DiscNW Community Bulletin Boards

You are not logged in.

#1 2008-10-13 11:19 pm

kongc
Scoober
Registered: 2006-05-16
Posts: 85

The Future of Potlatch

It feels like a lifetime ago, but itís only been 99 days since Potlatch 2008 wrapped up.  Without a doubt, this yearís tournament will be remembered as one of the best ever.  We had beautiful fields, close to 1,000 individual games filled with great spirit over 3 days, terrific vendors, and the most competitive Potlatch Championship Game weíve seen in a long while.  Good times!! 

Of course, itís no secret that there were a few ďincidentsĒ that occurred, possibly jeopardizing the future of Potlatch.   Although Potlatch 2009 is still 263 days away (not that Iím counting), the Potlatch Tournament Directors are working on building an event worthy of commemorating its 20th anniversary.  Hereís where your feedback and comments come into play.  What do you love about Potlatch?  What donít you love?  Did you like the free coffee?  Still looking for your missing cleats?!?  Letís hear it!  Post your thoughts here, or if you want a more private channel, send me an email at kong@discnw.org.  Weíll take all of these comments into consideration as we decide what next yearís Potlatch may, or may not, be like.

As Frasier used to say, ďIím listening.Ē

Kong

Offline

 

#2 2008-10-15 11:04 am

oregonryan
Swilly
Registered: 2008-10-15
Posts: 1

Re: The Future of Potlatch

Thanks for opening up the dialog.  Could those of us outside of the loop get an idea of problems from this year?

Offline

 

#3 2008-10-16 12:09 am

kongc
Scoober
Registered: 2006-05-16
Posts: 85

Re: The Future of Potlatch

Not to dig up old dirt (or a tree, for that matter), but the problems included theft, vandalism, disrespect for our host facilities, and several instances of generally bad behavior.  Though each case was clearly out of line, no single act brought us to the current scrutiny Potlatch is currently under.  In the end it was the culmination of everything that now threatens our access to traditional host (party) facilities and fields, thus causing a possible change in format to ensure similar problems do not arise again.

So, letís hear it!  What aspects of Potlatch do you want to make sure we fight for?

Last edited by kongc (2008-10-21 04:39 pm)

Offline

 

#4 2008-10-16 09:17 am

mcolaizzi
Swilly
Registered: 2006-06-01
Posts: 1

Re: The Future of Potlatch

To solicite more widespread feedback, I would suggest a survey monkey to the entire DiscNW with specific questions with choices to answer to give you better direction in certain areas for the 20th.

Offline

 

#5 2008-10-16 02:49 pm

looneyboy
High Release
From: Redmond
Registered: 2006-06-12
Posts: 24

Re: The Future of Potlatch

red hook brewery. if thats possible

Offline

 

#6 2008-10-16 10:20 pm

looneyboy
High Release
From: Redmond
Registered: 2006-06-12
Posts: 24

Re: The Future of Potlatch

and i think it should continue to be an all ages tournament.

Offline

 

#7 2008-10-20 11:20 pm

Wiggity
Backhand
From: Yakima
Registered: 2007-03-05
Posts: 5

Re: The Future of Potlatch

The DJ was horrid this year. The folks in '07 were much better. I'd offer my DJ services if you're looking to try again next year (fingers crossed). The three day format is a must. Salmon dinner is OK, but not a necessity for me. Pizza and beer always go well. Showcase games to heckle are a must as well.

Wiggity
aka DJ Un1t

Offline

 

#8 2008-10-21 03:41 pm

kristian_mickelson
Hammer
From: Seattle
Registered: 2007-08-23
Posts: 47

Re: The Future of Potlatch

i think a lot of the issues this year related to peoples' (im)maturity, and while i know minors were not necessarily the culprits.  i think it is a risk having minors (under 21) at the tourney considering the "potlatch theme" of the tourney.  although that said this would create a lot more work for the TDs with rostering teams and age checking so I understand if this approach would not be favorable in the TDs opinion.


