Survey Results Are In

Thanks to everyone who responded to our Return to Play survey last month. Over a hundred (110 to be specific) responded, which speaks to our membership’s investment in this sport and the PUL community. We saw a pretty even split in opinions, those wanting to play now, those advising caution, and a slightly stronger preference for Indoor if we waited until the second season (January/February start).

Thanks to Jocelyne for setting up the survey. You can see the whole thing for yourself here. We’ve left the comments in. Someone advised kicking a dog…I hope that’s metaphorical? But otherwise, thanks to everyone for your continued support of PUL’s leadership. Not everyone will agree with the course we are charting, but we are prioritizing safety above all.

So Now What? 

Even since we began this survey, a lot has happened. Ontario has tightened its restrictions on gatherings, and cases in Ontario are increasing significantly, with predictions of an increased second wave coming throughout October.

Blame this on the reopening of schools and universities, the lowered diligence as people grow weary, or those guys who are giving false names at the Brass Rail (which is open for some unfathomable reason), but the fact is, it is not getting safer out there. Not right now.

So, in light of all of this: the first season of indoor, with a late October start, is not feasible. If conditions improve, we are hoping that the second season, starting in late January is possible. We will not make this call for some time, however: Christmas is going to see a lot of disruption to our collective efforts to stymie this thing, and so there’s little point in making concrete plans before we see what happens there. We’ll loop back to this in early January.

What about outdoor? We looked into this, and even laid some plans for an isolated cohort to play regular pickup. But as cases have risen, this becomes much more difficult to see as safe and sustainable. Field space is also an issue: the city is shutting down its grass fields for the winter. Although we do not normally book fields for pickup, we would this time around: we don’t need to jeopardize our relationship with the city by having large groups on unsanctioned field space.

The fields are still out there, so if individuals want to get out there and toss, you’re welcome to do so. If you’re looking for a few throwing friends, we can even help you out there with a little signal boosting. But we are not sanctioning any formal play at this time, and any cohorting/isolation concerns would be yours to deal with.

Will We Ever Play Again?

Yes. Goodness yes. We miss you all. I had a random encounter with another PUL player the other night while out for an evening walk, and it is so damn weird how long it’s been.

January remains iffy, but the Board is already starting to give consideration to summer 2021. Several leagues in Canada did run limited seasons this year, some successfully, some less so. Conditions differ significantly across the country, but there are a lot of lessons to be learned, and every month that passes brings more understanding of how this virus works. So we are optimistic on that front.

So, mask up, wash your hands, stay safe. We all have to do our part to get through this.

Harvest 2020…wait, what?

Harvest/Pax 6 2020

To the rest of the ultimate world, Harvest 2020 was unfortunately postponed. Leave it to the defending 2019 Champs, Pax 6 to come up with some fun and creative ways to keep Harvest in their hearts.

Harvest 2020: v.Pax6 was held.
New venue: Ottawa (don’t worry, it won’t stay there.)
Weather: Perfect, by tradition. (It was a glorious weekend)
New TDs: Laura Chambers Davidson and Justine Price (Was vacant…want to continue…;) )
Blessed, in person, by The Godfather, CamTaylor (But of course he was!)
Teams: Pax Six: Mendoza Line, Cam and Suzanne, Kyle Hunter (keeping in Covid number limit). No RV this year.

Events:

1. Due to win last year, everyone had a bye first round, so games started at 1pm, very civilized. Several games of Covid Friendly team frisbee, involving knocking down cones,running, shenanigans, rules, and therefore discussion, oohs, aahs. Mark Mc unable to attend so we had to make do with last years t-shirts and were the Mendoza Line for a second year. As Kyle Hunter arrived, he sighed as he saw “all those yellow shirts that beat us in finals last year”, second sigh.

Finals: Pax Six Yellow, Mendoza Line vs. Pax Six various dark shirts.      
Winners: Pax Six yellow, The Mendoza Line

2. MTA with the usual line of cheering sideline plus a family stopped to watch and the kids jumped up and down and cheered. Egos were inflated, hearts were broken, a roller coaster of emotion and drama. Cam Taylor assumed his traditional sideline spot sprawled on the grass, heckled and waxed philosophic by turns. Nothing changes.     

1st: Al Colantonio 8:19     
2nd and defending 2019 champion Chris Keates 7:50     
3rd Kyle Hunter 7:36

Challenge: Can any PUL player beat the posted MTA?

3. The Harvest Meal: Soup and bread and wine, bring your own due to Covid so lots of soup being made all over town in the morning. Stacey and LP brought the traditional pickled beets and pickles. (Mmmm, soup…bread…pickled yumminess)

Sitting Around Eating Soup

4. Braggarts bushel awarded, consisted of the entirety of my garden harvest for the year: two tomatoes. (You win for being most-spirited player, hands down!)

5. Sitting in lawn chairs and playing lawn games as the sun went down, in sweats and hoodies with wine, and G & Ts.

6. MVP awarded. By unanimous acclaim, 2020 MVP was once again Andrew Carroll. As in 2019, awarded for not showing up and giving everyone else a shot. Bravo, sir, well played.

7. Lost and found, posted and claimed. (That’s an impressive feat, no doubt.)

Still the best tournament. Thanks, PUL, we miss you obviously.
Till next year, y’all.
Justine Price and Laura Chambers Davidson, Pax Six

And thanks to Justine and Laura for putting smiles on all our faces.

The Godfather
Cam and Susanne
Laura Chambers-Davidson

Well…poop.

Lights, turf and sunset

That’s a wrap, folks…or at least it should’ve been.

Tonight would’ve been the final finals of the season. Someone has hoisted the Big Wiener, perhaps fit the Wednesday puzzle pieces together, and tonight someone takes down those naughty Big Rats, finally, probably, maybe.

It was a tough call cancelling the season, especially as fields cautiously opened back up. But community health is always at the forefront of the Board’s thinking, and we stick by that decision. I (George) received quite a bit of positive feedback after that announcement, which I’ve passed on to the rest of the Board. Much appreciated, PUL. It pleases us to no end that you are all safe, healthy, and around to play next year.

The Board is meeting next week (Tuesday), to consider the immediate future. The most pressing question, of course, is our traditional indoor season. We’ll be assessing the risk of indoor play and thinking about what a season may or may not look like. To add to the complexity, you may have heard that the Spiplex has been sold, and changes hands on October 1. We’ve been assured that our space is waiting for us, but we don’t know much beyond that just yet (cost, for instance).

It’s been a while since we’ve done our return to sport survey, so if anyone has thoughts on the situation, I would welcome any input and pass it on to the Board. You can contact me here.

So, final thoughts on the season that wasn’t? Yeah, I’ve got some of those:

Screw you, covid. I don’t care how open you are, I am looking you off, every damn time.