CUUC Preview

Hey, it’s that time of the year again folks, the Canadian University Ultimate Championships are just around the corner.

It’s unsurprising how hard it is to write a folksy blog. But nonetheless, I assume we’re all excited to make the journey up the 416 to Ottawa (or however we may all be getting there). So far we’re looking at rain for Friday, clearing up into a chilly but clear Saturday and Sunday, perfect weather. Ideally, rain softens the fields and our traction comes back for the knockout stages. Photographers, keep your lenses at the ready on Friday, there’s always a ridiculous highlight reel on wet days. If fans can look forward to watching the finals under the sun, we players get to look forward to playing some incredible ultimate with some of the nation’s top university teams. I’m excited.

So before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there are a few changes being made before this year’s CUUC, rules-wise. In the past, teams have had 3 exceptions that could be brought in from other schools. Not so this year. This year, you do get 3 exceptions, but you have to apply to Ultimate Canada and have a strong, valid reason for having said exceptions. I don’t know how harshly this is being enforced, but it might affect some teams with players from the local college (i.e. Fanshawe, OCAD, RMC, etc). Teams will also be allowed only 5 part-time students, and the eligibility rules will stay the same as was.

These aren’t all the changes but they’re the important ones that will affect you. Ultimate Canada says that these changes were made to legitimize the University loop, which makes sense. If Ultimate is to grow as a professional sport then there need to be rules and regulations so that the sport doesn’t become anarchy, I think we can all agree on this.

Back to the issue at hand. That being introducing CUUC.

Hosted by last year’s reigning champions, the University of Ottawa’s Lady Gee Gee’s, CUUC 2010 features 21 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams. All games will be at Ben Franklin Park (191 Knoxdale Road, Ottawa, for all you who need to GoogleMaps this to make sure it’s real) which has 12 full-sized grass fields, which I am thankful for. Round Robin play starts Friday morning, finals go Sunday afternoon, so all you fans, watching for the next Andrew-Fleming-esque catch, be there. Because it’ll happen.

The hosting Lady Gee Gee’s will look to repeat this year, as will the Carleton Ravens and I. Strong competition from TULA, Carleton and McGill in the women’s division should prove a tight 12-team tournament, as was the case at CEUUC. More of the same for the men’s side, with TULA, Western, McGill, Guelph, Queen’s and all the other entrants making very strong bids for the championship. With such a strong division, anything could happen.

IAmUltimate will of course be covering CUUC, links will be posted when things start to happen so stay tuned. :)

To all who are going, in the immortal words of Edward R. Murrow, good night, and good luck.

– JJ

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