It's team tryout season! Here's a round-up of the upcoming co-ed team tryouts we know about.
- Sunday, 4/21
Columbia Park Annex
- Sunday, 4/28
Columbia Park Annex
- Sunday, 4/21
- Sunday, 5/5
Portland, Field TBD
- Saturday, 5/12
Corvallis High School
Engine Corvallis Tryouts event on Facebook
- Saturday, 5/4
Contact OJ at jeremy812 at gmail for more info
Lawn Chair (new team formed from last year's Skillz League!):
- No tryouts; open practices Sundays, 4pm, at Sellwood Park
Does your team have an upcoming tryout or open practice to list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Ash—PUFF's April Player of the Month!
Editor's note: After a brief hiatus, our Player of the Month profiles are back! Special thanks to Nate Semm for getting them back up and running. Do you know someone who should be featured? Email us at email@example.com.
What is your full name?
Ashish Narendra Shah
What is/are the current/past teams you have played for?
Columbia University Uptown Local 1997-2001
Psychic Friends Network 2001-2005
Shotgun (Rainbow) 2006 & 2007
Breakers Mark 2012-Current
Ultimate Fiesta in Acapulco. It's actually two hat tournaments in one. You are assigned to one beach team and one grass team. It's at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico on the beach...in January. It is insanely fun. The Mexican players are so nice and welcoming it's like you've instantly made 60 new friends. And they all add you on facebook within a week, so it's legit. The U.S. players, however, just show how they are all terrible at dancing and fun in comparison.
Favorite O/D strategy?
Just one for each? Tough one. Let's see, on offense my absolute favorite thing is to catch my defender not looking at me. Then I just start sprinting in the opposite direction. One out of every two times I do this I hear an audible expletive as they turn to find out where I'm going. Hearing people curse at themselves is a highlight of the game for me.
On defense, not a strategy per se but I like it when there is a chance to try and D a super tall dude. It makes me feel tough (even if it looks ridiculous).
Highest level of play you have achieved?
I think in 2005 my Spring League team made it past the first round of the Spring League tournament due to forfeit. Lost in the second round if I remember correctly. Also, quarters of Masters Nationals in 2012.
You have been integral to the onset of Men's Masters becoming a legit program here in Portland. What have you enjoyed the most out of helping to create this program?
The jokes. Also it's fun to finally be playing with all these guys that I've had to play against in the past. But mainly the jokes.
Say you are only allowed to drink one of these beverages in and around ultimate for the rest of your career, which do you choose? Beer, water or whiskey? Why?
Water. I'm horrible at drinking booze and playing ultimate. For some people, drinking doesn't affect their playing style. I am not one of those people—I've tried.
*Note: This realization has not stopped me from continuing to try.
**Note: I would also prefer tequila or gin. Whiskey makes me angry. You wouldn't like it when I'm angry.
A young ultimate player comes to you and says "I want to have a great long career like you Ash, what tips can you give me?" What would you say to them?
I was blessed to start out and play most of my career as a short, slow guy who couldn't jump.* Learning to play this way you quickly gather tricks/strategies in order to see different angles/cuts and you learn how to get open on people that are bigger/faster/stronger than you (or you stop playing because you are never open). So I suppose one tip I would say is that ultimate can be more than just running super fast in a straight line or out-jumping everyone.
That's not very concrete is it? Here's something useful: Most, if not all, handlers are extremely arrogant and egotistical. They all have a favorite breakmark throw or huck that they are just dying to show off. If you can find out what their preferred break/huck look is (just ask, they're more than willing to tell you) you can start to set up your cuts to be available for that particular throw. Cutting to the breakside is a lot easier than you think. And you already think it's easy, don't you?
*I'm still short and I can't jump, but I'm arguably faster than I used to be.
You are widely regarded as one of the top hecklers in PDX ultimate. Who is your favorite person to heckle and why?
