WJUC 2012 Dublin - Day 4: Heavy rain suspends play and the greenkeeper is in action
16 August 2012
Our insider at Met Eireann was not wrong about the prediction of yesterdays weather, although they failed to warn us about the hurricane warning that was put in place - Ian Thorpe’s polyurethane swimming suit would have been more useful than the waterproofs that I chose to wear as I cycled to the pitches for day four of WJUC 2012. It was clear that this was not going to be any ordinary day when a Spirit time-out had to be used during the Great Britain vs Israel power pool match in the Junior Open division - not to calm things down on the field, but to rescue a number of players from the Belgium and United States Junior Women’s teams that had become trapped by a large bow of a fallen tree (I was told that everyone got out unscathed). Speaking to the GB coach, Nick Sampson, about the incident he told me, “I just knew what I had to do - invoke rule A9!” [section A9 of the WFDF Rules of Ultimate 2009 - Appendix]. It’s good to see that the coaches are as well versed in the rules of Ultimate as the players (should be).
A number of matches did get played before the playing conditions put too much of a strain on the playing surface and the Tournament Co-ordinator, in conversation with the Grounds’ Keepers, had to take the difficult decision to suspend matches around lunch time.
In the Junior Open Division, the top teams from the initial pools met in the power pool stage. The USA got their first real battle when they came up against Germany. The Germans took half at 9-8, the first team to take half over the US. This must have come as a bit of a warning shot to the Americans as they came out in the second half and closed the game out. In the other power pool, it was a Pan American battle for the top spot between Canada and Colombia. In the pouring rain and intermittent gusts, the Colombians showed that even in the cold and damp they are not a team to be messed with, running out winners 11-9, putting themselves in strong contention to top their pool going into the quarters.
In the Junior Women’s division, this was meant to be the final day of the initial pools. The top team in each pool would advance straight to the power pool, with the second and third placed teams in each pool scrapping it out in a cross-over. However, at one stage it wasn’t entirely clear that we would be able to get that far.
The rain had been lashing down for a number of hours, both overnight and over the course of the morning and it was clear that the condition of some of the pitches was starting to deteriorate. The difficult decision was taken by the Tournament Director, after discussion with the Ground-keeping staff and WFDF, to abandon play on the Albert College Park fields and delay the games on the DCU fields. Those of you that have been to any frisbee tournament will know that there is a lot of down-time between games. Some people decided to use this to relax, others sorted out their shirt trades for tonight’s trade night (run by DCU International), one brave soul even ventured outside to get some one-on-one tuition from the Rise Up guys. Allegedly, Daniel O’Donnell even made a brief appearance, but when he saw that the games were on hold, he had a quick drink (of tea) in the student bar and drifted off into the rain soaked sunset...maybe he will be back for tonight’s screening of Chasing Sarasota...
A meeting was called for 14.30 and it was decided that the Junior Open and U17 Women’s divisions would be delayed till tomorrow in order to accommodate the Junior Women’s divisions cross-overs and to get the U17 Open games played. Thankfully the rain abated, the sun allegedly came out and 8 more games were played.
The aim for today is to play all the games that were scheduled to be played, albeit with shortened playing time. At the time of going to press our Met Eireann insider wasn’t entirely sure what the hurricane was up to - I guess all we can do is cross our fingers and hope for the best. A massive thanks has to be sent out to all the volunteers that had to put in a lot of hard work in awful conditions - if you see any in your travels, make sure you say thanks, or better still, get them a cup of Barry’s tea and a packet of Taytos.
With material from the official newsletter under www.wjuc2012.com .
Edited by Keith Hodgson / Mark Earley (Editor in Chief of the Newsletter)