Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Stories from Slopfest V 2 - UPDATED

My original post, made two days ago, has stirred a bigger pot that I was aware it would. I had ended my semi-lengthy post with this paragraph:

I am sure that my retelling will contain within it a few controversial aspects that might get people writing, including, but not limited to official loss, but technical win by South Eugene in the semis that moved Alameda into the finals instead of them... or the potential spiking ban in juniors ultimate now being pursued by the upa...

RE: Alameda HS
I would like to clarify what I meant by mentioning the the controversal aspect about Alameda's birth into the finals. I in no way meant to convey they did not deserve it or that South should have been playing in it. Alameda is an amazing team that has come out of the woodwork much like my own team Churchill to become a contender. They deserve all the recognition and respect of a team of their calibure. I apologize to those who felt I was meaning anything other than that. Any team that can come back from both a quarter final game and semifinal game to make it into the finals is worthy of respect. I only shared the comment in that it is a 'unique aspect' of the Slopfest V tournament and that its' story should be told.

RE: Spiking & UPA
The 'potential spiking ban' that I elude to came from what I heard at the captains meeting. The words were spoken by a well respected, knowledgable, and UPA advocatating individual. I cannot say how his words were perceived by others, but my ears understood his comments to mean that spiking was no longer allowed by the UPA and that youth players who did so during this tournament could forfiet their UPA membership. His words created quite a stir among our team and South Eugene since both have experienced spiking in positive & negative ways. Since stating those comments, many of you have already written in your feelings about spiking, both in favor of and against. I have had a highly encouraging email conversation with Kyle Weisbrod, Director of Youth Development, about the UPA's stance on spiking in the youth division. All I will say of that exchange is that the issue is of concern and that as the UPA is us, the players, and it wants to know what we think... So, I know that I speak for at least one player who would like to know more about what the rest of the country thinks.

Do you think that spiking has a place in youth ultimate?
Does spiking take away from or add to the 'spirit of the game'?
What has your experience with spiking been? celebretory or spiteful?
If you are a youth player, do you spike the disc? if so, how often?
If you are a coach, do you teach never to spike or use disgression?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

live blogging Slopfest V

as the scores roll in, keep your computers tuned to www.playultimate.blogspot.com, we will update you with whatever our sources allow us.

it is currently 12:25 local time in Cali, so the tournament should be entering its third round of saturday pool play.

i will update as soon as we have any more information. if you have access to any information we have not posted yet, feel free to post as a comment. the upa score reporter site for the tournament can be found here.

[update 1:18pm 2/26] - ok, so the sunday stage is set. quarterfinals have just begun pitting
Churchill A vs. Hercules
Castro Valley vs. Sheldon
Alameda vs. Vacaville
South Eugene A vs. Terra Nova

upsets from day saturday - Castro Valley swept their pool upsetting #4 seed Vacaville by a score of 13-3, however both teams made the quarterfinals, in seperate brackets.

more updates to come, keep it here...

Friday, February 24, 2006

league games... - player organized? or adult adminstration?

this saturday afternoon the 30ish teams from the Philly area that make up PHUEL will come together at the director of the league's residence to hammer out plans and schedules for the season.

league information and news is announced first, and then the captains and representatives from each team are free to roam talking with other captains to organize games. essentially its entirely player run save the very few teams that have coaches.

however i realize this is not how alot of the hs leagues nationally are run - i know many of the leagues are very closely tied with and sponsored by the adult leagues in the area, which sometimes reserve fields for the hs teams and schedule games for them. or a season is scheduled by adult administrators where each team plays the other ones once over the course of the spring etc.

what i guess im wondering is how your league individually sets up games, are there meetings? is it up to the captains to organize games on their own? or are there adult factions or structured league game times? does your league have a specified field space designated? lemme hear ya.

