October 12, 2022
TEMPE, Ariz – And that's a wrap on USA Touch Nationals for another year!
This was our first time at the Omni Championsgate in Orlando, and I am sure you all agree it was a great venue. While the days were long and hot, and occasionally wet, we were very lucky with the weather to only have limited delays. Our thoughts are with Orlando and the other communities in Florida who are recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ian.
This year we had 30 teams from 17 clubs playing across 4 divisions. Congratulations to our division champions in some very tight competition. For the last two years, we have also named the top 6 players in each division, with one of them being named MVP. Those 'All Stars' are also listed below for each division. Congratulations all!
Women's Open: New York defeated the LA Royals in the final, in one of the most exciting games of the tournament. After being down the entire game, New York scored at the death to take the game into a drop-off where they won the Championship. Portland won the bronze medal.
Kye Doran - Portland - Wing
Nico Whiteford - NYC - Wing
Jesse Whiteford - NYC - Link
Shizuka Tei - LA - Link
Selene Sheerin - LA - Middle
Ines Petard - NYC - Middle & MVP
Men's Open: New York defended their title from 2021 beating first time finalists, Vipers in the final. Portland were able to overcome the LA Royals in the bronze medal match.
Arthur Dixon - Portland - Wing
Mike Ellis - NYC - Wing
Pat Jang - LA - Link
Jarred Whippy - Vipers - Link
Tahuahi Berryman - Vipers - Middle
Robbie Bennett - New York - Middle & MVP
Mixed Open: Denver were able to go one better than last year by beating Austin 1 in the final. Both teams finished second in their pool but won in the cross-over semis to make the final. In a highly competitive match, Denver took the game by a single try to win their first Championship. Cayman knocked off Chicago in the bronze medal game.
Jess Rollason - Austin - Wing
Mariola Schmid - Chicago - Wing
Doug Rowlane - Cayman - Link
Charlie Brunt - Denver - Link
Lincoln Little - Austin - Middle
John Tait - Denver - Middle & MVP
Masters Division (Over 35): Dallas won a competitive final against New York, with Seattle taking home the bronze
Luis Camacho - NYC - Wing
Michael Stanton - Dallas - Wing
Riley Mullen - Cayman - Link
Robert Gessner - Dallas - Link
Jarred Power - NYC - Middle
Tim Oxenford - Dallas - Middle & MVP
A special thank you to our two international teams: Team Canada and the Cayman Islands! It was great to have you back to join us after a multi-year hiatus due to COVID. I would also like to give special kudos to Austin Touch and Orlando for their outstanding club growth this past year, to Tumeke for bringing some youth to mix it with the adults, and Portland for bringing through their next wave of players – the future of our sport is bright!
Thank you to all the players, volunteers, family, and fans who turned out to make it a fantastic event. Of course, we would not be able to have the high quality matches we had without the support and dedication of our Referees – thank you!
Referee quantity and quality continues to be an area of focus for us - we had significant challenges putting on this event with last minute changes to the referee pool and clubs not fulfilling their commitment to bring qualified referees. We are planning to raise the requirement for number of referees each team must bring next year, so start working with your clubs now to develop the referees YOU need locally to help us Nationally. As we start to pull together next year’s tournament schedule, we will expect many to also have Referee training courses attached to help you get there. Don’t forget that we are also willing to help run courses for you and have our Level 1 course available online through the website.
2023 will be a big year for USA Touch as we start building our High-Performance teams for the 2024 World Cup (recently announced by FIT to be in England). As we head into Winter now, please do not lose the momentum and growth we have seen this year! Here are a couple of items to think about:
We will be holding a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Zoom call on 10/26 @6pm Pacific Time. The meeting notice will be sent to all Club leads in the coming week.
We will be holding an Annual General Meeting (AGM) for USA Touch later this year. Please look out for that and bring your ideas to help us run this organization effectively and deliver what you want and need. We also need more volunteers to help run our organization throughout the year, so think about raising your hand!
We would like to get a draft 2023 Tournament calendar lined out shortly after the new year so we can space our tournaments out. We are considering designating some of those tournaments as Regional events to focus our Referee development and USA Touch energy as we build to Nationals and World Cup. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any input or questions.
Please plan to Register your club as soon as possible when we open registration in Spring 2023. Your registration funds help us put on training and development, maintain equipment, and put on the best Nationals event possible!
2023 Touch Nationals will be at another new location, likely in the South or SouthWest in October / November. Stay tuned!