Friday, August 31, 2007

Announcing New Youth Fall League

Captains and Players,

I'm excited to announce the formation of a new youth league in the New Jersey and Philadelphia area. In order to strengthen the region's representation on a national scale (at the summer Youth Club Championships) and provide more opportunities for players and teams to play and recruit in the fall, this league is open to anyone born in 1989 or later. Any league participant is eligible to represent the region in either the Open, Girls, or Mixed divisions at the 2008 YCC's, provided they are born after May 31st, 1989. Also, the league is open to several categories of players and teams, combining aspects of both preselected and hat/draft leagues. Depending on interest, we are trying to develop both a Division I and Division II, as well as a Girls league. Registration will be open to any of the following:

Full Teams: Any group of 12 or more players may register in the league as a full team. This team will not pick up other registered players, and is a way for high school teams or groups of friends to play together in the fall. Roster additions will be permitted until late in the season, in order to accommodate any new recruits a team may be able to muster. In rare cases, if teams of 10 or 11 can guarantee attendance, they may petition to enter as full teams.

Partial Teams: Groups of 5 to 11 players that want to play together but can't field a full team. Or parts of high school teams that are splitting in order to get people more experience. Partial teams will combine with other partial teams, packages, and individuals in order to form teams large enough to compete.

Packages: 2 to 4 players who want to play together. Packages will be added to the rosters of partial teams, or combined in order to form teams of their own. These can be a couple of friends, the nucleus of a high school team, etc.

Individuals: Players signing up on their own. This is ideal for someone who has never played organized youth ultimate before and wants to get a taste of it before starting their own high school team, or someone out of high school who is still young enough to play, and so on. All girls must register as individuals.

Currently, we are trying to get each team to play two games per weekend, both on the same day. Depending on the number of teams and field availability, this may change. Right now our possible field locations are Edgely in Philadelphia, MCUDL in Trenton, and Washington Road in Princeton. Our tentative fall schedule starts play on September 22nd and ends with a league championship on November 10th and 11th. This will be (pending acceptance of our application) a UPA-sanctioned league.

If you are interested or able to play, please send me an email at with your name and how many people you think you or your team will be able to send. More information will be released in the next two weeks.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kleinman Eruption Highlight Video

Kleinman Eruption
August 4th & 5th 2007
Portland, OR
Club Mixed Tournament
Churchill HS Ultimate HL

Another highlight video from us that I forgot to get up and online. You can see higher quality versions on our website here:
quicktime stream

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Luke Johnson moves to the Midwest

It is a little late notice, but I wanted to let those who may care that I've moved from Eugene, OR and my coaching position with Churchill High School (and the middle schools) to pursue a seminary degree in Chicago, IL. I am now here in Chicago, slowly getting settled with classes that started two days ago. I have been honored to be the coach at CHS for the last 4 years and been part of the amazing ride our boys and girls have let me share with them on. Saying goodbye to them was the hardest thing I've done, and I will miss them more than they will ever know.

I also will no longer be the Oregon contributor and the one who will spew forth high light videos many considered beautiful, while others considered obnoxious.

I hope to get involved in the ultimate scene here in Chicago, but for now have made connections with the college teams here on campus that I helped start 5 years ago. With another year of college elligibility, I plan on playing a little more disc than I coached. I even plan on continuing to play with Oregon's Rhino team this club season and plane tickets are already bought for the Northwest Regionals (and hope to buy ones for Nationals).

I know that I'll be getting back into juniors ultimate some day, but for the time being I hope to follow Churchill and others through this blog and through hopefully more than a few highlight videos.

-luke johnson
former churchill high school open & girls coach

(ps - there will be a YCC Oregon Girls Highlight video coming as soon as I can finish it up)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Preparing for the fall

(consider this an open thread)

Today is the first day of classes for many college students (and some high schools id wager), which alludes to the fact that fall ultimate is right around the corner.

