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O F F I C I AL M AGA Z I N E O F U S A U LT I M AT E S P R I N G 2 0 1 3

What’s inside College Championships Preview

Open Division p7

Women’s Division p14

Notes on OrEGOn’s Fugue p28 NEW: Nutrition Column p44

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The CDP presented by Five Ultimate is a process of educating coaches, growing the vocation, and creating a pool of qualified volunteers to help grow ultimate, especially at the youth level. Contact mike@hq.usaultimate.org to host a Level I or Level II clinic in your area.

The CDP is hiring! We’re looking for qualified instructors for Level I and Level II to join our cadre of talented and experienced coaching educators. Email mike@hq.usaultimate.org for more information and an application.

The Learn to Play initiative helps local ultimate organizations promote youth playing opportunities and the growth of their youth leagues. Local youth get to learn from and play with the same folks who coach, organize and play in their city or town. Contact mike@hq.usaultimate.org for more information or to run a Learn to Play program in your area.


VOLU M E X X X I V ISSU E ON E

SPRING ISSUE

P7 OPEN DIVISION PREVIEW Tristan Green leads a veteran North Carolina squad in a bid for back-to-back Nationals appearances; Ohio is also hoping to earn a second consecutive trip. Photo: Marja Grillo

P28 OREGON ULTIMATE FEATURE Oregon is one of the favorites again going into the Series after winning Stanford Invite and earning quality wins at Easterns. Photo: Del Clark

P14 WOMEN’S DIVISION PREVIEW After failing to earn a bid to Nationals last year for the first time since 2003, Carleton College has big expectations this season. Photo: Liz Crosby

ON THE COVER: . Central Florida’s Mike Ogren battles for the disc with Wisconsin’s Ross Barker and Callahan nominee Brian Hart. Photo: Scott Roeder


USA Ultimate 4730 Table Mesa Dr. Suite I-200C Boulder, CO 80305 303.447.3472 www.usaultimate.org info@usaultimate.org

SPRING 2013 3 A Letter To Our Members 5 By The Numbers: College Ultimate College Championship Open Preview 7 The Usual Suspects: Open Division Preview 11 Callahan Buzz 12 Wind Is The Name Of The Game:

USA Ultimate Board of Directors Mike Payne – President Gwen Ambler – Vice President Kathy Hendrickson – Treasurer Mike Kinsella – Secretary Stephen Hubbard Greg Downey Mandy Eckhoff Colin McIntyre Mary-Clare Brennan Ben Slade Sandy Park Henry Thorne USA Ultimate Staff Matthew Bourland – Manager of New Media Melanie Byrd – Director of Membership & Sport Development Dr. Tom Crawford – Chief Executive Officer Richard Dana – Manager of Competition & Athlete Programs (College) Will Deaver – Managing Director of Competition & Athlete Programs Julia Echterhoff Lee – Director of Finance & Development Byron Hicks – Manager of Competition & Athlete Programs (Club) Andy Lee – Director of Marketing & Communications Michael Lovinguth – Manager of Education & Youth Programs Baker Pratt – Manager of Competition & Athlete Programs (Youth) David Raflo – Events Manager Anna Schott – Manager of Membership & Sport Development Stacey Waldrup – Manager of Communications & Publications

DIII Open Division Preview

College Championship Women’s Preview 14 A Northwest Affair: Women’s Division Preview 19 Callahan Buzz 20 Setting Up a Showdown in Milwaukee: DIII Women’s Division Preview

22 Coming Soon: 2013’s Triple Crown Tour 26 USA National Teams Take Shape 28 Notes On OrEGOn’s Fugue 29 The Power of Play 34 A Game Plan for Safe Sport 36 Coordinators of the Year 39 New Column Cleats & Cones 40 Local League Spotlight 42 Above the Competition 44 New Column Nutrition Matters 48 What’s The Call 50 News & Notes

USA Ultimate is a non-profit organization and serves as the national Governing Body for the sport of Ultimate in the United States. Founded in 1979 as the Ultimate Players Association (UPA), USA Ultimate is one of the first flying disc sport organizations in the world and the largest, with more than 40,000 members and a national volunteer network. USA Ultimate USA Ultimate is the official publication of USA Ultimate, published quarterly. All ideas expressed in USA Ultimate are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of USA Ultimate, the National Governing Body. USA Ultimate assumes no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Editor-in-Chief Stacey Waldrup Advertising For complete rates and specifications, contact sponsors@usaultimate.org. Change of Address USA Ultimate is not forwarded by the post office. To update your address, please contact USA Ultimate. For a complete list of contacts, please visit www.usaultimate.org

LIKE US. FOLLOW US. Spring 2013

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A LETTER TO OUR MEMBERS

A message from USA Ultimate’s CEO on Ultimate happenings in the U.S.

BY

Dr. Tom Crawford USA Ultimate Chief Executive Officer

USA Ultimate + The Worldwide Leader in Sports = Visibility, Respect, Growth

in Sports” is now our broadcast partner for the foreseeable future. All by itself, that is a significant enhancement to our brand. How does this help the sport and our members? Here’s how: We are constantly pursuing sponsors and partners in order to diversify the revenue streams coming into USA Ultimate. It is this incremental revenue that allows us to heavily subsidize all of our programs and keep them as affordable as possible. Without these revenue streams, as a responsible 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, we would be forced to charge members, athletes, teams, coaches, observers, leagues, etc. enough to break even on our programs. External partners provide important financial relief, allowing us to keep membership and participation costs much lower. Programs such as Learn to Play, Community Recreation Outreach, League Affiliate, and the High School and Youth Club Championships, are all able to run at a financial loss, subsidized by this sponsorship revenue. ESPN is a powerful brand many potential partners want to align with, thus significantly enhancing our chances to succeed in this highly competitive and difficult sponsor economy. But it will still be really challenging given our current stage and size. Why?

Last month, we made the exciting announcement that USA Ultimate has a new broadcast partner, namely the networks of ESPN. There are several reasons why we believe this is a significant development for the sport, which I’d like to share:

Visibility The number one goal in our new strategic plan is to increase the visibility of our sport in order to stimulate and accelerate our growth. ESPN has millions of viewers, and they are typically the most avid sports fans in general. Exposure to this audience is a huge opportunity for our sport. It’s great that we have been growing, but the reality is we’re falling behind our two biggest cohorts, lacrosse and rugby. They are blowing past us in growth, and thousands of kids and families are choosing them over ultimate, both because they don’t know we exist, and opportunities for kids to play ultimate are limited. ESPN can’t help create opportunities for play (thus our League Affiliate, Learn to Play, and Community Recreation Outreach programs), but they are the best partner we could ask for in terms of exposure and visibility. Now we have to perform, and show them that live high-level ultimate is entertaining, has a fan base, and thus has a bright future.

I am sensing a set of understandable misconceptions in our community about how sponsorship works. The economy of sports sponsorship is very competitive. It’s really all about brand alignment, exposure and access, exclusivity and return on investment (ROI). Sponsors are not going to invest because ultimate

Brand Association/Alignment ESPN was recently voted the most powerful sports brand in the world. “The Worldwide Leader 3

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Emotional Capital/Recognition

is “cool and growing.” They are not going to invest because 3,000 fans watch a live stream. They see that as very limited exposure with no return. Relative to other investment opportunities in the sports marketplace, we are still very small, so they will only invest if they like ultimate’s demographic and believe they can sell into it

Our top teams and athletes have all worked hard, trained hard, made significant financial sacrifices and have often been the leaders in their respective ultimate communities. Now they are going to be celebrated and broadcast on the most recognizable sports broadcasting platform on the planet. How cool is that? I am really excited for them and their families who have often made a ton of sacrifices as well. Could we perhaps see Wisconsin’s men or women win the College Championships on ESPNU in a stadium full of their hometown fans? Could Fury avenge their loss to Japan at the U.S. Open live on ESPN3? Maybe Doublewide will defend their national championship in a packed stadium in their home state of Texas with millions watching all over the U.S. Is there a way better chance the editors at SportsCenter will be looking for Top 10 highlights from events they have produced and distributed right from Bristol? You bet!

A partner like ESPN can help change the current perception almost overnight.

(translation: make money for their company and its owners/shareholders). They will invest if they believe they can build a brand relationship with the ultimate community and an alignment with our other partners like ESPN. Sports sponsorship is not charitable giving – it’s business and ROI. ESPN as our broadcast partner makes us a more attractive investment.

Role of the Triple Crown Tour (TCT) While our College Championships have been covered for several years by our great partners at CBS Sports, our very best teams have not received any national coverage. One of the many goals of the TCT was to change this history. We’ve had many discussions with broadcast partners, and they simply were not interested in “club” ultimate. There were too many reasons to describe here (although I’m happy to discuss), but now, with the TCT, we have a compelling story to tell. Not just random events with random teams occurring randomly (or maybe not) across the U.S. No, now we have a season that we can describe and that actually makes sense to a partner like ESPN. And everyone is part of it – Pro Flight, Elite Flight, Select Flight and Classic Flight; men, women and mixed; everyone! We’re really proud of that, and while we acknowledge and struggle with the fact that we can’t make everyone happy – we just can’t, and we wish we could – please know that we’ll keep trying while we pursue our mission and execute our strategic plan with all of you as our most important partners.

Reputation and Credibility We get all kinds of phone calls at our office every week from passionate ultimate players asking for help convincing someone, ranging from high school athletic directors to college club sports directors, to parks and recreation field managers, etc., that we are a real and serious sport. A sad example of this is the high school student who posted in response to Ben Van Heuvelen’s recent thoughtful piece: he received a lower grade on a paper he wrote and speech he gave because the teacher noted, ”No one in this classroom knew what ultimate was.” I think it’s really hard for many of the die-hard ultimate players and fans that eat sleep and breathe the sport to understand or acknowledge this, but I can tell you from my personal experience that it is absolutely still the case. We are basically an unknown sport to the general public and sports community. While some may authentically, genuinely and passionately say “so what, we like it that way,” the vast majority of our members are constantly asking for help building the sport’s reputation and credibility. A partner like ESPN can help change the current perception almost overnight. Spring 2013

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BY THE NUMBERS:

COLLEGE ULTIMATE COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP

BREAKDOWN

CURRENT NUMBER OF

USA ULTIMATE COLLEGE MEMBERS FROM ALL 50 STATES AND 5 CANADIAN PROVINCES

(ALBERTA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, MANITOBA, ONTARIO, QUEBEC)

AS OF MARCH 15, 2013

MICHAEL

240 SUBMISSIONS

441

TOTAL MEMBERS MOST POPULAR NAME TEAM COUNT

MOST WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS

MOST OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

GENDER BREAKDOWN

9,802

MOST TOTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS BY ONE SCHOOL

5,529

STATE WITH THE MOST TOTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

11 7 6 27 1

UCSB (6 OPEN, 5 WOMEN’S)

STANFORD

UCSB

CALIFORNIA (NORTH CAROLINA IS SECOND WITH 6)

EMILY

SCHOOLS WITH CHAMPIONSHIP WINS IN D-I & D-III

271

SCHOOLS WITH CHAMPIONSHIPS IN OPEN & WOMEN’S DIVISIONS

6

CARLETON COLLEGE, OREGON, STANFORD, UCSB, UCSC, NORTH CAROLINAWILMINGTON

IVY LEAGUE SCHOOLS WITH CHAMPIONSHIPS

2

BROWN AND PENNSYLVANIA

143 SUBMISSIONS

26 WOMEN’S DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS HAVE BEEN WON

BY 12 DIFFERENT SCHOOLS

SMALLEST SCHOOL TO HAVE WON A CHAMPIONSHIP

LARGEST SCHOOL TO HAVE WON A CHAMPIONSHIP

CARLETON COLLEGE (CUT, GOP; SYZYGY AND ECLIPSE)

(1,991 STUDENTS)

(56,382 STUDENTS)


#YouthDiscount As ultimate grows in size and visibility, we risk diluting the elements of the sport that make it great. If we invest in a strong core of youth players today, we can ensure a strong and stable sport in the future. That's why we sponsor every youth team that orders from us!


Wisconsin sophomore Craig Cox helped the Hodags to two wins over Colorado Mamabird at this year’s Stanford Invite. Photo: Scott Roeder

The Usual

Suspects

Open

Division Preview By: Bryan Jones

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COLLEGE PREVIEW As the 2012 season came to an end, Pittsburgh stood tall over the field, as national champions. In 2013, much of the same roster has returned, especially in playmakers Alex Thorne and Tyler Degirolamo. However, the usual suspects are also back, with 2012 semifinalists Wisconsin, Carleton College and Oregon all showing early-season promise. Oregon’s finish at Nationals has improved nearly year after year, and another Stanford Invite win has them in prime position to come up big in Madison. Wisconsin and Carleton College both have squads that will contend. Pittsburgh can’t rest on their laurels if they’re going to repeat. Look for one these four teams to be the winner come May.

Top to bottom: 1. Michigan State and Cincinnati played tough competition at Queen City TuneUp, in preparation for runs at their conference championships. Photo: Liz Crosby 2. Up and coming teams like Central Florida are hoping to challenge Wisconsin and other storied programs at this year’s College Championships. Photo: Scott Roeder

North Central

Spring 2013

Every year, the Wisconsin Hodags and Carleton College CUT are near the top of the heap, and it’s no surprise we expect them back at Nationals in 2013. Both teams have finished in the semifinals or better the last two years with Wisconsin playing the bridesmaid as the runner-up. As usual, the Hodags feature a lightningfast ho-stack attack where their many athletes can run down and sky for hucks. Brian Hart has already made a name for himself this season, looking like the top playmaker on the squad. Their regional counterpart, Carleton College, historically has a reputation for a grind-it-out offense, but this year is a little different. Simon Montague and Nick Stuart lead a dynamic offense that has been altered to perform quick strikes. Minnesota returns NexGen’s Greg Arenson and also features Reese Hornnes and Jason Tschida. Expect these three teams to make the trip to Nationals, with the Hodags and CUT looking to compete for another title. Ohio Valley With the defending National Champions Pittsburgh in the region, it will be hard to imagine anyone taking away their regional title. Tyler Degirolamo and Alex Thorne return for fifth years, along with a young cast of sophomores who were critical to their title run. Trent Dillon and Alex’s younger brother Max Thorne have already become big difference makers early in the 2013 season. Expect Pittsburgh to be back in title contention once more.

Last year, Ohio finally broke through and qualified for Nationals over longtime rival Ohio State. Mitch Cihon and Connor Haley are a deadly cutter combination. Their team is the clear number two in the region with a few other teams nipping at their heels. Carnegie-Mellon, Cincinnati, Penn State and 8


O PEN both got club-level experience with PoNY while Jibran Mesier played big defensive points for Southpaw with his teammate Scott Xu on the practice squad. Princeton, Connecticut and SUNY-Buffalo all return strong classes with NYU and Columbia also looking dangerous. Don’t count Cornell out yet though. With Nick Thompson and Adam Salwen, they’ve got the experience to turn to when it matters most.

Ohio State are looking for that possible third bid and to play spoiler for the second spot.

