WUCC 2014 Diaries: Day Six, Presented By VC Ultimate

Thursday WUCC diaries, featuring heavy amounts of body paint.

Diaries! Note: Possibly NSFW image below.

Sion “Brummie” Scone (Emo)

Urgh. What a day of disappointments. Losing in pre-quarters to Clapham is a rough way to start the day, then a tired, low quality game vs Lucky Grass where we gave up three in a row to lose. Gah. Bit of a call fest too, but those Russians fought hard and it was all smiles at the end.

Game of the tournament so far would be Clapham v Revolver in open quarters. Clapham broke early, Revolver broke back twice in the first half, then early in the second. But Claphams fitness was proving tough to match up with, as the Clapham cutters were open by yards and they just needed to be patient. Clapham also ruled the skies, getting high blocks from their D line and to keep their O line alive. I should also mention huge grabs deep; Revolver didn’t seem to have an answer, and Clapham were able to bring it within one, then break for the lead late in the game only to be broken back. It was an epic back and forth that deserved to go to double game point courtesy of an absurdly high grab from Justin Foord. The crowd were all chanting for Clapham who came out on D. Revolver field the pull, throw 5m to Beau who turns and throws a 50m flick huck to hit Rassmussen perfectly in stride for the win. Who said he can’t throw, eh? Epic game and I’m disappointed for my former team, but huge respect for their efforts. Revolver advance.

Next door, the always exciting Buzz Bulets took on Bravo. While the Clapham v Revolver game had mostly vanilla throws, this game was a throwing showcase. Brodie dropped a 45m bladey flick on a dime to Gibson, Matsuno and Kurono sticking it deep to each other, Matzuka with a no look hammer assist, and Kichikawa and Lance moving the disc effortlessly. We had some big grabs too, Padget and Matsuno both getting up high repeatedly. In the end, Buzz were not hitting passes they normally would, and simply ran out of steam. Special note: don’t play poach or zone when Nick Lance is on the field.

Other disappointments; being forced to eat your food quickly in case you miss the final bus; finding out your shuttle to the airport has been cancelled so you have to find your own way at short notice; the food gets worse (pasta with chopped up hamburgers? Is this for real? Yesterday I chose a ham omelette, only to bite into it and realise the ham was off. It’s seriously unacceptably poor.)

Ian Toner (Johnny Bravo)

Just got back to the hotel (7 PM) and we’re out of water. Two people in my room took one minute showers before the water ran out.

Body painting from WUCC.
Body painting from WUCC. Photo via Josh Markette (@freshmark7)

Earlier today, we discovered that the tournament organizers spent money on a string quartet and body painting. I’ll just let that sentence marinate for a second.

The hot topic coming out of today has to be the Japanese. For better or worse, I did not have a favorable impression of their character coming into our quarterfinal match up. I had just seen the Buzz Bullets make one awful (and one questionable) foul call against Ironside in crunch time to maintain possession and go on to win. Sure, Boston had their chances to seal the victory, but at least one of Japan’s calls would have been overturned by more powerful observers. And Japan could have refrained from making or withdrawn its call(s).

Last summer, I saw the U23 Japanese women feign ignorance and misunderstanding while resolving (or prolonging) a call with the Canadian women in a championship bracket match.

In short, I believed that Japan had bred a disingenuous playing culture: they’ll smile and kill you with kindness on the field and sidelines before they make terrible calls and prove unwilling to discuss anything remotely contentious.

Our quarterfinals experience ran completely contradictory to my prior impressions. There were no extended disputes or conversations, and every Buzz player was kind and gracious in defeat. The Bullets’ display was impressive and respectful.

We’re playing on the showcase field tomorrow. They had to put down straw because it was in such bad shape.

Uncontrollables.

Akina Younge (Revolution)

Today was not easy. We started optimistic, knowing that we were in the quarterfinals after our two power pool wins yesterday and knowing that we had already broken seed, solidifying our team as one of the top 8 best women’s teams in the world. But, our last power pool game against Traffic from Vancouver, Canada, and our quarterfinals game against Scandal from Washington DC, USA, proved to be disappointing.

It is natural that these games, the only two we’ve lost in the tournament, feel disappointing. If you’re here at Worlds, you are likely a person who doesn’t take too kindly to losing. But what’s worse, is when you lose when you feel like you had opportunities to play better. I think Revolution left the fields today a little frustrated with how we had used (or failed to use) our opportunities. We are a team that is scrappy, bidding and huck-happy, but today it felt like our true identity as a team didn’t get a chance to shine. I know with my body as tired as it is and the nagging injuries that my love of playing Ultimate never lets me resolve, I wasn’t at 100% and there were opportunities I missed.

