April 30th, 2011

My last post was very up-beat and happy.  The next day was less so.  In continuing my busy Ultimate Frisbee schedule Saturday I was at the Junior National Team’s practice in Tel Aviv.  It was fun, and I was having a good time working with the kids.  I was starting to get back into a bit of a rhythm and feeling good about my return from injury.  That’s when the fates stepped in and yanked away that fun.  While doing a simple zone-D drill, I was cutting as part of the offense.  Just a simple cut to space and clear out, except for the last time.

When I tried to cut out, I lost my footing a bit.  I felt my knee give way. (I think that’s the actual medical term)  There was a moment of recognition that something was wrong before the pain reached my brain.  By the time I hit the ground, I was once again in agony.  The next morning, instead of going to my doctor and getting referrals like I had done in the past, I went straight to the ER where they drained my knee to reduce the swelling and gave me better meds.

The long story involves another MRI, and another round of doctors, orthopedists, and physical therapists.  The short story is that I couldn’t play in the Israeli Ultimate Frisbee Championships (A 7 year old annual tournament called PASSOVER) a week and a half later.  We had been looking for someone who was not playing who could run the day, and my unfortunate knee situation solved that for us.

PASSOVER 2011 Logo

14 Teams.  196 Players.  5 Fields. 7 Rounds.

The Entire Tournament

The Entire Tournament

To keep things as difficult as possible, we had created a complex format that relied on a tight schedule.  Games were set to about one hour in length with twenty minutes between rounds to give time for games to go over time and for teams to regroup.  The first round got off about 30 minutes late, which I have to say was quite an achievement.

I spent most of the day collecting game summaries and inputting them into my prepared spread sheets, limping to the closest field, and settling obscure rules debates.  28 games and one forfeit later, I started the Final game between the top two seeds right on time.   The competitive side of the day played out more or less as we expected.  We recorded nearly every point scored, both the thrower and receiver.  It turned out to be a much bigger data input job than what I had expected and I wasn’t able to finish it by the end of the day.

2011 Israeli Champion DiscDragons

2011 Israeli Champion DiscDragons

We began the closing ceremony with a handful of “Thank You”s and then started handing out some awards.  After announcing the winner of the 3rd place game, and the 2nd place loser of the Final there was no suspense left at all.  I milked the announcement a bit and found myself getting a little emotional.  I was announcing the Israeli National Champion.  It wasn’t some sort of game or cheekiness, it was as real as it gets.  I got all warm and tingly, a real Zionist moment.

Our focus is now onto the junior national teams we are sending to the European Championships in August.

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