This begs the questions

  • What are you doing to prepare? In terms of recruiting, training, captains, organization, planning, schedule setting etc....
  • What have you done to prepare?
  • When does your season start?
  • Will you be playing as a high school or as a local youth club team?
Or you can talk about whatever you'd like.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday to PlayUltimate (2 years and counting!!)

Well, we shamefully neglected to recognize our own birthday... again. Two years ago on August 2nd this site was started with a shoddy blogger template and a dream. Yada yada nostalgia.

A huge thank you though to all of you who come and read, and post feedback, and email the site and play in the tournaments and give us fodder for discussion. I truly enjoy doing this as do the other contributors, and we appreciate you stopping by to read every once and a while.

Over the past two years more than 120,000 of you have come to interact at rates between 300 and 500 a day, pouring over the almost 400 posts to date.

A little recap of where we've been....

A few months ago we released a place where anyone can submit ultimate-related news, content, links, videos, pictures. Then the community of readers decide what is cool, there is the possibility to comment on everything thats added (with nested comments, so beautiful). It has been a huge success, and without much publicity at all has grown to 70 registered users and more than 100 submitted entries in just a few months. I strongly encourage you to check it out, register and submit a few stories and comment on the ones other people submit. The more who use it the more useful it will become to everyone.

Now, you can also drag a link onto your toolbar which will allow you to submit whatever site you are currently viewing with just a simple click - making it even easier to submit things to the site.

As a result of the scope of PlayUltimate expanding I decided to give a name to all the enterprises as a whole - PlayUltimateMedia, which you can check out at In addition to eventually holding information about the "company" you can also see the latest updates from all the different sites in one place.

And a look at where we are headed...

Since the beginning ive had no intention of keeping things small. As ultimate grows, so will we. We've added wonderful contributors over the years to the blog and now everyone can contribute on But stlil we remained primarily focused on the United States.

Well today, in honor of our second year at this gig we are proud to announce PlayUltimateCanada. The latest in what will hopefully become an ever expanding network of quality sources for ultimate-related news and commentary.

We are still searching for a few contributors for the site, so if you live in Canada or follow high school ultimate there please email the site. We are hoping for PlayUltimateCanada to be just as successful as the flagship site so that leading up to worlds next year we will have a ton of international content and information about more of the teams.

So again, thank you for visiting, tell your friends about the site, join the Facebook group, link to the site, you can add the headlines by clicking the link on the lower right hand side, subscribe to the RSS feed.

Happy birthday to us, two years and counting - we couldn't do it without you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More americans play ultimate than Rugby, Lacrosse

From the 2007 SGMA (sports goods manufacturer's association) survey, ultimate has more "frequent participants" than field hockey, lacrosse, fast-pitch softball, roller hockey.

Via the UPA newsletter...

The Sporting Goods Manufacturer's Association (SGMA), the trade association of leading industry and fitness brands, included Ultimate in their 2007 Sports & Fitness Participation Report and the numbers are impressive.

This year's SGMA Sports & Fitness Participation Report has overall participation figures for 86 sports in eight different categories (aerobic activities, conditioning activities, strength activities, individual sports, racquet sports, team sports, outdoor sports, and water sports). Ultimate was included for the first time and ranked higher than Rugby and Lacrosse, two comparable field sports. To request a full complimentary report from the SGMA, please click here.

Participation Type (x's per Year) Casual (1-12) Regular (12-24) Frequent (25+)
Soccer 6,214,000 4,770,000 3,381,000
Ultimate 2,211,000 1,038,000 824,000
Lacrosse 804,000 45,000 305,000
Rugby 275,000 29,000 379,000
so consider bringing out that statistic next time someone decides to spout the participatory inadequacies of ultimate.

(a side note, we know that much of the growth has come for ultimate in the youth division... aka you. congratulations, and lets continue to grow!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

What do you want from the UPA?

As mentioned previously, PlayUltimate will be conducting a series of polls / surveys to figure out what this community (high school ultimate players and fans) would like from the UPA.

Consider this the first exploratory round. Post anything you think you would like, as someone who is involved with high school ultimate, from the UPA.