Three teams look to be at the top of the list in Colorado, Texas and Texas A&M. All three will have good shots at making it to Madison, provided there are three bids. It could be dicey going into the last weekends, but Texas and Texas A&M may end up winning the region two more bids. In the spotlight for Colorado is two-time NexGen player Jimmy Mickle, as well as Tim Morrissy who will complement Mickle’s play. Colorado has won their region year in, year out for over a decade. Texas features 2012 Club National Champion Will Driscoll of Doublewide, and is well-disciplined under the watchful eyes of Coach Calvin Lin. Texas A&M also has their own budding young Doublewide star in Dalton Smith and is hoping to live up to the hype in 2013.

Atlantic Coast

Southwest

The battle for North Carolina isn’t just a state rivalry, but one for the Region. North Carolina Darkside and the North Carolina-Wilmington Seamen are likely to be battling it out for first place and a trip to Nationals. Not to despair, both teams could make their way into the dance with an extra bid hanging around. Darkside isn’t short of any athletic playmakers or depth, but features U23 National Team member Christian Johnson. The Seamen aren’t short on playmakers themselves, with NexGen’s Tommy Lamar at the helm. The other teams in the AC are still gathering themselves for a regional run, with Maryland aiming to improve on their 2012 run where they nearly reached the finals.

The Southwest consistently has the most vicious rivalries and regionals, but they haven’t had too many teams in the top 20 over the years. This year, Arizona was the surprise team, winning Presidents’ Day on the backs of great zone play and their Callahan nominee Brice Dixon. Stanford is always in the running and has the playmaking ability of Ben Funk to help put them on top. California-Davis will be dangerous with Polar Bears star Eli Kerns, but nothing in this region will be certain until the regional tournament has been played. The majority of in-region teams rank between #20 and #40 year in and year out, making the games close, the upsets common and the grudges fierce.

Metro East

Northwest

Cornell has taken this region four years in a row, but every year a group of upstarts threatens to challenge them for the title. In 2011, NYU had a shot early in the game but couldn’t stay with it. In 2012, Princeton led 7-2 before Cornell would take half 8-7 and close out the game. This year, at least on paper, Rutgers seems like the team to beat. Mike Sender and Albert Alarcon

Oregon was the favorite until semifinals at Nationals last year, but once again, early on they are leading the way. Dylan Freechild has one of the quickest first steps around, while the rest of Oregon’s roster may be the most athletic in the country. Aaron Honn was a freshman sensation and has continued a high level of play in his second season. Topher 9

Pitt is looking to regain last year’s championship form and repeat their title run in the 2013 Series. Photo: Scott Roeder

South Central

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COLLEGE PREVIEW WILL PITT REPEAT? Davis and Camden Allison-Hall also help round out the athletic experience for Ego. Whitman and Washington battled it out for the second spot in 2012, but this year may not offer a second bid. Jacob Janin is back for Whitman, while Washington shows some promise for the future with star freshman Khalif El-Salaam.

WILL MADISON USE THEIR HOMETOWN ADVANTAGE? WHO WILL RISE?

New England In a rebounding year for the Northeast, several teams look strong. Tufts is a program without many flashy players but who proved their worth with a semifinal finish at Stanford Invite. However, they were defeated by rival Harvard at Queen City TuneUp, who gave North Carolina their best game of the tournament. Dartmouth hasn’t had the results yet to suggest they are one of the top teams in the nation, yet they are on the radars of everyone in the region. Williams did well at Santa Barbara, but we have yet to see them go up against top competition. Look for Tufts and Harvard to have the inside track to Nationals out of the New England region.

Top to bottom: 1. Ohio won six straight games at Queen City Tune-Up before running into hometown favorites, North Carolina, in the finals. Photo: Marja Grillo 2. Oregon and Carleton College are two perennial favorites who could make deep runs at the 2013 College Championships. Photo: Scott Roeder

Great Lakes

Spring 2013

Illinois had Nationals in their hands, literally, before drops gave Michigan State the bid in 2012. Now they are back with star Ryan Smith. However, early season results suggest a wide-open region. Michigan finished strong at Easterns Qualifier but declined the bid to Easterns. With Yonatan Rafael back from a knee injury, the spin master may do enough to send Michigan to Nationals. The dark horse may be Eastern Michigan, a team ready to make a name for themselves with big plays from James Highsmith. This is another region that can’t be predicted until the dust settles. Southeast The Southeast is back, and in a big way. Florida State is the surprise team out of the bunch and has been on the rise largely thanks to the coaching of Peter van de Burgt. In a common theme, Coaches Kyle Van Aucken of Florida, and Andrew Roca of Central Florida also have their teams competing with the best. Early on, all three teams had successful showings at Florida Warm Up. Ben Stringer is the main cog for FSU, while Bobby Ley is the sensational sophomore helping Florida to

its wins. Central Florida may be at the top of the region, with the best depth. Mischa Freystaetter is still a huge matchup issue, standing at 6’8’’, while Michael Ogren continually makes big plays as a receiver and a defender. Two other teams in the region are looking to steal a bid from the top three, and they both hail from Georgia. Georgia Tech may have lost Callahan Award winner Nick Lance, but his counterpart Jay Clark is still generating plenty of blocks. Georgia’s Elliott Erickson has a couple years of Chain Lightning experience under his belt, and will also be playing for the U23 National Team.

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This year features a hugely competitive Callahan class. Last year, Alex Thorne finished third to Eric Johnson and Nick Lance and might normally be expected to be the favorite as the highest-finishing returner. However, fellow teammate Tyler Degirolamo went on a tear last summer, dominating some of the best club teams around. Oregon’s Dylan Freechild has been pegged as a top five potential nominee since he burst on the scene his freshman year with his nearly unstoppable agility. Wisconsin’s Brian Hart is the type of leader that emulates the spirit of the Callahan Award, while Colorado’s Jimmy Mickle also finished in the top five in 2012, despite not being nominated by his own team. However, one of the best candidates might not even be nominated. Carleton doesn’t nominate team members for the Callahan, but Simon Montague might be the most talented player in the game. He did nearly everything at Stanford, playing tough defense, breaking the

ALEX THORNE

mark and going deep when needed.

TYLER DEGIROLAMO

DYLAN FREECHILD

BRIAN HART Top to bottom: 1. CBMT Creative 2. Scott Roeder 3. Scott Roeder 4. CBMT Creative 5. Scott Roeder

JIMMY MICKLE 11 11

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men’s

Callahan Buzz


COLLEGE PREVIEW

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D IVISI O N III

Wind is the Name of the Game By: Zack Purdy

III T DIVISION

he level of Division III competition has grown by leaps and bounds since the 2010 inception of D-III Championships. The 2013 Championships in Milwaukee, Wis., promise to be no exception.

With the advent of the new early-season national tournament, D-III Warm Up, we have an unprecedented look at how the top D-III teams stack up. However, Milwaukee, like Appleton, is known to be a particularly windy location, so the outcome of D-III Championships could be decided by the quality of teams’ play in the wind. This fact, combined with the overall parity in the division, means there are many teams that could make a run at a championship.

Likely Contenders: Puget Sound Postmen Given their second place finish at the 2012 D-III Championships and their dominant performance at this year’s D-III Warm Up, the Postmen are the clear favorites to take home a Division III Championship. They have a great coach in Adam Lerman, while Spencer Sheridan, Jonas Cole, Eric Hopfenbeck and Peter Geertz-Larson provide a depth of skill and athleticism unmatched in the division.

the wind at Huck Finn, but with all-star handler Taren Goins and athletic cutter Tucker Bankston, they could easily make a run at the Championships.

Wake Forest After a weak finish at the 2012 Championships and a hard weekend at ACCUC this spring, Wake Forest has been on the uptick. With a close game against Carnegie-Mellon and a strong universe-point win against Georgetown (two Division I schools), Wake looks to have the skill to play with the best teams in D-III.

Dark Horses: Rice is carried by the strong play of Michael Drewry, and showed they have what it takes in 2012. SUNY-Fredonia’s top two players have been injured, but when they return, this could be a team to look out for. Stevens Tech has an experienced line of players and is currently undefeated, though also untested. Bentley also delivered a strong tournament performance at the UNH Spring Open, so if their star handler, Alex Foo, can handle the wind in Milwaukee, Bentley could improve on their quarters finish in 2012.

Carleton College Gods of Plastic Puget Sound and Claremont went one-two at the D-III Warm Up and may meet again late in bracket play at the D-III Championships. Photo: Gregory Wu

The Gods of Plastic, or GoP for short, also performed very well at D-III Warm Up, only losing two close games to Claremont. What’s more, GoP has always been a team that peaks during the Championships. GoP is perhaps the division’s strongest team in windy conditions, so they stand to gain the most from a potentially windy 2013 D-III Championships. Don’t be surprised to see another finals appearance from GoP.

Claremont Braineaters The Brains had a strong performance on their home turf at D-III Warm Up, losing in the finals to the Postmen. However, their play in the wind was tested on Sunday at Trouble in Vegas, and it didn’t stack up to the level we saw from GoP and the Postmen in 2012. However, if this fast team, led by Devin Drewry, can shore up their fundamentals in time for the series, they could be a serious title contender.

Harding Apocalypse Harding gave a strong performance at the 2011 Championships and barely missed qualifying in 2012 after falling to an upstart Rice team at Regionals. Apocalypse is back this year with a vengeance, and a few more bids from their region. They too had problems with S p rSipnrgi n2g 0 1230 1 3

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Teams like Oregon and British Columbia are expected to make the Northwest the dominant region in the Women’s Division this year. Photo: Scott Roeder

a northwest affair

WOMEN’S Division Preview By: Anna Levine

AS THE REGULAR SEASON COMES TO A CLOSE, SEVERAL WOMEN’S TEAMS HAVE SHOWN THEMSELVES AS FORCES TO BE RECKONED WITH. FOR MANY SQUADS WITH WELLESTABLISHED PROGRAMS, DOMINATING DURING THE REGULAR SEASON IS SIMPLY PART OF THE ROUTINE; FOR OTHER TEAMS WITH LESS ELITE EXPERIENCE, EMERGING AS A TEAM TO BEAT IS NOVEL, INVIGORATING AND A LITTLE NERVE-WRACKING. ALTHOUGH ALL-TOO-FAMILIAR TEAMS MAY END UP IN THE COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS THIS YEAR (IS IT TOO EARLY TO PREDICT AN OREGON FINALS APPEARANCE WITH CERTAINTY?), SOME UNEXPECTED FACES THREATEN TO LOOSEN THE NORTHWEST’S CLUTCH ON THE GOLD. Spring 2013

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COLLEGE PREVIEW Ones to Watch:

WOM EN ’ S

YCC events. Due to this glut of early experience, Fugue’s baseline capabilities are measurably higher than many other teams, and heralded coach Lou Burruss has certainly taken advantage of that experience. In some ways, this year’s iteration of Fugue is most comparable to an elite club team. They boast minimal roster upheaval and multiple players with tremendous athleticism and years of high-level competition under their belts, along with a nationally renowned coach. Don’t be surprised to see green and yellow at the top this year – this is the stuff championship teams are made of.

Oregon Fugue, the 2010 College Championship winner and 2012 runner-up, is the team to beat this year. Boasting an impressive 20-1 record by early March, Fugue has demonstrated its authority over a range of powerhouses and avenged its 2012 Championship finals loss to Washington at Stanford Invite. Leading the team are seasoned veterans Sophie Darch and Bailey Zahniser, two playmakers with powerful deep throws and elite playing experience (among many career accolades, Darch, along with teammate Bethany Kaylor, was recently named to the U23 Mixed National Team). Many receivers who were instrumental to Oregon’s aggressive offense last year have returned, including Kaylor, Anna Almy, Alex Ode and Jesse Shofner. Fugue knows how to win high-pressure games which will continue to give them a huge advantage over other teams throughout the spring.

Top to bottom: 1. Maryland is hoping to challenge North Carolina-Wilmington and the other Atlantic Coast favorites in the Series. Photo: Liz Crosby 2. Carleton College is one of the dark horses in the Women’s Division this year, while Pitt has played strong competition all year in preparation for the post-season. Photo: Liz Crosby

Oregon’s recent success might also be attributed to the fact that it has attracted so many players with elite youth experience. Darch, Kaylor and Rachel Karpelowitz were members of the US WJUC Team 2010, while Shofner was on the 2012 team; at least ten players on their roster have competed at past

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Wisconsin’s Biz Cook releases a flick past her Washington University defender in their pool play matchup at Queen City Tune-Up. Photo: Liz Crosby

COLLEGE PREVIEW

Spring 2013

Dark Horses:

Don’t write off Washington Element just yet, though. Although their regular season showing has been less pristine than Oregon’s thus far – they suffered losses to Wisconsin, UCSB, UBC and Oregon at Presidents’ Day and the Stanford Invite – Element 2013 retains many of the players that won them the gold at the 2012 College Championships. Sarah Davis, Washington’s star defender and playmaker in last year’s championship game, is back; Davis, Amanda Kostic and Alysia Letourneau were recently named to the U23 Women’s National Team. Perhaps one of Element’s most valuable gains this season is their new coach, Kyle Weisbrod, a former member of Chain Lightning who coached the 2012 WJUC Girls’ team. Expect Weisbrod to encourage Washington’s strong defensive legacy while introducing some new insights on offense. As Element adjusts to a new coach and a new season, they will only gain in strength as the year progresses. Will we see a Washington-Oregon rematch in the Championship finals this year?

British Columbia, Carleton College If anyone is having a tremendously successful breakout season, it is the UBC Firebirds. After rising from dead last in 2011 to a modest 11th place at the 2012 College Championships, the Firebirds have emerged from the ashes this year as a legitimately powerful entity. UBC is the only team to have taken down Oregon this season; they beat Washington soundly at Presidents’ Day and bested Stanford, UNC and UCSB at the Stanford Invite. The Firebirds’ offensive game is run through quick, relatively short throws; pinpoint accuracy; and a particularly speedy set of women. If this description reminds you at all of the club team Traffic’s strategy, don’t be too surprised. A handful of UBC’s key players, such as Catherine Hui, Mira Donaldson, Rena Kawabata and Amira Maddison, all played on the elite Canadian team. Their controlled game has thrown off college 16


WOM EN ’ S

teams who are often searching for footing and general cohesiveness during the early part of the regular season.

The Firebirds have proven they can win important games against big teams. The question now is whether they can maintain their momentum as the season progresses. As high-caliber teams learn to shut down UBC’s dynamic offense, will they adjust or crumble under the pressure? Labeling a team that hails from the Carleton College ultimate dynasty as a “dark horse” might seem oxymoronic, but the title befits Syzygy this year. After failing to secure a bid to Nationals last year for the first time since 2003, Carleton College needed to do some serious regrouping, and the team has done that and more. Anna Reed led Syzygy to a second place finish at Queen City Tune-Up, frequently looking to receiver Emily Buckner down the line; U23 Women’s National Team member and Syzygy co-captain Julia Snyder brings equal amounts of energy and talent to the table. Carleton College played a very close game against Oregon and beat both Cal and Stanford at the Stanford Invite, proving they can seriously compete against the formidable West Coast teams. Their biggest battle of the season will be at Regionals: the North Central is bursting at the seams this year with five Nationals-caliber teams. If Syzygy manages to earn a bid, there will be no stopping them at the 2013 College Championships. Regions to Watch Atlantic Coast: Despite being led by elite juniors Shellie Cohen and Lisa Couper, UNC’s traditionally strong team struggled to beat high-caliber teams at QCTU and the Stanford Invite. North Carolina17

Top to bottom: 1. Ohio State and Tufts are both favorites to earn Nationals bids from their regions and are led by their respective Callahan nominees Cassie Swafford and Claudia Tajima. Photo: Marja Grillo 2. North Carolina has been a perennial Nationals contender and is led by juniors Lisa Couper (left) and Shellie Cohen (right). Photo: Holly Czuba

As many commentators have noted, the Firebirds’ secret weapon is undoubtedly Catherine “Chewy” Hui. Her performances with Traffic at the 2012 Club Championships and with UBC at last year’s College Championships were astounding – her ability to lay it all out on defense only to pull it together and immediately score on offense is almost unparalleled, and both teams relied heavily on her energy. Watch out for Hui to assert her dominance as the season progresses.

