Moving the Club Season Part 1

USAUltimateLogo435x290

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!

Uncle Kringle’s Christmas Classic 2015

Uncle Kringle

It’s almost time for one of our favorite small, fun tournaments! The fields are nice, we’ve never had a problem with discretionary beverages, and the Saturday dinner has always hit the spot. If you are looking for a way to relax after finals, this is it.

Montgomery’s 7th Annual Capital City Ultimate Tournament

December 1213, 2015
14 Open teams
$250 per team
Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex
300 Brown Springs Rd, Montgomery, AL 36117
Info, bids and PayPal capitalcityultimate@gmail.com

Word on the street is ITT Deck the Halls will be back in full swing again.

High Five v Machine | Great Lakes Men’s Final 2015 (2nd Half)

TUEBOR
TUEBOR

In case you missed it on Twitter or Reddit, here is HD-quality second half footage of the Men’s Final at 2015 Great Lakes Regionals. Be sure to see James Highsmith’s awesome layout score around 11:40 (or just look at this sweet GIF). If you dislike the commentary, blame PBR, Woodford Reserve, donuts and disappointment. If you like frisbee, then let’s be friends.


 

An Answer to the Incorrect North Carolina Sectionals Bid Question

We finally got an answer on why USAU skipped over BaNC in the original bid distribution only to later change it the Thursday before the event. Here is the background:

The NC section had 3 teams with 10+ games played in the top 16 of the SE (and Ring with a bye straight to regionals). When the bid distributions came out, however, it only listed NC with 2 bids plus Ring’s bye. The bid that should have been their third was counted as the EC’s 5th.

We (along with many of you) tweeted/emailed USAU HQ, the RD, and SC, but could never get a straight answer to what was going on. We finally heard something after it was changed- Ring didn’t have 10 games at the sectionals cutoff (Pro Flight Finale was the next weekend), so instead of having 2 auto-bids (Turbine and Cash Crop) +1 strength bid (BaNC) +1 bye (Ring), USAU had decided to attribute the bye to Turbine, and allocate the 2 strength bids to Cash Crop and BaNC.

However, the only team that could claim the bye was Ring, so this made absolutely no sense AND robbed the section of a bid. A quick glance through the season guidelines made no mention of Pro/Elite teams needing 10 games prior to the sectionals cutoff for their byes to regionals to be correctly attributed to their team. The only requirement to claim the bye was for Pro/Elite teams to play their 2 USAU TCT events which Ring couldn’t have done by the deadline since the PFF was after it.

Thankfully, someone at HQ used some common sense and pointed out the ridiculousness of it all. The delay in the change was because it actually affected other regions as well. I can’t tell you which ones changed since I didn’t look at other regions’ sectionals bid distributions, but we were told 2 others had the same issue. If only there were other Bama Secs groups for other parts of the country, we might have known what changed…

We Need Your Help!

The 2015/2016 college season is almost here, and with it bring BIG changes for us at Bama Secs. Along with some secrets we have in store (IT is coming soon), we want to expand our coverage! How do we want to do that? I’m glad you asked.

1. Find people to write about our womens’ divisions across the SE- We don’t have the knowledge of the division or the time to cover it, but we know some of you do.

2. Expand our geographical footprint- TJ is already planning to focus a little more on SAPP this year since he is involved with Emory, but we want people in Florida to complete the SE, and people beyond our borders. Even if it is just a few tournament recaps, it will be gladly appreciated.

3. Do team driven tournament recaps in the fall- we dabbled in this a few years ago, and it went pretty well. If you head to a tournament and go split squad, send us a writeup of how games went, how some of your rookies looked, how other teams looked, ect. We will even post funny football weekend recaps if they are written well enough.

Do any of these things sound like something you want to do? Email us and we’ll talk specifics! editors@bamasecs.com

Also, if you have never noticed the “Support Us” box over in the side bar before, it’s there. If you feel like you benefit from our content over the course of the season, feel free to donate a few dollars to help support our web fees. For those on mobile, here is the direct link- https://www.dreamhost.com/donate.cgi?id=17218

Bid Watch 2015 | Week 1

As most of you know, USAU released the first set of club rankings yesterday, and since they waited an extra 4 weeks compared to years past, they actually make way more sense. To the numbers!

Men (Excel sheet: rankings week 1)

bid watch 1

If the season ended today, the SE would only be sending 1 team to Nationals. Good thing we have 3 more big tournaments to be played before the end of the year.

