Monday, September 10, 2007

Chicago Heavyweights

Just got back from Chicago last night.... Another whirlwind weekend of ultimate. I am starting to think that the so-called elite ultimate players are trying to kill the sport. Mucho Gusto was placed in the non-elite bracket at this tournament, which seemed a little chinzy given that there weren't any women's teams at this tourney who are in the top 10 of RRI. But the most unfortunate part was that we were not able to play up - our crossover only allowed us to play the teams in the upper division that finished last.

While I like winning, I play the game to get better at it too. And my belief is that unless you get a chance to play against teams that are better than you are, you will not have any models for success. It's not like I can watch professional ultimate on tv where I can learn techniques from the best. And besides, there's no substitute for experience. You need that experience as a team.

My team has traveled out of our region twice now to try to compete with teams that are better than us, but due to the cost of this we often can't travel the entire team to do it. The one tournament in our region is Colorado Cup, and AZ teams have been systematically excluded from that tourney for the past three years.

Because we're not "elite."

We never will be until we have a chance to play with some of those teams. Will we lose those games? Yes. Most of them. But each year that the team grows and has a chance, we'll get better. And eventually, we will compete with those teams. But to not ever have a chance? I frankly think that is counter to "spirit of the game." And I think that it will kill a sport that relies exclusively on grass roots enthusiasm and support for its very life.

Oh yeah. We won our pool. Beat the 5th seeded team to play in the 5/6 game which we lost. To the twelve seed Hayride. Do we get to be "elite" now?

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