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Suburban Ultimate Frisbee (Schaumburg) Message Board › West Dundee 11/27/10 HAT Tournament Recap

West Dundee 11/27/10 HAT Tournament Recap

user 9713734
Schaumburg, IL
Post #: 5
Man, I love frisbee.

For those interested, here's my recapitulation of the annual West Dundee HAT tournament, 2010 edition. I encourage anyone else who went to share their experiences as well. Also, ask any questions you want, if I didn't address something.

HAT - Ultimate in which teams are randomly or semi-randomly assigned.
Universe - Double game point, or "next point wins."
Huck - Long throw.
Brick - If a pull lands out of bounds, a team can call for a brick/middle and take it to the middle either where it went out, or the middle ~10 yards upfield from the end zone.

The Teams:
- Each team had like 8-10 people on it, I believe. I'm going to list the folks that I know, so these are generally people who play with us at Busse at least occasionally.
- Team 1: Me, Tony (Ciasto), Zoot, Matthew (Alexander), Richard (Asian Richard...his last name starts with an H apparently...he was absent for the first game and left halfway through our last game), Nick (AKA "Sherlock", he played with us once or twice before a while back), and then three folks I didn't know. Bailey, Zack, and Sara.
- Team 2: Eric, Brandon, Katy, and Marlon's team.
- Team 3: Vince, Kenny, and Paij's team.
- Team 4: Ben (Collins), Sharon, Chris (Hoffman) and [Steve (Karlson)?]'s team.
- Team 5: Bryan (not lefty-Bryan, the guy who played with us a lot this summer but left because he had to go back to "school"), Mike (not sure of his last name, but he always showed up this summer with Bryan), Melissa, and Tony (Cepuran)'s team.
- Team 6: Dean, Jacob, Steve (Cook), and Val's team.
- Teamless: Satya. Showed up to spectate for a while after work, which was neat.

So of the 50-60 people who showed up, about a third of them play(ed) with us at one point or another. Which is really cool, I think.

The Fields:
Field 1: Really, really nice. Soft grass. Much better than what we play on.
Fields 2 & 3 (next to each other): Harder grass, comparable to what we play on but a little bit softer (at least today). Past one set of end zones was a kind of sudden dropoff, which made me slighly uneasy, but it worked out okay.

The Weather:
Temperature was fine. It was cold if you weren't running around, but reasonably sunny. Everyone spectating the championship game seemed very cold, but we were losing daylight.

The wind was kind of weird all day. It was never too bad, but you were always aware of whether you were going upwind or downwind. This had less of an effect on Field 1. The weird thing was that every so often it would just stop for half a point or so.

Overall, I'd say great weather for the time of the year the tournament was played.

Games were played to 13, win-by-two-cap-at-15, time cap at roughly an hour (this came into play a lot, as you will see by the scores).


Round One:

To start things off, we got to play Eric's team on Field 1. We were dark this time. During our team introduction session, I asked the four I was relatively unfamiliar with "Okay, what's everyone's Ultimate experience? Everyone know how to force, stack, etc.?" Sara nodded yes, while Zack, Bailey, and Sherlock gave me some blank stares. I believe I remarked "Well, this is going to be fun..." At this point we didn't have Richard, so we had 1 sub.

We kept up with them early, I believe the score was 3-2. Then they just started to rally and took half 7-2 (I think, it could have been 7-3).

I guess we built up some momentum in the second half, because we wound up losing this one 13-6. Honestly, I can't quite recall how we scored 6 points. I know we lost a few points because Marlon, in addition to being pretty quick, has a decent forehand huck. And he wasn't the fastest guy on that team. Matthew and Eric had a collision in the air at one point, but they were both fine. Given our team, I was reasonably pleased with our performance in this game.

2 > 1, 13-6.
4 > 3, 12-10?
6 > 5, 11-10 (may have this and the 3vs4 game backwards)
This round lasted a bit longer than an hour, according to someone's watch.

Our game was done very quickly. So Zoot, Tony, Matthew, & I decided to take the time to do a mini-clinic on some basic Ultimate concepts. We went over forcing, how to defend players without the disc, vertical stack, and some miscellaneous concepts (on breakaway situations, drop off the guy with the disc and cover someone in the end zone instead). It helped a lot.

