World Games Special: Roundup and Predictions

Cali 2013, Mixed Ultimate, ulti.tv, WING, world games, World Games Previews

World Games Special

Hopefully you’ve followed the series and are up-to-date with all the teams competing in Cali, Colombia over the next week. If you missed any of them, you can find the pieces here.

The Opening Ceremony has already happened, and games start on Sunday. This should be a terrific tournament, and rumours are that there’ll be large crowds for the Ultimate games.

Thanks to the amazing efforts of the Ultimate community and ulti.tv you will be able to watch all of the games: here! You can find the full schedule here
More live streaming links: 
http://core.enetres.net/CoreV1/Share/DEE56DFCB3E64BCC88376576A57D5481028?rnd=%27+Math.random%28%29

http://www.senalcolombia.tv/juegosmundiales2013/ 
(Click on senal en vivo ^^)

VOD at bottom of here.

GB’s games are:

vs Canada – Sunday, July 28th – 4pm,
vs Colombia – Sunday, July 28th – 10:10pm,
vs Japan – Monday, July 29th – 2:30pm,
vs Australia – Tuesday, July 30th – 1:10am,
vs USA – Tuesday, July 30th – 5:30pm,
3v4 – Tuesday, July 30th – 10pm,
1v2 – Wednesday, July 31st – 12am.

Amazing Score Reporting System for Ultimate at World Games 2013
We will have the opportunity to follow the games trough an incredible score reporting interface called WING.
It will give highly detailed stats of each player and team like: game time, time outs, goals, assists, D’s, drops, pulls, touches during the game or during the tournament; also a fresh new tool which draws the disc trajectory. Plus player profiles, team roster and much more cool stuff. Here are some sneak peak screenshots:


and here is where you can find it: www.conceptoocho.com/wing

And finally – money where your mouth is time!

Finally, it feels like other countries are catching up to the traditional giants of ultimate, Canada and the USA. When only the top 13 players are selected from each nation, that effect is only magnified. For the first time, it feels like anyone can beat anyone – and that should make for a thoroughly exciting competition.

My predicted final standings for the tournament are
1. USA
2. Canada
3. Great Britain
4. Australia
5./6. Japan/Colombia (there is no placement game for these positions).

DP’s predictions (so hard to make these but here goes, prove me wrong please!) are
1. USA
2. Japan
3. Canada
4. Great Britain
5./6. Australia Columbia

What are yours? Comment below.

World Games Previews: Colombia

Colombia, Mixed Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge ends his fantastic World Games Previews with the hosts Colombia!

Colombia

The Lineup

Yina Cartagena
Maria Angelica Forero
Yina Mendoza
Elizabeth Mosquera
Laura Ospina
Eliana Rico

Antonio Barrera
Julio Duque
Alexander Ford
Julian Gaviria
Luis Miguel Ibargen
Mauricio Martinez
Santiago Montano


About the Team

Mixed is not a feature of Colombian ultimate, but combine the top players from each of the divisions and they form a fierce mixed team. Youth ultimate is exploding in Colombia, and that is reflected on the team too – several of the players have opted for World Games rather than the u23 competition in Toronto, and most have come through the juniors programme.

Colombia’s women’s teams have been particularly dominant in the last few years (2 golds for the junior team, 4that WUGC2012), and their women will be one of their strongest assets in Cali. Yina Cartagena in particular looks like that potent combination of a cutter with big throws. Meanwhile Elizabeth Mosquera has the height to match-up with any team’s deep cutters and Laura Ospina has a nose for the goal.

On the men’s side, Mauricio Martinez controls the Colombian’s offense as one of their more experienced handlers. Luis Miguel Ibargen made a name for himself at Junior Worlds last year and Santiago Montano won MVP of the mixed division at WUGC in Japan. Meanwhile Julio Duque has been playing with Colony in Australia where he made enough plays to merit his own highlight reel.

Coaches and Expected Playing Style

Like Japan the Colombian team is not particularly tall and relies on the speed to generate offense. Expect to see a pair of male handlers getting the disc into the hands of their dominating female cutters who are extremely comfortable breaking the force or hucking it deep. Colombia are an extremely passionate team, and on the defense this translates as an exciting – bid-heavy – man-to-man play. Whilst they have previously been known for having their own interpretations of the rules and spirit of the game, in recent years they won spirit medals at international tournaments.

