Women’s Hootenanny Review

Thanks to FOTB Randall Bugg for sending us his thoughts on the weekend. Sorry it took so long to get them posted.

In the fourth year of Hootenanny Showdown, I gravitated away from playing with the Auburn Alumni team as much and watching the guys play and found myself spending more time on the women’s fields this year due to the fact that my youngest daughter is a rookie on the Auburn Ares Team.  Although the women had a smaller field than the guys and no split squads, the drama and entertainment was no less dramatic and entertaining.  Some random observations…

The day started out with Auburn losing to Kennesaw State, who came into the tourney with a strong roster of tall, talented experienced players.  The wind gave Ares difficulties very early on and the lady Owls used this advantage to run away to a 10-2 victory.

Auburn may struggled a bit early on Saturday, but will be a force to be reckoned with come spring.  Kristen Fedorenko, Ares top returning player, was sidelined due to a recent shoulder surgery, so as soon as she steps back on the field, the team will get a boost.  That being said, there is no lack of returning talent.  Andrea Rocchi demonstrated her worth in the very next game against Vanderbilt VUDU with clutch grabs, especially on universe point to keep the team alive.  Unfortunately, Ares lost to Vandy 6-5 during the windiest part of the day.  The final point, according to VUDU’s Twitter feed, was 37 minutes long.  It featured no less than 40 turns and could not be described as fundamentally sound Ultimate.

VUDU would make a habit of winning close games all tournament.     After starting the day with a 7-5 win over Tulane and the universe point win against Auburn, they defeated UAB 9-6.  Unfortunately, their Saturday ended with a 11-1 loss to the Auburn Alumni team before closing out pool play on Sunday with a 6-5 win over Kennesaw State.  Vandy lost a solid senior class last year but has seen a large rookie class join the team this fall, including Caroline Hubbard, a solid handler from Paideia and Emily Layton, a speedy cutter out of Edina, Minnesota.   Other key players for VUDU included Charlotte Duran, their senior captain, who was a nightmare for handlers with her marks.  She recorded several handblocks throughout the tourney.  She and Ashely Yao provided long hucks into the wind as Vandy used a huck and play defense during the windy conditions on Saturday.  Two sophomores stepped up their game this year.  Sofia Lima was solid as a handler, both offensively and as a handler defender and Lizzie Carsello has developed as a smart and talented cutter after spending the summer playing club with Hairy Otter.

Auburn turned the day around in the third round, defeating Tulane 10-2, who was coming off a shutout loss to the Alumni team.  The Muses struggled all tournament long on offense and defense, only recording 5 points in a pool play game twice and only holding an opponent to less than 9 once.  Their roster was not huge and they looked to be developing chemistry and skills, but never could quite pull it together enough in a game to record a victory.  They would end Saturday losing to Kennesaw State by a score of 11-2 and then start off Sunday with a 9-5 loss to UAB Ember and then losing the 5th place game to Ember by a similar score.  They did not have the large roster at Auburn that you have come to expect.  I would think the results of the tournament might have been an anomaly and Tulane will make a rebound come spring.

Speaking of Ember, after going winless on Saturday, they rebounded nicely with the pair of wins on Sunday.  The second year team has not experienced one of the banes of new programs, which is a lack of players.  According to Coach Clair Burns, they consistently have 25 players at practice.  They also benefit from the experience of Claire and Lizz Mastrandonas as coaches, a luxury for a burgeoning program.  The team’s leader on and off the field has to be second year captain Mary Hulcher.  The disc always flows through her.  Her height, backhand hucks, and smarts make her a player to watch in the women’s division.  The other two captains, Lana Hajazen and Darby Franklin are also keys to Ember’s quick Growth.  Darby played with the men’s team before there was an Ember and as a lefty handler provides matchup issues for opponents on offense and defense.  Lena, although not as tall as her co-captains, will beat much taller players in the air consistently.  Two rookies were also key in the wins on Sunday.  Cheyenne Shaughnessy aggressiveness, height and endurance allowed her to make numerous D’s and come out of the tournament as the team MVP.  Jordan Stewart is another first year player that has worked hard to get her throws down over the fall.  Also, if there is a disc in the air, she is going for it.  Ember might not have recorded as many wins as they would have liked, but the results of players stepping up and contributing was encouraging for their coaches.

In Round 4, UAB lost to Auburn by a score of 10-2.  Auburn continued their upward trend in this game, using their experience and big roster to wear down the opponent.  With rookies and returners almost even in numbers. Auburn showed a vast improvement after struggling with the wind the first two rounds.  Returners Keri Atchison and Dani Mangieri were strong contributors all day.  Dani’s ability to get open against taller players by using her speed and then her vertical to make the catch is unmatched.  Keri is a steady performer who can be counted on to make the tough catch and the right decision once she gets it.  Second year handler Maddie Boyd was also a key to the success of the team over the weekend.  Her throws have developed after a year of Club with Steel, as well as her confidence.  Katie Good, Trish Feeney and Rachel Dawson all recorded significant playing time and contributions during the tournament and will be key in the success of the team going forward.  Auburn closed out pool play with a loss to the Alumni team and prepared for a rematch with Kennesaw.

One thing that impressed me about the rookie class for Ares was the improvement in individual skills from the beginning of the semester until now.  Players that were not confident in their flicks at the beginning of fall were now preferring them over their backhands.  The continued development of these players, who scored at least twice on pure rookie points, will be key in the spring season.

Sunday’s bracket play was chalk, as Auburn Alumni beat Kennesaw and VUDU again bested Ares in a close semifinal game.  The Alumni won the tournament against VUDU in the final and Auburn avenged their tournament opening loss to Kennesaw in the third place bracket.

