Sunday, December 02, 2007

Easterns & Westerns Dates & Locations Set

2008 UPA High School Western Championships
Location: Independence, MO
Dates: May 10-11, 2008

2008 UPA High School Eastern Championships
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Dates: May 10-11, 2008

There were a few questions that some, including myself have asked and a few answers are now available.

Anyone else curious why they are being held on the same weekend?
The Westerns bid process was delayed due to complications. I have not heard what officially took place, but when Westerns & Easterns locations are typically announced at the previous Easterns/Westerns and there has been more than 6 months that have passed, it should be understood that there were problems finding a suitable spot. It should be remembered, that the UPA does not chose locations based on where they want the event to take place so much as they ask for bids and local bodies of ultimate to take up the charge. As indicated in Meredith's comment, the process takes a significant amount of work and preparation that individuals wanting Westerns or Easterns 2009 to come their direction, should get on the ball now.
That said, the question on why the SAME weekend is still not known officially. This year Memorial Day comes on the 26th of May, effectively killing the second to last weekend in May that has been used before for College Nationals. The weekend after, the 31st/1st is simply too late in the game for College Nationals, and thus is why College Nationals got bumped up (or at least that is my understanding of the logical problems). With College Nationals now on the 16/17/18, there are only two weekend left. Easterns was already set last spring for the 10/11, and with planning already underway, changing their date was not an option. This then means that those who put the bid in for Westerns must have only had the 10/11 weekend open. For those of you who have struggled in finding field space, keep in mind the scope and need for something like Westerns or Easterns. I imagine, and again do not know the official word, that there simply was nothing else available and thus we have Easterns and Westerns landing on the same weekend.
That said, when you think about the fact that both events are the same kind tournament, just held for different sides of the US, they should be on the same weekend... It simply means the UPA has to divide its' staff and figure out who will be at which...

How Independence, MO got chosen for Westerns?
I realize now after reading the question I posed and seeing the comments, that I might be insinuating that Independence is not worthy or at least not ideal... That was not my intention, only that I have not know of this location being used ever before. That said, the information on how this location was chosen has not been made available. The UPA is working on the websites now and I'm sure that we'll soon discover more about who put the bid in, where the fields will be, etc... And, as I indicated above, the UPA puts significant time into chosing the location for its' championships from Club to College to Juniors. (Though I would like to say personally, that after playing with Rhino at Club Nationals in Sarasota, FL... that location for Juniors would be sick!!)


Anonymous said...

13 hours away....Why not have a high school nationals?

The Pulse said...

Well, they're on the same weekend because College Nationals is now the 16th-18th.

Russ' 'n' 'Lex said...

So will the Wisc. teams go to Easterns or Westerns?

Lukester said...

the fact that college nationals is the weekend after only speaks to why neither easterns or westerns are being held on those dates. One of them could still have been put on weekend before or the weekend after college.

And as for the idea of combining, we had that discussion, but never he there been a better time and reason. Especially for the girls division when both sides last year weren't even able to fill all 16 spots.

The trick would be: is there a format that can work for 16+ teams in a two day format? Or maybe better put, what is the highest workable number in a two day format?

Josh said...

Luke: I don't really think either tournament could have been put on the week after college nationals. It seems like that's too late in May for lots of schools. Okay, so it wouldn't be *impossible*, just not optimal to have it out the weekend of 5/24-25. Also, don't teams planning on going to Easterns/Westerns always plan on the 2nd or 3rd weekend in May?

As for combining the events -- One of the big reasons to split the events was to create more spots at a high level tournament. So, if the events were combined, fields would be needed for 54 teams. Yes, the girls division hasn't quite hit 16 teams, but it has grown every year. I would put good money on the division growing again this year. So, if you combined the event, you would really need to have space for 64 teams, which would be AWESOME... but I can't think of a 2-day schedule that would make that work.

I think 20 is the max number for a workable 2-day tournament, but I think 16 is a much, much better number to run with.

Anonymous said...

the location for Westerns is ridiculous. it seems like Oregon, Colorado or Minnasota would have all been much better choices

Meredith said...

The Kansas City location is going to be fabulous. There is an assumption that the previous Anon. poster made: that Colorado, Minnesota and Oregon all submitted bids to host Westerns '08. Not every city has a site that can hold 10-12 fields AND a local organizing group willing, able and excited to host the event. Kansas City has all that, and it's going to be a fantastic experience.

If you think your community could host Westerns (or Easterns) in 2009, approach your league organizers (or whoever is the most appropriate person or people), and have that discussion. Then get in touch with Will at the UPA and find out how to submit a bid for 2009. Planning begins this far in advance, no need to wait.

