The following preview is presented by Spikeball
With all of the excitement surrounding the U-23 World Championships (WU23UC) in Canada this week, a certain tournament back state-side, also with a self-appointed acronym beginning in W, might have slipped under your radar. But you know how we do here at Skyd, our radar is sharper than Doppler 5000. Not too much in the world of ultimate goes unnoticed by our staff, and that certainly includes the largest beach tournament of the summer, Wildwood!
Wildwood Beach Ultimate, or W2BU (told you the acronym started with W), is finally legal, celebrating 21 glorious years in the New Jersey sand. This year’s iteration of the quintessential beach party/tournament will see over 430 teams battle it out beachside in the three divisions many have come to know and love; 3/1 Open (competitive), 3/1 Beer, and 2/2 Beer. The numbers stand for on-field gender ratios, so it’s safe to assume they represent off-field ratios as well. Three shirtless guys to every one bikini-clad girl!? Lucky ladies!
With only four players per team on the field at a time, it makes sense that the format of the games themselves at W2BU are modified to accommodate. Games are strictly timed to 45 minutes, rather than to a point total, not including the finals. Typically, if a team is up by 2 when the game is capped, it’s over. This is not the case here. There are chances for 2-pointers! If a completed huck from a team’s defending end zone is caught in the team’s attacking end zone, it’s worth double. A whole new meaning of coast-to-coast…on the coast. Only a scoring margin of 3 or more automatically wins the game when capped. Also, it’s not win by two. So if the clock’s winding down, don’t forget to look for the 2-pointer to get your team back in it! Although, willing to bet many will not only not forget, but actually look exclusively for the 2 point shot… I’m looking at you, handlers, you know who you are.
While the finals are not capped, they do stay with the theme of everything Wildwood, and have a few format changes of their own. Both A and B division finals are not merely a game, but a series! Best of three games, games to seven, with the deciding third game to five if needed.
Wildwood 2013 also boasts some serious star power. Many MLU and AUDL players will be participating alongside all the other beach fanatics on the sand at this year’s tournament, including these Philly Spinners. Additionally, the AUDL will be holding the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs at Maxwell Field IN WILDWOOD, on Friday evening. Team captains that check their team in on Friday will receive free entry to the game, and all other Wildwood participants get a $3 discount on the window price. Teams wearing their Wildwood jerseys together can watch the New York Empire take on the Philadelphia Phoenix for only $25! You can also pre-order tickets here.
Wait, what about the most important part? The party! Well, it could be said the party starts even before the start of 9:30am games on Saturday. Teams will be in costume and in…ebriated on their own accord well before the beer garden opens at 4pm. But the tournament provided party will once again be on the beach at the Hucking Hurricane Hut until ~9pm. Then be prepared to continue to party all night (respectfully, please!) at tournament headquarters at the Bolero Resort. Sunday morning games are typically a step or two slower than Saturday morning. Is it because the sand makes feet sore in unimaginable ways? Or is it because of teams partying until dawn? In a word, yes.
Weather looks to be about perfect for the wacky and wild weekend that is Wildwood, with temps near 80 degrees and sun both days. Why mention the weather? Merely to keep the paragraph-starting W’s going throughout. To get all the rest of the nitty-gritty, and actually important details be sure to check out the details page on the Wildwood website, or follow them on twitter (@wwBeachUltimate). You can also get yourself super psyched for the weekend (like you need it!) with the Wildwood teaser video on YouTube. It’s eight minutes of pure awesome!
Want to feel like being at Wildwood, but can’t actually be at Wildwood? Then follow my twitter feed (@CO1T919) for real-time pictures, info, and stats, mostly of the 3/1 Open division, but some of the Beer bracket silliness will sneak in there, as well. You can also use it to tweet at me at any time as to crazy events happening, and I’ll try my sandy best to come check them out. As always, leave any suggestions as to things to look out for on the sand, or suggestions for teams to observe (including your own if you like…no guarantees) in the comments section below.
See you on the sand!