History of Ultimate Cleats: Part 5

Here at TOKAY we are really into cleats. Join us for a look back at the fascinating history of cleats.

PART 1 – Cordwainers and Cobblers (from the first mention of football boots to the early 20th century)
PART 2 – Rise of the Brands (cleats of the early 20th century)
PART 3 – Post War Innovation (cleat development from the 1940’s onwards)
PART 4 Rules, Regulations, and Industry
PART 5 – The First Cleats for Ultimate

Cover Picture Source: Kijiji

PART 5 – THE FIRST CLEATS FOR ULTIMATE

Ultimate celebrates its 50th anniversary as a sport this year. And for most of that history, our athletes have been using footwear designed for other sports. This remained the case for the first three decades of the sport, until Brett Price started Gaia in 1998.

As founder of first company to design and produce cleats specifically for Ultimate, we consulted with Brett during the research and design of our own TOKAY cleats. Initially he simply advised us against the idea. But once he understood that Robin was truly serious about the project, we talked more at length about the pros, cons, ins and outs of ultimate footwear.

Our series on the history of ultimate cleats would be incomplete without an interview with the original ultimate footwear innovator. So without further ado, we present to you: Brett Price!

What led you to starting Gaia? And during a time at which playing barefoot was allegedly quite common, what prompted the decision to make cleats for ultimate?

I started playing ultimate in 1996 and was immediately hooked. I had recently developed an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to start my own company. Ultimate was becoming quite mainstream in Vancouver the league was flourishing but no one knew which type of footwear to purchase. I started GAIA in 1998 with a focus to develop ultimate specific footwear along with fully customized apparel and accessories, and to also advocate for the development and growth of the sport.

We started sponsoring some of the top club and national teams and through our distribution partner (Jump and Reach, Heiko Kissling) sponsored the 2000 World Ultimate and Guts Championships in Heilbronn. That was a fortuitous tournament as it is also where I met my future wife who was a local spectator (who also started to play ultimate after seeing the event).

Playing barefoot on grass was never common, though you would see it from time to time. Ultimate is pretty unique in its stresses on the foot and the human body in general, the quick lateral motion with stops and starts takes a toll on the body and the foot. Our shoes tried to increase performance but also safety and comfort.

Ultimate in those days was rarely played on well manicured fields, the grass was long, and there were lots of holes and variability, pretty dangerous actually. These field conditions were quite different than those for soccer/football and so we needed footwear unique to our sport. Much of this rationale continues to exist today.

Gaia Cleats
(ltr) Women’s Ion Sky, Men’s Ion Flame, Unisex Ion Vapour, and G4
Picture Source: Brett Price and Zasu

How were the goals to increase player performance, safety and comfort manifested in the design of Gaia’s cleats?

This was achieved through longer sharper studs, better support through the midfoot and heel and a 3/4 cut upper that supported the ankle without isolating it.

The polyurethane outsole had long and sharp studs. While the stud length was great in long and wet grass, the sharpness meant that they would bite into firm sunbaked ground.

We kept our studs round so that they would pivot in the grass and not create a cookie cutter effect where you could blow an ankle or knee on quick directional changes. The upper gave additional support without isolating the ankle…which then puts increased stress on the knee.

The midsole and heel counter also had to be super stiff and waterproof to ensure that the shoes don’t degrade in the wet and heat. It is critical though that players dry their shoes out immediately after use…and please remove those insoles to dry the insides too! Good care means the shoes perform better, longer.

In your own experience, what is the most important characteristic of cleats you use for Ultimate? And what would you advise people to look for when selecting their cleats for Ultimate?

There are a few equally important items. Make sure your shoes fit you well and take care of them. Don’t let them stay wet, and don’t walk on pavement..this will keep the uppers/midsoles strong and supportive and the studs sharp. When the studs get too rounded or the uppers sloppy…time to replace them. Use cleats until their performance degrades, not till they rot off your feet!

Gaia Endura Cleats
Picture Source: Gear Trade

How did the cleats evolve over the years?

We started on the footwear line from the very beginning, though it took many years to get the shoes to something that we were truly proud of. We had 3 models, a top mens, a top womens and a mid market unisex model.

We started with the Strike (mens) and Sky (womens). The original ones were leather and super comfortable, but leather stretches and retains water so we moved into synthetic uppers. The Endura was always synthetic but was otherwise the same shoe. Leather was considered premium back then.

The G4 was a major advancement, we changed the outsole to our own proprietary outsole that we developed in Italy along with a much stiffer midsole/boardlast and heel counter. The shoes were much stiffer, lighter and didn’t absorb water like the original models.

Distribution was a major challenge as e-commerce was still in its early stages and not everyone was as comfortably purchasing footwear online as they are today.

Despite this difficulty, Gaia’s cleats did well and people still speak fondly of them to this day. So what led to the decision to end production?

We stopped making cleats at the end of 2008. During the credit crisis of 2008 we operationally integrated and were therefore reliant on our primary production facility. The banks called a loan on them which basically took us out. They never gave us any early warning that they were in trouble and so we lost the ability to produce…and consequently our company.

These were dark days and a few people lost money due to the somewhat duplicitous actions of this factory. After about 6 months of licking my wounds, I restarted GAIA as a smaller more focused brand. Our new focus has been great for us, the product is as good as it has ever been with over 99% accuracy (i.e. virtually no mistakes) and we haven’t shipped an order late in almost 10 years. Things are going really well these days.

Gaia Vapor Cleats
Picture Source: LetGo

When you look back on Gaia’s early history, before rebooting the brand in 2009, what is your biggest takeaway?

