A few days in the coming but there’s quite a bit of info to sift through. I’ve added my thoughts along the way as well. Photos links included at the bottom.
It can be hard to judge tournament organization when the weather, fields, housing, and location are great (that kind of says it all, doesn’t it?). Overall there were few issues with the tournament organization and that is due entirely to the hard work of TD Damien Roy, Wax, Fabrice, and other organizers. Ultimate Canada has a Competition Director for the first time and Blue McClellan fulfilled his obligations in that role by smoothing schedule changes and spending a good bit of time wandering the field and resolving a few disputes. The Bishops residence staff were quite accommodating given the made rush of players and hopefully they’ll be able to better cope with it next time.
A big thank you to the volunteers that brought us food, water, kept score, and the other various tasks that require serious human power throughout the tournament.
The first division to complete play on Saturday was Masters and the team that walked away with the top prize was the same as last year: GLUM. Unlike last year GLUM’s performance in Sherbrooke was not as dominating. In Winnipeg no team managed to score more than six (6) points against them (including the finals). This year Nsom (Montreal) scored 11 against them in pool play while Figjam (West Coast) scored 12 in the finals. The scores are likely indicative of missing players and a tough year of injuries for all involved. The concentration of power in Ottawa won’t last long as there are rumours of Tombstone players returning for a bid at Nationals next year either on their own or as a part of the Toronto system.
- GLUM – Ottawa
- Figjam – West Coast
- Fuel – Toronto
- Flood – Winnipeg
- Nsom – Montreal
- Quantum – Quebec
- B.D.U. – Ottawa
- Scotch – Halifax
Fifteen teams! Yes folks, fifteen (15) Juniors teams played themselves to exhaustion in the heat (and perfect weather) of Sherbrooke; a greater number than ever before. The presence of the Juniors was visible from the get go with the kids always out and about throwing the disc at the residences, playing games of 500, and engaging in all sorts of post-curfew shenanigans. The skill level of Juniors has not ceased to amaze me since watching the Juniors finals in 2007 at Sunnybrook and I am filled with pride knowing the number of caring coaches that forgo playing so that they can help the next generation of players (UltimateRob.com with CUJO as an example).
The finals were won by West Coast Reign (BC) over OVERDRIVE (Toronto) in a match that was close in the early stages before Reign pulled away convincingly. Reign dominated through the entirety of the tournament with no team scoring more than six (6) points against them and reaching fifteen (15) in all but their semi-final game against Vortex (14-6). OVERDRIVE had a strong performance by fighting their way through the group to make the finals. The Quebec teams have not had a breakthrough as it appears that most of their Juniors graduate to the Adult teams quickly. BC, in general, has dominated in the Juniors division and continued to do so this year. MOFO has a strong position for next year and should move into the top four. Expect a consolidation of power next year amongst Juniors as Reign and OVERDRIVE graduate their Juniors into other programs.
- West Coast Reign – BC
- OVERDRIVE – Toronto
- Vortex – BC
- MISCHIEF – Vancouver
- MOFO – Winnipeg
- RessureXion – Ottawa
- Voodoos – Sherbrooke
- MISFIT – Vancouver
- CUJO – Calgary
- DOAP – Winnipeg
- T-Q – Quebec
- Rolling Thunder – Vancouver
- X2 – Ottawa
- Green Monster – Sherbrooke
- Kerozen – Toronto
ONYX, you had me worried for a bit there but you finally earned that Gold.
After building up a large lead RIP made a huge comeback to provide an exciting end to a call filled finals. Both sides showed excellent defensive ability while showing little concern for the wind on offense. It took RIP a while but once they figured out ONYX’s zone there was (almost) no stopping them. On the other side of the coin ONYX struggled against the RIP zone. I suspect that the finals video will be closely scrutinized by teams playing next season and I expect quite a bit of zone will be played against ONYX. As usual the ONYX ladies continued to dominate their opponents and time and time again every team I’ve chatted with has discussed how they have yet to conclusively find a solution to the lady problem. RIP played a fantastic final and I was excited to see a team as talented finally get their shot at the Gold. Will Batch retire and strand the other captains on RIP? I think it’s about time that they seriously consider that they are amongst a handful of contenders to represent Canada in 2012 if they add a few key personnel.
