15th Annual Hats Hops & Hucks

Team Rubik's Cube Cheer time Chantal the quarterback
This was my second year competing in the HHH event in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains, Ben Lomen and Boulder Creek area. It stands heads and shoulders above EVERY other Ultimate Tournament. Good spirit, teamwork, laughing, nice fields, fun people. Even though it was 108 on Sat and 100 on Sun, we had a blast!!! Running was a sizzling, soppy affair. We were all soaked in sweat and sunscreen.

Ultimate Monster Ellie Throws a Beautie Failed foot block

For those unfamiliar with Ultimate…check out UPA It is a NON CONTACT, fast paced running, SELF referreed, game played with a plastic disc. It’s very intense, with continuous sprinting (like Soccer) and fast turnovers (like Basketball).

In or Out? A pancake catch A Bad Catch

I was told by the males & females of the opposing teams that I did a great job running, a testament to the level of effort I put into the game this year. Shut down defense and wide open cutting-getting open for my teammates was my priority.

This year the theme of the tournament was “Catch ya in Fifteen”, which is a play on Andy Warhol’s idea that everybody will at some point have their 15 minutes of fame. At a “Hat” tournament, you have to play with a HAT on the field. NOT A WIG OR A BALLCAP. A real hat, one with some creativity. I broke out the gluegun to make mine Woo-hoo.

Anyways, Hat tournaments are also called Hat tourneys cause they take all the entries and put them in a HAT. So you play with a random assortment of players with varying skill levels. We had some newbies and some National level players. It’s great fun, and opportunities to improve are endless with the advice of the veterans.

The team I played on were called Rubik’s Cube. All the team names were things that had been popular for a brief period of time. Dennis played on a team called Edsel. Our friend George (also a Ridgecrestee) was on “Where’s the Beef”. We all had a good time playing. Dennis was on the best team this year, and they almost made it to the Semi-s! Go Edsel!!!

One thing I could use some advice on is leg cramps. I was drinking boatloads of water & gatorade, eating salty nuts and jerky and oranges throughout the day, but during our last game of the day, I had very bad leg cramps. Both hamstrings siezed up and I went down fast.

My teammates helped me to the ground from the standing position (I was clutching my legs). Then they helped by keeping my legs elevated and SLOWLY lowering them to the ground. The spasms lasted for probably about 5 or 10 minutes (during which time I was squeezing the dirt and also somebodies hand!). It was pretty dang awful. So the question is, how can I avoid that in the future. I really had no sign that my muscles were going to do that, and when they went down it happened SO fast. Advice????

HHH is at a park right by a creek, so after the tourney everybody goes down there to cool off. IT FELT GREAT to do this on Sunday after our consolation game, and after sitting out in the heat watching Dennis play his two games. Soon, there were 70-100 people down at the creek hangin out and coolin off. Good times.

We had a very long drive back, as I-5 was backed up due to fires. It was 11:30pm by the time we came rolling into town last night. It was 93 degrees, happy to be home! Definitely not in the coastal mountains (where it cools down significantly at night) anymore.

One Response to “15th Annual Hats Hops & Hucks”

  1. Dennis says:

    When Clare needs speed, she’s got an extra gear like no other. It’s great to hear that she finally got some recognition from other teams – nothing like praise from the enemy to make you feel good!

    HHH epitomizes the best that Ultimate has to offer. I video taped most of the cheers we gave each of our opponents. Cheering is a very cool and fun part of the sport, IMHO. :-)

    Being on a talented team that gels quickly is always a lot of fun. My team went 3-1 on Saturday during pool play, and 1-1 on Sunday during the playoffs. Six long games has left my calves and quads very sore!


    Wouldn’t trade it for anything!