U S A U lt i m at e


COLLEGE PREVIEW Northeast: The snowy weather has made practices and tournament attendance difficult for teams in this region, but those who have chosen to travel – Tufts, Northeastern and Dartmouth – have faced some tough competition with mixed results. Tufts, led by superstar seniors Claudia Tajima and Hailey Alm, is looking to build upon their amazing thirdplace finish at Nationals last year. Dartmouth boasts a handful of elite players and is hoping to challenge Tufts at Regionals and establish themselves as a team to beat. More regular season results are needed to see where these teams’ storylines are headed, but the competition could heat up fast.

Wilmington, led by Phoenix handler Claire Chastain, is experiencing similar results. Virginia, on the other hand, is on fire. Hydra easily came in first at Women’s College Easterns and racked up wins against Ohio State and Northwestern earlier in the season. If this deep and athletic team manages to stay healthy and possibly regain the legs of senior leader and Scandal player Mary Kelly, who suffered a torn ACL over Labor Day, a quarterfinals finish at Nationals wouldn’t be out of the question. What the North Carolinians will bring to the table at Regionals is still to be determined. North Central: Possibly the most exciting region to keep an eye on in the coming weeks, the North Central is chock full of similarly-matched and exceptionally good teams: namely, Carleton, Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and Wisconsin (not necessarily, but possibly, in that order). Minnesota is the region’s dark horse: after undergoing four years of program building, the Ninjas pulled out big wins against Wisconsin, Iowa and Iowa State at Midwest Throwdown. However, Iowa’s skill can’t be underestimated. Although they have losses to both Minnesota and Carleton this season, they have also beaten notably strong teams such as Ohio State and Tufts. Even though it is unclear who will come out on top, one thing is certain – these teams are all chomping at the bit to make it to Nationals, and no team is prepared to go down without a fight.

Tufts freshman Laura Fradin releases a flick in their pool play matchup against Georgia at Queen City Tune-Up. Photo: Liz Crosby

Southeast: The Southeast has produced some unexpectedly interesting results this season. Although Georgia seems the most poised to earn a Nationals bid – they have defeated Nationalscaliber competition during the regular season and know how to win in high-pressure situations – Central Florida and Florida State are eagerly vying for the spot. Central Florida played competitively at QCTU, beating Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina-Wilmington. Florida State has wins against Central Florida and Georgia during the regular season, proving that their athleticism can take them surprisingly far.

Spring 2013

18


WOMEN’S

Callahan Buzz Claire Chastain, North Carolina-Wilmington: Chastain is a force to be reckoned with on both offense and defense. A starting handler on her college team and elite club team Phoenix, and recently named a member of the U23 Women’s National Team, Chastain is known for her cool-headed ability to move the disc quickly. Cassie Swafford, Ohio State: Swafford led Fever to Nationals last year, and her relentless, perfectlytimed cuts set the tone for the rest of the team.

claire chastain

Rebecca Enders, Wisconsin: While this lefty handler has lots of club experience under her belt (she has played for both Heist and Pop), she is best known at Wisconsin for her great leadership.

cassie swafford

Claudia Tajima, Tufts: Simply put, Tajima is one of the best and most decorated handlers out there. A Brute Squad player, not to mention having been on two WJUC rosters and recently named to the U23 Mixed National Team, Tajima’s elite expertise and leadership have helped her transform Tufts into a competitive powerhouse. Bailey Zahniser, Oregon: Zahniser is a Fugue captain and a playmaker who is known for her enormous hucks and serious athleticism. Top to bottom: 1. Liz Crosby 2. Cindy Swafford 3. Holly Czuba 4. CBMT Creative 5. Candace Westgate

claudia tajima

bailey zahniser

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REBECCA ENDERS

U S A U lt i m at e


COLLEGE PREVIEW

Setting up a Showdown in Milwaukee

III L DIVISION

By: Robyn Fennig

ast year’s favorites, Claremont, secured the 2012 Division III Championship with the wind at their backs. 2013 promises to be a season that cannot be missed, as many Division III teams have out-performed even top Division I teams this season, indicating that these women are just as skilled as their Division I counterparts. Keep an eye out for Pacific Lutheran out of the strong Northwest region this year. Reign, led by dynamic player and notable defensive machine, Darrien Dorr, has been rather successful. The Pacific Lutheran squad showcased a decisive win over Ottawa, a perennial Division I Championships qualifier, in the finals of Trouble in Vegas. This is important mentally, as the 2012 squad struggled in Appleton’s adverse conditions.

When it comes to regional strength, New England is just as strong as the Northwest in Women’s Division III ultimate. With their late-season, out-of-region wins, the New England region managed to garner four bids to Nationals. Last season, Bowdoin fell short in quarterfinals when Chaos Theory lost to a wind-minded Grinnell squad in blustery Appleton. This season, Bowdoin looks to be the New England Region’s best chance for a championship run, with strong results thus far. Though the squad returns only six players this season, Bowdoin successfully developed rookie talent during the cold, snowy Maine winter. Chaos Theory decisively conquered every opponent in the early season – most of whom are Division III contenders. Julie Bender returns for Bowdoin, a player with every throw in the book, and can distribute the disc to her teammates. Regional rival Williams is also poised for success in 2013. Claire Baecher and Rachel Kessler lead La Wufa’s offensive charge. The team’s attitude of grit and hard work reflect in La Wufa’s physical, athletic style of play. Williams would likely have made it far into bracket play at the 2012 Championships but did not accept their bid due to a graduation conflict. If Williams can secure enough players to accept a bid this year, expect them to contend on Sunday in Milwaukee.

Pacific Lutheran owns a 20-2 record entering the 2013 Series

Spring 2013

Valparaiso, by contrast, has a much easier road to Milwaukee. The Chicks Hucking Discs are by far the most talented and deep Division III team in the Great Lakes Region, potentially in the entire country. Valpo is scary-good when it comes to competing in the wind – their offensive and defensive zone capabilities allow them to shine in even the toughest weather conditions. With Erika Wagner playing deep in their zone, Valpo’s transition offense jumpstarts with quick movement to athletic receivers like Rachel Okerstrom and Ellen Guisfredi streaking down the field. Wagner, 20


WOM EN ’ S

D IVISI O N III

Bowdoin is New England’s favorite in the D-III division, despite the low number of returners on this year’s roster.

are a dynamic duo with skills on both sides of the disc. Their throwing arsenals should help bring the team to the Regional Championships against Mary Washington’s Mary Massacre. Mary Beth Moody is Mary Washington’s biggest threat with the disc, looking for Erica Bressler in the endzone. Claremont won a tight game in the 2012 D-III Championship final

Steph Volz and Kate Guidera have fantastic handling chemistry and can shred any zone. As long as Valpo brings a full squad to the Championships in 2013, they are definite title contenders. With their eyes set on the Division III series in 2013, the Swarthmore Warmothers are a clear choice to win the Ohio Valley after their performance at the Queen City Tune-Up Open. Swarthmore will have seen regional opponents at Virginia is for Layouts and Garden State III before the series, allowing for adjustments heading into Conferences and Regionals.

No one knows who will win the North Central this season, but Carleton College-Eclipse has emerged as the early favorite. With Kalli Perano’s wizard-like command of the disc, Mia Borden’s athleticism and Katie Claiborne’s leadership, Eclipse should win the region. However, Eclipse cannot get comfortable; Grinnell, Luther, Drake and St. Benedict are

The Atlantic Coast Region is up for grabs, with several talented teams in the running. Elon spreads the disc offensively and has an effective transition offense. Free to Lay’s Maureen Dougherty and Jill Padfield 21 21

The Atlantic Coast region is up for grabs, with several talented teams in the running.

chomping at the bit to take them down. Grinnell graduated many players from 2012’s Cinderella year but returns arguably the best receiver from last season: Carla Eckland. A two-year leader in goals scored at the Division III College Championships, Eckland has steady hands in even the most gravitydefying layouts.

All Photos: Brandon Wu

U S A U lt i m at e


Triple Crown Tour Is Set to Kick Off The sites are set. The teams are committed. The 2013 Triple Crown Tour is on its way. town heroes, Johnny Bravo, and protect their home turf by claiming a championship in Raleigh.

To reach its inaugural season, the Triple Crown Tour (TCT) experienced several evolutions. Now, USA Ultimate is excited to bring the first structured regular season to ultimate fans everywhere. The TCT represents the highest level of competitive ultimate in North America. The Tour’s premier events, taking place at locations across the United States, offer an unprecedented opportunity for fans, players and newcomers to the sport to see the best teams in the game compete against one another in an effort to claim the first-ever USA Ultimate Triple Crown.

Each division will also feature four of the world’s best international teams who will be in attendance to challenge the most storied teams in ultimate history. They will each be hoping to have a little more luggage on the return trip – toting a U.S. Open Championship trophy with them back across the ocean. PRO-ELITE AND ELITE-SELECT CHALLENGES By utilizing existing high-quality and highly-attended tournaments, the Pro-Elite and Elite-Select Challenges are a smooth transition for many teams. Teams that have been attending Terminus, Philly Invite, Colorado Cup and Emerald City Classic for years find themselves with schedules similar to seasons past, but with guaranteed, quality competition and plenty of time to recruit and plan for their opponents.

U.S. Open Ultimate Championships and Convention The Triple Crown Tour kicks off July 4-7, 2013, with the U.S. Open Ultimate Championships and Convention in Raleigh, N.C. Last year’s winners in the Mixed and Women’s divisions will return in 2013 looking to defend their titles while a new champion will be crowned in the Men’s division.

According to AMP captain Kevin McCormick, “Knowing that AMP has been accepted to top tournaments and will have a bye to Regionals makes us a very attractive team for recruitment purposes. Having some of our late season schedule decided before pre-season starts will help us plan our schedule and choose our roster. We are excited for the opportunity to take Philadelphia Ultimate to the next level and compete for a National title, as well as a bid to next year’s World Ultimate Club Championships.”

San Francisco’s Polar Bears and Seattle’s Riot will be out to prove that their 2012 U.S. Open titles were no flukes and will have eyes set on avenging last year’s National Championships finals losses. Meanwhile, 2012 National Champions and perennial powerhouses Doublewide, Blackbird and Fury will be eager to start 2013 in the same fashion in which they ended 2012. Local boys Ring of Fire will aim to follow in the footsteps of 2012 U.S Open home-

U.S. OPEN ULTIMATE CHAMPIONSHIPS JULY 4-7, RALEIGH, NC MEN’S

MIXED

WOMEN’S

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

Doublewide

Austin, TX

Blackbird

San Francisco, CA

Fury

San Francisco, CA

Revolver

San Francisco, CA

Polar Bears

San Francisco, CA

Riot

Seattle, WA

Ironside

Boston, MA

Drag’n Thrust

Minneapolis, MN

Scandal

Washington, DC

Ring of Fire

Raleigh, NC

Mischief

San Francisco, CA

Showdown

Austin, TX

Spring 2013

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Pro-Elite Challenge, JULY 20-21

Men’s: Terminus – Atlanta, GA • Mixed: Philly Invite – Philadelphia, PA Women’s: Terminus – Atlanta, GA

MEN’S

MIXED

WOMEN’S

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

Machine

Chicago, IL

Cosa Nostra

Austin, TX

Molly Brown

Boulder, CO

GOAT

Toronto, ON

Odyssée

Montreal, QC

Nemesis

Chicago, IL

Sockeye

Seattle, WA

CLX

Ames, IA

Capitals

Ottawa, ON

Chain Lightning

Atlanta, GA

The Ghosts

Cambridge, MA

Ozone

Atlanta, GA

Madison

Madison, WI

American BBQ

San Francisco, CA

Traffic

Vancouver, BC

Rhino

Portland, OR

7 Figures

Los Angeles, CA

Nightlock

Palo Alto, CA

Furious George

Vancouver, BC

AMP

Philadelphia, PA

Heist

Madison, WI

Johnny Bravo

Boulder, CO

Wild Card

Boston, MA

Brute Squad

Boston, MA

Sub Zero

Minneapolis, MN

Mental Toss Flycoons

Missoula, MT

Phoenix

Raleigh, NC

Truck Stop

Washington, DC

Ambiguously Grey

Washington, DC

Hot Metal

Pittsburgh, PA

Boost

San Jose, CA

Underground

Seattle, WA

PoNY

New York, NY

Schwa

Portland, OR

Elite-SELECT Challenge, AUGUST 10-11

Mens: Colorado Cup - Boulder, CO • Mixed: Emerald City Classic – Seattle, WA Women’s: Colorado Cup - Boulder, CO

MEN’S

MIXED

WOMEN’S

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

Doublewide

Austin, TX

Mischief

San Francisco, CA

Showdown

Austin, TX

Madison

Madison, WI

AMP

Philadelphia, PA

Molly Brown

Boulder, CO

Rhino

Portland, OR

Wild Card

Boston, MA

Nightlock

Palo Alto, CA

Johnny Bravo

Boulder, CO

Mental Toss Flycoons

Missoula, MT

Heist

Madison, WI

Truck Stop

Washington, DC

Ambiguously Grey

Washington, DC

Brute Squad

Boston, MA

PoNY

New York, NY

Steamboat

Cincinnati, OH

Phoenix

Raleigh, NC

Cash Crop

Raleigh, NC

Death by Jubilee

Washington, DC

Underground

Seattle, WA

Condors

Santa Barbara, CA

Minnesota Star Power

Minneapolis, MN

Schwa

Portland, OR

Madcow

Columbus, OH

Great Northern Ultimate

Seattle, WA

Safari

San Diego, CA

Phoenix

Ottawa, ON

Mesteno

Denver, CO

Pop

Minneapolis, MN

Plex

Dallas, TX

Cahoots

Asheville, NC

Bent

New York, NY

Prairie Fire

Kansas City, KS

Groove

San Francisco, CA

Jack Wagon

Boulder, CO

Southpaw

Philadelphia, PA

Termite’s Entourage

Morristown, NJ

Green Means Go

Philadelphia, PA

Voodoo

Seattle, WA

Love Tractor

Boulder, CO

Dish

Chicago, IL

Natives

Chicago, IL

Golden Spike

Salt Lake City, UT

Further

Eugene, OR

Florida United

Tampa, FL

D’Oh!

