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Finland Women drop out of WUGC 2020

A top European country will not be sending a women's team to worlds.

Finland Women at EUC 2019. Photo by Quentin Dupre La Tour of Focus Ultimate.

Finland women have declined their bid to participate in WUGC 2020. Finland is a country with a lot of recent competitive success in the women’s division. The national team won the EUC in 2015 and placed 9th at the WUGC in 2016. Their top club, Atletico, won the EUCF in 2017. The national team unperformed some expectations last year as they placed 8th at the EUC when many considered them a title contender.

Former EuroStar, Essi Inkinen, said that the Finnish Flying Disc Association started the process of forming this national team far too late. No one had stepped up to coach last fall, and the Finnish association started looking for an international coach in late December. Finally they announced in January that John Doherty, from Ireland, would be coaching the team, and only then did they start reaching out for interest from players. The mixed team had a similar dilemma but the mixed team does have enough interest to continue on. Inkinen told Ultiworld, “There are not a lot of women players at the moment in Finland that want to play on national teams or think they are good enough for the this stage. Some from last year’s team are having babies, some don’t have enough money, and others have stopped for other reasons. We just didn’t have enough players and since everything took so long many people who were initially on board moved on.” She went on to say that it was clear that Finland would not have enough women to make both a mixed and women’s team and she felt that it was a pity that now Finnish women’s only opportunity will be on the mixed team where only around ten female players will get to go to WUGC.

Ulla Kiili, the Executive Director of the Finnish Flying Disc Association, said that they surveyed the Finnish women’s players and found that there were many reasons that there was a lack of interest for the WUGC. The results of the survey were:

  • The tournament is too expensive
  • Uncertainty about the team due to the late addition of a coach
  • Fatigue after EUC 2019
  • Change of generation
  • Lack of confidence among the women’s players in Finland

On the last note, Kiili said, “We have more female players in our league than in the last years but many of them think that they are not yet ready for a national team. Some are not interested in playing in the national team for other reasons.” When asked about the conflict that may have arisen due to going for a mixed and women’s team in a small community, Kiili responded, “It seemed that there were not enough interested players for a women’s team. It is hard to say what would have been the situation if the mixed would not been option at all but only three women who were primarily interested in the women’s team are now applying for the mixed team.”

  1. Ravi Vasudevan
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    Ravi Vasudevan is Ultiworld's European editor and a host of the podcast EuroZone. Emails about EuroZone should go to eurozoneultimate@gmail.com. Ravi played for WPI in the US until 2008. He has been living and playing in Europe since 2009 and has competed at WUGC 2012, WUCC 2014 and WUCC 2018.

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