January 15, 2013 by Charlie Eisenhood in News with 23 comments
There are 18 teams in Kevin Minderhout’s proposed NexGen league. It includes every 2012 Nationals qualifier — except one. Palo Alto’s Boost Mobile, who finished 15th out of 16 at the Club Championships (beating New York’s PoNY on Sunday), was not invited to join the NexGen league. Despite playing competitively against many of the lower seeds in Sarasota, they were left out.
Minderhout explained that he selected teams in “the 18 best organized ultimate cities in the US and Canada. By best organized I’m referring to combination of a long tenured club team, organized league play, and growing youth scene.”
Boost Mobile hasn’t been happy. And, in the comments of our explainer about NexGen v. the Triple Crown Tour, Krishna Rao, a Boost player, shared his thoughts about being excluded and how neither proposal makes sense:
[quote]The NexGen league would definitely hurt Boost more than the Triple Crown. My understanding is that we were not invited based on some combination of being too close to Revolver and too bad at ultimate frisbee. These arguments don’t make too much sense to me – teams close to each other cut down travel costs, and in terms of performance on the field we certainly belong based on results (and the Bay Area has been pretty consistently able to support two elite teams).
But honestly, it is unclear to me that either of the major proposals (NexGen and TCT) are an improvement to the way the season ran last year. Personally, I play to challenge myself against the best competition possible. As a player on Boost, NexGen would make that impossible and the TCT makes that more expensive.
Even if I was on a team invited to join the NexGen league I am not sure it would be an improvement over last year. Running a league is a tremendous undertaking, and recent experience suggests that the growing pains can be severe. I wonder if the NexGen League will work logistically. And even if the league comes off without a hitch, Kevin has been pretty clear that there are no plans to expand the league or promote/demote teams in and out of the league. And by giving all the league equity to the original teams, the structure of the league itself does not lend itself to flexibility. New teams could never enter on equal footing and teams forced to leave would still control substantial equity. The landscape of ultimate changes too quickly for that. Revolver made quarters its first year as a team. So did Southpaw. Do I want to give up the opportunity to play the next Revolver?
What exactly am I getting for giving up this stability/flexibility (NGN) or paying more to American Airlines (TCT)? Both leagues promise that a regular season makes it easier to promote ultimate. Personally I think it is cool when Ultimate shows up on SportsCenter, but I am not playing for recognition by people I don’t know.
And for the past several years there already was an informally codified elite season – play two of ECC, Chesapeake Invite and Labor Day. Then go to nationals. If USAU wants to sell sponsors on great match-ups, they know where to find those games. If NexGen is interested in streaming elite ultimate, all they have to do is show up. If USAU wants to run a showcase event in Boulder, they should go ahead and invite the best teams they can.
So in all of this, I keep asking myself what exactly is the problem to which these proposals are the solution? And could we have solved that problem with less mess?[/quote]