The reason I listed both the Top 16 and the Top 8 is the vast difference in “security of the ranking.” Spots 1-8 have all played 10+ games, and are all at least 100 points clear of #16. Even though all but one (Sockeye) have a tournament left, they can’t harm their ranking enough to drop out of the top 16. If you check last year’s PFF scores, everyone won at least 1 game. These teams are just too good to go 0fer with huge blowouts for an entire weekend.

Once we hit Condors at #9, though, things start to change. Both they and Florida United have only played 1 tournament (7 and 6 games respectively), so their rankings are heavily reliant on a small amount of data. Condors’ resume is being propped up by 2 wins over Prairie Fire, and a 3-1 record against #26/29/37. FLU have a very powerful win over #2 Sockeye, as well as close losses to Sockeye/#6 High Five. Their 2 wins over #22/24 round out their resume. FLU can probably absorb more losses than Condors, but both had better be nervous if they lose some games.

At #11 we find PoNY, who has 10 games and is done for the year. They’ll probably fall in relation to other teams, but their top 16 spot is likely secure.

The #12-18 range is where the rankings are meaningless right now. The difference is 64 points (1777-1713), 3 of the teams haven’t played 10 games, and all but Prairie Fire have a tournament left against highly ranked teams. #19-21 are another subgroup (1680/1676/1630) because they represent the last of the teams that actually have the ability to move up into the top 16 as they are attending a tournament with enough teams above them.

Let’s talk about the tournaments that are left. Heavyweights, Cooler Classic, and Ski Town Classic are all happening, but they won’t have any bearing on Nationals’ bids. Nucci’s Cup doesn’t have a team list out yet, but it is likely that #22/27/32 will be attending along with a bunch of 50+ teams. Even if Garden State (#22) sweeps the tournament, there probably aren’t enough game points available to boost them much.

That leaves the Select Flight Invite, Bro Flight Finale, and Pro Flight Finale. Here are the team rankings for those tournaments:

tournament rankings

Outside of the last few teams at BFF, if you go above .500 at either event, you will secure a bid. Doing that means you’ve beaten teams ranked around you, and probably only lost to teams ranked highly by the algorithm. At the SFI, probably only Condors is ranked high enough to start with to earn a bid after the tournament. A loss by them to anyone other than the top few teams will destroy their bid chances, however. If one of the #23-26 teams just owned the weekend (4+ point wins in every game), they could move up into the #18-20 range, but cracking the top 16 is a long shot.

My predictions with too many games left to play!

predictions 1

SE Men

The current bid situation is what we expected, and it isn’t likely to change- Florida 3, NC 3+Ring, East Coast 3+Chain, and Gulf Coast 5. The waitlist is ECx2/GC/FL, and it may actually matter this year since regionals in NC is a long haul for some places. I know they filled some spots from the waitlist when regionals was in Orlando in 2012.

The seeding at regionals is likely to be pretty straight forward as well- Ring/Chain/FLU in whatever order their rankings dictate, Freaks/SoHo/Ironmen in whatever order they finish at sectionals, Turbine, and Bullet.

SE Women

Ozone and Phoenix have their 2 bids to nationals locked up, and it doesn’t look like anyone is going to be good enough to steal one this year like Tabby Rosa did last year. Predicting the regionals bid picture is somewhat harder, though, because of how the women’s division is. Currently, there are only 11 teams that have played sanctioned games, but 4 of them haven’t hit the magic 10 number and I don’t see any more games on their schedules. Both Ozone and Tabby Rosa get byes to regionals, so we end up with only 6 bids to distribute among the 4 sections. However, NC and Florida may not have any other teams outside of TR and Phoenix, so I’m not sure how that affects things. Queen Cake and Steel Magnolia will both earn a bid for the GC, and Encore/Outbreak will grab 2 for the EC. What happens with the others is anyone’s guess.

SE Mixed

Bucket is firmly in control of the 1 bid to nationals, and that number won’t grow to 2 before the end of the year. There are currently 28 teams listed in the rankings, so if 25 or more register for sectionals, there will be 16 teams at regionals. Either way, the GC is only going to get its 1 autobid because all 3 teams didn’t play 10 games. Bucket and Cahoots will advance straight to regionals (Pro/Elite from last year), and NC/FL/EC will all get 2 autobids. The way things look now, the final bid allocation will look something like GC 1, FL 5, NC 4+Cahoots, EC 4+Bucket. If regionals sclaes down to 12 teams, it would be something like GC 1, FL 3, NC 4+Cahoots, EC 3+Bucket. Hodown in Asheville will sort a lot of this out.

