Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Worlds Day 4 - It's a long tournament

It's amazing how packed a day at worlds is. From 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM something is always happening. Breakfast, games, warmups, and team meetings fill the many hours of the day. Then there's watching Ultimate. Lots of Ultimate. It's tough to keep these posts coming, but I hope it's giving a flavour of why you all should be here - fan or participant.

Pictured Above: A big layout by Andy Siy with a big layout grab in our USA game. This grab was well applauded by both teams

Today the Canada Jr. Open team met some tough competition. Australia got the best of us in the morning by jumping to a 5-1 lead that we couldn't close out. They played a great athletic game matched with a strong zone that kept us off our guard.

Pictured Above: A sick layout D by Team USA Open vs. Japan.

Next, the US team took us for a ride up and down the field. They showed some great presence and stellar throws that we just couldn't match on the day. However, their armor is not impenetrable, and we showed that our moments of brilliance could match theirs. We've been emphasizing to our guys, that we are in a long haul tournament, and we're still in the thick of round robin. The tournament is not won until the final point is scored.

Pictured Above: Japan Open player comes down with a big grab over the the taller opponent. Based on their feet, I would guess at least 6 inches.

In other action, I saw the tail end of Japan and USA open. This was Buzz Bullets and Sockeye in disguise, and once again they treated us to a great game. If any matchup can make Ultimate exciting to watch on TV, this matchup has it all. I've seen some amazing layouts and grabs, but this game was packed full of them. USA took the game 17-11 (I think), but it was a back and forth game that either team could have taken control of.

Pictured Above: A big attempted block by Team USA Jr. Womens against Team Canada.

The day finished off with me jumping between Canada vs. Sweden Open and Canada vs. USA Jr. Women. Oddly enough, both games were 7-7 when I arrived at the fields. Also at that point, both games were taken over by one team. Canada Open took control of their game despite the Swedish ladies wrapped in flags on the sideline. On the other side, USA went down 9-7, but stormed back to win their game.

Pictured Above: Team USA Jr. Open and Team Canada pose for an after game picture. Another example of tough competition, but great after game camaraderie.

Once again, I'm impressed by how tight the Ultimate has been. I'm overwhelmed with the skill level on all the teams, and it's hard to measure what's the difference between teams. Is it player depth, strategy, team chemistry, or coin tosses? Regardless, I'm trying to soak it all in, and loving every step of the way.

I've also had a chance to talk to people from Mexico to New Zealand. Every team is going through the ups and downs, but it seems like we're all having a great time. This and the parties haven't even started.