(a side note: a full run down of the games to look forward to for the spring season of PHUEL will be posted as soon as i get the info from that meeting)

also - if you havent seen it already, Thomas has a really nice rundown of one of the first tournaments of the high school season.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another contributor! bringing the total to...

We are proud to announce the addition of our newest contributor Vinni Drybala who will report on the activities in New York.

this increases the PlayUltimate blog coverage to 12 states reported on by 14 contributors

not bad at all. once again we extend a huge thank you to all who read because you are the ones who are spreading the word about high school ultimate and really facilitating the growth by linking to the site in any way.

we are continuing to expand and hope to truly become a national forum for high school ultimate discussion and news, but to do that we need your help. we still need contributors for many of the states with active high school leagues. namely...

Minnesota, Tennessee, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland/DC area, Virginia, Wisconsin and many more!!

if you live in one of those areas and play for a high school team currently or follow the action, please let us know - PlayUltimateBlog@gmail.com - even if you personally cannot contribute, pass the word on to someone who you think might want to.

again, thank you all for your efforts and support.

and as a last little thinger, a few images of our growth...

in january of 2006....


and then in february...



more growth images after the fold....


traffic statistics by month since the creation of the site...


subscribers to the site's RSS feed since the beginning of the site...



you can always check the most recent stats for the site by clicking on the "number of visitors" images at the very bottom of the page.

Butt-travel?

Did anyone else look at Ultivillage's most recent Clip of the Day?

A guy catches a goofy little o/i floater and immediately falls on his rump. From this position, his torso still falling toward the turf, he executes a deft little forehand to a teammate who stands there, comically stunned. A travel was called on the throw.

What do you think? You make the call.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Slopfest V PREVIEW

Slopfest V "Frisbee is Not a 'Real' Sport"

The largest California youth tournament is now in it's 5th year, with teams from all over California and Oregon converging upon Castro Valley, CA this weekend (February 25-26th). This tournament is the first of the West Coast Spring Season, and therefore becomes the first proving grounds for State and Western Championship-bound teams. The competition this year is perhaps less competitive as it has been in the past (as the teams draw only from OR and CA), but this tournament should prove to be an exciting kick-off to the HS Spring season.
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1 Churchill (OR)
This #1 Seed placed 2nd at last year's Western Championships, and played very successfully during their Fall/Winter season. Several scrimmages with neighboring South Eugene HS and University of Oregon-B gives Churchill more playing time this season than probably any other team at this tournament. Should it rain this weekend, Churchill will be far from unfamiliar with the phenomenon, and that could perhaps be an advantage to them. This is a team not short of handlers and athletes (not to mention their spectacular Girls, who will be a major factor in each of their victories), and will be tough to beat all weekend.

2 South Eugene (OR)
Another strong team from Eugene, OR who has also had alot of playing time recently. South Eugene is a tall team that has alot of athletes, including some of the best girls at the HS level. Though perhaps not as strong as their Churchill counterpart, few teams will have the pleasure of beating South Eugene this weekend.

3 Alameda (CA)
This tournament starts off the season for the strongest Alameda team ever. The #3 seed has plenty of tall, fast, disc-savvy athletes, all of which have college-level wins beneath their belts, and almost 5 months of practice this season. Should the entire Alameda squad show up, un-injured and without sickness, they could easily be the hardest team to beat this weekend.

4 Vacaville (CA)
Last year's graduation took Vacaville's captain and other top-level players, but they emerged this season somehow uncompromised. Their entire lineup is fast and athletic, and will be relying on that athleticism to win their games.
(UPDATE: Feb 22nd) They look good this year. They didn't practice before, and now they do? I would be worried.

5 Castro Valley (CA)
Those guys didn't graduate yet? Nope. The same "Big Three" who have led Castro Valley (and played like the best HS Seniors) for four years, are still around. New, young players complement their Aces well, and have helped Castro Valley claim their first College-level wins. This team is likely to break their #5 seed, and will be a big threat to each of the big teams at this tournament.