Biggest lesson. Hmm. Tough one. Certainly focus is important, we used to try and do everything, travel the globe, hit every event, make every product, and market in every way imaginable. Now everything is just easier, and better. It was a wild and fun ride though, lots of experience(s) that I wouldn’t have had if I took the the safe route from the beginning.

What were some of your highlights from that early history during which Gaia produced cleats?

There were certainly highlights and “lowlights”, the vast majority of players/customers were very reasonable and gave great support to us along our journey. However there were certainly those who had unrealistic expectations on almost everything. They didn’t fully value how hard we ultimate players are on shoes and they expected them to perform well for a decade..when that is not really a reality for any athletic shoe, ultimate or otherwise. We also had several sent back because they “blew out” but when we pulled out the insoles they were literally caked with green mold…a full science experiment. As I mentioned previously, keeping your shoes dry as much as possible is key!

There were many highlights though, it’s a great feeling to see your cleats on top players doing amazing things. Lots of personal interactions with players and basically just having fun “talking shop” about the development of a key piece of equipment.

What are you up to these days? What new business adventures are you undertaking?

GAIA is going strong and we have another brand called Kazoom Cycling, custom cycling apparel for road and moutain bike. Great fit, fabrics and service delivered on time. Check us out! Thanks for the plug.

Thank you Brett for taking the time to talk with us about Gaia and its historic cleats!

A Quick Look Back at WUCC

WUCC ended last weekend with a spectacular show of thunderbolts and lightening. But despite the official closing ceremony, we’re not quite done enjoying the event. In the run up to World’s we shared the stories of quite a few awesome teams headed to Ohio this summer. We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of their impressive accomplishments.

So, in no particular order (actually, alphabetical order), the awesome teams whose stories we shared:

Colorado

🔗 link to our original interview

After a solid performance in the group stages, Colorado had the misfortune of meeting Amp (defeater of all the German mixed teams) relatively early on in the bracket. A series of universe point losses saw them finish with an incredibly respectable joint 15th place, as their final game (like those of so many other teams) was cancelled due to weather delays.

Colorado with an impressive catch and celebration against Amp

Flying Rabbits

🔗 link to our original interview

The Flying Rabbits, already “quite famous” around Europe for their spirit, are now world famous after comfortably winning the SOTG award in the mixed division and closing out the final award ceremony with an acapela rendition of their “Rabbit Call” song.

The Flying Rabbits originally founded their team with the goal of winning the 2018 World Championships, and if you add Spirit to that phrase, they totally accomplished their goal!

Flying Rabbits conquering hearts (and winning Spirit) at WUCC

Gentleladies

🔗 link to our original interview

With a brutal pool, the Gentleladies might not have gotten the ranking that they wanted, but they absolutely gained a wealth of experience playing against mostly non-European opponents while getting increasingly sunburnt under the hot Ohio skies. They beat their seed with a 31st place finish, and will surely be beating a lot of their European rivals once the jetlag wears off.

Gentleladies in a marathon final point against Ellipsis

Hässliche Erdferkel

🔗 link to our original interview

This lovely bunch of Frekels had an absolutely outstanding tournament. Aiming to play their best ultimate in every game, Hässliche Erdferkel remained undefeated until their quarterfinal loss to Amp. They absolutely stayed positive as a team and showed the world their great “ugly” spirit with an overall 11.11 SOTG score. Having watched the end of their universe point pre-quater against Café de Luida, I am more impressed than ever by their spirit. Unfortunately their longed for game against GRUT never happened since it was cancelled due to weather delays, so the two long time rivals share a 7th place finish for evermore. Until they meet again…

Hässliche Erdferkel in their pool play game against IKU

Mainzelmächen

🔗 link to our original interview

While the Mainzelmächen were unable to come away with all of the wins they wanted, they ended 4th in the SOTG rankings as the most spirited European women’s team. How krassgeil is that?! Their tournament came to an unfortunate and abrupt end due to Friday’s lightning storm while down 6-8 to fellow Germans the Seagulls. But while they lost German nationals in Ohio, we bet that the Mainzelmächen are more pumped than ever to accomplish their season goal of defending their German championship title in Germany.

Mainzelmächen facing off against the Gentleladies

OTSO

🔗 link to our original interview

Proving that OTSO were truly the best OTSO that they had ever been, our Finnish bear pack improved their 34th place in Lecco with a 27th place finish in Cincinnati.

Unfortunately due to playing the tournament, I was unable to snap a picture of Otso at WUCC, so we’re borrowing one of theirs 🙂 Photo Credits: OTSO

Sesquidistus

🔗 link to our original interview

Although their dreams of being approached by a record producer inspired by their warm-up playlist did not come to fruition, Sesquidistus had an incredible WUCC despite this one failure. With a joint 23rd place finish their top 24 goal was accomplished, and with a 5th place finish in the SOTG rankings (with an average spirit score of 11.8) so was their ambition to play the best ultimate they could while maintaining outstanding spirit.

Sesquidistus celebrating their win over Freakshow

Tchac

🔗 link to our original interview

After lulling the world into a false sense of unease with a checkered Windmill performance, Tchac had an incredible WUCC. They promised us the defensive Gull cheer, and they delivered. Not only was their cheering game on point, but they accomplished their goals of a top 12 finish overall and top 2 of Europe with a joint 7th place finish together with Bad Skid.

Tchac in their quarterfinal game against eventual champions Revolver

Wizards

🔗 link to our original interview

The Wizards set out to play World’s game by game without a ranking goal, while semi-jokingly aiming to end above their fellow Swiss mixed team, the Panthers from Bern. The Wizards had a tough Worlds. However, they did win the Swiss Championships in Ohio in what was arguably their best performance of the week. If only all of their opponents were national rivals, they might seriously have won this thing.