First, I don't agree with with your premise of me being regarded as a top heckler. You obviously should be getting out more. However, if I had to choose a favorite "type" of person to heckle it would be players that just made an extremely good or athletic play and then get cheered for it. I like to make sure their egos are well balanced. For example, Nick "Spidey" Atwell is constantly throwing his body around and making ridiculous plays like this. However, he also has about 3% body fat. So after each amazing play he makes, I let him know he should be eating something, like a steak or a brownie. Now that I think about it, it's not really a heckle—I'm legitimately concerned about his ability to move those limbs around.
Anything else you would like to add?
A few things:
- First, thanks for giving me this honor again. I was upset when my original POTM profile was taken down (after the old site was hacked) as I believe it was some of my best work. Also, the Portland community has been good to me, otherwise I would have to make friends on my own.
- Second, I've attached a photo of me and my brother (Neelay) for two reasons. 1: My brother introduced me to the game of ultimate. I was forever changed and I'm eternally grateful. 2: This picture embodies how I feel every time I play. It's a pretty awesome feeling.
- Lastly, shout out to my wife, Mindy. She's been putting up with my constant barrage of ultimate-related topics for a long time now without too much complaint. Plus, she's the best heckler in our house.
Be part of Portland's first women's masters team! All ladies who will be 30 or older by Dec. 31 are eligible to play. Tryouts are Sunday, April 7th, from 9 am-1 pm. Contact Jill Hutchinson at hutchinson.jill [@] gmail.com for location and other information.
If you're interested in trying out, please fill out this form.
Looking to register for Spring League? You'll have to wait until Sunday, March 3 (if you're a woman) or Monday, March 4 (if you're a man). Here's how it works:
- Registration for women is open from March 3-20. Registered women will be assigned a team.
- Early Bird Registration: $10 off for the first 50 registrants!
- Late fee ($10) after March 20 until league fills
- Preregistration runs from March 4-9. Men who are selected in the lottery will be eligible to register for the league, and then will be assigned a team.
- Lottery: March 10
- Lottery Winners contacted: March 11
- Lottery Winner Registration and Payment: March 11-17
It's time to register for Skillz League! Skillz League is a great place to meet new folks and learn how to play ultimate in a co-ed setting. If you know anyone looking to learn and have a great time, please spread the word! Learn more at the Skillz League page.
If you are turning 30 in 2013, you're in luck: PDX Women's Masters Ultimate is here! Portland is proud to be fielding a Women's Masters program this year. We are starting with a weekly all-Masters-aged women's pick-up game (first game is on January 27 at Fernhill Park from 12:30-2:30pm), so spread the word. The plan is to move from a pick-up game every week to two practices a month. There will be group workout options available as well. Email Janet at janet.olsson [@] gmail.com to get on the mailing list!
A handful of goaltimate enthusiasts have reserved Buckman Field for nighttime goalty this winter! Games run from 6-8pm (lights on at 5:45), Tuesday nights through January 29. Bring $5 (any extra money will go to future field rentals). That said, no one will be turned away for being broke. Beginners and all-star super pros welcome—there will be two hoops set up. (Note: This is not a PUFF-sponsored event.)
Enter to win free entry into 2013 Spring or Skillz League! We're looking for a design that:
- Will look fantastic on all Spring League and Skillz League jerseys
- Can be printed in a single color
- Represents the spirit and creativity of Portland’s Ultimate community
Designs should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan 24, 2013.
The winner of the jersey design contest will receive free registration for the 2013 Spring or Skillz League (and for men, it also means bypassing the Spring League lottery).
Celebrate the season and learn how to get involved in the PUFF community! Join us at Jive Software (915 Southwest Stark Street, Suite #400—near Powell's Books) on Wednesday, December 5th, at 7pm.
- Free beer, pizza, foosball, pool, slide shows and an outdoor deck if the weather holds
- Recognize and celebrate our amazing volunteers
- Hang out and talk ulty with like-minded folks
- Learn more about PUFF
- Door prizes and other awesomeness!
- Anyone who enjoys PUFF-run leagues and tournaments.
- Anyone who volunteers.
- Anyone who thinks it might be fun to get more involved behind the scenes (it is fun!)
- You (obviously!)