"There's atleast One Happy Hour Each Day"

Offline

 

#9 2008-10-21 07:19 pm

abbottr
Push Pass
Registered: 2006-05-15
Posts: 60

Re: The Future of Potlatch

Not only were minors "not necessarily the culprits", it is doubtful they were. As a minor that has played at the tournament for the past 5 years (I'm turning as old as Potlatch!) and never uprooted trees or stolen things from Red Hook, I am horribly offended at the suggestion that banning U21s will make this tournament better or safer.

The immaturity that you point at is probably due to the exciting effects of alcohol, not the birth year of the players. By the way, nice signature line.

Offline

 

#10 2008-10-22 08:35 pm

iferguson
Flick
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 18

Re: The Future of Potlatch

I really like the camping and the coffee. I like partying on the edge of the fields after dinner. That said, I don't like very loud noise on the fields at 2 a.m. I don't like it when the neighbors complain, and I like to get some sleep, too. I think we ought to be able to party without damaging things and being extremely loud. Some can, some can't/won't.
I also really like having two bye rounds. It gives you time to browse around frisbee central, or track down old friends playing on faraway teams.
Finally, I've been really annoyed by the intentional fouling during play. If you can't hold my mark without fouling, perhaps you should practice more.
I know I'm a crotchedy old man, but really the fouling has gotten much worse lately. At Potlatch they contest a lot less, but they still do it.

Offline

 

#11 2008-10-22 11:44 pm

appleshampoo
Air Bounce
Registered: 2006-05-10
Posts: 141

Re: The Future of Potlatch

iferguson :

Finally, I've been really annoyed by the intentional fouling during play. If you can't hold my mark without fouling, perhaps you should practice more.
I know I'm a crotchedy old man, but really the fouling has gotten much worse lately. At Potlatch they contest a lot less, but they still do it.

Clearly we need some refzervers for all games at potlatch. </rsd>


Also known as Walnut, or Philbrook

Offline

 

#12 2008-10-23 10:08 am

wynne.scherf
Layout D
From: Olympia
Registered: 2006-07-07
Posts: 1019

Re: The Future of Potlatch

I have a feeling this won't be popular, but...

I would like to see what Potlatch looks like without free beer at the party.

What if we had a separate beer garden, where people could buy a drink, but all the other party stuff (food, dancing, slide show) were outside the garden?  Then people could still drink if they wanted to, but perhaps the facts that they would have to pay and that the other fun stuff is outside would deter many people from drinking until they were out of control.  This would save a lot of money for the tournament as well. 

As an aside, I agree with Wiggity that salmon isn't necessary--I know it's tradition, but it never turns out all that well anyway--why not save some more cash and serve something that's cheaper and easier to prepare?  Oh, one more logistical thing...I think simply having more outhouses and more garbage cans at the party will solve a lot of the cleanliness issues.  The lines for the bathrooms were so huge, it's no wonder that people (many of whom were drunk) chose to relieve themselves elsewhere.  And I was on garbage duty with my team at the party...I cleaned up for a full hour then turned around to look at our progress, only to find that it looked just as bad as when we'd started.  More garbage cans (and no free beer!) might also partially solve the issue of people vomiting on the ground.

I really, really, really like playing Ultimate.  I also like eating food, visiting with and meeting new people, and goofing around with friends.  These are the things I enjoy about Potlatch.  These are things that people of all ages can enjoy.  I don't like not being able to get an adequate's night rest before a full day of games because people are still partying outside my tent at 2:30 am.  It scares me to death when I see people passing out and needing someone to essentially carry them home because they're so poisoned (I saw at least 2 of these situations this year).  I don't like it when my team sucks on Sunday because several of our players are too hungover to play.  I really, really, really don't like youth players being exposed to negative role-modeling and being offered alcohol as spirit gifts on the field.  I know that my idea above will not necessarily address the alcohol on the fields (I can't really think of any ideas to address that other than strict policing, which REALLY wouldn't be popular).  But in my mind the party is the biggest issue. 

