Monday, March 10, 2008

Midwinter Meltdown II

On an open rubbery track, mad-donne made its debut in the world of Ultimate.

Due to other track events in the morning, the tournament started late in the day. A hockey tournament raised parking prices; construction and one-way streets made finding the field house tricky. We arrived, signed waivers, stretched and sized up our competition. The cities benefit from having a number of small schools with teams readily available. Iowa State seemed to be the only team that rivaled us for distance.

Our first game was against St. Thomas Alumni. They were an incredibly tall team. At least three of their players looked to be over 6 feet, but I could be exaggerating. What they had in height, we made up for in legs. I cannot tell you how exciting it was to watch us out on the field for the first time. With only 5-on-5, the field was less crowded than it will be later in the season, so we were able to spread out and make cuts one at a time. Two handlers stayed back to work it up the field while "in on the open side, out on the break side" remained a simple, but effective method for getting open. St. Thomas Alum beat us, but we came away ready for more.

Our second and third games were against Minnesota-B and a "high school" team. The second team was listed as being from a particular high school in the area, but it was clear that this was more of an alumni reunion team. Also, they hucked it all the time. Goodness. We gave both teams well-fought games with hucks, quick throws, and good hands all across the field. At one point, Lisa Woodson even bid for a disc across the hard ground. Amazing. Decision making skills are looking great, so mastering the simple fundamentals of throwing to open space and pancaking the disc will be our focus in practices.

We had a couple of long breaks during which some people studied, some threw around, and some watched the games.... T Floberg's parents supplied us with juice and food which was SO INCREDIBLE. Thank you!

Our final game of the day was against Macalester in the chumpianship bracket. T was injured and taking stats and we were starting to tire from the long day of indoor Ultimate. Corinne and myself ended up playing more this game, but only "cheated" (i.e. she threw to me for a score) once. Cuts were looking great this game with mad-donne women getting open at will. With our handlers more and more comfortable with hucking as well as with throwing quick passes in the lane, we were starting to gel as a team. The Macalester women could tell that they were being outplayed and began to make frustrated throws which our defense ate up. I don't remember the final score, but it felt great to win. I can't even wait until Illinois to get outside and watch everyone lay out. :)

In the evening, we showered and T's parents gave us pizza and beds (thanks again!). We took one more trek out into the cold for fresh ice cream before heading back to sleep and dream of handblocks and floaty hucks.

This weekend: If You Huck It They Will Come in Macomb, IL. After a couple weeks of no disc, how'll we do? Better hit this gym this week..... :)

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

UPA Membership

In this week before spring break, you all have one assignment:

BECOME UPA MEMBERS


The UPA lists the benefits of membership on its website (www.upa.org):
  • Free pocket-sized rulebooks for new UPA members;
  • A membership packet with your card and a thank you gift;
  • E-newsletters and quarterly issues of the UPA magazine;
  • Participation in the Five Ultimate-UPA Coaching Certification Corps;
  • Participation in UPA Championship events;
  • Participation in UPA sanctioned leagues, tournaments and practices;
  • Insurance coverage for sanctioned events;
  • A discount on orders for Discraft 175g Ultrastar discs, Official disc sponsor of the UPA;
  • Option to seek election on the Board of Directors, become a sectional, regional, national coordinator or join other volunteer committees;
  • A voice and a vote in the development, growth and organization of the sport of Ultimate.
My personal favorite is the pocket-sized rulebook.

You have until Friday to do this.... Ready, set, GO!

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Friday, March 7, 2008

And so it begins


Friday night. The eve of our first tournament. Some of us are in the cities celebrating birthdays and the weekend. Some of us are in Madison gearing up to leave in the morning. All of us are unsure of what tomorrow will bring. Whether we get rolled or do some rolling ourselves, one thing is for sure - we will finally be a team. No longer just occasional acquaintances and practice buddies, but teammates and friends. For the first time in our short history, we will all be on the same line with the same objective. We'll be experiencing firsthand what a "force backhand" means and what an open lane looks like. We'll be cutting deep and breaking marks. In the end, however, these individual accomplishments will fade into the background. As we drive home Sunday morning, what I hope we come away with is a sense of team. A sense of belonging and committing to something larger than ourselves. mad-donne. I can't even wait for the morning.....

Friday, February 29, 2008

Welcome