Seattle, WA

DeSoto

Nashville, TN

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U S A U lt i m at e


PRO FLIGHT FINALE AUGUST 31 – SEPTEMBER 1 • BAY AREA INVITE – DAVIS, CA

MEN’S

MIXED

WOMEN’S

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

TEAM

CITY/STATE

Doublewide

Austin, TX

Blackbird

San Francisco, CA

Fury

San Francisco, CA

Revolver

San Francisco, CA

Polar Bears

San Francisco, CA

Riot

Seattle, WA

Ironside

Boston, MA

Drag’n Thrust

Minneapolis, MN

Scandal

Washington, DC

Ring of Fire

Raleigh, NC

Mischief

San Francisco, CA

Showdown

Austin, TX

Machine

Chicago, IL

Cosa Nostra

Austin, TX

Molly Brown

Boulder, CO

GOAT

Toronto, ON

CLX

Ames, IA

Nemesis

Chicago, IL

Sockeye

Seattle, WA

Slow White

Boston, MA

Capitals

Ottawa, ON

Chain Lightning

Atlanta, GA

American BBQ

San Francisco, CA

Ozone

Atlanta, GA

By participating in these events, Elite- and Select-Level teams are guaranteed evenly matched competition while also getting a shot at teams in the higher flights. Teams can use the opportunities to learn from elite and experienced players and might surprise some people while they’re at it. PRO FLIGHT FINALE The Pro Flight Finale – Bay Area Invite – in Davis, Calif., will provide an opportunity for players and spectators alike to see the best teams in ultimate late in the season, and in many cases, in their last real test before they start their runs through the Championship Series. Eight teams in each division will have a final opportunity to compete against one another before they are likely to meet again at the National Championships. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS For the first time in 13 years, the USA Ultimate National Championships will have a new home. The FC Dallas Complex in Frisco, Texas offers an amazing set of competition-ready fields in a geographically central location. The new location, in a state steeped in ultimate tradition, will provide the Championships with a core group of ultimate fans, along with an opportunity to reach thousands more spectators from the Dallas metro area’s massive population of 4.3 million residents. The National Championships will take place October 17-20 at the home of the MLS’ FC Dallas and the nearby 9,000 seat Frisco ISD Memorial Stadium. Local stars and Men’s Division reigning champions, Austin’s Doublewide, will be looking to defend their title in front of the hometown crowd. Perennial title contenders Showdown (Women’s) and Cosa Nostra (Mixed), both also from Austin, will be looking to take advantage of the crowds’ energy and make waves in their home state. Stay tuned to the first-ever structured regular season to see this year’s Nationals field fill out and the rivalries heat up.

Spring 2013

BROADCASTS AND MEDIA COVERAGE The Triple Crown Tour will provide unprecedented exposure and coverage of Ultimate at the highest level. With the introduction of ESPN as USA Ultimate’s official broadcast partner, ultimate will have the support of the most powerful name in sports. The semifinal and final rounds of the 2013 College Championships will be broadcast live to countless sports fans worldwide on the ESPN family of networks. That coverage will be followed up this summer and fall with live broadcasts from the U.S. Open in Raleigh, N.C., and the National Championships in Frisco, Texas. Athletes everywhere dream of being showcased on ESPN – now ultimate’s best have that chance. Knowing which teams and athletes will participate in the premier events well in advance of the tournaments also aids in the procurement of media coverage and exposure surrounding the teams and athletes themselves. Encouraging the consistency of team names, locations and rosters will help the general public form attachments to local teams and athletes. These changes will lead to major results in defining the sport with new demographics and inspiring the growth of ultimate across the country. Teams across the country are gearing up for the 2013 season. “Ironside is eagerly anticipating the first Triple Crown Tour. With the guarantee of good competition, events, and media exposure, we are excited to be a part of the journey. Thus far we’ve loved being able to know what’s coming, plan ahead accordingly, and begin to build our team for a great 2013,” said Ironside captain George Stubbs. It will certainly be an unforgettable year. USA Ultimate is excited to present the inaugural Triple Crown Tour and showcase the highest level of ultimate in North America. The teams will be primed, and the competition will be more exciting than ever before. We hope you enjoy the ride!

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SPINULTIMATE.COM 25

U S A U lt i m at e


USA National Teams Take Shape

U23 National Teams Coaching Staff: Open Bob Krier, Head Coach Hector Valdivia, Assistant Coach Joe Durst, Assistant Coach

Mixed Martin Aguilera, Head Coach Jamie Nuwer, Assistant Coach Jason Simpson, Assistant Coach

United States national teams have a tough tradition to uphold. As Americans, we like to win. We expect to win, especially on the world stage. In 2005 and 2009, the USA National Team did just that and brought home gold medals from the World Games in Duisburg, Germany and Kaohshing, Taiwan. The 2013 incarnation of the USA National Team will aim to make it a three-peat with a gold-medal win at the World Games in Cali, Colombia.

Women’s Mike Whitaker, Head Coach Jit Bhattacharya, Assistant Coach Carolyn Matthews, Assistant Coach

Open

U23 World Ultimate Championships This year, the United States will also be wellrepresented at the U23 World Ultimate Championships. By the time the application window closed on December 14, 2012, over 500 athletes had applied to try out for the three teams – one each from the Open, Mixed and Women’s divisions – that will represent the USA at the U23 Championships. From those 500+ applicants, 96 men and 88 women were selected to attend tryout camps in either Orlando, Fla., or Los Angeles, Calif., in late January or early February. The coaching staff painstakingly observed each tryout and selected their rosters. The following young men and women have earned the right to represent the United States at the 2013 U23 World Ultimate Championships. The 2013 U23 World Ultimate Championships will take place July 22-28, 2013, in Toronto, Canada where the USA will face teams from all corners of the globe, including Japan, Colombia, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Venezuela and many more. Spring 2013

26

NAME

MOST RECENT TEAM

Kelsen Alexander Justin Allen Tom Allen Matthew Thomas Bode Kevin Brown Colin Camp Dylan Freechild Mischa Freystaetter Jay Froude Brian Hart Christian Johnson Josh Klane Byron Liu Ben Lohre Ben McGinn Jimmy Mickle Simon Montague Timothy Morrissy Christian Olsen Logan Pruess John Stubbs Dalton Smith Ian Toner

Wisconsin Ring of Fire Lions Ring of Fire Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wisconsin Oregon Central Florida Missouri Wisconsin Ring of Fire Minnesota Chain Lightning Rhino Rhino Colorado Carleton College Colorado Emory Wisconsin-Milwaukee Bucket Doublewide Ring of Fire

Dylan Wolff

Boston College


Women’S

Mixed

NAME

MOST RECENT TEAM

NAME

MOST RECENT TEAM

Diana Charrior

Texas

Aaron Adamson

Oregon State

Claire Chastain

UNC-Wilmington

Adrian Banerji

Tufts

Shellie Cohen

North Carolina

Tyler Boyd-Meredith

Stanford

Lisa Couper

North Carolina

Topher Davis

Oregon

Megan Cousins

Colorado

Khalif El-Salaam

Washington

Sarah Davis

Washington

Ian Engler

Dartmouth

Claire Desmond

Fury

Elliott Erickson

Georgia

Amanda Good

Colorado

Lee Farnsworth

Wildcard

Kami Groom

Washington University

Jack Hatchett

Ironside

Jessi Jones

Phoenix

Will Herold

Carleton College

Amanda Kostic

Washington

Simon Higgins

Las Positas

Alysia Letourneau

Washington

Elijah Kerns

UC-Davis

Magon Liu

Iowa State

Thomas Li

Claremont

Michela Meister

Stanford

Mike Ogren

Central Florida

Sarah Jean Pesh

Iowa State

Sophie Darch

Oregon

Lauren Sadler

Scandal

Julie Eagle

Phoenix

Julia Snyder

Carleton College

Sabrina Fong

UCLA

Paige Soper

Ohio State

Bethany Kaylor

Oregon

Shira Stern

Bigfoot

Sarah Meckstroth

Minnesota

Cassie Swafford

Ohio State

Rebecca Miller

Iowa State

Sharon Tsao

Texas

Cami Nelson

Iowa State

Abby VanMujien

Nightlock

Lisa Pitcaithley

Polar Bears

Claudia Tajima

Brute Squad

Natasha Won

Polar Bears

2013 World Games

*U23 Mixed Team Alternates: Jesse Cohen (California-San Diego), Justin Norden (Carleton College), Hailey Alm (Tufts), Lisi Lohre (Colorado College)

The 2013 World Games will take place July 25-August 4 in Cali, Colombia where the USA National Team will compete against the best the world has to offer. Of the over 500 applicants, 55 men and 44 women were selected to attend one of two training camps. These 99 athletes are competing for one of 20 spots on the USA National Team, 13 of which will travel to Cali this summer.

Tsang is the most successful coach in the history of women’s ultimate, having led Fury to seven consecutive national titles (2006-2012). He has also coached the California women’s squad and is currently coaching at Willard Middle School in Berkeley and serving as the Director of Coaching for the Bay Area Disc Youth Club Championship teams.

Selecting and coaching the best of the best from the United States is no easy task, but nowhere else in the world can you find more experience and talent than the USA. Heading up the 2013 national squad is Alex Ghesquiere, and he will be assisted by Matty Tsang.

The West Coast Tryout Camp took place March 16-17, 2013, in San Francisco, Calif. The East Coast Tryout Camp ran March 23-24, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The final 20-person National Team will have five practice weekends before heading to Cali; the first of which is tentatively scheduled for May 11-12 in Boston where they will take on a group of local all-stars in conjunction with USA Ultimate’s Northeastern High School Championships.

Ghesquiere and Tsang are two of the most wellknown names in the sport and are both already legendary coaches. Ghesquiere is a former national and world champion as a player and coach, having led San Francisco’s Revolver to national and world championships in 2010 and spending time playing for San Francisco’s Jam and Boston’s Death or Glory, in addition to his time with Revolver.

Keep up-to-date on all things US National Teams, including rostering information, athlete bios and tournament results by checking the USA Ultimate website at www.usaultimate.org. 27

U S A U lt i m at e


Oregon Ultimate FEATURE

Notes on OrEGON’s FUgue By: Jonathan Neeley

“S ome people create with words or music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run. I like to make people stop and say, ‘I’ve never seen anyone run like that before.’ It’s more than just a race, it’s a style. It’s doing something better than anyone else. It’s being creative.”

Ego’s combination of athleticism and fundamental skills allows them to improvise on the field and highlights their unique style.

Spring 2013

There’s a mystique about sports in the state of Oregon: a culture of individualism that gave the world Steve Prefontaine and a spirit of innovation that inspired his coach, Bill Bowerman, to co-found Nike. It’s the reason Portland’s professional basketball team is called the Trailblazers, and it’s visible when Oregon Duck football players take the field in neon yellow pants and chrome-patterned jerseys. Whatever is in the Beaver State water has recently manifested itself in the ultimate community as the NexGen Network, Chasing Sarasota and RISE UP, and it’s what fuels Fugue and Ego, the University of Oregon’s women’s and men’s ultimate teams.

baggy jersey and shorts, his calf-high socks pulled up all the way, his bandana and ponytail, and the million-dollar smile he flashes while dancing around in celebration. Both teams show it off when they line the other’s sideline and cheer not only out of a sense of same school camaraderie, but also out of a sense of pride that can only come from a place as independent as Oregon.

There’s a je ne sais quoi about University of Oregon ultimate, a vibe that is easy to spot when you watch either team play. You can see it in Fugue’s use of the haphazard FSU defense – f*** s*** up – that leaves opponents scratching their heads. It’s in Aaron Honn’s

The Stanford Invite, one of college ultimate’s premier tournaments, was good to the Ducks. On the Women’s side, Fugue ended Wisconsin’s unexpectedly deep run to the finals with a three-point run to claim a 17-

Fugue and Ego are full of the beauty, style and creativity that Prefontaine, their school’s banner athlete, spoke of. If they can harness that verve – that it factor that makes them Oregon – they’ll bring home championship titles in May.

28

Photo: Scott Roeder

– Steve Prefontaine, University of Oregon Track and Field Legend


Burruss turned her expectations upside down when she got to Oregon. “It was a culture shock,” says Darch. “High school was about decision making and structure. Freshman year, Lou was like ‘get all of that out of your head. Throw the crazy stuff, and we’ll dial it in later.’”

As has become commonplace, both Oregon teams are contenders to win their respective College Championships. At the time of print, Fugue was 20-1, Ego was 12-1, and the teams were ranked first and second, respectively, in USA Ultimate’s college rankings. Fugue is not only talented, but also deep: on top of U23 Worlds Team members Kimber Coles, Sophie Darch, Bethany Kaylor, Jesse Shofner and Bailey Zahniser, coach Lou Burruss gave quality minutes to at least 18 girls throughout Stanford Invite, an impressive number in college ultimate. Ego is equipped with equal firepower that includes NexGen players Camden Allison-Hall and Dylan Freechild along with Northwest All-Region honorees Ian Campbell, Topher Davis and Honn.

Burruss, Fugue’s head coach since 2008, fittingly likens himself to an orchestra conductor teaching musicians to improvise. “What we do is like jazz because we try to provide just enough structure to allow for individual brilliance,” he says. He believes mandates for specific action often become constraints and prefers to develop a player by allowing her to use her abilities – her contribution to the ensemble’s harmony – as she sees fit. Burruss encouraged Darch to shirk her preconceptions and push her boundaries. Warm-ups more closely resemble games of tag and Capture the Flag than the standard “run a lap, high knees and buttkickers, throwing drill.” Burruss told Darch to forget about the Rule of Thirds, one of high school ultimate’s sacred cows, and throw any huck she could put to a teammate’s outside shoulder. She felt some growing pains at first, but getting the green light to develop in whatever ways she was naturally inclined raised her ceiling.

Talent, however, is not a rarity at Oregon. Both Fugue and Ego boast two Callahan winners each (Jody Dozono in 1999 and Chelsea Dengler 2003 for the women, Ben Wiggins in 2003 and Eli Friedman in 2010 for the men), and two or three Oregon players among the Northwest AllRegion award winners is standard fare. Championships, however, have been more elusive: Fugue won the title in 2010 but has fallen short in the past two seasons, while Ego’s only crown was won in 1992. Fugue captain Sophie Darch learned to play ultimate at Atlanta’s Paideia School, a powerhouse that annually turns out the nation’s best juniors players. She began playing club – the equivalent of a 17-year-old drummer sitting in with Miles Davis – with Ozone as a high school

“Lou’s approach was empowering,” Darch says. “It opened up the whole field for me, and there were so many more options and plays to make.”

29

Left to right: 1. Fugue won all three tournaments they attended this season thanks to solid all-around play. Photo: Scott Roeder 2. Junior Sophie Darch has been a big part of Oregon’s success and consistency, arriving in Eugene on the heels of the 2010 championship, and helping Fugue to a third place finish in 2011 and the championship finals last year. Photo: CBMT Creative

junior in 2008, the same year she took her first of two tours with the United States Junior Worlds team. Darch was an expert on-field performer well before arriving in Eugene.

15 victory after trailing 14-15. The win gave Fugue their second major tournament title of the season. Cheering on the sidelines were the Ego men, who arrived shortly after beating Carleton College in their own final, 15-11; it was Ego’s third Stanford title in four years.