Highlights of the week centered on their loyal friend and supporter Penelope (pictured on the left in white) and her blossoming romance with Nigel (in the red panda red on the right). For more details check out her page: Penelope in Cincinnati.

Wizard supporters Penelope (left) and Nigel (right)

YAKA

🔗 link to our original interview

YAKA were disappointed not to make the top 16 last week, but they proved themselves worthy with convincing wins leading to their joint 17th place finish. Wins that included a rematch of their 13-14 loss against Canada’s Fusion into a 15-9 win.

YAKA in their initial game against Fusion

ZUF

🔗 link to our original interview

ZUF had an absolute barnstormer of a week ending in a joint 19th place finish, re-winning Swiss nationals to boot. They aimed to play cohesively and by all reports that is exactly what they did. They beat eventual joint 9th place team Ellipsis from Australia whose coaching staff complimented ZUF on their excellent play while ruefully noting that ZUF did seem somewhat surprised by how well they were playing. The heights to which unambitious dinos can climb!

ZUF in their power pool game vs. Revolution

We want to thank these teams again for sharing their time and their journey with us. Best of luck in your post-WUCC seasons and for many more years to come!

[Tour] AOAST on Tour

The Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour got underway last night. We’re hugely excited by this tour, and we hope this short post with links to the games will help many more people enjoy everything that this tour has to offer! For a more detailed look at the tour including its origins, roster, support staff and goals, check out our earlier interview article here.

Follow the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour on Facebook, Instagram, and Subscribe to Asia-Oceanic – All Stars on Youtube where their games are being streamed.

Cover Photo Credits: Asia-Oceanic All Stars

And speaking of photos, be sure to check out UltiPhoto’s coverage of the tour here.

Tour Schedule and Links

The 2018 All Stars team is currently touring the east coast of the United States and Canada to compete against New York Bent, Philadelphia Green Means Go, Washington Scandal, Boston BruteSquad and Toronto 6ixers.

Check out the links below to buy tickets (in advance) or watch the streams. We will be updating the links to the specific streams as they become available. 

Tickets

New York
Bent

July 24
19:00
Randall’s Island Field 10

Watch
Photos
Tickets

Philadelphia
Green Means Go

July 25
18:30
Starfinder Foundation

Watch
Photos
Tickets

Washington DC
Scandal

July 26
19:00
Cooper Field, Georgetown University

Watch
Photos
Tickets

Boston
BruteSquad

July 27
19:00
MacDonald Stadium

Watch
Photos
Tickets

Toronto
6ixers

July 31
19:00
Monarch Park Stadium

Watch

Best of luck this Tour!

Reach your WUCC goals, from your sofa

Its WUCC time!

With 128 teams in attendance, thousands of people are making their way over to compete and view these championships on the ground in Cincinnati, Ohio. But many more of us are going to be at work or at home quite a distance away.

We’re here to help you get the most out of WUCC from you sofa.

To the best of our knowledge all of the information below is accurate, please do get in touch if you spot a mistake or can correct an omission. Thanks!

Cover Photo Credits: The Ultimate Life of John Kofi

Watch the Livestreams

Up to 4 games per time slot will be livestreamed, giving the fans back home plenty of options to choose from.

You can find the livestream schedule with links to the broadcast channels here.

Live Stream Schedule

Or head directly to the streaming platforms with the links below.

Youtube WFDF
Facebook WFDF
Ultiworld Live
Olympic Channel
World Games Channel
Fanseat Website
Fanseat Facebook

Most streaming coverage will be available free online. Fanseat will be covering an additional field of matches with a focus on European teams that seems to require a Fanseat subscription. Furthermore, while Ultiworld’s live streaming will be free; you will require an Ultiworld subscription to view those same matches after the fact.

Play Ultimate BINGO

Add extra fun to your Ultimate viewing party with this BINGO sheet.

A quick reminder how BINGO is played:

  1. Decide on the winning pattern before playing: e.g. one completed line, full sheet filled, etc.
  2. When an event described in a square happens during the game, cross out that square.
  3. Once you have crossed out enough squares to complete the desired pattern, shout Bingo!
  4. First player to correctly should Bingo wins eternal fame and glory.

*** If a player wearing TOKAY cleats completes this action, you automatically win!

Download the printable BINGO sheets by clicking the button below. Or screen capture the individual bingo sheets below that and play along in your phone’s photo edit mode.

Follow the Media

UltiPhotos, Ultiworld and the ShowGame are the tournament’s official photography and writing partners. Keep an eye on their web and social media addresses to stay up to date.

UltiPhotos
UltiPhotos Facebook
Ultiworld
Ultiworld Facebook
The ShowGame
The ShowGame Facebook

Follow the Teams

You can follow the tournament schedule by following the link below for scores, stats and upcoming games per division or team. But you can also follow the social media accounts of the competing teams. We have attempted to gather links to each team’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you can follow all of the juicy news your favorite teams share.

Please note, just because we found links to what appear to be a team’s account, does not mean that the team will actually post any news there (or that a team remembers they have a twitter account).

Happy Stalking! and have an incredible WUCC from afar!

