Part of the Process: WUCC 2018
Last week, 128 teams from 36 countries dropped everything and headed to Cincinnati, Ohio, to attend the WFDF 2018 World Ultimate Club Championships. Teams from all over the world shared laughter, shed tears, traded jerseys and ran from lightning together, and in the blink of an eye, it was over. Teams returned to their jobs, families, and friends, leaving Lebanon Sports Complex an ultimate ghost town.
But what goes on behind the scenes? For some teams, WUCC planning started 1-2 months ago, but for the VC team, WUCC has been in planning for over a year. Every single detail was planned to ensure the event would run smoothly. As a sort of postmortem report of the event, Adriana (Head of State here at VC) took the time to answer some of my questions.
1. Overall, was this event a success?
The event was great. It honestly couldn't have gone better even with the chaos brought on by the thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday. It was unfortunate that we didn't get to do full set-ups the last two days, but given that some people didn't get to finish games or make it in to watch the finals, I really can't complain. It's not lost on me that the most important thing at tournaments is the experiences of the players and the competition.
Editor's note: If you did miss out on event merch because of the weather, we set up an online store with WUCC swag. Last day to order is June 30th!
We had a blast building out the tent. The full team spent the days before the event building out custom tables for discs and swag, fencing to helping with airflow, and pipe racks that I thought classed up the tent. We also had some ferns, which we were all confident helped with CO2 conversion.
There's always little things that come up when you're getting ready for an event this size (like the Bluetooth barcode scanners we use not syncing with iPhones for check-out), but you can't sweat the small stuff. I was really proud of how the tent looked and all the awesome gear offered inside it.
2. At the end of the week, you had to create 3 different sites (opening ceremonies, main fields, indoor fields). How did you manage to stay organized through it all?
I was with the crew at the indoor facility when the word 'GO' was uttered to confirm the venue change and I literally just started running. Our crew was offsite at a laundromat washing banners and table covers that were filthy from the storm, so it was a good 30 minutes before we could all meet at the main site to start loading up and moving gear to the indoor facility.
On route, I made a call to the TD, Dale Wilker, who is one of the hardest working, nicest and most helpful people I have ever met in my life. By the time I saw him, he had hitched up a trailer and started loading tables already. He helped us get a mini set-up over to the indoor site, which was already filling with players by the time we arrived.
In the end, I'd call it organized chaos made possible by an amazing VC crew onsite and TOC crew helping us every step of the way.
Thank you to all the volunteers that helped make WUCC a success--you're the best!
3. Working around 12 hours onsite every day plus working once you left the fields means there has to be at least one hilarious story that happened. What can you share?
12 hours a day would have been a blessing. If you count travel time, the team's days were at least 14 hours, but it doesn't stop there for some of us. There are photos to edit, cash to count out, uniforms and gear that's fallen on the ground to wash, equipment to organize and charge, etc. Then there are some of us who still have jobs back home to do, although our team at VC HQ in Toronto did literally everything they could do to help cover (except for the 3 staff playing at WUCC...slackers!!)
Adriana taking a much-needed break with VC's latest employee, Shadow!
4. What was your favourite part of the tournament?
100% it's all about the people. Seeing friends from near and far, some of whom I have known since we started VC 20 years ago, is amazing. As is meeting the TOC and volunteers who made our life as easy as they could.
It's also amazing to see the people who work for/with WFDF and other organizing bodies at these events. These people are a huge part of my ultimate community—we're all working on a bunch of different levels to grow and support our sport and community and we see each other all over the world every year. These people have become some of my best friends and make the long hours totally worth it; we're all in it together and we all get it.
Finally, I have to say that the WFDF Women in Sport Commissions Equity Training on Sunday and Monday night were enlightening and powerful. The team, led by Zara Caddoux, was epic and it made the WUCC experience more meaning for me.