Memory card recovered! All pictures below are from that card that was returned to me by the excellent volunteers and staff at the tournament following a thunder storm on day 4. The morning of day 3 was filled with upsets highly intese play as teams were fighting avoid elimination from the championship. I watched Train Wreck loose on Universe point to No Clue? and MuD loose to TFP at the same time. In the same set of games, Union was eliminated by Onyx.
I learned that semi-finals can have a completely different spirit about them compared to pool play. One thing I noticed was a marked increase in the number of intentional fouls and questionable calls. One of the guys I learned to play competitive ultimate with was playing in the mixed semis and I watched him commit approximately 8 intentional defensive fouls in 2 minutes and call 3 marking fouls while playing defense, marking the same disc. I overheard on person on the sideline say that they would never play on the same team with the guy after what they had seen. When I played with him I knew him to be a friendly and well spirited player but I really began to wonder if touring at a national level has sucked that out of him.
I have a set of pictures (not shown here) that shows one player ignoring the disc and instead jumping into the path of the intended reciever, wrestling him down, while his team mate makes an easy D on the disc sans player from the offense. I haven’t posted it because I don’t remember the play except through my camera and hope that it was dealt with on the field, there were observers in that particular game.
After the mixed semis were over, I walked towards the next game I wanted to cover. On my way I happened to witness a scene that gave me some hope. One of the very recently defeated captains of Union approached the a captain from Onyx and thanked him for an excellent game, saying that he appreciated the level of competition they brought to the game as well as the spirit with which they played, or something along those lines (see picture 13).
It seems to me that the worst and the best of us comes out when we are under the kind of stress a championship game can bring out. I experienced this as a player at Ontario regionals this summer. I was shocked at the person I could become when I really wanted the game to go in favour of my team. I appreciate this level of sport because it gives us a little insight into the dark parts of ourselves and the people around us, but it also gives us the opportunity to rise above the darkness. Perhaps competitive sports are a good replacement for tribal warfare, still providing self discovery and regional pride without the unfortunate fatalities (I was going to say injuries but I’m not sure I know any veteran ultimate players without knee injuries).
The following images were taken by Jon Hines on the third day of the 2011 Canadian Ultimate Championships in Ottawa Ontario.