is the best in PHUL right now after the two Fall Tourneys. Two teams are obviously leading the way (Hampton and Mt. Lebo), with each having a tournament win. While North Hills is outside of the discussion right now, they have made finals once and I like them a lot, so they are officially included. These three teams are the only teams that have appeared in the finals game of a PHUL tournament this year (Lebo - 2 appearances, 1 win; Hampton 1 appearance, 1 win; North Hills - 1 appearance, 0 wins), so I'm going to do a run-down of these teams and attempt to see who gets official top-billing at this point.

I am going to assess them in several categories: Record against one another, Best Defense, Best Deep Game, Best Short Game, Best Cutters, Best Handlers, and Most Potential for Spring Season (this category kind of is a swing category in case of ties).

Record against one another:
Lebo versus Hampton has been a battle all season with the teams 1-1 against one another (Lebo with a big win over Hampton at Club Sectionals 15-3, but Hampton with a win in the more important game - finals of PHUL Take 1 - 13-10).

Lebo versus North Hills has been totally one sided with NH losing both games 15-6 (PHUL Take 1 Semis) and 15-8 (PHUL Take 2 finals). Obviously Lebo gets the nod in this matchup.

Hampton versus North Hills has been an interesting matchup with the teams 1-1 against one another. Hampton's win came in the more important came (poll play of PHUL Take 1 11-9), but North Hills won a scrimmage 15-11. Hampton gets the edge here, but North Hills is obviously really close behind them.

Hampton took care of business at PHUL Take 1, but outside of that tournament, they are winless against Lebo and North Hills. Lebo's dominance of North Hills, close finals against Hampton, Take 2 championship, and overall better record (10-1 over Hampton's 6-4) give them the edge in this category, but record don't mean everything in this analysis.
Record Edge to Mt. Lebanon

Best Short Game
Of the three teams, North Hills is the only team with a great ability to have a short game as they have the most disc skills with Alex Thorne and Ben Funk being two of the most talented throwers in the league. Add in Colin Conner, Jack Gazdik, and Jeff Olko and the ability to play conservative, smart offense is definitely there to a degree that most high school teams never get close to. They are all experienced players despite their age and are teaching newer players to work in a great system. Whether or not their short game can be good enough to succeed in a high school league is another question, however, I think they can get there.
Short Game Edge to North Hills

Best Deep Game
Hampton rules this category with an iron fist as they feature two big flick hucks in Lukas Truckenbrod and Dan Gurwin and huge receivers Jay Huerbin and Perry Martin. While they rely on their deep shots a bit too much, it can definitely be an unstoppable force. It got them the win at PHUL Take 1 and will give them a shot against every team.
Deep Game Edge to Hampton

Best Defense
This category goes to Mt. Lebo as they possess the ability to play great zone and man defense. Youth Club players Julian Hausman, Pete Imler, and Zach Ehler have a very strong understanding of zone defense and it shows in their team play. Ehler and Imler are also impressive defenders and add in athletes like Andrew Koutsavlis, Zach Zmith, and Hao Su and you have quite a bunch. Julian is also a good athlete, but has some work to do before he fully realizes his potential as a defender. They are probably the only team in the league that can shut down Hampton's deep game as most teams don't have enough guys to matchup against the likes of all Hampton's cutters.
Defensive Edge to Mt. Lebanon

Best Cutters
Gotta give this one to Hampton with Truckenbrod, Perry Martin, and Jay Huerbin being an impressive combination of leaping ability, speed, and skill. Add in the youth movement on the team and the best girl to play in PHUL since the days of Emily Caffee (Christy Lawry) and you have a good assortment of cutters. They are good now, but need to reach some of their potential to be successful in the spring (especially in regard to being better in-cutters).
Cutter Edge to Hampton

Best Handlers
This is a close matchup between Lebo and North Hills as North Hills has the more skilled handlers (A. Thorne and B. Funk), but Lebo has a larger assortment - all of whom are taller than NH's boys. Overall, I think Lebo gets the edge because Imler and Hausman compliment one another really well - with Imler being a great short, conservative throw handler and Julian having some bigger, pretty throws (although not as consistent as Imler's). Throw in Hao Su's ability to handle (good athlete and really nice looking short throws) and you have a great group ready to take over PHUL.
Handler Edge to Mt. Lebanon

Most Potential for Spring Season
North Hills dominates the category. They have an enormous number of young players (all 10th grade or lower) and have picked up some great athletes - although they are underdeveloped in many ways. They are practicing indoors all winter and have practiced throughout the fall to give themselves a great point to start from in the spring. Whether or not their potential will be reached cannot be answered, but they have the potential to change the way Ultimate is played in the Pittsburgh High School League - by showing the positives of a smart, conservative brand of Ultimate. I'll be watching all year to see if they can do this.
Potential Edge to North Hills

Final Summary
Final score is:
Lebo: 3
Hampton: 2
North Hills: 2

Lebo gets my nod as the best team right now. Hampton is the number two at this point even though they tie with North Hills in the score. They have the record, they have the players, they have the size. North Hills comes in third right now, but has the potential to make a big jump into the Spring. Goodluck to all PHUL's teams and I hope this clears up all that B-Board stuff, as I am the foremost authority and my word is always truth.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Coming soon to PlayUltimate

what you have to look forward to in the future from the people at PlayUltimate....

- expanding coverage : we hope to cover the Seattle and Massachussettes leagues in the near future, and eventually expand to covering Georgia, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado and Texas

- a weekly poll : this will be coming within the next week or so, with suggestions for poll topics coming from user comments

- if i can get it together i am going to try to take a look at the biggest college teams in the nation right now - namely those playing at the Classic City Classic, and see what portion of each of their rosters is made of players who have played high school ultimate

in the more long term future...

- bios for all of our authors : there is a long "off-season" coming up, in which we will fill the void with a plethora of useful information, statistics, rundowns, recaps etc., but also we will let you get to know a little bit about the people who write for PlayUltimate

- college nationals roster rundowns : a single post for each of last years college nationals rosters detailing which players played in high school, for what programs, what kind of success did they have in high school, at college nationals etc.

