Five Lessons from AMUC D1 2017
By Andrew Moroney
Andrew 'Mozza' Moroney commentated many of the live streamed games from the recent AMUC D1 2017. Here are the 5 lessons he learned over the weekend (hint: none of them involve applying sunscreen)
Andrew 'Mozza' Moroney has burst onto the Australian Ultimate commentator scene, replacing the traditional play-by-play with his signature pithy wit and insight. Here is what he learned while watching and commentating D1 AMUC 2017 in windy Hobart.
1. Spirit of the game is going strong (and GAs may be a big reason as to why)
Though only getting to see games on the showcase field, we saw only a handful of call discussions that went beyond 45 seconds (and even fewer that were heated). A few contributing factors come to mind, the first of which being the presence of Game Advisors, which provides a safety net of impartiality for players to utilise. The commitment from players in the 2016 cohort of Australian representative teams to lead from the front is paying dividends as well.
2. Coaches are important
Challenging conditions in Hobart meant a lot of teams’ plan ‘A’ didn’t deliver what they’d hoped. However the teams who adapted by employing plans B, C, D etc found a lot more success than those who continued to try the same thing expecting a different outcome. More often than not, the teams that made these changes had a coaching presence that focused on the strategy of a game rather than the point-by-point grind.
3. After the D1 / D2 split, there are no easy days at Mixed Nats
In years gone by, teams who qualified strongly at Regional events would often be afforded an easier first day against developing teams keen for Nationals-level exposure, but muted ambitions on taking out the tournament. However, these days there are no gimme games. Even lower-seeded teams can deliver upset results, as we saw each day. Further to that, the even field means three-way ties are more likely, so points difference comes in to play.
4. Ultimate in the wind is tough playing (and watching)
The players at AMUC were treated to winds up to 45km/h. At that speed, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing, you’re going to find it tough going. This tested even the best of players, as Dingo Alex Ladomatos learned on the biggest of stages. Whilst not making for the prettiest of spectacles, the local crowd understood the importance and impact of an upwind score.
5. There are new kids on the block
Each year there are some fresh new faces that pop on to the scene as players to watch, however this year this seemed like a more pronounced changing of the guard. The absence of the Holmes’, Pillars’, Nields’ of the scene were aptly filled with the likes of Copeland, Murphy, A. Sheps etc. The same can be said on the women’s scene, with Hussey, Lee, being usurped (at least for now) by Ma, Mangan, Monty and Dawson.
All of the above made big plays throughout the weekend, bringing the experience they’ve had at their respective club and rep teams to the mixed nets scene, and continue to improve in to formidable units. That said, the likes of Greenfield and Wentworth aren’t likely to be going anywhere any time soon given the knick they’re in….
Image provided by Pat Thorpe Ultimate Photography