Last thoughts on the weekend…

With K Fed back, Ares should be improved in the future, but VUDU will be strong as well.  It will be interesting to see if these two build on their early success.  With most teams experiencing significant losses, the picture will be muddled until we can determine what teams like Ole Miss and Alabama bring to the table.  Tulane will improve and UAB may be a team to keep an eye on as they continue to grow.

Until CCC…


2016 SAPP CON All-Section Results

After another very successful year in the SAPP CON, we look back and recognize the top players from the section. Below are the results from 80+ votes between current coaches and players in the SAPP CON. Not bad at all for our inaugural season.


First Team
Anders Olsen (Emory)
Daniel Sperling (Emory)
JP Burns (KSU)
Nathan Haskell (UGA)
Parker Bray (UGA)
Paul Lally (UTC)
Sam Little (UGA)

Second Team
Charles Loudermilk (KSU)
Chris Calhoun (UT)
Devon Rogers (Ga Tech)
Mac McClellan (UT)
Mike Bartell (Emory)
Stephen Burkot (Ga Tech)
Zack Avello (UTC)


Sam Little (UGA)


Once again, congrats to these players on their successful seasons. Be on the look out for a WAY Too Early SAPP CON Power Rankings coming soon, as well as some here and there club coverage.

Until then…


2016 GC All-Section Results presented by Spin Ultimate

Sorry for the delay, life gets in the way sometimes. Congrats to everyone who won. We may be in contact for some sweet spin swag for first teamers, FOTY, and POTY.


First Team
Ben Lamport (Tulane)
Blake Galloway (Auburn)
Danny On (Vandy)
Eric Sjostrom (Auburn)
Nathan Oaks (Bama)
Ryan Landry (Auburn)
Tom Echols (LSU)

Second Team
Chance Cochran (Tulane)
Ethan Downs (UAB)
Evan Boecking (Auburn)
Evan Walter (Tulane)
Michael Burke (UAB)
Tanner Robinson (MSU)
Travis Vermaelen (LSU)

Johnny Sims (LSU)

Ryan Landry (Auburn)


First Team
Charlotte Doran (Vandy)
Emelia Marshall (LSU)
Hayley Djuric (Bama)
Jin-Mi Matsunaga (Vandy)
Kristine Fedorenko (Auburn)
Marypat Henry (Tulane)
Tara Massouleh (Bama)

Second Team
Alex Jones (Bama)
Brooke Holloway (Ole Miss)
Courtney Foster (Tulane)
Dana Bramlitt (MSU)
Gina Guillory (LSU)
Inah Hong (LSU)
Kellie Ellis (MSU)
Meredith Johnson (Auburn)
**Tie for last spot**

Julia Becker (Bama)
Sofia Lima (Vandy)
**Tie for FOTY**

Charlotte Doran (Vandy)


All-Section/FOTY/POTY Nominations Thread

So it begins!

Today we’ll be starting the nomination process for All-Section, Freshman of the Year, and Player of the Year. STAND UP BAMA SECS NATION!!!

We here at Bama Secs already have an idea of who we’ll be placing on the ballot, but today is your chance to tell us who you think belongs on this year’s ballot. In the comments below we want to hear everyone’s nominations. If possible include all nominations you believe are worthy in both the men’s AND women’s division! The more the better, the cockier the better, the weirder the better, the more Vandy talk the weirder, and don’t forget Myron Hardy!

We’ll be taking nominations through Wednesday so you can expect ballots soon after that. Let’s get to smack talking! Because I’m sure no one in this section can guard anyone at the same time as they shut down everyone… If you need to see some of the nominations from years past, click 20152014, 2013, and the best of all time.

Arm yourself with the most bias of opinions and prepare to enter the black hole that is.. the Bama Secs nominations thread.


GC Fan Predictions (Results)

Time for fun with charts! A few notes first:

  1. I deleted some obvious troll ballots, or any that were actually impossible. That left about 70 valid submissions.
  2. Ole Miss received more first place votes (4) than 2/3/4/5 votes combined (3). Homers.
  3. I didn’t generate charts for the women because there ended up being 6 good submissions. Everyone is confident that Auburn, Alabama, and Tulane will advance. 4th place was all over the place.

To the charts!

pool a

Overwhelming support for Auburn to win the pool. UAB/MSU is a tossup in everyone’s eyes. Ole Miss/USM hold seed.

pool b

Tulane is the favorite to win the pool over LSU, but not by an overwhelming margin. Alabama and Vandy are expected to battle it out for 3/4.

bid winners

Auburn is the favorite to win the title with 65% of the first place votes. Tulane has at least 20% of the vote for first, second, and third. LSU is all over the place with their most common being 56% of the third place votes. Every team got at least 1 fourth place vote with UAB leading the pack at 39% and MSU behind them with 29%. Fifth place had a fairly large distribution of picks with MSU leading at 35%, and both UAB and Alabama with 22%.


Everyone is pretty positive that Auburn, Tulane, and LSU are all going to advance. After that, things get a bit murky. It’s a bit of a surprise to see the 5 seed MSU have a slight 2% lead over the 4 seed UAB, an it also surprises me ow much of a separation their is between UAB/MSU and Bama/Vandy. Those 4 teams are going to be in a dog fight on Sunday.

Sectionals Week Thoughts

As someone recently pointed out to me, does anyone really care about winning the section anymore? Ever since USAU expanded the number of regions from 8 to 10, split D3/Dev from D1, and created new conferences, sectionals/conferences has been boring. Sure, it was cool that Bama continued their winning streak, and then it was cool that Auburn broke that streak to win their first title since Rob White’s heyday with the Hare Jordans. But did it actually matter?

Making regionals used to mean something significant because it really was the best of the best. The last year of the 8 region setup, 462 men’s teams competed for 128 spots at regionals. The South region alone had 54 teams, meaning 29.7% advanced. Compare that to this year’s SE region- 32 teams fighting for the same 16 spots, so 50% of teams advance. Considering 7 of those teams are fighting for 1 spot, we have 25 teams fighting over 15 spots, or a 60% advancement rate. The top teams no longer have to worry about making regionals anymore and this is a great thing for competition.

