Outsiterz @ WUCC 2014

9 September, 2014 – 19:32


What a crazy start into worlds! It requires a full sprint up the stairs and quite a bit of arguing with the organizers (as we are a few minutes late) for us to get the team registered before the opening game. And then, quite some investigative effort to find the stadium where the opening game is being played. Welcome to worlds!

While searching our way, we notice three things:
(a) tiny Lecco is flooded with Frisbee players,
(b) the setting at lake Como is exceptionally beautiful,
(c) Lecco’s main claim to fame is mostly unknown: its numerous roundabouts (that also stud the region around Lecco). They are so many of them, that the only non-Slovak player in the car (me) asks what that word means, as she assumes it to be super-important in the Slovak language, as it seems to appear in every second sentence.

The atmosphere in the stadium is great – players from all over the world, more than 160 teams, flags from more than 40 nations. While watching the game, we already get a foretaste of what is to come: really intense sun. We also hear from other players that they have trouble with their accommodation, particularly with the dorms. In contrast, we have a nice surprise waiting for us, when we drive to ours: we accidentally rented a castle! Well, it actually is a villa, but a HUGE one and at that an incredibly beautiful place. Also extremely practical for Frisbee players:

  • A garden: great for throwing

  • A courtyard: ideal for drying jerseys

  • an industrial kitchen: well, what could we use THAT for… :-)?

  • a giant living / dining area downstairs: great for team meetings, team dinners and for having a physical therapy area for taping, massages, etc.

  • a lot of cozy rooms upstairs: yes, we are a lot of people

  • wifi: to get crucial information about organizational changes at WUCC, statistics, photos etc

Our vanguard takes over our new quarters, while slowly the rest of the team arrives, car after car. Everything and everyone arrives except one thing: my luggage. That got lost on the direct flight from Berlin to Milano. German efficiency… but hurray for having taken my cleats in my hand luggage!

Then, a second disappointment: we learn that the first day of games is cancelled due to flooding of the fields, caused by exceptionally heavy rainfall. Not quite what you expect to hear at the first team meeting. Falling into bed with a ton of impressions in mind.


Day 1:

First day at worlds, no ultimate Frisbee. A weird feeling. Despite our efforts and despite the fact that this region seemingly has at least as many football fields as roundabouts (read: loads of them!), we do not get permission to use any of them for training. Instead, we keep ourselves busy by going for a run, buying groceries for the next days, having throwing sessions and a little swimming excursion to Lake Como. Lessons learned there: (a) even though you have gorgeous views from nearly everywhere, it is surprisingly hard to find a spot where you can actually get INTO the lake. (b) The views are even more stunning once you are in it. (c) It IS possible to injure yourself when going swimming (broken glass in the lake). But mostly, we find a fantastic way to chill and relax after a long day of games, which we will use excessively in the upcoming days.

Going to bed weirdly well-rested (given that we officially just played a day of worlds) and curious about our first round of games.


Day 2:

After another vanguard has scouted the way to the fields on the day before, we have a good idea how to get there: through tons of roundabouts and through streets so narrow that it feels as if we were driving through the kitchen of the locals. Which makes for a serious temptation to roll down the car window and ask for a cup of coffee :-).

Finally, we do not only see the fields, but actually get to play on them! Against a backdrop of extremely beautiful mountain scenery, 32 fields (in words: thirty-two!) in various states of water-loggedness. The conditions are going to get both better and words over the upcoming days: Better, because the ground is going to get increasingly dry (it never gets really dry, only less wet). Worse, because what used to be grass is going to turn into deep mud in no time. For our first warm-up, we try to find an area where almost 30 people can run next to each other, while no one is ankle-deep in water. Mission impossible. At least, the sun is shining, everybody is eager to play and our first opponent is a team we never had the chance to play against: Stache from Canada. They play a very efficient offense, with precise passes and a beautiful deep game and win deservedly 15:8. In contrast, our second opponent is a well-known rival and neighbor: FUJ from Czech Republic. A game well within our abilities, but we are unlucky: a bitter loss of 15:12. That non-withstanding, we are happy about finally being able to play WUCC at all, after there had been talk about whether the whole tournament might get cancelled. And the pasta / risotto / … in the evening tastes a ton better when you actually worked for it during the day :-).