6 Sheldon (OR)
Don't know too much about this Eugene, OR team, but if they even closely resemble their neighbors, they should be playing well this weekend. Cold weather/rain could prove to be an advantage for this team, as they hail from the less-than-sunshiny Oregon.

7 GBK Prep School (CA)
Still a young team, GBK has some fast Aces and some good disc handlers(not to mention the really, really tall/new guy) Santa Cruz may struggle this weekend because of their lack of playing experience, but their team is definitely stronger than last years.

8 Terra Nova (CA)
Didn't lose (to my knowledge) their best players last year, so they return as a smart, athletic team, capable of beating many of the teams at this tournament. Two tall/fast guys will carry their team to victory several times this weekend, lack of playing experience however, will most likely stop them from upsetting any of the strongest teams.

9 Bitney Springs (CA)
Another team I don't know much about. Their Captain was invited to a World's team tryout camp, and guess what: she's a girl. She and a couple of other Aces will surely play well, but their placement in (perhaps) the most competitive pool will stop them from coming up with many wins on Saturday.

10 Hercules (CA)
I heard of a major injury early in the season (broken leg???), but I expect Hercules's cast of Aces to play strong and come up at least #2 in their pool. Their top players are all fast and like to huck, and their less-than-calm playing style could possibly shake the strong South Eugene. Sometime t's all about the mind games.

11 Churchill B (OR)
Churchill's talent couldn't be contained in just one team, so their B-squad is looking to bring some more wins home to Oregon.

12 Redwood (CA)
A very young, very inexperienced team. I expect to see them struggle on Saturday as they play both Vacaville and Castro Valley. I wouldn't completely write them off however, as they have a couple of Seniors that look like they could do some damage...

13 Acalanes (CA)
Good team last year, but their seeding is unnerving. I know they lost some key seniors, but not sure of the extent of the damage. Someone going to help me out?

14 Foothill Middle College (CA)
Never seen this team in action, nor heard anything about them. We'll see what happens this weekend.

15 Miramonte (CA)
I believe they lost many of their best players last year, but this Track-Team spawn should have the athleticism to at least run everyone into the ground.

16 De La Salle (CA)
another team I've never heard about... I can only hope they don't play like their football team. (Undefeated/Champions for like 20 years or something crazy like that)
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I don't know very much about some of these teams, and I hope people can add their comments/insights/corrections so we can get some pre-tournament hype going on. Please keep it very cool though, I don't want to see any trash talk.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

PlayUltimate Contributors - Sean McCall (Texas)

Name: Sean McCall
Age: 34
Lives In: Houston, TX
High School Team: Houston High School League founder and facilitator, not affiliated with a single team.
Where I First Heard of Ultimate: Ultimate was a popular next sport for swimmers at LSU so I joined in when I finished my collegiate swimming career.
Years Playing the Game: 13 years
Notable Accomplishments While Playing: Met my fiancee, Katey Forth! Played on some great teams (LSU, Houndz, Doublewide, No Tsu Oh) and won some tourneys a few times including Paganello (Italy), Kaimana Klassik (Hawaii), Mardi Gras, and UPA Southern Regionals. I've been fortunate enough to play UPA Nationals 8 times or so.
Favorite Tournament Played: Paganello
Involvement in Community: Houston Ultimate Community Director, founder of Hou HS League and competitive leagues, captain of Doublewide, UPA Certified Coach.
Mentors or Role Models in the Sport: In terms of peers, its my gangler brothers: Mike Grant and Damien Scott. In terms of mentors, its Stu Downs, Rich Sternthal, Bob DeMan.
Ultimate Quote: "Success and Luck have the distinct smell of sweat." (Don't know!) "Game Time Hoop!" (Doublewide) "It helps if the hitter thinks you are a little crazy" (Nolan Ryan, general sports quote).

Tryouts?

Hello, PlayUltimate.

