Wednesday, November 28, 2007

UCPC 2008

In the 10+ years I have spent entrenched in High School Ultimate many things have changed. There used to be around 15-20 teams in all of New England, now there are hundreds. Teams used to dream about 'going varsity', and now many teams have achieved that status. There used to be under 300 UPA youth members. Now there are just under 6,000. Teams used to have only 2-3 tournament options per season. Now they have far, far more than that. Tournaments used to be just about the only time lots of Ultimate players got together. Now we have things like the Ultimate Players and Coaches Conference.

On Saturday January 26th at Newton South High School in Newton MA, Tiina Booth and George Cooke will be hosting the second annual UCPC, an annual conference "dedicated to the promotion, teaching, and growth of Ultimate." The conference is composed of presentations on a wide variety of topics, along with an Ultimate Expo and panel discussions. The theme of this year's conference is "Preparation and Performance for the Sport of Ultimate." Here are some of the questions that the conference will address: "How do you prepare mentally and physically for a competition? How can you and your team perform well throughout an entire tournament? How can coaches and captains create a team environment which is healthy, focused, and competitive?"

The list of presenters is online right here, and it's one heck of a list! There really is something on that list for everyone. All throughout the day there will be an 'Ultimate Expo', which is sort of a fair for anything and everything Ultimate. There will be tables for various college and high school Ultimate programs, vendor booths, and various other Ultimate entities. In addition to the presentations and Expo, there will be four panel discussions that will cover High School Ultimate, The State of Women's Ultimate, Starting an Ultimate Business, and Professional Behavior in the Sport of Ultimate. Each of the panels will be made up of 4-5 experts from the field and they will answer a series of questions about their topic as well as talk amongst themselves and take questions from the audience.

So, who wants to be on the High School Ultimate panel? Here's are the requirements to be on the panel:
1) You have to be a current high school student.
2) You have to be able to get yourself to and from the conference. There will be no conference fee for panelists.
3) You have to like to talk in front of lots of people.
4) You have to email me at jseamon at gmail dot com with your contact information and some information on why you think you'd make a good panelist.

All panelist submissions need to be emailed in to me by midnight on Friday, December 14th. Chosen panelists will be notified by noon on Monday, December 17th.

The UCPC 2008 website is online right here. Registration information is not currently online but it will be soon. If you have questions about the event, send them to ucpc at buda dot org.

Last year 250 people attended the first ever UCPC. This year it would be safe to bet there will be lots, lots more people in attendance. For me that's the best part of the conference -- The sheer number of Ultimate people in one place, excited and energized to talk about Ultimate. I usually have to travel thousands and thousands of miles to connect with all of the people I interact with in one day at the UCPC. On top of that I get to attend classes on ULTIMATE!

It's amazing what happens in 10 years.

Friday, November 16, 2007

While RSD is being attacked...

Hey all,

for those of you who read RSD, you might notice that it (as happens every few weeks or months nowadays) is in the process of attacks from either a spam-bot or a derranged individual, the jury is still out.

Anyway, for those topics in ultimate that arent posted here directly, or that you dont feel pertain to the subject enough to put in the comments i encourage you to post on - its free, its moderated by you (so if you decide someone like the guy on RSD is not welcome you vote his stuff down and the things he posts will be removed)

So, if you havent had a chance to try it out before, check it out now, post whatever you feel like, and enjoy some level of decency not currently found on RSD between Frank and this new guy.

Hope this can help fill some of that ultimate-related discussion void in your lives right now...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pro (or Semi-Pro ultimate) - Would you be interested? Would you pay?

The topic comes up from time to time about a pro-league for ultimate (specifically recently on RSD). What the discussion ultimately boils down to though is - would people come to watch, and more importantly would they pay?

So here are a few questions for you on the topic, given the following...

-The rules of ultimate would remain as is, utilizing observers with consistent uniforms across all league games, making the calls they do currently.