Outsiterz a Stache


Day 3:

Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine – temperatures are rising. While we are all tremendously happy that there is no further rain such that the fields can dry, the sun is pretty intense, particularly during games around noon. There is very little natural shade close-by to the fields, only a few trees under which we all try to squeeze. That actually makes watching other games also relatively hard: either you almost break your neck trying to view anything from the far distance of a tree. Or you risk heatstroke standing in the plain sun without shadow. It is quite interesting to see how much higher the error rate of players is during noon time, even in the teams of the highest caliber. Under these conditions, the running is noticeably slower, with less accurate throws and worse decisions. Still, many of these high-level games are very impressive to watch.

Day 3 features the last pool games for the mixed division. Thus, we have only one game against Hanabi, a Japanese team. While we are doing well until half time, actually leading for a bit till 7:7, they really do dominate the second half, eventually winning 15:10. The most spectacular catch of the match also leads to a serious injury: one of our players breaks his collar bone during an impressive layout, for which he has to not only get horizontal, but also needs to cringe for staying within bounds. A great point, but also the end of playing worlds for him, unfortunately. Also unfortunate for us, since we are losing an important player.

Since one day of WUCC was cancelled, the teams are now separated into upper and lower brackets, with no chance of recovery (which would otherwise have been possible). This leads to some unforeseen uproar on different fronts, where strong teams in hard pools or with unfortunate games now ‘end up’ in lower brackets. While some teams decide that ‘this is the end of the tournament for us’ (e.g. the German team Bad Skid), we come to the reverse conclusion. Even though we have lost our pool games and are now in the lower half, this is when the tournament starts for us, with opponents more on eye level and closer games.

After this conclusion at the team meeting, some of us continue the evening at the trading night, returning with heaps of jerseys from all over the world.


Day 4:

No end to the heat. A small group of us leaves early in the morning to spy on Catch-Up Graz from Austria (our next opponents) and Friselis (France). Despite our espionage and despite the fact that Catch-Up already has a game under their belt, we face a hard competition and a heated game in the early afternoon. We do lead for quite some stretch, but, however, are unable to finish the last points for the win. Instead, catch-up does what their name suggests: they catch up and finally win the game at universe point (14:13). A very bitter loss, really disappointing indeed. This is another team we know well, another neighboring country that we would have liked to beat. We are determined to bring about a change on the next day.


Day 5:

After having played late games for all of WUCC so far, we finally get an early morning game against Friselis (France). While this does mean very early rising times, it also means that the temperatures are still comfortably cool and the scenery even more beautiful in the morning mist. Even though we expect Friselis not to be an easy opponent, we have no idea for how intense a game we are in. Not only is this a game that will be extremely tight. There is also some bad blood between the two teams, caused among others by the French coach who keeps telling players on the field what they should call, while making pejorative comments about us on the sideline. In the end, the situation leads to a spirit time out, taken by us. Unfortunately, the time out does not seem to help much. Determined to not let us be dragged down by what happens, we clench our teeth and work hard for each other. And win in universe point 11:10.

After two days with only one game per day, we feel really lucky to finally have a second match today. Our second game is against Last Stand from South Korea, in the midst of the heat at noon. The contrast could not be bigger –a very well-spirited game with great atmosphere. While this game is in no way inferior to the one against Friselis in terms of intensity, the attitude is very different: giving high fives with your opponents, well resolved calls and anyone is congratulating any other player (from any team) on great actions on the field. Last Stand does prove to be stronger overall, though, finishing with a deserved 17:14 win against us.