The most heralded comments will be combined into a poll (or series of polls) and the UPA will be contacted with our findings.

The lists/surveys/polls will be put up on Thursday, so for the next few days consider this your open forum.

You do not need to be a UPA member to comment, nor do you have to sign in to Blogger. Anyone can voice their opinion, keep in mind though that you will be respected much more if you attach a name to your opinion, and it will make it much easier for people to respond to you.

Try to keep it focused on the high school scene, lets get it started...

Friday, August 17, 2007

UPA releases poll on age requirements for YCCs

Fresh off the discussion and debate in the comments here on PlayUltimate regarding YCCs and player age requirements, the UPA has put a poll up on their website asking for member input... Except you dont have to be a UPA member to vote.

Check out the poll by clicking here.

What do you think of their question?

The current age restriction for the UPA Youth Club Championships is under 19 as of June 1st. This allows players with college experience to participate. Should the age restriction be revised so that players must be under 19 and cannot have played on a college roster?

feel free to answer in the comments

reminder: as mentioned previously, PlayUltimate will be holding an open discussion in the coming days as to what you would like the UPA to do for high school ultimate in the united states. specific ideas, specific questions, which will be tallied and put into polls where you can rank their importance, the site will contact the UPA with our findings. Look for those threads to be posted sometime early next week.

Non-YCC stuff: USN Spring Season highlight reel

cool stuff out of Nashville, Tennessee

a reminder that you can always submit things to PlayUltimate - just send us an email, the address is - if you forget its in the pink square on the right hand side of the page.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

YCC reaction from the Pulse

Ryan has posted on his personal blog a quite detailed account of his experience at the YCC tournament this year. Check it out by clicking here.

some excerpts -

Denver was a team that relied a lot on their handlers and big receivers going away from the disc. We were able to limit the damage their handlers could do with give and gos and upfield resets, while taking away the deep options with our marks and shutting down in-cuts with our legs. Standout players on Denver were handlers #8 and #12, along with #10 who was their go-to guy downfield. He came up huge on a lot of early grabs, although we thankfully managed to limit his damage later on. We did have two ridiculous plays of our own - Jesse hucked backhand around a forehand forcing mark, throwing a bullet to the breakside of the endzone, which Stephen tracked down, utterly roasting his defender. And earlier, Jake Rainwater annihilated his defender on a jump ball just outside the endzone, for his first real sky of the weekend. We called the play "Make it Rain."

[...] (<< this means a lot of text was in between these two quotes and they have nothing to do with each other, other than both regarding the YCC tournament.)

During that point, incidentally, I saw/heard some of the nastiest and really uncalled for comments by some Paideia parents. When Noah made a clean bid on Michael Terry (nearly getting the D), his momentum caused him to roll on the ground afterwards, coming up on Terry's ankle/achilles from behind. Mike Terry crumpled to the ground and had to take an injury after this accidental and freak injury. But the Paideia parents accused Noah of trying to injure him, saying that he'd been making reckless and unspirited bids all game, which was just a ridiculous claim. First of all, Michael Terry had taken injury subs earlier in the game after no contact with Philly players, meaning he was nowhere near 100%, and also, Noah's bid was completely clean, as were all of his during that game. It wasn't a no-chance bid where he landed in his knees from behind, it was a legitimate bid where he bumped him from behind after rolling on the ground. Rob Olson and I got loud and obstinate defending Noah at that point.

read the whole account of the weekend cover to cover by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Post-YCC Reflection?

YCC 2007 is now in the books. The champions have been crowned, the jerseys traded, muscles are in recovery, and players have gotten back to their lives...

But, with the tournament still fresh in many people's minds, I'm curious your reflections. What parts of the tournament stand out strong for you (good or bad)? How was the competition? Did your team do as well as it should have, or were there surprises?

What needs tweaking? What needs to remain the same? What needs to be added? And what needs to be removed to make next years' experience all the more?