(And to answer an earlier question - the boundary lines aren't changing. If you live west of the Mississippi river, you go west, if you live east, you go east.)

Of course, you can always get in touch with me at:

UPA Youth Director

Meredith said...

Excuse me, not Kansas City but Independence, MO (about 20 minutes from Kansas City).

Regardless, it's still going to be great.

Anonymous said...

Does not matter where Easterns are, LC Bird is still going to win it all. LC Bird vs North Hills in the finals.....

Anonymous said...

lc bird? that is BS

Anonymous said...

haha lc bird, they were such a joke last year
didnt they lose 13-0 to usn in the finals of some tournament really early in the spring

Kyle Weisbrod said...


As for the UPA dividing its staff, that has been done in the past for HS Easterns and Westerns. In both 2005 and 2006 Will Deaver attended one while I attended the other. I don't think that will be a significant problem. There will likely be more pressure in the office though in the week prior to Easterns/Westerns with paperwork, three programs and all of the other HQ planning that will have to take place for three events within 8 days. I think the UPA is well equipped to handle this type of workload so I doubt the quality of any of the events will be effected at all.


Anonymous said...

Is Paideia going to apply for this years easterns?

It would def make things more interesting...

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Yes, Paideia will be applying to Easterns.

Anonymous said...

Whose the favorite to win Easterns?

A-Train said...

What if instead of Easterns and Westerns there was regionals, and then each region got a certain amount of bids based on the strength of the region, like they do now in club ultimate. It would be fantastic

Kyle Weisbrod said...

a-train and others,

This may be a good link to look at if you are interested in why Easterns/Westerns are currently structured the way they are:

A-Train said...

Kyle I looked at your link and was very disappointed in what I read. Does the UPA really hope that eventually there will be no nationals, because that is no fun. I know that my team is always thinking about nationals, and how we can get faster and stronger for nationals (easterns/westerns). Nationals is handsdown the most fun tournament in the history of my short ultimate career. I personally think that it would be a horrible idea to cancel high school nationals, especially because high school ultimate is getting so good now.

Anonymous said...

Don't count out LC Bird...and they didn't completely suck last year at Easterns, they won the Chumpionship and they lost only one senior.

Anonymous said...

I hardly ever see anything about college ultimate here on the blog. Does this site only talk about youth ultimate?

Lukester said...

The UPA does have it in its' eventual plan to move towards high school state tournaments being the end run. The logic makes sense as the number of teams increases, but much like you, I believe that a Nationals (or even Westerns and Easterns that we have now) is something that many players who have gotten the taste of it, want to continue for those who come after them.
That said, the UPA is fundamentally making decisions based as it always has; on you, on us, on the community. When you see opportunities to fill out surveys or give opinions even on sites like this, it is important you're honest. The UPA has done an amazing job of listening in the 5 years I have been doing Youth Ultimate. They fundamentally want youth ultimate (and all age groups actually) to be the best they can be. If the majority of those within the youth ultimate community want a Nationals... the UPA will do its' best to serve that desire. What they have received though in the past few years is a stronger desire for better state tournaments and places to serve the local communities of players and teams who simply cannot travel to something like a Nationals. State tournaments simply serve more teams and is potentially a better method to serving the greatest number of players...

Anonymous: this site is specifically oriented towards youth ultimate. often there is discussion about who is heading off to college and how our current graduates are doing, but that is only on the side. for more on college ultimate head to:
open: (but this has been down lately)

Lukester said...

Also, to piggy back off of Kyle's links... Will D. over at the UPA pointed me to the same link as well as the whole FAQ on the College Series and its' changes this year.

For those that are interested and curious, there are a number of changes being made to the College series that ended up influencing Westerns & Easterns:

And about hosting as Meredith already mentioned:

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Thanks, Luke. There are no plans to stop running Easterns/Westerns over the next five years and I'd guess for a while after that. Ultimate is not at the point where those events aren't very valuable to growth and the youth community. For many teams it's their only opportunity to play against several quality teams at one event.

Hopefully though, we'll get to the point where state championships are that competitive. That will also mean that we'll have a lot of teams competing that can't afford to travel to events like Easterns/Westerns. At that point, the UPA running Easterns/Westerns would be focusing too much of it's resources on running events for financially well off teams (running a full series structure like college or club is addressed in that FAQ and doesn't make much sense at the HS level).

I'm sure there will always be invite tournaments for top teams that want to compete in regional or national events against other teams that are good enough and can afford to do it (e.g. Amherst Invite, Paideia Cup, Hopkins Hustle, Mudbath, East Invite, Spring Reign) but at some point those types of events will be best left to independent organizations while the UPA focuses on how it can best serve the larger HS playing population. As I said before, this is probably many, many years off as there are several states that do not yet have any HS teams and most others don't provide consistent high quality Ultimate to inspire top teams to continue to work and improve and so Easterns/Westerns are very valuable.

I hope that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

When is paideia cup? Any teams bid to it yet? Has any of the other big name tournaments been announced?

When does the easterns applications go out?


Anonymous said...

l think there should just be a sixteen team highschool nationals. There should not be a single team that loses by ten at a national level tournament. The way the system is now gets more exposure for bad teams, and helps build the sport, but it also robs the good teams of decent competition which hurts it. Playing Westerns/Easterns and no Nationals can be equated with club teams playing regionals and then ending the season. There is no national champion, so the carrot at the end of the stick to win your respective tournament (easterns/westerns) is far from satisfying. Perhaps the players need to bring it upon themselves to create more tournaments that invite a wide array of teams, so bad teams can get exposure during the season, but those bad teams should not be on the same field with the northwest school or paideia at the end of the season.

Kyle Weisbrod said...

Anonymous 2:08,

Of course everyone would love to see/play in an event that brings the best teams from around the country together. The problem is, even with a National championship that wouldn't happen. With the variety of school schedules as well as economic and logistical challenges to traveling with minors there never has and never will be one event with the top HS teams in a given year. As anecdotal support for that consider that before the UPA split into Easterns/Westerns there was a National championship and rarely did teams from one half of the country travel to the event when it was in the other half of the country. Even as it stands now, Paideia one of the top teams in the country has been unable to attend Easterns in the past three years due to their schedule.

Every year this discussion is brough up (mostly because so many new players are playing the sport and they weren't in the discussion the previous year). Ironically, Easterns and Westerns are responsible in some part for the growth that has happened that now results in having this discussion.

If anything, I would guess that having Westerns in Kansas City will probably usher in Centrals as the UPA will likely see a significant growth in the number of Midwestern teams that apply and a drop in the number of West Coast teams.

Kyle Weisbrod said...

I should add that if there is a significant number of midwest (MN, WI, MO, IL) girls teams that apply to both Easterns and Westerns that will certainly help make the case for a Central championships.

Splitting boys into E/W/C while leaving the girls as E/W will cause a logistical nightmare for the Central Region teams that send both boys and girls teams to these events and likely end up further setting back HS girls Ultimate.

I would guess the UPA will not add Centrals until the girls division of that event is viable.

Anonymous said...

in every major sport in high school the big carrot at the end of the stick is the state championship. they dont crown a national hs soccer champion or anything like that. the reason that there is such a drastic difference in competition is simply because the sport is very young at the hs level. the teams that have consistently dominated the easterns and westerns championships are teams with a high level of school recognition (northwest, amherst ect...) these schools either have the sport as a varsity recognized sport or else have a very established infrastructure to help it. sending a fledgling team to westerns/easterns is one of the few ways that a up and coming school could maybe get this recognition. while the split championships did have a very split level of competition (a few really good teams and then a bunch of stinkers) there is no way that making a single nationals would stop this. you would have the same 8 good teams every year and then every once and a while another team would become good. east/west give more growth opportunies and its cheaper. the fact is the sport of youth ultimate frisbee is unfortunately at a stage where oftentimes being top 5 in state means that you lost every game in the season. going to a single national championship will do nothing to stop this.

A-Train said...

Talking about big name tournaments, Hopkins Hustle is coming up this spring. The tournament will hopefully be a battle between east and west, with a great showcase game (maybe sub zero, hodags, or CUT) either way start organizing for the tournament, and dont forgot to pack dancing shoes because there is a party of saturday night. So get going and start getting the stuff planned

Asa Gotlieb
# 23 Hurt

Anonymous said...

why did the number of girls teams get reduced to 8 from 11 for Westerns? if it's a field issue, that's lame. how is that supporting the growth of girls high school ultimate? don't you (the UPA) think that creating more spots at a tournament will encourage more girls teams to apply?

Kyle Weisbrod said...

anonymous 9:00pm -

this is another issue that arises every year. Every year the UPA announces that there are 8 girls team spots. It's mostly for organizational and planning purposes. If the UPA gets more applications than that from teams and the UPA is able they expand the tournament to include those teams.

The fact is, HS girl's teams applications to Easterns/Westerns are not limited by the number of spots at the event but the existence of teams. If you are a girls team and you can get enough girls to attend, you should definitely apply for a spot.

I'm sure if there is ever a year when the UPA is not able to let in every girls team that applies and wants to go that the following year and every year after there will be enough spots for interested teams until there are 16 girls teams attending.