- nearing the spring we will produce a list of the top high school teams in the nation based on input from our (at that point more numerous) authors

- reviews of the top high school ultimate camps in the nation

- insights into the biggest college programs in the nation - which ones actively recruit high school standouts etc

- further expansion of coverage until at least every state with a upa recognized high school state championship has coverage

- and of course - much much more.

This is just a small preview of what is to come on the PlayUltimate blog, so stay tuned, link to the site, spread the word about ultimate, and if you want rundowns, previews, stats, and all the other action that goes along with high school ultimate - you know the only place to go is PlayUltimate.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Youth Worlds Hype Party

Yeah, we all have been reading about it on RSD, but they don't got an O-line, D-line breakdown like I'm about to give you. Here's my top 14 players that I would want on my team (this is based on YCCs mostly and some word of mouth). All continued below the fold...

Numbers and teams are according to YCCs.

#17 Adam Miller (Seattle) - had atleast 2 big point blocks on us (Pittsburgh) and had 4 or 5 goals in Finals. Great speed, good throws. Handled and popped against us, but definitely seems like more of a downfield guy than a handler.

#9 Robin Stewart-DeMartino (Amherst) - made huge Ds in Finals, but chased most of the game against us (so I rarely saw him do anything amazing). Handles, but I'm sure he could be a great cutter, too.

#21 Chris Brenenborg (Pittsburgh) - matched up with Ben Carlson of Seattle for a few man points and dominated him (got 3 Ds on one point). Good throws, good mark, solid defense (really starting to improve here). I imagine he would handle because while he is a good athlete, some of these other kids are exceptional.

#15 Dan Schmit (Minnesota) - pretty ridiculous athlete/receiver. Had the best D I saw all weekend and was one of two reasons Minnesota hung around against us.

#3 Adam Shear (Seattle) - tall, good disc skills, good defender. Handled a ton for Seattle against us, but looks like he could be HUGE downfield. Big contributer in Finals.

Noah Saul (Pennsbury) - wasn't at YCCs because Philly had no team, but with Pennsbury being something like 17-1 and Saul being their big player, I assume he's pretty good. I hear he has some big D and is more suited to cut. Can't wait to see him.

#9 George Stubbs (Georgia) - nice throws, pretty fast, club experience I hear. Really smart player, never threw a short turnover against us and only one huck turn.


#15 Darden Pitts (Amherst) - I know we all think of him as a D-machine, but honestly, he's just a great matchup advantage for a Juniors offense. Unless USA plays a team with 6'4" monsters that also have the experience Darden does, he can pretty much be an unstoppable receiver.

#16 Ben Carlson (Seattle) - Great handler, good defense. Just a top notch player with awesome disc skills. Had a ton of assists in Finals. Not a lot of hype around him, just a player who makes plays (and we all know that's what Jimmy P. would want).

Avi from Minnesota - Lots of word of mouth here, but Hopkins was impressive at Easterns and he was apparently their top guy.

Ryan from NMH - I hear all the handler hype about him, gotta be good. Didn't really see him at Easterns, but I was really impressed by both Columbia and NMH, so the top players were likely awesome.

Evan from Columbia - Same thing as Ryan, but I saw him a bit in finals. Made some really sick plays.

Eli Janin of Churchill - Saw some clips of him online, great Ds. Handler and led his team to a matchup in Westerns Finals.

#6 Nate Castine (Seattle) - didn't see him against us (they weren't playing 2-3 guys because they played Amherst after us). Had an amazing D in Finals and surely had a few others that were good, but only paled in comparison. Pretty ridiculous player.

Some others that didn't make the starting 14.

Sam Burnim (Amherst) - great handler, but didn't do amazing things as far as I saw.

Andrew Ji (Madison) - this kid can jump better than anyone I've ever seen.

Other Georgia players - probably have 2 more guys that were real solid (#4 and #29 I remember). Both are tall and would likely be good defenders/receivers (although #29 - think his name was Rivas - seemed like one of those tall handler types). #4's name might have been Ollie?

Jesse Evans (Pittsburgh) - might be too old, but was a huge part of our team. Solid throws, good hucks, okay defense that could be great if he didn't bait so many things.

Lets hear some other talk because man oh man do I not remember much from Easterns and obviously know nothing about Westerns (other than Seattle).

Friday, October 28, 2005

Turkeybowl II Preview - Eugene, OR - 11.19

Debuting last year, Turkeybowl was simply a single-day tournament to allow a couple newer and younger HS teams a chance to play each other. Four teams showed up (Churchill, Sheldon, Winchill, and Philomath) with CHS taking top honors after a brief and extremely fun round-robin. This year, the number of teams attending has nearly quintupled (is that a word?), with just under 20 teams planning on meeting in beautiful Eugene, OR at Churchill High School on November 19th. Fueled again with the main desire to give newer and younger teams a chance to play other newer and younger teams, Turkeybowl II currently has 3 teams registered in the A Division, 11 teams in the B, and 5 in the C or MS Division. Check out: for the most current listing of teams...
Most exciting is the advent of the new schools, whom this will be their tournament and first games ever! In the MS Division, both teams from Eugene (Kennedy and Roosevelt) are in their first fall seasons, while Arbor K8 School of Science/Arts from Portland, OR has never played anyone.
Alameda MS, coming all the way from the Bay Area (nearly 8 hours) will be joining us with their highly developed team that regularly plays with their HS team. In the HS Divisions, West Salem HS (aka "THE SOUP") just began this fall and will have their first games on our fields. Tigard HS, who has been missing in action for more than 2 years, is back up and running and plans on making an appearance.
All in all, this tournament looks to foster great opportunity for new teams to experience the game, while doing so in a highly-spirited and competitive single-day format. Since most of the readers of this blog are from the Eastcoast (safe assumption?), I will be giving
a pre-tournament write up of the teams coming.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Complete Kit Kat Scores

Here are all of the scores from the Kit Kat in the Hat tournament, c/o Mark Rosser (Director of PHUEL), normally i would just link you to the results, but i dont believe they are online anywhere, which means we can say - we are your exclusive source for complete scores from kit kat.

