Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Worlds - USA the giant

If we scored the 2000 and 2004 Worlds based on a medal ranking (3 points for gold, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze) we would get the following rankings noting that these sorts of exercises have been discredited and rethought in many forms.

Pictured above: Adam Sigelman of Boston marks a Pike player at the Boston invite (Photo courtesy of Jaleel Paje).

In 2000 the country rank would be (Jr. Open, Jr. Women, Masters, Mixed, Women, Open):
  1. U.S.A. 13 (1+3+3+3+0+3)
  2. Canada 11 (2+2+1+2+3+1)
  3. Sweden 5 (3+0+0+0+0+2)
  4. Finland 3 (0+1+0+1+1+0)
  5. Germany 2 (0+0+2+0+0+0)
  6. Japan 2 (0+0+0+0+2+0)
In 2004 the rank would be:
  1. Canada 15 (2+3+2+2+3+3)
  2. U.S.A 14 (3+2+3+3+1+2)
  3. Finland 2 (0+0+0+0+2+0)
  4. Great Britain 1 (0+0+1+0+0+0)
  5. Australia 1 (0+0+0+0+0+1)
  6. Sweden 1 (0+1+0+0+0+0)
  7. New Zealand 1 (0+0+0+1+0+0)
  8. Germany 1 (1+0+0+0+0+0)
Based on this simple system we can see that the U.S.A. has done well, with the exception of the Women's division. Don't expect that to be the case this year.

My early feelings for Worlds this year is that the U.S.A. will again be strong in all divisions pushing for another full set of medals. The U.S. college Ultimate system that has been developed through the UPA and countless people's efforts, and the U.S. high school Ultimate system will mean that the U.S.A. will continue to dominate for at least the next decade. The camps, such as NUTC and DiscNW, and initiatives like UCPC are mostly unique to the states and are years ahead of development in other countries.

Pictured Above: Jason Lobb of Grand Trunk goes up for a disc playing the a team in Red (Picture courtesy of Jaleel Paje).

Canada, though doing well in the past rankings, can't compete based on the simple population game and lack of innovation. Canadians have some of the biggest city leagues in the world, organization at the College and High school level, but without the local competition and push, we're a step behind. Again, popullation is a big factor since a small country is better off focusing on a few sports (like hockey) than over diversifying.

Canada can still expect to compete in all divisions, and possibly, pull off the success seen in 2004, but it'll be tough to continue finishing high in the world rankings as other countries put money and organization into Ultimate. This again gives me the opportunity to implore Canadian teams to treat UPA series as the most important events in the Ultimate calendar and forget about our local Canadian Nationals. I still strongly believe our Nationals should be Canadain opens (even if no teams come from other countries). I'm talking to a wall here, but Canadian Ultimate players need to understand how big an issue this is.

As for the rest of the world, Japan and Australia are the most hyped to have their biggest worlds yet. Both countries faired well at World clubs in Australia, and they've made major initiatives in organization and funding into Ultimate. There will be a number of other countries pushing for medals, and I expect this Worlds to be the most diverse standings we've seen yet. As much as medalling is of importance, remember that an event like this is great because it brings people who love this sport together from all over the world.



notadeepthreat said...

FYI, that "Pike player" Siegs is guarding is none other than Dusty Rhodes - Captain 2008.