-There would be 5 divisions with 4 teams in each. For the sake of more specific discussion - lets classify them as such -
Northeast: Boston, New York, Philly, DC/Baltimore;
Northwest: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Vancouver;
Southwest: LA, San Diego, Vegas, Phoenix;
Southeast: Atlanta, Florida, Raleigh, New Orleans?;
Central: Pittsburgh, Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver;

- Similar to the NFL, over the course of the season (summer into fall maybe?) each team plays those in opponents in its division at least twice, regular season record dictates berth into playoffs, culminating in a national championship.

- The games would be individual one on one contests, held in arenas at least as big as high school football stadiums (depending on ticket sales), either at night or on Saturdays to allow for attendance, there would be concession stands, half-time entertainment, merchandise available, announcers for the games, stats provided online (along with player profiles, pictures game highlight videos) etc. etc. - consider all the amenities provided by the most basic of minor-league baseball programs as requisites.

So given those basic constructs, as a high school ultimate player...

  • would you pay to watch a local pro-team play another pro-team?
  • would that be affected whether the games were to a certain number of points or timed?
  • how much would you pay for a regular season game ticket?
  • would you consider buying season tickets?
  • how much would you pay for a playoff or finals game ticket?
  • would you travel to another city to watch your home team play?
  • how much would you pay for a replica jersey for your team?
  • would you consider bringing your family, friends or others not involved with ultimate to a game?
  • if a home game were televised would you go to the game or would you watch it on tv?
  • would you support limits on who could play on these pro teams? (similar to NBA, must be over age 18, can't currently be playing for a college team etc)
  • how much would you pay for a poster of a favorite player from your home team?
  • would you aspire to play in such a league? even when salaries paid to athletes probably wouldn't amount to the median household income in the US?
  • would you be interested in this idea at all or is it entirely unappealing to you?

I realize these are all highly hypothetical questions, and feel free to make suggestions that i do not specifically ask, but i feel like this is an important discussion to have among this community, without fans of some sort, no pro-sports league works. Additionally to even begin to produce ideas for such a league there must be some base level of interest, and while the comments here might not provide Nike with motivation to sponsor such a league, surely they will demonstrate whether this idea is appealing at all in the first place.

im interested to see the responses, feel free to leave them in the comments...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Weekend open thread - 11/10-11/11

On the menu this weekend -

  • Tidewater tuneup (open) - UPA Score Reporter site
    • Will feature the tops from Virginia and Pennsylvania in Pennsbury, North Hills, Fox Chapel, LC Bird, Yorktownand Mt. Lebanon. 16 teams, more than likely a final fall tournament for many of these teams depending on the outcome it will decide the odds-on favorite heading into the spring season.
    • Other than a 10-15 loss to Columbia this past weekend Pennsbury has not lost a game since May 6th (to Paideia) - which includes PA State championship tournament, Easterns, the Rutgers invite, and most of their home tournament Fall Brawl. They are the defending champs, and at the moment the team to beat - however this will be the first time they face North Hills since graduations took Noah Saul among others from the Pennsbury Squad.
    • North Hills meanwhile has racked up a fairly impressive fall season, competing in Edinboro's Skylander Tournament - their only loss coming at the hands of an Edinboro Alumni team - beating Penn State and West Virginia along the way.
    • Yorktown takes the 3 seed coming into the tournament, their only loss thus far in the fall at the hands of Beacon HS who has not played either Pennsbury or North Hills yet. Even though the loss was 13-4, i would argue that this tournament will show much more accurately where they stack up in terms of other Easterns competition
  • Tidewater tuneup (women's) - UPA Score Reporter site
    • On the girls' side - 8 teams. I dont know much about any of them to tell the truth, Woodlawn finished the highest (3rd) at last years Easterns, but none of the other teams attended. Almost all of the teams in the division do not have any game results yet so its fair to say i think that this tournament could go in any direction, though id put the smart money on Woodlawn.
Feel free to add your own information in the comments, and/or score updates if you have them from the fields.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Weekend open thread

Who's playing who where?

According to the score reporter the only youth tournament is ...

But i know there are some individual games going on out there, or perhaps some tournaments that arent on score reporter. So feel free to post and discuss them in the comments...