Three Bay Area teams, three championships. Not since 2004, when Seattle’s Sockeye, Riot and Shazam took the Open, Women’s and Mixed titles respectively, has there been a comparable level of domination by one city. With two World Championship titles, these three teams not only won out at the USAU Club Championships, but claimed victory, winning their final games handily and looking strong all year. While from the same area, and clearly talented collectives of players, each team came to the field from different origins, yet still won gold.
Championships aren’t new to Bay Area Ultimate by any means. The Bay has been a contender since 1984 when San Francisco’s Flying Circus made an appearance in the UPA Open Finals, only to win the championship the following year. The Bay’s open teams wouldn’t see another championship until JAM in 2008 and now Revolver in 2010, but Bay Area remained in the top five consistently. Bay Area Revolver is a relatively new phenomenon in open Ultimate. Founded only in 2006, while San Francisco JAM was still building towards a championship, Revolver was designed with the gold in mind and built its way to the title.
Before Fury first established its dominance in women’s Ultimate, the Bay saw its first championship in 1990 with the Maine-iacs. Though Boston’s Lady Godiva would struggle power away from the Bay to win four championships from 1995-1998, San Francisco Fury first dethroned Godiva in 1999 and has been the biggest name in women’s Ultimate ever since, winning six out of the last eight championships, five in the last five years. With seven USAU titles to their name, San Francisco Fury may be the most successful team in the history of the sport. Their 2010 double-peak (World and USAU Club Championship) victory comes as no surprise and only seems to confirm their strength.
In mixed, there have been few final fours without a Bay Area team. With the stage first set by RedFish BlueFish in 1998, the Polar Bears have erupted onto the scene to bring the mixed title back to the Bay. The Polar Bears found their way to the championship in through a unique path. Forming just ten months before the national tournament, the PBears were the team no one expected anything from, let alone knew anything about.
Each of these three teams provide a different example of success, representing an established powerhouse, a team that climbed its way to the top, and an absolute wildcard. Who are these teams? What makes them so successful? And what makes the Bay Area successful as a whole? Skyd reached out to the leadership of Revolver, Fury and the Polar Bears to find out.
Page 2 – The Establishment – San Francisco Fury (Women’s Champions)
Page 3 – Building to Success – Bay Area Revolver (Open Champions)
Page 4 – The Wildcard – Bay Area Polar Bears (Mixed Champions)
Page 5 – Inside Bay Area Ultimate – The Start of an Era