Non-elite teams used to have to peak at sectionals just in order to have a chance at advancing. What they did after sectionals was never given much thought because no one was really sure they were going to make it. Since the expansion from 8->10 regions, a team from the GC has at least made a game to go to a game to go every year except one. The last time that happened prior to 2011 was probably LSU sometime around 2000 (didn’t look it up because time), but we have now done it 4 out of 5 years and that streak will likely continue in 2016.

Teams now view regular season events with more importance than sectionals. A coach told me he doesn’t care if his star players win POTY or the section title, he only cares if they dominate games that determine nationals’ bids during the season and Sunday games at regionals. When USAU got rid of size/region strength bids and went to auto/team strength bids only, it became obvious that elite teams should put more energy into the regular season since it could make their postseason paths much easier. Teams quit playing lots of local tournaments and started to figure out how to maximize the return on their game-play.

Gone are the days where Ttown Throwdown was essentially Sectionals Part 1, Mardi Gras Part 2, and Music City Tuneup Part 3. Instead of playing essentially everyone in your section at least once (and sometimes 2-3 times) before the end of the regular season, teams are going to California, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, and everywhere in between to find the best path for themselves. That means you may see 2 or 3 teams from your conference in the regular season total.

Sectionals used to matter not only because it was so much harder to qualify for regionals, but because we all played each other so often in the regular season. Teams knew everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, and they knew how to exploit them. Games were so intense because you were playing the known enemy, the ones you had shared the field with so often. People cared because you knew you could beat each other, and there were real consequences to losing games. A 3rd backdoor safety net didn’t exist.

The same issues exist with All-Section voting these days. Because teams hardly see each other anymore, they really don’t know who the best players are. A guy like Stephen Rhea at Samford got tons of respect from his fellow players back his era because every team from the section that played them knew how good he was as an individual even if Samford wasn’t that great as a whole. It is almost impossible to separate the skill of the individual from the skill of the team unless you’ve had to mark someone for 30 points across the season.

Of course, if someone other than Auburn/Tulane (and I suppose LSU) wins this year, then it WILL matter. It would not only be a huge upset to see UAB/MSU win their first title or Bama/Vandy reclaim their former glory, but it would also throw a wrench in the regionals seeding. That is what makes sectionals matter in the end.

End rambling thoughts. Predictions to come when weather forecast is clearer. Feel free to use this post as the sectionals hype/trash talk thread.

Men’s SE Bid Picture With 2 Weeks To Go

D1 bid picture

As it stands now, both both #9 Florida and #15 Georgia have bids to nationals for the SE. Florida’s spot is all but secure, and UGA is sitting pretty after a good Eastern’s performance. Based on who has games left where, I just don’t see 3 teams overtaking UGA. Rumor on the street is LSU and Tulane have both decided not to attend the smaller Centex this year in favor of Huck Finn. If that is the case, #3 Minnesota will be there along with 13 teams ranked between 18-41. Considering the average power ranking of the top 15 teams attending is around 1775, gaining a third bid is not out of the question. While a fourth bid could also happen, it is unlikely due to the increased chance of intra-SE games at Huck Finn. It is unclear at this time if FSU will play Centex or any other events before the season ends.

For bids to regionals we currently stand at 4 for Florida, 6 for SAPP, 5 for Gulf Coast, and 1 for SE Dev. The only 2 moving parts left are UGA-B and Vandy. UGA-B is sitting at 12-0 against mostly other B teams, and if you look at their results, only 5 of those 12 games are actually being used to calculate their ranking. They have 7 blowout wins that actually hurt their ranking. The question is this- how far will they fall when teams’ results get dropped at the end of the year? This happens every year with B teams since a bunch of them only play 1 sanctioned tournament. Someone will be elevated because they crushed a bunch of B teams, and then will drop like a rock once teams without 10 games are dropped.

Vandy is the only team that I know of outside the teams at the top that has games left. Vandy’s current ranking is based on only 7 games, so it should be easy for them to rise with a decent performance in their only other tournament. I was told they were playing an event in Kentucky, and since Cardinal Classic is the only one that fits that description, that is the assumption I am going with.

One note before my predictions- UTC is only listed as having played 14 games even though you will find 21 on their team page. They had a player rostered at Ttown that was ineligible (unbeknownst to them), so that entire event was thrown out.

Predictions- 3 bids to nationals, GC gets 6 to regionals, FL gets 4, and SAPP gets 6. Dev gets left out.

D3 bid picture

Currently, SE D3M have 1 bid to nationals with Georgia College sitting at #15 (although the actual cutoff is between 13 and 14 because OV and ME also don’t have teams in the top 16. Union is really the only team within striking distance of a second bid at #23. They have a chance to improve their ranking a ton at D3 Easterns, and considering how wildly D3 Rankings can swing week to week, I have no clue what to expect.

As for bids to regionals, it will probably just end up an even 4/4 split because not enough teams will have 10 games to allocate them all via strength bids. This may be the first year that Georgia College is really challenged for the spot to nationals with Union, UNG, and UAH all looking like solid D3 teams. Should be a fun way to start a real D3 regionals.

Bama Secs Select- A Retrospective

I’ve been thinking about the event as a whole since Saturday and talking with lots of people, and it is time to put pen to paper. First, I want to thank everyone who contributed in making the event a success- the college players who spent their free time to come to Atlanta, the Hustle people for wanting to do this kind of thing, the tech guys for being willing to do a live stream, Spin for getting us some good swag, and countless others that I have forgotten.  To the fans, thank you for coming to the game and being rowdy. Thank you for watching us online and giving us great feedback via twitter. You’ve shown us that there is a market for this kind of event, and we hope to be able to deliver more in the future.