anywho, its long, so click the "continue reading" link to see the whole deal -

2005 Kat in the Hat Results
at CB East High School , 10-23-05

Division I

Pool A
Pennsbury (PA) 13 JP Stevens (NJ) 1
JP Stevens 12 Yorktown (VA) 10
Pennsbury d Yorktown

Pool B
Columbia 11 (NJ) Pterodactyls 8
Columbia 10 Lower Merion 5
Lower Merion (PA) 12 Pterodactyls (PA) 10

Pool C
Wissahickon (PA) 10 Scarsdale (NY) 4
CB East (PA)10 Scarsdale 8
Wissahickon d CB East

Pool D
Princeton (NJ) 9 Hampton (PA) 6
Hampton 10 St Joes Prep (PA) 7
Princeton 11 St Joes 4

Consolation Games:
JP Stevens 11 Hampton 10
Lower Merion 13 CB East 8
JP Stevens and Lower Merion tie for 5th place
Scarsdale 10 Pterodactyls 6

Columbia 9 Wissahickon 7
Pennsbury 13 Princeton 9

Pennsbury 13 Columbia 10

SPIRIT AWARD- To be announced

Div II

Pool E
Cheltenham (PA) 11 Perkiomen Valley (PA) 10
Dublington (PA) 13 Cheltenham 11
Dublington d Perkiomen Valley

Pool F
Neshaminy (PA) 13 Penn Charter (PA) 3
Stuyvessant 13 Neshaminy (PA) 9
Stuyvessant (NY) 13 Penn Charter (PA) 5

Dublington (PA) 13 Neshaminy 5
Stuyvessant 13 Cheltenham 8

Dublington 10 Stuyvessant 4

SPIRIT AWARD- To be announced

Division III

Pool G
Lower Merion B 12 Cardinal O’Hara (PA) 10
Yorktown B 12 Cardinal O’Hara 10
Lower Merion B d Yorktown B

Pool H
Council Rock South (PA) 13 W. Windsor Plainsboro South (NJ) 7
WWPS 9 Pennsbury B 8
Council Rock South d Pennsbury B

Council Rock d Yorktown B

Council Rock South d Lower Merion B

SPIRIT AWARD- to be announced

PlayUltimate recieves 1,000th Visitor

Ok, so im a little late with the announcement, but the site has received its 1,000 original visitor since the site went online in August. We now have 5 authors reporting from four different states on four leagues from around the country.

So thank you for your continued support as we expand our operation. We are looking still to add reporters for the new england and seattle areas. So if you are interested, please contact someone who writes for the site and they can refer you to me, or just leave a comment and we'll get back to you.

Want to know how you can help the site grow? Link to us. its that simple, throw a link in your profile, away message, team website, blog, facebook, myspace, xanga, whatever. Every link helps. And whats more we will link back to you, so more people will visit your site in return. All in all, everyone wins.

Soon we will have buttons for you to link to us with, but that is in the future.

So thank you again for your support, and look forward to realtime updates on the high school action in the country as they happen.

Coming soon to the site -
-A comprehensive, complete rundown of Kit Kat
-the PHUL Take II tournament is this weekend
-then we will report on a few head to head games from the assorted leagues
-Turkey Bowl II is happening in Oregon on November 19th, possibly the biggest west coast high school tournament of the fall with 20 teams
-and then whatever else becomes relevant in the high school ultimate world

so keep coming back, subscribe to the RSS feeds, and link to us, and above all -

Play Ultimate.

Monday, October 24, 2005

2006 World Junior Ultimate - Team USA

There has been some banter back and forth about the juniors team going to worlds in 2006, to be held in Devens, Mass.

Albeit a little bit slanted of course, because people at this point only hype people they personally know, or have seen play. And with the lack of media coverage for youth ultimate - (save this site) - not many people can comment on the play of other high school teams without that firthand experience.

However, at PlayUltimate we like to think we have a little bit more information on the situation given our goal to cover high school ultimate nationwide, and that our audience is primarily high school players from around the country.

So comments encouraged - from your experience who are the most fundamentally sound, athletic ultimate players you have played against/heard of etc.

ill see if your suggestions match the ones im holding...

pennsbury wins kit kat

from what i can gather - pennsbury beat columbia in the finals 13-10. also beating princeton, jp stevens, and yorktown.

after beating prep, hampton lost their next game against princeton 11-9, they also lost to jp stevens 9-10.

if you want more individual scores, check out the upa's score reporter. this is only what i can gather from what teams have submitted. the tournament itself was not submitted to the site as a tournament, so of course i could be missing things. but from the looks of it, pennsbury went undefeated on the day, with their closest competition being columbia scoring 10 against them.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

more kit kat updates

another update from my guys at St. Joe's they lost the Hampton game 9-11. Prep was up 3-0 in the beginning, but eventually lost intensity and fell to Hampton.

still waiting to hear who won the whole deal etc

if you have updates, call email, or im me

updates from kit kat

Princeton 11 - Prep 4

Prep is playing their second game right now against Hampton, Hampton took half 7-5

Wind is apparently ferocious at the fields, the Prep/Hampton game has turned into a bit of a hucking contest, from the reports i am hearing.

The winner of this game will face Pennsbury.

Thats all the news i have as of right now. As you may have guessed, the updates i am getting are from guys on the Prep team, but as soon as other scores become availiable i will let you know.

The 2005 Kit Kat in the Hat Tournament is Underway

as of right now the teams have already gathered at the CB East fields in Doylestown, PA to begin the 2005 Kit Kat in the Hat tournament. i have a few people calling me from the fields with updates, and i will pass them on to you as soon as humanly possible.

are you going to be at a youth tournament? would you like to give updates to a PlayUltimate blogger? comment or email the author who corresponds with your area of the country, and your tips will be posted as soon as they are relevant!