Navigable Schedule
DIV TEAM COUNTRY FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM TWITTER
W 6ixers CAN link insta twitter
W AeroSoul COL link insta twitter
X AMP USA link insta twitter
X Anchor CAN link insta twitter
X Argentina Ultimate Club ARG link
W Atletico FIN link insta
M Bad Skid DEU link insta twitter
W BambOo COL link insta twitter
X Banana Cutters CAN insta twitter
X Battleship CAN link insta
X BFG USA twitter
X Black Eagles GBR link insta
X Black Sheep NZL link
X BOOM! KOR link
W Brilliance RUS link twitter
W Brute Squad USA link insta twitter
X Café de Luida JPN link insta
X Charrúa URY link
W ChCh Chicks NZL link
M Chevron Action Flash GBR link insta twitter
X Chuckies SGP link insta
M Clapham Ultimate GBR link insta twitter
M Colony AUS link twitter
X Colorado DEU link insta
M Comunidad El Oso COL link insta twitter
X Cóndor Ultimate MEX link insta
M Crackerjacks SGP link insta twitter
X Crash CAN link insta twitter
M CUSB ITA link insta
W CUSB Shout ITA link insta
M Daione Kumay TPE link
W Daione Kumay TPE
M Devon GBR link insta twitter
X Disco Sout CHL link insta
X Disctèrics ESP link
M Doublewide USA link insta twitter
W Ellipsis AUS link insta twitter
M Euforia COL link insta twitter
W FABulous CHE link insta twitter
M Family Ultimate DEU link insta
M Fenix Ultimate MEX link insta twitter
M Flying Angels Bern CHE link twitter
X Flying Rabbits Ultimate Club BEL link insta
X Freakshow SGP link
M Freespeed CHE link insta twitter
M Freezzz Beezzz BEL link
X Friskee AUS link insta
W Fury USA link insta twitter
W Fusion CAN link insta twitter
M >>FWD>> AUT link insta twitter
M General Strike CAN link insta twitter
W Gentleladies BEL link insta twitter
X Glasgow Ultimate GBR link insta twitter
M GOAT CAN link insta twitter
X GRUT NLD link
X Hässliche Erdferkel DEU link twitter
W Havoc SGP link insta
M Heat Haze JPN link twitter
W Helsinki Ultimate FIN link insta
X Hong Kong Neon HKG
M Hot Chilly AUS link insta twitter
W HUCK JPN link insta
W Iceni GBR link insta twitter
X IKU JPN link insta twitter
W Iris CAN link insta twitter
M IZNOGOOD FRA link twitter
M Juggernaut AUS link insta twitter
W Kaos AUS link insta
M KFUM Örebro Frisbee SWE link insta twitter
W KFUM Örebro Frisbee SWE link insta twitter
X Kisumu Frisbee Club KEN link insta twitter
M Long Donkeys ZAF link
X Macondo COL link insta
W Mainzelmädchen DEU link twitter
W Malafama MEX link insta twitter
W Mantis AUT link
X Marvellous DC NZL link insta
X Mixtape USA link insta twitter
W Molly Brown Ultimate USA link insta twitter
M Mooncatchers BEL link twitter
X Mubidisk ESP link insta
W MUD JPN link
X Mulatto Pilipinas PHL link insta twitter
W Nice Bristols GBR link insta twitter
M Nomadic Tribe JPN
M OTSO FIN link insta
W Ozone USA link insta twitter
X Panthers Bern CHE link twitter
M Pelt Ultimate IRL link insta twitter
X Pie Wagon AUS link
M Ragnarok DNK link insta
W Rampage SGP
M Ranelagh IRL link insta twitter
X Reading Ultimate GBR link insta twitter
M Relámpagos DOM link insta twitter
W Revolution COL link insta twitter
M Revolver USA link twitter
M Ring of Fire USA link twitter
X RusMixed RUS
W Seagulls DEU link insta
W Seattle Riot USA link insta twitter
X Sesquidistus FRA link insta twitter
M Shanghai Chuchai CHN insta
X Shinshu Loose JPN link twitter
W Sirens CHN link insta
X Slow White USA link insta twitter
X SMOG GBR link insta twitter
M Sokol RUS link insta twitter
X Stall7 IND link insta
X Sugar Mix DEU link
W Swampybarg JPN link
W SYC GBR link insta twitter
M Tchac FRA link insta twitter
M thebigEZ AUT link insta
W Traffic CAN link insta twitter
W Troubles POL link insta
X UCT Flying Tigers ZAF link insta twitter
W UNO JPN link twitter
X Urosoul COL link insta
X Vanguard AUS link
X Voltaje COL link insta
M Warao Ultimate Club VEN link insta twitter
X Wildcard USA link twitter
M Wildcats NZL link
X Wizards CHE link insta twitter
W YAKA FRA link insta twitter
X Yanomami VEN link insta twitter
W ZUF CHE link insta twitter

[Team Interview] Ready for a spot of Sympafriz?!

With 1900 likes on facebook, Sesquidistus is the most liked Ultimate club in France. 

Some might argue that Strasbourg isn’t really in France at all, and that since Sesquidistus play Sympafriz instead of Ultimate they disqualify themselves to be the most liked Ultimate club in France. Some people are maybe a bit jealous of the fun, skill and spirit that Sesquidistus bring to Ultimate.

Read on to find out more about their club, their preparations, and their plans for WUCC (getting discovered by an LA producer)!

Cover Photo Credits: The Ultimate Life of John Kofi for Windmill

Fact Card

Club: Sesquidistus
Year club was founded: 1998 (20 years)
City, Country :  Strasbourg, France
Division: Mixed

Best Results :
National Championships:
1st in Mixed (2016-2017) / 3rd (2017-2018)
Continental Championships:
9th in Mixed at EUCF (2016-2017)

Crowdfunding Campaign?
Yes, the campaign is over, but we have raised 9100 euros. (Goal 8000 euros).