The team is coached by Andres Polani, a fixture at club team Matanga, and Andres Angel, a player/coach for one of Colombia’s more successful international teams, Euforia.
 

Luis Miguel Ibargen lays out for the disc.

Expected Finishing Place

Whilst the home crowd and lack-of-travel advantage is not to be underestimated, it remains to be seen whether Colombia has what it takes to translate success on the junior level to that at the elite senior level. Whilst I don’t expect them to go necessarily go winless, I also don’t expect them to break into the top 4.

6th

That’s that done but now the playing begins! DP @ tSG.

World Games Previews: Team Canada

Canadian Ultimate, Mixed, Mixed Ultimate, Team Canada, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge covers Team Canada in the fifth instalment of his World Games Previews.

Team Canada


The Lineup

Candice Chan
Caroline Cadotte
Mira Donaldson
Danielle Fortin
Catherine Hui
Anne Mercier (captain)

Andy Collins (captain)
Cam Harris
Morgan Hibbert
Jeff Lindquist
Mark Lloyd
Nick Menzies
Adrian Yearwood



About the Team

For the first time Team Canada’s male component will be made up more of GOAT players than those from Furious George. Adrian Yearwood, Mark Lloyd, Jeff Lindquist and Cam Harris have all been standout players for the Toronto club team in the last few years. However, Morgan Hibbert from Furious George is probably the biggest name on the team, and is accompanied by teammate Nick Menzies and (ex) Furious player Andy Collins (who appears to have retired from Club). You can see most of these players in action here.

The ladies of the team come from three different teams: captain Anne Mercier and Danielle Fortin come from the Toronto-based Capitals; Candice Chan and Mira Donaldson and Catherine Hui from the Vancouver-based Traffic; whilst Caroline Cadotte is the sole representative of Montreal’s Odyssee.

Standout receivers on this team are Morgan Hibbert, Jeff Lindquist and Catherine Hui. Expect Anne Mercier, Danielle Fortin, Adrian Yearwood and Nick Menzies to anchor things at the back.
 

Jeff Lindquist makes an unconventional break throw.

Coaches and Expected Playing Style

Coached by another familiar name of Canadian ultimate – Jeff Cruikshank – expect this team to bring a fierce competitive spirit to the tournament. Whilst this has occasionally spilt over the top in past competitions, no-one can deny that Team Canada brings a gritty defense more than capable of making comeback runs.

Offensively I’d expect them to use their match-ups in one-on-one situations as much as possible, isolating cutters in as much space as possible. With a tall set of male cutters and a speedy set of female ones, they should have a strong deep game – great if it’s working, tough on a small roster if it’s not.


Expected Finishing Place

So far they’ve played the US team twice, and split the results – the first match can be watched here. Canada has a strong team, comprising players who have been consistently exposed to Ultimate at the highest level. That experience should tell in a competition like this, but I don’t see them overcoming the US.

2nd

World Games starts this Sunday, watch out for viewing links soon and keep supporting our GB teams in Toronto! DP @ tSG.

World Games Preview: Japan

Japan, JFDA., Mixed Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge takes a look at Team Japan in the fourth instalment of his World Games series.

Team Japan 

The Lineup

Enzu Eri
Ito Madoka
Namikiri Kaori
Inomata Sanako
Fujikawa Akina
Otsu Keiko

Sameshima Satoru
Matsuno Masahiro
Takahashi Yasuo
Tanaka Mizuho
Kurono Masashi
Shiba Keiichiro
Furuzawa Takanori




About the Team

Matsuno Masahiro is the name that stands out here. Recognized around the world as the best player to have come out of Japan, he was picked 5th in a mock draft in 2009* and invited to play with Furious George for the US club series in 2010. Against North American competition he is usually the defender to draw the toughest match-up (having guarded Beau in the 2009 World Games, will he do the same this year?), and is usually the spark on offense: he is very speedy and has very quick, big, accurate throws. However, he was mysteriously sidelined for much Japan’s campaign at WUGC 2012 – they (and spectators like myself) will be hoping that problem doesn’t occur again.