Friday, October 21, 2005


So I saw this brought up in the last comment on this blog: PHUEL v. PHUL as far as which league is better. Right now, PHUEL has the better teams, but PHUL has had some top players come out of it (including Worlds team player Tommy Hendrickson, ME freshman of the year for nationals team David Vatz, Darren Shultz, among many other good players). First, what top players have come out of PHUEL. Second, my perspective right now has PHUEL having better teams overall, but PHUL having better top level players. I really want to hear from PHUEL guys, because I have no clue what goes on there.

In my opinion, I think this happens because the top players in PHUL (with the exception of Vatz and Lebo) don't produce great teams because they are more involved in club than with their high school programs. Central Catholic has been a great example of this - with two of the league's better players playing there throughout history (Hendrickson and Brenenborg), but neither producing a successful team. On the other hand, many of the high school teams that have tight knit, deep programs don't have the experience to get their teams to the next level. Such I believe was the case with Bethel Park in 04 and 05 and even moreso with Hampton of last year (they are looking good this year, likely thanks to gained experience through rec leagues and clinics). The next big thing from PHUL will likely be North Hills (probably not a big thing until 2006) as they are as tight knit as a gets, all are basically the same age (10th grade), and have tons of experience and lots of access to more experience players. Perhaps it's a difference between what can be picked up in Pittsburgh versus Philly rec. leagues or maybe a difference in coaching or access to experience, helpful players. Regardless, I think PHUL is finally moving in a direction that will let it produce more really good teams and not just good players. The work of David Vatz and Darren Shultz has really given lots of PHUL teams more outlets to play (and therefore more experience) and both have gone to give clinics and such to PHUL teams (extending access to good players). More and more teams have coaches - Hampton, Lebo, Bethel, North Hills (more access to tons of exp. players here than a coach), Shady Side, Fox Chapel (not sure about them though) - and probably a few more I don't know of. This is compared to I think 2 teams having coaches a year ago. Impulse, the Pittsburgh Youth Club team, is also having and will continue to have a HUGE effect on PHUL and it should expand its effecr next year. PHUL is becoming more competitive, more experience, and this will only produce better teams.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Pensbury Defeats Prep - 15-2, CB East 15-6

Fall PHUEL action continues this week with Pensbury rolling on towards an undefeated regular season. They captured two pivotal wins - blowing out St. Joe's Prep - 15-2, and defeating Central Buck's East 15-6.

The win against Prep is big for a few reasons. Coming into the season many expected the Prep to be in the top 5 of the league, possibly competing with perennial powerhouses Pensbury, Wissahickon, and Cheltenham. And they may well be at that point come the end of the spring season. However the fact remains now that the Prep is a very young team, having almost no current seniors, and a team primarily made up of last years sophomores. The Pennsbury win is also big because Prep handled Pennsbury in their final meeting last year during pool play of the PA state championships. Prep was seeded 8th or 9th overall i believe, and Pennsbury was seeded 3rd. But Prep pulled out the upset winning 15-7.

This fall the meeting went a little bit different. Prep scored the first two points, and then Pennsbury went on a 15 point unanswered scoring drive. Pennsbury then wisely threw a cup zone at the young Prep team and essentially shut them down. Junior handlers for the Prep Jim Ionata and Joe Kruse were able to work the cup effectively enough to move it up field, but without experienced subs and few veteran poppers, their handling skills were rendered virtually useless. With there starters worn down from attempting to deal with Peyote's stifling zone, including 5th year senior, and essential veteran defender Kevin Venose, the Prep moved into using their bench which included a good deal of fresh rookies who had at that point only played one previous game against Lower Merion.

In the end the Peyote walked away with what seemed to be a easily had win. My prediction for later meetings between the two teams - while the Prep will definitely improve, and their rookies will get much better under the leadership and practices of captain Joe Kruse - Pennsbury will not get worse. Look for the Peyote to dominate the league this year, if not Easterns. Their only real competition will likely only come at the hands of Columbia and Amherst caliber teams. They may however be weakened by the loss of Venose who will be graduating between the fall and spring semesters.

Pennsbury also defeated CB East today 15-6, i dont know anything other than the score of the game. But from what i know about CB East i imagine they put up a good fight under the coaching of Rob Olson.

As of right now I would put the top five of Phuel at

1. Pennsbury
2. Wissahickon
3. CB East
4. Prep
5. Lower Merion

the true test however will be this weekend at Kit Kat in the Hat, where all the established PHUEL teams will face off with a few teams from outside the Philly area. Whoever comes out on top here will likely be the biggest competition for Amherst at Easterns this year.

was something from your league not covered in this post? do you want to cover stories on high school ultimate for the PlayUltimate Blog? then leave a comment or email the site!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fall Brawl Tourney

The east coast tri-state area high school ultimate scene heated up with the Fall Brawl Tourney on October 1st. This tournament seems to be the strongest indicator as to PHUEL and PA team potential for the spring, save possibly Kit Kat in the Hat tournament - scheduled for October 22nd.

Teams in competition at the Brawl were - Columbia, Scarsdale, Pensbury, Wissahickon, Beacon and Princeton in the A-division pool, while JP Stevens, Lower Merion, Watchung Hills, Neshaminy, West Windsor PLainsboro and Columbia's B Team rounded out the second division.

Coming into the tournament Columbia was the obvious favorite. A dominant program, one of the most established in the country next to Amherst and Paideia. They finished second at Easterns last year losing only to dynasty Amherst High School.

However, the Brawl Wouldnt go down like that.

Noah Saul, Frank Harris, and Kevin Venose of Pennsbury's Peyote had different plans. During the first round of pool play first seed Columbia was upset by 2005 Pennsylvania State champion team (and 4th seed in the tournament) Wissahickon - 12-14. In the second round of pool play Columbia held seed, beating the third ranked Peyote 13-12. For the rest of the pool play and tournament the games went relatively as seeded with the exception of 2nd seed Scarsdale going 0-5 on the day. Also of note, Pensbury also went on to beat Wissahickon 15-11. Full game scores can be found here.

It came down to the finals. Peyote vs Columbia.

Both had sailed through quarters and semis with their closest opponent only scoring six.

