WUGC 2016 shall be held at the UCL sports fields in St. Albans, England (this is also where U23s are being held this year) which makes the Canadian Ultimate Championships (CUC), in Winnipeg, all the more exciting and interesting. In case you, the newcomer, didn’t already know: the winner of each division forms four out of five members of the selection committee for that division. As a result the winning team tends to have many of their members on the national squad.
Other players are not excluded as the national roster tends to pickup the best from across Canada. Typically the teams are composed primarily of players from Ontario and British Columbia and tend to be from Toronto or Vancouver. There are also pickups and they tend to be elite players from their own club teams that were defeated by the champion along the way.
What makes OUC 2015 so important is that in every division one of the top two teams is from Ontario. Which makes this the starting point for each of these in their journey to, almost certainly, the Championship game at CUC. Each of the favorites in each division will be looking, should they win, for pickups and that makes OUC and CUC a place to make an impression.
Perhaps more important to those players are not yet National team calibre is that this year is the most competitive ever. Every region in Canada is sending their best teams and competition to get into CUC and then at CUC shall be better than ever. This isn’t an off year like 2014, 2012, 2010 where the best teams in the country decide to attend other tournaments. This is the most important competition and you’ll see teams like Capitals, Traffic, TFP, Union, GOAT, and Furious competing to represent their country. Each game is do or die for them and shall be taken very seriously. As an opponent to those teams you should relish the experience and set a benchmark that you can strive towards.
In general I hope that teams attending all of the Regionals qualifiers shall test the strongest teams out of each region. By doing so each of the teams shall continue to develop Canadian Ultimate and develop the next generation of elite players.
There’s more to write about and I’m going to work on OUC previews, stay tuned over the next week for more.