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preaching hard work and giving players a hollow game plan that boils down to “try harder.” “You give it a focus,” Burruss says. “We try to get our handlers up and running all the time. We tell handlers to throw and run, throw and run, throw and run. We create energy and rhythm through working hard on something specific.” Fugue also fosters its energy by eliminating call disputes. “As a team, we trust that every opponent is not cheating, and they are making calls that they believe in,” says Darch. “Any call you make, we’re not going to contest.” This is certainly an unorthodox approach; even the most fair of opponents can make a bad call. However, strong teams focus on what they can control rather than what they can’t, and Fugue’s policy brings that focus. “We spend zero mental energy on that stuff,” Burruss says. “Think of how many teams you’ve been on that have wasted so much energy thinking about the calls that other teams make.”

Dylan Freechild and his teammates’ impressive athleticism and unique style of play make Ego stand out on and off the field. Photo: Scott Roeder

Fugue’s policy also allows the team to maintain its rhythm; it’s hard to get into the flow of improvisation when the music is constantly stopping. “When a call is made and contested and talked about, it slows down the tempo we’re trying to set in a game,” says Darch. “Honestly, we’d rather just play.”

Burruss calls his method Clown Tent. He strives to provide as little structure as possible, creating a team comprised of accentuated individual contributions. He balances ambiguity by stressing that each player has her own definition of hard work and adding structure – a dump, swing drill here and there – when the team struggles. “I give them a direction and say go,” says Burruss. “That’s where I see the majority of my work. If you can get everyone lined up and going 100 percent, you’re going to be good.” Burruss crafts his team’s energy with a fast tempo. “We value quantity of cuts over quality,” he says. “We put the focus on running hard throughout. From that, good things like rhythm and flow will come. Even if you don’t get those things, you can win if you’re working hard.” Fugue knows that Clown Tent requires maximum effort. “When we lose, we look at our energy,” said Zahniser, a fellow captain. “If we’re not pumping each other up, what happens on the field is irrelevant. So much of our success comes from a sustained energy. We put a lot of thought into that, as much as we do our O and D.” Burruss acknowledged the thin line that exists between

Spring 2013

Ego achieves Prefontaine’s aesthetic of style, beauty and creativity through a combination of disc skill and sheer physical ability. They space the field, recycling cuts so teammates downfield have room to accelerate and strike as they please while throwers have clear lanes to utilize in placing the disc in front of speedy receivers. To watch Ego play is to witness an orchestration of speed, size and timing that is among college ultimate’s very best. Yet since the 1992 championship, Ego’s only other finals appearance came in 2003. The Oregon men entered last year’s College Championships with only one regular season loss and as the tournament’s number one seed but lost to Wisconsin in a windy semifinal that was never close. Likewise, Ego entered the 2010 Championships with only two losses and the same number one seed but finished 14th. Ego’s on-field ability is equally matched by their onfield emotions. When they play well, Ego celebrates breaks by running onto the field with a trash can, throwing it over the goal scorer’s head, and pounding on it in vigorous celebration – the Break Bucket, it is called. When they falter, heads are down, shoulders slump and eyes are averted. “We do a good job showing how much we love winning and a bad job of hiding how much we hate losing,” says Freechild, a team captain and leader. “We’re a little more in your face than most teams.” 30


When I asked Davis, another Ego captain, whether his team’s emotions hurt their chances of success, he said no. “We are no more emotional than any other team,” says Davis. “We just get noticed [when we’re down] because we’re very showy when we’re in the lead.” He went on to add that Ego’s problem in the past has been the lack of a fallback plan: that it is susceptible to one dimensionality and a dependence on its top talent. “When teams lock onto what we’re doing well, we have a hard time changing it to adjust what we’re doing. We rely too much on something that has worked in the past.”

Ego has drawn a similar conclusion: they want to win, but not at the expense of what they are. “We don’t want to conform,” Freechild says. “We don’t want to follow the blueprint that’s been laid out. Winning would be that much sweeter if we did it with our own identity.” The 2013 season is still a work in progress for both teams.

In previous years, Davis says, Ego has been too dependent on the magic of a few playmakers. While Fugue thrives on improvising with minimal structure, Ego still needs more definition. This year’s team is meeting the problem head-on by taking a more wellrounded approach to practice. Rather than splitting up and drilling position-specific strategies (handlers working on dump cuts and cutters practicing going deep, for example), practices reinforce the expectation that every player should be able to perform effectively in whatever position he finds himself.

I spoke to Burruss on the phone during Fugue’s fourthround bye on Saturday of the Invite. “We’re winning,” he said, “but we’re not playing very well.” Meanwhile, Freechild noted that Ego needed to work on cutting discipline and throwing confidence while Davis acknowledged that the team was still unsure of how to confront a big deficit because it had yet to face one. Fugue does not play again until Northwest Conferences and has narrowed its focus to preparing for the Championships. Darch knows going over a month without seeing competition will be challenging. “It’s on individuals to come to practice and step up their level of play,” she said. “That steps up the entire team’s level.”

Davis says that Ego is making strides. “Stanford showed us what we can accomplish on the field,” he says. “Having guys like Charlie Wilson-Moses and Trevor Smith step up to fill the shoes of John Bloch and Collin Smith told us more about our playmaking situation.”

Ego will have played its final regular-season event, College Easterns, by the time this article goes to print. Easterns, a tournament whose field is as strong as Stanford’s, will give Ego another opportunity to maximize its talent – doing so, of course, on its own terms. The Break Bucket actually made no appearance at the Stanford Invite. When I asked him why, Davis’ answer was simple:

When I talked to Freechild after the tournament, he made it clear that Ego is striving for consistency. The team was disappointed in its 3-1 Saturday record because the wins were sloppy, and they blew a late lead to Carleton College. “We met and decided it was time for a change,” he says. Ego outlined a number of mental obstacles they wanted to overcome: scoring after getting broken; winning regardless of the previous game’s outcome; converting red zone chances; playing through bad calls; closing out a lead; making it to finals after losing a game. Ego knows they need to overcome all of these obstacles to win a championship this spring. However, maintaining the exuberance that gives the team its “wow” factor while making necessary changes is no easy task.

Fugue’s Alex Ode makes a tough defensive play against British Columbia in the finals at Stanford Invite. Photo: Scott Roeder

last year. I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t really worth it. I don’t think I played as well. I think I’d rather hold true to what I believe. Relations on and off the field are different, and the people who would give me the time of day off the field are the ones who I’d value a friendship with.”

“Stanford has metal trash cans.”

Freechild is acutely aware of how difficult the balancing act is: he is a poster child for a new generation of ultimate celebrity. Unprecedented exposure from NexGen commercials, YouTube interviews, and a Skyd Magazine “Spikezilla” t-shirt featuring his signature have exposed Freechild, an often brash player on the field, to a lot of public scrutiny. “I think [the public scrutiny] has made me a worse player because I’m constantly aware of it,” he explained. “I worked really hard to change the perception of me 31

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I Believe in the Life-changing Power of Play and Sports by: Zara Cadoux

During the 2010-2011 school year, i worked for playworks, a national non-profit, as a program coordinator facilitating healthy play at an elementary school in baltimore. Playworks is dedicated to providing opportunities for healthy play, especially at recess, in low-income schools in twenty-three cities across the country. I ran five recesses per day, saw each class in the school once a week for a class game time, ran a youth development program emphasizing conflict resolution and coached teams for two developmental sports leagues. Rock, paper, scissors is the ultimate problem solver. I found that as an ultimate player, i was uniquely suited to teach this brand of playground conflict resolution to kids – i am accustomed to having to discuss a play in the heat of the moment, i am intimately familiar with a high standard of player responsibility, and i am used to having to agree to disagree and send the disc back. I believe wholeheartedly in the notion that honesty and respect trump winning.

During the course of that year working for Playworks, I thought more and more about expanding ultimate’s reach to low-income communities – to the students that don’t have access to our empowering sport because they don’t have access to the high schools, colleges and universities that run ultimate programs. I believe ultimate is a powerful Youth Development Tool. Ultimate is unique not only because of Spirit of the Game, but because it is self-officiated. Conflict resolution is built directly into the game, and honesty is the ethic at the center of ultimate. The more I saw on the playground, the more convinced I became that we should start to shape young people with this ethic as early as possible. Elementary school is a time when kids are exposed to many different sports and games, where they start to develop their tastes for what kinds of activities they enjoy, and when they are developing socially at a rapid pace. Elementary school is the time when young girls either jump into sports and come to understand themselves as athletes or stay on the sidelines and never get into the game for the rest of their lives. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IS CRUCIAL. Spring 2013

Towards the end of my school year, Playworks founder Jill Vialet sent an email to the national staff. She asked, “What would you do if you had a week to design a project that would benefit Playworks?” I didn’t have to think twice – I would design an ultimate curriculum for Playworks and explore partnership opportunities with USA Ultimate. Jill accepted my proposal and decided to fund my project. USA Ultimate agreed to partner, providing discs and cones for every school as well as coaching materials. Next, we reached out to local ultimate organizations to establish local partners who could 1) run the training for Playworks staff and 2) recruit Playworks students and staff into the local leagues. My first priority was to train Playworks cities with strong youth infrastructures already established, so we could provide students with play opportunities in the ultimate community after they learned the game at school. Two years later, five Playworks cities have been trained to teach their students ultimate. 2012 saw trainings in Denver with USA Ultimate, San Francisco with the Bay Area Disc Association, Boston with the Boston Ultimate Disc Association, Durham with the Triangle Youth Ultimate League and Baltimore where I represented the CentralMaryland Ultimate Association. A total of 88 Playworks Coaches were trained, exposing more than 38,000 low-income kids to the sport. Playworks Coaches nationwide are implementing ultimate programs at recess, in class and after school. Ryan Murphy, a Playworks Program

Playworks coach Betsy Caulkins, a member of Boston’s Brute Squad, instructs her students on how to throw a backhand. Photo: Betsy Caulkins

The movement to spread ultimate to youth has the same basic goal of Playworks: to influence and change the culture of play. In terms of ultimate, this means offering a sport that has conflict resolution built into the game, actively teaches player responsibility and is a less violent alternative for young kids. For Playworks, this means helping to create more positive, safe, playful school climates that teach students from low-income schools how to engage in healthy play and resolve conflicts. When I entered my school, the recess yard was a disaster. Fistfights broke out over basketballs, tag games dissolved quickly into shoving matches, and students were viciously excluded at the jump rope. Obscenities, vulgar language and physical threats were often employed by students as young as pre-K. In short, this play was not only unsafe – it wasn’t fun. It was my job, and is the job of hundreds of Playworks Coaches across the nation, to work to change the culture of recess and the classroom. Providing safe play seems like a very basic task, but I have never been more convinced that something I was doing was creating change – that it mattered.


Manager told me that students in schools across Baltimore “have really become interested and infatuated with the sport, at times they call it a ball instead of a disc, but they get the idea! I’ve seen [coaches] set up targets to throw at during After School Program. I’ve seen a few Program Coordinators run an entire practice leading up to an actual game where the students are laughing, cheering and always moving on their feet, which is great for those active ones.”

many young players, especially those at low-income schools, as they develop their sense of themselves. Ultimate should be seen as a youth development tool that provides a structure within which students can cultivate their ability to solve conflicts non-violently, see themselves as athletes and find belonging in a sport that emphasizes honesty and player responsibility.

Building on the work in each individual school, Playworks San Francisco took the integration of ultimate in the Playworks program to another level. On May 19, 2012, Playworks and Bay Area Disc celebrated their new partnership with a Jamboree (Playworks-speak for a one-day tournament). Bay Area Disc brought nine volunteers to assist the 60 students from 24 schools in a day of ultimate play. Youth and Operations Manager for Bay Area Disc Valerio Lani reported that, “boys and girls were able to play equally and participate without conflicts.” Perhaps the most gratifying feedback came from Bill Vanark, the city Program Director for San Francisco, who noted, “A lot of the children who participated in the event were not only new to ultimate, but were also new to team sports in general. All of the ‘Frisbee Experts,’ as I kept referring to them, were positive and encouraging role models for our kids, and I am excited about the potential that we have as Bay Area Disc and Playworks continue to grow our partnership. Our goal next year will be to double or triple the participation in the event!” Happily, Bill also reported that the Playworks San Francisco Coaches “readily talk about Spirit of the Game with their students in all the games we play.” Following San Francisco’s lead, Jamborees are in the works for Spring 2013 in Boston, Baltimore and Durham. Playworks Denver looks forward to hosting a one-day skills clinic Extravaganza. This past November, I spent a few weekends on the road to train Playworks Coaches on the east coast. While in Boston, I found myself standing in an overheated gym, setting up to train 14 coaches with Dana Christensen. Dana is a Head Coach and Youth Educator with the Boston Ultimate Disc Alliance (BUDA). As Playworks Coaches filtered in for the after-school training at a school near Logan Airport, Dana and I chatted about her work with BUDA. When I asked if she was involved with high school ultimate, she laughed and told me that almost all her focus was with elementary and early-middle school development. If you start them early, she said, you create demand for those high school programs. You create a generation of players who will create high school programs for themselves and know they can turn to BUDA for support. In a way, it’s incredibly obvious, but the naked truth of this conveyor belt approach didn’t hit me until she said it out loud. I know from working with youth in Baltimore that it is a tremendous uphill battle to get students to use healthier forms of communication, conflict resolution and play after they leave elementary school. In the youth development arena, it has always made sense to me to focus on instilling these skills and values at the elementary level. I saw it clearly in that moment – why are we spending energy at the high school level trying to recruit players from other sports when we could invest on the elementary level and create life-long players? What’s more, a focus on elementary ultimate could go beyond just recruiting more people into the sport. Ultimate could be a life-changer for so 33

Top to bottom: 1. Partnership Initiative Founder Zara Cadoux teaches catching techniques while training Playworks coaches in Durham, N.C., in November 2012. Photo: Laura Deeprose 2. USA Ultimate supplied coaching kits to Playworks clinics like the one in Boston to support the program’s development. Photo: Valerio Iani 3. Alicia White, a six-time National Champion with Fury, worked as an Americorps Playworks coach in Oakland during the 2004-2005 school year. Photo: Scott Roeder

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A Game Plan for Safe Sport

Unfortunately, there are individuals out there who look to exploit sport due to its access to kids. In order to continue to develop a safe environment for athletes joining our game, USA Ultimate youth staff members Baker Pratt and Mike Lovinguth recently joined USA Swimming, the US Olympic Committee (USOC), and many youth-serving organizations at the Leadership Conference on Safe Sport in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Safe Sport program was launched by the USOC to standardize the procedures needed to prevent and respond to athlete abuse. Safe Sport breaks the dangers to athletes into a spectrum of six categories of abuse: Bullying, Hazing, Harassment, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse and Sexual Misconduct. The Leadership Conference focused on Sexual Misconduct, more specifically that of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), a pernicious and all-too-prevalent abuse that has plagued sport for decades. Jerry Sandusky’s trial in Pennsylvania is likely the most well-publicized and heinous case of CSA in recent memory, but there exist many harrowing cases across hockey, speed skating, swimming, football, etc.; indeed, there is unlikely to be a youth sport that has not had multiple cases of abuse by coaches and adults in positions of trust.

