Without Limits 2011 Season Preview
By Michelle Ng
Without Limits’ series of spring events is now underway! Last weekend, we kicked things off with a skills clinic at Houston Antifreeze (Houston, TX), where after the games Saturday, 60 college players had the opportunity to learn from Texas Showdown players. Our tournaments start up this weekend, with Queen City Tune-Up Qualifier (Chapel Hill, NC) and Pres Day Qualifier (La Jolla, CA). Next weekend is Queen City Tune-Up (Charlotte, NC), followed by Pres Day (La Jolla, CA). We’ll be taking a weekend off before Midwest Throwdown (St. Louis, MO), Women’s College Easterns (Wilmington, NC), and Women’s College Centex (Austin, TX) in March, capped off by Keystone Classic (Manheim, PA) the final week of the regular season in April. We will also be hosting skills clinics, a women’s leadership forum, opportunities for teams to have guest coaches, and some mixers in all of these cities over the next few months.
Our vision is to create a network of accessible, competitive, quality playing and development opportunities for college women’s Ultimate players and teams across the country, especially in areas that have historically been lacking in these opportunities. College leaders from UNC-Chapel Hill, UCSD, Wash U, UNC-Wilmington, Texas, and Penn State are working together to create a total of eight tournaments for college women’s teams to attend. Players from Texas Showdown, San Diego Safari, Boston Brute Squad, North Carolina Phoenix, and other club teams will be supporting our efforts by teaching and mentoring college players at our clinics and other special events.
We are committed to cultivating a series of tournaments that providea mix of regional playing opportunities as well as the opportunity to compete against the nation’s top teams. For example, Women’s College Centex, which will host 52 teams in four divisions this year, features 19 of last year’s 20 USA Ultimate College Championships Qualifiers as well as a number of local Texas teams, B teams from around the country, and the next group of up-and-coming teams. We believe in creating opportunities at every level of the game, and our expanded efforts this year mean more tournaments and more development opportunities, for both college players, as well as players in the youth division.
The college leaders have been hard at work since the early fall season preparing for these spring events. Natalie Halstead, the Pres Day Qualifier and Pres Day TD said, “I’m just super excited to see all of our hard work come together. I’m really hoping that by hosting the Quals, having Safari host their skills clinics, and getting a ton of support from Without Limits, the ultimate community, and generous sponsors, that Pres Day 2011 is going to be sick!”
Looking forward to the upcoming weekend, UNCW captain Jessica “Patti” Patrick said, “I am so stoked for the clinic this weekend. It’s a good feeling to know that Ultimate has reached a level of recognition that allows us to run skills clinics for kids who are interested in the sport. Also, looking to the future, I know that my whole team is fiending for some good Ultimate. We have been working really hard, and can’t wait to see and play against some of the most competitive teams in the nation at Easterns and Centex this spring.” Patrick and a few of her teammates as well as North Carolina State captain Jessi Jones are headed to Chapel Hill to support the UNC-Chapel Hill program and help grow North Carolina Ultimate by helping run a skills clinic for both Triangle Area youth players as well as college players attending the QCTU Qualifier. Players from local club teams Phoenix, Ember, and Ring will also be serving as coaches. Developing relationships between our various partner college teams and local club teams has been an integral part of Without Limits.
Without Limits and Skyd Magazine will be working together to provide event previews and recaps, bringing you the stories behind the people and teams running these events, the happenings of the weekend that aren’t reflected in the scores, and the experiences of the players and organizers themselves. These stories will be cross-posted on both SkydMagazine.com as well as on the WithoutLimitsUltimate.com in an effort to reach as many people as possible. We’re excited for an awesome spring, and a series of fun, competitive events. We hope to see many of you on the fields, and we invite all of you to follow our journey here!