Monday, USA Ultimate announced the 2020 Nationals Team Tryouts List for the World Ultimate and Guts Championships (WUGC). You can view the full tryout list from USA Ultimate here.
In February, the tryout attendees will attend grueling tryout sessions in either Santa Clara, CA, or Orlando, FL, where the National Teams Coaching Staff will determine the rosters that will represent the United States.
The WUGC will take place July 11-18 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
Minnesota Well Represented
Minnesota is well represented in this year’s tryout list, with 13 total players invited who either live in, or play for a team from Minnesota. The players who are a part of the Minnesota Ultimate community, and their respective club teams, are listed below.
- Erica Baken, Drag’n Thrust
- Adrienne Baker, Pop
- Kat Ritzmann, Drag’n Thrust
- Erynn Schroeder, Ozone
- Sarah Meckstroth, Drag’n Thrust
- Caleb Denecour, Drag’n Thrust
- Cole Jurek, Sub Zero
- Charles McCutcheon, Sub Zero
- Ryan Osgar, Sub Zero
- Brian Schoenrock, Drag’n Thrust
- Tristan Van de Moortele, Sub Zero
- Bryan Vohnoutka, Drag’n Thrust
- Codi Wood, Sub Zero
A few players who participated in the Minnesota Ultimate community in their youth but have since moved away, such as Harper Garvey, also made the tryout list.
With a total of 208 athletes who made the tryout list, the Minnesota Ultimate community represents over 6% of the tryout field.
Anyone making the tryouts list will first have to accept their invitation to try out, and attend just one of the tryout locations – Santa Clara on the west coast from February 8-9, or Orlando on the east coast, from February 22-23.
What To Expect
One of the best pieces of Ultimate wisdom passed down to me, was this:
“Respect your opponents – one day, you may find yourself on the same team.”
This tryout is a living example of how important that piece of wisdom can be.
The tryouts are an exciting fusion of the best Ultimate talent from across the country. Teammates, friends, opponents (and possibly a few enemies) will come together for a grueling, 2 day workout/practice/tryout session. This is the highest level and most competitive tryout most of these players will ever participate in.
The energy and focus will be evident from the very first warm-up drill. Players, many who have little to no team chemistry with each other, will be thrown together in drills like the 4-line drill, 2v2, marking drills, and lots of scrimmaging.
The big name players on the list will be trying to prove they are as good as their reputation. At the end of the tryout they will want the coaches to confirm their suspicion – that they are the best option to represent team USA.
The players on the list without big name recognition will be trying to prove two things. First, that they are just as talented, athletic, and consistent as the big name players. They will also be trying to prove that they can offer something no other player can. In other words, they will be looking for a way to stand out from the crowd.
Outside of the tryout, players will be crashing on couches to save money. Groups of friends, or friends of friends, will be going out to eat together. If you happen to be in Santa Clara or Orlando during either tryout weekend, you may see a group of ultra-talented Ultimate players looking for grub.
The History of Team USA at WUGC
WUGC is held every four years, similar to how the olympics work. Countries from around the world, each with their own selection process, send their best Ultimate players to compete. Competition for Ultimate occurs in three divisions – Women’s, Mixed, and Men’s. This year, the 2020 World Ultimate Championships and Guts Championships will take place July 11-18 in Leeuwarden, Netherlands.
In 2016, Team USA swept all three divisions, taking gold in each. 2016 was also the first year that USA Ultimate selected Team USA in the different divisions using an invite-and-selection process like this year. The US also won gold in the Women’s and Men’s Master divisions, though those divisions are competing at a separate event in 2020.
You can find updates on team selection for WUGC, and live event coverage at the USA Ultimate National Team website here.