Ultiworld

Ironside’s Christian Foster in the Club Championships semifinal. Photo: Paul Andris — UltiPhotos.com
A statistical breakdown of two of the best pulling games I’ve ever seen.
BY JEFF GRAHAM

With the start of a new club season getting closer every day, it’s fun to both look ahead at what’s to come, but also look back at the big moments of the prior year.

For the first time in Ironside’s history this wasn’t a painful look at what could’ve been, but rather reliving the joy (and relief) that our weekend in Illinois delivered.

Maybe out of habit, or maybe just as an excuse to repeatedly rewatch our semi and final, I recently found myself reviewing tape to try and figure out why, in 2016, Ironside was finally able to come out on top.

As I scanned the tape looking for a certain strategy or tactic that differentiated us from our opponents, I started to notice a trend. A simple trend, at the start of each point.

The initial read, as expected, was that again this season, Ironside belonged in the semis and final. Overall talent, organization, and discipline matter a great deal at the highest levels of club, and we were rich with all three.

But, as in years past, the single elimination games of Nationals — especially the further into the bracket you get — come down to a throwaway here, a drop there. In reality, any of the four teams that earned their spot the semis could have walked away with the title. As I scanned the tape looking for a certain strategy or tactic that differentiated us from our opponents, I started to notice a trend. A simple trend, at the start of each point.

I remember congratulating Christian Foster — CFo, to his teammates — after each of our last two games on a great job pulling. Even in the moment, when our focus was trained less on individual plays and more on executing a team gameplan, his pulls stood out.

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