Manatee County Hat

Ah, my lovely bed. I got 13 hours out of it after yesterday’s tournament
So, the Manatee County Hat Tournament was yesterday. The turnout was a lot lower than I was hoping for (27 vs. 50), but I think everyone had fun still. We made four teams (three of 7 players, one of 6), and played an “everyone plays everyone”, round-robin style tournament. After the three games, my team, the “B” team, came in second place, and Cam and Darren’s team — “D” team I believe — came in first. First and second place got igloo thermos-jugs! That was a pretty sweet surprise; I’d been involved as an organizational consultant for the tournament but I hadn’t heard about that part. Everyone at the tournament also got another shirt. After the round-robin was over, the plan was for the A team to combine with the D team, and the B and C team to combine for one last big game — but everyone was far too tired, and we sat around chatting and munching on pretzels, Pringles and Gatorade/beer instead.

Darren, Butch, Cam and Steven look on as Tournament Director Deb hands out shirts and jugs

“Big City” Brian models his prize
Definitely a good time, but it’s too bad it was so sparsely attended. How often do you see a local governmental body supporting Ultimate Frisbee? Answer: almost never.
One thing Leonard pointed out, and I think it’s a somewhat valid point — is that, given notice, Ultimate players will go great distances to attend a hat tourney. This particular tournament was not promoted outside the Sarasota and Manatee County areas, but it *was* promoted at places I didn’t expect inside those counties, like the YMCA out by Lakewood Ranch. We had at least a couple new faces out because of that.
But by and large, the people out yesterday were the same gang of longtime players from local area. Which got me back to thinking: there really isn’t any place for a new player to start playing the sport in Sarasota/Bradenton/Tampa. Lakewood Ranch on Sundays is a good start, but it’s inconsistent. For example, I’m unsure whether there’s going to be a game there today, since at least two folks who regularly show up are burnt out from yesterday’s tournament. There’s usually only about 10 people who show up, so that can hurt.
No-one ever said global domination would be easy. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve yet. 😀