The other notable name on the men’s side of the team is Kurono Masashi – he is the only player not to come from the dominant Buzz Bullets team, instead playing the last few years with Sack [edit: apparently he has recently moved to Buzz Bullets]. He lead the Japanese Open team in combined stats at WUGC 2012. Standout handlers for that team, Tanaka Mizuho and Takahashi Yasuo also make the team, and it is worth noting that Tanaka is returning for his second World Games, alongside Sameshima Satoru.

On the women’s side of the team players are drawn from a wider pool, including UNO, MUD and Huck. Returners to the World Games team include. Fujikawa Akina lead the combined stats for the gold-medal winning Japanese team at WUGC 2012, closely followed by Enzu Eri  Both dominated in assists, so expect them to step up as handlers for the team. Inomata Sanako was second in goals at WUGC 2012, she and the and equally speedy Ito Madoka are likely to be key receivers for the team, streaking deep and getting free in the endzone.

 

Enzu Eri catches ahead of USA’s Kaela Jorgensen. Picture courtesy of Neil Gardner at nzsnaps.com

Coaches and Expected Playing Style

The distinctive Japanese playing style took the world by storm back in Perth in 2006, and whilst the specifics of it have changed since then, in principal most Japanese teams play the same way. Lead by two Buzz Bullets and a MUD player (part of the 2009 team), I would expect typical Japanese Ultimate from this team.

On offense their small-ball skills are lethal as their handlers break the mark, throw precise lead passes and use give-and-go dumps extremely effectively to get around the defense. Their long game usually relies on putting quite a lot of edge on the throw and being extremely precise – they tend to go around defenders, rather than floating it out for a play to be made. Defensively, this team will probably be one of the few with some extremely well-drilled zones and junky sets in their arsenal. Unlike the cups and walls of yore, these zones will be poachy, floaty and include some man-marking, designed to confuse and frustrate the offense. Traditionally the single-sex Japanses teams have had great success with these zones, but it remains to be seen how effective they will be in an elite Mixed setting.

Expected Finishing Place

Again, a team that could finish anywhere, from 1st to last. However, I expect the direct style of play other teams will be able to bring (i.e. put it high and jump for it), and the small rosters to play against the Japanese.

5th


*other notable names include Beau at 2nd, Dylan Tunnell at 12th and Tom Rogacki at 65th.

WG coverage Update from ulti.tv: WFDF have just completed the contractual details and it is all looking good, no links to where the coverage will be yet but as soon as we get them we will post them everywhere. But here is the schedule for your timezone. Keep supporting our GB athletes in Toronto playing now and on their way to Cali! DP @ tSG.

ECBU Ireland Review

An Irish Eye, Beach Ultimate, ECBU, GB, Germany., Irish Ultimate, Mixed Ultimate, Portugal, Sweden
Mark Earley tells us of the Irish success at ECBU last month.

Irish Mixed team make history in Calafell


About a week ago now, the European Championships of Beach Ultimate took place in Calafell, Spain. The tournament was hosted by the local team Peixets, ably lead by the Tournament Director Juan Carlos (better known as ‘Mom’) and his team of staff and volunteers. Two Irish teams attended the event, both with contrasting results, as anticipated.

In the Open Division, a young and inexperienced Irish team made the journey and found the going tough. They were beaten well by most opponents, despite starting every game strongly and showing much potential throughout. Winning just one game during the week was frustrating for a group of players that will feel they should have beaten Hungary, a team that pipped them in a sudden death game on the Saturday and beat them by 4 on the Sunday. They did not face Portugal, who finished below them but would likely have beaten a nation whose focus was on the Mixed division, much like Ireland’s.


Leading in to the tournament the Irish Mixed team had done nothing but impress. They had won two warm up tournaments and had finished fourth at Paganello, narrowly losing to the finalists and in their bronze medal game. They came in confident but focused. Unfortunately for them the week started as badly as it could with Poland jumping to a 6-0 lead and closing out the biggest upset of day 1 by winning 10-8. Ireland regrouped though and ended top of their group having thumped Turkey and UEI, beaten the Netherlands in a tight 10-8 win and getting the better of a GB team who had already qualified by winning 4 group games. That put Ireland top of the group and allowed them maintain their seeding. 
Daragh Ó’ Céilleachair makes a bid against Turkey (Spirit winners) in pool stages.

