Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where to promote ultimate

I had been thinking about this a little bit over the past few days. It seems the track for ultimate has been to start in high school (Columbia) move to college with their graduation and then trickle down from there. From the formation of club teams, to the formation of a serious college competition, and then finally back down to the high school level where we are now.

There is an emerging middle school scene now, as the high school competition becomes more developed. We are a long way off from Ultimate Little Leagues where parents take their kids in their small town to the local park and every child gets a different solid color jersey with the name of a local orthodontist on it. But we are gradually moving that way.

While we have this organic growth, the formation of leagues and training camps and travel teams etc we also have the publicity aspect of ultimate. We have blogs (aggregated at places like PlayUltimate.us), we have message boards like RSD, and we have the multimedia coverage of intrepid individuals and the more established folks like UltiVillage. Aside from the niche media mentioned there is very very little established coverage of ultimate. We see it every time the local newspaper runs a feature on "those crazy kids playing that game with the frisbees", usually with the title "The Ultimate game"... because originality is at a premium.

The UPA does some outreach to media, they have started to post press releases online, but they are only beginning to tap the growth potential of media relations.

But where should they focus the energy - the crux of this matter. You can spend all day yelling at the Wall Street Journal, telling them they should cover Easterns or Westerns... spoiler alert: they aren't. (until someone starts measurably profitting from the sport)

We have to face certain realities of ultimate press coverage, daily ESPN highlight reels - not going to happen. NYTimes sports pages - maybe once a year, more likely to find it in the arts section though. The work required to place or pitch a story to major outlets like this vastly outweighs the profit of one story. What the UPA should focus on now is what i call High Value Exposures.

Right now the UPA and ultimate as a sport is focused on growth, High Value Exposures are media blips that will actively help this cause and aid in the development of leagues and teams. An ESPN clip is a novelty, something that is sandwiched between an NHL highlight and an NFL off-field scandal. Ok, some examples of what I mean -

Sports Illustrated for Kids - it has a circulation of 8.1 million with the target demographic as 8-15 year olds - a two page spread on the rules of the game with some pictures from WJUC showing Team USA victorious is good for a few thousand new players. They usually put a "find out how to play in your area" starburst somewhere on the page, maybe the UPA could come up with a more attractive (read: not so text heavy) website geared towards teaching the rules to kids?

Nickelodeon and Disney Channel often have shorts between shows and commercials that show kids doing "interesting things". The on camera person will explain why they play sport stacking and what the rules are, or why they skateboard or play basketball. This is the PERFECT medium for ultimate. The game can be explained in 5 minutes or less and looks interesting and appealing when filmed and cut correctly.

At a minimum every single press release from the UPA should be CC-ed to these three venues (and the hundreds like them). When you get younger kids to see your product (ultimate) and identify with it positively that is a high value exposure, the more frequent the better.

To make this happen you need to make ultimate more accesible - take the Facebook publicity model. They have an online press room where you can find headshots of company personnell, stock footage of people using facebook (b-roll), all their latest press releases and more. The UPA needs to have these resources available and promote them. They have made great strides in recent years but there is more that we can do.

My point with all of this though is that it doesn't come naturally. ESPN is not out looking at ultimate tournaments just waiting to pick one to cover and the NYtimes does not have a beat reporter trailing Wisconsin's college season. To make these things happen you need pressure from a unified body - one would say the UPA. At the same time you need companies like discraft pushing the envelope as well - they need to see that they gain from increased coverage (as if this were hard to see). They need to push for product placement in stores like Sports Authority and Modell's to make the sport more readily accesible for the kid who just saw a clip on Disney Channel, picked up their SIforKIDS and read an article on the game.

We are a long way off from the bulk made monocolor jerseys of large scale little league in every town, but these are a few of the venues where the UPA and you can push for more publicity to push ultimate into the forefront of the larger consciousness.

So what do you think, is the UPA doing enough to promote ultimate in the press? What would you do differently?

Become a fan on Facebook! - Help spread the word about high school ultimate.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How do you read PlayUltimate?

If you are trying to find a more convenient way to read the site, check out any of the options in the center column. You can subscribe to the RSS feed or you can just enter your email address and have the latest posts delivered to your inbox.

Do you have any suggestions as to ways we could make the site more accessible? Other formats we should offer it in? Leave em in the comments

Become a fan on Facebook! - Help spread the word about high school ultimate.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

2009 National College Ultimate Signing Day

For the past three years (2008, 2007, 2006) PlayUltimate has compiled a list of high school seniors and their college choices. It has grown into the National College Ultimate Signing Day. Now everyone will be able to see which colleges have the best recruiting classes and maybe even begin to look into the crystal ball a bit.

This year we will announce the list on Wednesday, May 27th, at 5 p.m. so the deadline to submit college choices will be May 26th. The form is a little bit more detailed and in depth, but it will provide a very interesting picture of the coming college season.

Please forward the link to friends, fellow teammates, your league message boards etc. Post it on facebook (link below every post) or MySpace or whatever you use.

More than 10 players have already submitted their information (early action/decision?) Will you be in the first 100?

Without further ado, you can start submitting information here.

If you have any suggestions on other information we should gather leave it in the comments. Feel free to discuss your prospective colleges, I am sure there are some people out there who would LOVE to hear your ideas and influence your choice.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Best practices: How does your team keep in touch?

This is going to be an ongoing feature on the site, called "Best Practices" where we ask the readers to submit their ideas, thoughts on a given topic and then report back. There is a ton of knowledge out there and we'd like to consolidate it and make it accessible for newer teams and players. This is based off of the Lifehacker feature "Hive Five".

So the first question - How does your team keep in touch?

Some use google groups, email chains, BBoards, blogspot accounts, facebook groups?

What works best for your team and why?

A side note, you should now have to sign up to comment. You can sign up with a fake name, fake email address or whatever you would like to keep your anonymity should you desire. But we are trying to cut down on spam, and inanity. Once you log in you will be able to rank comments as well so you will be able to tell who you should pay attention to in the threads, fun.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Holiday gift ideas for ultimate players?

Need holiday gift ideas for the ultimate players in your life?

Want to make sure mom and dad don't end up getting you a dog frisbee or something similar?

Direct them here - the PlayUltimate store powered by Amazon

there is also a link at the top of every page of the site.

Consider this an open thread - what are you asking for this christmas, Hanukkah, holiday?

Monday, November 24, 2008

The UltiVerse Episode 13: Brian, Jumpi, and Mike

In this episode I talk to Brian Calle, Jumpi, and Mike Adlis, the tournament directors for Lei Out, Paganello, and Wildwood. We talk about what it's like to run three of the largest beach Ultimate tournaments in the world, who they are, the history of their events, and the future of their tournaments.



Sunday, November 09, 2008

2009 SJA Invitational

I am happy to announce that the date for the 2009 St. Johnsbury Academy Invitational has been set and bids are now being accepted!

The tournament will take place on May 16th and 17th at St. Johnsbury Academy and Lyndon Institute. There will be 16 girls teams and 24 open teams. The tournament will be UPA sanctioned, cost $325, and all teams will be guaranteed at least 6 games. There will be a dinner/dance/trade night on Saturday evening, lots of gear for sale, and lined fields.

For complete tournament information please visit the website located at www.sjainvite.org.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The UltiVerse Episode 12: Andrew, Zahlen, and Edward -- Plus my Board of Directors Endorsements

In this episode I talk to Andrew Shen in Beijing, Zahlen Titcomb in Seattle, and Edward Wong in Tian Jin about the Chinese Ultimate community. We talk about the history of the sport in China, why it’s gaining popularity, the Chinese style of play, and their thoughts on the future of the sport.


A short note about two upcoming elections:

If you’re an American citizen aged 18 or over, make sure you get out and vote in the presidential election. In most states you can vote right now. The polls close on Tuesday night, November 4th. Don’t miss your chance. Vote now.

If you’re a UPA member or any age or nationality, make sure you vote in the Board of Directors elections. You can vote right now by logging into your upa.org account. The UPA polls close at 3pm US mountain time on Monday, November 3. Again, don’t miss your chance. Go vote now.

Of all the people running for the UPA Board, two candidates stand out for me: Henry Thorne and Catherine Greenwald. Both candidates have a brilliant track record inside the world of Ultimate and they know how to get things done. They are fantastic leaders and like everyone else running for the board, are passionate about the sport. What sets them apart for me is their deep connection to youth Ultimate. They both have children who play the sport and they have proven time and again their commitment to the advancement of youth Ultimate. In my time working with Henry on the Board, and with Catherine inside the Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance, I have come to respect them as two of the most professional Ultimate leaders I have ever met. They are the kind of people you want representing you on the UPA’s Board of Directors.

Upcoming Interview: Ultimate in Tibet

While tracking down people to talk to about Ultimate in China, I connected with someone who is working with Ultimate teams inside Tibet. I wasn’t able to patch him into this most recent interview, but hope to be able to catch up with him soon. In the mean time, if you’re interested in sponsoring an Ultimate team in Tibet, contact Happyrat at fly335cm at hotmail dot com.

- Josh

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cultimate Conference1

For anyone who has not seen the limited information released so far, here's the Conference1 website.

As many of you may know, Cultimate just proposed a new separate elite division for 25 teams split into several regional divisions. Teams would play games at tournaments across the country that would count towards their overall season record, not any individual tournament victory. At the end of the season, the top 13 C1 teams and a play-in qualifier would play a national championship tournament to determine the college champion.

