Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Thing That No One Is Talking About.........

..........is Worlds.

(Just a quick note, this post is from the viewpoint of me an an Ultimate player and not as National Mixed Director. The opinions I voice on policies are not meant to represent official UPA policy or positions. I have gone through and corrected some facts that I may have misrepresented).

And I am talking about both Junior Worlds and WUCC's. Could 2006 be the benchmark for Worlds insignificance? The Aussie's printed an ad in the UPA newsletter which says "Aussie's win Worlds. (This could be the headline if you don't go)". I mean, could there be a better voicing of the deep seeded anxiety that no one will care who wins this thing if the good old US of A doesn't show up than this ad? OR.....is the word on the street that I am getting totally wrong and everyone is planning on heading Down Under, basically leaving the pickings of Nats to the second tier teams, and making 2006 the "asterix" year (as in: 2006 UPA Club Champions- Kaos* *Everyone else was at Worlds).

Now, it is certainly not cool to harsh on Junior Worlds, and that is not my intent. The kids are the future of the sport, but did WFDF want to eat its cake by deciding to adopt the 4-year rotation AND then, realizing that many Youth players would not get a shot to play, introducing the stand-alone Youth Worlds that so far (in 02, the US of A did not send teams to Latvia to compete...anyone know who won that event?) seems to be barely viable? I have good friends working very hard to make this event a success. I applaud their efforts and would muck right in, but working at NUTC for the three weeks prior just makes it impossible. The problem really isn't with the organizers, of course. The TD's and BUDA know how to put on a great show, and Devins will be a wonderful, if hot, location. It just seems that there are barely enough teams to make this a significant event. It kind of reminds of its infant sibling, the YCC's. There is no doubt in my mind that, in time, these are going to be great events, and it is probably appropriate that they are suffering with the always troubled transition between small and established. However, while it is great to have a vision of the future, this event is struggling right now with a lack of depth, and this was driven home by the recent letter I received asking for funds to get some extra teams to the event. Again, the Ultimate community has shown its generous nature by sponsoring players from South Africa when they attended NUTC. Their presence made camp better, and I sincerely hope that enough funds are raised to bring some extra teams to Boston this summer. I do look forward, though, to a time when there are more teams looking to get in than there are spots available.

If the purpose of WUCC's to have "established" club teams compete against one another, then is it somewhat disturbing to see that WFDF has approved two sets of roster rules for US teams in an effort to, I don't know, get more teams there? (In reading through the document sent by the UPA to its qualifying teams, there is the following language: "Please note that the World Flying Disc Federation significantly revised its Roster Eligibility Rules for the 2006 WUCC. Unfortunately, the changes implemented by WFDF do not translate well to the UPA’s competitive structure and definition of club teams. WFDF guidelines for team rosters were designed for a club system that is quite different from the UPA’s system. In order to meet the UPA and WFDF’s goals of sending true “club” teams to the WUCC, and in order to make the rostering process clearer to US teams making plans to attend, the UPA requested and received the following revised roster eligibility rules from WFDF." See my comments below for the revised rules. I guess it remains to be seen whether these specific rules will result in true club teams, or ringer teams, attending) Rule set A is what we have come to expect: basically everyone has to have played on the team plus you can add 3 ringers. Rule set B, otherwise known as the "come with whoever you want" rule set, says that 50% of the team must have played in 05-06, and then adds varying percentages of geograpically-based restrictions. Then there is the whole impediment of the tournament fees. First, WFDF opens up registration on March 5, and the early fee is due by March 31 ( I am pretty sure I haven't been left off the e-mail list, and, if that is the case, 6TM hasn't even begun to think about things like tryouts for this year). If you didn't qualify, but want to be waitlisted, you get to pay AU$500 for that. Then there is the AU$400 individual player fee. All of the above is in the context of what pretty much everybody is concerned about, which is, holding Worlds two weeks after Nats. Jim's posts back in November about "Are you ready for Worlds?" on the the day that WUCC's would start in 2006 clearly drove the point home. I am concerned that both of the events are going to be watered down.