Windmill Windup Wrapup

***We had a contributor attended Windmill Windup this summer. Here are his thoughts (Also shoutout to former Freaks player Ty Adams for rushing the finals field with an American flag. Doing the lords work)***

Windmill Tourney is Europe’s largest tournament played on grass. It takes place in Amsterdam and spans the same three day weekend as Poultry Days. This year I was invited to play by former bamasexer Nathan Baker and his team Cuddle Puddle, a team that consisted of players primarily from Austin, Texas but also had a smattering of other players from around the southeast.

Breakfast in the morning. Fields in the background.
Breakfast in the morning. Fields in the background.

Cuddle Puddle arrived in Amsterdam on the tailend of a cultural shift in Windmill Tourney. What used to be the premier party tournament on the continent has turned into the premier warm-up tournament. After talking with multiple locals and volunteers at the tournament as well as regular attenders, it would seem that the gameplay has gotten more and more competitive over the past few years. This is a trend I’ve seen at tournaments like Poultry Days as well, but is more a consequence of the sport itself becoming more competitive and has not come at the expense of that tournament’s atmosphere. That is, most teams at Pdays can still be found drinking on the sideline and playing goofy games throughout the day. This, however, was not the case at Windmill.

The first morning that Cuddle Puddle stumbled on to the fields 30 minutes before game time, our first opponent Quijotes and Dulcines, a mash up of the women’s and open division champions in Spain, had already been warming up for 30 minutes. This trend continued throughout the day until we encountered another American team, Captain Crook, who was just as bemused by the seriousness of the other teams as we were. This was the only other team we encountered at the tournament that also actively had members of their team drinking during the day. Most teams turned down our offers of fireball at halftime and after the game. Almost all of the team MVPs tucked away their awarded singles of Tito’s vodka for later. It’s not that teams were surprised by us offering them alcohol, this was, nominally anyway, a party tournament. It’s just that they weren’t interested.

It’s hard to reconcile this general attitude that pervades the tournament’s teams with the picture the tournament organizers present. The tournament packet includes some Amsterdam specific items for the team to share as well as party games to be played throughout the day. The tournament schedule includes games, DJs, karaoke, and laser tag. Cuddle Puddle was one of the few, if not only, teams interested in playing the party games throughout the day and a few teams, most notably some of the national teams, didn’t drink at all. I heard a rumor that the tournament renamed itself Windmill Tourney (as opposed to the former Windmill Windup) to try and play down the competitive nature of the tournament and bring back some of the party atmosphere. Whether that’s true or not, it’s obvious that the vision of the tournament directors and the goal of the teams present don’t necessarily align. It’s also possible that we missed out on some of the late night shenanigans. We stayed in an apartment in the city instead of camping on the fields so that we could actually see some of the city. When we left Friday night most of the camp was asleep. We didn’t go for the party Saturday night so that we could walk around the city. Based on pictures and videos that have been released it looks like the party Saturday night was a pretty good time. If I ever make it back I’ll make it a priority to stay at the fields, especially now that I’ve seen the city.

All that being said, the tournament is an incredibly good time and one of the most well run tournaments I’ve played in. Competitive ultimate is more fun than backyard ultimate anyway, right? All of the teams we played were incredibly spirited and it’s probably one of the only tournaments I’ve walked away from without thinking of a single team I didn’t like. The tournament does a great job of trying to integrate the teams at night with fun games and activities. One game “Mingle Mingle” is a game where a group of people dance around waiting for a person with a microphone to call out a position that required one or two partners to complete. Each position is vaguely (or not so vaguely, sometimes) sexual and requires you to get up close and personal with people you haven’t met before. This is in addition to the aforementioned activities such as karoake and laser tag that the tournament has set up.

