Tuesday, October 04, 2011

World Club Beach Championships 2011: The tournament part I

So the schedule on our first day, Monday, ended up being very favorable to us, although this didn't become clear until a little later in the week. We had 2 games at 10AM and 6PM, against Hungary then Slovakia.

The prior night Jim, Trey, Ricky, JohnJohn and myself had met to discuss what was coming up for the week. It was decided that I would call the offensive subs and Ricky would call the defensive lines even though he was an O starter. You know how it is with the D guys. If you give them anything to think of other than getting the disc, it all falls apart… :) Also on the docket was the return of Alex de Frondeville's Hat. I had actually gotten the hat back just prior to GM nationals and was planning on the appropriate unveiling there, but our early exit in the quarterfinals preempted that. But there was no screwing around this time and I unveiled the hat for our first round game. I have to admit, it did feel good wearing it, like a nice broken in pair of leather shoes. Although JohnJohn and Ricky did have one of the cleverer moves of the pre-tournament, giving me a potential substitute hat, not knowing that I had retrieved my baby. Despite the sporty USA logo, I had to go with old hat...

During the warmup before our first game, we get there pretty early and also realize that this won't sustain itself during the week. Troy Revell put us through an active warmup, then we drilled a little, then ended up with a scrimmage to work on some plays and get the blood flowing (clearly didn't need to get warm with the heat). At one my team switched to D and while chasing Rob Johnson I kicked his foot pretty hard with my left foot. Heard and felt ALL sorts of cracking sounds from my 2nd pinky toe but it looked OK, even though it was pretty sore. While we started the game using D and O lines, we quickly started mixing it up once it was clear Hungary was not going to pose a challenge. I got my first score on the board, throwing a goal to JohnJohn to make it 4-0 (D point of course). Hungary finally scored a point to make it 9-1 and I was able to call an actual O line. I ended throwing a goal to Tony "The Duke" Leonardo and we finished off the game 13-1.

After lunch back at the dorms (typical dorm grub, using tickets we had been handed out at check-in), pasta dish, some sort of mystery meat, vegetable, bread roll, then a bowl of salad with a random dessert. Best meals were when they gave you an extra ticket to get a gelato. Yum! After lunch, I headed back to catch the Canadian women play the Germans. This was one of the games they needed to win to comfortably make the semis. While the play was not the cleanest on either side, they ended up winning double game point 9-8. Caught a lot of their second game against Great Britain at 5PM, who was also seeded above them. They ended up winning that game 9-7.

About mid-afternoon I looked down at my toe only to find that it was now a hideous shade of dark purple. I had to go to a few different spots to hunt down the right first aid people to see. Finally get to the red cross tent and doofus and mcgroofus are sitting there. I show them my discolored toe and ask if they have any tape I can use to buddy tape it to the healthy toe. They say no, and say I should go to the hospital. To which I promptly respond (as we are communicating in their broken English) that this would serve no purpose since the toe is not visibly askew, you can't cast it, so I just need to tape it to another toe so I can get back to the game. They send me somewhere else, who ends up being the massage guy who sends me back to the first aid tent. Finally extract some tape from them and tape up for our next game, this time against France who had destroyed Great Britain 13-1 in their 3PM game. Since GB was the second seed overall in masters, this was some cause of concern. We had shortened our warmup by this time (which was to get shorter and shorter during the week) and started the game on D. We broke to start, then France settled in and traded to 3-3. So I was actually calling O lines during this game, at least at the start. We went from 3-3 to 7-3 and finally closed them out 13-5.

Quick refresher for those who don't know. Beach ultimate is 5 on 5, shorter field, stall 10. The main difference on beach is that it is very difficult to make up ground on someone who is open. So you can throw to someone you would never throw to on grass. We really played up the under game after cutting deep. As we will find out, there was only one team that caused us problems all week.

Dorm dinner, then beach party, reasonably late night, then bed. Oh, and I had played finger for the first time at Paga this year. Well, we broke it out at the beach tent this night and played it in rousing fashion for a few hours, eventually using one of the candle holder boxes because of the number of players! Back at the 'bedroom' this time we had the one fan that made noise not move, but I still slept like crap, so the rest of the week I used an Ambien each night. Kicked myself for not thinking of it earlier, but at least I finally slept well although the room was still brutally hot. We had pretty much the worst room in the entire facility. Faced on the dining area (noise), had sun exposure almost the entire day (heat), and ground floor (noise). Pretty much had nothing going for it. Just walking into teammates room on the other side of the hall was a breath of fresh air. Annoying.

Next day (Day 2/Tuesday) was one of our two 3-game days with rounds at 10AM, 2PM, and then a showcase game on the arena field at 9PM against Canada. First game against Germany and they score out of the chute on O. I throw a handler to handler goal to Ricky to tie it up at 1, we break, trade, then they break to go back up 3-2, then the wheels come off. We go on two straight 4 goal runs, followed by a 3 goal run to end the game 13-5. I have another goal thrown to JohnJohn to make it 3-3. Get out of the heat, lunch, then 2PM game against the Currier Island pickup team. We crush them 13-3, with 3 sets of 4 goal runs. I get my one and only point throwing a goal to Trey at 10-3. Trey was huge for us on O all week. Or at least he amassed a bunch of stats :) But seriously the O played great the entire week, rarely getting broken (until Wednesday).

Now we had to figure out what to do with ourselves until the late game. Much of the rest of the US teams were going to make the trek out to watch us. We got their early although they had problems with the lights for QUITE some time, so for a bit it was unclear that the game was actually going to be played. It was also supposed to be simulcast on the web, but that fell through also. I think we finally got the game going around 10-10:15. By this time, Canada had lost a game against Spain (eventual quarterfinalist) to stand at 3-1, but that didn't matter. We were totally pumped for the game, and although the eventual score didn't reflect the actual intensity of the game for both sides (13-5), it was pretty clear after the first few points that we were not going to lose, breaking them 3 times out of the gate for 3-0. Although on the first or second point Canada had a chance to score 'upwind' but they dropped the disc in the endzone. We never looked back. There is NOTHING like playing in front of a crowded arena! Even if I didn't get any 'stats' in this game... As is typical, we were 5 games in to the tournament and I still had not caught a goal but had thrown for 5 or so. Other than the following Saturday, this was my latest night of the tournament. On the way back to the hotel, a bunch of us stopped at a restaurant for a drink, but once people started ordering food, we headed out to go back to the party (it was probaby 11:30 at this point). Our first game wasn't until 1PM against GB on the showcase field and I took full advantage, staying out until somewhere between 4 and 5AM.

One side observation. Ostensibly the tournament dorms had wifi in them, and they had provided us a code to use, but I'm not sure I have EVER been that frustrated trying to use the internet. You would open your browser, it would connect to the login page, you would enter the user and password, it would connect, you would try something, and the connect page refreshed every 30 seconds or so, and then you would be disconnected. This could literally go on for 30 minutes or more. Then at one point, you would finally connect and stay connected. There was no rhyme or reason to it, and it made things VERY frustrating all week!

One other side observation. For most of the week whenever I was at the fields, whatever team jersey I was not wearing would typically get worn under my hat to protect my neck. Looked sort of goofy, but we were in bright hot sun for a week!


Anonymous doriselly said...

This post "World Club Beach Championships 2011: The leadup" give a great info about the beach championships 2011...Thank you for sharing great info !!!!!

3:25 AM, February 27, 2013  

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