Getting a group massage from team Hungary at Windmill
Photo Credits: FOCUS Ultimate for Windmill

What are the goals of the team at WUCC and beyond? How are you preparing to accomplish these goals?

Because of the seeding system, it is difficult to have a real ranking goal. However, we aim to finish in the top half of the ranking (top 24). More generally, our goal is to make it difficult for our opponents, and to export the sympafriz, the origin of which is described (in French) here.

At the French Championship, we have won the SOTG, 5 years in a row. We will try to be irreproachable in our knowledge and application of the rules, in fouls and the application of contact, and remain in a good state of mind and masters of communication (or the contrary …)

We will try to bring our irony and our humor to the fields … hoping that we understand (humor in English is brand new for the Sesquis!).

In terms of preparation, we completed our weekly training with a more specific physical preparation with Jean-Baptiste Ebener, assistant coach of the France U20 Volleyball team. We also spent many weekends together, working and applying game tactics.

Sesquidistus playing Glasgow Ultimate at Windmill, a match that will be replayed during pool play at WUCC
Photo Credits: Maruša Lešnik for Windmill
Check out the stream of this game on Youtube

What should the world know about your team and its journey to Worlds?

This mixed team has been built in recent years, with a base in Strasbourg, which has been joined by a few new players who moved to the Alsatian capital. (Strasbourg is the capital of the former Alsace region).

We can now say that we are more than a team, we are a big group of friends. We spend a lot of time together and one of our main concerns is to fight against gender stereotypes (yes, the little girl in the toy catalog can play with cars !!).

What will we bring with us to WUCC? Our super pre-game musics. Honestly, we have, by far, the best (-worst-) musical tastes in the world, with a playlist where the tracks are linked to perfection (- have no link-). I think after hearing that, a producer in Los Angeles will contact us to help him discover new talent.

Sesquidistus challenging Mubidisk
Photo Credits: The Ultimate Life of John Kofi for Windmill
Check out the stream of this game on Youtube

What can your opponents expect from you this season?

We cheer, we cheer a lot … our inspirations come mainly from the support songs of the Strasbourg Racing Club. We also borrowed the pilou pilou from RC Toulon (Rugby) for our pre-game scream: Hopla Hopla.

Our other cheers pay tribute to Lord of the Rings (Battle of Helm’s Gulf), Friselis Ultimate of Versailles and FU Luzarches.

We also like to compare our team to a house. For 2 or 3 years, we have built beautiful foundations, the structure was very well done. And since the beginning of the season, we have moved in, and begun to live there by bringing our world. Since recently, we even have a coffee table, a plancha and a veranda.

Sesquidistus playing against the current Windmill and European Champions: GRUT.
Photo Credits: Maruša Lešnik for Windmill

Thank you Sesquidistus for sharing some of your cheer and cheers with us. Best of luck impressing that LA Producer who is in Ohio for some reason…? And best of luck on the field!

[Team Interview] The Ugliest Erdferkel of them All

Hässliche Erdferkel have always been a happy bunch of Ultimate playing Ferkels. And this year, with WUCC to prepare for, they leveled up to become a really seriously happy bunch of Ferkels. Find out what about the “ugly” they have in store for their opponents in the interview below!

ps. Hässliche Erdferkel translates into Ugly Aardvark. That might help some of this make a bit more sense.

Cover Photo Credits: Get Horizontal

Fact Card

Club: Hässliche Erdferkel
Year club was founded: 1997
City, Country: Marburg, Germany
Division: Mixed

Best Results:
National Championships: 1st 2017
Continental Championships: EUCF 3rd 2016 & 4th 2017
World Championships: we are going to see in July

What are the goals of the team at WUCC and beyond? How are you preparing to accomplish these goals?

The “Hässliche Erdferkel” from Marburg are going to play the WUCC 2018! – Who would have thought that? After the decision was made that we are going to Cincinnati, a unique journey began. For the first time a season was planned “professionally”. We started with training camps with and without other teams (e.g. Sugar Mix and Grut), played more than one preparation tournament (G-Spot, Talampaya, Windmill) and had team challenges for individual fitness training. During this time we grew as a team and defined goals for us: Our goals are to play our best ultimate in every game, stay positive as a team and show the world the great “ugly” spirit.

Hässliche Erdferkel celebrating their G-Spot 2018 victory
Photo Credits: Get Horizontal

What should the world know about your team and its journey to Worlds?

Well, we are a traditional mixed team, most of us are students. We had a focus on mental strength training and team building, because it’s the first time to play together in this constellation. Therefore we chose our pick up players not only for their ultimate skills, rather for their connection to the team.

It is damn hard to describe the feeling of being a member of this team: We are just a committed and empathic bunch of Ferkels. Short: It’s amazing!

Hässliche Erdferkel showing off their TOKAY cleats in style
Photo Credits: Hässliche Erdferkel

What can your opponents expect from you this season?

Dear opponents,

we like to play ultimate with a our ugly flow and love to show you a variety of set plays. Be aware of chilly talks on the sideline, smiling faces and our fighting spirit. Whatever the score will show after the game, we are going to sing a song for you. Beside a huge selection of German children songs, we prepared English songs as well for those, who want to understand the lyrics. We are looking forward to meet you.

Ugly regards: Your Hässliche Erdferkel.

Hässliche Erdferkel, looking ready to take on the world!
Photo Credits: 
Hässliche Erdferkel

Thank you Hässliche Erdferkel, for letting us publish your letter warning your opponents of the overwhelming “ugly” they will encounter. Best of luck this season you wonderful bunch of Ferkels 😀

[Team Interview] Candy Coated Colorado

Colorado have been working since early 2017 to impress on the world stage at WUCC this year. But if we read between the lines of this interview, one of their 2018 goals lies a bit closer to home 😉 #germangrudgematch

Let’s take a look beneath the hood of this German mixed team to admire the incredibly competitive candy centers within.