The quarter-finals were the cause of a Captain’s Meeting and much discussion at the end of the days play on day 2 of the tournament. Due to various teams holding seed and a number of odd results the schedule saw teams who had already played each other in pool play meet in  the quarter-finals. Sweden, among others, objected but given that the schedule had been emailed to all captains and agreed upon they were left with little choice to stick by it. While this was undoubtedly fair, it gave the draw a somewhat lopsided look with Russia, Germany and a (very) under-seeded Sweden all on one side. However, as many people noted, you need to beat the best to be the best.

Ireland faced GB in their quarter-final and produced their most complete performance of the tournament in a repeat of the previous day’s pool game. Haring out of the blocks the Irish converted 3 quick turns and didn’t look back, taking half at 7-2. They never let their foot off the gas and won 13-4, sending a statement of intent to the rest of the competition. If ever a team needed to shake off a defeat, this team did it with this game. Suddenly the Polish loss seemed like a year a go, not a mere two days previous.
Seamus Murray sends another disc long against GB in their QF match up.

Portugal were the team in their way of a berth in the final. Another trip to the Arena for what promised to be a cracking match up. The teams had met twice previously, with Ireland having won both games in testing conditions and with Portugal missing some big players. This time the wind was a factor once more, but perhaps not as much as expected. Both teams began nervously, trading turnovers but it was David Pimenta who stood out, as he single-handedly tried to swing the game Portugal’s way with a number of big blocks and grabs. However, the strength of Ireland’s women, and indeed their offence, began to shine through. They went 3 points up late in the game and despite a Portuguese fightback, won out to ensure a place in the final, and a medal.

The final was the last of the games in the Arena on day four of ECBU 2013. The sun was shining, the wind blowing and the crowd in good voice. Ireland faced a Swedish team who had lost just one game, in pool play against the Germans – a game they avenged with a crushing victory in the semi-final, and who were playing extremely well. With years of international experience among their men and speed, agility and athleticism across the women, it was hard to see a weak link in the Swedish team. That said, it was a final and few teams are adverse to mistakes in front of a big crowd.
Sweden and Ireland after the Mixed division final.

The game began cagily. Both teams turned over in odd ways – misread discs, overthrown hucks and some drops. Eventually Sweden punched in the goal and were on the scoreboard. Point two saw them break the Irish offence again and so the theme for the game was set. Ireland could not get the space they were used to around their handler reset and their female players were facing their toughest battle yet. A slow start was unlike them and they appeared a little rattled, making mistakes where previously they hadn’t. A few dropped discs, a couple of marginal calls and all under sustained Swedish pressure left Ireland chasing the game and the more they chased the more the fight slipped away from them. It was a frustrating and disappointing end to a brilliant season and talking to the players after the game they felt like they’d under performed on the big stage. Sweden can take credit for a lot of the problems caused but Ireland will have to shoulder some of it too.

Ireland Mixed take Silver at ECBU.

Having watched from the sidelines it was easier to immediately understand how much their achievement means for them as players and indeed for Irish Ultimate as a whole. This is the first team to come home from any major championship with a medal and they won it in style, finishing the season with only a handful of losses. They played with swagger, aggression and Spirit. They won over opposition teams and impartial fans with their honesty and sense of team. What’s more they did it all with a legion of fans at home willing them on, cheering their every move and hoping they’d bring something back to Ireland once the sand settled in Spain.

Looking further down the line this result is an example to young players of what can be achieved with hard work, tactical nous and a focus on putting team chemistry ahead of all else. There are many Irish teams setting off this summer, all younger than most of this Mixed Beach team and no doubt keen to replicate their efforts. If they look at how the team applied themselves and how they behaved they will learn a lot. This Irish team is one for the Irish community to be proud of, one the three captains can look back on with pride and one which has set a high bar for teams to follow. Here’s hoping it’s just a start…


Yesterday was a massive day for the community making that $15,000 in a couple days for ulti.tv, looking forward to WG streaming! Like, share, comment and contribute! DP @ tSG.