Schedules would be set months in advance, teams would get sponsored jerseys and pay no tournament entry fees, and more authoritative observers would be present and paid at each C1 game. There would also be a 64-team tournament for non-C1 schools to determine a lower division champion.

If this proposal went through, what would that mean for you, as high school players? Would it change your thoughts about where you went to school? What about the plan excites you as a player? What reservations do you have? The opinions of current high school players are often overlooked, but they have a lot to benefit from this - or lose.

Sound off!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rutgers 2nd Annual Juniors Invite: Grease Trucks Classic

Dear PlayUltimate Community,

The Rutgers Men's Ultimate team is again hosting a fall juniors tournament this year with the intention of furthering the cause of high school ultimate in the greater Jersey area and spreading awareness of our program to current juniors players. We are asking if playultimate.blogspot.com could once again help us in our cause and in spreading the word of our tournament by posting the following information found at the bottom of this email on your blog and in directing any questions, comments, concerns, or bids to this email address. We believe that last year's post of our tournament helped immensely in getting teams to submit bids and in sparking discussion on the high school ultimate scene in and around New Jersey. Thank you for your time.

-Dan Johnson, Rutgers Ultimate VP and Juniors Invite TD

The Rutgers Men's Ultimate team is excited to announce their second
annual high school/juniors fall tournament, the Grease Trucks Classic,
on the weekend of November 15-16, 2008, on the Cook Campus in New
Brunswick, NJ.
The tournament fee will be $160 and we will be accepting between 12-16
teams, with each team expecting to see 3-4 games per day. Food and
water will be provided on site, and the tournament will include the
chance to learn about the Rutgers Mens' Ultimate team and buy discs
for sale, with the possibility of a college/club showcase game too.
Some teams that attended last year included PA, NJ, and NY state
champions Pennsbury, Columbia, and John Jay High School
If you are interested, or think you might be interested, in attending
then please send in bids to ru(DOT)tournament(AT)gmail(DOT)com with
the following information:
1) "Rutgers Juniors 2008" and your team name in the subject line
2) your 2008 spring season results
3) number of players you graduated last spring
4) a list of all current seniors on your team
5) contact info for any other team captains or coaches
The bid deadline is October 31st and all teams will be notified as to
whether or not accepted on November 1st. Any subsequent teams who
submit bids after the deadline will be put on a waitlist along with
the other teams not accepted into the tournament, so it doesn't hurt
to send in bids late.
Payments must be submitted NO LATER THAN Tuesday, Nov 11th.
Unfortunately we will not be able to provide free housing for the
first two teams that apply like we did last year, but will gladly help
facilitate any team in finding suitable housing accommodations. We
look forward to seeing you all next month at the birthplace of college
-Machine Ultimate

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Columbia HS 2008 Highlights

Highlights from the 2008 Easterns Champions Columbia High School.

CHS Ultimate 2008 Highlight Reel from Jonah Sprung on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Announcing the second season of the Delaware Valley Youth League!

New Jersey and Philadelphia area readers, please sign up and forward this to your teams.

The second season of the league will take place this fall, and any and all youth ultimate players are encouraged to participate! Play with new players and learn different strategies on your way to a league championship!

Registration: http://scorereport.net/ultimate/devyl08/instructions.html

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 1990 or later. Any league participant is eligible to represent the region in either the Open, Girls, or Mixed divisions at the 2009 YCC's, provided they are born a fter May 31st, 1990.

Unlike last year, we cannot have high school-based teams in the league, as the UPA will not consider this a youth league. Everyone must register individually, and 4 to 8 teams will be assigned, depending on numbers.

Our potential field locations are Edgely in Philadelphia, Rutgers University in New Brunswick, and Washington Road in Princeton. Our fall schedule will begin on September 27th or 28th and conclude on November 8th. Games will be scheduled to avoid conflicts with popular high school fall tournaments. This will be a UPA-sanctioned league.

The cost of the league is $20.00, which includes UPA sanctioning and UPA event fees. All overage will go towards the Youth Club Championship team for summer 2009. This year we're accepting online payment after registration as well.

If you have questions or want to register without paying online, please contact me by email at thompsor@stanford.edu.

Easterns & Westerns 2009 Announced!

The UPA is excited to announce the dates and locations for the following Youth and High School championship events.
- 2009 High School Eastern Championships - May 9-10 - Lebanon, OH
- 2009 High School Westerns Championships - May 16-17 - Blaine, MN
- 2009 Youth Club Championships - August 8-9 - Blaine, MN
- 2010 Youth Club Championships - August 14-15 - Blaine, MN

For more information about these decisions, check out the press releases for each event (2009 HS Easterns, 2009 HS Westerns, 2009-10 YCC).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

YCC 2008 Eugene Mixed Video...

After some technical issues were resolved, here is the video again...

YCC 2008 Highlight Video:
(ipod - .m4v - 640x360) - 135MB
(iphone - .m4v - 480x270) - 76MB
(SD quicktime - 640x360) - 131MB (now up)
(HD quicktime - 1280x720) - 295MB (now up)
Vimeo Stream (now up)

Flickr Site

Sunday, August 17, 2008

3 Years... Where do we go from here?

So the question is simple. With a new season approaching, and change in the water with the UPA and specifically the youth division... What do you want to see change?

What do you see taking place in the youth division?

What will be the biggest changes?

What could be the best and worst changes made?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

happy birthday and a thank you

August 2nd marked the 3rd anniversary of the beginning of this site. We are into our 4th year here.

And so i just wanted to extend a thank you. Three years of discussion of high school ultimate, three years of scores, rundowns, tournament recaps, college decisions, highlight reel competitions and more.

It's all made possible and pertinent by you the visitors, the ones who post comments, the players, the fans and the coaches. Three years ago there was nowhere to discuss high school ultimate online - you all have built something special here. It is a great resource for new players, and an outlet for more experienced players to strategize, predict and just talk.

So thank you, all of you reading this, for making playultimate the place for high school ultimate news and commentary. Here's to another three years and beyond.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Post YCC

I'm curious now that the event is more than 24 hours over, what are your thoughts on this last weekend's UPA Youth Club Championships?

Top Topics (but not limited to these if you got more)
1: results
2: field food and dinner
3: spirit and level of play
4: location and weather
5: future of YCC

Saturday, August 09, 2008

YCC Mixed Division Standings

YCC Open Division Standings

Again, only the first two rounds are done.

YCC Girls Division

I am not sure how often josh will be posting, but here are the current
standings in all three divisions.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

US Girls Team vs Japan

I am currently watching the US Girls play Japan in their semi-final match-up they earned after taking out Canada earlier this morning 15-13.

With live score reporting, there is no purpose to write up every score I see, but I thought I would put something online with the internet access I have on the fields.

The first point was a blitz score by the Japans who I imagine lost the toss. They scored in less than 10 throws despite the US zone that is supposed to make there be many more than that... The Japanese are very fundamentally sound and bring a speed to the game that has only been rivaled by the Colombians. The US should be just as fast if not more, but the team has a few girls who struggle to keep up with their opponents. The US also is much less fundamentally sound, despite what many would argue are 'better' individual players. With only a few days to bond and actually get to know one another, it will be an amazing feat for the Americans to actually put it all together.

The score at the end of writing this post: 2-2

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

At Worlds

Not sure when I'll have another opportunity to hop online as I couldn't figure out the free internet café at worlds last night, but... I have been having a huge blast in Vancouver watching the US Junior Worlds' teams. Things are much different I suspect than 2 years ago, at least for the US girls who are now 4th after pool play. The boys are ripping teams apart with their speed and consistency. And they don't simply wait for the other teams to make a mistake, as their defense is frustrating and scary.
The girls on the other hand are trying out a clam type defense that would work even more effectively if they had another week of training camp. Watching it yesterday against Canada showed more promise to the defense, but it seemed to simply take too long for it to finally cause the turn. And sloppy offense at times; throwaways and dropped discs; their fundamentals seem to need some brushing up on.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

New Contributor Introduction

Name: Russ Taylor

High School Team: Fieldston (NYC)
College: McGill University / W&M College
Currently Living in: NYC
Years Playing: 5
Ultimate Accomplishments: Getting our HS team fully funded as a legit varsity team, getting into Easterns.

Favorite Tournament: Canadian Nationals in Vancouver this past year was a great tournament. Not to mention the Sushi was fantastic.

I started playing ultimate in Sophomore year at Fieldston HS in NYC. My first year we went to one tournament, our first tournament as a team, under our relatively new coach Vinni Drybala in Philly

We were instantly hooked. This is the first time we saw the true current form (for better or for worse) of HS ultimate, that competition is based in tournament form. Junior year we worked hard and ended up third in States.

However, the #1 team in the state lost a lot of players, and in a tournament that we co-hosted in the Fall, we crushed our in State competition. These results combined with a damn good application essay (written by yours truly) got us into States my Senior year. As President, I fought, along with our new temporary coach and a few key parents to get our school to fund us as a full varsity program.

I graduated high school in the Spring haven taken my team from our first tournament to States in 3 years. This past season Fieldston suffered from a large graduating class, and much team drama, but Fieldston attended more tournaments than ever (5), all fully or mostly funded by our athletics department.