So, what is going to happen? Well, I think there is going to be a big difference between the Mixed Division and Open/Women's. Most of the Open/Women's teams I have talked have said, "There will be some kind of team going to Austrailia". So, I think "Jam" will be there, but as to who is on the field is anyone's guess. I know of a few Mixed teams that are skipping Nats for WUCC's, and, in general, Mixed teams seem to be taking the WUCC opportunity somewhat seriously. Perhaps I am an alarmist or simply a worrywort, but if the top Mixed teams skip the UPA's then it does not bode well for 2006 as the division is still wrestling with credibility when it comes to quality. In general, though, I think that the tournament will be attended by a lot of folks who want to go on a big trip, and, as a diversion, play some Ultimate in Perth, and, as a result, it might be hard to make the case that the tournament placed "established" club teams from around the world in competition with each other.


parinella said...

Why didn't someone tell me that the roster rules were released back in early December?

But it doesn't mention anything about a Rule set B. It looks just like their previous set of rules, except for the addition of a third tier of countries and the tweaking to "played in either of the past two National series" to reflect that Worlds is _after_ the championship series for all Northern Hemisphere teams.

George, do you have additional info about this rule set B?

jtflynn said...

well spoken. i'm getting married in september, but even if i had the time and $$$ this year, it's hard to make a trip down under on the heels of nats. worlds seems more like a party (to nats focus on the highest level of competition), and that's one pricy party. even pairing it with a week+ in Oz or Kiwiland, it's a hard sell to this working stiff.

portland, or

gcooke said...


In the packets that teams received from the UPA, there was outlined two sets of rules that are a bit different from the Tier A, B, C rules on the WFDF page and specific to the US. According to the packet that I have:

"Club Team Definition A:

1) A team’s players must be on that team’s roster for the UPA Club Series immediately preceding(2005) or the year of the WUCC(2006).

2) A team may add three (3) additional players to its roster before the final team roster is due to the UPA. These players are not subject to the roster limits set forth in 1. (above).

Club Team Definition B:

1) 50% of a team’s players must be on that team’s roster for the UPA Club Series in the year preceding or the year of the WUCC.

2) At least 50% of the players on a team's roster must reside in the UPA Club section in which the qualifying team competed in the UPA Club Series.

3) At least 75% of the players on a team's roster must reside in the UPA Club region in which the qualifying team competed in the UPA Club Series.

5) No more than 5 players may reside outside the UPA Club region in which the qualifying team competed in the UPA Club Series."


Yep, I agree. If you want to travel and have a party, go to WUCC's, but the best competition will be two weeks before.

I have heard about several interesting plans that teams have. One is to open up the WUCC roster to all those that qualified in 05, then hold tryouts for the competitive 06 team.

On a personal note, as one of the 6TM goals was to qualify, I was all aboard to the point that my daughter was psyched to "go see the Koala Bears", even though I was encouraging her to realize that we might not go. While I think that a long, cool (and expensive) family trip is a great idea, my wife is hesitant as she is wondering if there might be better places to go than Perth....if one is planning a big trip. I am starting to agree with her.


Jason de Rooy said...

Minor point really but worth noting that the prices are in Australian dollars. A$400 is about US$287 and so forth.

parinella said...

So, say 5 guys from Jam '05 move to Seattle (same Region), 5 guys move to Boston, and those 10 pair with 5 guys from Kaos who live in Santa Cruz and 5 guys from Boston who move to SF in '06 to play with Jam, that is a club team by definition B.

This particular example doesn't pass the sniff test, but I think most any team that will show up at WUCC will be as real of a team as the Tier 2 or Tier 3 teams that show up, ones that pick up players from other countries for the tournament. I know that WFDF is trying to encourage these countries to get teams together no matter how loose, but it makes it harder for them to be serious in enforcing strict rules on other rosters. (But it does fit with the old ultimate tradition of allowing players to break the rules as long as they're not going to win.)