On Commentating
Both Hardman and I were excited to try out commentating for the first time, and we both felt a little nervous going into the game. I went back and watched the game, and the first quarter was a little rough from our end. It is tough to find a balance of giving the viewer enough and too much information. I think we sounded the best in the 2nd/3rd/4th quarters after we had run out of pre-thought out jokes, and just talked about the game when we had something decent to say. It was interesting to see how we developed our commentary handoffs from one to the other over the course of the game- we talked over each other a lot at the beginning, and then seemed more smooth towards the end.

I’ve always been critical of professional commentators on the major sports networks who can’t keep players’ names straight during the games, but I think I have a new appreciation for how tough it is. I will give both us some slack since we were working with a Hustle squad with mismatched uniforms and a BSS squad that had multiple of the same numbers. We were offered some binoculars in the press box before the game started, and I didn’t think we would need them since we knew almost all the guys playing. I was wrong. When everyone has similar builds and wears hats, it is really hard to differentiate from 30 rows up.

Given how everything went, I would definitely like to try my hand at commentary again. There are lots of things I would fix- have better notes ready for the game, have rosters and stat sheets printed out instead of on a laptop, binoculars, limit usage of the adjectives “little” and “nice” when describing throws, and have a monitor so we can see what the stream looks like. We didn’t know the public couldn’t see the time until someone told us in the second quarter.

The Stream
Streaming ultimate is hard even when you have a good internet setup. With all the different pieces of equipment involved, you never know what is going to go wrong. Before the game, we tried to fix the issue of the commentary only coming through one speaker, but we couldn’t based on how the audio was being routed. When the stream went down, our internet connection via ethernet was still working just fine. For some reason, though, we could no longer connect to the youtube server hosting the stream. We suspect it had something to do with the internet being on a school network, and pushing large amounts of data across it for multiple hours. We got everything back up on some public wifi, but the connection was so up and down we have no clue what people were actually seeing at home.

If you are looking to get into the streaming game, OBS is a must (https://obsproject.com/). It allowed us to fairly easily overlay a scoreboard and sponsor graphic. There are other products out there that can do this, but OBS is free!

Next Year
We asked our players for feedback on the event, and the guys that aren’t graduating unanimously said they would come back next year if asked. There was some discussion by the players about how we could expand the event to include other SE teams, but I’m honestly not sure it makes sense. Of the 3 teams in our footprint (Nashville, Jacksonville, ATL), Atlanta is pretty much a perfect storm of factors that led to success-

  1. Large youth scene that will attend a college all star game
  2. Large local ultimate scene
  3. Good stadium setup/location
  4. Short-Mid Range drive for most of the region

I would be interested in seeing how this could possibly work in Nashville or Jacksonville, but I can’t get the thought out of my head that maybe Atlanta just has the best setup for this. If we tried to play a game in each city across multiple weekends, the college players would have to commit a lot more time/energy/money to travel, and potentially miss a college tournament. We hit a sweet spot of schools on spring break, and between the Stanford/Tally and Easterns weekends. There are very few weekends in the spring that all the best players are going to be available. If we had only been able to draw in 50% of the perceived best SE talent and the game wasn’t nearly as competitive or interesting, I think we would have a very different outlook for next year.

I’ve had a few people ask about a women’s version of this event, and we touched on it a bit when we interviewed Hannah during the game. I would love to be able to partner with a group to put together a SE women’s college all star team, but we are going to have to find that partner first. The Hustle were the ones who approached us with the idea, and without them, we probably wouldn’t have tried something like it. We just don’t have the manpower or contacts to run events on this scale without partners.

Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought of the event, and what we should change in the future.

(Video links- first half, second half, highlights)

SAPP CON Women’s Mid Season Power Rankings

Once again thanks to Emory Luna Coach Keith Raynor for this in-depth write up!
New Power Rankings! We’ve got results for most of the teams in the Conference (and the region) so the picture is starting to take shape for Conferences and Regionals. With that in mind, I’ve noted each team’s overall sanctioned record (OVR), in-region record (IR), and out of conference record against Southeast Region teams (OC).

10: Berry College

Until they prove they exist this season, we’ll just leave this here.

9: Georgia Southern (OVR: 2-4, IR: 1-3, OC: 1-3) 

While they finally debuted, and thus exist, which is probably the lede, this team is now called the Southern Sirens, according to USAU, which I think is the third name I’ve heard for them in 3 years. Considering there’s another Sirens in the region, dunno if this will stick, but let’s run with it. On the one hand, a pair of wins looks surprisingly good for our Sirens, but they also took a serious beating from FSU-B. Probably their best showing a 9-7 loss to Tulane! There’s potential here.

8: Georgia State (OVR: 1-5, IR: NA, OC: NA)

This team is still just, when healthy, probably more talented at the top than UTC and Georgia College. But with minimal legs, reps, and depth, they may not have what it takes to some of the Conferences other teams. Early returns are not strong, but it isn’t clear who was their to perform for them in their lone tournament, Joint Summit.

7: Georgia College (OVR: 3-3, IR: 3-3, OC: 2-1)

Solid if unspectacular showing at Hundred Acre Wood shows the resident D3 team has some chops. Dunno how they’ll fare against the top four, but after that…

6: Tennessee (OVR: 3-8, IR: 3-6, OC: 3-5)

They did not put up their best showing at Florida Winter Classic, and Only Ten I See did not bounce them back. After beating Emory in the fall, they got rocked 14-6 at FWC, albeit probably short some firepower. Then, they missed some close ones at Only Ten I See to Winona State and Tennessee-Chattanooga, finishing 5th after being seeded 3rd. Inconsistency seems to be their biggest weakness right now, as they rely on a couple of players to do a lot around the disc.

