Mark LaFrancois

Toronto Ultimate is Vastly Superior to HURL in Every Way

by Mark LaFrancois
February 29, 2008

How would you like to not only have your Saturday evenings free, but also play your indoor ultimate league games at one of the premier new facilities in all of Canada? If you live in Toronto this is not just a dream, but a wonderful and exciting reality.

Currently on retainer with the Broken! Magazine Toronto Bureau, I have been entrusted with the task of learning more about how other ultimate leagues operate. Twice weekly I arrive at BMO field, TUC's flagship indoor facility, flown by helicopter direct from Broken! offices downtown.

TUC has indoor leagues playing in three different facilities around the city, each one situated at least an hour's trip from anyone who plays in the league. That is the first great thing about TUC.

Secondly, supposedly games start anywhere between 9:00 and 11:00 p.m., but you will typically find yourself playing 11:00 games on both Monday and Tuesday evenings. Thus, one has the great privilege of not arriving home before 1:00 a.m. two nights in a row, which is made doubly exciting since living in Toronto means getting to wake up at 6:30 a.m. in order to make the one-and-one-quarter-hour commute to work. With so little time wasted sleeping, there are more waking hours in which to enjoy the great pleasures of life. (Please note that this reporter is a unique exception due to the access to Broken!'s helicopter).

Finally, a winter's worth of indoor ultimate in Toronto -- playing two nights per week -- costs in excess of four hundred dollars for a typical player. Clearly, this figure helps keep players out of the malls and away from frivolous pursuits such as online gambling. One might ask, "isn't it a bad thing that games are so far away and so late at night? For the sake of journalistic integrity, I thought long and hard about this myself, and soon found myself asking it of TUC General Manager, Domitian Jones. "Sure it might seem like a bad thing," replied Mr. Jones, "but let's face it, the alternative is a one-way ticket to Chicoutimi." This reporter is not sure what elicited this reference to an old hockey-based Canadian TV drama, but certainly accepts the spirit.

Occasional sarcasm aside, there have been some times when the Toronto ultimate scene has exhibited some odd behaviour. I first became suspicious that Toronto ultimate was flaky and without competitive integrity when I first discovered that TUC was an ultimate league. I have also observed other warning signs.

Similar to what frustrates ultimate-playing Haligonians, Toronto ultimate teams regularly pick up players from previous games just prior to their own game start time. Not only is this perfectly accepted by the teams that do it, but teams completely rely on this practice so that they don't have to carry large rosters that can lead to situations where players don't "get their playing time" on the rare occasions that everyone decides to show up.

Even more insane, there are players who are registered for more than one team on the same night in the same division. (Now if I could just decide whether to suit up for Sasquatch and the Dumpling Gang or perhaps Cattle-Star Galactica next week...)

Certainly nothing can possibly go wrong with this scenario come playoff time. Nothing at all.