While the annual Whistler Alpenglow Ultimate Tournament has been a laid-back affair in the past, with teams playing in costumes and dresses, this weekend the stakes are a little higher.
Tournament organizer Scott Barr is anticipating some of the best Ultimate ever played in Whistler. Taking part will be several members of the national team who are getting ready for the World Ultimate Championships in Vancouver in early August.
“The players are representing Canada in the co-ed division at the worlds, and are playing in the tournament on separate teams,” said Barr. “There should be some pretty intense competition, with some of the best players in Canada out there.”
While there are several teams to watch for, Barr expects big things from Milk It, a team that has attended the tournament every year but has yet to win the trophy. Another top team to watch for is Nine Pumps or Less, which has several members of the national team.
The action gets underway at Myrtle Philip on Saturday morning, July 19 at 8:30 a.m. The seeding tournament takes place throughout the day, and the atmosphere will be more laid back. Teams take to the field again at 10 a.m. on Sunday as the playoffs get underway. The final game will start at 3 p.m. Spectators are welcome, says Barr, but he says the final game shouldn’t be missed.
Ultimate is a seven-on-seven competition where teams score by catching an Ultimate disk in the other team’s scoring area. You’re not allowed to touch, block or otherwise interfere with players from the other team, and players have just seven counts after catching a disk before passing it on to the next player. You can only take a few steps after catching the disk, or it’s a turnover.
At this level, spectators can expect long throws, diving catches, and big plays where players peel off in different directions to try and confuse their defenders.
This year there will be a Whistler team in the running after local players missed last year’s tournament for the first time. The team will be called M’Oyster in honour of its sponsor, The Rimrock. Other long-standing sponsors of the Alpenglow tournament are The Grocery Store, IGA, and Alpine Meadows Market.