I would really hate to see minors excluded from the tournament, because I think the kinship and spirit of the tournament is such a wonderful experience.  I would much rather see the tournament "grow up" and clean up for the kids.  I feel very strongly about this.  But if that's not possible, then I think that minors, by necessity, need to be excluded.  And by golly, I might even exclude myself...it's been a long time since I played in Hoopfest...


Wynne Scherf
DiscNW
Director of Youth Operations

Offline

 

#13 2008-10-23 10:15 am

wynne.scherf
Layout D
From: Olympia
Registered: 2006-07-07
Posts: 1019

Re: The Future of Potlatch

P.S. I vote for Wiggity for DJ...


Wynne Scherf
DiscNW
Director of Youth Operations

Offline

 

#14 2008-10-23 12:14 pm

abbottr
Push Pass
Registered: 2006-05-15
Posts: 60

Re: The Future of Potlatch

Maybe a middle ground between beer garden and the big sign that says, "FREE BEER!"...other tournaments do a certain amount of beer tickets for the teams, then after you use those up you have to pay. Making the party "lame" will not deter teams...this is still the best co-ed tournament around, and that's not due to the alcohol at the party, it's because of the whole experience.

Offline

 

#15 2008-10-23 04:38 pm

manzell
Greatest
From: PDXOR
Registered: 2006-02-16
Posts: 310
Website

Re: The Future of Potlatch

Free Coffee is a great idea in concept, but it seems impossible to provide enough coffee to everyone who wants it free, and i'd much much rather have free beer than free coffee. Also, if there is coffee to buy, there is a chance I could possibly get some by the time I roll through.

We should note that changing the free beer/any beer policy at Potlatch won't change issues related to youth drinking; its not as if anyone will be ID checking at the fields (or at 2am when you can't see anything anyhow) and they do ID check at the party - although that process is prone to being abused/id checker laziness. The kids who want beer will find a way to drink it, Potlatch or No. At least they don't need to drive.

The only thing that would be awesome is timing the Showcase game/1st Night Dinner so that every team can watch [ie, isn't still playing]; and perhaps bringing in some portable bleachers for the Finals. Also, even a hand operated scoreboard (or two) at the finals would be killer. setting up the PA to do some announcements throughout the game ("so-and-so with the hammer for a goal to whatsherface!") kinda like beach volleyball does would set it off.

Bring back Jashar as DJ. Lord knows, he shouldn't be on the field! This years DJ was not nearly as good. I don't know the story there.


"This is why I'm hot."

Offline

 

#16 2008-10-23 09:50 pm

rebeccajean
Swilly
Registered: 2008-10-23
Posts: 1

Re: The Future of Potlatch

I think that it is also important to remember that part of the spirit of Potlatch is the festive atmosphere in addition to the ultimate.  That's one of the wonderful things about it.  While I don't find some of the behavior, especially from last year, acceptable, I do understand that partying is an aspect of this event.  It is part of what draws so many players to this tournament.  I simply accept the fact that I may not get much sleep if I choose to camp at the fields.  The noise and the fact that some people sacrifice their level of play isn't much of an issue for me.  However, the fact that some people acted horribly irresponsibly, caused damage, and have potentially led to a restructuring of Potlatch traditions due to their atrocious behavior is an issue that does need to be addressed.

I don't mind the idea of free beer.  However, I was also on clean up duty, and I got to see what a huge amount of trash that we produce.  I think that there is something simple that can be done which will reduce plastic waste, clean-up necessity, cost, and potentially (though not assuredly) curb some of the behavior issues.

Provide a single cup for free.  That cup can be re-used and refilled for free.  However, if a person loses or throws out his or her cup, then either they don't get another, or they have to pay for another.  You can make the price high enough to encourage folks to hang on to their cups rather than simply pitching them wherever (often times still partially full-a horrible waste of beer and the cup).  If they don't hang on to them, then at least the tournament can supplement its costs through the purchases of replacement cups. 

