Isaac Handley-Miner Photograph


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Day 1

March 22, 2012   

The first official day of High Tide (the ultimate frisbee tournament in Georgia) was the Hat Tournament. Our team woke up early that morning, and after we had all suited up and had a bowl of cereal we hopped in our cars and drove off.

When we got to the fields there were hundreds of ultimate players milling around, delighting in the wonderful Georgian weather. At least that’s what it looked like from the parking lot. When we stepped foot on the fields, I realized that what I had taken for “delighting” was actually people fending off swarms of gnats. Lovely. But the bugs disappeared after the games started, so they were a short-lived nuisance.

The way the Hat Tournament works is players from each team are assigned a new team comprised of players from all different teams. The Hat Tournament is primarily about enjoying yourself while bonding with other ultimate players; winning is secondary. That being said, I had a pretty damn good team. Unfortunately we got knocked out in the quarterfinals by the team who won the tournament.

There were over 40 teams in the tournament and each team had about 16 players, so that ought to give you a sense of how many college kids were at the fields that day. Each team was a different color, so there were some pretty interesting shades of t-shirts. I was on the “antique Irish green” team. I actually got one of the best color shirts; it was certainly a better color than the “antique daffodil,” which looked like vomit yellow in my opinion. 

The tournament director brought a live band to play at lunchtime and there was an excellent burrito place that set up a stand by the fields. I really liked all the kids on my team and when the tournament was over we exchanged numbers and made plans to meet up later that night on the beach. So, despite the gnats, it was a long, exhilarating, and thoroughly enjoyable day.