Minnesota Skyline teammates celebrate at the 2012 Youth Club Championships. The annual increase in YCC participation demonstrates the shift in the age demographic of ultimate players. Photo: Kevin Leclaire/Ultiphotos

Over the past decade, ultimate has seen a seismic change in the demographics of participating athletes. Youth membership at USA Ultimate is now the second-largest member group behind college and is growing rapidly. This extends even beyond high school, with middle school programs and developed ultimate communities all over the country exploring elementaryaged playing opportunities. With growing youth ultimate highlighted as Goal #2 in the Strategic Plan, USA Ultimate is poised to work with local organizers in continuing the implementation of programs designed to provide for exponential growth. However, as any ultimate organizer will tell you, youth ultimate requires a great deal of organization, planning and support from adults to make sure these new playing opportunities are managed with an eye on preserving all the character and culture we have developed through the sport’s great community. As youth providers, we also have to ensure we create a safe and responsible environment, so the kids, their parents, school administrators and onlookers grow to love and respect ultimate in the same way we do. Spring 2013

Why has sport earned this reputation? There are a variety of factors, but sport, and youth sport in particular, presents a “perfect storm” of opportunities for abuse. Leaders in sport have opportunity to work with athletes, they engender respect from the community, and they hold power over athletes in a dynamic that does not exist in many other places in our society. In arenas where this power differential does exist, there are clear and parallel patterns of abuse, cover-up and denial. The conference did a great job of following a simple format: identify and define the problem in the sport community, describe what steps have been taken to control the problem, and describe future steps both local and national organizations can take to continue to rid the world of CSA. Ultimate organizations big and small can take the same three steps to prevent athlete abuse, utilizing all the great resources of the USOC, USA Swimming and other sporting NGBs across the country. Safe Sport has identified six strategies for recognizing, reducing, and responding to misconduct in sport:

1. Training and Education: Local organizations need to talk with children, parents and coaches about their respective roles in preventing abuse. Talking to the athletes is important, but the burden of prevention and reporting cannot lie with kids. Educating parents to be alert to the adults working with their kids is another important step. And finally, training and educating coaches and administrators in a club or league protects 34


USA Ultimate hosts programs and clinics that encourage the growth of youth ultimate and the advancement of coaching techniques and ethics.

both the kids and the adult. Educational resources already in place in our sport include the USA Ultimate Coaching Development Program workshop, workbook and Coaching Code of Ethics. These resources spend a great deal of time helping coaches identify appropriate behaviors and are available now to local organizations. Above all, coaches should remember that establishing boundaries and transparency with kids and parents not only protects them from false allegations but also can create a very positive atmosphere of inclusiveness and trust.

2. Screening Staff Members, Volunteers and Contractors: USA Ultimate currently screens every coach member, certified coach, and chaperone listed on a roster. Our partner, the National Center for Safety Initiatives (ncsisafe. com), is an organization founded by the National Center for Youth Sports. Any sanctioned leagues or insured practices must ask their chaperones and coaches to apply for an NCSI check before attending any events. Anne Tiivas, a speaker at the Safe Sport conference and Director of Child Protection in Sport at the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, likened background checks to an unfortunate occurrence in her own life: the burglary of her home. She asked the police why the thieves chose her house. Their answer? The burglars looked up and down the street for guard dogs, security systems, and signs of activity in the houses. When her house did not have any of those protections, the burglars went in. Background checks and appropriate screening can serve that same purpose, discouraging would-be perpetrators from even attempting to gain access to an event or league. And while a background check alone is not enough to create a safe environment for youth athletes, it is a key component.

3. Establishing Boundaries & 4. Management Training and Competition:

Knowing the offender types can help ultimate organizers identify their risks. Dr. Anna Salter, who presented at the conference with recorded interviews of convicted offenders, provided a helpful automotive metaphor: Some offenders have a bad motor (actively seeking out opportunities for abuse), while other offenders have bad brakes (putting themselves in bad situations and not having the emotional or mental faculties to stop their actions). The majority of offenders could be said to have bad “brakes,” while the majority (70%) of victims are abused by offenders in the “motor” category. Unfortunately, this statistic shows that there is a relatively small number of offenders responsible for the most harm. This also shows that clear and transparent boundaries between coaches and athletes can eliminate opportunities for abuse for both types of offenders. “Two personnel on site” is a common phrase in the swimming and educational world, and though resource intensive, the strategy can be one of the most effective ways to prevent opportunities for abuse. Leagues, schools and parents should identify policies around travel, hotel and home stays, and team and individual meetings.

5. Responding to Abuse: Responding to abuse can include mandatory reporting, documentation, supporting the victim and possible disciplinary action on behalf of the league, team or USA Ultimate. USA Ultimate can be a partner in abuse prevention with its affiliate organizations, sanctioned events, and members and can support an organization through the response phase. All organizations should familiarize themselves with mandatory reporting laws at ChildWelfare.gov.

6. Monitoring Your Strategy: The final step, as with all programs, is timely evaluation and revision. Monitoring the efficacy and transparency of a program on a regular basis will help identify policy gaps and needs. In response to the needs of the community and the vital importance of creating a safe place for youth athletes in the sport, USA Ultimate is working on concrete programs and policies to enhance current programs and will be partnering with local organizations to do so. These six steps are certainly not the entire remedy for providing a safe environment for athletes and will require an investment of time and resources from USA Ultimate and local ultimate organizations to implement. However, the steps do present a clear starting plan that will make ultimate a Safe Sport in which youth athletes can participate and thrive.

Please visit USA Ultimate’s Athlete Protection page at usaultimate.org to access USOC Safe Sport resources and more information on protecting athletes. 35

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Coordinators of the Year USA Ultimate Club Championship Series Mixed Division Sectional Coordinator of the Year: Bryan McCallum - Texas Bryan McCallum, aka “Spidey,” first started playing ultimate at his church many years ago. Bryan has a passion for ultimate and loves to encourage college players and HS players to be a part of this great sport. He is a terrific ambassador for the game of ultimate. He took over as Texas Sectionals Coordinator last year, and in his first year, amazingly was extremely well organized. He had AB Pro out at the fields with a great Texas Sectionals jersey for sale. He procured awesome fields at Veterans Park in College Station and worked well with a great TD (Emily Mason). He realized the USAU vision to involve the College Station Convention Bureau, receiving hotel and restaurant discounts for all the Sectionals’ participants. Furthermore, he went above and beyond in helping the local HS ultimate team by purchasing the club series disc and allowing the HS team players to sell them at Sectionals and keep the profit for their HS team. Truly unselfish, Bryan is a great friend, a valued teammate and a sincere champion of the game we all love so much. Oh, and I’d play on his team anytime. -Michelle Walters – South Mixed RC

Regional Coordinator of the Year: Natalia Espinal – Northeast Sometimes a coordinator is great without looking great. They make everything seem effortless even though they are doing a tremendous amount of work. Natalia year after year has managed one of the toughest regions in the country, and not once have I seen a major crisis on her watch. She is well organized, proactive and has created a great team of sectional coordinators. Thank you for your many years of service. -Byron Hicks – Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs

Spring 2013

Open Division Sectional Coordinator of the Year: Marc Zigterman – East Plains Marc did a bang-up job in his first year as a SC in the newly formed East Plains section. With all the new changes within the organization and with little to no oversight, he pulled off a smooth 18-team tournament with zero complaints. Additional teams dropped out of the tournament last minute, but he was unfazed. I hope he’s with us again this year. -Dylan Zeigler – Great Lakes RC

Regional Coordinator of the Year: Meredith Tosta – South Central Meredith knows how to step up. Whether it is getting SCs in place, communicating with teams, events and other RCs, taking care of event issues and ensuring that there are no event issues that can be avoided, she just gets things done. -Adam Goff – National Open Director

Women’s Division Sectional Coordinator of the Year: Delia Chiu – Oregon Delia is our choice for Women’s Sectional Coordinator of the 2012 season because of her strong communication and positive attitude. Of course, coordinating a tournament, and a section, can be a challenge (especially in the Northwest where there tend to be weather issues in the fall), and although Delia’s Sectionals wasn’t the first one scheduled, she made sure to update USA Ultimate as frequently as she could. This is much appreciated and is the reason why Delia is receiving this nod of recognition. -Remy Schor – National Women’s Director

Regional Coordinator of the Year: Jackie Boothe - Northeast There are so many things to say about Jackie’s organization and coordination. She is thorough, patient, detailed, and extremely communicative and available. Jackie’s experience 36


as a coordinator in the college division prepared her to take on the challenge of coordinating the entire Northeast Region, and she did so beautifully. That region has double the number of women’s team competing at Regionals, and therefore, takes the cake as far as challenge and coordination. Jackie’s ability to smoothly run things while providing information about how to do so will help countless coordinators in the coming seasons. Thanks Jackie! -Remy Schor – National Women’s Director

USA Ultimate College Championship Series Open Division D-I Conference Coordinator of the Year: Noah Bane – Ohio Valley Noah Bane was an invaluable coordinator in 2012. Not only was he responsible for hosting great events in the Ohio Valley, but when another region needed coordination for their events, he stepped up and helped organize, plan and run events in a second region. Without Noah, not one, but two sets of conference events would not have run as smoothly.

D-III Conference Coordinator of the Year: Scott Sawinski – North Central Scott Sawinski went above and beyond this year. Not only did he host his own event but also hosted regionals and women’s events and was the tournament director for D-III Nationals. Scott is a long-time supporter and unmatched organizer for the entire D-III division.

Regional Director of the Year: John Rhodes Martin – Southeast John Rhodes Martin had the unenviable task of stepping up as Regional Director of the Southeast in the middle of the spring. Yet seeing his region have growth in membership and teams, expansion of events, and some of the best-run events in the country, it is hard to believe John was not only a rookie but also came in late. The Southeast is in good hands with the John’s leadership.

farther apart than any other set of conference events but also had the pleasure of dealing with tornadoes, snow and heat at the respective events as they occurred. However, she was unfazed by the challenges and rose to the occasion, and the South Central saw three events go off marvelously, despite the potential for (natural) disaster.

D-III Conference Coordinator: Brooke Austin – Atlantic Coast Brooke Austin is one more example of a long line of outstanding coordinators from the Atlantic Coast. Following in the shoes of prior winners, she repeats as the D-III Conference Coordinator of the year. This year Brooke not only increased participation, but the increase was such that the Atlantic Coast saw the creation of an entirely new conference. This is a testament to her devotion and hard work, and the entire D-III division will miss her.

Regional Director of the Year: Jackie Booth – Metro East Jackie Booth simply does it all. Continually hosting both open and women’s regionals in the Metro East, she also continues to raise the bar for quality, preparation and success. As a leader in the division and a long time RD, Jackie knows the ins and outs of not just Regionals, but finding ways to engage and empower the women of the Metro East. Under her leadership, the Metro East continues to grow and thrive.

USA Ultimate State High School Championships State Youth Coordinator: Jason Curtis, Minnesota Jason and the Minnesota High School League (MNHSL) are at the forefront of organizing high school ultimate. With over 70 boys’ and girls’ high school teams playing in the state, Jason works with other local organizers (such as Bruce Mebust and Dave Klink) to run an organization and event that provides robust playing opportunities for a breadth of students. Never ones to rest, Jason and MNHSL continue to help shape the way ultimate is organized in high school and in younger age groups. -Baker Pratt – Manager of Competition and Athlete Programs

Women’s Division

Honorable Mention – Tara Wion, Utah

D-I Conference Coordinator: Lauren Boyle – South Central Lauren has one of the hardest coordinator positions in the country. She had the responsibility to organize three events 37


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So, you played how many different ball sports growing up? Now you’re a disc player. Why not expand your flying horizons with the other great disc sport – Disc Golf! Whether you want to play casually or compete at a world class level the Professional Disc Golf Association is your home. Like Ultimate, disc golf is another chance to meet great people and make lifelong friends while enjoying some of the 3,700 beautiful courses around the world. And disc golf is a preferred transition sport for many Ultimate players when their “laying out” days start winding down. But why wait? Take advantage of the new PDGA 40% Membership Discount for current USA Ultimate members. Join the PDGA today for $30 with your discount and get a head start on your other favorite disc sport! www.pdga.com • (888) 840-PDGA (7342) Alpharetta, Georgia 30009

To receive your 40% discount on PDGA Membership go to www.pdgastore.com and use coupon code ULTIM812 when submitting your membership information.


CLEATS & CONES

THROWING

ULTIMATE DRILLS AND SKILLS BY ULTICOACH

The Thrower

Great throwers are not born, they are made through dedication, repetition and intelligent training. While no throw can be mastered absolutely, season-by-season improvement should be every thrower’s (and Ultimate player’s) goal. There are 2 factors to consider when becoming and measuring a great thrower. 1) The only way to improve pure throwing ability is with hard work and by throwing LOTS of throws. 2) Understanding the correct throw choice for a given situation is what really separates good from great throwers.

Key Concepts for Great Throws For the most part, wrist and forearm snap is the most important contributing factor for great throws. Good “snap” gives the thrower the ability to use less arm motion which enables a larger variety of release points, speeds and fakes - while also increasing the potential distance of all your throws.

Focus For Each Development Level BEGINNER

INTERMEDIATE

ADVANCED

Beginners should focus on disc release angle and spin. Focusing on repeating a smooth and stable throwing motion will go a long way in defining what type of thrower you will become. Focus as well on making your passes easy for the receiver to catch.

Intermediate throwers should be working on all angles of throws and figuring out which throws work well in various situations. The intermediate thrower should consider wind, the angle of the cutter and the skill of the marker.

Advanced throwers use the correct throw choice when faced with wind and a tight defense. Advanced throwers should not only be consistently breaking the mark, but be working on making these tough breakmark passes easier for receivers by employing different angles as well as touch.

ABOUT THE BEGINNER DRILL

ABOUT THE INTERMEDIATE DRILL

ABOUT THE ADVANCED DRILL:

Throwing from different distances in one extended throwing set teaches feel for the amount of power and height required to make catching passes easier. “Short to Long” is a simple and effective drill that develops touch and awareness. As you increase distance, note the amount of spin needed to make the disc fly flat and straight.

“Three Man” is a perfect game simulation of a straight-up mark. This drill forces the thrower to focus on quick and efficient fakes as well as throwing at different heights. Learn to take the angles that the marker gives you while taking care not to over-fake.

“Quick Breaks” is great because each thrower throws 10 passes in a row. For the advanced thrower, this enables him/her to see their mistakes and make micro adjustments immediately. Also, it highlights the need for you the thrower to keep your eyes on the cutter when transitioning from forehand to backhand grips.

Short to Long

1 2

Three Man

1 3

Quick Breaks

4 4-10

10-15 Yds

USEFUL FOR: ● Developing a sense of power & spin needed for throwing from a variety of distances METHOD: ● Start 2 yards apart ● After 5 completions increase distance by 5 yards & repeat ● Complete 50 throws each PERFORMANCE TIPS: ● Stay focused ● Pay attention to throwing form and technique ● Practice game throws, don’t be complacent CHALLENGE: Fake one way, throw the other way

USEFUL FOR: ● Throwing against straight up mark, fakes, pivoting, marking, team warm up METHOD: ● Throw through straight-up mark to receiver 10-15 yards away ● After throwing, run to mark receiver, repeat sequence ● Try to throw straight, no hammers or scoobers ● Begin stall count at 6 PERFORMANCE TIPS: ● Run hard to put on the mark ● Thrower focus on your fakes and range of motion ● Marker should be actively moving hands & feet

USEFUL FOR: ● Endzone offense, marking ● Break mark throws, break side cuts METHOD: ● Cut 5 yards to open side, receive on break side ● Return disc, go to back of stack ● Thrower/marker do 10 reps, then rotate PERFORMANCE TIPS: ● Lead the receiver, throw to space ● Use fakes to move marker ● Keep your head up & eyes on receiver CHALLENGE: Add defender on the receiver

Images & Text © UltiCoach 2013. All Rights Reserved.

ulticoach.com

Created by world champion players and coaches, UltiCoach is the world’s premier provider of Ultimate training and coaching materials. For more drills, skills, and Ultimate stuff visit www.ulticoach.com


A look at local leagues around the country.