There's my HS career for you. I plan on starting a U-23 team next year with old HS friends and rivals, but for now I have just finished my freshman year playing on the A-Team at McGill. As far as blogging goes, I look forward to covering NY State Youth Ultimate, in its many forms, and a few other projects that'll be appearing on this website as soon as I get started on my research ;-)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Going For Gold: Missui Article on Junior Worlds

Going for Gold

USA juniors teams seek to repeat double-gold from 2006

At the WFDF World Juniors Ultimate Championships in 2006, Team USA steamrolled the competition in both the Open and Women's Divisions through the Semifinals, winning their games by an average of more than 13 points in games to 17. In the finals, the Open team won gold in similar fashion, dismantling Canada to the tune of a 17-9 victory. The Women won a squeaker over a surprisingly resilient Canadian team on double-game point, 14-13. But that was in Devens, Massachusetts, at a juniors-only tournament on the United States' home turf. In Vancouver next week, the atmosphere will be vastly different, as Team Canada will have home-field and home-crowd advantage, and there will be hundreds of games over the course of the week for the 75 teams in attendance - a far cry from the 12 teams that played at WJUC 2006.

For some members of the 2008 USA Juniors team, the Worlds dream began nine years ago. Josh Cincotta (Columbia HS) is the most experienced player on the US roster, with 10 years of ultimate under his belt. For Josh, Worlds has been a long time coming. "I have been thinking about making Worlds ever since I heard about it when I was 10. It has been my dream ever since," Cincotta says. He redoubled his efforts after not being invited to the tryout camps in 2006, as a sophomore in high school. "I knew right away that I wasn't going to give up and that I would try again two years later, and here I am."

For other members of the team, making Team USA was not even on their radar until last summer. Julian Childs-Walker (Lakeside HS) did not entertain ideas of Worlds until deciding to take advantage of the UPA's scouting program at the 2007 Youth Club Championships. "I thought it was way out of reach until last summer." The coaches of the teams, Berend Van Heuvelen and Eileen Murray, asked prospective tryouts to identify themselves and watched them play over the course of the weekend. For the coaches, scouting proved to be valuable. "It's always good to see people in real competition situations. Some people thrive in this situation, and it's nice to know who they are," Murray explained. "YCC scouting was very helpful in deciding who made it to tryouts. You can tell a lot about a player from a written application and recommendations, but it's always better, if possible, to see a player for yourself," Van Heuvelen added.

The coaches each selected 80 players to attend the tryout camps in Seattle and Atlanta, from a pool of approximately 160 male and 120 female applicants. Both coaches enlisted several high school coaches from each coast to help out at tryouts and aid in narrowing down the list, in addition to having their assistant coaches at their side. For BVH, his assistant coach is long-time teammate and friend Jody Avirgan - they have played together since high school at Sidwell Friends in Washington, D.C. They're currently both counselors at Tiina Booth's National Ultimate Training Camp (NUTC) and co-captains of PoNY with Alex Masulis. Derek Gottlieb, formerly of Johnny Bravo, NUTC, and Denver's Open YCC coach in 2007, was supposed to be a second assistant coach until a serious car accident sidelined him for the tournament. He has not been replaced. Murray is aided by Minnesota's long-time youth coordinator John Sandahl and Oregon star and 2003 Callahan winner Chelsea (Dengler) Putnam.

At the two tryout camps, many of the country's best Juniors players showcased their skills for the coaches, although there were some notable absences. Zander Padget, who along with Josh Cincotta led Columbia to a 2008 Easterns championship, chose not to apply for Worlds, despite being the top player on the east coast. Ben Funk, a star for North Hills, also declined to try out, while Pennsbury's most dominant player, Dennison Bechis, was not even invited to tryouts despite shining at YCC's last year in the Mixed finals against Atlanta, who placed four players on the both the Open and Womens teams. Matt Rehder, who made RSD headlines after making Sockeye as a junior in high school, attended tryouts but was not even designated as an alternate for Team USA. He will be at Worlds, but playing against Japan's Buzz Bullets and Canada's Furious George instead of various juniors teams. According to BVH, the requirements for players to make the team included great spirit, potential to be great teammates, and great fundamental skills, athleticism, and field sense. He also said, "We had far more than 27 players who met these criteria. We had a lot of world-class players at tryouts."

Since the teams were announced in early April (more than a week later than promised, due to many difficult selection decisions), the coaches have been communicating with their players over a variety of mediums, including email, phone, and Dan Cogan-Drew's website for teams, openultimate.com. So far both teams have been sending out workouts and conditioning together, but the Womens team has also posted offensive and defensive playbooks, perhaps mindful of avoiding another nailbiter like the 2006 Final. For the Open team, most of their strategic work will come in an intense three-day training camp in the week before Worlds, as well as over the course of the week as they learn to gel and play together as a successful team.

The teams are a mix of experience and youth, with both teams returning several players from the gold-medal winning sides in 2006, as well as taking a few high school sophomores. There are more College and Club players on the Open team than ever before, who bring experience from the hyper-competitive College and Club Series to the Juniors' scene. By contrast, Team Canada returns only one player in the Open division, New England Freshman of the Year Andrew Vogt. Team Canada Women are missing the star power of Anne Mercier, but are still number one on Coach Murray's radar, who believes that Canada will still pose her squad the greatest challenge. BVH expects the competition to be stronger in 2008, and with the addition of Japan amongst the favorites, he's likely to be proven right. Regarding the competition, BVH said, "In my entire ultimate career, I have never seen a team give so much effort, and play with so much heart, as the Colombian juniors team did against us in the 2006 Semifinals. I'm sure they will be a force, and nobody should look past them. It was Canada who gave us our closest games in '06, and I imagine they'll be strong again. I'm really excited to play Australia and Japan, too. As far as I'm concerned, the stronger our competition is, the better that is for us. The greater the challenge, the greater we'll have to push ourselves to meet that challenge."

The Worlds format is different than the players and coaches are used to, with a maximum of two games per day, which could play into the hands of teams with less depth than the United States. But both coaches are optimistic that the drawn-out schedule will provide their teams with time to gel and work out the kinks before the elimination rounds on Thursday and Friday. The players agree, and Julian Childs-Walker says, "I'm pretty confident that we'll start clicking pretty quickly, which will be great. That being said, without a doubt we'll work out kinks throughout the tournament, but so will every team."

The opponents that Team USA faces will be determined to have a better showing than in 2006. Colombia burst onto the World scene with a scintillating display of quick disc movement, excellent break throws, and pure speed, downing the taller and huck-happy Australian team in the bronze-medal game in 2006. Australia has been doing well in international competition since 2004, with a runner-up finish at the World Games in 2005 and World Ultimate Club Championships in 2006 at the adult level. As their Juniors' Division begins to grow in Australia, more and more players have started to play in high school on youth teams, instead of in university or with adult Club teams. However, the forecast is bleak for Australia, as they lost 14-4 to the Seattle Open Youth Club team in a game on July 29th. Similarly, the Australia Junior Women team lost 9-8 to the Seattle Girls Youth Club team. Japan is an unknown factor in the Juniors' scene, as they skipped WJUC 2006. In 2004 in Finland, their Open team finished 10th and their Women's team finished 4th.

Canada is still expected to be the main challenger for both divisions, and with a youth setup similar to the UPA's, albeit mainly Mixed competition, many of their players have been playing for three or four years. Some teams even compete in American tournaments, such as the Hopkins Hustle, Paideia Cup, and St. Johnsbury Invitational. Canadian Nationals hosts a Mixed championship, with top teams from Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Toronto. It's evident that the Junior national teams draw heavily from those teams, with most players based in Vancouver and Winnipeg. Vancouver's Backbone won the 2007 Canadian Juniors Championship over Toronto's Dirt, 16-15.

Going into the tournament, Team USA is the strong favorite in both Junior divisions, but there is always the possibility for a surprise. In Turku in 2004, the US Junior Women were shocked by Canada in the Finals after beating them in pool play, and it nearly happened again in Devens. A shock upset is possible but unlikely, as the United States has the most developed youth ultimate program in the world, and many of the men on the Open team started playing in middle school or even before. It's a difficult deficit to make up for many countries that barely have a high school division. Therefore the pressure on the coaches and players to deliver is immense - without a gold medal it's unlikely that the coaches will return for 2010, given the ability of the players at their disposal. The players are focused and driven and determined to bring home another gold medal. Josh Cincotta describes his mindset before the tournament as calm and collected. "I have made a decision to do my very best not to look at other teams or get overly excited about who we play and when, because I know that I will play my very best no matter who we are facing. The ultimate goal is to win, so I'm only focusing on what will help me help my team."

USA Juniors Schedule:

Sunday, August 3rd:

8:30 am, Field 8, USA vs G. Britian (W)
10:30 am, Field 8, USA vs G. Britian (O)
12:30 pm, Field 3, USA vs Colombia (W)

Monday, August 4th:

10:30 am, Field 3, USA vs Germany (O)
12:30 pm, Field 3, USA vs Japan (W)
2:30 pm, Field 3, USA vs Australia (O)
4:30 pm. Field 4, USA vs Australia (W)

Tuesday, August 5th:

9:00 am, Field 11, USA vs Japan (O)
10:30 am, Field 10, USA vs Finland (W)
1:30 pm, Field 11, USA vs Canada (O)
4:30 pm, Field 3, USA vs Canada (W)

Wednesday, August 6th:

Women begin power pools
9:00 am, Field 13, USA vs Colombia (O)
1:30 pm, Field 13, USA vs France (O)

Thursday, August 7th:

Open and Women semifinals

Friday, August 8th:

12:30 pm, Field 1, Junior Women Final
2:45 pm, Field 1, Junior Open Final

Saturday, August 9th:

11:30 am, Junior Women Awards
4:30 pm, Junior Open Awards

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Seattle Invite 08'

A few weeks ago, following Westerns, a few Seattle teams invited Churchill and South Eugene up for some post-season play. With a disappointing finish at Westerns for South and a complete no-show for Churchill, it gave both teams a chance to play the best talent in the nation. South managed to bring most of their talent along with Churchill, but the Seattle schools struggled to bring their full squads. That all said, South dominated the invite and here is their highlight video.