5: UT-Chattanooga (OVR: 5-8, IR: 3-8, OC: 1-6)

The biggest win for UTC was obviously besting in-state rival, Tennessee, which gives them double game point victories over both Georgia College and Tennessee. You can see how this unfolds in the rankings. UTC’s 3-4 record was actually enough to get them 3rd at Only Ten I See, although their 0-4 out of conference record drops them to 1-6 against the rest of the Southeast. Ouch.

4: Emory (OVR: 3-9, IR: 2-6, OC: 1-4)

Any questions about the SAPP Con pecking order were pretty roundly answered by KSU thumping Emory 14-6 at Moonlight Invite. But Luna actually pieced together some close losses to Auburn and Vandy in other showings, and they looked like they are improving. Right now, though, they just don’t seem to have a lot of killer instinct, a byproduct of their youth.

3: Kennesaw State (OVR: 3-3, IR: 2-2, OC: 1-1)

Things are coming together for Strix, who is getting production from role players and top end alike that they haven’t had before. Their success is begetting confidence that makes them dangerous in games they really want. Depth might still be an issue, but expectations keep going up for KSU because they keep stringing together results.

2: Georgia (OVR: 9-5, IR: 4-0, OC: 3-0)

It feels like a dead horse, but Georgia looked so young at Queen City Tune Up. Marsh and Yang buck that trend with their on-field authority, and when freshman Sally Cummings is on, she shows the potential to take over points. But it is still a work in progress. They still have what it takes to get better, as shown by a 2 point win over Bama on Saturday at Hundrend Acre Wood followed by a 7 point victory on Sunday.

1: Georgia Tech (OVR: 13-13, IR: 11-1, OC: 8-1)

Wreck took on elite competition at QCTU, and got a rude awakening Saturday, going 1-4 and getting decked a few times. But they did nearly topple Virginia in an awesome game and bounced Sunday with some much stronger play after they collected themselves. But they were easily the best team at Moonlight Invite and turned in an awesome Tally Classic where they finished second and traded games with FSU. Undoubtedly, GT has the top disc skills in the conference and that makes them a real pain to match up with.

The Bid Picture

By my count, after this past weekend (thanks UAB and Georgia Southern!), the Southeast Region should have 25 competing teams, making for a 12 bid Southeast Regionals. You can rejoice now.

SAPP Con should be on line for four to six of those bids. South Florida and Mississippi State both had big weekends, but LSU and Tulane did not help out that same conference. Tennessee and UTC may have swapped places or just pulled each other down. Should some teams vanish and we only get 10 team regionals, the question becomes for SAPP Con would we be able to get 3 or snag a 4th? FL is basically a lock for three bids, but SAPP Con and Bamasecs will battle it out for supremacy. It will probably come down to KSU, Emory, and Tennessee/UTC against Bama, Tulane, Mississippi State. Early returns favor Bamasecs; that group for SAPP Con is 6-16 out of conference while Gulf Coast’s record is 12-5. The real SAPP Con disaster would be failing to even protect the third bid. Shudder, don’t think about it too much. Just don’t let up late in the game against a Bamasecs AKA Gulf Coast squad.

Stack 1.1 – Score Reporter

***Editor’s Note- We have given Brad free reign to post updates about his ultimate news app Stack on Bama Secs as we think it is awesome. Support him and download it today!***

Stack version 1.1 has just been released and with it brings some big changes. First off, I’ve received a ton of great feedback from the community and want to encourage everyone to keep sending it. I store all of the actionable feedback on Github in the Issues list, so feel free to add anything you can think of there (bugs, crashes, new features, updates). My goal is to try to release an update to Stack every 2-3 weeks.

The biggest thing this update is the addition of the Events section. It provides access to USAU’s Score Reporter database and displays tournaments, schedules, brackets, and games. It provides the same features as USAU’s Events section in their official app, but contains some big usability updates. I’ve added a search bar to the main events list and sectioned them off by date, which cuts down the time to find an event exponentially and makes it actually usable. There are some inconsistencies with the tournament data, but those are all in the Score Reporter database, so there isn’t much I can do on that front to fix any of it. I built the Events section in just a few days, so this is very much a beta version. There are still some performance improvements that need to happen for everyone with older devices (iPhone 4) and if you have any suggestions for new features in Events, please let me know.


If you’d like to see more updates to the Events section, let USAU know that they should give me more access to Score Reporter by emailing them at andy@hq.usaultimate.org.

Now on to the bad news, Ultiworld has decided not to participate with Stack anymore. They are doing so because of prospective losses in ad revenue from their website. They produce some great content and I’d love for them to be included in Stack, but I honored their wishes and removed them from our feed.

Moving the Club Season Part 2


See Part 1 here

First, I want to thank everyone for the great response to Part 1. We had huge readership numbers and lots of comments on here, twitter, and r/ultimate. I’m glad people feel like our thoughts are a good representation of the issues at hand.

The 2 big reasons USA Ultimate has stated as their driving force behind moving the season (and more importantly Nationals) earlier in the year are:

  1. Get ultimate on TV, specifically ESPN.
  2. Open up more large cities to host Club Nationals, specifically more northern ones.


I mentioned the issues ESPN is having in terms of viewership in part 1. We have to consider that cable TV, especially sports cable TV, is changing very rapidly. The almighty Disney stock is down (despite the huge uptick Star Wars has brought) because of the financial problems ESPN are having. As many in the industry. I believe in the near future we will begin to see sports sold through season passes on different streaming platforms similar to NBA League Pass or MLS Direct Kick. These may be delivered through a set top box, but the mechanisms for choosing sports is going to change.

ESPN Subscribers

Why then should we expect ESPN to make good on the promise to show ultimate if it isn’t during football season? We already have major events not in football season that aren’t being shown on TV. ESPN could easily show the college finals live on ESPNU instead of airing cut down games a week after, but they don’t. Nexgen and Ultiworld do a way better job filming ultimate with far fewer resources than ESPN, and yet we as an ultimate community still don’t pay for their services. Why should we expect the general public to care enough that ESPN will be willing to put their already dwindling resources into a currently niche sport.

