1. “Gendrification: Women’s diminishing role in ultimate”
Another though-provoking opinion piece on Skyd (by Taylor Kanemori) with the topic centering on the role of women’s ultimate in the changing world of professional ultimate. As some commenters haven’t seen to have gotten, she isn’t asking for a professional women’s league – she states that she’ll still be attending Rainmakers’ games. Instead, she’s asking for the women of our sport to not be thrown to the margins as the sport grows to new heights. A request that I think is more than reasonable, and should be taken into consideration. While other sports work to end homophobia and promote acceptance, ours is seen as open and accepting from the start. Why the sport should be any different in regards to women’s participation and their role in growing the game baffles me.
2. MLU’s Week 8
With only two games, the results aren’t that interesting. With the Current beating the Rumble, the chances that the Spinners don’t make the playoffs does go up though in my mind. This ties those two teams at 3-5, while the Spinners sit at 2-6. Should the Spinners lose this weekend to the Whitecaps, put them out of the playoffs for sure. In what could be very exciting though, the Rumble and Current met again in the very last game of the season in two weekends, each after playing one more game on Saturday. Hopefully the MLU decides to stream that game, as it will be very interesting to see who wins, and takes a playoff spot. While over in the West, it’s great to see that the Nighthawks aren’t giving up even though they have zero chance at making the playoffs. To only lose by two to the Conference leader is no easy task, especially with the way that the Dogfish have been playing. As I mentioned last week, we get a preview at that Western Conference playoff as the Rainmakers and Dogfish faceoff on Saturday night, and again in week 10.
3. AUDL’s Weekend
The Dragons aren’t out of it yet. By beating the Hammerheads yet again, they kept themselves alive with five weeks remaining in the season. They got some help from the Empire, as they beat the Phoenix this past weekend. For more details on this, check out last week’s Seven On. In the Midwest, it’s looking like we’ll know a lot more about the Wind Chill’s position going into the end of the season if they either can’t beat the Wildfire or if the AlleyCats lose to the Radicals. Should Indy lose, I believe they’ll still remain alive but if Indy wins, then I don’t think Minnesota would have much of a chance to make the playoffs after that.
Sludge Online had an interesting stat they threw out there this week – the fact that a team’s record on the 2nd day of a road trip versus ‘fresh’ opponents is only 3-16, or winning just 15% of the time. That happens 10 more times this season by my count, and could play a big difference as playoff spots are up for grabs. It would be very interesting to see after the season, should the winning percentage of a team’s second game of the weekend against a ‘fresh’ team remain so low, if these games were handed out equally if there was perhaps an unintentional slight to some teams in the scheduling.
4. Roster Madness
Man, what a crazy couple of days as roster releases came out across of the divisions – though I am going to focus on Open as that’s what I know best. The biggest roster surprises were in Doublewide and Johnny Bravo. For Doublewide, looking to repeat as champions, they cut loose the Florida players and brought in Tyler Degiralamo and Alex Throne from Pittsburgh, and Ethan Pollack – formerly of Johnny Bravo. Expect some of their depth players to play a much bigger role this year, with chances of repeating still looking good for the Texas kids. Over in Johnny Bravo land, how can you ignore the team adding on Eric Johnson, Nick Lance, Bart Watson and Matty Zemel? Those are some big pick-ups, for any team, and while they did lose some players they instantly become a much greater threat to Doublewide’s repeat chances. And notably, Florida United picked up some stragglers from Doublewide which makes their Nationals chances increase even if the Central Florida standouts won’t be joining them. Chain lost a few and gained a few but I suspect will still be in the conversation as one of the best teams this season. We’re still waiting on some other rosters like Truck Stop, PoNY, Rhino and Sockeye.
5. What this all means…
This has got to all be very good news for everyone over at USAU HQ. With the MLU and AUDL around, some wondered if the club season would be lacking in talent a bit. That is obviously not the case, as this year looks just as exciting and wide open as any other year in recent memory. So long as the club teams keep attracting the top talent, and other teams being a place to develop talent as well, it won’t be going away at all.
6. Behind the camera
An interesting look at UltiPhotos at what it’s like taking photos of a game or tournament, and how that itself can be mentally taxing. I really like the line “by shooting close, [it] allows me to focus more on the people who are competing, not just the plays they are making.” And the shots that sandwich in the final two paragraphs are perfect for that as well. We’re all just people involved in the sport we love, if that’s in games, taking photos, or writing about it on a warm summer day.
7. CUT Camp sounds like fun
I’m going to keep this last bit short, but the Chicago Ultimate Training camp sounds like a blast for everyone involved. Just take a read through their Twitter feed, and you’ll get a good idea of what I mean. Glad a fun resource like this exists.
Feature photo by Kurtis Stewart – Ultiphotos.com