Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Elite Club Ulty

The club championship series is quickly approaching, and with it i am plagued with a few questions. Namely where are the teams in these major cities with incredibly thriving ultimate communities, summer leagues, etc, where are the elite teams from these communities?

You have Sockeye from Seattle, Condors from Santa Barbara, DoG from Boston, Furious from Vancouver, Ring of Fire from the North Carolina community, San Francisco's Jam, Sub Zero from the Twin Cities, Rhino from Portland, OR. And quite a few others that im neglecting to mention. But my point is not to demonstrate what is already formed and playing but what is lacking - most notably in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Philadelphia Ultimate - summer league with thousands of players, thriving ultimate community. Hasnt had a real bid at national open championships since Rage lost all its players to OLD SAG. Is this group of 20 or so guys really all the talent philly has to offer? i would hope not.

Pittsburgh Ultimate - another thriving community that as of late has not had a viable chance at a UPA title. From the rumors i hear because of infighting and team drama Pittsburgh's talent has been somewhat allienated and seperated into various club teams.

What good has come out of all this?

Apparently and simply, Pike.

A team which draws from a relatively wide geographic area around the Philadelphia and Jersey area, and from what i can gather even further west has been making a name for itself these past few years at nationals.

call me old fashioned though, but personally i enjoy a city vs. city rivalry. In the vein of Steelers vs. Eagles, Anyone vs. Cowboys, Lakers v. Celtics kinda deal.


Anonymous said...

Your notion that any of the teams that play at the elite level are "city only" teams is somewhat inaccurate. There are players on just about every team that commute hours to practice, if they come at all. Why?

A) They've moved since the summer started, but not early enough to tryout in the new area.
B) They want to play with the best team they can and are willing to sacrifice time in order to do so.
C) Two+ teams froma nearby areas came together to form one team, and the best players from each are somewhat spread out geographically. (This could be a subset of B)
D) Not everyone can play elite ultimate. You have to take the best players who you can find and not restrict your team due to silly notions like city allegiance.

The fact is that Pike is greater than the sum of its parts. They have a great notion of what it means to be a team. In conversations with some of their players, it seems that most of them commute an hour or less to to practice, and the majority of them play in the same summer league. They do have a couple of outliers who commute 3+ hours to practice though.

The perception of them as an amalgous sort of team seems to come from the number of cities that are within an hour or so of practice, including Philly, NYC, Princeton, Allentown, New Brunswick and who knows what else (I'm no east coast expert).

So yeah... that's that.

McCabe said...

i wasnt insinuating that people do not travel to play elite ultimate. i am merely wondering why certain cities, seemingly crawling with talent cannot muster up competitive elite teams.

i am by now means an expert on any of these fields, im merely spewing hoping to stir up some debate so i can learn something. i just heard through the rumor mill that pike was a team comprised of alot of players that were traveling from very far away, and to an extent lost a central regional identity, and was therefore named pike for the pa/nj turnpike which extends a good 600 miles.

it is very likely that my sources are wrong though, so like i said, just looking to start discussion.