Sunday, August 10, 2008

Worlds Day 8 - Cheers, jeers, and tears

For the last day of Worlds, I caught the three finals in the Thunderbird stadium. The women and open finals were the best, and the mixed was a blowout (similar to UPAs at Florida last year).

As you'll all know, the women's saw USA vs. Japan with Japan's win streak pitting them as the favourite to win. The USA ladies weren't going to take that, and they showed that they were the best in the world. The most notable moments in the game was a marathon point after half that saw USA finally score and take a 10-8 lead, which I think broke the backs of Japan physically and mentally. Also, there was a huge D by one of the USA ladies, that, unfortunately, resulted in a hurt knee. I think she had so much adrenalin that she over jumped her normal vertical. When she landed she was in a run, which sometimes signals that the brain thought the ground was already there.


  1. USA (+3)
  2. Japan (+2)
  3. Canada (+1)

The next game was the mixed. Canada mixed went up quickly against Japan (I think a 5 point run). At this point, I lost interest in the flow of the game, and focused on taking pictures of my friends in the game and the Master's medal presentation. There were two callahans that made the game somewhat exciting in terms of individual efforts, but I missed the last one that won the game and could only respond to the crowds emotion.

  1. Canada (+3)
  2. Japan (+2)
  3. USA (+1)

Finally, the Open finals finished off the day. Canada vs. USA was a great game in terms of crowd noise, events on the field, and a little rain to make it true Vancouver Ultimate. My favourite plays of the game were Oscars big D on the sideline and one of the USA Ds on a huck. There were a number of exciting plays throughout the game, and the crowd made every point exciting. I didn't catch the final points (due to some external factors), but as I walked away from the stadium you could tell how great a game this was for the crowd. Massive roars could be heard even from 1km away.

  1. Canada (+3)
  2. USA (+2)
  3. Japan (+1)
The remaining divisions finished as follows.

  1. USA (+3)
  2. Canada (+2)
  3. New Zealand (+1)
Jr. Open:
  1. USA (+3)
  2. Canada (+2)
  3. Germany (+1)
Jr. Women:
  1. Japan (+3)
  2. Australia (+2)
  3. USA (+1)
The overall Ultimate country stats based on these results (and excluding Guts) based on the Jamieson country ranking system is:
  1. USA - 13
  2. Canada - 11
  3. Japan - 8
  4. Australia - 2
  5. Germany - 1
  6. New Zealand - 1
Clearly, Japan has shown they're the real deal. I felt there was lots of hype, but for the most part, they proved themselves. USA remains the giant, and Canada sits close behind. The difference between the countries is at the Jr. level, which if extrapolated would suggest a long term differentiation. On a per game basis though, there were scares all over the place, and I would argue that the competition level is very close. I think Australia, GB, and Columbia will make the next major pushes in the sport and tighten the gap.

These countries need to take note of the commitment Japan put into their accomplishment. They made the effort to play the best by visiting and bringing their opponents to them. Then you can see how the giants get things done. Also, the junior development is probably the most important factor for countries to consider over the coming years.

For myself, I've got a new set of topics to discuss over the coming weeks. I'll do some breakdown of the good and the bad for our own team, and some thoughts I had over the week. In general though, it was an experience that I hope you all can have in some way or another over your Ultimate career.

Photos to come...I've got a little memory space problem.