I was unable to attend Virginia States 2018. Fortunately for us, Alex Cornwell attended for the first time in his life. There is something special about Virginia States that is almost indescribable. If you have not yet gone, I highly recommend you go as soon as you can. Not surprisingly, Alex was inspired by his first experience there and has offered up the story below.
On 4/28/2018-4/30/2018 I went to Virginia for my first time at the Virginia State Championships. So I was a Virginia Virgin. No more! This is the oldest (42 years) tournament in the country. It encompasses several different disciplines; Frisbee Golf, Double Disc Court, Freestyle, and competitions in Distance, Accuracy and MTA. Although it is primarily composed of people from the good ol’ USA there were a few foreigners. And of course, we have some of the best in the world in a variety of events.
This article is about my personal reflections on the whole Virginia scene. I had been urged to go for several years. One reason that I could not attend is another event around here, the Visit Artist Studio Tour, one of my favorites of the year. This year however, the VA States was a week later. Another was inertia. Suffice it to say no matter the date, this will not be my last one.
Something really unusual happened on the Thursday I arrived. I was walking down the street to get to the Capital Ale House, a recommended watering hole. I saw a guy with a Frisbee hanging out with another guy. I asked him if he was there for the Frisbee tournament and he replied, “What Frisbee tournament?” We chatted for a few and then I told him where I was from. Turned out he had been to my little town of Hastings just north of the City and had a friend in common there. We played a bit and then sat by the river bank. He pointed out that just across the river was Washington’s birth place and the location of the famed cherry tree. I share a birthday with the Father of our Country. And I met this guy all because he had a Frisbee in his hand.
There were a bunch of us at the hotel which made it a more festive occasion. It was great having breakfast with people there. And then there was the hot tub. That was a very important accoutrement to the whole shindig. A number of us took advantage of the situation.
Now Laszlo’s. For all the uninformed, which I largely was until Friday, Laszlo’s is the group that puts on the event. It’s kind of like the event itself. It has to be experienced to truly understand it. They provided a ton of food which was available all weekend till about 6p. For $40 it was all you could eat and drink although they did have things A la Carte too. All homemade, all vegetarian and very good. A huge thanks to all those hearty souls who helped out. They set the whole thing up Thursday and cleared it on Monday with the help of Rob Fried and I who roped me in.
Rob was one of the people who urged me to attend. He took second in Freestyle with Daniel O’Neil. To put it mildly, they shredded. They were up against tough competition with the three winners World Champs merely about 30 between them. The competitions were very intense.
I had never seen Double Disc before and it was a revelation. The catches were either safe and mundane or spectacular. The throws were all at least modifications on the basics usually highly angled. Some were completely made up on the spot and there were a number of throws that are unique to Double Disc.
Distance was won with an astonishing throw of 212 yards.
One of the most gratifying aspects of the whole event was playing with a couple of kids. I have always enjoyed teaching youngsters. It was great to see them with some of the crème de la crème of the Frisbee world. One kid had never caught a trick catch and after a little instruction, he made several utl and btb catches. And the jam got spread yet again. Parenthetically, that’s one of the most important facets of the whole Frisbee scene, passing along techniques and information to children. Of course, many of the moves and even the games that were displayed over the weekend were not even invented when many of us were that age. They are hooked!
Kudos to the organizers Erics Wooten and Olsen for their work behind and in many cases in front of the scene. I got the very cool newsletter last year with my name and the address misspelled; classic Frisbee. The best indication of the success of the tournament is the love not only from the participants past and present but the people who put it on and the spectators as well. I really appreciate their hard work. Yes I know it’s a labor of love, devotion and dedication to the sport and the event itself but it is still work. May it continue to shine!!