On a side, here are the photographs from our experience:
Full Album
Highlights Only

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Liveblogging - YCC Finals (live score updates)

C/o text messages from Ryan Thompson (The Pulse), minute by minute updates from Blaine, MN and the 2007 YCC finals - (all times EST)

4:18pm - SEPDA 7 Atl 5

4:20pm - SEPDA 8 Atl 5 - off dropped pull, Noah to J Principi - Halftime

4:33pm - SEPDA 8 Atl 6 (via Score Reporter)

4:38pm - SEPDA 9 Atl 7

4:42pm - SEPDA 9 Atl 8

4:46pm - SEPDA 9 Atl 9 - All tied up!!! Nail biter in the works!

4:49pm - SEPDA 9 Atl 10 - Atlanta takes the lead on Callahan by Grant! sidelines must be going nuts.

4:51 pm - SEPDA 9 Atl 11 - Atlanta extends lead

4:57pm - SEPDA 10 Atl 11 - philly recovers

4:58pm - SEPDA 10 Atl 12

5:02pm - SEPDA 11 Atl 12

5:08pm - SEPDA 11 Atl 13

5:13pm - SEPDA 12 Atl 13

5:17pm - SEPDA 12 Atl 14 - layout grab by one of the Atl girls #12 Lane


4:27pm - Seattle 9 New England 5 - callahan by #17

4:35pm - Seattle 9 New England 6

4:41pm - Seattle 10 New England 6

4:45pm - Seattle 11 New England 6

4:51pm - Seattle 12 New England 6

5:01pm - Seattle 12 New England 8

5:02pm - Seattle 13 New England 8

5:07pm - Seattle 13 New England 9

5:13pm - Seattle 14 New England 9

5:15pm - Seattle 14 New England 10

5:20pm - Seattle 14 New England 11

5:25pm - Seattle 15 New England 11


4:32pm - Seattle 8 Oregon 5 (via Score Reporter)

4:36pm - Seattle 8 Oregon 6

4:39pm - Seattle 9 Oregon 6

4:41pm - Seattle 9 Oregon 7

4:46pm - Seattle 10 Oregon 7

4:58pm - Seattle 12 Oregon 8

5:10pm - Seattle 12 Oregon 9

5:14pm - Seattle 13 Oregon 9

5:16pm - Seattle 13 Oregon 10

5:22pm - Seattle 14 Oregon 10


Well thats the show, the 2007 YCCs are in the books - Seattle wins Open Girls, Atlanta wins Mixed.

[edited at 10:54pm to correct 5:17pm Mixed division inaccuracy, goal was scored by #12 Lane from Atlanta]

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A biased little update from YCCs

Going along with the Philadelphia mixed team, SEPDA, has been a different experience from playing with them last year, but much is the same. We didn't know quite where we stood going in, but had a much better idea that we were expected to be in the finals. We finished our first day 2-1 again, this time with a 12-9 loss to Atlanta in what could very well be a preview of tomorrow's finals. New England's team has their own ideas as well, we're sure, going 4-0 in the first day, but without playing either Atlanta or Philadelphia, your top 2 seeds, yet.

I-20 vs. SEPDA take 1 was very exciting, but Atlanta's man defense and hucks to Grant were just too much. It was not, however, any weakness of our girls, as Ryan predicted, that cost us much.

Also of note: In Open, New Jersey upsets Denver in pool B, Pittsburgh almost upsets a Seattle team that handled them easily twice last year.
In Girls, Seattle and Oregon still seem destined to play a meaningless last pool play game before a thrilling final. Seattle looks too sick.

-Chris Vanni and his lame update, out

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Unbiased YCC Girls Preview!

The girls division of the 2007 Youth Club Championships is rife with storylines and teams with something to prove. The presence of so many 2006 Junior Worlds players doesn't hurt either. The favorites get the top four seeds, but their order is bound to be shuffled, while the bottom three teams look for their chance to cause an upset and burst onto the girls ultimate scene.