We reward ourselves for a great day of games with heaps of gelato in the evening. Hurray for tournaments in Italy :-)!


Day 6:

Our last day of games starts with an early morning as well. While playing against Slash (Mexico), we are in illustrious company: on the neighboring field, Fury is playing against Showdown for getting to the top of the womens division (semi-finals). Our game is not quite as close: we are playing well and deservedly take a clear win (17:11). The game is followed by a fun round of Mexican games and typically Mexican presents for every player. Nice! It is great to meet a team that also thought of bringing team presents. The smoked sheep cheese that we have been giving to any of our opponents as presents definitely also did a good job in winning new fans for Slovakia’s culinary specialties.

Our final game is against the British Black Eagles. Again, a physically demanding game under relentless sun, but a great one at that. We manage to draw even until they take half (7:8), keeping up with them till 10:11. However, they eventually have a better stamina and concentration than us in the second half, winning 17:12.

After a week of self-catering and cooking heaps of food in our villa, we award ourselves with a visit in a restaurant, where we finish the day with great pizza, followed by equally great gelato. Some of us then continue to the final WUCC party that is held outside of the dorms. We arrive relatively late and in the cold, pouring rain. After a brief attempt, we decide that a dry bar is likely more fun, where we have a final drink before getting home to bed.


Finals Day and Departure:

Finals day rewards us with beautiful sunshine, even a bit too much of it and some exciting games plus great actions on the field. A spectacular game of Riot vs. Fury (women) in which the ladies from Seattle win 17:15 against the women from San Francisco, a clear win by Drag’n Thrust (Mineapolis) over Polar Bears (Bay area) in the mixed final (17:10) and another great game that sees Revolver win over Sockeye in the open division (17:15).

Watching three finals in a row makes for a long day. Even though we hardly moved (compared to the regular playing days), we still leave tired and ready for a feast of eating, as we need to finish all the food supplies. Our last evening in Italy ends with an atmospheric candle-lit gathering in our backyard, before everyone falls into bed exhausted.

The departure on the next day is early and emotional, at least for me who is staying behind, as I will travel in a different direction (Berlin, Germany). It is never easy to say goodbye to people with whom you spent several months preparing for a huge tournament like WUCC, people with whom you shared intense moments on the field as well as relaxed laughter in the evenings. This was a distinctive phase in all of our lives and the departure also lets us all become aware of the fact that this phase is over now. Even more, for me, it also means parting from people with whom I have come to feel close and connected, people who welcomed me in their team with open arms and made me feel at home, no matter where – in Italy, Slovakia or at other tournaments. As an external player, I would never have taken for granted, but appreciated it even more.



So, what do we take from having played club worlds? Our final standing is 38th. This may not sound much and maybe it is not. But each and everyone of us grew in the process. The process of preparation, mental and physical, and eventually the phase of competing against teams from all over the world. For some of us, it was the first competition at such a level, others were veterans. Each level includes its own challenges, be it the weight of responsibility for the experienced players or the struggle of coping with less playing time and for the less experienced.

Could we have won some of our close match-ups? Surely. At least two games come to mind, the one against FUJ (Czech Republic) and Catch Up (Austria). Both teams proved to be stronger mentally and had a bit more concentration and were able to use fresher legs during the end of the game. Essentially, they showed us what we can work on for improving our game. Thanks to any of our opponents for giving us the opportunity to learn! Because we will, both as a team and individually. Thanks! It was our pleasure and honor to compete at such a high-caliber event as club world championships and sharing this experience with frisbee players from all over the world.

See you in four years, hopefully!

Report by Anne

  1. One Response to “Outsiterz @ WUCC 2014”

  2. To nie je po slovensky, Anne! 😉
    Nice report. Finally my nightmares about the catchup game stopped, so i can read the report without bad feelings.

    By tmalec on Sep 9, 2014

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