Quick recap: I have been playing Ultimate Frisbee for about fifteen months and quite enjoy the sport almost enough to drop the “L” word.
This was my first international tournament and the first of four tournaments on the #ultimateasiantour2015. I first heard about this tournament from a friend of friend in the ultimate community. I signed up as it fit perfectly into my travel schedule and it was also within my ability range as it’s a hat tournament. I arrived Friday night at the registration party that was being hosted on two boats, one parked and one doing a thirty minute loop on the river in Phnom Penh, to pay my tournament fee and to meet some of the other players that had come from across the globe for this tournament. This was a great first introduction to Asian ultimate and what’s in store for the rest of my tour.
Saturday morning began with a hilarious start. The tournament had arranged “Cattle Carts” to transport all players to the fields located outside the city centre. Foreigners attraction attention, but put thirty to forty of them in the back of a high walled pickup truck and you can turn heads until they cramp. We did our best to keep our cover and “Mooed” upon arrival at our destination. The first morning of the tournament was off to a slow start but that was welcomed as a proper warmup could be complete before the first game. I was assigned to the “Wild Things – Monsters” roster and we had a decent amount of raw talent on our team. We were able to communicated and use that talent to go undefeated in pool play, taking the number one ranking into Sunday morning.
Before the Sunday games could be played there was a party to attend. The Diggs from Toronto had flown into play for the BPPPH party and they rocked it. The party also had a costume party element that was aligned with the tournament theme of “I have a dream”. Dress up as someone with dream or anyway you can work dream into the sentence. At the party there was the “American dream”, the Jamaican bobsled team, Ghandi, Pam Anderson in drag, and so on.
Sunday play was double elimination bracket play with games starting at nine o’clock. My team was able to grind out a win to start the day and keep on pushing through the next game to earn a spot in the finals! The tournament finals had a halftime show with the Diggs performing, all teams competing in a “Tally Wacker” competition, and of course a game of Ultimate. In the end our streak came to an end with “Pam Anderson” taking the title.
And the day doesn’t end there. This tournament is known for its Slip and Slide Layout competition after all play is done on the Sunday. The organizers rolled out a thirty foot branded tarp and waxed it down for competition. After a long two days everyone got in line and took their opportunity to layout and cool off. I was fortunate enough to be selected to move onto the semi finals where it was down to the top ten. After another round of elimination I had made it to the finals with three other contenders. The first competitor put on a blind fold and ran full tilt for the slide, he narrowly missed the catch and received marks reflecting a drop. I was second with no props and only the intention to fly high. I was able to catch my disc and posted twenty seven of thirty possible points. Next up was Ghandi, the dude was escorted to the line by two guards before shoving them away, breaking a set of toy hand cuffs and flying through the air. With a two handed grab on his bid, his score fell one point short of tying my score. The final contender, a local and favourite, took flight with a strong bid but was unable to come down with the disc. That was it, I somehow won the layout competition at the BPPPH against some really strong bids and props. I was ecstatic and went for a showcase encore with another finalist. We both made huge bids and earned the crowd’s applause for one last time. There is a video floating out there of the competition runs and I have a short video of my encore run >> HERE << After that, the Diggs played another set for us and awards were handed out for the weekend.
An overall outstanding experience for my first international tournament. I want to say thank you to the organizers who worked for many months to plan and pull this event off. Also need to thank my fellow players and participants for always bringing a high level of spirit to the game and all the events going on all weekend. I definitely have added incentive to return next year to this tournament as there is a title on the line to defend. Something about having O Canada sung to you after being awarded your prize just tickles my fancy.
Layout Link: http://youtu.be/Koz7dAqiLj4