LOCAL LEAGUE SPOTLIGHT Connecticut Ultimate Club

Nestled between the ultimate hotbeds of New York City and Boston are Hartford and New Haven, Conn., cities of approximately 125,000 residents each. About 350 of those people are members of the Connecticut Ultimate Club.

The addition of CTUL’s youth program also helped the Connecticut Ultimate Club become the fourth member of the USA Ultimate League Affiliate Program. The additional support and resources provided by USA Ultimate will assist CUC as they work to expand and promote their programs and serve local players.

Seventeen years ago, in an effort to create a more formal system than what local pickup provided, six area players came together determined to form a league – they started with a four-team summer league. The non-profit Connecticut Ultimate Club (CUC) was officially formed two years later using the summer league as a foundation. Although many of the club’s founders have since retired from their leadership posts, they are still active in the local ultimate community, and their influence is still felt.

CUC has also made concerted efforts to increase the number of women participating in its leagues. After noticing an increasing gender discrepancy trend in its registrations, in 2011, CUC began offering a men’s league in addition to a 4:3 mixed summer league, a striking change from their previous and traditionally 5:2 or 6:1 mixed league. The men’s league has been increasingly popular with collegeaged men, growing overall league participation and opening up a more balanced playing opportunity for women in the new mixed league.

Today, the Connecticut Ultimate Club hosts a summer league, a fall league, and three winter leagues, and they are making strides to ensure their growth will continue. In 2013, CUC took advantage of a strong, preexisting relationship and merged with the Connecticut High School Ultimate League (CTUL), an affiliation of 15 area high school teams. CTUL was formed in 2005 as a means of facilitating local high school games and tournaments. Bringing CTUL into the fold provides CUC with a youth presence and an opportunity to encourage the development of ultimate in younger generations.

As with any local ultimate organization, challenges abound. “I think the challenge we face in the coming years will be how to manage it all. We need to improve on the relationships we are just getting started, we need more volunteers, and we need more access to field sites. At the same time, we need to increase the maturity of our organizational structure so it can keep up,” said Griffiths.

The merger also helps local youth players make an easy transition from their high school teams to the CUC leagues. According to CUC President Dan Griffiths, “This merger is mutually beneficial to both groups. CUC should see growth in our rec league numbers, as high school kids will be more in tune with our offerings after they reach 18. CTUL should see growth as we are already adding administrative resources to help improve its tournaments.” Spring 2013

The growth and development of ultimate on the local level is never easy, but with a dedicated leadership team and an enthusiastic community, good things are on the horizon for the Connecticut Ultimate Club, so stay tuned. 40


Photo: Connecticut Ultimate Club

Members of the Connecticut Ultimate Club relax after league play.

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Advanced speed, strength and conditioning training tipS

ABOVE THE COMPETITION AGILITY: THE JAB STEP & SERPENTINE AGILITY DRILL

BY

Tim Morrill, M.A., CSCS, HFS Owner of Morrill Performance & Explosive Ultimate

Developing your ability to quickly and efficiently change direction is essential to playing explosive Ultimate and rising above the competition. Many Ultimate players focus only on linear speed, but being able to quickly change directions shakes our defenders and earns us Ds. It starts with the Jab Step and comes together in the Serpentine Drill. This year in Above the Competition, we will explore agility patterns and provide practical drills and cues to enhance them.

An agility ladder is a great way to teach and enhance the Jab Step pattern. Start with the “triple step” (often referred to as ‘The Icky Shuffle’) to groove the 1-2-3, 1-2-3 pattern. Once this pattern is grooved, cue an “inside foot high” movement (see Figure 1). This cue will create a steeper shin angle and improved IFP resulting in a Jab Step.

Improving agility involves first increasing the body’s capacity to absorb and produce force via strength and plyometric training (reference previous Above the Competition articles for more info on strength training). The second is by grooving these primary patterns: - Inside Foot Push (IFP) refers to any movement that requires hip Abduction, pushing the hip away from the midline by pushing off the big toe side of the foot. (e.g., Shuffles and Jab Steps). - Outside Foot Push (OFP) refers to any movement that requires hip ADDuction, pushing the hip toward the midline by pushing off of the pinky toe side of the foot (e.g., Crossovers and Defensive Unders). Let us begin with the main IFP movement: the Jab Step.

Spring 2013

Figure 1. A Brute Squad athlete on the agility ladder. The right foot is the Jab Step, the left is the “inside foot high” cue.

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Note: the Jab Step is an IFP driven movement. That is, pushing off of the arch of the foot and abducting the hip. This is a separate skill from a crossover step which involves OFP driven by adduction. We will look more in depth at the Crossover Step in future Above the Competition articles. Once you have mastered the Jab Step, progress to the Serpentine. The Serpentine (Morrill 2010) entails a five-yard acceleration followed by six changes of direction and a five-yard finish (see Figure 2). It teaches athletes to accelerate, decelerate, change direction utilizing a Jab Step, and reaccelerate in another direction. This ability to absorb and produce high amounts of force on one leg (e.g., the Jab Step) is the key to efficient cutting and has direct transfer to field movement in Ultimate.

Figure 3a (Left). A Boston Ironside athlete runs a Serpentine. The right foot is the Jab Step with a steep shin angle pointed in the direction of the next cone. Fig. 3b (RIGHT). The left foot Getaway Step marks the first step of linear acceleration in a new direction.

Women’s Division

Cues for the Serpentine: - Jab Steps with steep shin angles on each of the six changes of directions (see Figure 3a). The Jab Step should be placed at least two feet from the cone in order to ensure a steep shin angle.

Team

Time (in seconds)

Sandy Jorgensen

Scandal

9.03

Whitney Morgan

Phoenix

9.12

Ruth Chen

Safari

9.20

Player

Team

Time (in seconds)

Nick Lance

Chain Lightning

8.46

Ken Porter

Ring of Fire

8.54

Axis Sivitz

Madcow

8.57

OPEN Division

- Push hard of the inside off the foot to propel yourself toward the next cone. -A  ggressive Getaway Steps and arm action after each Jab Step (see Figure 3b). The Getaway Step represents your first step in a linear fashion.

In sum, efficient cutting is a function of absorbing and producing force in as few steps as possible. In order to develop this quality, one must spend time in the weight room developing strength as well as on the field grooving and adding conditioning on top of IFP and OFP patterns. In this issue, we introduced the Jab Step as our primary IFP pattern. Look forward to the next issue where we will introduce the primary OFP pattern, the Crossover Step.

- Straight lines; make sure not to round your cuts.

Figure 2. The Serpentine Agility Drill (Morrill 2010)

Player

The Serpentine is a great benchmark test that can be used at combines and tryouts. In 2010, USA Ultimate sent Morrill Performance to Club Nationals in Sarasota, FL., to collect some data on this test. Here are the top scores recorded with a Brower Laser Timing system.

Tim Morrill is the owner of Morrill Performance & Explosive Ultimate. He is the Speed, Strength & Conditioning coach for Boston Ironside and many other Boston-area Ultimate teams. Tim has played Ultimate since 2005. Visit www. MorrillPerformance.com for more info. Editor’s Note: Previous editions of Above the Competition can be found in the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter 2010 issues of the USA Ultimate magazine. Electronic versions of these issues are located in the Archive on usaultimate.org.

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Athlete-specific nutritional infor­mation to help you perform your best.

NUTRITION MATTERS: Basic Nutrition for Athletes

BY

Katy Harris, MSPH, CSCS Lifestyle Educator, Phoenix, NC Ultimate

drinks? Was it soda or Gatorade? Or was it natural electrolytes, like coconut water?

CBMT Creative

It’s double-game point, Chesapeake Open finals. Hands sweaty, heart racing, you get the disc on the goal line. Your girl is in your shorts, and you know your team is counting on you – what will do?

To be successful in competition and training, you must maintain frequent and adequate intake of quality nutrients before, during and after training and competition. Rest and increased protein intake during recovery are essential to increasing performance rather than overtraining during a season. The younger you are, the easier this seems, but over time it takes a toll. As you improve as a player, face better opponents, and gain more responsibility on your team and in your life, managing these periods of breakdown and recovery can mean the difference of a 2-year or 10+ year career, or the difference between the win of a lifetime and a turnover.

No matter what happens, the outcome has everything to do with preparation – team and personal, mental and physical. Sports are incredibly unpredictable, and just about the only things you can control are your physical and mental preparation and what you put in your body. You may not know it or feel it because of the adrenaline, the high from the social stimulation of your teammates or just being focused on the task at hand, but your body is in full breakdown mode.

Nutrition Basics for Athletes To perform as an athlete, your body needs carbohydrates for energy; protein for new muscle and cell growth; fruits and vegetables for vitamins, digestion of major nutrients, and anti-oxidants; good fats for cell membranes; calcium for bone health; and 1-4 liters of fluid every day. The major nutrient groups are listed in Table 1. Quality and complete protein sources are essential to athletic performance and proper brain and muscle function. Complete protein sources contain all 20 essential amino acids required for cells, including the nine that are NOT made by the body. Table 2 includes examples of complete protein sources. You also need enough water and electrolytes (salt, potassium, chloride) to replace what is lost when sweating and support the new tissue gained after breakdown and recovery.

After the tournament, you are not only recovering from the weekend, but also life from the week before. Maybe it was a long week of staying up late studying or a long week of work, then traveling five hours in a full car to the hotel with only whatever meal was available on the way as sustenance. How you manage these periods of breakdown and recovery during a season can make or break your performance. Nutrient quality, quantity and frequency will all affect your decisions and muscle actions in that one precious moment. What have you eaten in the past 48-72 hours? Was it whole grain bread, meat, fruits and veggies, nuts, juice and milk? Or was it chips? Taco Bell? Dunkin’ Donuts? Cracker Barrel? And how about Spring 2013

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I. Carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates can be consumed up to approximately 30 minutes before beginning exercise, after the onset of exercise and postexercise for recovery. Because protein and fat can take hours to digest, carbohydrates are the preferred and only nutrient group you should consume during exercise and competition.

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the ONLY source of energy the body can use. Carbohydrates are sometimes referred to as sugar but are not quite the same thing. Carbs are essential to include in every meal, which, if consumed in adequate amounts, will give you enough of the nutrient for about 4 hours at a time. The liver maintains carb stores for approximately 12-16 hours; or if your body needs energy quickly, it can break down a protein into a carb. Fat is mainly burned by the muscle when sufficient carbohydrates are available, see section V below. Athletes should eat 1-3 servings of whole grain (not just whole wheat) carbohydrates per meal, depending on body size and activity level. If your activity level is above average, eat 2-3 servings per meal. A serving size is roughly a handful.

“Carbohydrate loading” before competition should ONLY be done under strict supervision of a trained coach or peer and involves up to a week of gradually decreasing exercise load and increasing calorie intake before competition. Eating pasta the night before a competition is not necessary and does not count as “carb loading.” Meals before competition should contain the normal ratio of nutrient groups. Carbs should also be consumed during exercise to provide an energy source for the body and after exercise to replace muscle carbohydrate.

Carbohydrates should always be consumed with protein at meals to reduce blood sugar spikes. Healthy carbohydrate sources have no sugar added and should contain fiber and protein (e.g., grains in whole grain bread) to slow the digestion of sugars and avoid crashes. Ingesting carbs with added sugars can cause unnecessary fat storage and high cholesterol levels.

II. Protein Protein is the body’s building block and the most important nutrient you consume as a human being. Protein is used not only for muscle building, immune function and new cell growth, but it can also be turned into a carbohydrate when the body is low on energy.

TABLE 1. Major Nutrient Groups Carbohydrates

Protein

Fruits and Veggies/Juice

Good Fats

Calcium

Healthy Sources

Whole grain bread, pasta, tortillas, English muffins, oats, cereal

Chicken, ground beef, turkey, lean pork, fish, shellfish, tuna, deli meat, cheese, milk, eggs

All types of fruits and vegetables with skins, leafy veggies, berries, citrus, melon, 100% fruit juice

Nuts, avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, fish oil (supplement)

Milk, cheese, yogurt, chocolate milk

Function

Energy source for all cells, Building blocks for muscle building cells, energy when no carbohydrates available

Help with digestion of protein and carbs, vitamins, antioxidants

Cell membranes (e.g., new muscle cell), absorption of calcium, energy when carbohydrates are available

Bone strength, structure

Servings per meal/day

2-3 per meal/ 3-8 per day

3-6 oz. per meal/ 12-20 oz. per day

2-3 per meal/ 4-9 per day

1-2 per meal/ 3-5 per day

0-1 per meal/ 3-6 per day

Look For

Whole grain, contains fiber, no added sugar, slow cooking

Must be a complete source of protein (i.e., contains all 20 essential amino acids)

Organic or locally grown

Liquid at room temperature

Organic, best absorbed with some fat (e.g. 1% milk or cheese)

Consumption During Exercise

~30 minutes before, after the onset of, and immediately after exercise

In meals 1-4 hours before the event or training (1 oz = 1 hour), and postexercise every 2-3 hours for recovery

Before or during exercise in small amounts, or after exercise

Consume as part of a normal diet, mainly during training and recovery

Consume as part of a normal diet, mainly during training and recovery

All nutrient groups should be consumed with each meal and/or snack. Meals should be approximately 60% carbohydrate (from whole grains and/or fruits and vegetables), 20% protein, 15% good fat and 5% calcium.

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Twenty amino acids make up a protein, 11 of which are produced by the body. Our diet must supply the other nine. Athletes, in particular, must consume protein in adequate amounts to maintain properly functioning cardiovascular, muscular and immune systems (see Table 2 for complete protein sources). Protein should mainly be consumed as part of a healthy diet and in increased amounts during periods of recovery. Protein should be consumed in the following amounts: approximately one ounce if consumed one hour before exercise, approximately two ounces if consumed two hours before exercise, etc. Intake should be minimized during competition to limit gastrointestinal distress, but adequate amounts of protein are required for recovery between games at longer events, such as ultimate tournaments and practices.

Protein Tips: a. D  airy products are primarily a calcium source and can be inflammatory so should be avoided as a main protein source. b. Nuts are not a complete protein source and should mainly be included in your diet as a source of good fats (see section V below).

III. Protein Requirements for Athletes

IV. Fruits and Vegetables

On average, athletes need 1.2 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. See Table 3 to calculate your protein needs. Ultimate is a strength and power sport, so we are on the high end of protein needs during training, and especially competition. Women will typically need 12-16 ounces per day, while men will typically need 15-30 ounces per day, depending on age, sex, height, training status and training regimen. Each meal and snack should contain some sort of protein, and it is best absorbed with fruit and vegetable and/or carbohydrates.