Round Two:

Next, we got to play Vince's team on Field 3, and we were able to stay dark. We picked up Richard right beforehand, so we had 2 subs, which was nice. During this game, the wind was much more of a factor. Our between-game clinic worked really well, and we showed a ton of improvement. Our offense was working well enough that they tried throwing a zone at us for one or two points. I guess we frustrated that too, because it didn't last. The score remained pretty tight, with no one being up more than two the whole game. We were up 6-5, but lost two straight before going into the half.

At half, we went over some end zone concepts, reinforcing the idea that we wanted to clear up the space right in front of the disc, instead of clogging the front cone.

Second half showed a continuing back-and-forth battle. I believe we evened it out at 7's right off the bat, then got up 9-8? It was 10-10, then they score one with the wind to put them up 11-10. We got word that we hit the time cap, so we needed to take 2 straight. We didn't.

Overall, I was very, very pleased with our play. It was a tight game all the way and we could have taken it. The most memorable moments for me were two or three throws to Richard in the left size of the downwind end zone, just sailing way way over his head. Sorry again, Richard...

3 > 1, 12-10
6 > 4, score unknown
2 > 5, by one point I believe.

I believe the order went 6, 2, (4, 3?), 5, and 1.
Teams 6 and 2 got byes.

<End of Part 1>
user 9713734
Schaumburg, IL
Post #: 6
<Part 2>

Bracket Play:

"1 PM" (more like 1:20) - "Play-in" Games:

With frustration over having that last game capped, but renewed confidence with our increased performance, we decided to change things up and go white in this "win or go home" situation (the other team only having dark may have had something to do with this as well).

This was a very good game. I was definitely fired up about this game, and I think this one was where I played hardest. I think this was the game where we played this one point for quite a while, wound up taking it, and walking back to the line I asked "Score?" and someone replied "1-0." "Really?"

Since we didn't start at 1 (people taking extended lunch breaks), we realized we were going to run into time issues, so we decided to do a quick water instead of a standard halftime.

We took half, 7-6? (7-5?) A few points before, I started using expletives to more fully express the joy I felt in my heart, due to the results of various on-field plays. (There was also an instance in which I used an expletive to describe my frustration at being unable to effectively lay out backwardsish and grab a disc for a score in a reasonably open end zone...) Immediately after the goal where we took half, I let out one of the positive, joyful expletives.

Water took a little longer than I'd hoped. Afterward, we went back on the field to play some more. Big "shout out" to Brandon and the rest of team 2 for keeping track of time for us while watching this game from their thrones. Thanks guys.

I think they came back firing and took it to even 7's. We took another point to make it 8-7, and there were 5 minutes left. They answered again to make it 8's. I can't remember who scored next, but it was tied at 9's when time was called. Universe point. We had the wind. And we got the win. Fuck yeah.

Most memorable moments here were two really quick points. Zoot called a brick off the pull, and I set up in the back of the stack (I was probably tired and didn't want to cut in). However, there was a mismatch, so right before the disc was tapped in, I took off to the corner. Zoot put a really nice disc into my hands. The next point, Ben does pretty much the same damned thing. And then I think Ben did it again two points after.

1 > 4, 10-9, I believe (victory by 1 at time cap)
5 > 3, score unknown, I think by 1?

"2 PM" (more like 2:10ish) - Semi-finals:

During the break between games, I grabbed some Animal Crackers. Then I strolled back to Field 1. Back to the place where some dreams were realized and others were crushed. Back to where it all began. Back to face our worst nightmare once more: Team 2.

Fresh off their bye (and having just watched us pretty much the whole last game), Team 2 more than was ready for us. Typically when you're playing man-to-man defense and you're lining up to pull, everyone will count off who they have (1 is the left-most person on the line, 2 is next, always to 7 being the right-most person on the opposing line). Instead, when they were pulling, they were calling out their (wo)men by name. A few of us got kind of unnerved by this.

Again, I believe we kept it close for a while, at one point it was 3-2? (maybe not, I could be confusing this for the first game again...also, this may have been the one where the first point took forever...). Anyway, they took half 7-2. Richard had to leave to go to work right around here, so we were down to one sub. We scored a couple more times, but this game was all them. Defeated, 13-4, our dreams were crushed. Zoot got injured a couple times, the second one was (unsuccessfully) trying to stop a Callahan for their 11th point, and took him out of the game for good.

Most memorable moment was being slightly forced forehand by Marlon near the brick mark, and Matthew was going long. I decided to just air one out, and it actually sailed. Apparently I can throw forehand hucks every once in a while if I'm not trying too hard.

