Friday, September 24, 2010

Review of SoCal Club Sectionals

A tournament with perfect weather is always fun. A little misty in the mornings, but the dew burned off by halftime of the first game making for a great weekend.

Streetgang rolled through all of our games on Saturday and our O-line scrimmaged or D-line between games. I am happy to report that the O continued its dominance over the D ;) Three and out, SG's morning started early and ended early.

The team off note for our Saturday was OYU (Old and Young United) a team of mostly highschoolers from Burbank with a few old guys as player/coaches. Yeah we beat them 13-1, but I really enjoyed seeing these younins play against great players. I wish I had started that young and chatted with a few of them and told them such. Being exposed to high level Ultimate while still in high school is going to make those kids great in college. Heres hoping they stick with it.

Day two had Streegang playing the Beyondors (the Master's team from Santa Barbara). This was my first time playing against Greg 'Hollywood' Husak of Condors fame who was part of the part of the amazing Condor's 95-01dyNASTY. That guy can ball. Closest game of the tourney. I like that older players can make the game simple: if you cover me deep I get the free in. If you cover me in, I get the deep. Easy as that.

Next was a team from San Diego who i played for 3 years ago - Beefcake. Not really a challenge - just a good time with some old friends. Point of fact: I had THE worst pull of my competitive career in this game leading to them taking the disc at midfield. This was followed by my mediocre deep D, throwing an almost-Callahan turnover on our goal line and then getting beat to the open-side for the score. Oops.

The finals were supposed to be after a bye but got moved up for some reason. Santa Barbara Condors vs San Diego Streetgang. In general, we scored with few throws and our Ds really flustered them. They kept it even at first but the wheels feel off when one of their popper got covered trying to get into the cup. We took half very confidently and kept rolling after it.

Much to everyone's dismay, 2 of our players had their shoulders dislocated on close bids. One was captured on tape and highlights an excellent defensive bid by the Condor's Jacob Baumer. Absolutely not a foul, sometimes players just get hurt - not Jake's fault at all. We continue to press (I get really close to a layout D in the cup) and they continue to have a very hard time scoring. I talked with some of the condors afterwords and they mused that they were not quite sure who their zone handlers were going to be. Either way, i think this game speaks well of the pressure our defense puts on other teams.

Final score: 13-7 . Over all, I was happy with how we played and given the acrimonious nature of past San Diego/ Santa Barbara games, I was happy with the amiable relations between the teams.

While i did enjoy the tournament overall, the flaws should be pointed out so we can have better tournaments next time.
  • The front of the enzones should be double coned and the cone placement should be spray painted. I know that fully lining the field probably wasnt possible, but the fact that the 2 best teams in all of Southern California played the finals on a field with unknowable boundaries is disheartening. 
  • There were no scoreboards even though I offered to bring all the ones I had built for Presidents Day
  • There was lots of room in between fields (props to the TDs) but players and spectators still put all their stuff haphazardly 1 meter away from the sidelines. Sideline safety must be a cultural shift.
  • The format was screwy. Pool play straight to placement? Streetgang played 6 games in a row - 5 pool play and then the finals. The team that I coach, the BAGS, got there at 8 both days and left at 5 both days with 8 games and 5 byes total. (yes, I know a 13 team tournament is hard to work with). It might have been ok if people had known the schedule ahead of time but people were learning of their games an hour before hand. (Again, I know how hard it is to TD. It sucks that your fields got taken away last minute)
  • I only saw a few non-player spectators at the finals even though we were in Long Beach, a city filled with Ultimate players. We all need to do a better job to get our beach-pickup buddies to attend the finals of big time tourneys. 
  • Getting water was a pain, only 1 station very fair away from most of the fields.
  • We started at 8am even though everything was done by 5. Give me 1 more hour of sleep and Ill be way happier even if it means I get home a hour later.

All in all, good tourney. It feels great to be sectional champions as San Diego Open has not won Sectionals in 15 years.

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