Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cultimate stirs the US College scene

If you haven't heard the breaking news in Ultimate, then it appears that Cultimate is making a move to take over some of the College series with their own division. Note this is the another Cultimate separate from this blog. I met Skip Sewell, briefly, in Vancouver at Worlds in a sushi place near UBC campus (man I miss good sushi). I've also had email conversations with him over the name Cultimate and his concerns.



Meeting him I didn't sense the shrewd business sense, but I'll be honest, I don't detect this in anyone. I'm a bad read for business sense. The idea that an outside entity would swoop in and take over the College series is ...

Brilliant!!!

Sure, those of us who have been under the umbrella of the UPA feel it is a good entity that serves the Ultimate community well, but that's where the allegiance should end. Like all organizations, it forces us to pay fees, fill in forms, and swallow decisions made by the "representatives". It's still an entity that is in competition for Ultimate dollars, and for the last few years, the college seen has been full of potential.

Cultimate's move into this market is at a perfect time. Top teams in the college system should be getting benefits, and the UPA hasn't been active in this. Cultimate is offereing jersey subsidies, no tourney fees, there might get sponsorship in the future, and so on. It's a move in the right direction, and it might spark some healthy competition for how we do things.

So far, I've read some of the comments on RSD:

  • What about the other ~450 teams
  • We'll miss out on Cinderella teams
My feeling is so what. If this is really an issue, then other conferences will pop up and we'll see a system like the NCAA basketball tournament emerge. Great. That, or maybe Cultimate will devise the brilliant concept held here in Football leagues, where teams get relegated up and down from conferences. Or, outsider qualifier tournaments like the Stanford qualifier allow teams to get into Conference 1. In other words, we're experiencing a mutation and the sport is evolving.

I do have concerns. I wonder if the teams that are in Conference 1 might be following a company that takes some of their rights away. In the long term, this might be a factor that hurts these colleges. I, also, wonder how Canadian teams will be left out in the cold. Still, that's ours/their faults for not focusing on the US competition and keeping our own exclusive tournaments. At least we have the CIS. The CIS you say, never heard of it...what about the CFL...that's what a good Canadian league can get you. On the other hand, maybe the big teams will lose out as new teams emerge in seperate leagues where the game evloves on different paths. Maybe those splinter leagues come up with a rule that makes the game more watchable.

I'm excited about this turn of events. I can see it now, myself, Match, Ambler, and you, sitting in one of those television studios with Greg Gumble hosting. We would be picking our brackets for who we think is going to win the Conference 1 Championship this year...then again, maybe not, but this stir should get things going.

PJ

6 comments:

Bill Mill said...

"seen" should be "scene"

"there might get sponsorship" should be "there might be sponsorship", but it should be rewritten.

Now, for substantive commentary!

> maybe Cultimate will devise the brilliant concept held here in Football leagues, where teams get relegated up and down from conferences. Or, outsider qualifier tournaments like the Stanford qualifier allow teams to get into Conference 1.

Relegation is exactly what I was thinking, but I'm not sure that works as well in college as it does in the pros. If you have a group of young guys that finally get to the top level when they're seniors and get their team promoted but leave the next year, you're stuck with a total dud of a team in the main conference while some deserving team is left out.

Better than that is to have the top n from last year qualify for automatic inclusion this year, while the bottom n have to play their way in.

Which brings up another point: the conference1 page doesn't do a good job making it clear, in detail, how the series would work. Probably that's because he doesn't know yet who's in, but I was kind of frustrated by that site.

The Hazean said...

This is a pipe dream, nothing more. With Cyle Van Auken at the helm, this idea is destined for failure.

George Brell said...

Can you square this quote:

"I would prefer to see Ultimate legitimized through, again, the slow process of growth in participation. I feel that Ultimate's strength is as a participation sport where a certain type of person really enjoys the game.

That's what I see in Ultimate. I think too many of us want to accelerate this progression too fast hoping evolution through random mutations takes us to the right spot. This will, likely, result in some fundamental change to the sport that wrecks its' strength."

with this:

"The idea that an outside entity would swoop in and take over the College series is ...

Brilliant!!!"

This is not an accusatory post, but it seems like you've posted two things that are directly contradictory.

Taylor said...

This idea sounds like a bad joke.

The Hazean said...

Hi:

We have received a response to Conference1 from the UPA. You can read it at Bama Secs:

http://bamasecs.wordpress.com/

Jeters said...

George called me on what might be a conflicting opinion. At first, I was worried, but then I realized two things. I'm in general opinionated, but open minded. In the past I've questioned juniors playing the sport, but I've flip flopped on the idea.

But the more I look at the two points I was making, I'm not sure they're a contradiction. Well, maybe they are conflicting points.

Still, I like the idea that we grow by getting more people to play. These changes at the top seem to be tangential to what happens at the bottom. I guess I just like this random mutation since I don't think it changes the whole sport too much.

PJ