Happy New Year (2016)

Alright folks, you’ve recovered from last night/last year and are ready to start things afresh. This is an exciting year and there’s a few things I’m looking forward to.

First is WUGC at St. Albans in England. This is an important benchmark event that allows the program in each country to measure their progress. The past four years have seen a major transition in the top tier within each country with the legends giving way to the, relatively speaking, youth. The new faces we saw four years ago are now the leaders driving and implementing strategy. I think we’ll see the same top contenders that we’ve always seen but the ranking outside of that is very uncertain which shall provide for plenty of excitement.

In Canada there’s a split in CUC with Open/Women’s happening in Edmonton and Mixed in Hamilton. It’s an off year so it’s a good time to see whether it works and what logistical issues there may be (I expect few to none). We’ll likely see 7 or 8 teams from Ontario, if not more, as the West decides that this year isn’t worth attending. We may also see fewer teams from Québec as they focus on sending a large contingent of Women’s teams out West.

Speaking of Women’s teams: the FQU Iris program has had a phenomenal year and it’ll be interesting to see whether they continue the trend. In 2017 teams shall look to qualify for WUCC and with CUC likely in the East they’ll want to get as much experience this year as possible. While sending more Mixed teams may seem attractive from a cost perspective it’s likely in the interest of FQU to send as many of their Women’s teams to Edmonton this year. An invitation to the US Open is also in the cards (if they haven’t already received it).

I’m looking forward to what the Capitals do this year. Last year was tough and many have been quite critical of the program. There’s a push to move them back to city based programs which I think is the opposite of what needs to happen. There’s complaints about lack of development which is something that a strong provincial body can assist with. Basically, Ontario needs to get it together and unify in their Ultimate development otherwise we’re going to see waning results going forward.

With 2016 starting off it’s worth thinking forward to where Ultimate is going to be in Canada in 2019, the next CUC that decides who forms Team Canada in each division. Actually, will that still be the way we do it? I’ve received plenty of feedback and comments that we should select All Star teams with tryouts. The advocates point to the US model of picking All Star teams (this model is use in other countries as well). I’m still leaning towards our current model as we have seen greater openness and the stars are quite well known. Picking an All Star team is not like picking a team that shall play over a single season or multiple seasons. You want to pick the best team that shall perform as well as possible at a single tournament. Those players need to be able to handle the mental and physical demands every moment that they’re both on and off the field. The US can do it because they have hundreds of star players; the rest of the World, not so much. So we’ll see how that selection conversation turns out but it’ll certainly start up this year based upon performance of Canadian teams at WUCC.

Back to 2019! Open shall remain focused out of Toronto and Vancouver. They’re major population centers where there’s a higher concentration of the type of smart team player that plays elite Ultimate is based out of. Before anybody snaps my head off, those players exist across Canada in major cities and villages, it’s the GTA and Vancouver that have the highest concentrations needed to make winning teams.

For Women’s we’ll see Vancouver, Ontario, and Québec all contend for the title. I’m saying Ontario rather than Toronto or Ottawa as I hope that players and coaches figure out how to put together a great Ontario based team. We’re going to see some great players out of the east and prairies as well but they’ll likely move to and play with a Vancouver or Toronto team.

Mixed is a strange conundrum given how Vancouver/TFP operates. There shall likely be some sort of TFP team, yet again. Their closest challenger is likely to be out of Québec as players cycle out of Open and Women’s to form a strong Mixed team. While Ontario has some strong programs we’re going to need some elite Open and Women’s players to shift to Mixed to put up a strong fight for gold. But I see a resurgence in Mixed from Québec in the next few years.

For Open Masters the focus is going to be between Vancouver and Toronto. The matriculation from Open to Masters at a fairly young age should be a sign to the rest of Canada that this division is now population center focused. There is a steady stream of players in each region that shall now graduate to the Masters division from Open.

The same could be said for Women’s Masters. The division is healthy now and shall continue to remain as such. The power center is currently in Québec but Vancouver and Toronto are close on their heels. In the next four years we should see a team outside of Vintage win CUC. In 2019, though, there’s going to be some very strong Iris players moving on up.

Finally, I foresee a Mixed Masters team and an Open Grandmasters needing to be selected in 2019. I don’t see either of them getting divisions at CUC within that time period.

In any case, I welcome feedback and dialogue. I was happy to hear from you on the Women’s article earlier as I gained quite a bit of insight. Hope you all have a safe 2016 that’s free from any major injury but enough bumps and bruises that you feel like you left it all on the field.