The tournament included 8 guaranteed games: 3 on Friday, 4 on Saturday, and 1 Sunday morning. This allowed everyone to gather in the stadium and watch the women’s, mixed, and men’s finals. Every team in the finals was some country’s national team which made choosing a team to cheer for fairly easy. For example, the women’s final was Russia versus Germany. WW2 jokes abounded. There was about an hour and a half bye between every game. At first I hated the idea, you don’t play your last game until 6 because of this. However, after playing this way, I think it’s the best way for a party tournament. Since sleep is often the last priority at these sort of tournaments, having a few hour long naps to break up the day feels amazing. Alternatively, these breaks are the perfect time to take advantage of the goodies in the tournament packet or go grab some food at camp headquarters.

Sideline shot from the Open finals. Great Britain vs. Czech Republic
Sideline shot from the Open finals. Great Britain vs. Czech Republic

Speaking of the food, the tournament directors did an excellent job of choosing food vendors for the tournament. The first night I had a pork belly sandwich with 3 different types of onions: fried, caramelized, and some cooked into the meat. There was a crepe stand that had the best crepes I had while in Europe (including those I had in Paris). Another night I was there I had some pretty great mushroom and pepperoni pizza. Beer was only one or two Euro and there was a coffee vendor in the morning. This was in addition to the usual free ultimate fare of bread, peanut butter, nutella, meats, and cheeses that can be expected at a tournament.

#HotTakes

European’s brand of ultimate is sort of similar to their brand of soccer. That is, you really should do your best not to touch anyone. After a very competitive and clean (or so I thought) game that went to universe point a player from the other team during the spirit circle told us we needed to tone down our physicality a bit. This was not an abnormality. Physical play that is considered standard procedure in competitive ultimate here was seriously frowned upon there.

Heckling does not appear to be a thing. At the very least, there did not appear to be many people heckling other than the Americans and some English blokes near us that decided to join in. I was really looking forward to hearing “Hammer or you’re nothing” in multiple languages. I remain disappointed.

I was pretty disappointed in the spirit prizes awarded by teams at the end of games at this tournament. Some teams didn’t even have any. One Irish team was giving out rubber bracelets that served as an advertisement for their home tournament. To be fair, there were some good ones, like the aviators given out by one team not to the MVP but to the MSP, (Most Sexiest Player) and the Israeli team gave out a shot of tahini which I thought was fun, but gross.

QuickHits

The tournament had a PA system that you could hear throughout the entire camp. They used this to signal hard cap and the start of games. During the last minute of each round they played really dramatic music to accompany any games that were on universe point. I think we only had one game that made it to the music but it certainly made everything we did on the field feel really badass.

Having tournament games that occur throughout the day is a great idea. In the tournament packet there was a bag of clothespins. You write an action, or dare, on the clothespins and then everyone on your team gets one clipped to their clothes. During the day other teams can perform the dare on your clothespin in order to take it and pin it to themselves. Whoever has the most clothespins at the end of the day wins.

I like spirit circles. Gather with the team you just played in a big circle and tell them things they did well. What’s not to like?

Bring jerseys to trade! I only had one jersey to trade so I missed out on some pretty sweet trades. I’m still upset about having to tell the Dutch national team that I had already traded my jersey away.

Amsterdam is a great city to visit. Good beer, good international food, and some good sites and museums to visit. Navigating the city isn’t difficult because most everything is in English and most everyone speaks English. Public transportation is great but if I could do it again, I would rent a bike. It was also the safest (or felt the safest anyway) and cleanest city I visited while I was abroad.

Sentimental Closing

While ultimate in and of itself is a fun game to play, one of the best things about this sport is the people that play it. I’ve only known most of the people I played with for a weekend but I’m already looking forward to seeing them again. Additionally, whether a team was from Hawaii or Turkey, the people we had just met standing to our left and right in the spirit circle at the end of the game felt like good friends.

Meltdown| Mixed Tournament in Jackson, MS

Meltdown will be July 25/26 at Liberty Park in Madison. We have room for up to 16 teams. It will be a mixed (non sanctioned) tournament format: 5 guys/2 girls. It will be $250 per team, $350 discounted price for two teams. This includes a guaranteed 4 games on Saturday and 4 on Sunday, kiddie pools and games, food and water all day Saturday and Sunday, dinner, and party on Saturday night and prizes including free Five gear. Five Ultimate will be on site selling ultimate gear. PayPal jsc2k5@aol.com for bids. For more info contact turmoilultimate@gmail.com

 

SCINNY 2015 Wrap-Up & Report Card | Women’s Division

Dish


Written by Abbey Geib


By popular demand, the women’s division at SCINNY 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio, was USAU sanctioned with six teams vying for the golden gnomes! This year’s SCINNY showed talent across the East Plains teams and high hopes for a bigger push in the Women’s section. You can view the official brackets and final scores here. (Disclosure: Author currently plays for Notorious CLE.)