Seattle Invite - SEHS from glossjohnson on Vimeo.

YCC Mixed Thread

UPA Youth Club Leagues*
Denver Youth Summer League (Denver, CO)
Eugene Youth Summer League (Eugene, OR)

UPA High School Leagues**
Disc Northwest HS Spring League (Seattle, WA)
Minnesota HS Spring League (Minneapolis, MN)
BUDA HS Spring League (New England)

Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Nashville (Nashville, TN)

YCC Girls Thread

UPA Youth Club Leagues*

Denver Youth Summer League (Denver, CO)
Cincinnati Youth Summer League (Cincinnati, OH)

UPA High School Leagues**
Disc Northwest HS Spring League (Seattle, WA)
Minnesota HS Spring League (Minneapolis, MN)
PHUL HS Spring League (Pittsburgh, PA)

YCC Open Thread

UPA Youth Club Leagues*

Denver Youth Summer League (Denver, CO)
Cincinnati Youth Summer League (Cincinnati, OH)

UPA High School Leagues**
Disc Northwest HS Spring League (Seattle, WA)
Minnesota HS Spring League (Minneapolis, MN)
PHUL HS Spring League (Pittsburgh, PA)
BUDA HS Spring League (New England)
Delaware Valley Youth League (Delaware Valley)
Madison HS Spring League (Madison, WI)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dylan Freechild makes Rhino Club Team & HL Video

Though I am sure there are many high schoolers out there who have now been picked up on the various Club teams around the nation, Dylan Freechild of South Eugene was a late pick by the nearly completely new Portland, OR team Rhino. Here is our first highlight video.

Summer Solstice XXX 2008 - Rhino HL from glossjohnson on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New contributor!! Russell Taylor

We have some exciting news on the blog, we are proud to announce the latest addition to our team of contributors - Russell Taylor from NYC.

Russell will be posting shortly with a bio to let you know a little bit more about himself.

On the other side of things - i have accepted a job with the barack obama presidential campaign and as such will be very much removed from the blog until around november 7th-ish. i'll stop back occasionally, but in the interim the rest of the awesome team of contributors will be holding down the fort.

hopefully you all have a great ultimate-filled summer and early fall. when school starts, recruit recruit recruit, but most importantly - play ultimate.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ultimate coverage in the news... some musings

So i was looking around to see the last time the NYT covered ultimate, and stumbled on a few things...

the 1989 New York Times...

Running, diving, catching and striving constantly to move downfield toward an opponent's end zone. The game is not football, but Ultimate Frisbee.
the 1999 New York Times...
MOMENTS before the start of their regional championship match two weeks ago, players from the world champion Ultimate Frisbee team Cigar huddled on the sidelines. They sized up their opponents, plotted defensive strategies and reviewed the rule on interference from pine trees in the end zone. Then they each grabbed hold of a white disk. ''All this talk is making me dizzy,'' they chanted. ''Yo, baby, yo, baby, let's get busy.''
Complete with wonderfully quaint mis-characterizations and almost-truths such as this...
Soon, the Discraft -- considered more stable than the Wham-O Frisbee that gave the sport its name -- sailed the length of the field and was caught by an opposing player.
A two-fer ladies and gentlemen - the discraft flew through the air, and also, Wham-O Frisbee gave the sport its name. But alas, coverage of any stripe in the world's most widely read newspaper is acceptable. As the saying goes - any press is good press. And as the saying goes in ultimate: "wait... press? what press?"

Well here's the trend, nationals seems to get covered with a full article of some length about once every 10 years, so where are ya New York Times, its about time for another article?

What's more interesting to me are these paragraphs...

The pace is similar to that of a soccer or lacrosse game, and thus requires a great deal of athleticism from its participants.

To explain the game, players often use a medley of analogies to other sports. ''The sprinting is like in hockey,'' said Dan Haar, 40, a member of Ashtray and a business writer for The Hartford Courant. ''The scoring is like football, the offensive flow is like soccer and the defense is like basketball.''
In the 40 years since the sport was created we can't figure out a way to describe our sport to non-players in a way that does not invoke another sport. Why is that? Do you ever try to explain baseball to someone by comparing it to another sport? I would say rarely, you explain the objective and the rules.

But here is the kicker....

But some wait for the day their sport will be played on a bigger stage. David Chaiken, who learned to play in Prospect Park in Brooklyn 20 years ago as a teen-ager, recalled a trip to Germany in 1989, when the Miami team for which he was playing performed in an Ultimate demonstration for the World Games. This year, World Games officials decided to include Ultimate as a medal sport at its 2001 competition in Japan. ''It took 10 years for that to happen,'' said Mr. Chaiken, who when not tossing Frisbees is the executive chef at Johnney's Fish Grill in the World Financial Center.

Yet Frisbee, as a sport, remains unfamiliar to many people. ''The perception that it is something you do on the beach with dogs is still out there,'' Mr. Chaiken said. ''It's still a grass-roots thing.''
Ok two things here.

1./ a personal pet peeve - and some ultimate players love this - "haha we play ultimate, with dogs!!" stop. just stop. this is done, when someone says this to you, kindly inform them of the sport you actually play. take your sport seriously. that article was from 10 years ago. the same joke is still funny now? that quote is from 10 years ago. 10 years ago.

It didn't help people realize that what you do doesnt involve a dog, and repeating it now wont help either.

2./ yes, ultimate is growing - there are more high school teams now in many cities than ever before. but...
The event was the culmination of sectional and regional competitions involving about 500 teams nationwide
That was from 1989... 20 years ago. There aren't that many more club teams now, which is very interesting to me. High school is exploding, college is as well to an extent. Summer leagues are more packed in my experience, but it seems club teams are remaining around the same level give or take?

What does this show - that roughly the same number of people want to play competitively? That most new additions to the game of ultimate have been recreational players?

This is a long and winding post, i realize. But i hope it spurs some discussion, ultimate in the media is a valid topic of discussion. Is ultimate-validity something that can be achieved by a conventional PR campaign by the UPA? (not that this has or will occurred) or is it something that is possible via a viral or street team style campaign? (something along the lines of youtube videos and posting the ten simple rules on light posts and city walls)

Or is it something that is just not achievable?

Let's hear some thoughts

Friday, July 11, 2008

Open thread: what's on your mind?

Open thread time... discuss whatever you wish

Coming very soon - new contributor announcement, a new summer series of posts gearing up for the fall, and more. If you have requests for content on the site, throw em in the comments.

We are still looking for a comments "god" - would you like to delete other people's words at your heavenly will? Read all the details here

remember to visit PlayUltimate on facebook!! help spread the word about ultimate

Saturday, July 05, 2008

YCC Rosters: DEVYL (Open)

  1. Adrian Galbraith-Paul (Lower Merion)
  2. John Stavinga (Wissahickon)
  3. Matt Stavinga (Wissahickon)
  4. Justin Principi (Pennsbury)
  5. Elijah Karoly (Pennsbury)
  6. Matt Bode (Pennsbury)
  7. Justin Baughn (Pennsbury)
  8. Dennison Bechis (Pennsbury)
  9. Zach Kauffman (Pennsbury)
  10. Evan Sacks (Pennsbury)
  11. Brian Li (Watchung Hills)
  12. Jacob Price (Watchung Hills)
  13. Loren Whitaker (Columbia)
  14. Alex Holtz (Columbia)
  15. Jeremy Golden (Columbia)
  16. Tim Morrissy (Columbia)
  17. Jordan Taylor (Columbia)
  18. Mike Sender (Columbia)
A reminder to YCC team coaches, captains, managers etc. Please send your rosters to playultimateblog@gmail.com when they become available.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Want to play god? (looking for comments moderator)

So one of the awesome features of the new comment system is that you can promote any (logged in) user to "superuser" status so they can delete comments, remove offensive things etc.

We are looking for a few people to fill this position.

If you want it you must do the following...

  1. be a registered member on the site (free, you can sign in with your OpenID that works on a ton of sites)
  2. be a regular commenter
  3. have a positive karma rating from other commenters
  4. be in the top 10 on the commenting leaderboard
Since as of right now only two people have used the full-on signed in features it won't be hard to get into the top ten. However you must be signed in and be a regular commenter.

This is not to say you need to give up your anonymity. You can still log in with any name you want, logging in just means that people will be able to tell that it is you posting the comments. This way people can't impersonate you, and you have the opportunity to play god for the summer.

Use this thread as an opportunity to log in and throw your name in the mix to play god for the summer.

PlayUltimate will be announcing new contributors within the next week. If you are interested in becoming a contributor please email playultimateblog@gmail.com

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Open Thread: What does your team do during the summer?

Well, high school leagues are done for the year, YCC teams are almost all yet, WUGC team has been selected. But that leaves a lot of players and in a lot of cases whole teams without high school ultimate to play.

So an open question - what does your team, or the players on your team, primarily do (ultimate-wise) during the summer?

  • Play on club teams
  • Summer league
  • Summer practices with HS team
  • Individual workouts for your HS team
  • Frequent pickup games
  • Occasional pickup games
  • Read PlayUltimate (and other ultimate websites) incessantly
  • Relax and forget about ultimate for a while
Something else? Throw it in the comments.

