16 college alumni teams representing the best Open and Women’s teams from the past decade square off for the title of the best of the best. The Big Muckamuck will find the likes of the Hodags, CUT, Superfly and Burning Skirts competing on July 2nd-3rd at the annual Potlatch tournament in Redmond, WA. As part of our ongoing coverage of the event, Skyd caught up with tournament co-director Andy Lovseth to find out more about this once in a generation event.
Why did you decide to create the Big Muckamuck?
The original idea was to do some sort of March Madness style tournament with 64 schools and a single elimination bracket. Clearly that would not have been a sustainable idea.
Next we tried to figure out how we could get the very best college teams in one place. Potlatch is among the (if not the most) desirable Ultimate tournaments to attend in the world, so we decided to approach the DiscNW organizers to host our tournament at theirs. Luckily for all of us, they thought it was as good of an idea as we did.
More to the point, we wanted to create The Big Muckamuck because we are huge fans of college Ultimate, and we wanted a way to celebrate the past ten years which we think has been so amazing. So many great player, teams, games, tournaments, and championships.
Which schools will be represented?
The Women’s teams will be: Stanford, Santa Barbara, Carleton, San Diego, Colorado, Oregon, British Columbia, and UCLA.
The Open teams will be: Wisconsin, Colorado, Carleton, Brown, Stanford, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Why is the BM important?
The importance of the Big Muckamuck is not be overblown or undersold. It is a celebration and a culmination of the last ten years of college Ultimate. In our minds, it is a summing up of an era. We hope it to be an exclamation mark on the era between two regional and competition restructurings (1999 and 2009), as well as our last chance to see some of the decade’s best players play together before they walk off into the sunset of retirement.
What does the fact that you can run this event say about the state of Ultimate?
Interesting question. A few different and distinct things.
- Players love their college teams. People jumped at the chance to play one last time with their old team. It wasn’t difficult to get teams onboard.
- Ultimate is still a player driven sport. It takes only a handful of people to make something fun and exciting happen.
- We have a shared history. There are more and more people tuned into what is happening with Ultimate and care about its past, present, and future. People know about the Open semifinal in 2001, Stanford’s 2002 run, the Women’s semifinal in 2005, the heat in Ohio, Florida’s cup, Santa Barbara’s five straight finals, and the wind in Boulder. An event like this reflects our own sense of history in the sport.
Is this going to become an annual event?
There are no plans to make this an annual event. Perhaps a once every ten years sort of event.
What are your predictions for how the event will turn out?
I wouldn’t dream of trying to predict outcomes of this tournament with these fields.
On the Women’s side you have Stanford who won four championships between 2000 and 2010, and were clearly the most successful team of the date. But you also have Santa Barbara, Oregon, and British Columbia who have won titles in the last three years. Not to mention San Diego, Carleton, UCLA, and Colorado who have all produced some of the top club players in the game today.
On the Open side, Wisconsin’s three championships make them the team to beat. But Carleton and Colorado have deep talent wells, and could forces to be reckoned with. Brown, Stanford, Oregon, and Texas are all dangerous, and don’t sleep on Washington (our last minute replacement team) — they have a roster with four current Sockeye players, a few retired Fish, and a handful of club veterans.
Past game predictions, the tournament will be modest, but exciting. The scope of the tournament and field is limited, yet unbelievably strong. It won’t be an earth-shattering event, but we hope it will be one of those tournaments people talk about in the years to come and say, “Did you see the Big Muckamuck…” or “Remember when…”
What are you most looking forward to about the BM?
The thing I am looking most forward to is our two nights of showcase games.
On Saturday night, we are having a super-showcase round starting at 7:30PM, with 12 of our 16 teams playing. Wisconsin will be playing Carleton (Open), Stanford will be playing Carleton (Women’s), Colorado vs. Brown (Open), Santa Barbara vs. San Diego (Women’s), Stanford vs. Washington (Open), and UCLA vs. Colorado (Women’s). It should be a dizzying amount of great Ultimate.
On Sunday night we will have dueling Open and Women’s finals starting at 6:30PM. These should be to spectacular finals played one beside the other. For fans, it doesn’t get better than double showcase games.
Event schedules and more information can be found at http://potlatch.discnw.org/muckamuck/. Look out for upcoming team previews and recaps on Skyd.