 

Pool Play

For the first games of the day, the fields were pushed back twenty yards to avoid mud puddles in end zones. Clouds lazed over the players’ heads all day with a few sprinkles but overall it was good weather to play some zone. SCINNY was the first tournament for a lot of these players and Great Lakes teams. Having Dish—who are a well-established team and the top seed—was good competition for teams like Frenzy, Flo and Notorious CLE that were either newly playing together or at their first tournament together as newly established teams.

Hitting the ground running at the season’s first tournament is a challenge. As a result, Dish and Notorious CLE played a rusty yet intense game of ultimate. Notorious CLE had the best score against Dish all weekend and spirits were high. Flo took Belle 12-4 and Frenzy beat Chattanooga’s Golden Girls 11-6 in the first round of pool play.

I have to take a second here and give the Golden Girls two thumbs up for last weekend: one thumb for their fancy fairy wings and one for their shotski (which they willingly shared with the other teams).

The two closest games of the weekend came from the third and fourth seeds—Notorious CLE and Cincinnati Flo—when they met in pool play Saturday and bracket play Sunday. These two teams played hard-fought battles, point for point, both days. The first game in pool play had a disputed hard-cap ruling, which ended with another two points being played. After talking to the TDs the next day, it was concluded that Flo was correct in their ruling. But that didn’t matter after Flo’s handler, Candice Otrembiak, took over with her impressive throws over the top of the cup. After multiple turnovers from both sides and two lengthy points, she led Flo to an 11-10 victory.

The third round of pool play had the biggest upset with Cincinnati Belle taking a huge win over the #2 seed Frenzy. Both teams went point for point all game until Belle pulled ahead to show the other competition that age is just a number, and that their playing skills and athleticism are far beyond their sixth seeded placement.

The last round of the day went as expected. In a fairly even and spirited game between Notorious CLE and a down-on-their-luck Chicago Frenzy, CLE was able to sneak in a few more points than Frenzy, winning 11-4. Unfortunately, Maddie Strnad—a Case Western Reserve sophomore and breakout CLE cutter—twisted her ankle and had to be carried off the field, leaving Notorious CLE with a potential lack in their cutting space for Sunday’s bracket play.

The last round of pool play was on Sunday morning. Belle showed their strength again against Notorious CLE sharing points throughout the game and showing that their team is #TWINNING. The athleticism of Belle’s twin captains Hayley & Maddie Samson is phenomenal, leading a team of equally gifted women who can run the field all day and catch anything that comes within 15 feet of them. Unfortunately, Belle had a hard time with zone offense and let Notorious CLE get in their heads and force silly turnovers that turned into scores. The end result was a very close 8-7 win for Notorious CLE.

Bracket Play

Bracket play started off with another Flo and Notorious CLE showdown. Let me tell you, Saturday’s game was intense and tensions were high for both teams, but Sunday’s matchup showed that the players had a softer side. Both teams really calmed and showed great sportsmanship for one another — producing an aggressive but spirited contest. And though the squads went point for point again, Flo eked it out by a couple near the end, winning over Notorious 9-7 and earning a ticket to the finals against Dish.

5th Place – Chattanooga Golden Girls | Golden Girls upset the two seed Frenzy to take fifth place. Guess we should all be doing more shotskis! (Shotttttskiiiii, shottttttttskiiiii!) 

3rd Place – Cincinnati Belle | In the game for third place, Belle and Notorious CLE met for the second time. Both teams took what they had learned from their previous game and used it to their advantage. Notorious stuck with using their zone defense to pressure the handler set while Belle used quick passes and vertical throws up the sideline to eventually take third place 12-11.

1st Place – Chicago Dish | Dish really solidified themselves as one of the teams to beat in the Great Lakes region, taking the championship and the golden gnomes 11-2 against Cincinnati Flo.

Dish’s point differential on the weekend should paint a perfectly accurate and intimidating picture for you: 89-16. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Congratulations to all of the teams for their hard work and dedication over last weekend. Beast Plains is looking forward to more women’s ultimate coverage.

 

Tournament Report Card

 

Organization: B+

The tournament rules were not explained very well and a lot of the teams couldn’t hear the hard-cap horn. However, rounds did start on time and there was good email communication from TD. It would have been nice to discuss seeding a little further in advance and more in-depth, but there was overall above-average organization.

