Although we had aimed to attract more teams this year, we held strong at 9 teams for the second year. A lot of young tournaments die off, and I believe that with the work we've put in over the last two years Battle in the Bluffs has a strong foundation. The date of the tournament may change in the future to attract more teams, possibly on a weekend with no competing tournaments and earlier in the summer.
I thought things ran smoothly, although I realized this year that if the tournament gets any bigger I will not be able to run it alone. I received a lot of help from my teammates and friends of Nebraska Ultimate, including volunteers picking up fruit and water for the teams, transportation of tournament necessities, setting up and taking down the fields and Frisbee central area.
We really appreciate the generosity and hospitality of Diane and Rachael Green. For the second straight year they have allowed ultimate players to camp and swim at their house in Iowa, which is 15 minutes from the fields and a place that I have effectively used as home base for Battle in the Bluffs. Dennis Hopp is also an invaluable asset to our tournament, bringing his large tent and massage therapy for all .
Council Bluffs Parks and Recreation treated us well again this year, and we had a great water setup and lined fields, which are two perks that I think may help draw teams back in the future. The party was a success, held at the Spillway Grill and Bar. Pulled pork and free cold beer are also two things I will not sacrifice - necessities of a successful tournament!
I was also happy with the way the storm was handled. We played for as long as we could, and when we had to suspend play due to lightning concerns, everyone dealt with the inconvenience positively, and luckily we were able to get back underway within about 20-25 minutes and finish all games before the real storm rolled in.
Thoughts on different teams:
Rigor Mortis performed well, losing 15-12 in the finals to archnemesis Gnarwhal from Des Moines, IA. Rigor Mortis and Gnarwhal have an interesting history, going back to last year's Battle in the Bluffs I when Gnarhwal defeated Rigor in an epic 17-15 comeback victory. Rigor will most likely see Gnarwhal again next weekend at Cooler Classic in Milwaukee, which will be the third time in four weekends for the two teams. Gnarwhal had a few close games, but as expected returned to the finals and this time won, finishing 6-0.
Silage, UNL's alumni team, played well, as did Fire at the Circus, Lincoln's club open team. The depth at the club level in Nebraska is rising as there are now three legitimate club teams - Rigor Mortis, FatC, and Silage.
FatC had arguably its best tournament to date, defeating Cornfed but losing a heartbreaker to Stud Muffins to be eliminated from contention. FatC is now undeniably prepared to play against anyone in the region, and not a team to underestimate.
Cornfed played well, scoring plenty of points although it finished with a losing record. They played tough opponents all weekend, and lost several players to Silage and the other Nebraska teams.
Minor Offense, Nebraska's youngest team, got several new players' feet wet and was able to beat Atticus Flick, a new team from Kansas City, Kansas. Omaha Club was unable to knock off the higher seeds but held strong against the lower seeds, finishing around middle of the pack. Stud Muffins, from the Twin Cities, had a good first tournament together, reaching the Semifinals before falling.
Editor's note: BitB is a well-run tournament and is increasingly fun due to the many local and regional rivalries that play out all tournament long. If you have a team located anywhere within driving distance of Council Bluffs, you won't regret submitting a bid for next year.