“But guys, esports are a niche sport and ESPN is starting to show them!” Have you seen how huge of a following esports have? Twitch already broadcasts games with hundreds of thousands of spectators, and certain game tournaments have 10+ million people following the finals. The most I can remember ever seeing on a free youtube broadcast was maybe 10k. When people had to pay for a weekend pass for a tournament being streamed by NexGen, their total viewer numbers including VOD were, sorry NGN, awful.

USAU has somewhere around 50k members, and while we like to talk about how fast the sport is growing, we are tiny compared to soccer, basketball, baseball, and football. Even US Lacrosse has 450k members! It’s ok to admit that we are a small, niche, but growing sport.

As for opening up more cities, especially in the northern part of the US, to host nationals, the biggest roadblock to hosting isn’t weather. How many large cities have not only the volunteer structure, but a facility big enough to host 3 16 team divisions with all the correct buffer zones USAU wants at their championship events? I currently live in Atlanta, and while we have a huge local ultimate scene that would likely be willing to help staff a national event, we don’t have anywhere even close to big enough to host.

Let’s say NYC ultimate was able to secure the fields on Randall’s Island in Manhattan (assuming it worked for nationals). What do the temperatures look like for late October compared to the end of August? What would they look like the 4 other major ultimate cities?

nyc boston

seattle portlanddenver

In reality, the only thing keeping USAU from sending nationals to not Sarasota/Frisco is the lack of suitable site or lack of support from the local community. If any of the above cities had put in a viable bid prior to the reup with Frisco, I can guarantee nationals would be headed there. I have asked USAU to release the list of bids they get for TCT/Nationals that don’t get picked, but they said it is against their procedure. I would love to discuss the transparency of this process, but that is a topic for another day.

While I would love to return to the days of a permanent home in Sarasota, I understand that it isn’t the cheapest place in the world to get to for everyone. I believe we should have a 3 city rotation including Sarasota, Frisco, and some west coast location. Let’s try that for 2 cycles and see how it works.

College Challenges

With the club season potentially moving into May, we now have a huge conflict with the college division.

  1. College stars will forgo college seasons to focus on the new March/April club preseason. (We’ve already seen some players do this for pro/club)
  2. College players will have skip tournaments to attend club tryouts.
  3. Elite club teams will be less likely to take college players as they have to set their rosters in May.
  4. There will be more injuries and burnout among talented college players as they now have almost no breaks in the calendar (Jan-May college season, May-Aug club season, Sept-Nov fall college/college mixed season)
  5. Club players are less likely to coach local college teams when their respective playing seasons now overlap.


Behind just the logistics of shrinking the season down, the college-club problems created are the biggest reason this shouldn’t happen. Let’s be honest, for the most part, the college game is still pretty ugly to watch. It is advancing in skill and watchability because so many players have access to solid club teams during the summer that they can develop their game at an accelerated rate. Moving the season up only complicates the college-club connection. We are now going to be asking college players to somehow fit a club tryout into their end of semester schedule including exams, college series events, graduation, and moving. What do you think will be the first activity dropped? A tryout in a potentially different city that will eat up a lot of time.

In my opinion, the thing that really drives interest in the college game is how the stars are able to put a team on their back and drag them to glory. How many times have we seen a team come out of nowhere solely because they have 1 superstar player. Now how much more boring would the college division be if a dozen of these guys opted out of their last few years of college eligibility to focus on club ultimate? We will be left with a bunch of above average players duking it out instead of things like this


I’ll wrap up part 2 with this- no matter how you look at things, the club season move creates way more problems than it solves. That should be a big red flag to everyone at HQ.

Moving the Club Season Part 1


Yesterday, USA Ultimate sent out a survey to everyone who participated in the 2015 club season to gauge the player’s opinions on moving the club season up in the year. Below is a summary of the historical ultimate schedule, where we stand this year, and what the proposed move would look like.

season graph

The 2013-2016 era has seen a gradual shift in the post season dates by around a week/year.

moving dates

Having a three week window for sectionals was a little overkill, but the movement to only 1 week has squeezed the season down. We can already see that nationals has moved an entire month, and both sectionals and regionals 3ish weeks. Considering most club teams play a tournament every 3 weeks or so, that means everyone has already lost one tournament from their calendar.

For many in the SE, that meant dropping a fun pre-sectionals event like Shawn Adams. We no longer have the luxury to play a fun event in the middle of our club season because it would mean playing 3 straight weekends (sectionals>SA>regionals). Not only are you risking injury prior to regionals, but most of us just don’t have that kind of free time. We used to be able to use events like SA as a last practice weekend to get everyone back focused for the post season while also reconnecting with the ultimate community, but now the tournament hardly exists solely because of the season movement.

From a logistics perspective, limiting the weekends that sectionals/regionals to 1 instead of the previous 2 is effectively halving the amount of potential hosts. In the past, coordinators could approach host sites with 2 date options and work through the preferred date and field availability. In general, everyone did their best to schedule on the first weekend and left the second as a rain backup. Both 2015 and 2016 have essentially held all of our long Labor Day weekends hostage in case sectionals was rained out the weekend before. All it takes now is a couple of well timed storm systems (Texas on Thurs-MS/AL/GA on Fri-up the coast on Sat) and there would be a massive scramble to get everything done in time. Our weather margin for error is so much smaller than it used to be.

Now, let’s move our focus to the issues that come up with the beginning of the season. While USAU may say that the regular season starts the first weekend in June, in reality very few sanctioned tournaments happen prior to the weekend after Poultry Days (usually around June 20). For example, there were a grand total of 2 sanctioned events prior to June 20th across the entire country. What is causing the delay in starting the regular season?

