Ravi Vasudevan looked into how several of the Muslim players at Worlds this year have been able to play during Ramadan.
Ramadan runs from June 5 to July 5 this year. For those who don’t know, Ramadan is a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. During this month Muslims do not eat food or drink water from dawn to dusk, among other sacrifices. This presents a challenge when halfway through Ramadan is the most competitive Ultimate tournament of the year. It is basically impossible to play sports at this level without water or food, and there are a few players here at WUGC who are handling this situation in different ways. I interviewed a few of them throughout the tournament.
Sean Colfer summarises the semi-finals of the Mixed division ahead of the final this morning.
Today the Australian Mixed team will play the United States Mixed team in the final of the World Ultimate and Guts Championships. For the Americans, this could be the crowning of a remarkable campaign so far – they’ve conceded fewer than four points per game so far, and boast some of the best players in the world on their team. For the Australians, the task is clear; stop one of the most dominant teams in the history of Ultimate on the biggest stage of them all.
Sean Colfer spoke to the people behind the Portuguese team, a country with a strong Ultimate culture but almost no history on grass, to see how their first experience of the World Ultimate and Guts Championships went.
The Portuguese have a strong Ultimate tradition. At the last two World Championships of Beach Ultimate they have reached the semi-finals, and they did the same at the most recent European Beach Championships. However, despite this pedigree, the trip to London is the first time they have ever played a World Ultimate and Guts Championships – or indeed any kind of Worlds on grass.
Sean Colfer has been watching the Mixed division this week and has been looking for evidence that any of the other teams can challenge the USA’s all-star roster.
The United States of America are the best team here. That much is not in doubt. They have played seven games so far before the quarter-finals and have conceded 22 points – an average of a hair over three points per game. They’ve hard-capped everyone. So, with an average score of 15-3, I think it’s fair to say they’ve been absurdly dominant.
Sean Colfer talked to some players on the Hong Kong team about their aims for this tournament for developing the sport in their unique corner of Asia.
Hong Kong Ultimate has long been in a strange situation. Due to the nature of the city, with a large number of foreign nationals coming from across the world to live and work in such a vibrant, thriving place, many of the players involved in the scene there are expats.
WUGC starts today so now is the last chance to make predictions. Ravi Vasudevan has filled out a bracket for the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed divisions and is going to talk us through each division briefly. Finishing off the series, here is his Mixed bracket.
The Mixed division is structured just like the Men’s. Pools of eight, top two go to power pools of four, top three move to brackets. Mixed is very hard to predict as some countries choose to stack their Mixed teams, while others use Mixed as a sort of B team for those who don’t qualify for Men’s and Women’s. It is hard to know which teams will show up.
Sean Colfer spoke to many of the USA Ultimate U23 team members about the ongoing efforts in the USA to not only dominate but develop.
Ultimate is now a global sport, as evidenced recently by recognition from the International Olympic Committee. However, one country has more of an effect on the global Ultimate community than any other. It’s the Ultimate equivalent of the Premier League; everyone watches their championships and many of their players are well-known in Ultimate communities around the world. It’s so dominant that their closest neighbours, who might well be the second-best Ultimate nation around, regularly visit to compete against the best. That country is, of course, the United States of America.