- ONYX – Quebec.
- RIP – Montreal.
- Spawn – New Brunswick. A mix of players that cut their chops outside of the province. Unexpected dark horse team that you should keep your eye on for next year.
- Mayhem – Hamilton. Finally an Ontario team in the top four! Close games including the Bronze medal match.
- Big Hammers – Toronto. Strong finish for a team that’s still developing.
- MONSTER – Toronto. Many tight games which will tilt in their favour with a few key pickups.
- MuD – Guelph. In their first year this group of friends have taken a league team and made it amongst the best in Canada. There’s talk of a MONSTER+MuD combination team touring this fall and next season.
- Tabasco – Montreal. Huge top eight finish helps give Quebec a key bid for 2011.
- Tundra – Toronto. A hard fought weekend with many developing players. I’m a bit disappointed but I know that next year will be a banner year.
- Hard – Montreal. Yes, this was amongst my favourite teams and one that had close games with those that finished in the top 8.
- F Bomb – Atlantic. A great mix of players developing out of the Atlantic region had good games against all teams and should improve next year.
- Bytown Flatball Club – Ottawa. I’m not sure of what to say. On paper this team should be awesome, yet they seem to lack the spark that binds them together. It’s like they need an epic adventure that puts them all on the same page.
- Wreckhouse – Newfoundland. A team that’s spent the time and energy by starting the season early at TUF. They’re still developing and will get into the top 8 once they setup a proper feeder and club system.
- NBS – Sherbrooke/Trois-Riveres. Local players that had a rough first day, won all three on Day 2 (including a 10-8 victory over Hard), and finished well on Day 3.
- Swarm – Winnipeg. A rough tournament for Swarm as they were the lone representation from the West/Central regions. Closed out the tournament with a win.
- Short Bus – Montreal. A great experience for an AUM team with players that will feed up through the club system.
In relation to last year’s final this year was relatively lackluster. Storm charged out of the gates and never looked back while Stella struggled with the wind that picked up just after warmup. Many people were surprised by Lotus finishing as low as they did but with many of the ladies sitting out due to WUCC this was a great finish overall. I apologize for a lack of further commentary on the finals but I was warming up for mine at the time.
- Storm – Montreal. They stormed (don’t hate me) through the tournament with their closest match a 15-7 win over PPF. By far one of the most dominating performances by a Women’s team at CUC.
- Stella – Ottawa. Returned to the finals for their third straight year. They had close matches throughout the tournament but managed to win right up until the finals.
- Lotus – Toronto/Ottawa. Lost to both Stella (pool play) and Storm (playoffs) but otherwise had convincing wins. A group of strong and fun ladies that will be aiming to win the finals next year.
- QUB – Quebec. Quebec’s strong Ultimate program continues to impress with comfortable wins and tight losses.
- Fusion – Winnipeg. A program in development, Fusion did well against the B teams from the East and squeezed out an 11-10 victory against PPF in the fifth place match.
- PPF – Waterloo. PPF’s first year with the Liquid ladies has proven to be interesting with somewhat mixed results. A few key injuries before Nationals hurt their chances at a higher finish. Expect a much more powerful team next year as the ladies become more familiar with each other (innuendo? YES PLEASE).
- Lily – Toronto. While there were some disappointing losses there were major advances against the major A teams and some ladies will move up to Lotus in the near future.
- Wild Rose – Calgary. Furthest from the West and a good run that ended with 8th.
- Exo – Sherbrooke. Locals started with two wins and finished with two wins; a pretty good tournament.
- Salty – Halifax. This experience will pay off as they’re starting to challenge for the top 8.
- Mystik – Montreal. A smaller pool makes it harder to win many games but Mystik finished with two and valuable experience for next year.