Cover Photo Credits: Colorado.

Fact Card

Club: Colorado (Gummibärchen Karlsruhe)
Year club was founded: 1982
City, Country :  Karlsruhe, Germany
Division: Mixed

Best Results :
National Championships: Open – German Championship 1st (1985, 1992 and 2000)

Continental Championships: Mixed – 2nd (EUCF 2017) and 3rd (EUCF 2005)

World Championships: Open Masters – 2nd (1994)

Colorado Team Picture
Photo Credits: Colorado

What are the goals of the team at WUCC and beyond? How are you preparing to accomplish these goals?

At WUCC we want to show who we are and that we can match up with the best teams in the world. Our goal is to play the best ultimate we can while keeping everyone involved and stick to our playing style.

With the current roster we started to train in 2017. Our preparation for WUCC consists in 2 team trainings per week as well as conditioning and strength. In addition, we had several training weekends, friendly games with other teams preparing for WUCC and preparation tournaments.

Colorado playing a practice friendly match against fellow WUCC team Sesquidistus
Photo Credits: Perrine Simon for FOCUS Ultimate

What should the world know about your team and its journey to Worlds?

Team culture: There is always time for a (bad) joke

Team name: The name Colorado comes from the gummy bear brand HARIBO,  it’s the gummy-bear-licorice-mix. Since the open team is called Gummibärchen (gummy bears) Karlsruhe, the mixed team got the name of the gummy bear mix. You will always find someone in our team having a bag of gummy bears with him/her.

Success/ Failure Stories: We played against Marburg 5 times last year and only lost in the German Mixed Championship Finals

Interesting facts: Our team average age is 28,5 years, though our youngest player is 20 and the oldest 38. It’s an academic team with mostly engineers or scientists, as well as doctors and teachers.

Named for the HARIBO Colorado mix, mixing it up in their TOKAY cleats
Photo Credits: Colorado

What can your opponents expect from you this season?

We have a loud and powerful cheer, after “CO-LO-RADO”, it’s “K-A-WUMM”

Our playing style is very diverse with different vertical and horizontal setplays, so that it is difficult to judge. Both women and men contribute equally to all roles (handler, cutter) on offence and also on defence.

We don’t have a specific spirit game, more likely we will just eat some candy together.

Off the pitch you will find us as a cheerfull lot. Some of us love to do a headstand, others love to throw food in each others mouth and still others just like to laugh loudly.

Colorado facing Sesquidistus again at Windmill 2018
Photo Credits: Maruša Lešnik

Thank you Colorado for making me crave a bag of Haribo. Best of luck this season, and wishing you much joy and laughter at WUCC!

[Team Interview] All the Gentleladies

We chatted with the Gentleladies just before they defended their Belgian Nationals title (huge kudos to them!) about their preparations for WUCC. They’re thrilled to be attending club world’s as a club team for the first time in their history, and excited to see if they can play to the best of their team’s abilities in a pool full of tough competition. 

Cover photo: Gentleladies with a cup full of TOKAY pressure at Tom’s Tourney 2018.

Fact Card

Club: Gentleladies
Year club was founded: Gentle was founded in 2004, Gentleladies in 2009
City, Country :  Ghent, Belgium
Division: Women’s

Best Results :
National Championships:
Outdoor: 5-time national champions
Indoor: 5-time national champions

Continental Championships: 1st at EUCR-C (2016 and 2017), 7th at EUCF (2016).

Gentleladies playing SYC at Tom’s Tourney 2018
Photo Credits: Nele Masschaele

What are the goals of the team at WUCC and beyond? How are you preparing to accomplish these goals?

Since we have never been to a world championship before it’s hard to set a goal for ranking. We have just started to measure ourselves on a European level by playing international tournaments and competing in EUCR and EUCF. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to EUCF last year so it’s hard to say where we stand in the European ranking. We would like to end up in the better half of the European teams but let’s just say we are looking to play a decent tournament where we feel we did everything we could and if that means that we end up lower or higher it doesn’t really matter. Building experience to bring back home and learning from other teams is key for us!

Spirit-wise we’re focusing on respectfully communicating with the other teams. We have really taken the ‘I trust you’ campaign from Colombian World Games coach Mauricio Moore into our hearts and feel like this is the best way to play ultimate, apart from knowing the rules.

Gentleladies playing the Dutch U20 Women’s Team at Tom’s Tourney 2018

What should the world know about your team and its journey to Worlds?

We never actively planned to go to Worlds, but were thinking about it when word got out that WUCC might be organised in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands – which is very closeby for us. But once decided it would be in Cincinnati, we stopped thinking about it – too far, too costly, too far reached. Some of the (young) girls on the team however, thought this would be the chance in a lifetime – running as Belgian & regional champions for three years in a row (but never really able to compete with the full squad at EUCF – difficult dates & locations made this impossible for the past two years, and the one time we went, we had to take pick-ups with us & had to leave valuable people home). So we got our minds set to raise as much money as possible, form a team that would be able to perform and started the season off with Cincinnati on our mind 🙂.

