Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mixed Easterns

When Tommy Proulx first approached me about the idea about hosting a stand alone Mixed Easterns tournament, I was quite skeptical. I wasn't convinced that the division could sustain a tournament in this form. Luckily, I have never claimed to be a man of vision, and Tommy's idea has turned into one of my favorite events of the year. The opportunity for this tournament came when we lost the traditional weekend for the Boston Invitational to permit issues. In 2003, Tommy moved the Boston Invite to the last weekend in June, and it turned out that most teams preferred the tournament on the later weekend (again, to my surprise). As 2004 rolled into the spring, Tommy had the idea for Mixed Easterns, but the idea also included a Masters Easterns tournament as well as both the New England High School and Massachusetts State Championships. The result is a tournament that has representation of pretty much the entire cross section of our demographic. As my Brit friends say, "Brilliant!"

This year we have seen a surge in interest in Mixed Easterns and had over 40 teams apply. The seeding is almost done and the tournament information is here:


Adam Tarr was very helpful in working on the formats (we now have formats on the SRT for 40, 38, 36, and 32 teams), and it is a nice blend of teams from the NE, Canada, and the Mid-Atlantic.

What is curious is that the tournament has something to offer for teams that are in very different places in their seasons and history. There are brand new teams, Canadian teams ramping up for Nationals, and established teams looking at their new, 2006 rosters. I don't think it is a stretch to say that the development of Mixed Easterns as an extra early-season tournament is one of many reasons why NE Mixed teams have had a stronger showing at Nationals over the past 3 years.

Lastly, one of the cool twists to the tournament is that two top finishing teams qualify for the aforementioned Boston Inviational.

So, it should be a great tournament.

1 comment:

Libby said...

See you there! I can't wait!