Worlds Players React to Tournament Cancellations

Photo: Neil Gardner —

Thousands of players preparing for three major World Championship events this year — the quadrennial World Ultimate and Guts Championships, quadrennial World Masters Ultimate Championships, and biennial World Junior Ultimate Championships — watched the tournaments get cancelled or postponed this week due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Even though many anticipated that the tournaments wouldn’t proceed as planned, it didn’t make it any easier to hear the news.

Here is a collection of responses from players online:

Khalif El-Salaam (USA Mixed)

I feel devastated. Countless hours of training, paper processes, film, scouting, and just the mental and emotional commitment to the entire process. Not to mention the two day GRUELING tryout. This was a team of almost half mixed club players, and I was super excited to be a part of this team. It’s soul ripping. Especially since it’s so far away and they still believe this whole thing won’t at least be good enough to have fan-less games or something. That means in July we will still not be able to play the highest level of frisbee. That doesn’t foreshadow well for club, so that’s just a twist of the knife. It was 100% the right choice, people are dying, but that doesn’t mean we can social distance and be SO SAD.

Anna Thompson (USA Mixed)

Jonathan “Goose” Helton (USA Men’s)

Tristan Yarter (USA U20 Men’s)

Emily Smith-Wilson (USA Women’s)

Jeremy Hill (Canada Mixed)

Waking up to the news that WFDF has cancelled/postponed Worlds was heartbreaking. As an athlete, you feel an emptiness inside. A hole that once was filled with motivation to train hard, eat right and sacrifice so much of your personal life for the pursuit of greatness is now left with nothing. I absolutely stand by WFDF’s decision as it’s the right choice to protect the players and their families. This is bigger than ultimate, and when the time comes, Canadian Ultimate will be back and we’ll be ready to compete.

Grace Conerly (USA U20 Women’s)

It really sucks, but I understand why it was cancelled. For me, Worlds was a culmination of my youth career and something I put in a ton of work for after not even getting a tryout in 2018. But the sadness I feel pales in comparison to people losing their lives and jobs during this time. Right now, I’m trying to focus on the opportunities I’ve gained because of Worlds being cancelled, and now I’m able to bring my full focus this summer to being the best coach I can be for my YCC team. All in all, it shows me how much I care about ultimate in this time when no one can play.

Tyler Kinley (USA Masters Men’s)

Eric Taylor (USA Mixed)

I would say that I feel more numb than anything. There’s a more visceral sadness that comes from something that you weren’t expecting, and this feeling doesn’t really have it. I honestly don’t know what to feel since all normalcy and emotional context that I would otherwise use to interpret this news has been pulled out from under me. In a lot of ways, this just seems like the beginning of the end for frisbee in 2020. Gonna be some sad times if that happens.

Kevin Vigar (Canada Grand Masters Men’s)

Jesse Shofner (USA Women’s)

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