Ultiworld Club Awards 2023: Breakout Player of the Year (Mixed Div.)

The newest stars in the mixed club division

Ultiworld is pleased to announce our annual Club Awards. While we consider both regular season and postseason performance, because of the nature of the Club division, we weight success in the Series and at Nationals above all else. The Club Awards are voted on by Ultiworld reporters, contributors, and editors.

Our Breakout Player of the Year may be the hardest-to-define award that we dole out each year. We aim to recognize players typically 25 years old or younger who weren’t widely expected to have a major impact on the club season at the start of the year. While their teammates or local community may have known about their talent level, their performance in the 2023 season thrust them into the national consciousness in a way that raises expectations for their contributions for years to come. Without strict parameters around what constitutes “too well known” at the start of the year, our voters are given the opportunity to decide for themselves who best represented their definition of a true breakout season in the club division.

Player of the Year Award
All-Club First Team
All-Club Second Team
Defensive Player of the Year Award
Offensive Player of the Year Award
Breakout Player of the Year Award
Coach(es) of the Year Award
Club Awards Voting Breakdown
Snubs and Superlatives


 

2023 Mixed Division Breakout Player of the Year

Rory Veldman (Fort Collins shame.)

Fort Collins shame.’s Rory Veldman winds up a flick in the mixed division final of the 2023 Club Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

A newcomer to the mixed club scene, Rory Veldman became a vital player on Fort Collins shame.’s journey to a championship. Veldman has a penchant for making the timely plays shame. needed. Whether a clutch block (Veldman led the team at Nationals with five), a high-stall, bail-out in-cut, or a pinpoint huck, Veldman consistently found a way to meet the moment.

She doesn’t so much have a super power as she is a super player. Veldman spent time playing on shame.’s O- and D-lines throughout the tournament and acted as both a downfield playmaker and a backfield distributor. In consecutive bracket games (vs. AMP in the quarterfinal and BFG in the semifinal) Veldman heard her name called on for universe point lines, one on defense and one on offense. Her ability to play both ways is both a testament to her skill and development as an athlete, but also to the trust shame. have in her to make the right play at the right time. In any given moment, she could be launching a full-field huck looking for a break, setting up a continue cut to keep the offense moving with good flow, or piecing together the backfield moves to break through a zone. With so many little things done right, Veldman opens opportunities for big plays and puts her team in the best position to succeed.

-Alex Rubin

First Runner-up

Jolie Krebs (New York XIST)

New York XIST’s Jolie Krebs goes full extension to save possession in the mixed division semifinal of the 2023 Club Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

In simple terms, the biological process in which living cells produce energy in aerobic respiration is called the Krebs Cycle. In frisbee terms, the process in which a team produces energy and results in aerobic activity might as well be called the Jolie Krebs Cycle. Although it’s only her first year as a rostered player for the team,1 she is already making quite the impact on the O-line. Of course, being the new player to the scene has its advantages; with her opponents’ eyes focused on her equally powerful teammates, Krebs flew under the radar, allowing her to make big contributions and plays. If the offense gave up the disc, no one was better at generating a turn to regain possession than Krebs. And on offense, she took authoritative control of the handler space and put out some high-IQ throws. Plus, every time Krebs made plays on the field, her teammates on the sidelines would get pumped, producing enough energy for the team to help their success.

-Laura Osterlund

Second Runner-up

Ben Field (Boston Slow)

Boston Slow’s Ben Field throws a backhand past the AMP defender in the fifth place finals of the 2023 Club Championships. Photo: William “Brody” Brotman – UltiPhotos.com

After years of success in the college division, Ben Field joined Boston Slow this season and instantly became an impact player. Throughout the regular season, Field excelled as a cutter in isolation, winning his matchup time and time again. By the time Nationals rolled around, Slow adjusted their lines and Field became a defender nobody wanted to line up across and one of the division’s best pullers. With a well-rounded game fit for the mixed division, the trust of his teammates, and a team that always finds a way to have a successful season, Field has a chance to develop into one of the division’s best players if he continues on this growth trajectory.

-Alex Rubin


  1. She was a practice player for XIST last season 

  1. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

  2. Laura Osterlund
    Laura Osterlund

    Laura picked up a disc her senior year of high school and hasn't put it down since. She played on the mixed/open team at Bethel University where she graduated with a journalism degree. Based out of the Twin Cities, MN, you can find her engaging in all levels of Ultimate: working with Minnesota Strike, playing mixed club, and grinding at local ultimate and goalty leagues. Her ultimate accomplishment - besides helping start a women's league (coming spring 2024) - is winning Z league with Big Blue.

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