NEW YORK — You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather.
That seemed to be the theme of the 2014 Stanford Invite. Not only did the tournament end up moving two hours away from Stanford to Stevinson, a small farm town in the central valley, due to rainouts in Palo Alto, but the wind on Saturday was vicious. Swirling, gusting winds that were consistently 20-30 miles per hour buffeted the fields and made clean play essentially impossible. Games were close and often decided by a single upwind break.
The conditions made putting a lot of stock in this weekend’s results (particularly those on Saturday) a bit suspect. There was less wind in the prequarter round, even less in Sunday’s quarterfinals, and then, after the lightning delay in the finals, basically none. All other rounds were dictated more by the wind than the play on the field.
Regardless, some teams handled the conditions better than others, mostly by playing smart, field position-based games. Pittsburgh hucked downwind almost immediately on every possession in that direction. Florida State was more patient and worked the disc into the hands of their most competent throwers.
Ultimately, the final results of the tournament were generally not unexpected, which reflects that quality teams managed to overcome the conditions and win games. Read more →
The days and hours leading up to what would eventually be the 8:00 AM start time of the Stanford Invite were fraught with obstacles. Questionable weather forecasts and conditions made the field situation increasingly challenging, and the field sites were split and changed. A new women’s tournament director was brought in and pools rearranged twice. When tragedy struck the Carleton community, the tournament structure was hit with a team dropping, a new team being brought in, and pools switching around once more.
Many uncontrollables contributed to the chaos that preceded play in Palo Alto. But then cleats were donned, discs flipped, and pulls went up. Teams were suddenly dealing with controllables and the excitement began. The results really set up expectations for the series and potentially the College Championships.
#6 Western Washington Chaos Isn’t Up & Coming – They’re Here
Way back before the season was really underway, we were talking about Western Washington as a team that could breakout this year in the competitive and high powered Northwest region. Coming into Stanford, Chaos hadn’t seen many strong challenges, losing just a single game at the hands of #1 Oregon. They had to fight their way into the field by winning the Stanford Open over #22 UC-San Diego.
Major League Ultimate Commissioner Jeff Snader and VP Nic Darling took to the internet airwaves yesterday to sound off on their thoughts about USA Ultimate. In a podcast, Snader said that USA Ultimate is doing a “horrific job” and he and Darling were critical of USA Ultimate leadership — particularly CEO Tom Crawford — and the mission of USA Ultimate.
Snader and Darling raise questions about USA Ultimate’s money management, insinuating that they underserve members and overpay Crawford, by comparing certain line items on the budget to other sports national governing bodies.
Much of the financial analysis was based on a narrow snapshot comparison between USA Ultimate, USA Hockey, and USA Lacrosse. Some of the conclusions Snader and Darling made or implied were based on cherry picked data. We will be fact checking some of their major claims from the following chart — released by Major League Ultimate — later today. Read more →
USAU announced the release of the first 2014 college season rankings on Wednesday afternoon, filling most of the top slots with favorites while still offering some surprises and talking points throughout the top 20. The release of the rankings also signals higher stakes and heightened intensity moving forward, as college teams will know where they stand in the rankings that determine bid allocations for regional tournaments and the National Championship.
The University of North Carolina Darkside, ranked number one in the Ultiworld power rankings, take the top spot in the men’s rankings; Colorado, Texas, Florida and Florida State — all ranked in our top 8 — fill out the rest of the top 5 men’s spots.
After the initial rankings were tidied up after what amounts to a clerical error, we see Oregon Fugue in the pole position. The top four teams are the same as the Ultiworld power rankings – Oregon, Central Florida, Ohio State, and UC-Santa Barbara – and the bid picture clearly favors Northwest, followed by the Southwest and South Central.
A variety of factors feed into the math, the most notable of which are the lack of total games and the lack of connectivity. Over the course of the month, expect the rankings to be more representative of the top performing teams and of the potential nationals field.
Editors Note: USAU re-released updated rankings after correcting an error regarding results being assigned to the wrong team on the women’s side. The article has been updated to reflect the new rankings.
Here is the official trailer of the 2015 World Championships of Beach Ultimate. As previously reported, the tournament will be held in Dubai this year.
A new set of Power Rankings are out and it is yet another list topped by Oregon Fugue. The reigning champions emerged from Stanford Invite undefeated on the weekend; they have just a single loss on the season. Along the way, they beat the #3, #6, #7, #9, and #11 ranked teams in the country. To say they are the favorite this season would be an understatement.
However, the weekend saw Oregon escape some dangerous spots: half time deficits, double game points, and high pressure situations. Is it a sign of a vulnerability or a confirmation of their strength?
SAN FRANCISCO — North Carolina defended their number one overall ranking this weekend with a poised and at times dominant performance on Sunday to win the 2014 Stanford Invite title.
After a lightning delay stalled the finals for nearly an hour, UNC was clinical in their 15-11 victory over Pittsburgh, giving up just a single break late in the contest and generally outmatching the team that had handed them their only loss of the season just a day before.
The difference wasn’t just the sudden lack of wind in the finals after an extremely windy Saturday. North Carolina was focused and strategically much cleaner throughout the day on Sunday.
“It was just business,” said UNC coach Mike DeNardis. “The energy was really good. We really wanted to win.” Read more →
We are deeply saddened to report that three Carleton CUT players were killed in a car accident this afternoon, possibly on their way to the airport to fly to the Stanford Invite.
James Adams, 20, Michael Goodgame, 20, and Paxton Harvieux, 21, were killed when the SUV they were riding in spun out of control on an icy road and into an oncoming semi.
From Twin Cities.com:
No alcohol was detected in Sparks’ system, the State Patrol said, adding that all five men were wearing seat belts. The sport utility vehicle’s air bags had been deployed.
The driver of the semi, Terry Danny, 56, of Pioneer, Tenn., was not injured, the State Patrol said. No alcohol was detected in his system.
The broadside collision occurred shortly before 3 p.m. on Minnesota 3 at County Road 47 in far southern Dakota County. It had snowed during the day.
An unusual late adjustment to the Stanford Invite women’s seeding should be a boon to Southwest teams — including host team Stanford — as they will now get to play a weakened Central Florida team playing without Sunny Harris, one of its stars.
Washington came into the tournament seeded fourth and sitting in the second spot in Pool A behind Oregon. They would have faced off against three Southwest teams — Stanford, UCLA, and California — below them. #3 ranked Central Florida would have seen only two Southwest teams: UC Santa Barbara — the region’s strongest and a team likely to earn the auto bid for the region — and Sonoma State — one of the bottom seeds at the tournament.
In Ultiworld’s preview of the tournament, we broke the news that Sunny Harris would not be playing for UCF due to an injury. Read more →
ESPN3 color commentator Evan Lepler just broke the news that USA Ultimate is returning to Frisco, Texas, for the 2014 Club Championships. The dates are set for October 16-19.
For the second straight year, @USAUltimate will stage club nationals in Frisco, TX. October 16-19. Looking forward to it…
— Evan Lepler (@EvanLepler) February 28, 2014
Frisco played host to the 2013 Championships as well. More info to follow.
UPDATE: USA Ultimate apparently made the announcement a few minutes before on their YouTube channel: