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Canadian Ultimate Championships


Photo Credit: Ben Beehner
Go West Young Man

Right on the heels of the Emerald City Classic, we are turning around after a three-day break to send a team to the national championships in Victoria, British Columbia. That’s a 4-day tournament, if we can ride our horses all the way to the finals. With a shorthanded roster, under-rested, double-shifting as coaches, and already pock-marked by injuries, this is going to prove to be a unique challenge for the Angry Monkey. I don’t believe we have ever tried anything like it before, but with CUCs so close, and out of conflict with ECC, we wanted to make the effort to send a squad. So away we go.

Everyone, at some point, has to play on a shorthanded roster, even at big tournaments. We previously did so at the Labor Day Championships last year (17), and at the Colorado Cup (16) the year before that. My personal favourite to date: playing the 2005 UPA College Championships with a roster of 14 — that tournament remains a haunting waterline of physical exhaustion for me. It is known to be challenging, and that is why rosters have inflated over the years; as soon as the competitive ultimate population expanded to the point that it could support 21-man rosters, that became commonplace among touring teams. But every once in a while, one hears the legendary story of a preposterously under-populated team (say, 7-10 players) winning a tournament. The phenomenon is often explained away as “chemistry” — unusual team chemistry allow such underdogs to overcome adversity.

In part because such interpersonal chemistry is both ineffable and quantifiable, I prefer another term: “efficiency.” Teams that play smart, that have systems, and that take calculated risks tend to prevail. They balance aggression with conservation well, and spend their energies in useful, high-yield areas. And they value possession of the disc. These are valuable skills and habits for any team, and as much as we talk about them, they are notoriously difficult to ingrain. That is why, periodically, I think it is a necessary lesson to plunge oneself into a tournament with a shorthanded roster. It is unquestionably a trial by fire, and many teams have limped away from the experience swearing never to do it again. But if you can approach it with the correct mentality — an exercise in embracing efficiency — then it can be one of the most illuminating experiences you face as a team.

The Furious George CUC2012 roster:

Marc Seraglia
Brendan Wong
Kevin Underhill
Alexander Davis
Andre Gailits
Bobo Eyrich
John Norris
Matthew Berezan
Morgan Hibbert
Aaron Koenig
Nathan Dandurand
Oscar Pottinger
Aaron Loach
Joel Bellavance
Derek Fenton
Maxmillian Hunter

Alex Davis

One Response to “Canadian Ultimate Championships”

  1. Blair Says:

    No excuses! Play like a champion!