Many of the contributors to this site have a lot of experience in the game. They’ve played on elite club or co-ed teams of their own; they’ve coached top-level juniors teams; they’ve been playing the game since I was a gleam in my daddy’s eye, etc., etc. So, I feel some trepidation as I make my first post here at PlayUltimate.

I do, however, seem to share at least one important characteristic with the other contributors of this site—a deep-seated love of this game called ultimate.For what it is, for what it does, I love this sport. Accordingly, I dedicate some of my time and energy to helping advocate it at the juniors level, where it’s most logical to do so in my case (I’m a high school teacher). That’s enough about me.I’ll try to keep all such self-conscious apologies out of future postings. This post does have a point, I promise . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . .

Tryouts. I only started our program at FHC last year, this year will be our second. I’ve been working hard during the off-season, recruiting, building buzz, as have the remaining players from last year’s team; however, I think we may have done TOO good a job! What with the posters, flyers, word of mouth, luchtime publicity, video, announcements and all, it’s looking like we’ll have the luxurious curse of running tryouts in this, our second, year of existance.

So, my question is this. What are some of the different models out there for effectively and fairly selecting/rejecting athletes. Combines? Wholistic? Ultimatetalk just did a short thread on this topic, but I suspect that there are reasons why a juniors tryout should look different from a club tryout. But maybe not. For any other teams out there like mine, who are just making the move from “scraping together enough players for a scrimmage” to a tryout situation, what did your FIRST year of tryouts look like? Did they work? Horror stories? What do the top teams in the nation do?

HOW do you hold tryouts?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

oooh!! - pretty new layout!

oh la la, pretty new images on the site, the beginning of our massive branding and brain washing campaign i daresay! In addition to the very prominent header image (above), there are also a few more suddle changes, which unless you are really looking you will barely notice. however hopefully they will enhance the look and feel of the site, and the benefit overall user experience.

also now availiable is a new banner ad if you want to link to the site with something more than a text link. just scroll down, its on the right hand side and all you have to do is copy and paste the code.

whats more exciting than this layout though is our addition of two new contributors!

Jason Becker of Missouri

and

Sean McCall of Texas

yet one more small step in our efforts to provide a comprehensive national forum for high school ultimate discussion, commentary, news and hype. so enjoy, we also have some more content-based excitemen coming up in the next few weeks, if you look hard enough you might be able to find some foreshadowing of what is to come....

Friday, February 10, 2006

PlayUltimate Contributors - Jason Becker


Thursday, February 09, 2006

impending spring season....

can you hear that? i think its getting closer, is it spring rains? melting snow? visible grass? perhaps even the sun? no! it is the high school ultimate spring season!

hark! it approaches.

captains and coaches alike know now is the time to begin figuring out their seasons if they havent already. do they want to travel? tournaments or individual league games? the possibilities are numerous, and ultimately each team's organizing powers must of course decide on a season or plan of action that best prepares their team for whatever their goals may be - league championship, state championship, or easterns/westerns.

thus leads me to another vague open question in this still pre-tournament season - what does your team plan to do? mostly tournaments? mostly individual games? traveling far? what are the benefits that you personally see.

the way we ran it in my days at Prep was primarily single games, because a) thats what time allowed given the busy schedules of players etc, and b) it allowed us consistent (At least once a week) gauges of how we were (or werent) improving. interspersed on a few weekends were tournaments, most notably in the vaguely mid-season Kit Kat in the Hat in Philly, and then it all culminated in the PA state championship, and then PHUEL championship. which i think personally is a good way to do it, idk about other leagues nationally but around the Philly area there arent very many tournaments, if you want to go to em you have to travel, which is a tough thing to do. so primarily you rely on the one on one contests.

but enough of my blathering, what does your team plan to do in terms of scheduling this year?

ps - anyone reading RSD lately? hmm, is playultimate creating a bit of a stir? ... nah, just a mediocre hype thread, ah well