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Sunday, 04th of March 2013, 07:30 am, alarm clock rings, it's time to get up and get ready for the last indoor competition day, yeah!
Games would take place in Arnhem, and as usual for the last competition day of each season in The Netherlands, all the divisions would play in the same location. We would have the chance to watch some high level ultimate and support and cheer our fellow team mates that were in the other teams. It sounded to be a promising and funny day!
My team, Force Elektro 2 (Daan, Hardik, Hildo, Ingeborg, Martijn K (that unfortunately couldn't join us this last day), Roberto, Stijn, Zak (unfortunately due to an injury couldn't play, but was there supporting us, yeah) and me), have started in this indoor competition in 5th division and as a team formed mainly by beginners (except for Ingeborg and Hildo), our initial main goal was to manage to stay in the division (secretly willing to be promoted) while learning as much as we could. It turned out that we managed to be promoted to the 4th division in our first day and to the 3rd division in the third competition day! Whooo how proud we were!
Now being in the 3rd division, we were pretty conscious that the teams we would face would be even tougher than usual, but we were ready to give our best, fight for every point and the the most important, have fun together. Still remember some words of our team captain Hildo before we start, "this day will be tough, if we manage to win one game will be great, if we win two it will be awesome...let's fight for every point", so let's do it!
Our first match was against Vallessan Speedys, it was a very fun and tight match and we managed to win for 9-8. Oh, it was a good way to start this round. At the same time, our team fellows from FE3 were playing in the field next to us, and through a quick glance I could see that they were winning with a good advantage "Oh, they're doing great!". Happy happy!
Our second match was against Gronical Dizziness 3. We have started the match scoring and keeping advantage, but they could keep up with us and closer to the end of the game their experience in the field was notable and they managed to beat us, with a final result of 12-9.
Our third match was against Crunch 3 and one more time, a very tight match. As promised, we kept on fighting for every point and we managed to have a victory of 8-7. Whooooo whooooo we managed to have two victories in the 3rd division...this is awesome!
But our toughest match of the day was still to come, it would be against BFrisbee2's 1, a team with experienced players (I think they revealed that their junior player had approximately 9 years experience - so even more than all our inexperienced players together), and I think I can say that they were the strongest team in this division. Surprisingly for me, in the first 10 minutes we were keeping the score tight (for some time we were even in advantage, oh yeah), but soon with their experience they managed to increase their score advantage and we had a final result of 13-7. Still, it was a very fun match and with very good spirit.
During our breaks we were able to support and cheer our team fellows of FE1 and FE3 (and they did the same for us). FE1 was placed in 2nd division and they managed to keep their position there, with 2 victories on 4 games. In order to not break the pace of winning 2 in 4 for Force Elektro, FE3 managed to win 2 in 4 as well, managing to stay in 7th division.
As was becoming usual for FE2, there was still time for a last team building activity. At the end of this season, it was time to help each other to know and understand what were our best accomplishments and what we still had to improve, in our team fellows opinion. Very useful and important in this phase, I must say.
But our day as a team wouldn't end in Arnhem, there was a plan to have a whole team dinner, a very good initiative from our people, promotion and phun responsible, Ingeborg. Our team dinner took place in Delft, in Burgerz (best nachos I've ever tried in Delft, by the way) and it was a very relaxed, cosy and happy way to end up this season.
Thank you very much FE2 for all the enthusiasm, team cooperation and friendship offered during this season. Thanks Hildo for volunteering to coach our team and for all the effort in improving the team bonding and our individual skills. Thank you and congratulations FE3 and FE1 for all the good work during this season. Thanks the whole Force Elektro for helping us to become the team we are. And I keep saying this, but don't get tired: FORCE ELEKTRO ROCKS!!!!
This last weekend (the 23rd and 24th of February) Force Elektro traveled to Enschede to put forward a team in the Devil's Heaven tournament. We went with eight members, Titus, Hildo, Rosario, Stijn, Martijn, Jelle, David, and me (Zak). The journey proved difficult, with one car ending up lost in some other town, but in the end we were all in Enschede by 9:30.
Our first match was rough, but we had a decent showing. The rest of the matches followed suit, with Force putting up a decent fight, but typically losing. Nevertheless, we all enjoyed our games, and, by the end of the second day, we had managed to hammer together some semblance of a unified team, with our last match against DDT One demonstrating admirable teamwork and precision.