Below the fold action...
Seattle earns the number one seed in the tournament, as the defending champions and traditional powerhouse look to remain the only YCC girls winners. Led by junior worlds players Drew Johnson, Alex Snyder, and Fiona McKibben, their deep roster draws largely from Northwest School and Nathan Hale. They will be looking to avenge their losses to Oregon school Churchill at Westerns, as the core of the number four seed has the experience of winning Westerns 15-3 over NWS fresh in their minds. They are joined by former South Eugene captain Julia Sherwood, along with another SEHS player and two from Crescent Valley. Oregon has been in Minnesota for several days already, and they are prepared to defend their title and avenge what appears to be a slight in seeding.

Meanwhile, east coast powerhouse Amherst sends a lot of players to New England, led by junior worlds and Brute Squad player Amber Sinicrope. Like Oregon, the core of their team has the advantage of playing together year-round. But their loss to Seattle at YCC's two years ago, along with their loss at Nationals to the Yale School several years ago, means that the east's dominance in girls ultimate is over. New England will do their best to bring the title to Massachusetts for the first time since Nationals in 2004. But their reliance on Amherst JV girls shows that this is not the strongest team that could come out of the Boston area.

With their own junior worlds and Rare Air stud Brenna Hokanson, Denver is out to prove that their second-place finish and defeat of New England in 2006 was no fluke. They hope to challenge for the title as well, with Box Lunch's Christina Ward adding more club experience to the mix. They beat New England 13-7 in the semifinals last year, in a junior-worlds-affected environment. But without New England's big names returning this year either (besides Amber), Denver is well-poised to repeat in the finals.

Among the other three teams, I can see Cincinnati coming closest to an upset against a team that doesn't take them seriously enough, but ultimately failing and losing a close one to Minnesota. Madison goes winless without the junior worlds studs they've had in the past.

Seattle 6-0
Oregon 5-1
Denver 4-2
New England 3-3
Minnesota 2-4
Cincinnati 1-5
Madison 0-6

Finals: Oregon 13, Seattle 11

The way the brackets work out, Oregon and Seattle could play twice in a row, making their first game meaningless if both go into the game 5-0. If so, I can see Seattle winning that game easily, before Oregon fights hard and reaffirms their Westerns dominance in the finals.

Unbiased Mixed YCC Preview!

At 9 am on Saturday morning in Blaine, seven youth mixed teams from around the country will begin their quest for YCC glory. For three of these teams, they represent the best talent their league has to offer. The other four leagues have bids in both the open and girls divisions, but are still looking to make some noise. It's no surprise that the heavy favorites are the Paideia-heavy Atlanta team I-20 and the Pennsbury-led Philly team SEPDA. Which transportation-based team will reign supreme? If based solely on the merits of their namesakes, Atlanta wins hands down. But this is an ultimate tournament, and there are six guaranteed games for each team.

First Round

Game to Watch: For the neutral fan, the most interesting game of the round looks to be New England vs. Denver, on field 11. This one should be close and back and forth, as the tournament-tested BUDA team takes on Cutthroat, the team from Colorado. Will Cutthroat's coed league experience and improving state strength be able to overcome the players from traditional powerhouse New England? Denver will be relieved to hear that there are no players from Amherst on the roster, and will look for the "upset," but BUDA's pre-YCC tournament experience will lead them through in a close one. Pick: BUDA.

Other games: Seattle d. NEPSUL, Philly d. Minnesota

Second Round

Game to Watch: The second round has a few intriguing matchups, but the most exciting game of the round will be Seattle vs. Minnesota. This is where we'll see if Seattle has the firepower to challenge Philly and Atlanta, or if those two teams are really a cut above the rest. There's been a lot of talk out of Seattle, and their league has proved its depth at Westerns and Spring Reign, while Minnesota has hometown advantage and a large league to draw from as well. But Seattle's depth and mixed experience will reign supreme as they come away with the W. Pick: Seattle.