I lobbied to have expanded roster regulations, and am sticking to that point of view. But I would hope that a team like the one I cited above would not be put together. The intent should still be made clear to the qualifiers that it is basically their team that is going (however they choose to define it), plus whatever extras they need to fill out the roster owing to the logistics, and is not intended to produce a real ringer team.

gcooke said...

Well said, Jim.

I think your comments about intent are very interesting. What we seem to be relying on is the honesty of the teams. That they are going to "fill the holes" and not try to create a ringer team. It seems to go both ways as well. Just as it is not appropriate for a Nada Mooger team to show up, it isn't very interesting to have to play a cobbled together team of poor quality.


Shawn said...

To further the sentiments of Shiv- a very frustrating aspect of Worlds-- the cost. AUS$1000 team fee + AUS$450 per player fee (!) + AUS$220 for food + AUS$270 for the cheapest accomodation + ~$2000 for a flight from the Midwest.... let's see, put that through the currency converter... yep, still a whole assload of money.

I can deal with everything pretty much except the player fee. AUS$450=US$320. So essentially each player at worlds is paying the equivalent of an entire *team* fee at any high quality tournament in the US?

Some quick numbers: the WFDF expects (~115 teams x $1000) + (115 x ~18 players per team x $450 per player) = AUS$1,046,500= US$743,015. What? Am I missing something here? Hand maidens? A full Beatles reunion for halftime of finals?

I believe we had to pay $45 per player for UPACC2005 for the best of venues, a well run, highly promoted event, free beer, and likely the best competition in the world. I would expect to pay twice this much at Worlds. But TEN times as much? I know worlds is going to be amazing, but is it going to be TEN times better than Sarasota?

This is where you old farts come in and give me a talking to. Is this in line with how much you payed for Hawaii in '02? Does this event actually cost 3/4 of a million dollars to run? And then, of course, the biggest question of them all... is it worth it?

PS - I am still going. I mean, c'mon.

gcooke said...

Hi Shawn,

When I first started seriously thinking about going, I viewed it as a trip with my family with some Ultimate tucked in along the way. First, I thought that if I am going around the world, there is no way that the entirety of trip was going to be 5 days in Perth. 3 weeks minimum seemed in order. Also, there was no way that I was going to say 'See ya, honey, have a good month!'. Now, I think travel is a great opportunity for my family, and I do enjoy traveling with a purpose (like Ultimate) as I tends to get restless being a tourist. My wife, however, has little to no interest in sitting around in Perth watching me play Ultimate.

I try to view things as follows: life is fragile, live it to its fullest, don't let money be an impediment. However, I do think we have a responsibility to be critical consumers, and I think your questions are good questions to ask.

I am in denial about the budget for the three of us, but it must be something like:

$6K for flights(would this include flying to New Zealand?)
$2K for the three of us at WUCC
$3-4K for 20 days in the rest of Austrailia plus New Zealand????

Now, as much as it is an afterthought, playing at WUCC's must start to bubble up as the centerpiece of the experience if you are weighing this trip vs a trip to some other far away location. This starts to lead me into the concerns I have about the competition, which I won't reiterate.

Lastly, there are expectations, which you bring up in a funny way. I have stated in this blog that I believe in maintaining low expectations, but high goals. As you say, though, for that kind of money....I do kind of expect to have John Lennon sing at halftime.....


Corey said...

This is so American. We're all bitching about the cost/expense/timing of this event becuase it doesn't work for us!

Did you ever think about all the times Australia has come to Worlds in US/Canada/Europe when the travel was so far for them and also out of season for them, since their winter and off-season is when we are playing all the time.

Yes, the timing sucks and the travel sucks and the expense sucks, but Australia deserves the bone that was thrown to them. Worlds won't be there every four years, hell, it probably won't be back there for 10 - 20 years at least.

If some guy from Australia is going to be the one that gets my "Current World Champion" title from me, so be it.

parinella said...

Corey, many of the Europeans stayed home rather than go to Hawaii in 2002 because it was too far. At least that was an argument I saw about why the Europeans didn't do nearly as well there as they had when WUCC was in Europe.

