BUDA YCC 2012: Day 3

BUDA Mixed brings home Boston’s first YCC gold!

On the second day of YCC competition the BUDA Open team went 1-1, losing 7-15 against the eventual tournament winner, Minnesota and taking down Pittsburgh 15-8, to finish 5th.

The BUDA Mixed team started off the day with a convincing 13-4 win over Chicago. The game followed very closely the patterns of the day before. We locked down their horizontal offense with a hard straight up mark and forced lots of under throws that we batted down for Ds. One change was that we did run a zone for a few points that proved for be effective.

In the semis, we went up against a very energetic brand new YCC from Maine that I was very excited to play. I know all the coaches, many of the players, and I’m always thrilled to see new teams, especially ones that are competitive, well-run, spirited, and that show no fear. Maine had beat two-time defending champs the day before on double game point and had come off a strong 13-8 win over Wisconsin coming into the semis. They had momentum.

We pulled to start the game and they played a solid O point, working it patiently through our tough person-D to put us down for the first time in the tournament. We responded with our own clean O-point. The game ramped up in intensity as we traded points to 4-4, after which we broke Maine for the first time and went up 5-4. We then put on a zone, forced a turn, and went up 6-4. Maine responded and then we gave up a turn close to the line after getting the disc back with our zone. Maine tried to break Emmet for the goal and he strongly hand blocked the throw. We then quickly moved the disc down the field to take half 7-5. Maine didn’t score again and we muscled our way to a 13-5 win, completely shutting Maine down with our crushing zone.

Next up we moved over to field 6 to relax during our bye before the finals. We spread out around the tournament, watched the Open team take down Pittsburgh, and I had a short nap on a couch at tournament central. Back over at field 6 we started warming up on one of the adjacent unused fields as the Open semi finals game on our field finished up a barn-burner with Minnesota winning 12-11 over Seattle. Shortly before 2pm we did our focus drill and then moved onto the field at 2pm to run end-zone.

We took the field fully fired up and pulled to start the game for the 6th time in 6 games. We forced a turn at mid-field then calmly worked the disc in. Seattle responded with a strong score, and then we took off, scoring 4 goals before Seattle responded. The points were all intense, contested, and we earned every turn. The game speed was higher than all our previous games and we responded well. We held our person D the entire game and it worked well. We took half 7-2.

The second half was a bit more even as we traded points for a while, but Seattle could not solve our cutting speed and the amazing power of our women. Seattle did try a zone on us, the first we had seen all tournament, and we calmly worked the disc down the field until Seattle switched to person when our women completely took over, threw the last 5 throws of the point and scored. Rory pulled down a huge layout score, Vinny dominated… everywhere, and Lipari was the engine. Anna, Tulsa, Malti, and Marianna had huge receptions, and Sam Letcher had a crushing handblock, immediately followed by a layout catch to save the possession, which he then finished with a skying goal.

We won on a short, easy throw to take home BUDA’s first YCC gold!

After our initial celebration and shaking hands with Seattle, we circled up as a team and talked about the weekend. It was a wonderful extended moment.

Back over at tournament central, we settled into the large group of people waiting for the awards ceremony to begin. Spirits were, of course, very high. BUDA’s medal run began with Eliot Bemis receiving the Open team’s individual spirit award, followed by Justin Wu, who received the Mixed team’s. Soon after, the Mixed team took the stage to receive their championship medals!

We then bussed up and had some time to relax and get cleaned up at the hotel before heading out to a big group dinner at a nearby restaurant. Everyone had a great time being social and eating a tremendous amount during dinner. By the time we got back to the hotel everyone was super tired, but many found their second wind and had a great time together in the hotel.

It’s now Monday morning and we’re all enjoying a slow wake up. At 10:30 we’re heading to the Mall of America to have some fun before catching our flight back home.


Israeli National Teams Practice – Day 1

I just had a fantastic full day surrounded by Israeli youth Ultimate!

My day began with me hitting the snooze button only 3 or 4 times, so I managed to get up early enough to do a bit of exploring of the shops around the apartment before the walk north to the Sportek fields. With a cappuccino in hand, and a bottle of seltzer packed away for later, I was set. I made it to the field by about 10:15 and started getting to know the Israeli National Juniors teams. For the first hour the teams worked through light throwing and paperwork tasks. (There are 17 players on the U-20 girls team, 17 on the U-17 open team, and 15 on the U-20 open team.) After dynamic warm ups the kids worked through some throwing drills. Next, the three teams worked on different skills. The girls worked on zone O and D, and the open teams worked on more throwing drills.

I had a great time walking around and helping out where I could. I talked to the girls about the right way to turn on cuts, and helped some of the U-17 boys with the form on their hammer throws. Some English was spoken during practice, but for the majority of the time everyone spoke Hebrew. I love seeing Ultimate played in non-English languages! At around 2pm Chelsea, Maggie, and I walked a bit south for lunch and had a round of wonderful hummus and pita. Before walking back I became side tracked with (another) cheese shop and bough a nice slice of a blue chevre.

Back at the fields the three teams were again split up and working on various drills. The U-20 open team did a half field horizontal stack drill, the girls worked on more defensive sets, and the U-17 team scrimmaged. Over the next several hours practice continued as the rest of the park filled up with many soccer games. Space became competitive and there were a few heated discussions about field space. (Unlimited fields in the ideal Ultimate world!) Towards the end of the session, the U-20 and U-17 teams scrimmaged on a large space between two rugby goal posts. The U-20 kids dominated, but the U-17 team was able to score a few times and had some really smooth, agressive motion with the disc.

At around 7pm all the kids were grouped up and we all walked west to the coast, and then south for a bit to an open, lit beach. While the kids played in the sand, one of the coaches went out to get lots of food. Maggie and I stayed around for a bit talking to Abe, and then began our walk home.

In 2006 I saw the first Israeli National Juniors team play at Worlds at Ft. Devens, in MA. The team was small and pretty good for a first year WJUC team. Now, six years later, Israel is sending three strong teams! It will be the first time at the event for the Israeli girls team, who came in 5th at the European Youth Champ last year. You can learn more about the World Junior Ultimate Championships right here.

In a couple hours I’m going to walk back to the Sportek fields to help out with the second day of practice. Then, later this afternoon we’re going to drive to Jerusalem to connect with Karym who is going to drive us to Jericho for a clinic.