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UOA College Nationals

November 18, 2010

The Ultimate Observes Association is hosting their first-annual College Nationals this weekend in Greenville, North Carolina. Founded by Mike Gerics and Jason Weddle, the UOA  is a progressive group of tournament organizers and game officials whose hallmark is active observers that keep the game moving quickly while calling travels and in/out of bounds.

UOA Nationals will be played under Gerics’ 8s format: a round-robin pool with a championship game that pits the two best teams against each other. Outside of the Finals, the third place finisher in the pool plays the fourth, the fifth plays the sixth, and the seventh plays the eighth. This format is a lot of fun for players; it’s a deviation from typical tournament set-ups, and it provides for a small setting wherein teams can really scout each other well throughout the weekend.

After qualifying from their respective conference tournaments, the teams attending UOA Nationals are:

Pittsburgh (Big East), Virginia (ACC), Dartmouth (Ivy League), Tennessee (SEC), Virginia Tech (ACC), James Madison (CAA), Brandeis (Ivy League 2), and Connecticut (Big East 2).

Couple things:

  • Pitt is the only 2010 USA Ultimate College Championships qualifyer of the bunch. They reached the national Semifinals before losing to Carleton last year. I know that they graduated Chris Brenenborg, who in my opinion was one of the best throwers in the college game last season, along with Eddie Peters,  nothing. But over the past five seasons or so, Pitt has done a fantastic job of recruiting from Pennsylvania high schools so I’m guessing that they’ll be re-loading just from whatever guys they did graduate.
  • I’ve heard that they’ve taken skeleton and rookie squads to fall tournaments so far, but similar to Florida last weekend, I see them giving UOA Nationals their best shot in an effort to get a solid feel for where they stand going into the winter.
  • On the Juniors note, you can see a list of 2010’s Junior Worlds members and where they attend college (if they do) here. Does anyone feel like digging up the lists for 2008, 2006, or earlier? I know that Pitt players Isaac Saul and Alex Thorne played in 2008, but am I missing someone?
  • Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and James Madison are all quite familiar with each other, having competed in the Blue Ridge Section before this year’s restructuring. Both Tennessee and Virginia Tech are streaky teams that have beat Virginia within the past year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if either gives the top two some trouble.
  • Three tournaments in a row is going to be brutal for the JMU. The Hellfish rely a lot on the top of their rotation, and this weekend should tell us something about how far that could potentially take them.
  • Dartmouth is a mystery to me. I heard from a friend of a friend that they look a lot better than they did last year, but I don’t have any details to offer up on that one. Can anyone who was at the Ivy League tournament comment? I think most people, myself included, figured that Harvard or Tufts would come out on top of that one.
  • I don’t know anything about Brandeis or Connecticut either. Drop the knowledge.

To wrap up, I wanted to include a little blurb about the nature of our self-officiated game that I came across on Dusty Rhodes’ blog the other day.

Just something to think about.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Rob permalink
    November 18, 2010 8:25 am

    Quick note – Pitt still has Chris and Eddie.

    • neeley permalink*
      November 18, 2010 8:30 am

      Shit, really? I guess I thought they both played 5th years last year. Thanks a lot for correcting that.

    • neeley permalink*
      November 18, 2010 11:08 am

      Care to comment on Pitt’s outlook for this weekend and the 2011 season?

  2. Fantusta permalink
    November 18, 2010 10:54 am

    Also, Noah Saul was a worlds 2006 alternate — Isaac was 2008.

  3. neeley permalink*
    November 18, 2010 10:58 am

    Typo, thanks.

  4. Not Rob permalink
    November 19, 2010 8:54 am

    My guess is that Pitt will probably roll. Only nationals qualifier from last year at this tournament and a semi-finalist at that. They graduated 3 players from last year, all from the D-line and they have a healthy supply of good young players from last years and this years’ rookie classes that are probably ready to step up and fill those roles. Their O-line chemistry will probably be unmatched by any team at this point in the year (being that all 7 starters are back). Not sure if or how they’ve changed their rotation up, but even if they have switched around their O-line it probably just means replacing one really good cutter with another. I think they’ll be able to score every time they need to (if the pressure is ever on them to do so) and most of these games will probably be about playing their rookies a lot. I see Virginia giving them the best game and being the other finals team, but it seems like UVA has done/is still doing a lot of growing this fall so I wouldn’t expect them to be in the same form as Pitt.

  5. Twilley permalink
    November 19, 2010 9:04 pm

    OH MY GOD…I thought I was the only one in all of ultimate who isn’t sold on observers.

    Can people please please please read what is written above? It is abso-freaking-lutely just as easy to cheat with observers than without.

    I quit playing other sports almost exclusively because I was so sick of refs making awful calls. I hate watching refs make awful calls on TV. Demand is causing baseball and every other sport to institute all forms of instant replay because refs are no better than any other human at making close calls. I have watched observers make foul call decisions that I really did not agree with, and that would have been a re-do if not for the poor decision. I *like* re-dos.

    I love having the ability to face my opponent, settle all matters with them, and walk away with a respect or disrespect for their character and ability. LOVE IT.

    As an aside, can people stop those arguments where you can tell exactly what the outcome is going to be 10 seconds in, the ones that continue for 2 minutes and have that one random dude holding a clipboard on the sideline calling some random dude on the field an ass as one of the two players tells the other one he doesn’t know the rules even though he probably does? Just send the effing disc back and shut up. Both of you.

  6. Ike permalink
    November 23, 2010 7:48 am

    Although the title of Dusty’s post is observers and refs, his little anecdote is irrelevant to observers. Seemingly, according to his logic, having observers would be the BEST way to run ultimate. Observers still allow you to make your own calls, so in the “jersey grabbing case” the player would be able to simply call a foul.

    As for going to the observer b/c the player knows the observer didn’t see the play — well, with that lack of SOTG instilled in a player, how can you trust them to make their own calls, period? Observers are more eyes, and more eyes catch more things, which is better. I can see the beef with refs, although I think ultimate needs them, but I don’t think anyone is “not sold” on observers. They’re good for the game and there is no question about it. Imagine Albert Pujols calling his own strikes and balls? Or Lebron calling his own fouls? Its a joke.

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