After an exciting kick off to Day 1, the rain set in. However, that didn’t suppress the buzz surrounding this amazing tournament. Skyd correspondent said it best Liam Rosen said it best: “It doesn’t even matter, I don’t care that rained all day.” with a smile on his face as we looked on at the fields at the end of the day. The fanfare was great, the beer was good, and there were some games to be played.
Swiss Draw Format
For those not familiar with the Swiss Draw format, you can find a detailed explanation here. In a nut shell, the Swiss Draw format pits teams of similar records and skill against each other by assigning “victory points” to teams based on wins and point differential. Every team plays the team right next to them in the victory points ranking, with the caveat that no two teams play each other twice.
In the case of Windmill, teams will play 5 games of the Swiss Draw format before the championship bracket. As we get further and further down the line, the quality of games has increased. Round 3 saw the most competitive round yet, while rounds 4 and 5 promise some hotly contested match ups.
Philipp Haas should fit right in with NexGen
The unknown on the NexGen Tour is Philipp Haas of the German National team, playing here at Windmill with his club team Sieben Schwaben. At 5’11”, he shuffles like Dylan Freechild and has established himself to be an excellent dump defender so far in this tournament. In addition to his agility, he’s displayed excellent break throws and has been throwing his backhand hucks on point. I’ll be looking at him during Worlds and of course on the tour.
European vs. American Ultimate
I can say that I’ve seen a good share of athletic play makers here at the tournament, and that it certainly looks like Ultimate. However, it is remarkably less physical, almost truly non-contact as written in the rules. There is also no continuation on pick calls, one of the main differences in the rules when comparing USAU vs. WFDF.
Three LCD screens continuously roll through the scores of the current games, the standings, and the upcoming match ups. PA announces the caps and the start of games at every field, beer and food always available at the main “circus” tent, and WiFi at the entire field site. Doesn’t get much better than this.
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The adventure begins with a beat up passport that nearly gets me denied entry into the Netherlands, then successive train and bus rides after figuring out that my credit card has a pin number (yes, not debit card), and with the help of the Israel Mixed National Team I finally made it to the fields at 10:30 am on Thursday.
Windmill is not just a tournament – more like a small carnival that you happen to call home for a few days (complete with a large circus tent and and an elephant). With a projector available, the Irish and Spanish players were not denied the chance to watch the Euro Cup match . Beer (good beer) was readily available, producing a party like-atmosphere as more and more people piled in. The light finally died down at 11 pm, just in time for the opening ceremonies to kick off.
This morning may be rainy, but the trip to Amsterdam is shaping up to be a good one. We’ll have more coverage throughout the weekend, giving you the skinny on the competition and who’s winning the party.