Other games: New England d. NEPSUL, Atlanta d. Denver

Third Round

Game to Watch: Philly vs. Seattle. This is where SEPDA will get their first test of the tournament, as they come off of their bye to face a presumably 2-0 Seattle team looking for some respect. But they'll run straight into Noah Saul and Carly Maconaghy, who will not allow their team to lose. However, if Seattle can run off a string of points towards the middle of the game, tensions will run high on the SEPDA sidelines and could see the team start to splinter. Pick: Philly.

Other games: New England d. Minnesota, Atlanta d. NEPSUL

Fourth Round

Game to Watch: Here it is, the matchup of the weekend for mixed pool play. Philly vs. Atlanta. In the last game of the day, the two pre-tournament favorites will be battling it out for a win that would guarantee a spot in the finals. The superior depth of the Atlanta girls will make Maconaghy and her Philly counterparts struggle, and I can foresee Atlanta going 3/4 on offense quite a bit. However, SEPDA boys match up well against the Atlanta boys, and only having 3 or 4 of them on the field at a time will help SEPDA more than Atlanta. But Ozone's Alisha Kramer and the rest of the Atlanta women will prove the difference in this game, as they win in a game closer than the scoreline suggests. Pick: Atlanta.

Other games: Denver d. Minnesota, Seattle d. New England

Fifth Round

Game to Watch: On Sunday morning, the dust will have cleared and teams will begin battling for placement instead of the finals. In the Atlanta vs. Seattle game, Seattle has one more chance to clinch a berth in the finals, whereas Atlanta does not want the possibility of deciding the finals on point differential. Atlanta comes out strong and never lets up, crushing Seattle's chances at a medal. Pick: Atlanta.

Other games: Philly d. Denver, Minnesota d. NEPSUL

Sixth Round

Game to Watch: Philly vs. New England stands out in a round of games that don't look close. SEPDA plays exciting ultimate, and with New England looking to play spoiler, the game should be hard-fought until the end. It doesn't mean it will be close, but it will be fun to watch. Pick: Philly.

Other games: Atlanta d. Minnesota, Denver d. NEPSUL

Seventh Round

Game to Watch: Seattle vs. Denver looks to be the pick of this round, as Denver tries to move up in the rankings over a demoralized Seattle team that could come out flat after their bye. Look for this to be the surprise of the weekend. Pick: Denver.

Other games: Philly d. NEPSUL, Atlanta d. New England

Finals (Philly vs. Atlanta)

Players to Watch:
Noah Saul, Mark Dundala, and Scotty Wright (SEPDA, Pennsbury): These three players led Pennsbury to their Easterns win and have been playing a lot this summer both with SEPDA and Roots of Rhythm. They're the stars for the Philly boys, and they can all throw accurate 80-yard hucks.
Carly Maconaghy (SEPDA, CB East): She's the most experienced girl on SEPDA, and she has club nationals experience with Wicked. She's #1 on the line for important points.
George Stubbs, Grant Lindsley, Ollie Honderd (Atlanta, Paideia): These three got the chance to represent the USA last summer, and this summer they're leading Atlanta into the finals. Expect to see them mostly on offense until the finals. Their speed and experience will be their greatest asset, along with George's ridiculous breakmark throws.
Alisha Kramer (Atlanta, Paideia): Playing with Ozone at nationals will allow Alisha to step up and be a star for I-20. She'll throw her body around the field on defense and her speed makes her a threat all day.

Philly comes out strong and well-rested, but the patience and experience of I-20 will help lead them back into the game and over the top. Depth for guys won't matter in this game, but Atlanta's girls will once again prove to be SEPDA's undoing. Atlanta 15, Philly 12.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Coming soon on the blog...

So im finally back from my study abroad program in Rome, if you didnt notice i was gone, all the better.

Pleased to see the discussion still raging, thought id briefly jot out a few things we have upcoming on the blog...

