HUCK ALL NIGHT…
I got back to my apartment around 11:00 AM on Saturday after playing Ultimate from 10:45 PM Friday night until 7:30 AM that morning. I had been up since 6:30AM Friday morning, so I was ready to eat something quick and easy, take a shower and go… to… bed! Besides a few hours here and there, Saturday was spent sleeping. On Sunday, I slept in late and was busy doing this and that, which meant I didn’t set aside time to post anything. I wanted the tournament to still be somewhat fresh in my mind, so, a few days later, here is my recap.
THE CFC Arena was easy to find and had enough parking for the tournament. The two turf fields were a decent size for 5 on 5, but really not more. I liked the elevated spectator area and the warm-up field (it wasn’t huge, but was good for stretching and tossing). I was also happy with the space available to catch some Zzzz during the buy rounds. I was really thankful I brought my camping chair with the foot rest. At the last overnight tournament I attended, I caught some sleep curled up on the ground. It isn’t like I need comfort because I was definitely tired enough to sleep anywhere, but being off the ground was a welcomed comfort.
Music played at a low volume over the course of night. I didn’t pay attention during the games or noticed it, but when I had some downtime I danced a little with some teammates and others who were moved by the groove. Both times I heard Cee Lo Green’s F*** You, I had to bust out my white guys skills.
The turf didn’t allow for cleats, but that was okay it was still a responsive surface. The bathrooms were fine, though the men’s room was a little water logged (probably due to the showers). I didn’t partake of the bar or the pub food available in the arena (I brought water, Gatorade, fruit, nuts and granola bars to sustain me), so I cannot comment on it; however, it was cool to have had the option. They also had vending machines that offered sports drinks and soda.
I really didn’t have any complaints about the facility. However, if this tournament wants to grow it might need to find a new location to host the event, but having only 8 teams provided a friendly, social experience, so it isn’t necessary unless that is in line with the TD’s vision.
PRIOR to arrival, there was plenty of communication between the Tournament Director (TD) and competitors. Once I got off the wait list, I received regular updates and could go on to the “Huck All Night” Blog to get any additional information I needed. I also liked the friendliness of everyone during the sign in. Players and volunteers were joking and chatting as waivers were signed and wrist bands attached. The TD remembered the emails that we shared back and forth and expressed that he was happy we got off the wait list (three of the group I drove up with were on it at one point). A welcoming vibe to start the night.
There was a last minute change in the player/gender ratio from 5/1 to 4/1. This was a great call on the part of the TD. If we had played 6 vs 6 it would’ve been really tight on the fields, probably causing a lot of picks and clogging.
The brackets worked out well and the break rounds weren’t too long. It was enough time to chat with other players, munch on some food and get a little rest. The only confusion I remember from the night was which field was which. I partly blame myself for not listening to all of the instructions at registration, but I do not remember seeing any signs either. Our team figured it out easily enough, though.
The Level of Play
ACROSS the board the competition was pretty good. On each of the teams I played there were a few stand outs, but because they were evenly dispersed between each of the teams it didn’t seem that one team had a major advantage. We should give credit to the TD for doing his best to balance the skill levels. I think what separated the teams, mostly, was how well they were able to gel on the field.
I remember watching one game where a team member was yelling at another after a score against them. It was a hard fought point and they were getting down on each other, not cool. I know that we all can get caught up in the moment, but, really, that kind of a display usually shows a lack of mutual respect and negatively affects everyone’s play. The good news is I didn’t see too much of this type of sportsmanship.
I enjoyed the crew I played with at the Tournament. They were a great bunch of Ultimate athletes and fun individuals to boot. Even during the first game, we began to get into a groove, cheering each other on. The format (two non-stop 17 min halves with subbing on the fly) didn’t take us too long to get accustomed. I actually enjoyed it. The key was to sub regularly: play two points and then get off the field. Keeping fresh legs on at all times was what got us our victories. When we (and other teams) did get tired, the huck-game began to get used more. In most cases the tactic to huck the disc was detrimental; if there was no score it just wore everyone down physically and mentally. Overall, though, I was happy with how we played as a team and how I did individually — it was a satisfying 2nd place. Team White just had a little more left in the last game.
I liked the tournament and would consider going again next year, but it is a draining experience playing all night long.
If you would like to go to the source of all things Huck All Night, check out the tournament’s blog. And, a special thanks to Bing and Jen for the pictures of the tournament they supplied. You can see more of J.R. Voce’s pics of the tournament on aVoceBehindtheLens.
Please, feel free to leave a comment! Thanks for reading!