Merch: A-

Roger Oaks sold great merchandise from previous tournaments but hardly any for SCINNY, which was disappointing. They did find me shorts though. Thanks, Roger!

Fields: B+

There was great spacing and room for shade tents. Fields were not lined though and since the puddles of mud were at the end zones, the cones got skewed in the process of moving them making it really hard for teams to call out of bounds rulings.

Water & Food: A

Water was easily available more so on Sunday but I can’t knock any tournament that has a cookout on Saturday after the games. It’s just not possible and the smorgasbord of food was delicious!

Competition: B+

For SCINNY being the first tournament for a majority of the teams, I would say that the competition was good but also not the best I’ve played against. The seeding was definitely done poorly but for what it was, it was pretty good competition for all of us. (Except maybe Dish who creamed everyone.)

Format: A+

How am I supposed to score this? USAU has a strict way of formatting the teams. I will say that the hard-cap ruling was a little bogus. I’ve never played that way and I feel that there should always be a soft and hard cap but I guess that’s just my opinion.

Spirit: C+

The women need a better understanding of the rules. Quicker calls with less sideline chatter would have been ideal. I will say, though, that there was some outstanding spirit from certain individuals on every team.


 

 

Club Roster Breakdown: SoHo

After their final tryout weekend at ATL Classic where they ended up winning the whole tournament, Southern Hospitality released their full 27 man roster.

soho roster

They had 11 players leave from the 2014 squad. Of those 11, 7 are playing for other GC teams. MJ is moving to Austin, TX, so I’m sure he’ll be on Doublewide in the future. Rhodie is now in Indianapolis stating his residency at a hospital, John Thomas is off “studying” in Germany, and Matt Bryant has disappeared from the ultimate world. I’m sure the Bama guys would like to know where he is.

soho losses

Club Roster Breakdowns: Memphis Belle and NME

We’ve had a couple more rosters sent in, and I finally got around to posting them. Both these teams will be in action at ATL classic this weekend in their first tournaments as new teams. If you see a player that is missing past club/college details, comment at the bottom and we will try and update it.

Memphis Belle

memphis roster

Memphis lists 30 guys on their roster, so I assume some of them won’t be around come series time since you can only roster 27. This team is the most talented team I have seen out of Memphis for sure.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see them give the top 3 in the section a run for their money by the end of the year. And if that Joeseph Walter is the old Bammer I think it is….

Nashville

NME roster

NME only has 21 guys rostered, but they have another pool of 26 who are competing for the final few spots. Whoever doesn’t make the cut will be playing the rest of the season as Super Nash Bros. There is definitely some talent on this team, but I also don’t know a lot of these guys, so it is hard to judge. The 8 from the Nashville AUDL roster should benefit from playing ATL/Raliegh/Jacksonville all season, so that is a plus for the team. However, I don’t see how this team is any better than all the other Nashville/TN teams since the destruction of Tanasi.

Club Roster Breakdowns: Bullet and Freaks

Club rosters are starting to be released, so here are some easy to read spread sheets showing who gained/lost who, and where their players went to/came from.

Bullet

bullet roster2

With both Sixpack and Strong Hand disbanding, I expected to see Bullet pick up more than just 5 players from those teams. I don’t know many of these names, so it is hard to say how good they will be compared to last year.

Freaks of Nature

freaks 2015

Losses

freaks 2015 losses

 

The Freaks’ additions are definitely better than their losses, especially with 5 SoHo guys moving over (3 local to Huntsville and 2 in Chattanooga). Keith Mize is a loss considering their style of play (aka boom it to Keith), but Garris should take over his role considering they have a similar skill set. Andy and Brackbill are both playing on old man teams, but may end up playing some with the Freaks if they have the time. Some of their losses are guys that are moving down to Freaky Too/Rocket City Rampage/whatever the new name is, and more PT may do them good in the long run. There are also a few guys on the “practice squad” that may make the roster later on in the summer depending on their play/injuries/ect.

Enigma 2015 Schedule

Enigma recently released their tournament schedule for 2015.