  • What you want from the UPA - inspired by recent discussion, a thread will be posted after YCCs asking what you would like from the UPA, specifically as high school players, fans and advocates. After all suggestions have been heard and debated a list (or a few lists) will be put up with polls to decide what our community thinks are the most important things for the UPA to do for youth ultimate. Ill contact them with our findings.
  • Also after the YCCs, a big announcement on the site which i have alluded to previously. Lets just say we are expanding and hopefully by September there will be a lot more ultimate content online for you to read about.
  • YCCs - the biggest event in the high school scene during the summer, and less than 3 days away. A few previews should be rolling in from contributors with intimate access to teams, and additionally there will be open threads as always to discuss, rank and predict the future.
  • A contest on - details to be finalized. Preview though, the user who submits the most stories to (which are rated positively by other users) will take home a prize. Could be, disc(s), DVDs, t-shirts. All details to be finalized later, maybe there will be 1st, 2nd 3rd places, we'll see. In the mean time, try adding a bookmarklet to your firefox, opera, or safari toolbar. It allows you to submit whatever you are currently looking at online with one click.
Other than that, thank you as always for visiting the site and engaging in discussion, I'm looking forward to all the YCC action and happy to be back in the US and the thriving ultimate scene.


Monday, August 06, 2007

YCC NEWS: Pittsburg Girls Drop

So, despite the plea for more ladies to join them, the Pittsburgh girls YCC team has dropped. The current plan is to incorporate the same format as the mixed division (round-robin play) and have the top two teams play a second game for the finals...

Needless to say, there will be many disappointed ladies including the few Pittsburgh girls able to attend and their coach Susan Thomas. Many of us are sad that you will not able to make it this year, but hopefully your area will be there in force next year!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Boys Ultimate in the Fall on West Coast?

Here is an interesting question for people interested in West Coast HS ultimate. Should boys ultimate move to the fall?

It is my educated guess that boys ultimate will be in the fall in Seattle starting in fall of 2008.

The problem in Washington is that boys soccer, boys lacrosse, boys track, boys baseball, and for some schools boys tennis are all in the spring. The two main sports in the fall are cross country and football. To top all that off less than half the schools that play ultimate play boys because coed HS ultimate has been around for 10+ years.

The final nail in the coffin for boys ultimate in the spring of 06 came when the state association recently moved class 1A (small but not smallest classification) soccer to the spring. That means that two of the big four ultimate schools, Northwest and Seattle Academy, which are both 1A schools will very likely have soccer in the spring starting in 09. Both those schools are most likely too small to still be able to field ultimate teams. The two bigger schools, Nathan Hale and Lakeside, already play spring soccer.

But clearly this is about more than two small schools. This is about how best to get the sport to grow much much bigger. Here are the upsides:

  • For the bigger schools including Seattle public, there would only really be competition with football and cross country.
  • There is already a coed MS Seattle Public Schools sponsored league. An open Seattle Public HS league could maybe use those fields right after the MS in exchange for HS players helping coach the MS players. The HS kids would get free game fields and volunteer hours needed for graduation. There could be cross over games versus private and non-Seattle public schools on park fields during the week.
  • It is difficult to find HS coaches in spring. UW and other college ultimate players in the area would most likely be able to coach much more in the fall as long as sectionals and regionals don't conflict for adult club.
  • There would be more coaches available in the spring because many boys coaches could also coach girls and vice versa.
  • The independent schools in the Emerald City 1A league with Northwest and Seattle Academy would be much more likely to make boys ultimate in the fall a varsity sport since they would only have cross country and are not likely to add football.
  • BC is rumored to want to add boys ultimate. They have a well organized spring coed league. This would not conflict.
  • If boys want to play coed in the spring and there are significantly more boys playing ultimate then there would have to be significantly more girls playing. As soon as a school has enough girls for two coed teams they have enough for a girls team. Girls games could happen on diferent days than coed leagues.
  • Boys State would be in the fall.

Here are the big questions:

  • Would BC, Oregon, and California have boys ultimate in the fall?
  • Would Colorado add a boys in the fall?
  • Would the UPA move Westerns to the fall for boys? Could we get fields in California for Westerns?
  • What would happen with the Minnesota schools? They are a great part of westerns?

What do people think? Is this the way to best grow the sport?