Some might say we "peaked too early," and were just so out of gas at the end that we couldn't keep up. This is kind of true, but I'd argue that "We won the play-in game before on universe, if we didn't peak then we'd be out." Others might say "Caz, you played pretty poorly that last game." I would wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Anyway, I took the opportunity to change out of my cleats, put my sweatpants back on, put both my sweatshirts back on, put my earmuffs back on, and put my winter coat back on to spectate the championship game.

Overall, I had a whole lot of fun. I woke up from my nap and my left arm hurts when I have it down, but not when I have it level or up. I don't know what type of injury does this, but I hope it goes away before playing later.

2 > 1, 13-4
6 > 5, 13-2

Dean's team was kind of stacked, but it was pretty close for a while.

6 > 2, 13-(5 or 6ish)? I don't recall this exactly. I think half was at 7-4?

There were no 5th/6th and 3rd/4th place games. I believe the 5th/6th place teams did wind up playing a fourth game, but they just mixed it up a bit. There was potentially a 3rd/4th place game, but we were down to 7 and someone made the call that they weren't playing another one with no subs.

Final Standings:
Team 1, 1-3, 4th place
Team 2, 3-1, 2nd place
Team 3, 1-2, 5th/6th place
Team 4, 1-2, 5th/6th place
Team 5, 1-3, 3rd place
Team 6, 4-0, 1st place

Overall Comments on the Tournament:
I felt the organizers did a very good job running things and keeping the teams even, especially with very limited knowledge of a number of players' skill levels. Everyone won a game, which is a good thing. The folks from Busse got split up pretty well, which was good, because then you have to get used to other people's playing styles, and quickly learn their strengths and weaknesses. I heard some comments along the lines of "This was a much different pace compared to the Busse games." I don't know if I fully agree with that. On the whole, yes, I suppose. At a macro level, the play was faster and of a higher caliber. But on a micro level, the main difference for me (aside from the score thing) was that instead of playing lazy offense when I was tired, I got to sub out instead. The tournament was just one intense point after another, and I play my fair share of intense points at Busse. I did a surprisingly little amount of recruiting. Sorry guys...I hope some of you others did more...

I'd encourage anyone who went to share their own tournament experience (and correct anything I got wrong). Thoughts, feelings, comments, suggestions, etc. I can definitely see us hosting one of these at Busse in, say, late June this summer?

I think we could easily get four teams one Saturday. June 25th? That's two weeks before when I think Sandblast will be next year. Could be a good prep time. Also, I'd like to field a team for Sandblast...Early, early thoughts. But keep them in mind.

Man, this took a lot longer to write than I thought.
A former member
Post #: 13
Caz -- WOW, great job on this. It was fun to read and relive that day. I wish I had been able to do more spectating of other games than I did.

I was on the tournament champion team, and some people did complain that we were stacked. That might be somewhat true, but there was a lot of intense talent on other teams as well. Also, we ended up having 3 subs, which I didn't think was fair - but the guy was visiting his high school friend and wanted to play with him. Still -I don't think that was quite right. That had to definitely give us an edge. Although, we never played your team, which would have been really unfair if you only had one sub.

The aspect that made our team formidable definitely included the speed and reception skills of Dean and the other guy( name is blanking now) who looks like Jason Segal, as well as having three strong handlers Jason, Grover, Cook and Val's strategic skills communication and great cuts, but I think the MAIN reason of why we did well is because of that Jason guy (real Jason, not Segal) - From the very start he pushed us to establish our strategy and roles on the team. The first game was long and unbearably close, won by one point. But when, we rematched them later, we had locked into our roles and were playing more effectively as a team. The game was no longer close at all.

At first, I didn't find this very satisfying because I was almost never able to handle, and I have been becoming a better handler. However, I just kept playing hard and even in my role, I was able to score and assist on a few points. I made some awesome diving defensive blocks that I don't usually make because these points meant more than in pickup. I ended up still feeling that I was really contributing even though I wasn't handling as much as I usually do.

But, What was most effect was our sticking to a specific, consistent strategies of man-to man, with vertical stacks, consistent forces, democratic and consistent subbing (no one was a hog of playing time), and most significantly each yielding to defined roles led to our win.

I wouldn't want to play this way all the time because I want to improve all my skills, but actually, this style of playing for the team did force me to have better skills defensively and strategically that aren't developed in pick up games

The biggest lesson I learned is that I need to lose 15 to 20 pounds so that I can run faster.
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