At the end of the tournament, we had only won two out of eight, but we never threw away a game, and we fought for every point. Overall, I'm fairly confident saying that as a team, we learned a lot. But tournaments aren't only about the ultimate, the party Saturday was quite the spectacle, both Hildo and Titus let loose on the dance floor and busted some moves. The band was decent and the music selection was interesting.
I think that we all, both as a team and individually, came out of the tournament a good deal richer than we entered. I'd just like to thank everybody who came, and made it such an unforgettable weekend.
The third competition day of the indoor season proved to be the most successful one for FE so far. With 8 victories (out of 12), it definitely beat the two prior competition days which counted four victories each (and a tie on the second day). The flagship in this victory collection was FE2, which won all of their four matches.
Titus, Oscar, Mikko, Minke, Paul, Joep and I traveled all the way to Leek in Groningen to defend our spot in the second division. Sitting in the back of Minke's car, hoping we get back with all this snow and packed with sleeping bags and candles (in case stuff gets messy on the road) I'm writing this.
After a long and early road trip we met our first opponent: the Veenendaal Tijgers 1. We knew we had to win this game. Though they came up from the third division, we knew it would be a tough match. They all were young and fast and skilled. Like always in the first match of the day we had some problems starting up. We had a hard time dealing with their knife throws and they took a 2-0 lead. But then we stepped up our game, paid more attention to the break throws and we got into the game. In the end we managed to win the game with a few points difference.
We were glad that we won this game because we knew the coming two games would be really tough. Secondly we faced Gronical Dizziness 2. They proved to be the tough match we expected. We were not able match up with their Isolation play and lost with 14-8.
The third match was against Disc Devils Twente 1. They also gave us a tough match. They were fast and had good throws which made us lose this game as well. In both games we didn't have enough focus and gave too much away.
It looked like every team would win two and lose two matches, which would make the rankings really complicated. But to have a chance on staying, we had to win the last match. This would be against BFrisbee2's 1. They gave us a hard fight, but we appeared to be the stronger team. At first we were trading points, but eventually we took a lead. The final 10-8 score was a great end of the day. Unfortunately we had to leave before the end of the Veenendaal Tijgers - DDT match because of the coming snowstorm. Veenendaal Tijgers had to win this match to win two matches, but when we left it didn't look so good for them. So I think we are pretty solid on staying in the second division. In short this was an exciting competition day again in which I played some of my worst and some of my best ultimate.
On a Sunday morning, Stijn, Rosario, Hildo, Roberto, Zak and Martijn gathered at Delft station in the freezing cold for our third competition day in Eindhoven. Last competition day we managed to stay in the fourth division and even though we were only with six people this time, due to injuries and exams, we were confident to stay in the fourth and were secretly hoping to promote.
Once we were in Eindhoven, tactics were discussed. Hildo figured that since everybody would have to play a lot, we shouldn't make ourselves too tired and try to make only those cuts that were necessary.
Our first game was against UFO who had just dropped out of the third division. We started off awesome, took a three point lead and even though UFO took some points from that point, our lead became even bigger thanks to a solid defense and very efficient offense. The game ended in a 11-6 win for us. Next was Vertigo. This game went just like the one against UFO. We took a lead and never gave it back. It ended in a 12-6 win.
Now we started to do the math and figured that if we would win our next match against Flying High we would promote to the third division. Easily said, but we also knew that we had never managed to win our third match. In the past two competion days this third match would be the one where we began to lose concentration and when we started to get tired. Also, Flying High was playing very well that day. With the first point for Flying High, it promised to become an intense match. And it certainly was. We didn't lose concentration like the last few times though. We fought and almost every disc we got, we scored. We won with 11-8, so we are going to promote to the third division!
Now only one match was left and nothing depended on it anymore. Panic was our last opponent. Even though we won the toss, we let them start on offense. We played a little bit less concentrated and Hildo played one of the worst matches of his life (which might have to do with the fact that he was playing with his left hand only). It was a really fun match eventually and we won with an easy 11-5. So, we finally managed to win all four games in a competition day and Force Elektro 2, with all beginners except for two, has made it to the third division! Woohooo!
With the start of the new year, it was of course time for FE's annual new-year's drink. And this year's new-year's drink was indeed one of records.
It started off with the amazing attendance. Not only did lots of people subscribe to the event on Facebook - and voted on the type of beer to bring - but even more showed up! Luckily the shortage of chairs wasn't much of a problem, as the Elektrons were perfectly capable of improvising. Stairs? Tables? Bars? We can sit on anything. Or remain standing, for that matter. We're athletes, after all.
The evening followed with the award ceremony of the Special Force Award. There was a record amount of nominations this year - partly due to the new record set by Robbert on largest amount of nominations made - but in the end there could be only one winner. And as the tension was built up to an extreme, thanks to the expert misdirection skills of chairman Titus, the verdict was made known: Paul Dezentje was FE's most spirited member of 2013. With his trainings, his work for the NFB, his coaching of the lower teams and his everpresent enthusiasm to help out new players, he clearly deserved it.
As the evening slowly wound to an end, still more records were broken. Never before in the history of a new-year's drink have things gotten so late, nor has so much alcohol been consumed. "Wait!" you might think. "Isn't Force Elektro a sports club?" Yes we are. But don't worry. We've got this surge of alcoholism under control, through the plans of an upcoming official (or maybe a bit less official) beer team. We'll keep you posted.
Part 1 - The summary
This last weekend Force Elektro put forward a great team for the Martinicup tournament. We all had a really awesome time and we enjoyed all our games. The first day started out pretty rough, partially because we had really tough opponents (nigh godly some might say), and partially because this was our first time playing as a team.
We pulled it together by the end of the first day and our second day went much better. Though we only won one match during the tournament, by the end we were playing extremely well as a team and we really started putting up a strong showing. On a different but related note, the party was extremely entertaining, although there was a disappointing lack of hangovers in rival teams the morning after. Many of the costumes were quite creative, although I must admit, the most memorable also followed the adage "less is more", viz. there was some guy in a thong, which was... different.
All in all it was a fantastic tournament and I know I speak for the whole team when I say I'm glad I got the chance to go and play some really great ultimate.
Part 2 - The longer version
Last weekend (the 15th and 16th of December), a dedicated group of ultimate players went to Groningen to attend the annual Martinicup. Prior to the tournament, Andy found out that there were some hard deadlines to finish and Titus, the team captain to-be, became ill. Luckily Stijn was able to take Andy's place and Jurre Tanja, a player from Kung VU, opted to sub for Titus. Together with Minke, Ingeborg, Martijn, Rosario and Zak we formed Force Elektro.
At a terribly early time (7 AM!!) we took off to Groningen and after some sleeping and listening to Christmas songs we arrived at the venue. Now I don't know if women have the innate ability for perfect timing, but Minke's car arrived exactly in front of us when they took a detour to pick up Jurre. Or was it just coincidence? I'll stick with the first.
The first day started off great, because breakfast was still there and everyone was able to score a quick orange juice or some coffee. Shortly after, we were up for the first match of the day in the mixed division against GD. They had some real Dutch genes amongst them (they were TALL) and outplayed us. Prior to the tournament, none of us have played as a team before and that is what we quickly noticed. We said to ourselves we could basically see the first few matches as 'getting to know each other'-games and then we'll see where we end up.
Well, in our second game we didn't really stand a chance in any way. Hildo's betrayal (he played with Dai Dai Heroes, Dutch Mixed team) was too much for us. Luckily though, it was one of the least intense Ultimate matches I've ever played. Their individual strength was incredible and they skied us every time. No chance of winning there, although we scored some points with strong handler play and because Jamie from Panic came to help us out (or did he just want to give Hildo a hard time?).
To forget about our losses, we could watch other amazing teams play during the breaks. This was my first two-day tournament and there were a lot of international teams competing for the first place. Never before have I seen such display of skill from this close. Seeing these amazing players jumping high, throwing far and sprinting fast... It discouraged me in a way because they were so great; there is no way I can ever reach that. After asking around a bit, I came to find that most of them are actually somewhere around 25 years old or older, so that gave me hope as a guy with only 3 months of experience. Still 5 years to get to that level.
Our third and final match of the first day was versus DDT. We were able to take this one. We started of great, taking a lead. Handler play went great and some deep throws almost carried us to a victory. But for Ultimate, you need to keep up your game, else you will get crushed. We took a 6-2 lead, but then they put a zone on us. Somewhere in the match, Ingeborg got unfortunately injured because of a bad fall. She sprained her throwing hand wrist and couldn't continue playing. After that, some unfortunately fast dumps were made and before we knew it, it was a turn again. Our man defence fell short and slowly but surely they got to 6-5 when the buzzer went off. Last point. Take it and win, or lose it and play for a 7th point. Again, we came very close but a dump went wrong and within a few passes they scored. Our morale was decayed and they also took the 7th point. It was a tough match, but they were definitely the rightful winners of that match.
So we ended up last in the group stage, but no worries, because there were great matches to watch and dinner was soon to be served. After a bit of pasta and salad, we continued to play UNO and some other card games up until the party. Unfortunately the DJ played some slow beats and some very fast beats, but nothing near the tempo in which I wanted to do some Rave moves. Also no Gangnam Style L. Either way, we danced with our glowsticks and our Mayan masks. But in no way could we ever beat the costumes of A'dam Hat. They were in a full God costume and a visually disturbing Adam (a dude with a thong) and a visually appealing Eve (bikini with leaves).
Around 1 or 2, the party ended for me and I made the awfully stupid mistake of sleeping under the tribunes because the temperature seemed 'nice' and it was very quiet. I was still warm from all the dancing and fell peacefully asleep. At 7 (which was already a good time to wake up), it was intensely cold and then I realized I shouldn't have ignored Rosario's excellent almost motherly kind of advice (it's going to be cold at night, I wouldn't sleep there!). I got up and gathered my coat and some extra pants and snuck into bed again till 8.20.
A very nice breakfast later we had to play our first match at 9. Could have been a problem for both teams, but everyone was remarkable awake and kicking ass. Unfortunately, this time UFO was too strong for us and beat us. Still, we put up a great fight with our sub Katja from Panic. She and Jamie tried to play for us whenever they could if their own team didn't have to play. Slowly we got the idea that we might not win a single match in this entire tournament...
But alas, there it was: a win! A'dam Hat, a group of players picked up from the Netherlands and I believe the UK formed a very diverse team and put up a great fight. We tied scored quite often but all of the sudden we played our A-game and with some great handler play and short passes we scored with a lot of easy throws into the endzone. After the game, they had a great game for us in store. I think it was called Sexy Pants. The goal is to guess who of the opponents is wearing sexy underwear (sexy prints, thongs, commando). There was about a 50/50 distribution of sexy and non-sexy pants, but we ended up with one more right guess. Never seen this game before and we'll definitely use it again some time.
Our last match was against Cranberry Snack. They had five girls in their team. All very eager to play. We only had three girls, including our pick-up player. Still, Rosario, Minke and Katja put up an amazing fight under the supervision of Hildo, and we kept the score even. But our girls got tired and so did our guys. We could take the last point to tie it and go for another one, but they were just too fast. I crashed to the floor after the last point, but was picked up very soon by my team. We did get a great massage afterwards and we returned the favour.
After that we stuck around to watch the Open finals and the Mixed finals. All I can say about that is that it encouraged me to train even harder, because it was a godly display of skill which was just as spectacular as the Olympic Games or other high-level sports. It was absolutely insane.
All in all, I would certainly do this again, but I'd rather have some more experience as a player and as a team. The atmosphere was fantastic and so was the food. DJ, I know you are probably tired of this request, but please play Gangnam Style next time!
On the second day of the indoor competition, all FE teams managed to hold their place. There were definitely some exciting matches, but no promotion or relegation took place today.
Force Elektro 1 had a sleepy start against the BFrisbee2s. A crushing defeat ensued. But that turned around when the Electrons woke up. Ultimus Prime got beaten by a decent margin and the former first-division team Gronical Dizziness almost followed. Only in universe point did the team from Groningen manage to snatch the victory away. The final match against Airborn was a tough one as well. The Arnhem guys, who eventually promoted up to the first division, proved just a small notch too tough though. The result? One victory and one almost-victory.
The start of Force Elektro 2 was different. In a nerve-warking match, they were about to tie with Vertigo. But an overtime drop in the endzone prevented that, resulting in a loss. The second match saw a similar ending against Panic, but this time FE2 got the upside. The Vellesan Speedies, with their speedy (though somewhat unspirited) play, were a bit too strong against a tired FE2, but luckily the Electrians managed to pick up their Forces to defeat NUTS in their final match. The result? Two wins, to losses. Nice in the middle.
Things were similar for FE3. There was a tough match against the Almere Spinners, which in the end was lost. A victory against the BlueFingers. A loss from the very strong OVJJ. And finally a very exciting match against Crunch, which eventually ended up in a tie. With one victory and one tie, FE3 also wound up in the third spot of their division.
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