Friday, May 09, 2008

Western: Field Site Preview

Not sure what is going on with the field site, but I suspect the storms of a few weeks ago were pretty serious and are the reason why things in Independence are not looking that ready...

The field complex has piles of sand and dirt in the parking lot in a process that typically precedes the use of the grass. We walked the girls fields first, played a little hot-box, and then took a quick gander at the boys fields. The guys fields were much worse and I'm not quite sure why. You can see Ciera Bishop (#12 from Churchill) in the photo to the left showing off a nice section of dirt on field 4. The fields were covered in this sand/dirt and small wood-chips which I suspect are some sort of fertilizer. Not the best timing when 25 of the top HS programs are converging to crown a Western Champion.

Other observations we made while there, included only 4 port-o-potties, but I am hopeful that there are some other bathrooms on site or potentially more port-o-potties being delivered. The tournament central tents were being put up as well while were there and though looking like a circus was coming to town, will hopefully provide shelter when the storms come tomorrow.

As for lines on the fields, when we arrived there had been nothing done yet. We met two individuals who seemed to be in charged that told us they were a bit behind schedule and were in the process of getting things lined. When we left around 4:30, there were 4 people out on the girls fields (1-4) that were pacing back and forth with cones and and old school paint liner. Needless to say, I was less than impressed considering this is Westerns. There seemed to be no measuring equipment to keep things accurate and no string to keep things straight. Again, this is Westerns, right?

I don't want this post to be negative and a bash against those organizing this year's Westerns. From what I heard, the Kansas City Ultimate Organization is hosting the event and did so last minute as there were no bids this year (though I could not find any information about this off the UPA westerns page). I am sure they are doing what they can, but I suspect they were both overwhelmed by the last minute weather as well as an event of this magnitude. The reality is, if tournaments like Westerns and Easterns are not run with perfection. Run with excellence. And simply stand out as the best experience of the spring for High School programs, then teams will not be attending these UPA events in the future. Everything has be better and more well done than the tournaments attended earlier in the season. Otherwise, why should teams shell out $300-500 to attend something less well done, regardless if it is called the Western or Eastern Championship.

I am hoping that tomorrow morning I am pleasantly surprised by a transformed field site. That the lined fields look better than they do this afternoon. That the tournament central doesn't look like a joke. That the amenities are plentiful and more than tasty.


The Pulse said...

I started to put together a bid for Westerns 2008 in November since there was no word on a location, but I was told there was going to be an announcement shortly.

We have the fields and perfect weather and would have been happy to host but evidently came in a little too late.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha Ciera!!!!