From there - Pensbury conquered. Led by junior Noah Saul, Peyote crushed Columbia 15-6. Putting an exclamation on the biggest tournament win of the fall thus far. Also making contributions were freshman Isaac Saul, and super senior Kevin Venose.

The Peyote will look to continue their domination this Saturday at 1pm with a game against. St. Joe's Prep, who reached the quarterfinals of last year's state championships. This year will be a heavy rebuilding year for the Prep as they lost 9 seniors (the original members of the team). However led by junior Joe Kruse, the Hawks may be able to match up with the Peyote and possibly repeat their last meeting which ended in a 15-7 victory for prep in the Saturday pools of the PA state championship.

Tune in next week for a recap of that game.

Side note: we will be adding coverage of a few other high school leagues very soon, so keep checking the site.

Youth Club Championships DVD

So my co-author at the moment Nick was at Youth Club Nationals this past summer coaching the Pittsburgh team Impulse. He is also a film major at the University of Pittsburgh.

Combining these two aspects of life Nick filmed the tournament from the Pittsburgh perspective and is now in the process of finalizing a DVD of the tournament. Including high light reels, games, etc, and possibly coach's commentary voice over.

From what ive seen of the work so far it has been really nice stuff. And now you can see the trailer for the DVD, slated to come out in the next few months. It is hosted on Google Video, and you can view it by clicking here.

Information about buying the DVD will be posted and made availiable as soon as that information is availiable. Thank you in advance for supporting Nick's work, Pittsburgh Youth Ultimate, and the PlayUltimate Blog

Sunday, October 09, 2005

PHUL Season Kicking In

With intial recruiting, first practices, and early scrimmages complete, PHUL had a one day fall tournament on Sunday, Oct. 9. Eight teams came out to Turnver Valley and although I wasn't there, early season favorites can be picked out from results. Hampton and Mt. Lebanon seem to be the teams to beat (as they both have strong, established programs and have been gearing up for this season the longest). Both teams return the majority of their top players and will both be significantly better than their 2004 editions. Hampton's Lukas Truckenbrod and Perry Martin as well as Jay Heurbin are definitely players to watch for and Lebo has a wealth of solid talent with the likes of 2005 Pittsburgh Youth Club players Julian Hausman, Pete Imler, and Zach Ehler and senior Hao Su. Hampton beat Lebo at the tournament 13-10, but Lebo has beaten Hampton in a previous game - so the teams are looking very even at this point.

My personal preseason favorite is North Hills, however, although I'm definitely a bit biased. Even though they lost to Lebo and Hampton at the tournament, they have beat Hampton in a scrimmage and have a ton of potential. Every player on the team (at this moment) is in 10th grade or lower and will likely (although maybe not this year) be the best team to ever exist in PHUL. Alex Thorne, Ben Funk, Colin Conner, and Jack Gazdik make up the team's core (and all played on the Youth Club team in 2005). Add in Ed Reith, who I hear runs a 10.8 40-40 (WITHOUT CLEATS) and you have a team that is building towards greatness. I honestly believe this could be the first year of a series of years that this team is on top, but its going to take a lot of work for them to compete with their older opposition.

Central Catholic has the league's best player (Chris Brenenborg), but has consistently finished spring seasons as only a mediocre team with the same kind of top players. They took Hampton to universe point in Semis, but couldn't close the deal.

Bethel Park has clawed its way back from a huge graduating class loss before and this year will have to be another one of those times if they hope to be in the Championship game for the 4th straight year (which would be a PHUL record). They finished 7th at the tournament, but were made up of almost all rookies. Brent Shipe is one of the league's top 5 players and is just beginning to come into his own as an ultimate player and will be important to Bethel's success.

I'll have a lot more updates this year (and better ones too as I've seen very little so far and know the Impulse (youth club) players better than the rest of the league). See ya later.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Mid-Atlantic Recap and Rundown

Heres the jist of it, a lot of good teams playing alot of other good teams, ending up in some upsets, some heartbreak, some underdog stories, some teams keeping seed, and some north carolina guys being just in general unspirited assholes.

Click continue reading for the entire story...

So the games i watched first off -

Saturday -
Burgh vs. Truck Stop Glory Hole
Truck Stop Glory Hole vs. Pike
Burgh vs. William and Mary
Burgh vs. baNC
Burgh vs. Street
Pike vs. Potomac

Sunday -
Pike vs. Medicine Men
Ring of Fire vs. Potomac
Medicine Men vs. LCN
Street vs. LCN

rather than post updates and rundowns for every game i saw, most of which you dont give a lick about, post comments with which games you want full accounts of...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Complete and total rundown from Mid-Atlantic Regionals...

coming very very soon, its in the draft process right now, because i saw alot of games, alottt of games. hoping to post it either tomorrow early or tonight.

stay tuned, and link to the site/email tell people about it. lifes more fun when you interact.

hopefully the entire rundown will be up within the next 12 hours, more than likely sooner...

-play ultimate

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Club Mid-Atlantic Regionals

Turns out i will be going to Fredericksburg, Virginia this weekend to cover club regionals for the Mid-Atlantic region. expect some very extensive coverage. So what games do you want to hear about? The pools havent been announced yet, but heres what the tournament looks like - Ring of Fire, Pike, Potomac, Philly Street, LCN, Medicine Men, Truck Stop Glory Hole, HOV, baNC, Burgh, Warriors, El Camino / Floodwall, Los, Punch, William and Mary, and James Madison, seeded in that order 1-16.

predictions below the fold...

heres my predictions, based on nothing but knowing very very little about club ultimate, and seeing a few sporadic games. Pike will take first, then Ring of Fire second. Third place will be the battle, (the mid atlantic region has three bids this year to nationals) - a dogfight between Potomac, Street, and Truck Stop Glory Hole. Thats right i said it.

but i guess ill see how much i know come sunday when the dust clears. post comments with what games specifically you want me to cover, if any. i may even take notes - [crowd ooohs] - so come on back to the site on sunday for some good coverage.

until then - play ultimate.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

High School Hype from Philly...

