Well, I made it through my first tournament as a director. In the face of national team selection week at the Canadian Olympic Committee, a crazy condo purchase issue, wedding planning, and my duties as a player, I managed to actually live to write this report. It was every stressed occurance and all the late hours.
Phoenix- No Borders Open Champs- 2008 (Corry Berghout Photo)
From a logistic standpoint, I am so thankful for the volunteer cell coordinators from OCUA. Vanessa Lyon, Sandra Hanson, and Gavin Thompson were so huge for me- constant communication, tacit knowledge, and on day site direction and leadership when I was playing. Our volunteers were great and I look forward to the volunteer dinner of appreciation.
There will always be troubles in hosting an event (field dinner goes awry and we have to find a replacement option, an american team goes awol the day of with no indication, field painter is broken and we have to find a replacement, we battle rain storms and lightning as we paint the lines, liquor inspector shows up) but when your team(both on the field with Phoenix/Firebird and off with the No Borders team) puts in a good show and almost everyone has an amazing time, it really makes it worth it.
I think the 80's tournament party might be a keeper as well! :)
Although we didn't have all the elite teams we wanted yet, we had an extremely strong field of teams from 1-16. Even the talent pools from 17-27 had darkhorse teams that managed to win their crossovers and move up brackets for day two.
Jamie Craig Catches to win on Universe Point- Corry Berghout Photo
I had only one team that wasn't happy about their seed. However, it was a local team that I know well. They needed a kick in the a$$ early Saturday, and it worked as hope. They, along with Firebird and Too bad, managed to win their cross-overs and move into the top 8 pool. In past years, it would be hard to imagine solid teams like Med. Men, Red Circus, and Red Tide moving down, but it happened. (Note to readers, I'm sure Tide and Medicine Men didn't have their full rosters, so please don't underestimate them if you're taking bids for your own tourneys).
Firebird wise, we beat a rebuilding Zebra Muscles (I expect good things in the future), we crushed a very young and mouthy Seven team that did not have Curtis Kile or Jesse Robertson to lead and handle for them, we blew a 3 point lead and lost to GLUM 13-11, and then won our cross-over versus Red Circus by a score of 13-12. Matt Hogel was outstanding for Red Circus. He came back to his hometown and played well.
Sunday, we went 0-2. We simply failed to play to our abilities versus Tombstone. Getting down 8-2 to them at half was sad, and even though we went on a big run to make it a 2-3 point game, they pulled away quite easily. Allen Amos Binks grabbed a callaghan and had the huge weekend I predicted. Binks will be so much better in a couple months, can't wait. We lost a universe point game to Too Bad, score was 17-16. Our team fought well all weekend, but I seriously wonder about our resource deployment and how it affects us on Sunday. To a man we know how good we are, but the past few tournaments we might be guilty of playing our kings and bishops too much in non-essential time and our pawns not enough. It's not an easy answer but we'll get there.
Congrats to the 17th place finishers, The Outsiders, for winning the Sean Green Memorial Cup. The team was from Toronto, but understood the significance of the cup and treated it accordingly.
The finals were epic, and ended up with Phoenix and Friars, a team made up of GOAT guys, Torontula guys and a smattering of everything. Ottawa native Colin Green faced his former team and he wanted nothing more than to make the local crowd boo him in dismay.
There are many great reports about the final. The Polish Prince will have one up soon, Jeters from Friars has one, and they will both give you great insight. Here was my thoughts on it
- It is hard being the Tournament Director and a member of an open program playing a universe point final. I tried to stay as emotionless as possible during the final
- The fans were so great. On both sides. Toronto and Ottawa fans cheered for both teams when they made great plays.
- Jamie Craig was deserving of Tourney MVP because of his universe point heroics and his play on every point. For those of you who don't know Jaimie, he's the older half brother of the Alexander boys. He started ultimate two years ago in his thirties. He works harder that anyone in our program and combines great athletic talent with intelligence to be a leader and a sparkplug.
If you ask any of the long serving female ultimate players in Ottawa, Keith Whyte and No Borders has always been focused on treating the women's pool with equal attention. We did not stray away from that this year, designing a showcase game for Ottawa's best (Stella) and Montreal's finest (Storm)
I have been watching the women's scene since 2003, and I honestly can't tell the last time Storm beat Stella. However, it looks like Storm has benefitted from the teachings of new coach Lorne Beckman and was able to beat Stella 12-7 in front of a large Saturday crowd.
Holly Shapiro of Loose Cannon versus Stella (Photo Corry Berghout)
-Vixen goes 3-0 in their pool play and makes the TD regret seeding them so lowly.
-Salty gets rocked on day one, losing all their games included a CUC preview to Scarlett
-Pickup team Dame from Ottawa is super strong and finishes second in the pool.
-QUB plays Lotus hard but loses
-Stella gets upset by a 10- lady roster of Loose Cannon (Huge fans of the girls and I hope they come all the way back up for years to come)
-Dame beats Ambush 12-6
-Storm crushes Scarlett 15-1
-Lotus gets by Loose Cannon
-Storm defeats Dame's cinderella run
Lotus managed to go undeafeated throughout the weekend and bring the women's title back to Toronto for the first time since the 90's. They defeated Storm 15-5 in the final.
Stella finishes a dissapointing 5th and is not the highest placing Ottawa team (Dame). Despite this, they should be confident heading into nationals with their regionals championship.
Storm, Scarlett, Salty, and QUB remain mysteries heading into nationals, but all showed great moments.