This week/end (March 28-30, Fri-Sun) the best collegiate womens’ teams in the Nation will gather in Washington State for the Northwest Challenge. Since it’s remarkably hard to figure out what’s going on (between Twitter feeds, Facebook events, and the rarely-updated DiscNW page). Since it’s so important that parents and coaches know how to use this opportunity to inspire young players, here is a super-simple distillation of your choices…
- Friday night 7:45-9:45pm
- Loyal Heights Playfield, 2101 NW 77th St (map)
- UW Element (National champs 2012) vs Oregon Fugue National champs 2013)!
- Raffle at half-time
- Friday 9am-5pm at UW fields across Sand Point Way from U Village (just east of golf range)
- Sat 8:30am-6pm in Puyallup (map)
- Sun 8:30-2pm in Puyallup
- 12 teams
- 6 Northwest teams
- 6 teams from other regions
- 6 top-half teams; 6 bottom-half teams; 3 NW teams in each group
- each team will play 4 teams from their strength group (3 outside) and 3 teams from their region group (and 4 outside)
5) Attend the discussion of college ultimate Sat pm
- Not sure about location!
- Consideration of ultimate become an NCAA sport
The spring of 2014 is an exciting time to be involved with youth ultimate in Seattle. The sport is rapidly growing here at many levels, providing kids with not only more opportunities to play, but also lots of inspiration from collegiate and adult tournaments.
At the K-5 level, the DiscNW spring elementary league has a record 37 teams competing in four divisions! That will make for some great competition both at the regional Spring Reign tournament on April 26 and in the spring league playoffs on May 17.
At the middle school level (grades 6-8), the DiscNW spring middle school league has 68 coed/boys/girls/combined teams in A/A2, B, C, and D divisions. It will be interesting to see how their rivalries evolve both in the league and at Spring Reign, especially after the 8th public middle school season last fall in which 3 teams tied with perfect spirit scores.
There’s more going on at the high school level and beyond that I haven’t fully mapped. The Emerald City League has both girls and boys (6-12?) from local private school playing this season. And then there’s Fryz and Small-Fryz…
As for inspiration, the most exciting thing I learned at the coaches clinic (from Mike) is that the Northwest Challenge is happening right here in Seattle in a week! This is a tournament that will bring some of the best U.S. college women teams together for some amazing games on 3/24-25. There is also an opener exhibition game on Friday night (3/23) in Ballard between the 2012 Champs UW Element and the 2013 Champs OregonFugue. Stay up to speed with their Twitter feed: NWChallenge
Finally, young players may also be inspired by the major league and other National competition. While the second season of the Rainmakers will be exciting to watch in the MLU, the American Ultimate Disc League is reaching out to young players… but that’s the subject of a separate post!
Holler in the comments if you know of other youth ultimate activities or particularly inspiring play going on this spring.