On a cold Saturday morning on the 12th of September we gathered at a hidden Wits sportsfield. Bright and early, the committee rubbed the sleep from their collective eyes as we slowly unpacked the pile of equipment that we had decided we would need to make this, the “Hatters Gonna Hat” tournament, a success. The cold wind had come out of nowhere and large grey clouds loomed overhead, leaving us to wonder how many brave Ultimate players would actually arrive.
As we struggled to piece the puzzle of a gazebo together, battling with the cover that had become a sail in the wind, the first players began to arrive – hallelujah! Something can be said for Ultimate Frisbee players: we get the strangest looks when we tell people what we do, and it sounds really silly when you explain it as a combination of American football and netball, but we’re pretty hardcore, and no clouds, rain, or wind will stop us!
Half an hour behind schedule, we finally got the teams together. Some teams were fuller than others, with one team only having 5 players to start the day. (I should elaborate that the plan was for 5-a-side games of 60 minutes each. And with 6 teams that meant 5 games per team, plus a planned final, in one day.) When we had explained the rules, the teams split off to choose team names, and plan strategies. What we got was 6 completely original names:
1. Savage, captained by Justus Immelman
2. There is No Medium, captained by Sean Massyn (3 tallest and shortest players at the tournament)
3. Hellhammer, captained by Lionel Lurie
4. Team 4, captained by Mike Weston
5. Rainbow and the Pussycats, captained by Keke Motjuwadi
6. ?, captained by Pearce Jackson
Before game play began the players were introduced to the Rocktober Quiz: a few trivia questions spread over the day, about SA’s 2nd biggest mixed tournament, to increase awareness and excitement for the ever-nearing weekend:
3 prizes for 3 know-it-all fans:
1. When was the first Rocktober held? 2007
2. How many cities has Rocktober visited before 2015? 3
3. Where is Rocktober being held in 2015? Pretoria
As the first games eventually got underway the sun began to peek through the clouds. This was short-lived however, as the wind prevailed again and compressed the clouds to provide a dense grey roof for the rest of the day. The wind proved challenging for most of the Gauteng players, as it is such a scarce commodity on the Highveld! However, the fun never stopped, and the plays kept rolling in. By lunch time the teams had all worked hard enough to earn a break. Savage had pulled ahead with 3 straight wins, but There is No Medium was trailing close behind.
After the lunch break a field re-shuffle (made possible by Wits Sports’ fantastic planning) saw Savage take their next 2 games comfortably, and the tall and short of their nearest rivals couldn’t make up the early deficit. Team 4 made a strong run too, beating There is No Medium in a hard fought and very close game. However, due to the impending Glow-in-the-dark Frisbee game, courtesy of the Buckland brothers and Ultitude, and a rather unfortunate injury to the captain of Savage, the playoffs were cancelled and the final scores stood. If you want more detailed game-accounts, we suggest buying a beer for anyone who played and I’m sure they will regale you with many a fantastic story of a layout, huge D, or monster huck!
1st: Savage (10 points, and PD of +25)
2nd: Team 4 (8 points, and PD of +24)
3rd: There is No Medium (6 points)
4th: Hellhammer (4 points)
5th: Rainbow and the Pussycats (2 points)
Great spirit, a solid turnout, and plenty of new faces made the day well worth the trip. Well done to the interns from Soweto and Move-It-Moving Matters: they came, they saw, they conquered! Great to have you guys involved! A special thank-you to the committee (TK, Keke, Sally, Mike, Joan, Kelvin, Alicia and all the hosts) for organising the whole day; every contribution was invaluable!
Jedd and Jay Hart