From the tid bits ive heard so far, from PHUEL - Lower Merion High School is making a stir, ending their season last year shutting out DVFS, limiting Souderton to 1 point, and opening their season this year by beating St. Joe's Prep 15-10.

Definitely a team to watch, from what ive seen of them they bring alot of height and athleticism to the table, and only teams who have strongly developed fundamentals of cutting, simple offenses, etc, or who have athletes of equal caliber are going to be able to stand up to them.

Other rumors - it seems that Pensbury, a perpetual contender in PHUEL may be having some internal problems, and may have split their squad into two seperate teams, not based on A/B skill level but rather because of a social divide of sorts. Whole story is still coming out really.

CB East opened their season this fall with a 15-4 win over Neshaminy, CB East is another team with alot of potential for the spring given that its marquee players are rising seniors this year, namely Eddie Peters, a deep threat, roughly 6', who also has throws. Under the coaching ability of Rob Olson he will surely continue to develop his talent and maintain his status as a threat throughout the league.

Do you have a scoop for some high school ultimate? Contact me and we will talk, we are still looking for reporters from all over the country, just drop me a line.

slow things in the ultimate world...

as expected everything ive heard from different sectionals is that pretty much everyone kept seed, no real surprises. except perhaps in the northwest where there was a little bit of oh la hooplah.

in the finals kaos beat jam 13-11, but in reality this doesnt affect things much because both will advance to regionals, and both will be strong contenders for the bids to nationals.

other than that everybody is just warming up for the medium size show that is regionals. i may be attending the mid atlantic regionals, but that is yet to be decided. ill update you as things become availiable.

high school and college fall seasons are getting warmed up around the country. if you have a scoop on a particular area or leage contact me in some way and we'll talk about this.

a post will come a little later on the buzz ive been hearing so far...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I almost have to scratch that last post...

While the OSU tournament is going to be some amazing competition, i was looking at the classic city classic field of competitors - Cal, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Texas, Tennessee, Texas, UNC-Wilmington, and Virginia.

holy crap. hell im excited and it isnt until November 19th. Anyone know the strength of these teams compared to last year, who lost players, etc. I know Colorado lost Ackley and a few others, and i heard rumors of Beau not playing? can anyone confirm or deny? Aside from that, the only team that i know lost literal no one from the previous year was Pittsburgh. Im almost positive that everyone else lost at least a few. Can anyone comment to help me out here - whats the buzz...

College Coverage this Year...

While i said that we would have postings and updates on the High School ultimate scene, we will in no way neglect the college action as well.

Biggest tournament of the fall season for colleges? Not necessarily size wise, but competition, location, strength etc. My money is going towards the Ohio State University Fall championship.

We look at the competition after the fold...

the lineup this far (copied and pasted from here -

- Vanderbilt2361
- Towson2461
- Chicago2290
- Eastern Michigan1860
- Indiana2364
- Ohio Northern2184
- Ohio State2481
- Pittsburgh2468
- Pittsburgh-B1938
- Michigan State-X1921
- Michigan State-Y2000
- Edinboro2323
- Wooster2042
- Bowling Green2061
- SUNY-Albany2106
- Ohio Wesleyan2121
- Kenyon1994
- Mary Washington2344
- James Madison2209
- Unknown Team2000
- SUNY-Buffalo2081
- Indiana-B2062
- Ohio State-B1725
- Ohio2392
- Carnegie-Mellon2313
- Michigan2613
- Ashland2000

From my perspective the big players at the tourney are going to be at follows - Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio, Ohio State, Indiana, Pittsburgh and possibly Towson.

All of the above teams participated in (their respective) regionals last year, with Michigan, Michigan State, and Pittsburgh all moving on to Nationals.

Personally i think this is going to be a very exciting tournament to watch, how many other fall tournaments do you get to watch this number of quality teams going at it? its gonna be sweet.

more in depth analysis to come when i know more things... anyone else have a viewpoint on this tourney, other fall tourneys? post a comment.

ps - still looking for a few writers...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Legend Grows...

And thus the legend of the Play Ultimate blog grows. We have acquired the notable talents of Pittsburgh player and Ultimate journalist Nick Kaczmarek, who will be posting from here on in. Focusing mainly on the Pittsburgh high school forum, Nick is gonna let you guys know whats up with PHUL. Feel free to comment welcoming him etc.

We are still looking for writers from a few key areas in the USA, so if you think you can help out click on the keep reading link...

We still need someone to report in the following areas...

  • Philadelphia High School League
  • Massachussettes High School (NEPSUL et al)
  • Georgia High School Ultimate
  • Seattle High School Ultimate
  • YOUR AREA!! - if you arent part of any of the above, that is ok, we would love to have insights and run downs from all over the country. Just post a comment or let me know somehow.
So come on people, space is limited, so let me know what you can do, send me a sample and lets get this blog rolling.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Recruiting Pseudo-Journalists

Hello all, thanks to those of you who have been reading thus far. Its been alot of fun for me to spew my thoughts on the game, as well as publicize a few links in the process etc. But now that the seasons are starting to get underway. Im looking to expand a little.

You're thinking, season - he means club season right? Nope, this blog is gonna focus a bit more on the future of ultimate. The college and high school level of the game. So heres the deal : im operating on zero budget, as in literal none. But i want to expand to a decent level of coverage right? right. So im obviously going to need some help. So if any of you have any contact with the major high school leagues in the country id like to see some of your writing and possibly start talking to you about covering a few high school games and/or tournaments.

The main leagues we want to cover extensively - Massachussettes area - Amherst et al, Pittsburgh league (PHUL), the Philadelphia league (PHUEL), the Seattle league, and the Georgia league. Really if you can commit to covering any area i would love to have you on board. But those are the main areas with thriving leagues that i have had contact with, and who have yielded some amazing college and club players. Keep reading for more details...

So if you are at all interested, or think you are possibly interested, post a comment with some sort of contact information, and then just send me one sample of writing - preferably a season outlook as of right now for the league you are covering, or a team profile and if its good, ill post it and consider you an author for the site. And then you will be given permissions so you can post yourself.

