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by in Featured, Other with 8 Comments

The 2014 USA Ultimate College Series design.Make a name for your outstanding teammates and tell us about who deserves to win All-Region, All-Freshman, and Coaching awards this year in the discussion threads below. Here is a dedicated home page that can be easily shared and searched.

With the decline of RSD, there has been an unfortunate drop in All-Region conversation online. Nobody can see everyone play, but there are many deserving players at less-known schools. We hope these threads can facilitate a conversation about the best players — regardless of hype — in every division of every region. Take it from here. Read more →

by in Analysis, Featured with 14 Comments

Its been quite some time since the castle atop women’s college ultimate has flown any flag other than Oregon Fugue’s. Sunday, basked in the glory of actual sunshine (rather than gray rain clouds), Ohio State Fever broke through the castle gates and conquered the throne, ripping it away from the division’s royalty. A 7-0 Northwest Challenge was adorned with a crown jewel: a 15-11 victory over Oregon.

Both teams were undefeated – Oregon 6-0, Ohio State 5-0 – going into their highly anticipated Sunday matchup, a certainty thanks to the tournament’s pre-arranged format. The two impressive programs, both making deep runs at the College Championships last year and boasting some of the nation’s most talented players, were mostly chewing through the NW Challenge squads, setting the stage for a major showdown.

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by in Featured, Preview with 6 Comments
An Oregon player reaches for the disc at the 2014 Stanford Invite.

Photo by William ‘Brody’ Brotman — UltiPhotos.com

Northwest Challenge is not your average tournament.

From the competition to the format to the stakes, few events can be compared to what has been assembled for this weekend in Washington. And that’s exactly how the tournament wants it.

A handpicked elite field with custom built schedules makes for a complex and competitive environment that will be closer to Nationals than the typical tourney. 12 women’s teams — all highly ranked and with strong chances to make the trip to Cincinnati — will butt heads, but that’s not all, folks.

There’s a Friday night showcase game installment of what is probably college women’s best rivalry: Oregon Fugue and tournament hosts Washington Element. There’s a forum on the future of women’s Ultimate. There’s a developmental division complete with RiseUp coaching events. A bevy of sponsors and a weekend worth of Ultiworld live streams.

The NW Challenge is going to put the best of college women’s Ultimate on display for all to see.

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Our previous Callahan rankings with more information on many of the candidates can be found here.

The Callahan Award is the most prestigious annual award in ultimate. Each year, the award is presented, in the words of the award guidelines, “to the [collegiate] man and woman who combine superior athleticism with outstanding sportsmanship, leadership, and dedication to the sport of ultimate. In the eyes of his or her peers, the Callahan winner is the personification of the ideal ultimate player.”

With the official Callahan nominations now open, Ultiworld presents the post-Stanford Callahan watch list. These players have distinguished themselves through their play this season and, for many, over the course of their college careers.

Ultiworld will have continual updates to this list over the course of the spring season, as we hope to make it possible for players to make as informed a decision as possible about the quality of play from the nominees this season. Read more →

by and in Analysis, Featured with 62 Comments
UNC-Wilmington's Claire Chastain celebrates winning the 2013 Callahan award. Photo: Alex Fraser -- UltiPhotos.com

UNC-Wilmington’s Claire Chastain celebrates winning the 2013 Callahan award. Photo: Alex Fraser — UltiPhotos.com

The Callahan Award is the most prestigious annual award in ultimate. Each year, the award is presented, in the words of the award guidelines, “to the [collegiate] man and woman who combine superior athleticism with outstanding sportsmanship, leadership, and dedication to the sport of ultimate. In the eyes of his or her peers, the Callahan winner is the personification of the ideal ultimate player.”

With the official Callahan nominations now open, Ultiworld presents the early season Callahan watch list. These players have distinguished themselves through their play this season and, for many, over the course of their college careers.

Ultiworld will have continual updates to this list over the course of the spring season, as we hope to make it possible for players to make as informed a decision as possible about the quality of play from the nominees this season. Read more →

by and in Analysis, Featured with 14 Comments
Pittsburgh takes on Oregon at the 2012 Stanford Invite.

Photo by Kyle McBard — UltiPhotos.com

Big skies, layout Ds, and full-field hucks get all the attention, but resets win games. Teams that quickly change the angle of attack by moving the disc laterally put themselves in a position to be successful, while teams with stagnant resets are often forced into high-stall, low percentage throws. What separates great teams from the rest is their ability to not only dump and swing across the entire field, but to open up multiple new throwing lanes and gain yards while doing so.

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A Dartmouth player throws over the top of an Oregon mark at the 2013 College Championships.

Photo by CBMT Creative.

It’s Sunday.  It’s windy.  The high, blady pull lands on your goal line, and after stopping the roll, you look up to see four defenders standing within fifteen feet of you. Your coach warned you this might happen. But the defensive look makes you nervous, anxious. The six other guys who jogged off the line with you remain stagnant for a few seconds, assessing the situation and trying to decipher the yells of screaming teammates. You’ve caught your breath by stall four, but your heart beats faster as your internal clock starts to warn, “Move the disc before you get stalled!”

Where should you turn?  Where shouldn’t you turn?  Here are some mistakes to avoid when navigating a zone look.

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by in Featured, News with 85 Comments

Major League Ultimate's Pro Gear Program.Earlier this month, Major League Ultimate announced a new jersey purchasing program through their gear supplier, Puma, that included discounted uniforms for high school and college teams in exchange for accepting a small MLU logo on the sleeve of the jersey.

But that sponsorship opportunity may be dead before it ever really got off the ground, as USA Ultimate has blocked MLU as a jersey sponsor for any Championship events, which includes the College Series, high school state tournaments, and more. Read more →

We’re not even really into the true College Season yet – making ranking, analysis, and storylines difficult to predict.  But a few big-name programs brought back tons of club talent and, even in preseason, looked poised to make a Nationals run.

UNC is one of those teams and their contender status is certainly bolstered by impressive fall results.  But what really impressed us from the Classic City Classic video was the variety of offensive looks from UNC, especially from their offensive line. To have a slate of three or four advanced offensive plays by the end of the fall is particularly impressive, given how it is still early in the season.

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Boston Ironside and Seattle Sockeye players shake hands after their semifinal matchup at the 2013 Club Championships.

Photo by Christina Schmidt — UltiPhotos.com

You might have expected that the semifinals and finals of the Club Championships, hosted in front of a stadium crowd and a live ESPN3 audience, would have showcased the most exciting and competitive Ultimate matchups of the season. Unfortunately, many of those final games were unclean or lopsided; exciting as it was to witness some teams perform so well, most sports fans yearn for a close game.

Seattle Sockeye and Boston Ironside’s matchup in the semifinals was the notable exception: a double game point instant classic that we unanimously ranked as the best game of 2013. Both teams were peaking from earlier regular season ups and downs.

The high quality play led to some interesting tactical decisions that may have helped tip the scales. Yes, credit to Sockeye for pulling out the win, but when a two-hour game is decided by a single break, you are effectively looking at two evenly matched and equal teams. We re-watched the game and tried to keep track of some of the most impressive – as well as some of the more questionable – decisions that played a role in the game. Read more →

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