About Tushar

I like to travel the world, looking for Ultimate, pushing myself to become a better player. I study strategy every moment I get and realize my faults. I am Fast, I am Passionate, I am Ultimate.

C4UC 2017 – Predictions

The Canadian 4 on 4 Ultimate Championships shall be held this weekend in Ottawa with 24 teams stock full of talent vying for the crown. I have thought long and hard about predictions and the reality is that it is quite difficult to do so. All the way from the top seeded team to the 24th seed there is little to differentiate any of them. In this tournament you are 2 minutes away from losing a game.

By that I mean that a bad streak on offense can leave you in an unrecoverable position and all of that can happen in a few minutes. So, much of the outcome depends on the play style of a team. Those that are more adaptable and can switch tactics every point shall come out ahead.

While everybody has a shot at gold the top 6 teams in this tournament are the most likely to end up on the finals. That said, the 7th through 12th seeded teams have significant talent and are in a position to upset any of the teams proceeding them.

The teams, in order of seed are:

  1. Tune Squad (ON1)
  2. Mighty Discs (QC1)
  3. Mutiny (NS1)
  4. Sugar Mommies (QC2)
  5. Crazy Cat Ladies (ON2)
  6. Brunch Money (NS2)
  7. Tetraphobia (ON3)
  8. Last Call (ON4)
  9. Swift (ON5)
  10. Qg (QC3)
  11. NL1 (NL1)
  12. NOMO (AB1)
  13. Waitlisted (ON6)
  14. Perle Noire (QC4)
  15. Quality Control (ON7)
  16. Oasis (ON8)
  17. NL2
  18. Sheepish (NS3)
  19. Max Power (ON9)
  20. RIUT (PE1)
  21. Force (ON10)
  22. Fortitude X (MB1)
  23. Fortitude Y (MB2)
  24. NS (EH) (NS4)

The teams in bold are most likely to be in the finals. The teams in italic are the outside wildcards.

Finally, there is one team that can spoil for everybody else: Force (ON10, seeded 21st overall). I’m not expecting them to be in the top 8 but they have the capability to upset a major team. Force is a team that grinds things out and can take quite a bit of energy out of a team. Beware of them.

Aside from Force teams would be careful to respect Swift (ON5, seeded 9th overall). While they may not be familiar players they have been playing together for over 5 years in the WODS indoor speed league as well as on Crash. NL1 (NL1, seeded 11th overall) should also be watched closely. Consisting of core Wreckhouse players they have the ability to grind throughout the tournament.

You can watch the Ultimate Canada live stream here.

Knee surgery – Part 1

As mentioned a few weeks ago my knee has not been in the best of conditions and that some surgical operations would be required in order to make it more stable. I thought I would provide a few updates so that those of you that are may experience the same issues know what to expect. I’m also writing this out as for those interested in the medical fields.

Last November I side stepped aggressively and reached back to grab a disc. I was in significant pain and unable to put any pressure on the left leg for several days. Following a month of physiotherapy sessions as well as regular visits to the doctor I was unable to fully straighten my leg. My leg was not stuck bent but rather only 1 or 2 degrees away from being fully straight despite how hard I tried to naturally straighten it with my muscles. Following a MRI it was determined that my medial meniscus had folded upon itself due in part to a lack of ACL holding the knee closed during lateral movement.

Now into January I had a referral scheduled with a surgeon, Dr. Bailey, whom I met on February 9th. A knee arthroscopy was scheduled for late March in order to remove as little as possible of the folded meniscus to fix the issue. A few days following the meeting I received a phone call that a moved up surgical date was available for February 24th which I accepted.

On the 23rd I had a big lunch at Nando’s with plenty of protein as well as a dinner of fish and chips. At midnight I was to refrain from all food and drink. On the morning of the 24th I went into work prior to the 1100 designated arrival time at the hospital. When I checked in I put on a mask as I had a small cough. At 1130 I was admitted to the surgical pre-check area. At 1145 I went into a small room with a bed to change into gowns and start the pre-work.

