Monday, August 20, 2007

Old East vs West - a new debate

Sockeye pulls a 17-16 win over Buzz Bullets at ECC (RRI). Is it time to change the debate from East vs West to the Pacific rim vs North America. As much as we would love to dominate a sport forever, I think we are going to need to work to keep our strength in the sport.

Furious and Sockeye were the only two teams that beat Buzz Bullets over the tournament, and Japan's top team beat the likes of Jam, Bravo, Sub Zero, and Chain Lightning. In my books that's impressive, and there's no doubt that these guys are ramping up for Worlds next year.

Pictured Above: Fiesty vs. Team Alberta at CUC'07 (photo courtesy of Jaleel).

I've also heard good things about the Aussies. Their sports funding goes as deep as Ultimate. Canadian funding goes as deep as...well the hockey teams are pretty good.

Will next years worlds be a four or five horse race instead of the traditional 2 horse North American race? Also, over the next year, how can we make sure the tide back is in our favour like it has been in the past.

First off, the U.S. has an impressive college system that will fuel the club teams for years to come. Luckily, with lack of money their will be very little international participation to the likes of NCAA basketball or the CHL's hockey. In Canada, we're trying to be as much a part of the college spring series to experience the quality of competition.

Also, the high school system and summer training camps are just starting to really flourish. Over the next few years their will be a constant influx of new talent.

In one year, however, this will not significantly effect the 2008 Worlds. I think a few deciding factors to consider are personnel, competition, and preparation.

Personnel is tricky. I'm still for the winner gets to go, qualification style, and that might be fine this time. I'm not sure it will be sufficient in the long term. The pickups are key, but they need to be playing with the world teams for at least a month or more. Chemistry is so important when you're facing a team that for the most part works together.

Competition is all about weekends like ECC, Colorado Cup, and Chesepeake. I think, however, you've got to go a step further with a World prequel exhibition tournament where all star teams (NE, NW, SE, and SW) all meet up to play the U.S. and Canadian world teams for one weekend (maybe something similar to the MLU). Consider inviting Japan, Australia, and the U.K. with the risk that they'll benefit.

Preparation is about scouting. You need to look at the tapes on these opponents and look at them hard. If you want to win it all this year, it is time to get a scouting team on your side and have a game plan and a strategic study during the game.