WUGC 2012 – Day 6

What a day!  The upset of the tournament (so far) and conditions that influenced every game.  Round robins wrapped up and quarters started in Open and Mixed divisions.  While I did take some photos most of my day was spent chatting with the SkyD guys.  We walked between several games and had thoroughly interesting conversations.  We livened things up with spectators that got very emotional and in general experienced the fantastic atmosphere that is WUGC 2012.

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WUGC 2012 – Day 5

Day 5 and we’re past the midway point of this great tournament.  We’re now done with cross overs and power pools, it’s time for elimination play, and nerves for fans at home and on the sidelines.  For those of you new to the blog, please do not be put off by how negative this post will be, it’s not all cheery at J-GREEN SAKAI.

In this post I’ll cover:  Team Canada (as usual), Team USA, Team Japan, and Team Australia.  Yes, the big four are being talked about mostly because my friend Matt Kass pointed out that all y’all will have them on your mind and I should probably start making bold and wildly accurate predictions.

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WUGC 2012 – Day 2

Day 2!  Following the showcase games the various divisions get down to figuring out where they really stand.  Today was a day of wandering and I found a couple pretty good spots to sit and watch the games from.  While I made an effort to get to some Team Canada games I was really out looking for friends and shall do so for most of the tournament.  Anyhow, I’ll quickly recap the few games I watched, what bothered me, a few discussions I had, and an upset.

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WFDF WUGC 2012 in Japan!

WFDF have posted that WUGC 2012 will be held in Sakai, Japan on July 7th to 14th!

Their words:

The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) announced today that it has awarded the 2012 World Ultimate and Guts Championships (WUGC) to the Japan Flying Disc Association (JFDA). This quadrennial event will be hosted in the city of Sakai, Japan, 7 – 14 July 2012.

Upon the recommendation of the Ultimate and Guts Committees, the WFDF Board of Directors approved the bid from the JFDA during their latest meeting, thus returning the World Championships to Japan for the first time since 1992.

“In the face of the adversity faced by the Japanese people due to the unfortunate events earlier this year, our decision to award the WUGC 2012 to Japan is an expression of our support for their recovery efforts and our confidence in the strong spirit and resolve of the Japanese people and Japan Flying Disc players,” commented Robert “Nob” Rauch, WFDF President, upon the signing of the Host City contract. “Japan has submitted a strong bid developed by an experienced team around JFDA President and WFDF Board member Fumio Morooka and Tournament Director Masakazu Honda. WFDF is pleased to be able to return the WUGC to Japan on the 20th anniversary of the first time the event was hosted in Japan, an event in which I personally played”.

Up to five divisions in Ultimate will be played during WUGC 2012: open, women`s, mixed, masters and possibly women`s masters. The Organizers expect a minimum of 60 national Ultimate teams across the various divisions to participate in this prestigious event. The World Guts Championship will also be showcased.

The event will be held on the 18 Ultimate fields of the J-Green Sakai national training center in the city of Sakai (Osaka Prefecture), located some 400km southwest from Tokyo, and 600 km southwest from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The Opening and closing ceremonies will be held in the main stadium of J-Green Sakai on 7 July and 14 July 2012 respectively. The main venue can accommodate some 3,500 spectators.

Sidelines

After a long hiatus of the Sidelines posts we return!  With (hopefully) great success!!!  Please be careful as you could very well waste a few hours at work exploring what we’ve got below.

  • Acapulco
  • Nine Bullets
  • Bullets and Lightning
  • Ultimate Canada Committee Positions
  • Odyssee
  • Master Frisbee
  • EUCF All Stats
  • 2010 Boston Invite Final
  • Stoly Ultimate vs Flying Angels Bern at WUCC 2010
  • 2008 South Regional Finals

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Sidelines: 2010-10-08

Hello Friday!  Actually, I hope it’s Friday as these days are rushing by.  With another Regionals weekend starting soon and one that just went by you can be sure that there’ll be Regionals specific content in these weekly updates.

Covered in the short list this week:

  • Photos from NW Regionals by Alex Yuen
  • Update post from Seattle Riot about the NW Regionals Win
  • ATV Frisbee Fetchin’
  • NW Mixed Finals
  • Philly Fusion Update
  • Bear Ninja Cowgirl
  • WFDF Updates
  • Ridgemont Ultimate Tournament in Ottawa
  • USA Ultimate 2010 College Photos
  • Sockeye vs Revolver NW Regionals Finals

Come to think of it…that’s not all that short of a list.

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