Saturday, June 26, 2010

the Most Basic Worlds Preview Ever

Basic Preview of Prague, 2010:

Canadian teams diminished from the Furious George highs of the late 90s and mid 00s and Vancouver Men's and Women's teams skipped Canadian Nationals and thus will not be in Prague.

Will Japanese still bring it? Likely yes.

Australia does not appear to be sending their top teams. Likely too expensive.

Can Sweden, Finland and Germany recover lost glory?

Will Great Britain's rise continue? They have the highest-seeded teams of all the European squads.

USA USA USA: Across all divisions, no U.S. team is seeded lower than 12th. That 12th-seeded team is Backhoe, the women's team from North Carolina, a perennial Nationals semis contender. I am putting 50-1 odds that they finish higher than 12th.

Where's Europe: Despite a home-continent tournament for the first time since Turku in 2004, the highest seeded European team is Iceni from the UK at 6.

What European teams will surprise the field and rise above? Is the time nigh for Switzerland, Denmark or another to upset the European order?

Where's France?!?



  1. In terms of the UK teams, I'm not sure of their impact at this tournament.

    Although the standard accross the UK tour has increased substantially over the last 5 years, I feel that right at the top end things are less competitive than they used to be, with Clapham & Chevron being the only 2 teams anyone with any sense would bet on being UK champions. In years past you could add Leeds, Fire and Fusion to that list. At Euro clubs last year the only non UK team to challenge were the Skogs from Sweden and I dont think you can look past those 3 for the challenge from Europe in the OPen division. Can they beat the top US teams or Buzz? I can see them taking them close but I dont think we'll see a team from Europe in the top 3 in this division.

    The mixed division is a difficult one to predict as in the UK a lot of pick up teams appear comprised of the top open and womens teams and then disperse at the end of the mixed season. Of the UK teams there, the clear stand out is Brighton who play a different form of ultimate to the other UK teams in this division. They are seeded 7th and I would hope they reach the quarters. Both Thundering HErd and Jeremy Codhand seem under seeded - I would expect Herd to jump up a good 8 places and Codhand to challenge for quarters. I dont know enough about BAF to comment but they are usually in roughly the same spot as the Herd in the UK tour. Again, I doubt we'll see a UK or Euro team in the top 3 here but the UK teams will likely place highest from the Euro contingent with the Germans and Dutch (Gronical - who seem underseeded?) in hot pursuit.

    In terms of the Womens side of Ultimate, I dont know too much about the European scene outside of the UK, but Iceni are consistently strong and would hope to hold seed at least. Again though, I dont see a top 3 finish.

    Masters - there is only one team from the UK and they played in the 2nd division of the UK tour this year. I think they will struggle due to lack of time spent together (they are essentially a pick up team who have played a couple of tournaments). Helsinki looked impressive last year and I would expect them to be the top European team in this division.

  2. What's killing the top European teams (Skogs, Chevron & Clapham) is lack of depth. They've all got players that are competitive at USAU levels but they are going to lose on turnovers to players in the 5-7 spots.

    I think the UK and Sweden have a huge advantage over the rest of Europe through their youth/college programs. I can't see the rest of Europe staying competitive without implementing stronger youth programs.

  3. I have felt this way for a long time, ever since first coming to Paganello.

    The breadth and depth of collegiate ultimate in North America is so strong, and because there is no money in ultimate still, it's the best and most effective way to develop and keep talent.

    Many other countries are lacking this college road map -- the UK perhaps being an exception?

    As for Sweden i dont know, but finding out that they tried to combine with GOAT for Worlds (note: motivations unknown, its entirely likely they just wanted to play with some like-minded players and have fun) makes me think that they don't have the depth there either?

  4. Sweden has school teams as well, which has helped their programs.

    I haven't the faintest idea why Skogs would want to combine with GOAT. Nick Tehler (Skogs) used to play with Furious so I could see that, but GOAT? No clue.

    The rosters are up. Ironside brought something like... 20 players. And missing some of their starters like J. Graham and C. Mahoney. Doublewide is missing K. Gibson and S. Pressley. Revolver and Chain seem to have brought their whole team.

  5. tolya vasilyev and joel hogberg of skogs both have played with GOAT and many of the players from both teams have combined to play paganello in the past couple years