This may slow down the beer lines a bit, because cups will have to be refilled rather than simply having a table full of beers to grab quickly.  While this may make things a bit more stressful for the servers, it will also reduce the waste and slow the pace of some of the drinking.

Finally, I agree with Wynne that more access to toilets and trash cans would also help.  Maybe we could even work on getting the drunk folks to do some recycling or separating of trash into the yard waste potential, recyclables, etc.  I know, it's a serious stretch when some of the folks can't see straight and are retching uncontrollably, but there are also enough less hammered folks that it could make a difference.

Offline

 

#17 2008-10-24 04:57 pm

weeznation
Push Pass
Registered: 2006-04-27
Posts: 70

Re: The Future of Potlatch

I agree with Wynne 100% on her post about Potlatch. Well written Wynne!

-Mike Mulen

Offline

 

#18 2008-10-24 05:08 pm

batack
Blade
Registered: 2007-02-25
Posts: 6

Re: The Future of Potlatch

I was extremely uncomfortable, mortified actually, with my 8 year old son with me at the fields this year. Beyond that, I agree with every point Wynne makes above (and I love the mention of Hoopfest - when I haven't played Potlatch, I've been playing at Hoopfest). I'm all for the humor and good-natured shenanigans (that I associate with Potlatch), but the drinking and sexual innuendo detracts from the fun out there.

Britt

Offline

 

#19 2008-10-24 06:53 pm

Virus
High Release
Registered: 2006-11-05
Posts: 23

Re: The Future of Potlatch

I agree with Wynne about the party.  Is it really the free beer at the party that makes Potlatch such a great tournament?  Do you really need free beer at a party to make a tournament worthwhile?  And how many chances does this crowd get to prove that it can handle its alcohol?  It sounds like things were worse this year than ever, but it's not like everyone's displayed model behavior in the past, so if you continue providing people with as much alcohol as they want at no cost, can we really expect it to change in the future?  Even without free beer some people will overdrink, but the problem won't be as bad because there will either be less alcohol to consume or people will have to pay to drink.

Offline

 

#20 2008-10-24 07:07 pm

chaugen
High Release
From: Mount Baker
Registered: 2006-06-13
Posts: 29

Re: The Future of Potlatch

I also think charging for beer would help restore order.

Offline

 

#21 2008-10-27 01:17 pm

kongc
Scoober
Registered: 2006-05-16
Posts: 85

Re: The Future of Potlatch

The feedback posts here on this bulletin board, as well as the separate email commentaries Iíve been getting, are very helpful.  Please keep them coming!  Iím glad to see many similar observations and opinions popping up, especially around the positive outlook on what Potlatch represents to the worldwide Ultimate community.   Itís exciting to have received notes from players in almost every continent.  Now we just need Team Antarctica to show up.  smile  The comments on individual issues like music (DJ) choices, impact on Youth Ultimate, and the availability of free vs. not-free beer are also very useful. 

Now for the unfortunate news update.  As a result of what happened at this yearís party, we have lost access to Redhook as our party venue in 2009.  Obviously, this adds a significant hindrance to our 20th anniversary tournament planning, but rest assured, the Tournament Directors are actively looking for a new party location.  If anyone has a connection to get us several acres of land near the Potlatch Fields, give me a call!  Just jokingÖwell, maybe not.  smile  Iíll take help where I can get it.

Stay tuned!

Offline

 

#22 2008-10-28 08:46 am

Dan Anderson
Hammer
Registered: 2006-05-23
Posts: 47

Re: The Future of Potlatch

We don't need salmon.  Every other year I get a big chunk that's raw in the middle anyways.  Pizza/burgers/burritos are fine.

Offline

 

#23 2008-10-28 09:07 am

wondergirl
High Release
From: West Seattle
Registered: 2006-05-17
Posts: 22

Re: The Future of Potlatch

As someone who has never camped at the fields, it's hard to say much about the party. I agree we need to limit the beer. Providing a few free beers seems reasonable, an endless amount is just asking for trouble.