Hopefully ill get some sort of response to this. Even if you dont want to write for the site, maybe just subscribe to the rss feed, and pass this message on to someone you think might be interested.

Thanks to all,

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Club Sectionals

I dont know enough things to comment on club. So would someone else out there help me. Comments are welcome. Luke's blog has a good rundown of the ordeal. Anyone else know any other good pre tourney outlooks? post a link. gracias.

play ultimate.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Just ordered...

so i just ordered Ultimate Techniques and Tactics, should be a good time. I think i bought another book with it as well, kinda an impulse buy. Just got finished watching I Bleed Black for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Ultimate Injuries Actually Help the Sport?

Tell me im crazy, i can handle it. Conventional wisdom - injuries remove players from viable rosters, deplete the ranks of current players, hurt the performance of amazing athletes, and perhaps dissuade people from playing. So how would injuries help the spread of Ultimate? Its simple really...

What legitimizes a sport more than a solid broken bone? You go to the doctor to get your x-rays and MRIs and he asks you, what did you do? You now have the chance to explain to him not only how you laid out for a disc and consequently broke your wrist, but also the entire rules of the game of ultimate. You increase the name recognition of the sport itself by merely answering his question the first time as "i was playing ultimate".

What is his question? If hes not already in the know, "what is ultimate?" He's taken the bait. He's yours now, run with him. Explain to him there are more than 400 college teams, and more than 500 high school teams around the country. As well as tons of club teams etc.

Even if hes not that interested, after he sees his first few sprained ankles and broken arms from Ultimate players, he has to take some sort of notice to the sport as a whole. He then may discuss it with another doctor to compare treatment options etc. Now two people have learned about the sport from one injury. Also the nurses who seat you in the room, etc usually ask what happened as well. They may go back and talk to the other nurses about the injury, and of course what always comes up with injury? How did it happen.

Ok, so now you have a decent number of medical professionals who at least recognize the name Ultimate now. Thats not really doing that much for the spread of ultimate. But it doesnt exactly hurt it now doesnt it.

So now you have your xrays and lets say for the sake of argument a cast on your arm. Now anyone you are remotely friendly with asks you what? "What happened?"

Depending on how many people you know, or how many people feel bold enough to come up and ask you this also can up the name recognition of the sport. If its a particularly bad break, or something out of the ordinary or just something worth talking about in general then you may get a few more degrees of publicity for it. The guy who randomly just walked up to you and asked what happened, could possibly go back to a friend of his and tell him about this crazy injury a guy got from playing ultimate.

Relatively simple to see how it spreads right? Sure.

This is not to say i encourage people getting hurt. By all means, stay healthy and play ultimate. This line of reasoning though was just something i was thinking about recently, as someone who had to go through all the damn pain in the ass of xrays and MRIs and mds and orthopedic docs for them to tell me i bruised a bone in my wrist and tore my TFCC tendon/ligament cluster. Sounds cool doesnt it? Meh, i can still play just gotta wear a brace.

But having the brace on i cant tell you how many times people have come up to me at parties or just standing in line somewhere and asked, "What happened?"

and then a fun and enlightening conversation ensues.

well im enjoying it at least.

play ultimate.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

More Ultimate Media?

So of course im browsing the web looking for more ultimate media, right? right. we've got discussion and general flaming at rsd, there are kick ass vids at UltiVillage, the back issues of Chasing Plastic to browse, and the scattered content of a couple hundred individual team websites. These along with a [sparse] peppering of ultimate centered blogs make up the entirety of what can be learned remotely about the ultimate culture in general or specific. What am i getting at? what are the sites im missing, the ones that are updated relatively often, that provide quality content, whether it be tournament rundowns, game footage, highlight reels etc.

So this is a bit of an outreach post, do you know of any sites that im missing? Any blogs, etc. Or perhaps not a site that provides its own original content but rather one that collects others of the net, either or any would be fine. Im just looking for some new sources for material.

a post will follow this dealing with the ECC tourney. definitely looking for some reader input there, because i dont know nearly enough about the teams and people involved. and perhaps another post on how injuries actually help the spread of ultimate? revolutionary thought? perhaps, but hear me out.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Daily Rundown

I figure i need an ever so often recurring feature for the blog. And what better than to survey the action at RSD, and other major forums and centers of ultimate debate - wade through all the crap that is slung around, and get to the issues actually being discussed.

So the first of a hopefully relatively daily segment, [drumroll] the Daily Rundown [gonnng]

Continued below the fold....

The top 5 issues in the ultimate world this fine wednesday afternoon?

#1./ ESPN Ombudsmen has released an update on his audit of the ESPN programming and quality of production yada yada etc. And lo and behold Ultimate is mentioned...

E-mail gripes

. Some cynics wonder if ESPN has given short shrift to the National Hockey
League since it currently has no working relationship with the league. "That
doesn't factor into how we cover the news," Williamson said. "We've been
very aggressive in our coverage since the new agreement -- and in covering
the news leading up to its signing." Still, the perception exists among some
viewers that if ESPN does not have broadcast rights to a league, that league
won't get its due. At least, ESPN knows this perception exists and
understands its responsibility.

. Poker fans don't like to see results of taped competition on crawls prior
to the showing of the event.

. Soccer fans are still cranky over lack of Gold Cup coverage.

. The Ultimate Frisbee lobby is cranky over everything.

. The lacrosse lobby is cranky over the Ultimate Frisbee lobby.

. And Ohio State football fans know how to e-mail.
and thus the debate looms large on RSD, is this good or bad for the ultimate community. ultimate as a sport etc. im of the persuasion that any publicity is good publicity and i believe his use of "cranky" is merely in jest, and perhaps alludes to the fact that he may have mentioned something on the subject to the people who control ESPN. the point is, we have a foot in the door. and it is a testament to the swaying power of RSD and other groups to mass contact for results.

#2./ people are still slowly speaking up as to which masters teams will be competing this fall, thus far the list includes, HOSS, OLD SAG, Boneyard, Old and in the Way, among others.

