Thursday, January 31, 2008

Junior World's Try-outs...

Tonight the first batch of emails began to be sent out to the juniors players whom applied for the try-out and a chance to represent their country at the Junior World Championships in Vancouver, BC on August 2nd-9th.

The Junior division will have teams from all over the world, but before our US boys and girls team can get there, the UPA has organized a thorough try-out process that will put the best talent in both Atlanta & Seattle. Tonight up to 80 of the top talent are receiving an email asking them to come attend one of the try-out camps. Players have until February 10th to confirm that they are still interested and able to attend one of the camps on either March 8/9 or 22/23. Then on March 31st, the teams will be announced with up to 20 players per team making it along with 4-6 alternates. After that, the real work begins and the plan can be seen here on the UPA pages.

So, if you're willing to let us know, many out there would be curious what 80 have been invited? And possibly just as interesting, though I know it may be difficult to share, who has not been invited?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

UCPC 2008: What'd ya think?

So, the second annual UCPC has come and gone.

What did you think?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Reaching the Next Level

As I watch SLUJ (St. Louis Ultimate Juniors) taking shape for the 2008 season, I see a number of 3 year-old teams that, with a little more umph, a little more chutzpah, could take themselves from good to great . . . but how?

This seems to me to be a critical time for these teams. Will they peter-out and lose steam due to a lack of success? Or will they find a way to rise above? It would seem the three years of experience for these programs are in their favor, but what are the specific steps that a newish team/coach can take to move itself from a middle-of-the-pack, 4th place team to a championship contender.

I ask this question of the blogosphere about once a year, in various places, and I have yet to get the kind of practical answers I am hoping for. Has anyone out there played on or coached a team that was able to make this transition? What made the difference? What particular changes occurred on the team, with the players, with the coaches, with the on-field play, that helped you to reach the next level?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

UCPC is next weekend, are you going?

The Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference is next weekend in Boston, Mass. Are you going? Did you go last year? Why or why not for either question?

For those of you who went last year, how many people attended total? Via inference from the website i see that the first 30 registrants option has already passed plus at least 15 presenters seems that there is a good number of people attending.

What i am wondering i guess is if the appeal for a conference of this type will begin to expand beyond people who already play ultimate. I realize that the title and stated purpose for the conference might not directly intend for this. But consider the benefits for physical education teachers or school athletic directors to learn about a new sport they could offer in their classes or as extra curricular.

For those who have attended, do you think something like this is possible? Probable?

I'm curious. Seems like an exciting thing to be a part of either way and very informative it would seem as well given the presenters.

Thoughts in general...

Friday, January 18, 2008

How do you read PlayUltimate?

We supposedly have 170 subscribers via RSS but im a bit skeptical of that number, so im wondering - how do you read PlayUltimate?

How do you read PlayUltimate?
Via e-mail updates
RSS feed reader
Visiting the site
Widget on iGoogle or Yahoo free polls

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Paideia Cup 2008

This is one of the best tournaments I have ever been to -- Paideia hospitality really is unreal! :)

From Mr. Kyle B:
I am pleased to announce that applications are now available for the Paideia Cup (April 12th-13th).

This elite HS Ultimate tournament is back for a third year and once again hoping to host the 8 best high school boys and girls teams in the country. Come down to Atlanta for the highest level of HS Ultimate and some good ol' southern hospitality.

Cost: $300
Housing provided by the world famous Paideia Parents
Free Dinner on Saturday night.

Tournament info should soon be available on the UPA website.

To request an application e-mail Michael at:
baccarini.michael (at)

Coach, Paideia Varsity Girls

2007 - The PlayUltimate Year in Review: Most Commented Posts

In January of 2007 we did this as well with the most commented posts of 2006, so here we are again. We had to expand the list to 10 because 5 posts just didnt seem fair - these were the topics that really got people chatting (and in some cases yelling)...

#10. 72 comments - Weekend open thread April 14/15

#9. 72 comments - Weekend open thread Easterns Edition

#8. 75 comments - Rutgers University High School invite

#7. 80 comments - Easterns/Westerns/YCC apps available now!

#6. 93 comments - UPA releases apps for next WJUC team

#5. 98 comments - Youth Club Champs 2007

#4. 103 comments - Post-YCC reflection?

#3. 108 comments - Top Westerns HS Open team for 2008

#2. 112 comments - Westerns Open Division

#1. 130 comments - Highlight Reel Extravaganza - The Videos

To gain some perspective the most commented post of 2006 had 54 comments... dare i say high school ultimate is growing? 2006's most commented wouldnt even make the top ten list, some impressive levels of chit chat.

Over the next week or two we'll pick out some of the best posts over the past year and highlight them as well. As always if you have tips or suggestions for the site shoot us an email at

find more ultimate content online (shameless plug)

josh has added a new podcast on the UltiVerse, which im listening to right now, there are now by my count more than 20 or 30 regularly posting bloggers on at least the club and college scene, RSD is being overrun by spam bots, there are other podcasts overseas, is collecting some of the best blogs out there, but by no means is getting to all of them... so whats a ultimate addict to do? where to look for new or good content...

