Ultiworld’s 2023 Catch Of The Year Bracket (Round 1)

The bracket is live and you can cast your votes!

Ultiworld’s 2023 Catch 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 2023.

We watched many hours of game footage and asked for help from the community to hunt down the catches, grabs, yoinks and everything else. With so many players making big plays in 2023, it was too tough for us to even cut to a final 16.

This year’s voting tournament introduces two new elements, both of which are exclusive to our subscribers.

First, in our Subscriber Selection, they culled the initial nomination list down to the final sixteen (eight from MMP and eight from FMP) in this article. If you want to help decide who even makes the bracket and see all of the honorable mentions, plus get a bunch of other sweet benefits for 2024, check out our subscription plans.

We are also introducing the Subscriber Save. During the quarterfinal round, subscribers will vote to select one play on each side of the bracket to save from elimination and send to the semifinals. The semifinals will consist of three plays each.

It is time to decide the first matchups. Round 1 of voting starts now and closes on Wednesday, January 31 at noon Eastern.

 

Female-Matching Players

Matchup 1: Robert vs. Cheung

Pénélope Robert – Canada Women’s (WFDF U24)

Pénélope Robert

Robert made this stretching layout to pull in a disc doing everything it could to outrun her grasp at U24 Worlds against Germany. Few people defeat the wind, but Robert got a catch everyone whose had a disc pop up in the breeze can appreciate.

Cheuk Yan Jane Cheung – Hong Kong Women’s (WFDF AOUGC)

Cheuk Yan Jane Cheung

Some catches are a lot more grit than grace. Cheuk Yan Jane Cheung’s multi-effort, multi-limb snag took concentration and will to make, but the outcome was special.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 1) (Results)

  • Pénélope Robert
    48%
  • Cheuk Yan Jane Cheung
    52%

Matchup 2: Trop vs. Robert

Claire Trop – DC Scandal (USAU Club)

Claire Trop

The Claire Trop hype perhaps hit a fever pitch with her performance at the US Open, where she led the division in both goals and assists. This sky over a pair of Fury defenders in the final encapsulated Trop’s dominance.

Pénélope Robert – Canada Women’s (WFDF U24)

Pénélope Robert

Robert had quite a turn at the World U24 Championships. Even high-paced shots could not evade her reach, as she makes this extended layout snag look routine in the back of the end zone for Team Canada against Colombia.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 2) (Results)

  • Claire Trop
    41%
  • Pénélope Robert
    59%

Matchup 3: Cardenas vs. Dos Santos

Manuela Cardenas – Macana (International Club)

Manuela Cardenas

It wouldn’t be Play of the Year without Manuela Cardenas. A two-time Block of the Year winner, this catch potentially marks her seventh play to selected for a bracket. And what an emphatic shot this sky was.

Brit Dos Santos – Canada Women’s (WFDF WBUC)

Brit Dos Santos

Everyone is going after the United States in international competition, and BDS landed another blow against the US in the Beach Worlds final with her trademark playmaking and athleticism.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 3) (Results)

  • Manuela Cardenas
    51%
  • Brit Dos Santos
    49%

Matchup 4: Soo vs. Schütz

Lindsay Soo – Raleigh Phoenix (USAU Club)

Lindsay Soo

Much to the embarrassment of the Ultiworld video editor who both clipped this play and made it, Lindsay Soo’s sparkling layout grab was a full extension logo shot in the Club quarterfinals.

Lisa Schütz – Germany Women’s (WFDF U24)

Lisa Schütz

The U24 Worlds matchup between Germany and Canada in the women’s division became a battle of attrition down the stretch, but the Germans emerged victorious, in no small part due to the efforts of Lisa Schütz, who tracked down this sailing huck to force universe.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 4) (Results)

  • Lindsay Soo
    28%
  • Lisa Schütz
    72%

Male-Matching Players

Matchup 5: Cable vs. Fairfax

Orion Cable – Boston DiG (USAU Club)

Orion Cable

The big man makes yet another appearance in a 2023 Play of the Year bracket, fresh off his narrow Block of the Year victory. Can he run it back on the other side of the disc for this huge sky in the Club Nationals quarterfinal vs. Truck Stop?

Jacob Fairfax – Carolina Flyers (UFA)

Jacob Fairfax

The UFA’s unique games to time do create some dramatic moments, but it isn’t just the drama on this one. Fairfax springs above his competition with a hanging catch that makes it look as if, briefly, he can fly.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 5) (Results)

  • Orion Cable
    51%
  • Jacob Fairfax
    49%

Matchup 6: Burnett vs. De Marree

Justin Burnett – Emory Juice (USAU College)

Justin Burnett

The then-future-Callahan award winner made his biggest statement play on the road in California, going up and over defenders and teammates alike, positional advantages be damned.

Daan De Marree – Belgium Open (WFDF U24)

Daan De Marree

De Marree announced himself as one of Europe’s elite and did so on the world stage during the World U24 Championships. This flying catch against Team Canada was the flashiest of an impressive performance.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 6) (Results)

  • Justin Burnett
    47%
  • Dan De Marree
    53%

Matchup 7: Garvey vs. Henke

Harper Garvey – New York PoNY (USAU Club)

Harper Garvey

You’re not in the wrong place. This is Catch of the Year, not Throw of the Year. While Garvey may be more well known for putting up big throws, he gave his prospective receivers a little demonstration on how to do their job well.

Kyle Henke – Austin Sol (UFA)

Kyle Henke

Henke is known as a big playmaker, and he closed his playoff matchup against Carolina with signature flare. This EOQ layout came with both defensive presence and limited room.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 7) (Results)

  • Harper Garvey
    47%
  • Kyle Henke
    53%

Matchup 8: Abrahamsson vs. Brooks

Gavin Abrahamsson – UMass ZooDisc (USAU College)

Gavin Abrahamsson

An award-worthy rookie campaign for Gavin Abrahamsson took little time to kick off, as the freshman cutter made this spectacular catch in his first college tournament.

Tobias Brooks – Carolina Flyers (UFA)

Tobias Brooks

The young star hadn’t even made his college debut when he completed this semi-pro highlight, a high and angled trailing edge grab that showed skill and springs.

Catch of the Year 2023 (R1 - Matchup 8) (Results)

  • Gavin Abrahamsson
    45%
  • Tobias Brooks
    55%

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