An update to yesterdays post, a list of countries that are confirmed and/or very likely to attend are as follows:
The US (UPA) may be convinced to attend, more details as that develops.
Jeff Rathburn (Masters player on Fossil) commented on the post yesterday questioning why a U23 tournament is being held. I have thoughts of my own but please feel free to chime in with yours.
Traditionally (with other sports) a U23 tournament or event is used as a transition period for players moving from Juniors (U19) to the upper more Elite levels of play. In Ultimate most of the top players on any team are older players (older than 23) that were very good players in their youth but have become superstars as they gained experience. It’s quite true that most players that play on a U23 team are also players on club teams but they’re likely not the elite players on those club teams.
A U23 tournament gives players that are the superstars of tomorrow (and a few that are superstars today) a chance to develop further and it allows various countries to compare their programs and see how they will trend going forward. I see this as a significant tournament with regards to each Ultimate community learning where players need to develop further. In fact, I would call for a U23 tournament within each country but that already exists in the form of the University (CUUC in Canada) and College (UPA in the US) championships. How many players have we seen come out of the Colleges and Universities that are now Internationally recognized players? How many on Sockeye and Furious alone? However, I don’t believe that those College teams would stand a chance in the UPA club series and that’s evidenced by College teams not doing well when playing in the Club series.
Experience matters and U23 provides a place for players to mature as well as countries to gauge where to invest time and energy next.