Welcome to what could be described as a grab-bag. I’ll talk to myself about topics within ultimate from the past week, or whenever. This time a lot of talk centered around NexGen vs Portland Rhino circa 2012.
A Word on International Ultimate
Sometimes, the international scene of ultimate doesn’t always get the attention it deserves.
First, read the piece by Chip Cobb on Skyd Magazine on the issues with WCBU 2015 in Dubai that were brought up last week in this section.
With the event already scheduled to take place, and starting very soon with players from each nation already on the way there, the focus needs to shift to the event. It is too late to change this event, and how WFDF awarded it, and instead I think we should all focus on the team’s competing, and keep talking about this choice so that the next WFDF event is in a much better location.
Looking at the seeding, USA comes in as the top dog in every single division. Of course all eyes should be kept on them. But, in each division there are some other teams to watch out for. In the Mixed and Open division, the Philippines have shown they’re quite good at this beach stuff – be it in their tour of USA beach tournaments, or their play in tournaments such as the Boracy Open. Canada, of course, will be a thorn in the USA’s side. I’m interested to see more of the Ireland Mixed squad, and of the Russian Women’s squad.
The format for each division is a little strange. Mixed, Men’s? Sure sounds good. Women’s? A little confusing, but you do have 7 teams. Masters? Again, less teams so the more compact nature of their tournament and bracket play makes sense. I guess it’s just Women’s that I find weird, especially for an International event. I bet they tried desperately to get an eighth team in there to round it all out.
I like to watch ultimate, so should you. Let’s watch the same game.
Quick word to make sure you check out r/ultimate for Film Session Friday on most every Friday!
On gchat, and not within the reddit live thread for today’s edition of Film Session Friday (Rhino vs NexGen 2012), Zack Smith and I talked a lot about athleticism versus strategy, and where the line begins. Zack was talking about the NexGen team’s athleticism, and how that messed with Rhino – specifically their defense. He was arguing that the NexGen team, and their athleticism, helped get their cutters open and made them just (in general) hard to contain. I was arguing that there was a lot of poor positioning in the first place.
But then while watching I realized something. It’s both. Look at the offensive possession that begins for NexGen at around the 55:42 mark. Rhino getting caught not really in position causes the first two throws to go off without a hitch, but the third throw (a huck to Tyler DeGirolamo from Eric Johnson) opens up purely because of the athleticism of DeGirolamo. Rhino’s miscues allowed the thrower to get open, and do so unmarked, but their athleticism brings the point home. Watching the NexGen team play is some of the most athletic ultimate you can watch.
Put Me In (to) Coach!
Selecting one coaching decision, and talking about it. From someone who truly hasn’t had much coaching to do.
As seen early in that NexGen game, this is something Rhino did, there’s a smart move to make when coming out of a timeout, and you’re pulling to the opposing team. Change your defensive strategy.
In this instance, NexGen took a timeout after getting broken for the third straight time. Rhino, while pulling, threw it out of bounds and set a zone. It instantly disrupted the offense NexGen came out in – a horizontal stack, compared to the vertical stack they had been using – and created a turnover and shortly after another break for Rhino.
It all started though, with the choice to change the defensive strategy. Well, it really started with NexGen taking a timeout, and then pulling the disc out of bounds to let their defense set, but the change in defensive strategy is what messes the offense up.
Q&A (with myself)
Asking myself questions, which I will then answer, continuously.
Q: Speaking of NexGen, do you miss it?
A: Yes! I miss watching the games each night over the summer, that was lacking this past summer, debating teams, lines, and whatever else. Best debate is definitely which year of NexGen would beat all of the other years of NexGen – then and now.
Q: Stanford Invite this weekend, who wins it?
A: Probably Pittsburgh! I think they clamp down on offense to reduce the turns, and improved their defense after turning the disc on offense, to really put teams behind them. I’m hoping to see a lot out of the West Coast teams as they play the teams that have seen each other a lot between Carolina Kickoff and Florida Warm Up.
Q: What is the most frustrating thing when trying to post something to WordPress?
A: When your internet keeps cutting out!