World Urban Games (WUG): Freestyle Flying Disc
Qualification Method Utilized for Selection of Freestyle Disc Athletes
Freestyle Flying Disc continues to be developed worldwide. The sport is heavily populated with multiple groups of freestylers throughout Europe and North America. Other parts of the globe have fewer players. Play varies from athletes with very high skill levels in Europe, North America, and other pockets of freestyle activity around the world, to multiple areas where freestylers and their skills are being developed.
Like many sports, freestyle disc draws a smaller number of female athletes; therefore, the development of Women players in those developing areas is still an on-going process. Due to these disparities, we have taken great care in the selection process for the 2019 World Urban Games Freestyle Disc athletes. In order to strike a balance of world regional talent, and to field quality teams for the WUG competition, we have used the following selection process.
1. Diversify freestyle athletes to represent as many countries as possible. There is a limit of 2 teams from the USA, Germany and Italy. These countries have many high quality freestyle athletes. In an effort to strengthen the quality of the playing field we opted to allow for multiple teams from these countries; 6 other countries have one mixed division team per country. Those teams come from: Canada, Colombia, Israel, Sweden, United Kingdom and Poland.
2. Emphasis on Youth. Many of the top players in freestyle disc are over 40 years of age. In order to remain consistent with the goals of GAISF to appeal to a younger audience the selection of younger players was a priority.
3. Use the FPA Rankings to determine the top women and men players. http://www.freestyledisc.org/rankings/ Athletes who did not respond to the invitation to WUG, or indicated that they were not interested/available to attend, were de-selected and the next ranked players from that country who volunteered were considered.
4. Teams or freestyle athletes with recent competitive success were given priority.
These are the selected WUG freestyle disc teams, based on the qualifying criteria listed above:
1. Juliana Korver/Ryan Young (USA)
2. Emma Kahle/Daniel O’Neill (USA)
3. Bianca Strunz/Fabian Dinklage (GER)
4. Ilka Simon/Waldemar Wagner (GER)
5. Maxine Mittempergher/Edo Turri (ITA)
6. Giu Aretano/Andrea Izzo (ITA)
7. Joakim Arveskar/Vendella Arveskar (SWE)
8. Bar Bendek/Yuval Reikoren (ISR)
9. Benedicte Audet/Brett Schramek (CAN)
10. Marysia Ryszarda Krajewska/Kuba Radwanska (POL)
11. Sophie Rickers/Gordon Brown (UK)
12. Paola Andrea Garcia Palaez/Pablo Azul (COL)
Congratulations to all the selectees!
The WFDF Freestyle Committee in consultation with the Freestyle Players Association Board of Directors, selected these teams after the change in WUG venue to Budapest was announced. Each selected athlete was asked to verify they still were interested in participating in WUG Budapest. We have delayed the confirmation of the teams until we had clarity of process. The Budapest WUG organizers have recently revealed that there will be a $20,000 (usd) purse which we will distribute to the teams making the 6 team finals. The breakdown of that purse is still being processed. We have also been informed that there will be in-competition testing during the event conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The scope of this testing is not currently known.
The goal – as always – is to “spread the jam” to as many continents as possible, focusing on getting more youth and women in the sport. WFDF is working hard to garner support through the General Assembly of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and the World Urban Games to support Freestyle Disc world-wide.