June 6/7 – Beachfront Instant Classic Invitational – Joliet, IL
June 27/28 – SCINNY – Lebanon, OH
July 18/19 – Three Ring Rally – Louisville, KY
July 25/26 – Motown Throwdown – Toledo, OH
August 29/30 – East Plains Sectionals – Versailles, OH
September 12/13 – Great Lakes Regionals – TBD

The Beachfront Classic, a new early-season tournament in Chicago, features a few of the Great Lakes Region’s top teams. Headlining the event are Haymaker and Beachfront Property. Enigma has won SCINNY in the past, and in order to add to their collection of Golden Gnomes, they’ll have to go through Maverick and CAKti. Proceeds from SCINNY benefit Cincinnati YCC teams.

Enigma will play back-to-back weekends at two of the Region’s signature events. Opponents at Motown and Three Ring Rally should provide them with plenty of challenging games. It is safe to assume Enigma will gain a Regionals strength bid for the East Plains Section and return to Regionals for the sixth consecutive season.

New Young Men’s Team

Following in the footsteps of 2010’s Transformers/All-Spark and 2014’s Riders of Brohan, some Alabama rookies are trying to put together a team of young college players to help spur their own development this summer. I applaud them for taking their club future into their own hands. Too many young kids don’t have the skills yet to make the regional level club teams, so they don’t play any competitive ultimate all summer. Grabbing similar players from other schools in your area and forming a team not only lets you play in some decent club tournaments, it also lets you network with other players and grow your own ultimate community. I hope to see MSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, and UAB players join up with these Bammers.

Fill out the form below so you can get on their email list. The 2 putting the team together are also below.

Payton Garlington pdgarlington@crimson.ua.edu

New Nashville Men’s Club Team

The bamasecs email inbox is full of messages today-

Afternoon Everyone,

Sorry for the long email, but there’s a lot of info we need to get out so please read all the way to the bottom.
Our first open tryout is THIS SUNDAY May 10th, from 9AM – 12PM at Ted Rhodes Park in Nashville, TN. There will be a second open tryout May 23rd, but we encourage you to come to both if you’re able. We’ll then take an Invite Only team to Monkey Bowl, May 30-31st before finalizing our roster.
Come early to throw and be cleated and ready to go by 9 AM. 
If you can’t be at this tryout but still would like an opportunity to be a part of this team, please send us an email (nmeultimate AT gmail.com) to let us know including whether or not you’ll be able to be at the second tryout on May 23rd
This isn’t finalized, but right now our tournament schedule for this season is:
May 30-31: Monkey Bowl, Nashville, TN
June 20-21: ATL Classic, Atlanta, GA
Aug 1-2: Chesapeake Open, Poolesville, MD
Aug 8-9 or Aug 15-16: TBD
Along with competing at an Elite level, one of the goals of this team is to foster and develop the Ultimate community in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. As a part of this team, you will be expected to commit to weekly practices (likely Tuesday nights) as well as participating at a Youth skills clinic that the team will be hosting sometime this summer.
If you haven’t filled out the interest form yet, please do so now: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1g271qmvnh_5LryOf89KRLfjkgpRAtFGsIHVLMEkPZSM/viewform
Also, if you know anybody else who might be interested in trying out please forward this on to them.
Looking forward to seeing you this Saturday.
Follow them on twitter- @NMEUltimate

Birmingham Women’s Team Info

From the bamasecs email inbox-

Birmingham is starting a new women’s club team this year. Our tryouts are going to be this Saturday, May 9th from 1-4pm at Soccer Blast. Additionally our tryout tournament will be Monkeybowl on May 30th/31st in Nashville. If you are interested please email Katherine Murray at k.earle.murray AT gmail.com or Jessica Brandon at jmk0006 AT tigermail.auburn.edu.

College women’s players, PLAY CLUB.

Midnight Madness 2015

From our Barefoot friends in Tupelo.
Hey fellow Ultimate players,
This is Doug with Barefoot Ultimate here in Tupelo, MS. It’s that time again to start preparing for the best tournament ever: 6th Annual Midnight Madness. We had a great turn out last year with mixed teams so I think we are going to do that again. Maybe a 6/1 or 5/2 format. 
The dates will be August 7th and August 8th. Game play will begin around 6 that Friday night and go into Saturday morning. The Saturday game play usually starts around 7 and goes into Sunday morning
The price will be $325 like it was last year and that will include shirts again. Each team will receive 12 shirts included in tourney fee and any extras will be $15 each. 
You can PayPal me at drbell_2332 AT yahoo.com and send as friends or family. Also, email that same address with any questions. We would like bid fees to be paid prior to the tournament to help front our costs.