The UPA itself has a similar problem. Hawaii is in the SW Region, isn't it? When are Regionals going to be held there? And Nova Scotia is in the NE, and while it is fair for them to host Regionals every once in a long while, the time that it does happen won't seem so fair to the other teams. So it is with the Australians. Additionally, from what I've heard, they put forth the best (only reasonable?) bid to host and worked with WFDF and the UPA to accommodate the UPA schedule.

Also somewhat relevant is that workers in every other country get a lot more vacation time than we do. The Australian guys went on a two week tour of the US en route to Worlds in Finland a couple years ago. Few if any US teams could have all their players commit that time.

Europe or Hawaii is close enough that continental Americans can go for just the week if they want to, while Australia is not.

Finally, part of being American is being brash enough to acknowledge that you're the best country in the world. 2002 WUCC results here don't show many non-UPA teams anywhere close to the top. The fact is that almost all of the best teams in the world play in the UPA series. Similarly, DoG knows that if it wants to play the top teams before Nationals, it has to travel to the West Coast. That's the way it is when you're isolated.

gcooke said...


I am not so sure that we all suffer from the myopic perspective that you charge. It seems that you and I agree that the travel, expense, and timing "sucks", but nowhere do I say that Australia does not deserve to have the bid. To me, it is totally fair and proper that the event is there, despite the issues that I raise in my original post. Certainly, Australia has put in much effort over the years, and, thankfully, that effort has paid off in the wonderful results they have posted in the past couple of years. If I have to qualify all my statements with "perspective salves" then my posts would be even more cumbersome than they already are. I am not going to deny that the tone of my post was "bitchy", but that in and of itself does not mean that I was lacking in self-awareness or perspective, in fact, that might have even been the point......


gcooke said...

Will Deaver asked me to post this:

"Jim's example is interesting to think about. As expected, he's done the math, and the team he described is a legit team for WUCC. Let's examine this "worst case scenario" and then compare it to WFDF's original roster eligibility rules and the intent of the rules.

In Jim's example, you'll have half the team as members of the 2005 Jam team that earned the bid and 75% of the team will have been members of either the 2005 or 2006 Jam team. Seems fairly reasonable. The other 25% of the team will be players that live in the section and presumably could practice/play with the other 5 current Jam (formerly Boston) guys who are in the Bay Area for the fall. Doesn't seem so unreasonable or ringer-ish.

Yes, it's true that of the 20 guys, it's possible/likely that 10 of the guys going to the WUCC will have never played with the other 10 guys. But, that's also possible under the more stringent Option A rules, where all you have to do is be part of either the 2005 or 2006 team. A "worst case scenario" under Option A rules could yield pretty similar results, with 10/20 from 2005 (but not 2006) and 10/20 from 2006 (but not 2005)...and on top of that some mix of 3 completely unaffiliated players.

When you look at the original WFDF rules, which were admittedly not designed with the US/UPA club system in mind, you could have teams picking up players from loosely/un-defined "feeder teams" and picking up players from teams in other divisions. I imagine a "worst-case scenario" club team following these rules might be pretty unrecognizable.

The intent of the club nature of the WUCC tournament seems to be to field teams comprised of players that normally play together. The trick is to define "normally play together". Seems like WFDF's rules encompass either some competitive history with the team, or some ability to practice with the team leading up to the event (which implies geographic proximity), or a combination of both. The same criteria are applied in the WFDF-approved rules for UPA teams (Options A and B), but in a context that is easier for US players and teams to understand, track, and adhere to.

WD (UPA hat off - player thinking about WUCC options for his team hat on)"

Corey said...

Well, when a hawaiian team starts coming to reginals, I guess we'll have to go to Hawaii every 8 years or whateves. I've been in this region 7 years and have yet to see one. Maybe co-ed a few years ago.

And I wasn't really atacking what Jim and George are saying, just the general feeling that "Waaaa, worlds is at a bad time and shitty location" I'm hearing from everyone.

That is, everyone not in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

Johnny Mac said...

I'm an Australian Ulti player, but have nothing to do with any WUCC organisation or other administration. Just so you know where I'm coming from...

