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Capital Sectionals

September 26, 2009

Sectionals was last weekend. As far as Axis’ weekend goes, I’ve not got all that much to say, but here’s a brief rundown of the results:

Mixed was two pools of seven, with four pool play games on Saturday, the remaining two on Sunday morning, and the pool winners going straight to Finals on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday

Axis of C’Ville 13 – Lamb and Tuna (Virginia Tech mixed) 0

Axis 13 -BLUD 4

Axis 13– Hustlers 4

Axis 13 – Orange JOOSE 1

Sunday

Axis 13– Live’r Die

Axis 13– American Hyperbole 1

Axis 15– Dumpsterfire 7 (Finals)

The wins were nice, but they weren’t very challenging, as the teams we played were prone to unforced errors and bad defense. We tried to use our time wisely by scrimmaging ourselves to work on particular O and D sets and to bring us back to speed (we hadn’t practiced since before Chesapeake), but our efforts really only went so far. On the whole, the weekend felt lackluster and obligatory, and I was glad when it was over.

Sectionals is just sort of odd. I always enjoy a weekend of frisbee, but it’s frustrating when games that are actually meaningful come to feel meaningless, and motivating yourself to work hard only goes so far when the competition doesn’t provide any push.

Of course, the nature of Sectionals changes for every division and area. College Sectionals is often more competitive, and Sections like North Carolina and the Bay Area (College Open) are examples of extremely competitive early Series tournaments. But for a lot of top club teams, Sectionals really is sort of a joke because there’s such a drop off between well-organized, regularly practicing teams and those who are thrown together more loosely.

Really, the weekend was sort of a personal reminder that the nature of the the club game I’m playing now is different from the college game that I dedicated myself to for the past four years. Second year, we didn’t even make Regionals, third year, a big part of our team’s growth and success was born of a focused goal to win the Section, and fourth year, it was the kickoff to the whole “this could be the last tournament I ever play with this team” thing. Also, when I played for Floodwall, we were always confident in our ability to make Regionals but knew we had to do some work to do so. It was just strange that Sectionals this time around basically came down to walking through the motions.

Obviously, these frustrations are shared among many in the Ultimate community, and will likely continue to fuel talk of adjusting the Series in some way or another. Another point of thought regarding Club Sectionals is its status as many college teams’ first tournament of the year: aside from being relatively close and cheap, it’s a good time to get rookies to an actual tournament and reunite older players after the summer. Also, there’s something special about young players who are really just starting getting to match up against the best teams at a strong point in their season. Then again, we (Virginia) opted not to send a team this year.

Changing subject, I made sure to check out Truck Stop since they’re now a perennial Nationals team with a few UVA alumni (Ryan Morgan, Tommy Nicholson, and Robin Poullath). Also, they’ve added new faces in Michael Stout, Alan Kolick, Calvin Oung, and a few others that I don’t really know anything about.

Truck Stop basically was dealing with the same issue as Axis, not really having much trouble en route to a tournament victory. They did, however, display some of their tendencies (as I’m sure we did as well). On the endzone line, where they typically run vert, their handlers sometimes hold the disc too long. Cuts were usually coming off the back, but I saw a couple of instances where a bailout throw had to go to the front of the stack. As defense (marks, poaches, speed) is only going to get better from here, they’d do well to move it a bit faster. Also, against a zone thrown by Chesapeaked, they had no problem shredding up the open side, but only Alan was throwing break throws with consistency. Since such throws weren’t actually necessary, I’m not sure if this observation holds any weight or not.

Changing subject again, and for the last time, I was part of an unfortunate play. My guy took off down the break side of the stack, and at the end of the stack, turned and cut straight to the force side. I turned with him, and as I did, my knee collided with a Dumpsterfire girl’s. She hit the ground yelling, and since she had a knee brace on and was crying out of what looked to be more than just pain, I immediately thought of an ACL tear. She came off and immediately iced, and after the point told me that the source of her pain was an ongoing case of bursitis. I don’t know if anything else was wrong, but the point is that I’ve heard plenty about women being injured by men in mixed, and was troubled by the thought that I had ended her season (especially since Dumpsterfire has a shot at Nationals). I think that sometimes I’m a bit quick to get frustrated with girls that don’t just throw themselves into plays with guys, and that’s probably not always fair.

That’s all for now, but I hope to get some stuff up before Regionals next weekend.

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