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

The top throws we captured in 2023.

Ultiworld’s 2023 Throw 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 hucks, breaks, bombs, dimes, 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 will cull 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 who will survive the first round of one-on-ones. The first round of starts now and closes on Monday, February 19 at noon Eastern.

 

Female-Matching Players

Matchup 1: Cardenas vs. Hsu

Valeria Cardenas – Denver Molly Brown (USAU Club)

Valeria Cardenas

One of the world’s most feared throwers showed off her superpowers with this arcing inside forehand to her sister in the semifinals of the domestic Club Championships. Time for revenge for that block bracket, huh?

Cheryl Hsu – Seattle BFG (USAU Club)

Cheryl Hsu

Hsu has been a big part of the rise of BFG and has flashed some remarkable thrower talent. She uncorked this lovely quick-release forehand huck to space in the US Open semis.

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

  • Valeria Cardenas
    67%
  • Cheryl Hsu
    33%

Matchup 2: Fennig vs. Sourbeer

Robyn Fennig – Minnesota Strike (PUL)

Robyn Fennig

Another player who is no stranger to the Play of the Year brackets, Fennig is back. This time around, she came with a back around backhand to the end zone in the Minnesota Strike’s semifinal bid against Gridlock. Beating two defenders up the sideline is top flight.

Jess Sourbeer – Washington DC Scandal (USAU Club)

Jess Sourbeer

Scandal’s US Open was the beginning of an ascendant season. And Sourbeer’s backhand ascended and descended just about perfectly, scraping some sky before dropping in the back corner nice and snug.

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

  • Robyn Fennig
    34%
  • Jess Sourbeer
    66%

Matchup 3: Awadelkarim vs. Filipek

Amel Awadelkarim – San Francisco Fury (USAU Club)

Amel Awadelkarim

This lovely inside backhand was a receiver’s dream, coming out hot but cooling at just the right time to float in for the easy catch. It didn’t matter that it was deep in the national semifinals in a tight game that had been impacted by the wind throughout — Amel Awadelkarim was up to the task.

Esther Filipek – Stanford Superfly (USAU College)

Esther Filipek

The lefty handler became an All-American in 2023, showing off the type of daring throw almost nobody else in the college game possessed. It takes a lot of power to put a huck this far and with such a wide angle, all before the defense can close in.

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

  • Amel Awadelkarim
    62%
  • Esther Filipek
    38%

Matchup 4: Shilts vs. Fennig

Abbi Shilts – UCSD Women’s (USAU College)

Abbi Shilts

Abbi Shilts won Catch of the Year last year, but she’s added some sparkling throws to her game. This absolutely beauty would have been well placed in any context, by add in that’s a break throw snapped off on the run past the mark and you get a special treat of a toss.

Robyn Fennig – Minnesota Strike (PUL)

Robyn Fennig

Double dipping from Fennig, who earned a second entry with the Strike against the New York Gridlock. This power-packed hammer cut through the air before landing softly for the easy catch.

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

  • Abbi Shilts
    73%
  • Robyn Fennig
    27%

Male-Matching Players

Matchup 5: Rapottnig vs. Maierhofer

Niko Rapottnig – Austria Open (EUC)

Niko Rapottnig

In this bracket, you’ll find slicing upside down throws and booming hucks to space. Well boy howdy do we have a deal for you! Why settle for one when you can have it all with a 40+ yard scoober in the bread basket?

Tobias Maierhofer – Germany Open (WFDF U24)

Tobias Maierhofer

80 yards, zero hesitation. Toby Maierhofer brought it to the line and immediately initiated the wind up for this supershot game-winner in the Worlds semifinals.

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

  • Niko Rapottnig
    76%
  • Tobias Maierhofer
    24%

Matchup 6:

Paul Arters – Mooncatchers (EUF Club)

Paul Arters

A massive sailing hammer put to the perfect spot, curving away from the defender right to the cutter, is a pretty sterling throw. It helps if it is the tournament-clinching throw.

Leo GordonBrown Brownian Motion (USAU College)

Leo Gordon

Great throws populate this bracket, but this one has to have the least margin for error. In a pressure-packed quarterfinal against the dominant reigning champions, Gordon managed to drop in this forehand huck despite a trio of defenders crowding the receiving window.

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

  • Paul Arters
    57%
  • Leo Gordon
    43%

Matchup 7:

Scotty Whitley – Georgia Jojah (USAU College)

Scotty Whitley

Just a rookie playing in the most prestigious tournament of his career, jumping out of the back to throw an over-the-shoulder dime that is about as easily catchable a greatest as you’ll ever see.

Reph Jonkers – Mooncatchers (EUF Club)

Reph Jonkers

Two hammers from the same team in the same game! Jonkers went tit-for-tat with Arters on this away shot hammer that seems to effortlessly coast past midfield and halfway into the scoring zone.

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

  • Scotty Whitley
    62%
  • Reph Jonkers
    38%

Matchup 8:

Jonah Stang-Osborne – UMass ZooDisc (USAU College)

Jonah Stang Osborne

Not only does 2023 Breakout Jonah Stang-Osborne send this well over 70 yards, but his throw also dodges defenders at the point of attack and on the receiving end, all from a standstill.

Aidan Curry – UC Santa Cruz Slugs (USAU College)

Aidan Curry

Curry’s already got a pretty impressive throwing reel to his name, but it is tough to find something more signature than this. A standstill forehand, wrapped around the mark and sent to the back corner into a small window, this one is a star-builder.

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

  • Jonah Stang-Osborne
    63%
  • Aidan Curry
    37%

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