|Anne Mercier gets a handblock in the CUUC in Fall '10.|
that very few teams have gotten to face in 2011. In fact, very few college ultimate players understand what it's like to play in Ottawa.
Anne Mercier, Ottawa's Callahan nominee and standout player, explains what it's like to play in Ottawa. The Lady Gee Gees have many opportunities to play ultimate outside of their university team. "In general, ultimate is quite popular in Ottawa. The city boasts a very large recreational summer league with around 5,000 members. It is really starting to pick up at all levels, with more and more high schools creating teams, feeding into the competitive junior stream." In addition to a strong developing youth scene, Ottawa also has some top competitors in the mixed division with Trainwreck (A-team) and BigFish (B-team), and in the women's club division with Stella (A-team) and Scarlett (B-team). You may have seen members of the Capitals competing with the Capitals this year at the USA Ultimate Club Championships in Sarasota.
Aside from the strong club scene, the other thing that characterizes ultimate in Ottawa is one of the biggest challenges: the weather. Shortly after tryouts at the beginning of September, the Gee Gees have very little time to hit the ground running before the snow starts falling. "The weather then dictates when we'll be able to start practicing outside again. Most years, if we're lucky, we can start practicing by the end of April," says Mercier. This limits the amount of outdoor development the team has. "Our typical season looks something like: Tryouts early September, Canadian Eastern Championships a few weeks later, Canadian Nationals mid-October, with outdoor practices lasting until snow starts falling. We then take a 1-2 month break for studies/exams. In January, we start our indoor practices. We typically try to attend a minimum of 2 pre-season tournaments (3 if we have the numbers). These tournaments will be the only time that we will practice outside until late April/May. Once the snow melts, we head back outside for practices. Needless to say, we spend most of our season indoors because of the weather."
|K-Poh with a layout grab at the CUUC, Fall '10|
|Sonia Komenda with a low release throw at Pres Day '11.|
|The Lady Gee Gees: CUUC Champions 2010 in fall|