Our final round of pool play meant only one game for us (along with the other teams in the Open division, Women played two today) and a game that we had to win.
By far our most important game to date was important in giving us harder games as we moved forward. The game with China was by far the most spirited game of Ultimate I’ve ever played. The Chinese gentlemen were quick, skilled, and very fair in their calls.
The game itself was close with Cota coming out on top 14-12. The Chinese team (which had 7 or 8 expats) chose to keep lines almost China centric with an emphasis on man defense. While the game was close it was due to the defense on both sides having relatively few turns. The greatest number of turns came from throws that went out of bounds on the tight sidelines which prevented players from throwing giant outside-in hucks.
Who is Benji
As we only had one game today I hung out with Lucas for a large part of the day and heard about a gentleman named Benji. Apparently Benji is a socially inverted guy that’s also one of the most “chill” and “coolest” folks around; he’s also an Ultimate genius that has won more tournaments than people attend in their life. I hope to meet Benji, the legend, someday.
In place of Benji I was fortunate to meet Tony who happens to be the man behind The Yellow Book. I was fortunate to spend most of the day in company of Lucas and Tony who rewarded me by talking about their Ultimate adventures around the world. I wish I could say more but parts of our conversation are sworn to secrecy and I forget which parts.
Watching Riot and Tequila Boom Boom
My journey to the main tournament area was by taxi which I shared with the parents’ of a Sockeye player. They reminded me of an event that’s coming up after World’s that I will attend in the next few years: Ultimate Peace. Their son and other players will head to Israel to participate in the coaching and teaching event before going with Croatia to the U19 tournament in Germany.
The parents also reminded me of the Riot and Tequila Boom Boom game that was occurring at the fields at that time and so I wandered to it. By the time I arrived Riot had built up a 12-1 lead and was continuing to play the game aggressively. Tequila moved the disc well but the pressure applied by Riot caused numerous turnovers near the scoring end zone. Riot, on the other hand, was able to quickly huck to score. The game ended quickly with both teams happy to have played; Riot to notch another win, Tequila for the experience.
Much like every tournament I’ve been to where Five has been present they set up a large and inviting booth. With couches overlooking the stadium pitch and plenty of games they had large crowds from opening till closing. One of the best parts of the tournament is bracelets/armbands provided by Five that have the country flag for the team that you’re a part of. You’re given four bracelets and are encouraged to trade them with others.
The concept is genius and I hope other tournaments adopt the idea.
Game of the Day
Todays game featured Doublewide vs Euforia, the two teams that had defeated us in pool play.
It was very much a case of quickness vs height and the early going was balanced. Both teams played efficient offense and were able to score almost on whim. Soon though Doublewide adapted (much like they did with us) and applied enough pressure on the low throws to force a few hucks that they were able to bring down. Euforia had no answer for Doublewide’s huck game and were forced to score on risky throws with the increased pressure that was placed on them. In the end the result heavily favored Doublewide.
Spirit-wise the game was amicable to start with but in the first half itself the questionable travel and foul calls started. The sec one half was no better as at times Doublewide dipped their toes in the bad spirit pool but on finding the crowd reaction to be negative decided it wasn’t worth their time. They won the game in an appropriate manner with Scott pulling down the final huck and then kick spiking it.
All in all it was a great day that I completed with a cab ride back to the dorms with Tony riding part of the way. Ultimate people are great and that’s primarily the reason I travel; to meet great people and experience great adventures.