So, maybe we lost because we were tired. We did feel like we had two hard days of pool play and the structure of training and practice is different in Colombia than it was for me in the States. Maybe we lost because we were tired mentally. We did have two huge comeback games yesterday, but today we couldn’t manage it, going down to Traffic 8-3 by half and difficult 7-1 deficit against Scandal. Maybe we just lost, and there’s no reason why, just sometimes the other team wins. But, that doesn’t change how devastating a loss can be.

The best we can do is keep playing for pride and holding our heads up high for how hard we worked and how much we already have accomplished.

Brett Matzuka (Johnny Bravo)

First off, I want to thank the Ultiworld commenter “Matzuka can write” for giving me a false sense of confidence in my writing. I am now surely flying too close to the sun and will fall massively short of the expectations causing sheer outrage and disappointment…here’s to your comment likely being sarcastic anyways.

Second, back by popular demand (or more realistically the lack of interest by any other Bravo teammates to participate), Jake Juszak will be joining for another edition of my diary.

Now on to the good stuff!

Do you like naked girls? We do too! Finally, the tournament did something right by having a magnificent string quartet play some rather beauti…screw it, there were naked girls getting body painted. You can’t make this stuff up! During lunch today, body painters were in attendance to create a rather intricate piece of art encapsulating the world ultimate club championships experience using women’s bodies as the canvas. I don’t know much about the fine arts, but that seems like the ideal canvas? All joking aside, three right swipes for sure (jager or not). I am not even sure what else happened today, Jake do you remember?

Jake: I got three matches on tinder. I think we won our pre-quarter against Ragnarok, but am not really sure. Did you mention the naked body painted girls yet?

Brett: Yes, that in fact has been all that we have talked about thus far.

Jake: so why are we still doing this?

Brett: I think they want to hear about the day and experiences at the tournament…oh, I see what you are doing there. Well played sir

I challenge anyone who has ever done body painting to post in the comments of this ultiworld article…also, please post your tinder ID or phone number as Jake would like to contact you to find out more. Jake would like to know where to sign up for classes and what the gender ratios are like.

In all seriousness, this actually did happen. Another huge breakthrough today is that I finally got my 15 euro refund from our rain out day, which means…I actually got to eat lunch today! That was honestly really huge, I can’t over play how truly special that was for me.

Some other highlights from today:

1) female body painting
2) see (1)
3) …
4) I lost my train of thought

97) we beat Buzz Bullets in quarterfinals 17-12. It was extremely hard fought by both teams and sad to see such a talented, skilled, and passionate team out that early. (same can be said of Ironside, sorry boys).

Tomorrow we play San Francisco’s Revolver in Semifinals. A rematch of the US Open final. There have been plenty of amazing games thus far including the Clapham v Revolver quarter final, Boston v Buzz Bullets pre-quarter, and Phoenix v. Heidees pre-quarter. I will leave it to Ultiworld to recap these in whatever fashion they see fit, but the international competition has been truly impressive and wish I could watch more games and give the proper credit to the players and teams who have gone above and beyond.

For an inside look at the type of focus and determination Bravo has put in to this, our post dinner gathering consisted primarily of strategic talk amongst the vets about how best to conquer…the portapotties.

All in all, I will end with an anonymous quote: “This tournament is a joke and nothing good ever came out of the city of San Francisco.”

Sleep well my friends.

Charlie Eisenhood (Ultiworld)

I’m going to follow up a bit on my column on observers. There’s a weird thing going on here, especially from European teams, where it seems like they are playing a North American style from three or four years ago. Extreme physicality, hammering the thrower on the mark. What’s funny is that the contact call and observers have just about wiped that out in the US.

It makes sense: many European teams only have in-person exposure to US teams once over two to four years. There’s of course going to be emulation of what the best teams in the world are doing. So I hope that observers follows from that. Other countries should organize tournaments where they experiment with observers — not referees. Get some top quality observers from the US and have them observe at your tournament. You’ll only have to raise bid fees a bit, and you can experience them first hand.

My sense is that it doesn’t take much to convince people that observers are great. One experience is usually sufficient. So please: experiment. Be open-minded that there could be a better way.

***

In other news, games were fun today. Aside from having to walk 10 minutes between fields during quarters (why??), games were exciting and intense. Really enjoyed what I saw of Revolver/Clapham.

I can echo everyone above who mentioned the body painting and string quartet — classic Lecco right there. What a bizarro world this week has been. Let’s put aside all the distractions and enjoy the world’s best teams facing off over the next two days.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld. You can reach him by email (charlie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).

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