And I've never been able to stomach the salmon. It's always overcooked.

But most of all, I totally agree with manzell-- an announcer and a scoreboard at the finals would be amazing. They did this at World's in vancouver for all the showcase games and it was so cool to have a little more insight into what was going on.

-sara

Offline

 

#24 2008-10-29 01:16 am

grillmaster will
Swilly
Registered: 2007-02-28
Posts: 2

Re: The Future of Potlatch

Well Potlatch this year was probably my favorite ever, and the second potlatch i'd been to. There are a ton of things to like about potlatch:
-camping on the fields
-high level showcase games
-playing against teams from all over the place
-and basically just hanging out and having a good time with a thousands of people who are there to do the same thing.

Personally, I never really cared for the Red Hook party, it was probably my least favorite aspect of Potlatch. The food lines were really long and the salmon wasn't that exciting. Also i wasn't feeling the standing around in a loading dock lit by spotlights vibe.

So since you guys are going to have to find a new venue, take a cue from 5ultimate and get a little ambience going, some couches to sit on and what not. And yeah the dancefloor at redhook wasn't that great either.

One thing I heard someone say was that you can't just get a bunch of people drunk, you have to give them something to do while they're drunk, which makes sense i think.

Thanks for organizing such a great event, i can't wait for 2009.

Offline

 

#25 2008-10-29 02:01 pm

pete21982
Blade
Registered: 2007-06-25
Posts: 8

Re: The Future of Potlatch

Speaking as someone who captains a team, the Madtown Boozehounds, that plans its summer around Potlatch, I feel it important to chime in.  It's by far the greatest tournament around, and the atmosphere and spirit that permeates Potlatch is unmatched.

A few of the issues that have come up I wanted to give my take on...

Alcohol at the fields - As captain of a team whose tradition is beer-related, our beloved boot, it would be sad to lose our postgame circle of friendship. I think there's a degree to which beer on the fields is understandably a deterrent or not a positive reaction, but I would say 99% of teams are responsible about it. I know my team goes to great lengths to make sure they clean up well after each game and do our best to leave our campsite spotless. I don't see removing beer at the fields making a significant difference. As for younger players, as much as I can sympathize with not wanting to promote the consumption of alcohol, we have had high school players in the past and made a point of it to make a statement to all players in our boot circle that drinking is certainly not required nor expected, but provided if one desires, and is of age.

Coffee at the fields - I love coffee. The lines were long. I usually didn't bother. I would keep it anyway.

Salmon - I'm big on traditions, and the salmon is a tradition. Yes, it's not always prepared up to gourmet standards, but I enjoy it anyway for traditions sake.

Tournament party - This was our third year at Potlatch, all with the tournament party at Red Hook. This seemed to be the first year that the party, as well as the postgame in general, was out of control. I don't know what the reason for this was, whether it was younger, rowdier teams, or a general overconsumption, or what have you. I know the bus out of the party felt like the last helicopter out of Saigon. I, like many of the previous answers, most enjoy the camaraderie and social aspect of the party. Do I like free beer? Of course I do. I like being able to share the boot with teams we don't meet on the field, and get to know ultimate players from around the US. Could I do this with a different setting? Absolutely. Would it be as much fun? Tough to say. Part of it seems to be a few morons in general, those that were ripping trees out of the ground and destroying the dance hall. More self-policing by the players might be one response. Somebody else mentioned, correctly, that it helps to have something to do. Chicago Sandblast's tournament party this year featured a bean/cornhole tournament that occupied several teams. I actually believe a setting change might be helpful, if just that the Red Hook lot leaves a lot to be desired on account of seating, bathrooms, etc. A lot of possibilities there.

Those are just a few of my thoughts. As always, we look forward to being considered for a return to Potlatch 2009.

Pete Schramm
Madtown Boozehounds

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB