European Ultimate Championship Series
2006 EUCR Results and Writeup
EUCR Results and Qualifiers for the EUCFs:
1. Ragnarok * 1. Chicas*
2. Feldrunner* 2. Friskee Beez*
3. Mir san Zamprel* 3. Hot 7s*
4. Big EZ* 4. Dominas*
5. Wall City*
6. Frusport Koln
8. Prague Devils
10. Torring Disc Control
12. Bad Raps
* indicates an EUCF qualified team
OPEN WRITE UP
The first ever Regional Qualifiers. Europe has a good tradition of good competitive tournaments, but how would the national champions feel about coming to this tournament to compete against other teams from the “region?” Would they choose to step aside, as Hardfisch, Germany’s second placed team, from Hamburg had done or would they, like CEL qualifiers Big EZ and 4Fingers, bring big squads in hopes of winning the tournament and being recognized by the Germans and Danes as belonging to the “big boys” of European Frisbee?
The organizers had found perfect fields, long, soft, plenty of grass and great facilities all, in a central location for most teams, Nurnberg. Boris Ruehl has a lot of experience organizing the excellent annual Frankencup, so nothing but the best was expected. There were some slight scheduling hiccups when some teams announced they couldn’t make it in time for the 14H start, but when Koln agreed for forfeit their first game, the situation was resolved.
Before we get started, I just want to mention that the scores are mostly from memory, so if I get a wrong half or final score, I’m sorry.
The pool games started and Ragnarok, the tournament’s top seed, was caught somewhat off-guard as a fired-up Wall City squad came out firing on all cylinders to take the finalists from the 2005 EUCCs to 15 all before ultimately losing 17-15. A number of pool games were much closer than expected, Austria’s Upsadaisy gave German Champion’s Feldrunner an exceedingly difficult match. Most pools though, went according to seed and the tournament moved onto the pre-quarter matchups at mid-day Saturday.
The only real surprise coming out of the pre-quarters was the Prague Devils who finished second in their group because of the Koln forfeit they received. Not wanting to disappoint, they faced CEL champion, a large Big EZ squad from Vienna. This had to be the game of the tournament. The Devils, well drilled by their captain and team mate who currently plays with Clapham but lives and trains in Prague, came out firing. They sliced through the loose EZ zone with ease racing out to a 8-5 lead at the half. The Devils continued to go into the lead, moving out to a commanding 14-9 game point lead. Suffice it to say the EZ squad was reeling and disoriented, but took a timeout and resolved to get back into the game. The EZ men tightened their zone and created turn after turn against the small 9-man Devil squad. EZ marched back and although the Devils got close to the goal on a number of occasions, they were unable to punch the final goal home. EZ persevered and managed to come back and tie up the match at 14. Finally the Devils put one in to take a 15-14 lead, but EZ matched again to move to 15 all. Both teams scored and EZ pulled to the Devils. An amazing layout D block got EZ the disc back and EZ moved resolutely down the field to score the winning goal and move into the semi-finals against rival Feldrunner.
The semis looked like some pretty serious matchups. In the first semi Ragnarok was set to play this year’s 3rd placed German team, Mir san Zamprerl and in the other match it was Big EZ against Feldrunner. Unfortunately for Zamperl, they couldn’t get their game together and Ragnarok ran away from them and took the game easily 15-5 qualifying for the finals. The other semi though was not a walk. Big EZ jumped out to a two-point lead using their zone. Feldrunner fought back and the half went 8-7 for EZ. The teams traded points up until 14-12 for EZ. Feldrunner converted two turnovers to tie at 14. The momentum was changing and although EZ had brought a huge team with them, they were tiring and it seemed as if the German champs had more adrenaline going for them. Although the teams traded points to 16, Feldrunner showed its championship mettle and scored the final goal, winning 17-16. The game was 2 hours and 10 minutes long!
The finals kicked off under partially blue skies and soft fields from intermittent rain. It was a dogfight throughout and although there were a few calls, the game was fairly fought and very very intense. Nothing was given away by either team as they traded points. At times Ragnarok would seem to pull away only to have Feldrunner come back with a run. Half was 8-7 in favor of Ragnarok. The toll of a hard semi, though, was taking its toll on Feldrunner and eventually they couldn’t keep up with the incredibly fit Ragnarokers, and Ragnarok pulled away to win the game going away 15-11.
So five teams qualified for the finals, Ragnarok, Feldrunner, Mir san Zamperl, the big EZ and Wall City. The rest of the teams will have to retool their rosters, rethink their strageties and get ready for a shot at next year’s regionals.
by David Brauchli, 4Fingers
It is one day after the first EUCR weekend and my muscles still feel pretty sore. Every step I take reminds me of the hard work I did this past weekend. Games to 15 points with no time limit and a desire to win resulted in some 2-hour long games. And that is the way it should be when it comes to an important tournament.
However, for at least four teams from each division the importance of the event was rather questionable. Apparently, their participation at the EUCR’s and the opportunity to play at the highest European level was not a priority. For the open division the fact some teams dropped out was not an issue because the vacancies were easily filled with other teams. But a women’s division with only four teams instead of eight is quite a big difference. Coming from the Central European League Section, which has only two competitive women’s teams (both played last weekend), I was looking forward to playing some new teams. Instead, we were circling around yet again.
On the other hand, our team, who didn’t play better than third place, has a guaranteed spot in the European Finals. This is really great and I like that! And now we must practice hard just to keep from finishing last and I think that motivation is the point of the European League.
Despite the low attendance, I think the first EUCR’s was a good event in the history of ultimate Frisbee. We saw excellent games, hard running, harder diving, and perfect throws. It was easy to see a wide spread desire to reach the top. The high level of competition was accompanied by delicious dinners (I don’t know how about you but I had gyros), good organization, and easily accessible, large and good quality pitches. Of course there was also plenty of spirit, dancing, and great beer!
by Katka Svobodova, Hot 7s
Any questions can be mailed to the Championship Series Committee at eucs(at)efdf.org.
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