Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ultimate Frisbee Hat Tournament

Did the Sacramento Ultimate Frisbee Full Moon Hat Tournament last weekend.
Super fun. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures. I was hoping someone from the tournament would send a link to pics, but that didn't happen.

How the hat tournament works is this:
Anyone interested in playing signs up.
Instead of signing up for a team, you fill out a questionaire that describes how you play. Questions are along the lines of: have you ever played before, what kind throws can you do (backhand, forehand, hammer), how often do you use what throws, how often do you complete throws, (% wise), how good of shape are you in, how likely are you to lay out for a catch, ect.

Based on your answers, every player is categorized to an ability level. On the morning of the tournament, team captains randomly pick names from the different "hats" to create supposedly even teams. The idea works out rather well, because then anyone can join, you get to meet new people, and since all the teams are nonpracticed, there's a much more relaxed attitude thoughout the games. To make it more fun, the tournament was held at night, under the full moon.

It only cost $20, which was well worth it. That paid for the cost of having the park lit, and many "moon shaped" snacks. These snacks consisted of lots and lots of mellons, (various varieties, extremely good, all from a local organic farm), bagels, and pancakes. Yeah, they had a camp grill, with someone frying up flapjacks all night long. Also included was all the coffee you could drink, in various different flavors.

I haven't really played much frisbee in two years, with the exception of playing pick-up games a little in the last couple of months. I used to play pick-up back in Madison a couple times a week during the summer. Our style was much different from league players though. We'd play hard, run hard, catch hard, and throw crappy. (Actually, I developed a mediocre arm by the end, and some guys were pretty good) We would never bother with any sort of defensive strategy for blocking home or away, would only play zone for kicks, and considered an offensive stack as a waste of time that took away the fun. Still, when ever our pick-up team would scrimage league teams, we could usually beat with our off the wall antics, leaving them confused.

This kind of play doesn't mesh well with the guys I play with now. I begruddingly started learning proper team methods while playing pickup, because everyone kind of expects it. Most people except a throw to be on the mark, and go to them, instead of just a general area. This means I have to aim more, which means I have to learn to throw a tight pass through a defender, instead of just lobbing crap up behind my back.

As a result, I didn't get nearly as much disk time as I would have liked, but that's ok, I really didn't deserve it either. My throwing is really down from what it used to be. I ended up mainly shining on defense, although I did get a couple of good catches in. Generally, who ever I guarded didn't get the disk, so my team didn't mind me. Actually, my team was really cool. I think we had the most laid back attitude, got along great, and had much more spirit than the others. We won our first two games, and lost our second and third games to really good teams, both games were by one or two points (out of 13). We lost our last game also, but we weren't really trying at that point. We had a lot of speed on our team, but that meant that by the last game, we were spent. Our receivers and hard defenders were spent.

If you did the math, that means we played 5 games, all in one night. Started at about 6:45pm, finshed our last game a little after 1:30am. At first I thought it wouldn't be a big deal to play frisbee all night. In general, I'm always disspointed when the sun goes down, and we have to stop playing pickup. What I didn't consider though, is that 5 games is alot of games. That's probably close to 5 hours of play, on the field half of the time, sprinting when ever on the field. It turned out to really be an endurance event. By the end of the night, by legs felt like had been doing some sort of an endruance race. To top it off I had a collision part way into the second game, which left me with a very strange quad injury. The muscle on the inside of my right leg just above my knee was hit, and swelled up significantly. Not the knee, just the muscle it self. I had never had an injury like that before. To really top it off, I had done triathlon training earlier that afternoon, so that really didn't help the tired feeling in the legs.

Anyway, it was a really fun event, and I met a bunch of fun people.


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