I believe that there was a fair bit of discussion between AFDA (like your UPA) and WFDF about the date before it was finally set. Here's some weather info from Perth in August:
Avg Minimum: 9.3 C
Avg Maximum: 18.3 C
Avg Rainfall: 135.0 mm
Sunrise: around 7 am
Sunset: around 5:45 pm

And here is Perth in November:
Avg Minimum: 14.2 C
Avg Maximum: 26.3 C
Avg Rainfall: 22.0 mm
Sunrise: around 5:10 am
Sunset: around 6:50 pm

Note that it's all in Celsius and millimetres... if you don't want to bother converting, it basically says that November is warmer, drier, and sunnier than August.

Just FYI.

parinella said...

Corey, I think it's not just an American issue, either. I posted something on Eurodisc today and received several replies from German teams that they are not going to Worlds because of (da da) time and money.

Also, while it's still closer than anything else, it's still >5000 mi from South Africa and >3000 mi from NZ to get to Perth. Source: Great Circle Mapper

gcooke said...

Johnny Mac,

One of the reasons for my disclaimers at the top of my post is that, as National Mixed Director for the UPA, I surveyed my Mixed teams in 2003 to see their reaction to the possibility that WUCC's would be held in Nov 2006.

At that time, the rationale for holding the event in Nov, including the weather, was presented to us. Thanks, though, for reminding us of how tricky this decision was. Again, I don't begrudge the decision, I just think we Ultimate players need to be prepared for teams having to make a choice about which tournament they will attend and the possible impact this will have on the competitive level of these events.


Thanks for the clarification and reminder of perspective.


Corey said...

Jim, so what is your point? Yes it's far. Are you saying Worlds should never be in Australia because it's a pain in the ass for Northern Hemisphere teams?

You know I remember back in the DoG hey day when you guys didn't get your shit together to go to worlds in Vancouver (I know, I know, eyes on catching NYNY). And that opened the door for other teams. I'm sure there are some people out there that are looking at this from that perspective. This is their shot at a world title. I'm sure no one from the '92 Swedish World Champs puts an asterisks next to their title, just because NYNY didn't want to drag their asses to Japan.

parinella said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
parinella said...

I'm saying that they shouldn't be surprised if teams don't show up when Worlds are in Australia, and that it's not just Americans. Are players _obligated_ to go to Australia?

We played Sockeye in the finals at Tuneup after they won in Vancouver, and judging from the way they reacted after they won, I think they felt that there _was_ an asterisk hanging over their heads, removed with that win. If DoG had won its first title without facing Cojones, then there would have been a "yes, but" in the air, even if the title was still earned (Red Sox fans were claiming back in '04 that they preferred to face the Yankees in the ALCS because winning the WS without going through the Evil Empire would have tarnished it). Face it, not all titles are equal. Don't you mentallly place an asterisk next to Masters or Coed titles since the best players aren't in those divisions?

Corey said...

I am not a fan of any asterisks. "You win with the army they give you" or whatever Rumsfeld said. I just had this argument with a teammate today, how if I dragged my ass to Australia and we won and Furious wasn't there, well, too bad for Furious, we're the world champs.

I think Bonds deserves all the records he's got, I don't care if he was on 'roids. He was playing under what were the rules at the time. Is it his fault other people didn’t want to risk their lives like he was? Does Hark Aaron not really deserve to be the home run king because he played more games than the Babe?

Comparing Masters to Open to Coed is apples and oranges. All Masters titles are equal to all other Masters titles. I don't care if Corky, Kenny D, Pat King or Moons are there playing masters or not.

Jim, why is it that you always seem to love to belittle what other people’s accomplishments are? If you have self esteem issues about whether you deserve what you have won in life or not, that is your issue.

I’d be proud to win another WUCC title, and am sad to know the Condors won’t be going to defend our title. There is always someone or something that you can use to make an asterisks. Does Furious not deserve their title from last year because they won against a Greg-less Condors or a Sockeye without Lou? Of course not. They beat the teams that were there. The same applies to whoever wins it all in Perth.