Gentleladies facing Mantis at Tom’s Tourney 2018

As a coach, captain, player (and founder of Gentle), I never thought going to WUCC with a Gentleteam of our own (without far fetched pick-ups and mainly Ghent-based players – Belgium is so small, we could easily have created a kind of national team that we call ‘Gentle’) – so I see this as one of the biggest achievements of the club. However, I believe ‘the getting there’ has been the most rewarding up until now: creating the team, seeing players grow & getting confident, connecting with each other and seeing that we are getting results. Not by creating the ‘best’ team with the ‘best’ players, but a team in which people find their place and find confidence in themselves and their teammates. That in itself, has been the biggest reward already. Windmill & Cologne gave us the confidence to know that we will be able to put up against the big teams, by getting the best out of ourselves – which will be the main challenge in Cinci.

Gentleladies swinging and hucking at Tom’s Tourney 2018

What can your opponents expect from you this season?

We have a very low seed – and one could say that’s unfortunate – but if you see the teams we’ll play in the pool, we can only be so happy to meet a team like Revolution, known as the best team in the world, with those incredible Cardenas-twins and a coach that carries Spirit very high. We get to play Mud & ChChchicks, two teams that come from the other side of our globe, and will be challenging to play and strategize against since we’ve never met each other. We’ve only met Atletico for the first time at Windmill, and are looking forward to meet them again in Cinci. So we embrace our pool and consider us very fortunate to play those teams and compete with them at the highest level.

We are playing the Belgian Championships coming up next weekend*, but we’ll be all set & heads-on to Cincinnati. Worlds, we are ready, and we can’t wait to meet with all of you in three weeks!!!

*this interview was conducted before the Gentleladies successfully defended their title at the Belgian Championships

Gentleladies competing against the Dutch U20 Women’s Team and YAKA

Thank you Gentleladies for telling us about your #roadtoleeuwarden turned #roadtocincinnati, congratulations on remaining the Belgian Champions(!), and the best of luck for the rest of the season!

Feet up for a short rest before WUCC
Photo Credits: Gentleladies

[Team Interview] Tchac? Tchac. Tchac! *araaarw*

A French team on the rise in Europe (and maybe the world?), we caught up with Tchac as they prepare to get a top 12 spot at WUCC. Find out how this group of friends are working to remain themselves while becoming an increasingly awesome Ultimate team. 🐦

Cover Photo Credits “OMG, We’re Almost Twinning!”: FOCUS Ultimate

Fact Card

Club: Tchac
Year club was founded:  The two clubs LUCE and DUC were founded in 1997, and merged in 2007 to form Tchac.
City, Country :  Pornichet, France
Division: Open

Best Results :
National Championships: French Champion (4 titles including 3 in a row)
Continental Championships: 3rd at the EUCF 2016
World Championships: 20th at WUCC in 2014

Crowdfunding Campaign?
https://www.helloasso.com/associations/tchac-cote-d-l-eau/collectes/les-tchacs-aux-wucc-2018-a-cincinatti

“They’re Bringing Seagulls Back *araaarw*”
almost all of Tchac in one place

What are the goals of the team at WUCC and beyond? How are you preparing to accomplish these goals?

The goal is to finish within the top 12 at World’s as the 2nd European team with the best possible Spirit; all while maintaining our identity which is the driving force of our union as a team. Rigor, sharing and mastery are keywords in our engagements and actions on the field.

We improved our preparation this year with better management of the individual physical preparation (a complete program supported by trainers). We also did a preparation tournament in Paris at the very beginning of the season. It allowed us to effect some of our first adjustments in preparations for Bruges (Tom’s Tourney). Our main point of focus this year has been our defense and ability to counterattack.

Tchac at the IZNO Invite early this season
Photo Credits: FOCUS Ultimate

What should the world know about your team and its journey to Worlds?

They must know us as a team that evolves and carries with it the great strengths of cohesion and character. We are initially a team of friends that has grown over the years and accumulated experience to become a team attracting the best players in the region.

The group’s cohesion is very important to us and is the basis of our strength and identity. For example, we like playing with nicknames, sharing our emotions, exchanging “physically” our joys and fears. We try to be tactically and structurally intelligent as a team. It’s been 5 years since we grew up and reached a high level within Europe. Our victories and failures are important steps in our current development. We are currently at a stage of adolescence, so to speak, and we still have a lot to learn to become a mainstay on the Ultimate scene.

Tchac at the IZNO Invite early this season
Photo Credits: FOCUS Ultimate

What can your opponents expect from you this season?

We do the Seagulls.

A little video of Tchac’s epic defense cheer
for those of you wondering what “Do the Seagulls” means

Thank you Tchac for this concise insight into your team, and the best of luck achieving your goals this season!

[Interview] The AOAST, Unabbreviated

We sat down to discuss the Asia-Oceania Women’s Development Program and especially the program’s upcoming All Stars Tour.  The answers below reflect the combined insights of tour organizer Lisi Moore, tour player Veera Sethuraman and assistant coach Ciaran Hudson. Thank you three so much for your time!

Follow the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour on Facebook, Instagram, and Subscribe to Ulti.TV on Youtube where their games will be streamed later this summer.

Please consider supporting the Tour financially by donating to their GoFundMe. Their crowdfunder will run until the 21st of July.

What led to this Tour? Who initiated setting up the Tour and how did it develop from there?

Lisi Moore was inspired after the Euro Stars Tour in 2017, which came off the back of the All-Star Ultimate Frisbee tour in the US. She felt it was a great idea to showcase incredible female athletes and give them the opportunity to play against the best teams and to get experience and exposure, which they may not normally get in their region.

In addition, from her experiences on the Australia national team, Lisi knew that a lot of players in our region don’t have big game experience or chances to push their limits in competition. Her belief that growing the sport requires a strong platform from which to enhance women’s competition (skills, leadership, coaching expertise), the creation of more opportunities for women to play women’s ultimate, and a focus on supporting and empowering women through a combined effort led her to start the Asia Oceania All Star Women’s program.