  1. Most top teams don’t finish up their tryouts until after college nationals, and want to practice before playing a tournament.
  2. Mid level teams have to wait to see who is cut from the upper level teams to finalize their rosters, and then want to practice before playing a tournament.
  3. Lots of college kids move in May, so it just takes a bit to get everyone settled.
  4. Poultry Days is a staple among the crowd that tends to be team/event organizers in this part of the country, and they schedule around it.

USAU included questions in their survey about “how would your team be able to move up it’s processes.” Unless the top teams commit to starting earlier, no one else will. How can a select flight team set their roster on May 1st when they know they have 8 guys going to a couple of elite tryouts? The survey mentions pro/elite teams setting their rosters in early May, but how are they supposed to look at guys who are moving post-college season? Most of the teams in the select flight are made up of 20-25 year olds, and I know my team is in a state of flux until right before the season as people graduate, find new jobs, and move.

This leads us down another path, if the club season ends up getting shifted into May, what changes are in store for the college division? This year, we have regionals scheduled for May 1 or May 8, and nationals May 27-30. So much overlap is going to make club teams just wait for their college guys to be available before they do anything meaningful. Would USAU try to move the college season up? It’s basically impossible.

  1. College Nationals on Memorial Day makes sense as it is guaranteed to avoid almost everyone’s graduation. Schools with early graduation already run into this problem at regionals, but at least they can make part of the tournament since things are closer. Can you imagine a team making college nationals and then losing all of their stars due to it being the second weekend in May?
  2. Half of the country has snow/weather issues until mid March (or later).

I honestly don’t see how the college season can move. Has USAU ever had 2 different divisions overlap? I guess technically Master’s now overlaps with club, but we all know how that change was received. YCC is more a one off event in the middle of the club season instead of a real overlap, so that doesn’t really count. Older ultimate players, have we ever had overlapping seasons in the past?

So what are we left with after the schedule change? A month (May) where the top teams are very unlikely to play any events due to the top college studs still being in season (or at school in general), a month (June) where people are finalizing rosters/practicing/playing Poultry Days before getting in 1 sanctioned event, and a month (July) to play another sanctioned event or two prior to the series starting.

Remember, we are creating all of the above conflict for TV.

It seems like this move only benefits people that want to see us on ESPN, and it is especially harmful to the players who make up mid-lower level teams aka the majority of the players. They are the ones having their season continually shortened, not the players who consistently make regionals/nationals. Let us not forget that the network we are trying to hitch our wagon to isn’t infallible- they’ve lost 7 million subscribers over the last 2 years wiping out 7 years worth of growth.

In Part 2, we’ll discuss the pro leagues, college mixed, new nationals locations, and more!

SAPP CON Power Ranking (updated)

After some major spring tournaments have come and gone, I believe it’s time for our very own SAPP CON Power Rankings! UPDATED EDITION!!!

This is going to be a quick article. And you’re going to like it that way. So get over it. Here’s my splurge for each team and how they have done so far this spring.

9. GGC

Where are you? What are you?


8. Georgia State

As much as we want to make fun of this team for not being good due to the departures of Sam Kim, Spinks, and Kenta, this team is actually better than I was expecting. Now does that mean that they’ll be playing for a sectional title this year? No. But it does mean that they have some young talent that should be developing soon, and as long as they get numbers in recruiting over the next few years they’ll be competing again in no time. Morgan Choi, younger brother of new head coach Sun Choi (former KSU stud) has been great so far this year and has some big potential. Shout out to DK and Felix for being two guys who continually carry this team for the time being.


7. Georgia Southern

With Zaki on the sidelines at T-Town, Southern had a solid Sunday but didn’t do as well as they had planned on Saturday. This team has some athletic depth that we didn’t expect to see and has shown to be a real contender in this section so far this year. The only thing that stops me from putting them higher is who do they go to when they need big plays? Some major contributors left after last year and this team is still in search for those key guys. I believe they find them though and compete extremely well later on this season.


6. Kennesaw State

JP Burns has shown to be a better all around player than we thought after some solid performances at KSU’s first tourneys this year. The biggest surprise has been how solid his supporting cast has become. After a rough fall, KSU did have a better showing at Mardi Gras finishing 4th overall after going undefeated in pool play on Saturday. They would end up losing in the semi to UTC.


5. Tennessee

After having missed out on the redo weekend of T-Town, we have yet to see Agent Orange in action this semester… which gives me all the reason to not doubt how good they will be once they go to their first tourney. Sometimes time off can hurt a team, but I have a feeling this team will be even better this spring than they were in the fall. Other than that I have nothing to write about. So let’s move on.


4. Emory

YOUTH. YOUTH. YOUTH. With some of the best freshman talent in the section, Emory has proved that they can play with the big boys (losing to Ga Tech on universe at T-Town) but has also shown that they can play down to their opponents. Inconsistency has hurt this team so far this year. They got huge wins over Brown and Michigan at CCC, but have yet to put a tournament together where they play well every game. This team will be sneaky towards the end of the season and could challenge the top teams if they’re playing well and consistently. Juicy info right there.


3. UTC

Trusting your offense enough to NOT play Paul Lally on it is bold, but honestly they’ve done a great job so far this season developing guys who aren’t Paul or Nightmen. This team is deeper than we thought and will be a real threat to the top tier teams in this section, maybe even the region. They didn’t have the T-Town results they wanted, but followed up THE NEXT WEEKEND by cruising to the Mardi Gras final where they lost in a tough game to LSU (a top 3 team in the GC). Look for UTC to pull out some big wins against some very good teams later this season.


2. Georgia… TECH!

Tech had a slow start to T-Town but would eventually pound their way to the semis where they lost to the 4-man cup, huck and play D team that is Florida. (side note: UF would go on to win easily vs Auburn in the final). Tech is still trying to raise their game from “hey we almost make nationals a lot” to “our team is awesome”. Ever since the studs of Lance, Clark, and White have gone and passed…well graduated/ran out of eligibility… they’re still alive I believe… anyways… this team has been wanting to become more than just studs with role players. This year’s team is the closest they’ve gotten to that since. It’s been impressive. Can they continue to get better as the season progresses and play their best at regionals??