And to me, the fact that you are using the dumbest idiots in the world - Red Sox fans - to argue your case just makes my case seems stronger.

parinella said...

I'm not belittling anyone's accomplishments. If you would have seen the Sockeye guys celebrating that Tuneup win, you would have thought they just won Worlds.

If you were having this argument with a teammate, then that means that one of your ilk (not someone disrespectful like me) feels that there would be an asterisk.

I would bet that Furious wishes that Lou and Greg had not been injured.

And I feel that my most recent Hingham title was tarnished by the opponent dropping two pulls in a close final.

You play the teams that are there, and you don't make excuses about who you don't have. But it just isn't the same if the other guys don't show up, even if there is nothing that you could have done any different.

Corey said...

I guess you are right.

All those DoG titles must feel pretty tainted, since NYNY broke up. I mean, you mentioned beating Cojones, but they had players like me and Lauren Emory, not Johnny G and Dave Blau. Talk about beating a bunch of nobodies.

Where does the "the best weren't there" end?

gcooke said...

Wow. Go away for a few hours and look what's happened...

My spelling is so bad that my wife does not let me prep my daughter for spelling tests....seems like an "Asterisk" (correct, right?) post is needed.

I don't think the "best weren't there" ends from an external point of view. It is in the best interest of your opponent to try to take away anything that they can...even trying to undermine your own impressions of your titles. Corey, you mention self-esteem, and I think that is relevant. Somewhere it is written down that you won Worlds, and I know you know that no one can take that away....say what they will.

We will never all agree on many things, and that is what sports radio is for. Who was the best ever? What would have happened if Lou hadn't got hurt? These are "hindsight arguments".

I am pretty close to the point where I don't care what Jim thinks about Mixed, and I am sure that makes him happy. I mean, he knows how jealous I am that he plays in the "stand around and argue" division.

While I mention the "asterisk" factor in my post, it is not really my overriding concern. My concern is that the actual competition quality (if I may attach quality to all divisions) might suffer in one or both events. As surprising as it may sound considering that I play Mixed, my motivation is primarily to challenge myself fully in the most competitive situations available to me. How the results are viewed by others is something out of my control. It is difficult, however, to manage expectations, especially when a big price tag is involved (this is why the Beatles reunion thing resonates). I think I expect an amazing experience PLUS the best in competiton. Perhaps I am cynical, but part of me feels that the former can be achieved during any big trip, and the later will have already happened. Even in Mixed.


wucc06td said...

Brian Vanallen, WUCC06TD here..I'll try and clarify a few things.

First of all the ad in the UPA mag was not deep seeded anxiety that no one will care who wins this thing if the good old US of A doesn't show up . It was simply to encourage the best to come. Naturaly everyone who plays a tournament wants to play, and hopefully beat, the top teams. But the winner at WUCC'06 will receive the World Championship medal no matter who turns up, this is what histroy will record.

Timing: we know it's not great, but it does enusre the best possible weather in Perth, as has already been mentioned. We spent a great deal of time trying to accomodate everyone's interests. November is also not ideal for Northern Europeans and already some countries have decided not to show. But I have to say the date comes as no surprise, we announced them nearly 2 years ago, May 1st 2004 to be exact. So I'm surprised there is all this debate now. If I'd was keen to play Worlds then I would have scratched those dates in to my diary long ago.

Cost: we are working to contain costs, but yes WUCC'06 will likely be more expensive than previous Worlds. The player fee will be more at the bottom end of the range, say AUD$380, rather than the AUD$450 that has been used for comparisions. Budget details will be posted on the WUCC06 website in the months to come..

And finaly this is the World Championships. I find the debate around costs, timing, can't get leave etc petty. You either want to play or want to stay home and watch the live score updates on the website. Your choice, no one elses. I firmly believe that all players have been given sufficient time to plan and save.

I do hope we get the top teams down under. We are working hard to make WUCC'06 an awesome event, plus you get the bonus of enjoying all that Perth and Australia have to offer.

See you in Perth - Brian

gcooke said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gcooke said...


Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Also, thanks for all your work on WUCC. I hope you have a great event!