Check out the happy faces of some of the fabulous people that have helped (and are helping) with the organizational aspects of the Tour. 

PELT (WUCC)

Havoc (Manager – WUCC)

Please tell us a bit about the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Program.

The Asia-Oceanic All Stars program has been developed to build the profile of female athletes in the Asia Oceania region and to connect our best and most promising athletes. We aim to give them the opportunity to learn from and share with each other and other top athletes and coaches in our sport.

We want women to gain experiences that will help them grow as athletes and leaders. We want them to take this knowledge and experience back to their local regions to help develop players and programs there.

Our vision is to inspire a generation of young women and develop connections and knowledge to take us forward in our mission to assist the growth of women in ultimate in our region and around the world.

Part of this program is the tour which will take place later this summer, what was the application process like for the Tour?

A selection committee sought a team that encompasses a variety of players to ensure the team has both athleticism and skill and will showcase a diversity of players from across the region. Fair-mindedness (spirit of the game) was considered an essential attribute for all players. Athlete’s on-field roles and demonstrated ability to contribute to the growth and development of our sport was also considered when selecting athletes. The application period was for a month late 2017 early 2018. The selection committee reviewed applications and shortlisted candidates mid February, before sharing the final list at the end of that month.

The selected 2018 team is expected to be available to assist with clinics in the AO region later in 2018 or 2019, and all players were required to develop their own athlete page.  

So… Who was selected to represent the Asia Oceania region on the Tour this summer?!

Check out the 2018 Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour roster below! All player pictures link to their athlete page (where available), so be sure to follow your favorites (aka all of them). Also be sure to check out the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour Facebook Page for more in-depth biographies for each player.

2018 Asia-Oceanic All Stars Roster

Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page

Double T
Sirens (WUCC)

Athlete Page

Swampy Barg (WUCC)

Athlete Page

HUCK (WUCC)

Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page

Great Western Sydney
Pie Wagon (WUCC)

Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page

Black Kites

Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page

HUCK (WUCC)

Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page
Athlete Page

MUD (WUCC)
Nippon Sports Science University (BARBARIANS)

Athlete Page

Getting into practical details, what is the tour schedule?

The 2018 All Stars team will tour the east coast of the United States and Canada in July and compete against New York Bent, Philadelphia Green Means Go, Washington Scandal, Boston BruteSquad and Toronto 6ixers.

On tour the players will also engage in leadership workshops and youth clinics. They will partner with teams and organisations who believe in the mission of the program and are helping us achieve our vision.

Tickets

New York
Bent

July 24
19:00
Randall’s Island Field 10

Watch
Tickets

Philadelphia
Green Means Go

July 25
18:30
Edgely Ultimate Fields

Watch
Tickets

Washington DC
Scandal

July 26
19:00
Cooper Field, Georgetown University

Tickets

Boston
BruteSquad

July 27
19:00
MacDonald Stadium

Tickets

Toronto
6ixers

July 31
19:00
Monarch Park Stadium

What are the goals of the Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour? Do you feel like any of these goals have already been achieved?

A large part of the program is the sharing of experiences by the players when they return to their communities. While on the tour the team will connect with each other, coaches, mentors, and staff; and the American and Canadian athletes we meet. We believe in  the power of these connections and the potential they will have when shared back in our player’s countries.

The team is expected to take what they learn back home and the program will support them to share an implement ideas from their experiences and to further develop the women’s game. In doing so, we hope they will contribute to achieving gender equality in ultimate.

The players have also all made athlete pages on Facebook and are encouraged to view themselves as mentors for girls and women in their region and fill the gap we see for female mentors and leaders themselves.

What have been the biggest challenges and successes of the Tour so far?

Successes:

  • Communication across languages – We’ve done a great job of communication across a team from 9 different countries. While most of us speak English we do have a few players that aren’t as strong in English and we have made our sheets bilingual and translated asks across the team to various languages in order to ensure everyone understands
  • Support – As word does spread about the Tour, the reception of our ideas and visions have been incredibly supportive. So many people are loving what we stand for and are proud of the progress ahead.

Challenges:

  • Minor – time zones.
  • Not being able to train together – we will have pockets of chemistry but it may be an issue we face when we play teams with constant rosters and many training hours logged.
  • Fundraising – Many communities are also fundraising for their respective WUCC teams, and fundraise year on year for various world ultimate events. In our sport it is always an issue but particularly in some AO countries where ultimate has grown across socio-economic backgrounds and where currency conversions are not favorable to them.

Cue another link to that fundraiser: link.

What are you most looking forward to about the Tour?

Personally I (Veera) am looking forward to meeting my teammates and road tripping around the states together. Over the last few months from conversations and video calls and messages the team seems so much fun and I am really excited to get to know everyone.

Also we hardly play any single gender ultimate (in India) and so I am very excited to play women’s, and compete against teams whose game we usually only get to see on youtube 🙂

Very interested in becoming close with athletes from many cultures, learning about Ultimate in country to country and overcoming barriers through a common vision.

Asia-Oceanic All Stars Tour Support Staff

In addition to the excellent people mentioned previously, check out some of the other dedicated and experienced support staff that are working hard to help realize the Tour and will be assisting the team on Tour this summer.

Seattle Riot (WUCC)

Havoc (Manager – WUCC)

Best of luck with the Tour this summer and the Asia-Oceania Women’s Development Program.

Don’t forget to follow the Tour this summer, and that you can still support the Tour financially on their GoFundMe until the 21st of July.