World Games Preview: Australia

AFDA, Australia, Cali 2013, Mixed Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge takes a look down under at Team Australia in the third installment of his World Games series.

Before you read this piece please help get the broadcast of these World Games Ultimate games online to view for everyone as they should be, by supporting the ulti.tv indiegogo funding page! This is just one step in making the sport and our community grow, go here now! They need double the amount they already have in less than a day, DO IT! Now you may read on…

Team Australia

The Lineup


Danielle Alexander
Stephanie Malcher
Lisi Moore
Cat Phillips
Michelle Phillips
Sarah Wentworth

Seb Barr
Peter Blakeley
Jonno Holmes
Tim Lavis
Gavin Moore
Joel Pillar
Tom Rogacki
Team Australia.


About the Team

Known as the Crocs, Australia look to be a good balance of experience (two players attended the 2005 World Games), and C4090-451
youth (5 players were at the u23 championships in Florence in 2010). They’ve also got great team spirit, and a winning social media campaign, as evidenced by their website, twitter, facebook and youtube accounts. Plus, they’re getting in the news.

Without a doubt, the biggest name on the list is Tom ‘The Gak’ Rogacki. The most dominant player in Australia for the last 15 years, his name is known around the (Ultimate) world. He brings experience from the 2005 World Games to the team and first represented Australia in 1998. He played in the Masters division at the last WUCC where he lead the division in total stats (goals + assists). A possibly controversial selection, he will undoubtedly make an impact on the field.

Whilst most of the team have a similar wealth of experience representing their country, one player will be putting green and gold on her shoulders for the first time – Danielle Alexander. Making the jump from club to World Games team is a significant step and should indicate a hot new talent.

At the other end of the spectrum is Peter Blakeley who, having come up through the Autralian junior programme, has played for every Australian team possible (without being a woman or a master).  He caught twice as many goals as any other Austalian player in the Open division in Japan, and is a receiver to be reckoned with.

Peter will be reunited with four teammates from that campaign: Joel Pillar, Seb Barr (who threw the highest number of goals on the Australian Open team in Japan), Jonno Holmes (who has played both previous World Games) and Tim Lavis, the Captain of the Crocs. It is unknown how much sleep Jonno and Tim have had since that hammer.

Coming from the extremely successful (silver medal) and well-coached Mixed team in Japan are husband and wife pairing Gavin and Lisi Moore who should bring chemistry to the field as well as a deeper understanding of the mixed game.

Another pairing of note on the team is that of the Phillips sisters. Both won gold with the u23 Women’s team in Florence and both were dominant players in same division at WUGC. Michelle, the older sister, 1Y0-A17 scored the 3rd most goals for the Australian team, and Cat was 4th in total stats in the whole division. She is also still eligible for the u23 tournament taking place in Toronto this year but opted for World Games instead.

Tom Rogacki throws past a Finnish force. Photo courtesy of Paul Hurt.

Coaches and expected playing style

The team is coached by Anna Rogacki, wife of Tom. She coached Cat, Michelle and Steph to a gold medal in the u23 Womens team in 2010 and coached the Club team Honey to a National Championships in 2012. This year she coached the Men’s team Chilly to 3rd place at the Australian National Championships.

Assistant coach Mike Neild was originally a reserve for the team and so presumably brings a close relationship with the players. He has a wealth of playing experience where he dominated the air as a downfield receiver. Having played at World Games in 2009 he knows what’s involved and will be able to share his experience and knowledge with the team.

The Australians have been known for a strong deep game, usually from a vertical stack, and backed up by tenacious man defense. I wouldn’t expect them to move away from what has made them successful in the past, but since they feel like they’ve been knocking on the door for a while, perhaps they’ll look for something new to muscle their way into the final?

Expected finishing place

Australia has been on the 2nd tier of world Ultimate for a long time, and I don’t see this competition being any different. Their strong Mixed results will stand them in good stead over some of the competition, but I don’t see them breaking into the final.

4th.

