The level of competition in the sixteen team Mixed division is pretty similar to that of the Open division this year. The current pools are looking pretty dangerous too. All four teams in Pool E are ranked in USA Ultimate’s top 20 — including #1 overall The Ghosts. Pool F has two of the top five clubs in the nation and two more in the top 25. With this many high-caliber squads in attendance, every round is going to be competitive and hard-fought. As we’ve seen in the past, the strength of competition at a tournament like this weekend’s Invite Mixed division means the results will have a big impact on next week’s rankings.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Women’s division, which is fielding only 6 teams this weekend. Records could be misleading but Scandal — USA Ultimate’s #3 team in the country with a 15-5 record in sanctioned games — is the clear favorite to sweep through the competition at the Invite. The next highest ranked team in attendance and second seed in the tournament is Boston’s Vice, who have a 2-5 record in sanctioned play.
Here are a few of the stories we’ll be following in the Mixed and Women’s divisions this weekend:
1. Can the Ghosts remain unbeaten?
The squad from Boston enters the weekend with an untarnished record. So far this season, they are a perfect 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the sanctioned games that are the basis for the team’s #1 overall ranking. The Ghosts will be getting every team’s best shot and should expect to be tested throughout Saturday’s pool play. If they manage to get through that unscathed, teams like Slow White, Wildcard, Santa Maria, and Overhaul will be waiting for their own chance to knock the Ghosts out of the top seed.
2. Who makes a run at the title?
With so many competitive teams in the Mixed division, it’s anyone’s guess how things shakeout on Saturday. It will be interesting to see if the relative unknowns in attendance — maybe a Sabre Corp or a District 5 — can take down the more established teams in their pools and end up making it through to the Championship Bracket on Sunday.
3. Will Scandal be the new #1?
If Scandal were to sweep the Invite this weekend, their record in sanctioned play would be 22-5. Could that be enough to move them past Fury and Riot in the rankings? Right now, their 15-5 record has Scandal in 3rd behind the 11-0 Fury and 15-5 Riot. But their results won’t matter for rankings this weekend, as they have opted out of counting the games as part of their regular season. That is likely due to the much weaker competition, which, unless you win BIG, doesn’t do much for your ranking, and can actually hurt your position. Why risk your high rank? They won’t.