A little over a month ago, Cool Water Frisbee Club played host to the 12th edition of Frisbee East African Sand Tournament FEAST XII. It was the culmination of a year-long effort by the Nairobi Ultimate FEAST Committee to create an event that would highlight gender-equitable, 5-on-5 beach ultimate. The idea was to host a competi-tive tournament that would inspire high-level, spirited players to travel in from all over the East African Community and showcase that elite, co-ed beach ultimate could be both a player and spectator friendly event, in the hopes of pushing KFDA and AAFDF to adopt this format as the new standard for international championship competition. While it may take some time to properly comprehend the impact of this first tournament on the beach committee’s long-term objectives, it was a suc-cess in many respects as a new elite-level event. It drew more than 160 participants — arranged into 15-player teams, carefully capped at nine men and six women to achieve perfect gender parity on the field and on rosters — including high-level grass players who participate in both single-gender and mixed club categories. The competition was well-managed by Ronny Ochoro (CWFC Board member and or-ganizational specialist), emphasized spirit and gender fairness, and provided a pic-ture of what a high-level mixed beach event should look like.
There was no doubt that motivating great players and teams to go to the 12th edition of the competition a mere five months after Club Nationals, which was hosted in Eldoret Town, the home of winners, would be difficult. Despite the apparent hur-dles, the event did an excellent job of bringing together, signing up, and attending high-level players. At least the top six seeds had lineups loaded with the sport’s best players: Comoros sub-mitted a complete squad to the event for the first time in the competition’s history. Five Kenyans who competed in the 2018 World Ultimate Club Championships in Ohio were in attendance, as were a number of 2018-22 grass National Champions and finalists.
Among the top eight seeds were some countrywide teams who routinely compete in both National and regional events.
The finals were fought between Black Fish Ultimate and Ka-kamega Wolves, with the Wolves being champions for the first time in the tournament’s history. Phena Odoyo of Kakamega and Shae Maina of Cool Water FC shared the Female MVP award, while Thomas of Kakamega earned the Male MVP. Shifinikio Ulti-mate of Comoros had the most spirited team of the tournament.
FEAST receives an A+ for organization, thanks to the organizing committee led by its director, Ronny Ochoro. Every field was lined with hand made reusable fields made by the organizing commit-tee; The Captain’s meeting was held the night before the games to elaborate on the rules unique the tournament. Each field had a scorecard and two field discs;
Amber Silva Photography LLC filmed nine games (more on this to come); As always, they did a great job covering the action on the field.(https://youtu.be/3wIdB_dsRpY). These games and the profes-sional video coverage of them should hopefully serve as evidence for the value of the 5-on-5 game, for the excitement of the two-pointer, and as an illustration of what ultimate can look like on a shorter field with equal-gender ratios. Rotating through two unique members of the community (one woman and one man) to com-mentate each game live added to the fun, though, admittedly, there was a decided variation in the quality of the color commen-tary over the course of the games. Perhaps an inevitability when tapping into the local community without a lot of prep time.
All in all, this year’s FEAST was fun, competitive, well planned, and well executed. We hope to all teams had a good time, and we hope to meet them next year.
Feast XII Tournament Director.