1. Georgia, The University of!

#SEBidParty2016. Yep, these guys killed it at QCTU this past weekend. They broke a whole seed! Georgia was be ranked 5th going in, made the semis and lost to Ultiworld powerhouse UMASS. BUUUUUT the wins they picked up were huge for the region and getting 4 (maybe 5) bids again this year. Sam Little, Parker Bray, and specifically Nathan “Nasty” Haskell were all over the Ultiworld twitter feed this weekend, which means about as much as having the most liked post in a groupme but still!… These dawgs made some noise and are still the team to beat in the SAPP CON.


Announcing the Hustle Futures Game- Bama Secs Select vs Atlanta Hustle


This year we are partnering with the Atlanta Hustle to put on a college all star game. Here are the quick facts:

  • March 12th at 6PM in Atlanta, GA at Grady Stadium.
  • Team is a combination of invites and applications (which can be found here).
  • Players will come from programs all across the SE region.
  • Spin will be providing jerseys for Bama Secs Select.

See http://www.atlantahustle.com/futures/ for all the details and ticket information.

Here is the facebook event link to stay up to date on everything.

Ttown Throwdown Predictions

Below are the results of the fan voting. Pool A is expected to go to seed (minus Vandy no longer attending). Pool B is a runaway by Auburn with UTC, Indiana, and UAB all receiving some 2/3/4 votes. Pool C had the closest 1/2 vote with Georgia Tech and LSU, and the biggest upset consensus with 4 seed UAH dropping to 5th. Pool D has some weird things going on at 3/4 with Clemson being the leading vote getter in both spots.

ttown pool a

ttown pool b

ttown pool c

ttown pool d

As for who would win the entire tournament, #2 Auburn and #1 Florida dominated the picks at a combined 86%.

ttown champ

We did poll 4 “experts,” and these were their opinions. The biggest differences were GS jumping IW for 4th in A, UAB jumping Indiana for 3rd in B, Emory jumping both Purdue and UAH for 3rd in C, and no one having confidence in UK to break or even hold their seed.

ttown A ex

ttown b ex

ttown C ex

ttown D ex

Auburn, Florida, and Georgia Tech made everyone’s semis with 2 picking Notre Dame, 1 picking Arkansas, and 1 picking Indiana to take the other spot. Considering 53% of the public voted Auburn as champ, 3/4 “experts” picked Florida to win with 1 picking Auburn.

Spring 2016 Tournament Calendar

Tournament dates are scattered out across twitter, r/ultimate, USAU’s tournament page, ultimate central, and our inboxes, and can sometimes be hard to keep up to date. Don’t worry, we’ve put everything together in one place.

spring 2016 2

We pulled all the tournaments that we know teams from the SE usually attend, and added most of the major “national” tournaments. If we missed something obvious, let us know!

Fall SAPP CON Women’s Power Rankings

Tis the season for end-of-fall power rankings!

After some quality fall competition it’s now time for us to unveil what our women’s writer, Keith Raynor, believes to be the hierarchy of Southern Appalachian women’s ultimate. To the rankings!


10. Berry
9. Georgia Southern
8. UTC
7. Georgia College
6. Georgia State

This five is a bit of a mixed back and it is tough to predict much of anything come spring. UTC is the most likely to make a big move to the top of the heap, but right now, GSU is the most talented team on paper. They need some depth and some legs, but their top end is comparable to the teams above them in the power rankings.



5. Emory

Not unlike Georgia, Emory also seems to be still figuring things out. Itchfest was a mixed bag, losing to teams you’d expect and beating teams you’d expect, save a double game point loss to Tennessee. Getting blown out by Tulane again is not a great sign, but Luna is clearly asking a lot of young players to step into big roles. They’ll need to find a new identity, maybe as a scrappy team, something they haven’t had to do in a while, usually relying on skill. There will be a lot of pressure on this team to perform come spring.



4. Tennessee

With the storylines of the top 3 teams, it would be easy to overlook that BOS made a key move up the ladder with their fall. Itchfest victories over both Kennesaw and Emory are proof that this team could find their way to regionals. Tennessee also added a 3rd place showing at Hootenany to their resume. Emily Rosson is a big versatile matchup problem and Sierra Rimmer is dangerous as a handler. Speedy Sarah Myers and Machen Picard attack downfield. May want to buy your Big Orange Screw stock now.


Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 10.43.52 PM

3. Kennesaw State

KSU has been working hard to make a believer out of you. A 9th place showing at CCC was followed up with an identical placement at Itchfest. But the inconsistency Strix displayed in Nashville shows they haven’t quite asserted themselves yet; KSU is going through growing pains. A loss to Tennessee to kick off Sunday of Itchfest was not good, but Kennesaw clearly has a longer term plan to make it to regionals for the first time.



2. Georgia

It’s just the fall, so don’t hit the panic button on Dawgma yet. But it is clear that UGA is going through a transitional period. At CCC, they were taken down by UNC and Virginia Tech and struggled to dispatch Emory. They rebounded Sunday, but there’s clearly work to be done. A double-digit rookie class means it’ll be a process for Dawgma, but the veteran contributions of Michelle Yang and Caroline Marsh should give them some athletes to model themselves after. Don’t be surprised if the Dawgs find their bite this spring.



1. Georgia Tech

A strong fall start for Georgia Tech has put them in the position to potentially generate national buzz. 3rd place at CCC and 2nd at Itchfest reveals some of the potential Wreck has and is why they’ve taken the top spot in the Conference. Megan Yang is clearly a star in the making, while Dana Rose also emerged with her fall performance. The questions for this team are about how they handle being a top team and if they’ll be seeking out more elite tournaments in the spring.