2013 Touring News
For the uninitiated, 'Touring' is the part of Ultimate where your play moves from community evening league play to regional and/or North American, weekend tournament play. Many players find that touring exposes them to a more competitive game, more advanced on field strategies, and a higher level of fitness - not to mention seeing new places, having great times (read parties!), and forming new friendships. Questions from players of all ages and abilities are welcome. Chances are there's a team for you!
TUC's Touring Chair for 2013 is Micheal Kukucska (firstname.lastname@example.org). TUC's Calendar of Events usually includes popular touring tournaments. Also, we encourage you to visit the Ultimate Canada website for more information on Nationals, Regionals, etc.
Here is the TUC Touring Policy for 2013. Here is the Touring Submission Form for Toronto touring teams seeking summer training field support. Generally forms are due in early May, as specified in the Touring Policy.
Touring play differs from league play in four important respects:
As a result, the line-up and rosters (and sometimes even the names) of teams tend to change with each tournament, and there is no carryover of standings from one tournament to the next - though tournament directors do loosely base their initial seedings on past performance.
Most tournaments run for two days over a weekend: Saturday is used for round-robin pool play and Sunday for playoff brackets. Games are shorter than in TUC leagues (usually 1-2 hours, or to 13/15 points) but there are more of them: 3-4 on Saturday, followed by 2-3 on Sunday. A small handful of tournaments, including the national championships, run for three days or more (the world championships run for seven!).
The calibre of play, compared to TUC leagues, generally starts at the high-B level with the majority of teams composed entirely of A-level players. There are no differences in the rules of the game, though some top-level tournaments employ "observers" to make line calls and offer second opinions when players cannot agree on a call. They are usually only employed in the semis or finals.
And yes, touring players do cheer.
The touring calendar in Toronto generally runs from May to October, during which there are 5-7 tournaments available in each major division (Open, Women's, Mixed) within driving distance of Toronto (i.e. Ontario, Quebec, Michigan, and upstate New York).
Higher-level teams usually attend 2-4 additional tournaments in the United States outside the summer months, while lower-level teams usually attend 3-4 tournaments total, mostly in-province. For those who qualify and are willing to make the trip, the season culminates with Nationals in August.
Since ultimate is still an amateur sport, almost all the costs of touring fall on the player. Team members can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2,500 (or more, if travelling to distant tournaments like Worlds) above and beyond what they would normally spend on league play. This includes things like transportation, accommodation, tournament fees, and extra apparel or equipment.
The touring community can appear quite "cliquey" at first to the uninitiated. The two most important pieces of advice for anyone thinking of getting involved in touring is to (a) be seen by higher-level players and team captains, and (b) get serious about skill-building. This can be accomplished in several ways:
If you or a bunch of like-minded individuals think you have what it takes to start your own team, TUC recommends consulting the "Captains" section of the much-vaunted Ultimate Handbook for all the tips you will need to get off the ground. Also visit our Captain's Roles & Duties page.
Do not forget that communication is key, and that the TUC Bulletin Board is an excellent way to track down additional bodies for rosters or scrimmages.
In 2001, TUC's Board of Directors determined that the Club should actively support Toronto's touring teams and approved a broad new Policy on Touring Teams to govern this initiative, the first of its kind in Canadian ultimate.
Explaining that support for touring teams would help encourage SOTG, improve player development, and increase the profile of the sport, the Policy laid out general guidelines for the Executive to implement each year:
The policy has been revised for 2013, and will continue to be reviewed and possibly modified every year. Here is the Touring Submission Form for Toronto touring teams that are seeking summer training field support.