186. NZ Mixed Ultimate ChampionshipsDate: 19/11/2016 - 21/11/2016
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Team name: Ballarat Ultimate
Finishing postion: 20th/26
This time none of my friends played for Ballarat in NZ, and I was the only person from Sydney. It was the first time it had felt like a Ballarat team and not a pickup team. It was mostly youngsters, with the average age being 21 (including me and Aaron) and people mostly ranging from the ages of 16 to 24.
I flew in Thursday afternoon and hired a car with Sean, Damon, and Gabby. I was the only driver, which is a rarity for me.
Hamilton is a pretty quiet city, but we were staying about 10km out of town anyway in some camp. We had the whole place to ourselves the first night, which was cool.
There were nine games in total, three each day. We played hard, but just weren’t at the level of the teams in all our early games. We lost all five of our pool games, but then won the next three reasonably strongly to make it to the 19th playoff. We put up a fight in all of our games though, getting breaks in every game. We also had to play hard to win when we did. There was a very strong side wind by the last game, and the opposition just did a bit better with their long throws. We went down 8 - 6 after some very long points.
The highlight, apart from the party, was probably a point that went on for about 20 minutes in a game we lost in a close one on the second day. Our offence wasn’t great and we kept giving up the disc, but our straight up defence was too much for the opposition to handle. We scored that point, and it felt great.
This was the first time a party at an NZ nats has been a really good time. The live band, cheap drinks, and more Australians than usual to hit up the dance floor, made it all worthwhile.