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Vitamins assist in chemical reactions, and antioxidants are actually mild stressors that stimulate the immune system to produce cells that ‘eat’ free radicals which can damage other healthy cells. The darker the color (e.g., berries, skin on squash, zucchini, potatoes, etc.), the richer the food is in antioxidants. Increased amounts of the stress hormone cortisol are released during periods of high stress, training and competition, so supporting immune function is essential to weathering the breakdown from a tournament. If possible, sources should be organic or locally grown to avoid higher amounts of pesticides. Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, so they can be consumed before, during or after exercise.

Table 2: Sources of Complete Protein Animal Sources

Chicken, eggs, beef, turkey, venison, lamb, pork, shaved deli meat

Dairy

Milk, cheese, chocolate milk, protein shakes (whey)

Soy

Tofu or tofu products, soy ‘fake chicken’ patties, soy cubes, soy protein shakes

Fish

White fish (cod, trout, flounder, halibut, grouper), Wild-caught fish, tuna, salmon

Shellfish

Shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops

Legume/grain combinations

Beans or lentils + rice, quinoa; peanut butter + grain; hummus + grain; flour + black beans; corn + refried beans

V. Good Fats Fats are used in the body for cell membranes and other functions or are stored for later use. Fat is primarily burned by muscle for energy when the body has a large amount of carbohydrate. However, because it is a large molecule, fat cannot be used by the body when carbohydrate levels in the bloodstream are low, i.e., low blood sugar. Some good fat should be consumed with each meal as part of a normal, healthy diet pre- and post-exercise. Saturated fat should be limited in the diet to promote healthy lean tissue building and maintenance.

It is important to consume protein after exercise as well to aid in recovery; anywhere from 3-6 ounce portions of protein every 2-3 hours may be consumed for up to 48 hours post-training and competition. Protein sources should be varied throughout the day and week and contain minimal processing. Spring 2013

46


Table 3: Protein needs for athletes based on size, weight, and activity level and type. Sample Calculation: 5'2" Female, 115 lbs or 52.21kg (115 lbs*.454 lbs/kg). Non-training protein needs: 1.2 grams/kilogram of body weight/day

Heavy training and tournament (recovery) protein needs: 1.8 grams/kilogram of body weight/day

52.2 kg * 1.2 g/kg/day = 62.65 grams/day

52.2kg * 1.8 g/kg/day = 93.98 grams/day

62.65 grams /7 grams/ounce = 8.9 ounces/day = ~9 ounces/day

93.98 grams/day/7 grams/ounce = 13.4 ounces/day

VI. Calcium

VIII. Fluid Replacement

Dairy sources, including milk, cheese, whey protein shakes and yogurt, can be consumed daily with meals (1-5 servings/day) as needed for calcium pre- and post-competition or training. The inflammatory properties of dairy can compound inflammation caused by stress, training and competition, so in its original form, dairy should mainly be consumed as a calcium source that happens to provide a few extra ounces of protein per day. Whey protein shakes are the exception – they are a complete protein source and are typically lactose-free due to the filtration process. A calcium supplement is recommended for those intolerant to dairy, but with the calcium releasing effects of exercise and enough green leafy vegetables, a supplements is likely not necessary.

Athletes should consume 1-4 liters of fluid per day depending on activity level, body mass and rate of fluid loss, and approximately 12-36 ounces of that intake should contain electrolytes during periods of high training and activity. This intake level is necessary 1.5 hours into competition but also for recovering from a loss of electrolytes over a period of days (like at tournaments) and to sustain fluid loss during longer periods of high activity (like an Ultimate season). Gatorade may be used during tournaments for convenience, but it contains dyes and other unnecessary ingredients and should be avoided on a daily basis. Coconut water mixed with juice is a healthier alternative. Please visit the USDA website for more information at www.usda.gov.

VII. Supplements Essential vitamins for athletes should be obtained from the diet, but a daily multivitamin is also recommended for very active athletes. During periods of high activity, athletes may want to take a vitamin C supplement for immune health, a vitamin B supplement for energy and metabolism, and/or fish oil to obtain essential omega-3 fatty acids that are deficient in the traditional American diet. Ideally, vitamins should have a vegetable casing and be taken with a meal. Vitamins C, D, E, B and K are all water soluble and are released in the urine if not needed by the body, so they cannot be over-consumed.

Table 4: Protein needs/day based on weight. To estimate needs at meals, divide amount per day by 3. FEMALES

MALES

5’2, 115 lb

5’6, 130 lb

5’10’’, 155 lb

5’7’’, 160 lb

5’11’’, 190 lb

6’3’’, 220 lb

1.2 g/d

~9.0 oz

~10.0

~12.0

~12.5

~10.3

~15.5

1.8 g/d

~13.5 oz

~15.0

~18.0

~18.5

~22.2

~25.5

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USA Ultimate’s Standing Rules Committee Chair responds to common rules questions.

WHAT�S THE CALL

What’s the Call is taking a break from the normal format of addressing specific rules scenarios to address some of the bigger questions about the rules.

BY

Jon Bauman

Why should I become an expert on the rules?

How do I become an expert on the rules? 1. READ THE RULES.

Because it makes the game better. For you and for everyone. And as a self-officiated sport, it’s kind of expected. You would be disappointed if you played in a soccer game and the referees didn’t know the rules. When you sign up to play ultimate, you don’t have to pay for referees, but as a result, you take on that responsibility. Everyone does.

It’s pretty basic, but there are a lot of really good – and serious – ultimate players who have never read the rules in their entirety. I get it. We play ultimate because it’s fun, and reading the rules is not necessarily a fun thing. But neither are track workouts. We do them because they make us better at the game. Besides, the rules are only 16 pages long. Only 14 if you take out the table of contents and the field diagram. It won’t take very long, and if you’ve never read them all the way through, I can pretty much guarantee you there will be at least something surprising. You don’t have to memorize them all, but a full readthrough is important, so you at least know what is in the rules and have a general familiarity with the organization. It will make it much easier to find what you’re looking for later. Also, in addition to the rules booklets USA Ultimate distributes and the online version of the rules, there are iPhone and Android apps so you can read them on your smartphone (just search for “ultimate rules”).

Now, you may say, “Why should I bother to be an expert? There are other people on my team who know the rules.” The thing is, ultimate can actually work surprisingly well with most people only sort of knowing the rules, but as situations get contentious, disagreement can happen at any point on the field. Nobody in an argument wants to admit that they don’t know the rule, and nobody likes having protracted discussions when they’re supposed to be playing. People who want to argue about the rules have the USA Ultimate forums for that. So many arguments on the field stem from the players involved simply not knowing the rules well. Ask yourself, would it be worth the effort to become an expert on the rules if it meant less talking and more playing? Well, that probably depends on how much effort is involved in becoming an expert on the rules. Fortunately, the answer is not very much.

Spring 2013

2.  WHEN THERE IS QUESTION ABOUT THE RULES, EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE ANSWER, LOOK IT UP. Whether it’s a question you asked or something someone else told you, don’t accept your own recollection or someone else’s for what the rule is: look it up. We tend to remember our interpretation of things we read rather than the text itself, and

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OFFICIAL RULES ULTIMATE OF

11th Edition

You can read them online and offline

each time we remember, we reinterpret. So like a game of telephone, our conception of the rules drifts further and further from the reality. The best way to stay fresh is to look things up and reread whatever rules are in question. Plus, the more you look things up in the rules, the faster you’ll find things.

3. IF YOU LOOKED AT THE RULES BUT YOU’RE STILL NOT SURE, ASK. Sometimes the rules can be ambiguous, or it can be hard to see how separate sections combine to resolve the outcome of a certain situation. Fortunately, there are several avenues for receiving expert opinions. First of all, you can email src_chair@usaultimate.org. Secondly, you can post a question to the USA Ultimate rules forum, and it will be answered by members of the standing rules committee. Thirdly, if you’re playing in a game with observers, you can always ask them for an interpretation of the rules without asking for a subjective ruling on a play. Certified observers are trained and tested for their rules knowledge and get lots of experience applying many different scenarios.

TOP: No one likes to have drawn-out arguments when they could be playing. Getting familiar with the rules and asking an observer to step in when necessary can keep the game moving. Photo: Scott Roeder BOTTOM: Observers are trained and tested for their rules knowledge and are a good resource when you have questions about the rules. Photo: CBMT Creative

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News and updates from USA Ultimate headquarters

NEWS & NOTES

in Boulder, Colo.

USA Ultimate Announces New Partnership with ESPN

The new partnership gives sports fans – including USA Ultimate’s 45,000 members and millions of ultimate players in the U.S. – an unprecedented accessibility to view ultimate at its highest levels, all from the world’s most powerful sports brand.

USA Ultimate announced last month a new multiyear agreement with ESPN that will provide live coverage of the College Championships, U.S. Open and National Championships on ESPN3, as well as tape-delayed programs of the College Championships on ESPNU.

Ultimate Hall of Fame – Class of 2012 USA Ultimate introduced four new inductees into the Ultimate Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 is composed entirely of player inductees and includes Open Division representatives Keay Nakae (Mill Valley, Calif.) and Dennis “Cribber” Warsen (Berkeley, Calif.) and Women’s Division representatives Nancy Leahy Glass (Chicago, Ill.) and Molly Goodwin (Brighton, Mass.).

“This is an exciting development for USA Ultimate,” explained USA Ultimate Chief Executive Officer Tom Crawford. “The networks of ESPN represent

• Keay Nakae – Open Division – Keay was one of the few stars who could be distinguished from the Santa Barbara Condor’s highly athletic and talented roster. Keay played with the Hot Sox, Condors and Iguanas during his illustrious career and was always a champion of Spirit of the Game. He was loved and respected by teammates and opponents alike and always strived to be an exemplary role model for the sport.

the premier sports platform in the world, and aligning ourselves with the most powerful brand in sports puts ultimate in an extraordinary place. We are thrilled to collaborate with ESPN for the foreseeable future.” Live event coverage will be streamed via ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. The network is available in more than 83 million households nationwide to fans who receive their internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider.

• Dennis “Cribber” Warsen – Open Division – Dennis was a key contributor to the NYNY dynasty that included six National Championships and five World Championships. In addition to NYNY, Dennis contributed his talents to Double Happiness and Jam, leading them to finals appearances at both Club and World Championships.

“Carrying the College Championships and inaugural Triple Crown Tour live on ESPN3 is a true testament to our goal of serving fans,” said Todd Myers, ESPN director, programming & acquisitions. “Delivering these events across platforms to more than 83 million households nationwide is great exposure for a sport that showcases the highest level of competition in ultimate sports.”

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• Nancy Leahy Glass – Women’s Division – An original member of Chicago’s Nemesis, Nancy also served as captain and was known as the heart and soul of the team during her 23 years associated with the team. She is the only player in the women’s division to have appeared in 15 consecutive Club Championships (21 total appearances), which includes 4 semifinal appearances and 1 finals appearance. She has also coached for a college women’s team and Ultimate Peace.

Echterhoff Lee joined USA Ultimate in 2011 and has managed the organization’s financial and administrative efforts since that time. In her new role, she will oversee a new fundraising and development strategy in addition to her previous responsibilities.

Merchandise Partners Named for the 2013 Championships and world games USA Ultimate recently awarded merchandise contracts to 6 upcoming championship events and the team representing the USA at the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia. This year’s partners will provide official event merchandise for the 2013 championship and World Games, so participants, families and fans will have an opportunity to commemorate their experiences with highquality event apparel and souvenirs from some of ultimate’s top merchandisers.

• Molly Goodwin – Women’s Division – Molly has earned more championship titles than anyone in ultimate’s history. She earned her first two national titles in 1992, one in the college division with UC Berkeley and her first Club Championship with the Maine-iacs. She went on to win a total of 10 Club Championship and 3 World Championship titles. The 2012 inductees were selected by the national governing body’s Hall of Fame Voting Committee from the final “Slate of Eight” candidates and comprise the ninth class to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Team USA – World Games Northeastern Regional High School Championships

New Hire and Promotion for USA Ultimate Staff

Division III College Championships College Championships Western Regional High School Championships

Julia Echterhoff Lee

Stacey Waldrup

Central Regional High School Championships

USA ultimate recently hired a new team member on the Marketing and Communications staff and promoted Julia Echterhoff Lee from Manager – Administration & Finance to Director – Finance & Development. Stacey Waldrup was hired as the new Manager – Communications & Publications and will oversee the organization’s quarterly magazine and editorial content on the USA Ultimate website. She will also assume responsibility for various other publications and communications responsibilities in support of USA Ultimate.

Southern Regional High School Championships 51

U S A U lt i m at e


High School State and Regional Championships Announced

USA Ultimate also assists its affiliated leagues with the facilitation of community recreation programs, youth camps and college program outreach.

Dates and locations have been announced for the 2013 High School Regional Championships!

Financial resources are also available to USA Ultimate-affiliated leagues in the form of grants, discounts and rebate dollars. Benefits from an insurance program covering events, players, directors and officers are also available.

Northeastern Championships May 11-12 – Devens, MA Southern Championships May 11-12 – Charlotte, NC

For more information on USA Ultimate’s League Affiliate Program, visit usaultimate.org.

Central Championships May 18-19 – Mason, OH

Events Calendar

Western Championships – June 1-2 – Corvallis, OR

Event

Information for many High School State Championship events has also been announced! Check out the USA Ultimate website at www. usaultimate.org for updated dates and locations for these events.

Four New Leagues Affiliate with USA Ultimate The Connecticut Ultimate Club, New Jersey High School Ultimate, Manhattan Ultimate Disc and the Missoula Ultimate Federation are the most recent additions to the USA Ultimate League Affiliate Program. They join the Columbus Disc Association, the Ultimate Players of Austin and Neuqua Valley Ultimate as official USA Ultimate affiliated leagues, for a total of seven partners in the new Affiliate Program. These leagues will receive additional support and resources from USA Ultimate designed to assist with the expansion and promotion of grassroots programs and serve local players. Among the benefits offered are various materials and programs that will assist with education, instruction and training initiatives, as well as several streams of financial support. Affiliated leagues receive access to USA Ultimate’s Learn to Play program, as well as curricula designed for physical education in a classroom setting, coaching education and observer certification.

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Date

Location

HS Northeastern Championships

May 11-12

Devens, MA

HS Southern Championships

May 11-12

Charlotte, NC

HS Central Championships

May 18-19

Mason, OH

D-III College Championships

May 18-19

Milwaukee, WI

D-I College Championships

May 24-27

Madison, WI

HS Western Championships

June 1-2

Corvallis, OR

U.S. Open Ultimate Championships & Convention

July 4-7

Raleigh, NC

Pro-Elite Flight Challenge

July 20-21

M/W – Atlanta, GA X – Philadelphia, PA

Masters Championships

July 26-28

Commerce City, CO

Elite-Select Flight Challenge

August 10-11

M/W – Boulder, CO X – Seattle, WA

Pro Flight Finale

Aug 31 – Sept 1

Davis, CA

National Championships

October 17-20

Frisco, TX


2013 COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIPS

COMING SOON!

Kevin Leclaire/Ultiphotos

BROADCASTING THE ACTION FROM MADISON, WI


Spring 2013 USA Ultimate Magazine  

Spring 2013 USA Ultimate Magazine

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