My "deep seeded anxiety" comment was facetious and an attempt at humor. You have to admit, though, that the ad does acknowledge, in a subtle way, the potential that the top US teams might not show. In other words, the tone of the ad is not one in which it is assumed that everyone is going.

In terms of timing and the ensuing lack of discussion, I think that was sort of the point of the title of my post. I am actually not that surprised that Ultimate players just started thinking about this. I find that we typically do not think that far ahead when it comes to this type of planning, and, as a culture, it is a bit hard to imagine Americans saving money for anything...let alone for something 2 years in the future. I want to be clear that my post is never critical of having the event in Australia or the dates that it is being held. My post voices concern about the potential result of the date choice, not the date choice itself.

In terms of the weather, I understand the choice that was made, and it seems like the correct choice. I did find it humorous, though, that on the WUCC site, there is a link to a New York times travel article about Perth. The article is written in August, and describes the weather as "San Diego-like", "glorious", and goes on to describe how everyone was swimming in the ocean due to the mild winter weather. Again, this is not meant to second guess the decision, the author probably hit the beach during an unusually nice spell....I just found it funny.

When it comes to cost, I think we should expect everyone to have a bitch about this. It is an easy target.

Brian, on RSD you said you felt "offended" by the inference that that you were going to bilk folks of their money. I understand those feelings. I would probably react the same way. I do take issue, though, with the charge that this discussion is "petty". I don't think I agree that the decision is as simple, or rigid, as the two choices you offer. While the result of each of our decisions is what you say, the decision making process is like negotiating a river. We each have a choice to make, but it is a complex and potentially expensive choice. I think the opportunity to voice concerns is a positive process and not petty.

I find it interesting that many of the comments both here and on RSD try to force us into one static position: either WUCC is good or bad. I think we are all capable of embracing many points of view and that we have a right to voice them, even if it is not a defined position.

Do we not have the capacity to:
-agree that holding WUCC's in Australia is a good idea
-acknowledge that the weather is bad in August in Perth
-express gratitude for the Australian teams to have traveled so much, and understand how much time and money they have put into doing so
-not care about the fact that the Australian teams have traveled so much when it comes to making one's own decision
-think that we might have made the same choices around timing, etc if we were a planner
-consider that maybe the timing is bad
-want to go for the experience
-be worried about the level of competition
-bitch about the money
-not let the money be a deterrent

...all at the same time? I think so.


wucc06td said...

ahhh..the beauty of any discussion is to have differing points of view. The world would be a pretty grey place if we were all in agreement.

You are corrcet, the UPA was certainly acknowledging that some of the top US teams may not go (come), primarily due to the proximity to UPA Nats. And hopefully fire them up to come!

Maybe I was a bit harsh with the 'petty' comment, but I just find it strange that $100 either way would stop a player from coming. But as you say, we all have our own, complex choices to make.

I like your summary...we should all embrace the many points of view.

And I think our WA traveller writing for the NYT forgot to mention he was wearing a wet suit. Swimming in August....only for the brave!

see you in Perth - Brian

sometallskinnykid said...

So my team is going, but I am not. I do not think the ~$400 on fees / person was the breaking point for me (or for other teammates not going).

Nor the closeness to nationals.

It was the $1700 flight to Perth. I don't have the time or energy to get out of that debt. Luckily, plenty of my teammates do...

Plus, being on a plane with an 18 month old for 20 or so hours, probably not the best.

gcooke said...


Thanks for that perspective. Somewhere along the line a symbolic "$100" came about as the breaking point between going or not. I think your post speaks well to the sense that is the cumulative....burden??....not a specific $100 here or there that could be a deterrent.

Your quip about the flight reminds me of a story a friend once told me about flying to Australia. He left from Boston, fly to SF, then to Hawaii. So far so good. On the trip from Hawaii to Sydney (what...14 hours??), his seat was the middle seat of the 5 in a 747. He was surrounded on all sides by a tour group made up of very large and hard partying Hawaiian women. He said he never felt do cluastrophobic in his life, and vowed he would never fly to Australia again if it wasn't first class.......