#3./ a bit of a debate is warming up about the future of high school ultimate stars, where they will be playing etc. follow it at RSD

#4./ there is discussion on the nature of the double team, if two offenders are within three meters, and thus two defenders also, and both defenders face the same offender at the same time, is that a double team? weigh in here.

#5./ decide for yourself, opine - go out and light the world on fire.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Clip of the day from UltiVillage

UltiVillage - TFPoo vs Joyride

gotta love what ultivillage is doing for ultimate media. every day more stuff, an ever expanding reference and asset for the ultimate community.

this clip - thats a pretty sweet pass. reminiscent of pistol pete for basketball, any fans?

New Features/Changes on the Site

You may have noticed a bunch of new things on the site, or you may not have, either way, i figured id give you the run down of what has been improved etc.

Details below the fold...

List of whats been goin down...

  • new box on the right hand side lets you know how many people are currently on the site, and how long the average person stays to read
  • new links on the right allow you to subscribe to the site using whatever RSS aggregator you seem to fancy, we are currently supporting Yahoo, NewsGator, and BlogLines, if you use something different, just leave a comment about it and we'll add your program as well
  • new feature at the bottom of every post allows you to rate the post you just read, was it helpful? did it make you think? personally i might not care, but i think its a pretty snazzy feature. drawback - you have to have a newsgator account to rate them, but ah well, give and take right?
  • added a link to go back to the top of the page, because scrolling was getting annoying
  • if you are reading these features you have figured out that i added a "keep reading" link to the page as to not clutter up the main page with long winded sentences and descriptions - as i am very prone to do.

  • idk what else ive done recently, but ive added a bunch of stuff, so enjoy and hopefully ill have something ultimate related to talk about soon. feel free to comment on my last post, i deemed it an 7 out of 10 on the insightful scale

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    The Future of College Ultimate Recruitment

    The near future of college ultimate recruiting is in private schools.

    Think about it. Most schools as of right now just dont have the money to put towards athletic scholarships for ultimate athletes. Not only that, but the vast majority of the schools barely recognize it as a sport. However, for many many players at the college level, their university teams are life.

    Recruitment is becoming more and more common as the high school leagues around the nation increase in size. There are more than 390 high school teams that reported scores to the UPA last year alone. Figure an average of 20 kids per team, (that is a low ball number, as my experience shows that many teams have more than 25 on their roster), thats 7,800 prospective athletes for the College Ultimate forum.

    Up until recently almost all college teams had to introduce and recruit new athletes who were disgruntled with their sports, and teach them from the ground up the basics of the sport, the competition the rules, the throws etc. There is now approaching, a time when that will no longer be the case - with major high school ultimate camps popping up all around the country (Philadelphia, Massachussettes, etc) and for that matter becoming much more popular as of late, intertwined with the ever exponentially increasing numbers of high school teams and size of high school programs.

    As of right now there are 430 college teams that report scores to the UPA (I'm using that as my standard of an active team, i.e. one who plays games), within the next five years, certainly within the next 10, high school ultimate programs will out number college programs.

    What does this mean though?

    If you love ultimate, or even remotely enjoy watching the sport expand, this means amazing things for the future of the sport. College teams, now have a larger base to draw from, they arent going to have to explain what ultimate is on the first day of practice, but instead perhaps start explaining their specific offensive and defensive strategy.

    Simply put, there will be a large enough base that colleges will be able to actively recruit.

    But where will they recruit? Good question.

    As stated before the schools dont have the money for scholarships set aside, and i dont see that happening until they realize that a strong ultimate program is a deciding factor for some students, and yet one more way to put their school's name on the map. So until that time, recruitment is based almost purely on will to play.

    That is, you cant offer dollar incentives, but rather an appealing environment for them to play in. A team that is on the rise, or rebuilding or on their way to a national championship.

    But again, money is the issue. No matter how much a high school star wants to play at a major institution like Brown, if they dont have the grades or the money, its just not possible.

    So where should colleges look to recruit students? It was my first sentence. The private schools. The up and coming high school teams, that are starting to make an impact on the high school scene. The players who play for these schools additionally, (albeit a probably unfair standard) will have the ins with the college administrations. Sad though it is, ___ Private School, or the like are taken more seriously, or rather have more sway with college admissions. And in addition, if in fact the private school is worthy of the academic name it has, the student atheletes from said school are more likely to have the grades to get into whatever school you are attempting to recruit for.

    Who am i talking about?

    Northfield Mount Hermon, one of the few teams that can come close to sticking with Amherst.

    The Northwest School, you may remember them from such acts as - winning the UPA Juniors Westerns championships. a no brainer contact for college recruitment.

    The University School of Nashville - did fairly well at easterns, taking fifth. Which mind you is nothing to sneeze at. Anyone who qualifies for easterns definitely has something worth looking at.

    St. Joe's Prep - in Philadelphia a more recent addition to the high school ultimate forum, however one hell of an up and coming team. College recruiters, remember these names - Joe Kruse, Greg Owens, Matt Paparone, Jim Ionata, Tom McCabe - all rising juniors. Look for SJP to be PA State champions for the next two years at least.

    By no means am i insinuating that all high school talent comes from private schools. (on the contrary, look at the undeniable top 3 teams in the country - Amherst, Columbia, Paideia - all public) Im merely pointing out that for the time being, those looking to recruit at the college level might be best served to survey the private schools for ease of admission to their top prospects.

    Only time will tell though, i personally am very excited though for the prospective future college players, and the recruitment possibilities they embody.

    reason #356 why elite ultimate players are awesome

    from UltiVillage's clip of the day - (click here to watch)

    thats right folks, what you thought only Hansel could do on the runway one of the best ultimate players in the world does right in front of the camera. Excuse me while i think its awesome that the highest tier players in the world have the good humor and lack of ego to do little stunts like this for the fans/camera.

    when's the last time you saw Tom Brady or Allen Iverson or any other big name athlete who gets payed obscene amounts of money, whens the last time you ever saw them take off their compression shorts in front of a camera without removing their outer layers?? i lay solid money on never.

    i rest my case.