By 1315 I was informed that they were running ahead of schedule so I was prepped with an IV, my temperature was taken (due to the cough/cold), and I was given antibiotics (regular for the course). All through this process the staff, nurses, and volunteers were friendly, supportive, and assertive. I am also rather friendly talkative so I suspect that helped with ensuring good communication between the various parties. I had also been asked my name and date of birth approximately a dozen times by now; all part of the process to ensure they had the correct patient at each stage.

By 1330 I walked into the OR. It was a large brightly lit room with machines beeping but unfortunately not the machine that goes ping. Dr. Bailey was on the computer but came over immediately to shake my hand and start going over the process with me and understood what we were doing. Once I was on the operating table we once again went over the process and I also had a short conversation with the anesthesiologist before wishing everybody good luck. That is my last memory before waking up in recovery.

Recovery started out well with me, as best as I can remember, apologizing for anything I may have said or done. I was informed that I was a perfect gentleman, of this I am unable to verify accuracy. Regardless, I was discharged from recovery into my original bed area for further recovery and was asked to sleep. I drank ginger-ale, some yogurt, and had a cup of water. My first steps were stable but I was dizzy and I was having hot flashes so I was asked to rest again. Finally, around 1730 we tried again and I was able to walk down a hall and back. The IV was removed and I was discharged from the hospital.

I was extremely sleepy and managed to make it home without falling fully asleep (note, I was driven home). The moment we pulled into the driveway I ejected the contents of the meal during recovery into a bag that the hospital had provided and felt much better. From there it was into the house where I watched plenty of television while returning to work.

Now, the following morning, I continue to recover. There is some new dizziness but nothing serious. The general anesthesia continues to wear off while the local anesthesia on my knee has supposed to have worn off during the night. I am not yet feeling any pain in and around my knee which makes me wonder whether that has yet to wear off or my tolerance of pain around my knee is rather high.

My first post-op, and I believe the only scheduled one at this time, is in two weeks. I have physiotherapy starting soon and am doing my own exercises at home prior to then. I expect to return to the gym after the first post-op and be fully recovered in six weeks. I have now gone close to 3 months without playing Ultimate and am itching to get back into it.

Here are a few other items of interest:

  • Much of my leg is pink. It is a sink cleanser and depending on the supplier it can also be blue.
  • There is also a gurgling in my knee when I bend it. This is due to a saline solution inserted to inflate the knee. Most of this drained at the end of the surgery but some remains and is reabsorbed by the body over time.
  • No showering for several days and no submersion in water of the knee/sutures for 2 weeks.
  • I was able to walk immediately and have been able to do so without pain. I am not putting pressure on the knee beyond weight bearing and being careful on the stairs.
  • I was able to eat normally from yesterday evening on. Some are not able to do this but for me I have been able to maintain a high protein diet and high fibre diet for the past few days which helps with recovery following surgery as well as with the digestive tract.

For those interested in the costs here’s what I can recall to date. I do not have health insurance as my startup (Minute School) is not yet in a position to do so. To date I have paid for physiotherapy and shall continue to do so out of pocket; each session is ~$70. There have been some pain medications as well that have amounted to less than $20 as well as crutches that have also cost less than $20. I have not had to pay for any doctors visits, the surgery, or the MRI.

In the future I may have ACL reconstruction surgery. I have deferred this based upon advice from the doctors as well as a lack of time to recover over the coming year. I also have a brace that I am comfortable playing with and that should provide sufficient support for the next few years. Will it be necessary as I age? Apparently, not. In 20 or 30 years my knees shall be much stiffer and I shall not be hindered by the lack of an ACL. So, I’m in a wait in see mode but I suspect that in 3 or 4 years I’ll re-evaluate the situation. This is not only for Ultimate but for the great many other activities that I participate in (speed skating, trail running, etc.) or plan to participate in (long distance hiking and climbing).

I hope this has been interesting for you, I’m pretty boring so we’ll now return to our regularly scheduled posts.

Credit where credit is due

There’s been plenty of gnashing of teeth this week from Ontario teams about the reallocation of C4UC bids. Ultimate Canada has since posted a statement of apology that provides a few details as to why the situation occurred.

Even the most cynical amongst us need to give credit to Ultimate Canada. UC could have ignored this issue and let it die down but instead they have responded with an apology in a relatively short time period. That they accept the full responsibility for the situation and are working to rectify it is also significant. It is difficult to imagine what UC can do to rectify this situation and players should recognize that.