New Memphis Men’s Club Team

Stroup sent this over last night. It looks like Memphis is finally getting their act together. The GC can never have too many committed club teams. I think Huntsville’s model of creating a core group of local guys and building from there is something the Memphis crew can also attain. The talent that I’ve heard is committed is already a top 4 in the section group. Memphis is no longer a pushover.

Attention all Mid-South ultimate players:

Summer is looming, and it’s time again to prep for the USAU season. Announcing 2015 tryouts for an Open Club team out of Memphis, TN –

Memphis Belle

Who we are

Belle is a renewal of competitive ultimate in the 901 area code. It is a local group of players itching to prove something. It is an unstoppable warbird primed to drop bombs. We are grit and grind to the core.

Goals

Memphis has been known for the Prairie Squids in the ultimate world for some time, and the #1 team goal is to step up our levels of commitment and play. We want to collect a group of like-minded, motivated, and regionally located guys to harden themselves in practice, to push each other’s limits, and to leave everything out on the field. Sunday is our day of work.

What to expect

Belle will be hitting 4 tournaments (1 per month) this summer before the series. We will have two mandatory clinic weekends, and local Sunday practice every other available weekend. Early tryouts will be May 2 sending an invite only team to Monkey Bowl in Nashville, May 30

Contact info

Please email 901belle@gmail.com to let us know you are coming, to get set-up with lodging, or ask any questions. If you are unable to attend but still seriously interested in playing, contact the club through the above address. Updates on tryouts (including final location) will be posted on Twitter. @belledropsbombs

 – Memphis Belle leadership

Shannon Allen (C)
Nathan Wiemers
Mark Allmon
Matt Bledsoe (C)
Robert Stroup (C)
Josh Moore
Andrew Williams
Mitchell McConnell
Chad Bennett

SE Club Tryouts and Tournaments

In light of the above tweets from this weekend, we’ve put together a list of tryouts for you to peruse. We only have 1 mixed team below, so send us links for more ladies/mixed teams please.

Chain (Atlanta)

Hat tournament May 10th, invite tryout May 30/31

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18ki3COkvWSKi_kN8yLj7i0M80FyOGBkQQPGaR6PlYwk/viewform

Southern Hospitality (All over the Bama Secs footprint)

Maybe a tryout May 16/17, Monkeybowl May 30/31 tryout tournament

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nk0daPqPX1zkLW1VyUWIA45LZKk7zUaPlU1xWGZ497I/viewform?c=0&w=1

Ironmen (Birmingham)

Tryouts May 9/10, Monkeybowl May 30/31 tryout tournament

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1-4TYEuo_sgSOpkLjM7HkHiO__lHk-HJa1iE_Z2Vnt24/viewform

Freaks of Nature (Huntsville)

Tryouts May 16th and May 23rd

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aWA7UvDnQXa8f-gUF_oWmdkXB9Jb0vEN4qYlNY7GdKA/viewform

Bullet (Atlanta-ish)

Tryout May 30/31, Mudbowl June 6/7 tryout tournament

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1po-ipjzjsjhN4xY5XiLol0eZ_x_CdWZI8VlsTss5-7E/viewform?c=0&w=1

Turmoil (Jackson, MS Mixed)

Tryout May 9th, Monkeybowl May 30/31 tryout tournament

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jRNTIBByC8aTrqqK3xh7k75-vu4iREJRIaimNcaZ4sk/viewform

Memphis Belle (Men)

See this page for formal announcement and details

Encore (Nashville’s Women)

Had first tryout last Saturday and have a follow up date May 10th.If you missed it but are still interested in trying out, you should email the captains at encorecaptains@gmail.com about coming to the second date.

Hairy Otter (Nashville Mixed Team)

Tryout Date is May 9th? Captains can be reached at hairyottercaptains@gmail.com

New Nashville Men’s Team

Birmingham Women

Huntsville Women

Looks like they are trying to make a comeback after a summer of pregnancies and injuries. Tweet at them for more details/contact info.

Tournaments

Monkeybowl– Nashville, TN May 30/31

Mudbowl– Birmingham, AL June 6/7

ATL Classic– Atlanta, GA June 20/21

Huckfest– Decatur, AL July 11/12

Club Terminus– Atlanta, GA July 25/26 (webpage not updated yet)