- Scarlett – Ottawa. A tough tournament overall for Scarlett who battled nonetheless after missing out last year.
A tense experience that provided insight into the minds of the greatest teams in Canada. Simply being on the sideline as a photographer can be rewarding (and is the best seat in the house) but playing on a team makes it an experience that I won’t ever forget. In comparison to the other games our focus was far greater and margin for error greatly reduced. Moondoggies had met Mephisto earlier in power pool play (losing 14-12) and from that point onwards each time I met a player on the other squad I was told that we’d meet in the finals.
I am making an understatement when I say that Mephisto is an awesome team. Players on many teams tend to underestimate Shaggy because of his age but his height, reach, and quickness make him very tough to defend against (example: high release backhand break for Mephisto’s first point). Each of the A lines on Mephisto was a force to be reckoned with and they almost got the better of us if John Hassell hadn’t pulled us together time and time again to focus both our O and D.
- Moondoggies – Toronto.
- Mephisto – Montreal.
- Phoenix – Ottawa. Faced Mephisto in a rematch of last year’s final in the semis. Two turns in the last point could have made it anybody’s game.
- General Strike – Winnipeg. They’ve cemented their position as an elite team but have yet to have that breakthrough into the finals.
- Maverick – Kitchener/Waterloo. First year in and they almost took out Mephisto quarters. A strong group of players that will keep on getting better.
- Grand Trunk – Toronto. For some this was a surprising run by GT. They were strong throughout the tournament and finished well. GT and Maverick played two heated games that ended badly; expect the rivalry to continue through the next few years.
- Blackfish – Vancouver. After a shaky start Blackfish won in a tight 10-8 match over Red Circus. This team is significantly different from last year and is going through a development phase.
- Red Circus – Halifax. They gave us quite a bit of trouble during power pool play and their handlers can break on whim. After a few additions to their O line they will be tough next year.
- Firebird – Ottawa. Powering through after a tough day 1 start (including a loss to ROY) they finished with six straight wins.
- Q – Quebec. Played GT and Phoenix in the power pools but couldn’t manage to overcome GT (15-10 loss) on their way to a strong finish.
- Bloody Gary – Sherbrooke. A hugely fun team that has many set plays to create space and options for their cutting handlers.
- Magma – Montreal. Defeated their arch-rivals from Ontario, ROY, in the quarters to put them into the 9-12 bracket. Lost on Universe 12-11 to Bloody Gary.
- ROY – Toronto. Had a winnable game against Red Circus in the power pools (which they made after defeating Firebird (14-9) with more conviction than at Regionals (Universe point)) but didn’t regain composure until the last day against SirLoin. Had a tough final match (15-13) against Tommy Douglas Dream Machine.
- Tommy Douglas Dream Machine – Saskatoon. Bunch of crazy party animals if you ask me. They’re showing signs of improvement and could make it into the top 8 next year.
- SirLoin – Calgary. A low finish for a team that’s usually much stronger.
- Newfoundland Liberation Army – St. John’s. It’s tough finish a tournament without any wins but the experience should prove valuable going into next year.
This tournament couldn’t have been adequately covered without the assistance of all those that contributed to the blog with their email updates. Thank you! We will bring a better experience next year.
Staff thank yous:
- Lee “Bacon” Gonzalez – Photography and videographer.
- Jon Hines – Photography (went without sleep for several days in order to make it to the tournament).
- Ed Kung – Photography.
- Rahil Suleman – Head Commentator (thanks to those that commentated with him).
- Javier Jalapeno Santos (Jack MacDonald) – Twitter, email, and Videographer.
- Sean Robinson – Video editor.
- Jon Hines – Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4.
- Lee Gonzalez – Day 1 and Days 2 through 4.
- Ed Kung
- Corry Berghout – Many Phoenix games
- Jaleel Paje
- Marc Hodges
- GY Photographers
Videso of the finals will be coming soon and in their own posts.