It seems reasonable, at this point, to consider the situation resolved for the community at large. The affected team may continue to pursue the bid but it appears that short of a drastic change for accommodation that they are unlikely to attend C4UC 2017 as a team. Be heartened instead that UC heard you and responded.

How many bids exactly?

There is controversy brewing between Ultimate Canada and Ontario with regards to C4UC. This past weekend OUC was held with the tournament format arranged to send 8 teams to Nationals. This was based upon the website which at the time indicated 8 bids for Ontario.

Following the tournament the bids were reallocated with Ontario now receiving 7 bids. This has ignited criticism from Ultimate Canada members in Ontario for a few reasons with the primary one being that bids for the regions should have been determined prior to regionals. No doubt Ultimate Canada shall take this into consideration in the future but the damage has been done and it is significant.

Ultimate organizations have typically enjoyed a comfortable lack of scrutiny but that is changing rapidly. Events such as this undermine credibility and bring into question the value that organizations provide. With the growth of local leagues, which brings easier access to competitive Ultimate, the National and Provincial/State Organizations rely upon the goodwill and trust of competitive players who wish to participate in their tournaments. Once trust is lost players shall have second thoughts about whether it is worth for them to participate in the system as it exists.

This controversy, though, may be second to something I find more troubling. While the direct impact is to Ontario there are few, if any, voices from non-Ontario players. The bid re-allocation and process affects all players that participated in the series and while today the axe falls on Ontario tomorrow it could be any other province/region. I hope it’s a one time issue it would be heartening to see others in our community voice their support. When they do it’ll be an important reminder to Ontario that we need to do the same.

I should note, this is not an issue about how many bids a province has but rather knowing the parameters of competition in advance. The players, to whom the sport belongs, deserve that.

2017 OUC 4v4 – Results

Yesterday the OUC 4v4s  wrapped up with 18 teams competing for 8 bids to National Championships.

The results (with initial seed) are as follows:

  1. Tune Squad (4)
  2. Crazy Cat Ladies (5)
  3. Tetraphobia (2)
  4. Last Call (3)
  5. Swift (6)
  6. Waitlisted (1)
  7. Quality Control (10)
  8. Oasis (9)
  9. Max Power (8)
  10. Force (11)
  11. Chest Lettuce (7)
  12. Trail Mix (12)
  13. UDF (14)
  14. All-Ages Party (15)
  15. Puppies (17)
  16. Peturbed Pachyderms (16)
  17. Motley Crew (18)
  18. Quad Squad (13)

You can watch some of the live stream on our Videos page on Facebook.

National Championships are less than one month away, March 18-19, at Louis Riel Dome in Ottawa. A total of 24 teams from across Canada shall play in this 3 4v4 National Championship. Expect a preview in the coming weeks.

Not So Ultimate

The last few years have been tough. My work life has consisted of founding/co-founding startups or being an executive at more established companies. This has left little time for Ultimate and as a result my fitness and readiness to play at a high level has taken a hit. In November I suffered a serious setback when I reached back for a disc and had my knee buckle. Unlike 8 years ago, when I partially tore my ACL, I was unable to walk/hobble/put any pressure on my left leg for several days.


The subsequent visits to the doctor’s office, physio, and MRI has revealed two problems:

  1. Inverted meniscus that requires surgery, 6 weeks until 100%
  2. ACL has been non-functional for 8 years, 9 months until 100%

At this point, being a masters age player, not playing much Ultimate, and not having the time to play full time on a team some have counseled me to perhaps hang up my cleats. It’s not an easy decision either way. Saying that I shall no longer play is not the easy way out, it’s a hard decision as is continuing to want to play competitively. What makes this decision doubly difficult is that I recently founded a startup (Minute School, more on this soon) and that leaves little time to train.

Nevertheless, I have carved out some time to train and have tentatively made steps to improve my fitness. The truth is that no matter what happens I am addicted to this sport and our community and will stay involved in some way or other.

So, while the past year as been not so much Ultimate this upcoming year should have more from me on here and on the field. I’ve already planned my trip to Sarasota this fall for US Championships and am tentatively heading to both Canadian and College championships. Stick with me!