Ultiworld’s 2022 Block Of The Year: Manuela Cardenas

Help decide the best recorded block of 2022.

Ultiworld’s 2022 Block of the Year bracket is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

One of our most popular series to begin each year, it’s time to look back at last year and let our readers decide some of the top plays of the year from 2022.

Next up is Block of the Year. We watched many hours of game footage and asked for help from the community to hunt down the catches, completions, throws, shots, blocks, deflections, and everything else. This was a big year for ultimate with more than enough options to fill up this bracket, so even some worthy candidates were left behind.

We have a new system to select the victor for 2022: a voting triumvirate of the community at large, our staff, and our subscribers. We invited you, the Ultiworld readers, to vote for your favorite of the finalists selected. It’ll be best of three in those categories to decide the winner.

With the votes all tallied, the winner is:


2022 Block of the Year: Manuela Cardenas – Denver Molly Brown (USAU Club)

Manuela Cardenas

When Manuela Cardenas earned the Block of the Year crown in 2016, our first ever, we wrote “with presumably many more to come in the future.” We probably meant amazing blocks, not necessarily Blocks of the Year, but seven years later, the phenom is back at it, the first repeat winner, and really without compare. In 2016, no other play garnered the same type of support. The same was pretty much true this time around, as Manuela won all three polls in the final, with a 62-38 percentage margin in the community poll being the closest of the three. Outside of an aberrant (massive) takedown against teammate Nhi Nguyen with the public deciding, Cardenas swept every other choice. This block had it all: technical proficiency, spectacular athleticism, and timely, coming at arguably the season’s most critical moment. And even now, Cardenas’ future is bright, filled with opportunities to get more supreme blocks.

Past Winners

2021: Liam Searles-Bohs
2019: Emily Pozzy
2018: Olivia Arellano
2017: Anna Thompson
2016: Manuela Cardenas

  1. Ultiworld

    Ultiworld is the premier news media site dedicated to the sport of ultimate. This article includes the work of a number of our staff or contributors that have been identified within the piece.

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