Regionals first day


So far, what I've seen of Corvallis is nice. Seems to be a small(ish) town with lots of space not crammed full of buildings and houses and such. Not that I could tell much, though, as the windows were frosted so thick that I ended up driving straight through a red light (not a yellow light, not an orange light, a full on red light), much to my horror upon the realization.

My plan was, and always had been to use POUNDS for taking stats today, but the chaos of last night meant I wasn't able to finish the last input details. After dropping my carload of teammates off at the fields, I dashed back out to the nearest Safeway for paper, as I had tragically had forgotten not only my notebook, but all of my paper, and notecards and everything.

We were scheduled to play four games today. If we won our pool, we'd play semis in the last round, against Shazam if they also held seed.

As expected, the fields were pretty wonderful, but good lord so cold. I spent the whole bundled up in three or four layers, including DanO's wind jacket. Gillian was able to warm up somehow, a talent I wish I had.

The first game was against Night Train, whom we see every tournament practically, and certainly every Sectionals and most Regionals. Recognizing that we have a problem with morning games, the start of the first game in particular, the team came out on FIRE, going up 3-0 before Night Train woke up. We took the first half 8-2 and stupidly relaxed in the second half, barely winning the second half 7-6, for a final score of 15-8.

The second game was against Bozos, which has historically played better than their seeding. Realizing we had problems finishing the last game, we focused on finishing the second half in this game, taking the first half 8-1 and the second half 7-3. Better, but still not as good as we wanted. If we can play 8-1 in the first half, why not 7-1 in the second?

The third game was against Hunzinger Proxy, the first seed out of Oregon. The team is made up of Carleton Alums, and had crushed their opponents in their Sectionals. However, as Kris often says, just because you crush your opponents, doesn't mean you're any good ouside your section. Indeed. We took half 8-3 and won 15-5. On to semis.

Shazam, who are actually "Shazam Remains," had also held seed, so we were in Semis against them, with the other semis being D'oh and Mental Toss Flycoons, from Big Sky. The first part of the game was an uncomfortable frantic game, with no settling, as the one of Shazam's women kept hucking to another of Shazam's women who kept skying our women. Shazam took half 6-8 then scored the first point after half to take the score 6-9.

And then "the incident" happened. Close to the endzone we were defending, Steffi caught the disc, turned up field and threw to Chucky, who was fairly uncovered. A pick call had happened before Steffi's catch (but as the disc was in the air), and a couple people (in particular, the defender on Will), stopped playing. Steffi didn't hear the call, hence didn't acknowledge the call, so threw the disc to Chucky, who caught it. As in 11th edition rules, the disc stays with Chucky, as he wasn't involved in the pick.

Now, Will's defender began arguing the disc went back to Steffi. Everyone explained the rules to the guy, but he wanted nothing of it, the disc should go back he insisted. As near as we could tell, he had stopped playing, allowing a gap on Will, and he wanted to recover that gap. No, the disc stayed with Chucky, and when it was tapped in, Will turned to sprint deep.

Will's defender, a handler, which in this case meant "slower than Will, with less ups, but better throws," stepped into Will's path to stop his cut, a clearly illegal move, as well as unsportsmanlike, highly discouraged and dishonorable on the field. Will lost a step and was unable to catch the huck from Chucky.

On the turn, Will's opponent, picked up the disc, then turfed it. Chucky returned the favor by throwing away the disc, but the same opponent of Will's threw the disc away again, after calling a contested foul on Will. Chucky picked up the disc again, and threw a quick throw to Will for the score, as Will burned his opponent again.

Will, in his excitement, threw the disc at the ground, and missed. Instead of hitting the ground, he hit a Shazam woman standing 15 yards away. He immediately ran to apologize, but the whole endzone exploded into chaos. Someone asked if we were about to have a fist fight, a first for Mixed ultimate, but cooler heads prevailed, and both teams split to their sidelines.

We asked if Shazam wanted observers, but they declined. The pace of the game slowed, and we ended up outscoring them 9-4, and winning 15-12 on a throw from Kyle to Andy.

The win guaranteed our bid, and we're on our way to Nationals as the 1st, 2nd or 3rd seed from the Northwest.


I decided to check out the blog for interesting tidbits about regionals. Congrats again on another season culminating in a trip to nationals. Even though I never see you play anymore, I'm a fan because I know the players and believe they have the right combination of intensity, spirit and humor to represent the best in Ultimate. Some people misinterpret that stuff in negative ways but you're always a target when you're at the top. A heckle from a bad team is funny. The same heckle from a dominant team is seen negatively. Oh well. Such is life...

However, about The Incident. Speaking as a certified observer, if the action played out the way you described then your opponent was correct about the call. If the disc was in the air to Steffi when the pick occurred then once she caught it play must stop and the disc is dead. The 'failure to acknowledge' rule only applies to a thrower in possession of the disc at the time of the violation. If the violation occurs during the throwing motion or when the disc is in the air then the result of the play stands but play stops.

In this case it is Steffi's disc, count at 0. Everyone returns to the spot they occupied at the moment Steffi caught it except the player that was picked, who is allowed to make up the distance lost in the pick. It should be noted that if Will's defender stopped running at the time of the call, rather than at the time Steffi caught it then he is not allowed to make up the distance. I assume Wes was there and also gave an opinion based on his experience as an observer. If so I think his point of view was skewed by the emotion of the moment, as it would have been for any of us.

Also you should use the situation surrounding the spike as a cautionary tale. Had there been a observer present he would have been required to discipline Will. If he thought the spike hitting an opponent was intentional it would have been an automatic ejection which may have made Will ineligible for nationals. Even if the observer thought the contact was accidental, it would have been an automatic Personal Misconduct Foul for Will and a Team Misconduct Foul as well.

It's good that there was no observer so nobody was punished for an accident. But the moral of the story is that spiking the disc is risky. If team success is the ultimate goal, it's best to avoid them and not take the chance of being penalized, even accidentally.

- Mike

I must have the timing wrong, as Wes, who was indeed standing at the sideline, said the disc stayed at Chucky.

As for the spiking, yeah, Will's spike was in answer to the Shazam guy who had been spiking the disc in previous points. He had flung the disc up high into the air on one score, where it landed close to a Mischief player. I didn't see it (head down in the stats), but heard about it. Turns out, the Shazam guy spiking is known as a hothead, and not one to imitate.

Thanks for the note on the cautionary tale. Fortunately, our "spikes" are usually limited to the "I see red!" chant (which actually somewhat annoys me, but, hey, if it intimidates the opponent, I won't complain).