Remember to donate towards the ulti.tv WG coverage page! Like, share and comment in any way you can. DP @ tSG. 

World Games Preview: USA

Cali 2013, Mixed Ultimate, USA Ultimate, world games, World Games Previews

James Burbidge takes a look at Team USA in the second installment of his World Games series.

Team USA

The Lineup


Georgia Bosscher
Cara Crouch
Sarah Griffith
Cree Howard
Octavia Payne
Alex Snyder

Ryan Farrell
Ashlin Joye
Beau Kittredge
Mike Natenberg
George Stubbs
Mac Taylor
Dylan Tunnell
Team USA.
About the team

Selectors seem to have opted for wise heads rather than youthful legs here, particularly on the men’s side of the game where only Stubbs is of the NexGeneration. He is team Captain, following a year’s experience in that role at club team Ironside, as well as 3 years in the role at Harvard, during which time he won the Callahan award as the best player in College. He is extremely athletic, has big throws and cool head. Captaining alongside George is Alex Snyder, who captained Fury back in 2008 and was selected by Ultiworld as MVP of their latest Club Championship final. She has plenty of experience at the highest level of the game and knows what it takes to win – two big assets for the team.

Cara Crouch goes up over GB at World Games 2009. Photo courtesy Scobel Wiggins

Whilst neither George nor Alex played on the 2009 team, USA will be bringing 3 returners to Cali: Cara Crouch, Dylan Tunnell and Beau Kittredge. Cara Crouch is an experienced handler with big throws and a Callahan award (2005) under her belt. She plays for Showdown and so will be facing up against teammate GB’s Bex Forth. Dylan Tunnell is one of the most respected players in the US, a stalwart for club team Chain Lightning (Club Champions 2009) and picked by Club Jr to be part of a US All-Star team flown out to Japan’s Dream Cup. You can read an interview with him after the 2009 World Games here. And finally, not much needs to be said about Beau, surely? He’s one of the most dominantathletesinthe game– and that’s not even his game anymore. These days Beau is so feared for his deep ability that people back him by ridiculous amounts – so has evolved into a reset and distribution player, coming under far more than he goes deep. It’s unlikely that anyone else in the world is going to front him so this seems like a plausible position for him to play again. That said, I’m sure we’ll see a few goals and posterisations by the end of the tournament.


Georgia Bosscher lays out for the D
Rounding out the female half of the team are Georgia Bosscher a redoubtable defender (see picture), her former Fury teammate Cree Howard (a 5’8 deep cutter), Seattle Riot’s speedy Sarah Griffith and DC Scandal’s Octavia Payne.

On the male side there are a pair of club captains; captain of reigning National Champions Doublewide – Mike Natenberg and captain of Johnny Bravo Ryan Farrell. Filling out the last spots are Revolver teammates Ashlin Joye (defensivehandler mostly) and Mac Taylor(does everything).

Coach and expected playing style

USA is lead by Coach Alex Ghesquire and Assistand Coach Matty Tsang. Those names alone put them into the top 3 teams at World Games. Alex Ghesquire has coached the club team Revolver to 2 National Championships and 2 World Championships. He will bring established relationships with Beau, Ashlin and Mac from that team. Matty Tsang has arguably an even more formidable pedigree – he has coached Women’s team Fury to 7 National Championships (adding to the two they had won before his arrival) and 2 World Championships. He brings relationships with Alex, Cree and Georgia to the team.

With a limited amount of training time, and some of the best players in the world, it would be surprising if this team worked on anything too tactically complex – expect them instead to focus on their fundamentals and run simple, disciplined offense. Defensively, again I’d expect them to use their legs rather than zone, but they’ll be sure to have some junky sets designed to disrupt pull-plays and change the rhythm of the game.

Expected finishing place

Some of the best players in the world, coached by some of the best coaches in the sport. Every single one of these players has experience of the toughest competition and knows what it takes to win. A team of the highest calibre.

1st

[edit: A documentary is being made about Team USA’s journey to Cali. You can now see the trailer for ‘Bidding for Gold‘]

Sounds like team GB have their work cut out! Like what you read? Remember to share and comment. Keep an eye out for OWT2 Preview coming later this week – JCK @ tSG.