There is also a poll up on the right hand side of the site, feel free to vote!

Like PlayUltimate? Become a fan on facebook!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

YCC 2008: Philly SEPDA out of tournament

Philly SEPDA will not compete in the 2008 YCC tournament.

After difficulties fielding numbers for tryouts, Philly's mixed team was not able to complete a roster in time for the UPA deadline. Many of the players from last year's team will be playing for DEVYL, a team which will draw heavily on Columbia and Pennsbury talent. Most of the interested players that did attend this year's Philly tryouts were sophomores or juniors though, and (very) early indications point to an intention to attend in 2009.

No word yet on who will replace SEPDA in the tournament, the YCC 2008 website has Cincinatti down, but I believe this is a result of the copy&paste of last year's website, rather than the actual situation.

Last year SEPDA finished 2nd in the Mixed division to Atlanta, in 2006 they won in the open division.

This leaves the mixed division with...

Denver Youth Summer League - Denver, CO - Youth/UPA
Eugene Youth Summer League - Eugene, OR - Youth/UPA
BUDA High School Spring League - New England - HS/UPA
Disc Northwest High School Spring League - Seattle, WA - HS/UPA
Minnesota High School Spring League - Minneapolis, MN - HS/UPA
Atlanta, GA - At-large
Nashville, TN - At-large

via upa.org

WUGC 2008: UPA Team USA Bios released

The UPA has released player bios for the 2008 WUGC team.

They have put up stuff for the coaches as well.

What I find most interesting at least from the Open side is the "years playing" category. The lowest is 3 years, but almost all have more than 5. Meaning almost all have played more than just high school disc, somewhere between 6-10 years of playing seems to be the norm.

Is this an interesting turning point for our sport, or just a coincidence? To play at elite hs levels is it necessary to be introduced to the game at a much younger age?

This seems like a developing Tiger Woods effect of athletics in general. Or like i said, maybe it is just coincidence...

40 Days until WUGC 2008 in Vancouver, the anticipation builds... Check back here all summer for the best coverage of high school ultimate

Thursday, June 19, 2008

YCC Rosters: BUDA (Open)

This is an unconfirmed roster posted in the comments of a previous post, will confirm as soon as possible...

2008 BUDA New England YCC team (open)

  1. Amos Adams (Amherst Regional High School)
  2. Tom Allen (Needham High School)
  3. Tom Basset (Penn State University / Needham High School)
  4. Spencer Diamond (Amherst Regional High School)
  5. Evan Doucett (Andover High School)
  6. Ben Feng (Georgetown University / Phillips-Andover Academy)
  7. Max Gillett (Lexington High School)
  8. Conor Hickey (Andover High School)
  9. Ryan Holmes (Needham High School)
  10. A.J. Hutchins (Longmeadow High School)
  11. Matt Jerry (Amherst Regional High School)
  12. Jeffery Kelly (Longmeadow High School)
  13. Peter Login (Longmeadow High School)
  14. Corey Mindlin (Hofstra University / Needham High School)
  15. Evan Ponchick (Amity Regional High School)
  16. Gain Robinson (Greely High School)
  17. Ryan Rzepka (Longmeadow High School)
Reminder: If you are a captain or coach of a YCC team please send your roster to playultimateblog@gmail.com as soon as it is available. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

YCC Rosters: Pittsburgh Impulse (Open)

The Pittsburgh Impulse has released it's roster for the 2008 YCC competition....

1. Alex Thorne
2. Allen Rakers
3. Amar Rao
4. Ben Funk
5. Chris Lippert
6. Cody McInnis
7. Colin Conner
8. Collin Hite
9. Dylan Burns
10. Jack Gazdik
11. Jack Ross
12. Jeff Olko
13. Max Thorne
14. Nathan Hess
15. Nico Virgi
16. Pat Earles
17. Phil Stahlfeld
18. Ryan Smith
19. Seth Weidman
More rosters coming in in the next few weeks, stay tuned here for more details. (If you are a coach of a YCC team please send your roster to playultimateblog@gmail.com when it becomes available)

YCC Rosters: Pittsburgh Moxie (Girls')

Pittsburgh has released their women's YCC roster for 2008....

1. Maria Bajzek
2. Gina Barber
3. Jamie Blair
4. Meredith Burger
5. Jojo Buss
6. Kelly Casey
7. Jamie Diskin
8. Nicole Elway
9. Robin Eng
10. Rachel Federonko
11. Emily Fisher
12. Chelsea Grindle
13. Kassi Kaiser
14. Ivy Kentzel
15. Becky Lowrie
16. Bailey Moorhead
17. Hannah Muehl
18. Anna Rakers
19. Ellie Shaul
20. Kara Stoever
21. Sarah Zapletal
More rosters to come in the next few days, comments welcome...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

YCC Teams List Finalized

The finalized YCC teams list was released on the 10th.

I'm looking forward to another phenominal weekend of Ultimate in Blaine!

From here:

Girls Division
Cincinnati Youth Summer League - Cincinnati, OH - Youth/UPA
Denver Youth Summer League - Denver, CO - Youth/UPA
BUDA High School Spring League - New England - HS/UPA
Disc Northwest High School Spring League - Seattle, WA - HS/UPA
Madison High School Spring League - Madison, WI - HS/UPA
Minnesota High School Spring League - Minneapolis, MN - HS/UPA
PHUL Spring League - Pittsburgh, PA - HS/UPA - Announced Roster

Mixed Division
Denver Youth Summer League - Denver, CO - Youth/UPA
Eugene Youth Summer League - Eugene, OR - Youth/UPA
BUDA High School Spring League - New England - HS/UPA
Disc Northwest High School Spring League - Seattle, WA - HS/UPA
Minnesota High School Spring League - Minneapolis, MN - HS/UPA
Atlanta, GA - At-large
Nashville, TN - At-large
Philadelphia, PA - At-large - Withdrew

Open Division
Cincinnati Youth Summer League - Cincinnati, OH - Youth/UPA
Denver Youth Summer League - Denver, CO - Youth/UPA
BUDA High School Spring League - New England - HS/UPA - Announced Roster
Delaware Valley Youth League - DE/NJ - HS/UPA - Announced Roster
Disc Northwest High School Spring League - Seattle, WA - HS/UPA
Madison High School Spring League - Madison, WI - HS/UPA
Minnesota High School Spring League - Minneapolis, MN - HS/UPA
PHUL Spring League - Pittsburgh, PA - HS/UPA - Announced Roster

Youth = club based league (all non-school-based teams)
HS = some or all school-based teams in league
UPA = UPA sanctioned
At-large - unaffiliated team

edit - I added links to the announced rosters thus far. - Matt

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Looking for new contributors...

PlayUltimate is looking to add contributors - especially in states that we do not currently have coverage. If you are interested in a position please email the site at playultimateblog@gmail.com

If you live in Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Virginia, Maryland or Georgia and you are interested please let us know. If you live somewhere else but are interested we would love to hear from you.

If you have any questions about what being a contributor would entail, just shoot us an email.

A reminder as well if you like PlayUltimate become a fan on Facebook! Help publicize the sport and the site!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Churchill HS Girls Westerns 2008 HL

People have been waiting for this one for a little while. Sorry to have taken so long with it. This is the 2008 Churchill HS Girls HL from the Western Championships held in Independence, MS. There are at least one or two hl plays from each team we played. If there are teams who would like to have their full game footage, please send me an email and I'll see what I can do (luketimjohnson(at)gmail.com).

If you want to see this video in HD, you can click on it for a 1280x720 streaming version.

Churchill HS Girls 2008 Westerns HL from luke johnson on Vimeo.

Churchill HS OHSUC 2008 HL

This is from the 2008 Oregon State Mixed Tournament held in Corvallis, OR. Churchill split their teams and went X/Y and found themselves undefeated until the finals...

Churchill HS OHSUC 2008 HL from luke johnson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thoughts on Easterns and Westerns: Looking back

At the request of a commenter...

Let's look back at easterns and westerns, any thoughts? Best players? Best plays? Unfortunate matchups? Best games?

Does what happens at easterns and western predict what might happen at YCCs?

Let's test out the new comment system (remember to log in if you can).

2008 College Choices - List REOPENING!

Over the past few years we have gotten on average more than 100 submissions to the college choice event.

This year was a little slim (around 50 submissions). So we decided to open it back up.....

.... Except now it is automated. Meaning i dont have to type in every single person's information as they email it to me. A godsend.

So, if you have decided where you are going to college but haven't posted your information yet - click this link to send it in.

Depending on response we will keep it open for 2 weeks. So send an email to your friends who aren't on there yet and remind them to get going!

A reminder: You can view the current list by clicking here.

Become a fan of PlayUltimate on Facebook

As part of the new redesign you can become a fan of PlayUltimate on Facebook just by clicking here.

If you like what we are doing here feel free to become a fan, and at the same time it will make the sport of ultimate a little bit more visible for the rest of the world.

All about the new comments...

The Problem:

So, in case you hadn't noticed there has been a little bit of an issue with the comments since Easterns and Westerns. As a result we had to scale back and only allow registered users, this helped in some ways - there were fewer people posting inane or offensive content. However they still posted with some surprising regularity.

The Solution:

An entirely new commenting system. We have moved away from the Blogger default comment system and installed a system called Intense Debate. It will allow for anonymous comments, BUT it will allow for greater moderation as well - including IP banning, user blocking, etc.

What does that mean?:

It means that PlayUltimate now has a more fully functional commenting system with the following awesome capabilities...

  • Nested comments - reply exactly to the message you want to inline, your comment doesnt automatically filter to the bottom of the page
  • Comment organization - you can click to reorganize comments by Date, Rating or Last Activity
  • You can now RATE EVERY COMMENT, give them a thumbs up or thumbs down, your votes will determine that posters credibility. The top 10 commenters will be displayed on the right hand side.
  • You can post anonymously, but its discouraged - you wont be able to make the commenting leader board, people wont be able to connect you between comments. Also when you log in you can choose to be notified of follow up comments via email. And a slew of other cool features. If you are anonymous you also can not vote on other posts.
  • Logging in - IntenseDebate uses the OpenID platform, so if you have a login for Blogger, Livejournal, AOL, SmugMug, Flickr Yahoo or a ton of other sites - you already have a login, no need to create a new account.
  • When you log in - you will get the option to create a profile so other people on the site can know a little bit about you - who you play for etc. This is entirely optional though of course.
  • RSS Feeds - is there a comment thread that particularly interests you? you subscribe to the RSS feed for any comment section on the site.
There are a ton more cool features but those are the basics.

If you didn't feel like reading that, just poke around, know that everyone can comment now, but the community will help moderate. If someone is perennially being voted down and saying offensive things, we will block them. No questions asked.

Let the debate begin...

Over the next few weeks I'll post a few more times regarding new features on the site, feel free to poke around in the meantime though.

Phew, that was a marathon

Ok, so...

It's pretty much done. Welcome to the redesigned PlayUltimate Blog.

Some features you might like...

  • New commenting system - try it out for now, I will explain things in detail sometime tomorrow (anonymous comments are "allowed" for the time being). Play around with some of the features here
  • YouTube channel in the upper right hand corner
  • The all-new PlayUltimate Store with tons of Ultimate and disc sport-related merchandise.

There is a bunch more cool stuff that you can poke around for. As always I am taking suggestions for further improvements, just throw em in the comments.

The redesign will allow us to put a lot more dynamic content up quickly, so [hopefully] you will see a few more updates and interactive stuff happening over the summer.

More fun announcements later in the week...

Monday, June 09, 2008

site updates...

unfortunately due to some blogger limitations i am going to have to work on some of the site design aspects live, so for the next few hours the site will look very screwy.

everything should be back to normal (hopefully) by tomorrow morning.... hopefully.

Ultimate gifts for grads (and dads?)

Playing ultimate is often times something that confounds parents, aunts and uncles, friends etc when birthdays or graduation time comes around. "What the hell do I give the person that plays that sport with the frisbee and the dogs..."

Well below are a few of the options you might want to forward over to parents etc. as graduation gift ideas. Or if you are looking to give something to that ultimate playing friend of yours... Or maybe consider grabbing something for your dad for father's day?

This is also a preview of the site redesign, coming soon, which will include an entire ultimate-themed store. New design will either be up by the end of today, or by the end of the week - depends on how much I get done over the next few hours.

UPA College Nationals - Open full game streaming

just hit play to start it up

Sunday, June 08, 2008

UPA College Nationals - Women's full game

just hit play to start the video, men's game is above

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Philadelphia ultimate camp

Anyone who will be in Philadelphia for the summer, consider signing up for the Philadelphia Ultimate camp.

All the info is on the website here - http://ultimatecamp.com . It is an awesome time, the camp is in its 5th year at this point and brings together some of the best ultimate players in the Philadelphia area (and beyond) to teach the game.

Counselors in past years have included College National championship winners, Club nationals Winners, World Championship winners... and that's just Big Rick.

Information on how to sign up is listed on the website, hope to see you there. (Camp starts in two weeks!!)

site redesign is quickly approaching, any suggestions or requests let me know asap, you can comment here or send an email to playultimateblog@gmail.com

Monday, June 02, 2008

Site improvements, what do you want from us?

Over the next two weeks I will be redesigning the site for aesthetics but also to have better connectivity with the other PlayUltimateMedia sites, such as PlayUltimate.us.

So with that in mind, any suggestions or hopes for a new and improved PlayUltimate? Are there any things you wish you could do that you can't currently? Keep in mind certain limitations of Blogger, my scripting knowledge and the "Internets" in general.

Also, I had to recently reinstall Windows on my computer and briefly had to view the internet through the eyes of Internet Explorer [shudder]. Which reminds me, if you do not currently use Firefox, I strongly suggest it. The site is designed to work and look best for that browser, and for good reason - its faster, safer (less popups, spam, adware etc), and just overall better. You can download Firefox by clicking here - if you use that link it supports the site as well (it also installs the Google Toolbar, which is useful, but you can easily disable it if you dont like it).

Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Open Thread - Looking back, looking ahead

Last weekend...

Coming up this weekend...

Any chit chat about any of that? Any upset predictions? Comments?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New commenting policy - and an open thread

You may have noticed that in the Easterns/Westerns aftermath anonymous commenting has been turned off.

We felt that it was necessary to keep the conversation at some level of civility going forward. So, now, to comment you need to log in - this doesnt mean you need a google account, you can also use AIM, WordPress, TypePad, LiveJournal or any other OpenID compatible account.

Hooray accountability!!

If you are still aching for anonymous commenting http://playultimate.us should be able to satiate your desires - you can comment there on any topic relating to ultimate, post links to ultimate content and rate content as it comes in (the best posts filter to the top so you always have access to the best ultimate content on the web).

Consider this a new and improved open thread...

NUTC 2008

I'm a math teacher by trade, so writing coherent posts sometimes takes me a while ;)

So, to streamline the process this time around, I'm just going to quote myself:

The National Ultimate Training Camp is an overnight Ultimate camp for kids aged 14-18. Orchestrated by Tiina Booth and George Cooke, NUTC runs over the course of three very active sessions on the beautiful Northfield Mount Hermon campus in Northfield, MA. Each day kids from around the world receive training, play Ultimate, and socialize in the most Ultimate-centric environment on the planet.

You can read all about the camp in the post I made last year right here.

Here's the latest 2009 update from Tiina:

This is the fourth update of NUTC Registration 2008. Registration has been open since the beginning of March and here is the status of the sessions:

Session A July 12-17

plenty of room

Session B July 19-24

40% sold out, so plenty of room, but less than Session A

Session C July 16-31
Fewer than 10 spots left-almost sold out!!

Register now if you want this session.
I am confident that we will sell out this summer, so if you want to attend NUTC, you need to register pretty soon. Prices go up after June 6, but at this rate we may be sold out by then.

To register, go to
www.lsse.org For more info about the camp, visit www.nutc.net Please let me know if you have any questions.

Hope to see many of you this summer!

Tiina Booth
Camp Director

National Ultimate Training Camp

"Ultimate for the Next Generation"

So... sign up now to get into your first choice spot.

In addition to a super full summer, a new NUTC position has been created. Throughout each of the three sessions, someone will be taking lots of pictures and video which will be posted each day to the camp blog. There will also be a daily NUTC publication which will be distributed every morning at breakfast.

Cya in Northfield.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some notes from PHUEL...

Some notes from PHUEL:

The city championships were last Saturday, and besides a minor upset of LM Babaganouj at the hands of Cardinal O'Hara Waste, it went to seed, with the Pennsbury Falcons capturing the #1 seed, defating Haverford HUDA 15-11 on the back of outstanding play by #19 Denny Beaches. The top 7 teams will be heading to Pittsburgh for States next weekend.
Open results

On the girls side, #6 Katie Erikson led Cardinal O'Hara's GirlSquad to continued dominance of LM and Haverford, finishing their regular season 4-0 against LM and 3-0 against Haverford. After a disappointing winless performance at Easterns, they won their two games in PHUEL to get back on track. All three teams will be heading to states next week.
Girls results

This week, PHUEL gets a nice treat as #2 seed Haverford HUDA hosts LM Babaganouj under the lights Thursday night, for a rare night game before both teams head west for States.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Photographs from Easterns or Westerns?

Not sure if anyone out there has their's up yet, but if you have photos from this last weekend, I'm sure people would love to see them. post a comment with a link.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Westerns 2008: Video of NWSvsCretin-Derham

This is the only footage I recorded that was non-Churchill girls, but it shows the great universe point between the Northwest and Cretin-Derham girls in the semi-finals of the 2008 Westerns.

Westerns Girls Division 2008: Semi-Finals Northwest vs Cretin Derham from luke johnson on Vimeo.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The UPA and Seattle HS Ultimate


I have put together a plan to re-organize Seattle youth ultimate. There are several different pieces of the plan. The UPA and DiscNW were the first to see the plan when I got done writing it a couple of weeks ago. I also e-mailed the plan to some of the organizers and coaches I know around the country. One piece of the plan involves the UPA and Seattle HS ultimate. I figure some of the people who read this blog might find this interesting. (When I use the word "we" in the plan I mean the "we" as in the Seattle youth organizers who agree with the plan and help make it happen. All that said I'm not sure this will happen.)

1. We would probably take all of our Seattle HS teams out of the UPA for these reasons:

  • Scheduling - The UPA schedule doesn't really work with what we need to do.
  • Championships - We can run our own state and regional chamionships for HS teams. And we feel as if the UPA will not be able to get the growth accomplished that we can accomplish in our region. (i.e., Why won't Vancouver come on board with the UPA, how do we make the sport more accessible)
  • Double organizing - Our coaches and admins are spending way too much time trying to get kids signed up for UPA and taking care of rosters. We can come up with a better local system. We completely understand why a national roster system has to be in place though.
  • Cost per kid is too much with the UPA. We want to have 5,000 kids playing in ultimate leagues in our area by 2015. There is no way we would send the UPA $100,000.

2. We would stay in the UPA with a UPA youth club league as described on the UPA page concerning YCC guidelines: "Category 1 - UPA Youth Club Leagues: Sponsored by a UPA sanctioned Youth Club (non-high school based) League that occurred during the previous calendar year. Within Category 1, one bid is guaranteed in each division for which the league applies and can support a team for the event. The UPA reserves the right to determine that a league can adequately and safely support a team."

3. We would be willing to discuss the affiliate model with the UPA but that is probably further down the road when we see how our Seattle Youth Ultimate Association plan plays out.

4. Hopefully we can still figure out a way to continue our interactions with Alameda and Minneapolis HS ultimate. Maybe Alameda could come to our regional tournament? And possibly there could be some interaction between Minneapolis and WA/OR in HS invite tourneys.

I'd also like to point out that this plan is not due to some dissatisfaction with the people running the UPA. Sandie, Will, Melanie, Meredith, and the board are all top-notch. This is a systematic thing. It is an "addition by subtraction" type of thing. In the long run I believe my plan to be a win/win/win for Seattle Youth Ultimate, DiscNW, and the UPA.

Thanks - Mike

Westerns: Open Official UPA Write-up

The UPA has released their official write-ups from the Western Championships. They are well written (in both the open and girls divisions). As I'm sure there are thoughts and feelings post-westerns, let each of these posts (one for the open and one for the ladies) serve as the place you can offer your feedback on the experience whether you were there or not...


Here is the official write-up of the 2008 Westerns Open Division according to Aaron Schieber


The teams from the Northwest must have been wondering why they needed to travel halfway across the country to play in weather that felt like home. With temperatures in the 50’s and a damp wind blowing, the 6 teams out of Washington and Oregon weren’t ready for some of Westerns’ surprises. Something besides rain was different today. 2007 champion The Northwest School graduated a large group of its core and teams believe the Championship is possibly up for the taking.


The first game of the day for the overall 2 seed Seattle Academy was against 7 seed Lakewood. Seattle, behind the great play of #3 Peter Bender and #9 Simon Montague and a supporting cast sporting fantastic haircuts, showed why they were seeded so high by mowing down the outmatched Lakewood (15-4).

The Cretin-Durham vs. Monroe matchup looked to be going the same way with Monroe jumping to an early 6-1 lead. But a scrappy Cretin-Durham team decided that they didn’t want to hand the game to Monroe. Behind some great play by #17 Peter Tschida, Cretin-Durham mounted a comeback that brought them to half down 8-4. They continued to close the gap, but the huge grabs by Monroe’s #18 kept them at bay with Monroe pulling off the upset and their first Westerns victory (15-12).

Perhaps the game of the round was The Northwest School facing off an under-ranked Eden Prairie team. After a close first half left Eden Prairie down 8-6, the big game experience of The Northwest School came through in the second half as they held off Eden Prairie and pulled away to a 10-6 lead. Eden Prairie wasn’t out of gas and clawed their way back into the game, falling just short in a (9-10) loss. In pool D, the local KC Rockhurst team lined up across from a very impressive Cathedral team and was completely leveled. Cathedral never looked back as they marched to an 11-1 victory.


The next round opened with Alameda facing off against Minneapolis South. It was hard to say whether it was the wind or lingering morning jitters but both teams started the game with numerous drops. After falling behind to the lower seeded South 3-1, Alameda decided to put the game in the hands of their go-to guys. Nick Rafter (#25), Pierre Retrayt (#28) and Tyler Boyd-Meredith put together great catches, cuts and throws to pull even at 5’s and eventually earn the win (11-9).

On the adjacent field, Rockhurst was taking on defending champion The Northwest School in a rematch of the 2007 quarterfinals and hoping for a better result. The game was hard fought and the teams essentially traded points to 8-8. Rockhurst was relying heavily on big grabs by Junior deep receiver Paul Jensen (#4) while Northwest didn’t seem to have a player on the field who didn’t contribute. But after the tie at 8’s Rockhurst lost their steam and Northwest knocked out 3 in a row for the (11-8) win.

Nathan Hale and Hopkins were both ready to play after their first round byes and equally came out firing. Hopkins proved way too deep for Nathan Hale and laid an 8-1 whooping on them in the first half. The second half was more of the same with Hopkins only giving up a couple more points and closing Nathan Hale out (15-6).

On the adjacent field, Cathedral and Eden Prairie played an almost identical game as the Hopkins v Nathan Hale game. Cathedral made short work of Eden Prairie behind the great play of #5 Eric Johnson, winning the game (15-4).


With threats of heavy rain, the round began with all teams having at least one game under their belts. Unfortunately rest and re-focus during their bye didn’t spell success for Lakewood. Cretin-Durham once again jumped on the shoulders of #17 Senior Tschida and avenged their first round defeat to Monroe by handing Lakewood a (15-5) loss.

Minneapolis South’s bye proved no less fruitful as they drew a tough 3rd round draw against 1 seed Lakeside. Multiple players for Lakeside including #96 Julian Childs-Walker and #3 Justin Norden helped to lead Lakeside to a waxing (15-3) of the Squall.

Cathedral continued their trend of mopping the floor with their opponents, this time behind the stat page-filling play of bandana-wearing #5 Matt Vik and #3 Pat Nickelson. Cathedral continued to impress and make their case to be the next Westerns Champion by laying waste to Haus (15-4) and ending their Saturday with only 9 points scored on them.

After watching a number of blowouts, it was time to see two teams duke it out. Nathan Hale and South Eugene were ready to oblige with a great first half that saw #44 Jake Coate of Nathan Hale and #1 Jacob Jannin of South Eugene trying to out-do each other as best player on the field. In this game, Jannin’s desire and ability to go deep at any time, from anywhere on the field, proved the more potent skill as he led his Raiders to the (12-9) win.

The freestyle offense of Monroe matched up against the gritty defense of Seattle Academy. Monroe’s stackless offense is a sight to behold when it is flowing but when it falls apart their players end up needing to make outstanding plays where normal catches and throws would be rudimentary. Seattle Academy was able to force Monroe into this scenario and their offense sputtered allowing Seattle Academy to win (13-7).


The first match-up of round 4 pitted a Lakewood team, down from their lack of success in earlier rounds against a riled up Monroe squad, fired up from their recent loss. The connections were back on for Monroe as #6 Manny Jimenez and #13 moved the disc at will, point after point. This combined with the huge play of #18, allowed Monroe to cruise to a (15-2) victory.

As the day progressed, teams began to hit their stride and play the Ultimate we all knew they could, evident in the Lakeside v Alameda game. It is rare to see a game where the first 4 points of a game are unbelievably hard fought. Layout D’s and second-effort catches abounded for both teams as Lakeside scratched out an early 3-1 lead. The score extended with Lakeside up 6-4 and both teams seemed to have settled in to a high level of play. Behind a multitude of amazing layouts by Alameda’s #81 Kumi Hodge, Dark Meat tried to keep pace but Lakeside’s roster was too deep, pulling away in the second half and securing the (13-9) win.

Rockhurst was primed for their first win but Eden Prairie thought otherwise. Rockhurst fell behind early but didn’t let it get in their heads. With #2 Everett Arruda and #11 Vinnie Ciaramitaro unloading huck after huck, Rockhurst made a run and pulled within one at half. But the hucks wouldn’t fall in the second half and to Eden Prairie’s delight, Synergy didn’t make the proper adjustments, leaving the door open for a (11-8) Eden Prairie victory.

Perhaps the game of the day and certainly the game that indicates how far high school Ultimate has come, took place in this round as South Eugene and Hopkins faced off in a heavyweight bout with a Pre-Quarters bye on the line. One observer on the sideline referred to this game as “Huck City” – both teams were fearless with their throws and completely trusting their receivers to haul in every put. The teams traded points to a 9-8 South Eugene lead at half. The second half was more of the same until at 13-12 Hopkins made a crucial mistake and left a streaking South Eugene player completely unguarded for an easy South Eugene score and 14-12 lead. Hopkins proved resilient and continued to fight, getting the next point and keeping the game within reach at 14-13. The soft cap horn had blown, so the battle was to 16 and South Eugene would receive. A fearless Jacob Jannin would not be denied and unloaded a bomb to the endzone for a quick score and the 15-13 lead. After a Hopkins turn, a savvy #10 Dylan Freechild for South Eugene burns a timeout to guarantee the easy score near the endzone. But out of the timout Hopkins #50 decides he’s not quite ready to be done playing and makes an amazing layout D to keep HURt’s hopes alive. Unfortunately his teammate who picked up the disc hastily proceeded to huck it, and turn it over. South Eugene wouldn’t be denied a second time and on an incredible layout catch Freechild clinched the victory and the pre-quarters bye for South Eugene (16-13).

The round closed with another nail biter. In a game of runs, Cretin-Durham took half against Seattle Academy 8-5. Seattle Academy came out after half on fire and pulled ahead 10-8 with a 5 point run. After soft and hard caps are blown, Cretin-Durham puts together the final string and grabs the victory (11-10).


The crossover round saw The Northwest School in unfamiliar territory. Facing elimination from the Championship Bracket on Saturday of Westerns, and to their misfortune of standing on the other line was the upstart Monroe Cobras who had been playing all day with fire and a chip on their shoulders. Monroe would not be denied in the first 7 points of the game and Northwest had no answer as Monroe commanded a 6-1 lead early. But a short rotation and only 3 subs all day started to take their toll on Monroe as Northwest dug into their stores of championship experience and began to hack away at the lead. One Northwest player on the sideline was prophetic when he yelled “Come on Northwest. We’re still in this!” Point by point Northwest whittled away at the lead closing the gap before half to 7-5. Fortunately for Monroe they had built their lead early and were able to stave off the Northwest onslaught and under the soft cap pull out the victory (10-8).

Would Hopkins would be able to rebound from the heart wrenching loss in their last round to South Eugene and get their head into their next match-up against Minneapolis South? Luckily one of their strongest team traits is positive energy and they barely blinked as they switched their focus to the next opponent. Minneapolis never recovered from an early case of the drops that gave Hopkins an 8-3 half time lead. Like great teams will do, Hopkins continued to pull away in the second half and handily won the game (15-7).

Eden Prairie and Cretin-Durham faced off and played pretty evenly to 5-5. After a C-D turn, their coach made the call for them to set up in a zone defense near Eden Prairie’s upwind endzone. It proved a genius move as Cretin-Durham’s #10 Joe Ryan was able to get a Callahan score which gave C-D the lead and a huge energy boost. Cretin-Durham took the opportunity and didn’t let off the gas getting one more break and securing their spot in quarter finals with the (10-8) win.

The final pre-quarters game saw a tired Alameda team running against what looked like a much fresher Nathan Hale squad. Alameda’s #81 Kumi Hodge again kept his team in the game with layout after layout which was all but matched by the very strong defense of Nathan Hale’s #44 Jake Coate. Nathan Hale pulled ahead 8-4 at half and though they fought hard in the second half Alameda didn’t have the reserves to get back in it. The game was called due to lightning with Nathan Hale ahead (10-7) final score.


With Saturday’s pool play out of the way and the first section of the elimination bracket over, it was time for the final 8 teams to get down to the business of deciding who would take home the trophy this year. The remaining teams were South Eugene, Monroe, Cathedral, Hopkins, Lakeside, Cretin-Durham, Seattle Academy and Nathan Hale. The noticeable absence of The Northwest School meant it could be anybody’s day. Late rain on Saturday softened up the fields even more, and if teams had struggled in the previous days light winds they were in for trouble today with winds gusting up to 20 mph.


With Northwest missing from title contention, #1 Lakeside looked poised to make a run for the championship. But first, they would have to take on a strong Cretin-Durham team. Early on in the game it became apparent that Lakeside players were working with a superior skill set. Despite Cretin-Durham’s strategy of “punt and zone”, Lakeside time and time again worked it both directions in the wind for scores. Lakeside pulled ahead 5-0 before Cretin-Durham would even find a receiver in the end zone. Lakeside ran a zone that was very effective and continually got the turns they needed. They continued to score points on Cretin-Durham and pulled ahead 9-4. Cretin-Durham made a run late in the game but it was too little too late as Lakeside sent them home under the soft-cap (10-7).

If anybody still had doubts about Monroe’s ability after their performance on Saturday they were in for more surprises on Sunday. South Eugene who had played fantastic on Saturday had the misfortune of drawing the Cobras for their quarterfinal game. From the outset, the South Eugene players seemed to be having difficulty with keeping their footing and wind. Their huck game, led by #1 Jacob Jannin, faltered in the wind and they couldn’t adjust to the underneath cuts. Monroe’s short game mentality adapted much better to the wind and against man or zone defense they were able to move the disc into the wind very efficiently and take an amazing 6-1 lead. #13 Hugo Rojas was spectacular for the Cobras, not only was he one of the two offensive player who touched the disc every 2-3 throws, he also repeatedly marked up on defense against South Eugene’s best players. South Eugene made a short run late in the first half to close the lead to 8-4 but their time was running out. In the second half South Eugene couldn’t put together the plays they needed to catch up with Monroe. Jannin never was able to fully get into a rhythm and Monroe just kept punching in scores to finally close out the game (9-6).

On the far field an all too common match up was taking place, Nathan Hale v Seattle Academy. Like the other teams in this round, both Hale and SAAS had a rough time adjusting to the strong winds and sloppy conditions. Throughout the game both teams found player after player slipping and sliding only able to score downwind. Seattle was the only team able to get a break in the first half and it would prove to be all they needed. With the cap on coming out of half, Seattle got the final score they needed and dashed Nathan Hale’s hopes with a 9-6 win. It was refreshing to see two rivals, in a game that easily could have been contentious, play with such spirit.

Perhaps the game of the day, and what could have easily been the finals game, took place in the Quarters between cross town rivals Cathedral and Hopkins. The local fans were in for a treat as the struggle for dominance in the Minneapolis High School arena was played out in Independence. These two teams had played no less than a week prior to Sunday’s game with Hopkins pulling off a tight victory and Cathedral was ready for a rematch. Though the winds were as strong on their field as any, Hopkins opted to play man defense versus Cathedral’s strategy of running a cup. Initially this worked in HURt’s favor as they were able to pull ahead 3-1. But Cathedral’s energy was high and they would not let an early deficit bring them down. Behind the wind cutting puts of #5 Eric Johnson, Cathedral clawed their way back into the game 3-4. The next point was a marathon, with turn after turn neither team seemed like they would be able to punch it in, but Cathedral was able to out-endure it and finally grabbed an upwind score to tie the game. Surprisingly, the next 6 points were all scored upwind leaving the game knotted at 7-7 before Cathedral got a stop and were able to score and take half 8-7. Cathedral received coming out of the half and were able to squeak a score past a bidding HURt player for a 9-7 lead. Any other team in this round would have been devastated by a 2 point deficit this late in the game but Hopkins is not any other team. They are made of steel and brick on the inside and in games like this, that comes in very handy as they stood up and took two points right back from Cathedral to tie the game at 9’s in a game capped at 11. But in great games, great players step up and once again Senior Eric Johnson, with his jaunty black bandanna, decided that a play needed to be made. His, irreverent of the wind, hammer on the next point landed perfectly in his receiver’s hands giving Cathedral the lead and put a huge gust of wind in their sails. All it took was one turnover on the next point and Cathedral took advantage scoring yet another up-winder to secure their spot in the semi finals and their victory over their bitter rival.


In the fist semifinal game, a senior-deep Cathedral would be pitted against perennial powerhouse Lakeside. Early on it seemed like the game would be a nail biter with the teams trading points. Both were playing zone and again Cathedral’s Johnson, unaffected by the wind, seemed to be able to put the disc wherever he wanted on the field. At 3-3 #1 Andy May of Cathedral unfortunately made a critical error and turned the disc over near the upwind end zone and Lakeside took advantage. Lakeside took the momentum from there and behind the great defense of #12 was able to pull away to an 8-4 halftime lead. Cathedral couldn’t recover and Lakeside did what great teams do and never let up the pressure. More layout Ds by #12 and solid offensive performances by standout #96 Julian Childs-Walker and #3 Justin Norden helped Lakeside shut out Cathedral in the second half and grab their spot in the finals game with authority (15-4).

In the other semifinal, Monroe drew a rematch against their pool play opponent Seattle Academy who had handed the Cobras their only loss in Saturday play. Monroe came out chomping at the bit, ready to prove that the 13-7 loss they had taken was a fluke, and that they were as good a team as any at Westerns. They proved it by marching to a 6-1 lead over SAAS and surprising one more team with their unorthodox offense. Content to, again and again, take the short under throws and never panicking regardless of pressure, Monroe made short work of the Seattle defense. With their offense synching so well, Monroe’s defense needed only to patiently wait for Seattle to turn over the disc and then could have complete confidence that another score was coming. Seattle’s defense had absolutely no answer for this methodical attack by Monroe and with their offense struggling to score frustration quickly set in. After scoring two goals in the first half, Seattle was only able to get one more in the second half before Monroe slammed the door on their Westerns hopes at 15-3.


Monroe’s coach Ken Brown said on Saturday that he believed his team had been under-seeded coming into the tournament, but he may have been the only one to have picked his team to make it into the finals. Monroe had slain giant after giant on their journey and now perhaps they had their biggest task of the tournament, attempting to knock off the #1 seeded and heavy-favorite Lakeside. It was easy to see the differences in the two teams, Monroe had 3 subs, Lakeside had 12. But low numbers had yet to cramp the Cobras style and their game plan would be the same as before, make the short throws and take advantage when the other team made mistakes. Lakeside’s early strategy was to play zone to disrupt the short movement of Monroe’s handlers and to send receivers deep to take advantage of Monroe’s fuel tanks that had to be nearing empty. This strategy worked well, the wind losing some of its steam and a seemingly endless number of players who were able to put the disc deep allowed Lakeside to run up a 5-2 lead on Monroe and make them play from behind, a position they hadn’t been in much this weekend. Having so few subs turned out to be Monroe’s downfall, with the tiring of bodies the Cobras started to make mental errors, catches that had been easy in earlier games became drops and deep cutters off turns weren’t picked up fast enough leading to easy Lakeside scores. This exhausted Monroe team was ripe picking for Lakeside’s #22 Sam Keller as he kept the offense moving with his crisp throws and threw a monkey wrench into Monroe’s offense with his smart, explosive defense. In the end, Lakeside would not be denied and after winning the first half 8-3 closed the book on Monroe’s incredible Westerns run by winning the game 15-4 and taking home their first Westerns Championship.