(you might know where im going with this) seems to be a good start, submit your own ultimate-related content, promote or demote what other people submit to find the best content on the web.

if you haven't tried it yet, give it a whirl - especially if you are creating content (videos, audio, any sort of writing, promoting tournaments or fundraisers - put it on there). if you have tried it in the past, give it another look and vote a few things up or down: get involved!

feel free to use this as an open thread if you would like to talk about something else.

(ps - from now on im going for at least 1 post a week from here until the end of time, increasing naturally closer to the season and easterns/westerns/yccs/worlds - so visit often!!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Junior Worlds

The Junior National Team Application were due TODAY. If for some reason you're reading this and it is before midnight, you still have a chance, albeit slim, to get your application in.

Who do you know has applied?

With more than 250 players looking to attend, how many will be selected to come try-out in either Seattle on March 8/9 or Atlanta on March 22/23?

How much will the decision be based on the scouting that was done back in Blaine, MN at the 2007 Youth Club Championships?

Will the same number of post-HS players falling in the U-19 category still be picked (6 I believe two years ago)?

Rhino Nationals 2007 Video

Rhino earned the 4th seed from the NW Region and entered into the 2007 UPA Club Championships in Sarasota, FL. Though we would fight hard, we would come up shorter than anticipated and hoped and leave with a 13th place finish. Reminded though that there were more than 300 teams who entered the series this fall, Rhino did prove itself as one of the best young teams in the nation.

Below is the the full video at 32 minutes that includes highlights not just of our team, but the others whom we had privilege to play including Sockeye, Boston, Pike, Furious George, Truck Stop, The Van Buren Boys, and Doublewide. There is also a highlight that runs just under 7 minutes with footage only of us.

Stage6 in HD (1280x720):

Rhino Nationals
Rhino Nationals HL

Quicktime (640x360):
Rhino Nationals
Rhino Nationals HL

(This was the Club Team that John Bloch, Daniel Force, Collin Smith, and Jacob Janin played for. John is now a freshman at the UofO, Collin is a freshman at Whitman, Daniel is a freshman at OSU, and Jacob is a senior at South Eugene)

Spring season 2008... the beginning?

Well perhaps it might be early to talk about the spring season, but that's not going to stop me. Today it was 50 degrees in pittsburgh, and the talking heads on ESPN have already given their top 10 lists for next year's college bowl season, so i feel like a little bit of preliminary chat is acceptable.

More poignantly -

When do you start your season? It has been unseasonably warm in much of the northeast, has that allowed you to start early? Or do you wait until after Punxatawny Phil sees his shadow merely on principle.

What about teams that have athletes that play winter sports as well, how do you balance starting as early as possible with missing perhaps vital portions of your team?

Do you start the spring season in the same way you start your fall (assuming you have two seasons)? or do you start with the assumption that beginning players should have throws etc.

Leave your thoughts in the comments...

ps - sorry for the absence as of late, and a big thanks to all the other contributors for stepping up big. just realized i hadnt posted since november - yeesh. more good things on the way i promise, as time and energy permit there will be some big announcements coming soon...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ultimate Podcast: The UltiVerse

A couple weeks ago I was zoning out thinking about Ultimate (what else?) when it hit me that there really isn't an Ultimate voice presence on the internet. This struck me as particularly strange since as we all know very well Ultimate players LOVE to talk. So, I decided to do something about it and went ahead and built

My plan is to talk to as many Ultimate personalities as possible and post my interviews as a podcast. For my first interview I talked to Tiina Booth and George Cooke about their experiences running NUTC and the UCPC. We also covered some stories about their lives and their vision for the future of Ultimate.

Next week I'm talking to Chase Sparling-Beckley and DeAnna Ball about their recent Spirit Awards. After that I have MikeG, Frank, and Ulticritic scheduled to talk about RSD.

I have my own list of questions that I am working on for each interview but I'm interested in what everyone out there thinks would be good questions. So, head on over to and let me know what you think I should ask.

My goal is to post an interview at least every two weeks and cover a wide range of Ultimate related topics. If you have any suggestions for interviews, or any comments at all for that matter, make sure to send them my way.


Sunday, January 06, 2008

UCPC HS Panelists

The HS panelists for the upcoming Ultimate Coaches and Players Conference have been set:

Tyler Kenney - Nipmuc, MA
Kate Desrochers - St. Johnsbury, VT
Adam Salwen - Amherst, MA
Isaac Saul - Pennsbury, PA

I have a comprehensive list of youth Ultimate topics that I'd like to discuss, but I'm interested in what everyone out there thinks would be good topics to jump into. What questions should I throw at these kids?

You can register for the UCPC right here.