JJUC 2022 – Youth Ultimate Frisbee at its finest

JJUC 2022 brought in lots of talent and young athletes’ showing a lot of determination. While in some countries ultimate frisbee future is bright as day, others need to find a way for the youth to catch on and discover the sport.

From scooter gangs roaming the campus streets to dance-offs at the cafeteria. The flags of various countries fluttered in the breeze, the drums rhythmically beat in the background in the Chill-out zone, with the buzz announcing the undergoing sports competition. A nostalgic look back at the vibrant week of competition can only bring on hunger for more sports and Ultimate. The event showed an array of ultimate frisbee skills and years of rooting the sport in the hearts of the younger generation. It’s an excellent time to be a young athlete, and you can be a little jealous. The outdoor season is emerging from the winter slumber with many international events ahead of us. Before you hit the turf, glimpse back at Junior Ultimate and take away a lesson or two.

What should you know about JJUC 2022? 

It may seem lightyears away, but last August, Wrocław (Poland) became a Youth Ultimate capital for Europe and the World. These two events joined forces bringing us Joint Junior Ultimate Championships. The competitions took place from the 6th to the 13th of August.

The World Junior Ultimate Championships were organized by the World Flying Disc Federation, and the European Ultimate Federation was responsible for the European Youth Ultimate Championships. A local organizing committee, Duch Gry, supported both events from the logistics point of view. Over the years, they gathered a lot of experience in such events.

Joint Junior Ultimate Championships were at Pola Marsowe, known for its vast sports complex and campus infrastructure. That’s where Polish Nationals often take place, and some European teams may remember from Club Championships Finals in 2018. Also, a repeat for 2023!

A glimpse at JJUC stats

There were 49 teams, over 1 000 players, and 18 countries. The European teams strongly dominated the event (EYUC for obvious reasons). Italy sent 5 teams, covering almost all categories in both events. Other countries, like Belgium, Great Britain, and France, also showed their might with 4 teams at the tournament. Teams taking part in Worlds from across the pond were Canada, Colombia, Israel, New Zealand, and the United States.

One may wonder if Ultimate is shrinking or growing when we look at the youth teams. Some countries can boast about their numbers and levels. Teams that come to mind when it comes to Europe are France, Italy, and Great Britain. The teams attend all big events, and if you look at the tournament history, you’ll see pretty much the same teams at the top. France and Italy have gathered impressive sports talent, and you can spot it when you watch their games. The players of today’s EYUC teams will be a mighty supercharge of the senior national teams in the years to come. Perhaps it’s when European sports are starting to catch up with the USA and Canada regarding juniors in sports participation. 

Regarding the numbers, what other curiosities did the JJUC team find out? Check out the post below. 

Joint Junior Ultimate Championships – European’s U17

The European part of the tournament hosted the competition for all three categories: women’s (117 players), open (181 players), and mixed (99 players). While the category is still tricky with reaching out to younger generations, the numbers give off a positive vibe.

The teams represented countries such as France, Italy, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Israel, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, and Poland.

There were 9 Open teams, 6 Women’s and 5 Mixed. It’s worth noting that Italy and Belgium had a team in each U17 category, which is not a simple task, considering that the younger players could also reinforce U20.

The finals of the Open and Women’s categories were a deja vu moment back from EYUC 2019. Both Italy and France were headlining the final games. The women’s category proved almost identical with the result – Italy took the gold, while France settled for silver. Germany closed the podium, and Great Britain earned the Spirit Of The Game. Contrary to the 2019 event in the Open category, France took second place and Italy won first place, snatching the Spirit Of The Game prize too. Switzerland took third place. The Hungarian team was unbeatable in the mixed category, following Italy and Belgium. Austria won the Spirit of the Game.

Joint Junior Ultimate Championships – World’s U20

The World’s Juniors had an impressive number of players in all three categories – women’s with 220, 255 open players, and mixed 145.

With so many more players, the Open category consisted of 12 teams, Women’s counted 10, and Mixed welcomed 7 teams. There’s no denying that the USA still has an edge on Ultimate as they got gold both in the Open and Women’s categories. However, they shouldn’t feel too comfortable because France’s “golden generation” is treading on their heels.

France took silver medals in both the Open and Women’s. In the Open category, Italy took bronze and is certainly not to be underestimated. In the Women’s category, bronze went to the Canadian team, which had an unforgettable journey throughout the tournament. Spirit of the Game was snatched by Austria in both categories. Again, the Hungarians made sure to take first place just like their younger U17 team in the Mixed category. Switzerland and Sweden were close, but not enough. In the end they had to be satisfied with second and third place. Slovakia earned the Spirit Of the Game.

One thing is sure – it’s great to see so many Women’s players taking part in the competition. The EMUCC 2022 had a huge gaping hole, with the Women’s category falling off the schedule this year.

Spirit Of The Game

At the tournament, we got to meet the Spirit Directors and their help, who throughout the tournament were looking for good examples of Spirit of the Game use and gave advice and guidance when needed. For me, it was the first time I could get a glimpse of the work they do. It was both inspiring and difficult. Spirit of the Game is a very important part of our sport. Of course, some support it, and others are against it. But it’s clear that it distinguishes our sport from the others.

There were a few good examples of Spirit during the event. Young athletes showed good sportsmanship towards their teams and as well as their opponents. As usual, things get a little heated in high-stakes games, which proves there are some drawbacks to how the Spirit is applied. Let’s say it’s still a work in progress for some.

Teams with the best Spirit at JJUC 2022:

Great Britain 🏆 U17 Women’s
Austria 🏆 U20 Women’s

Austria 🏆 U17 Mixed
Slovakia 🏆 U20 Mixed

Italy 🏆 U17 Open
Austria 🏆 U20 Open

Glimpse back at JJUC 2022 with these extras all in one place.

This ultimate frisbee event wouldn’t be the same without the media coverage. The Media team worked tirelessly to carry over the whole experience online. Don’t ever underestimate the amount of work these teams put into the events. It’s a lot of work and effort. While you don’t see most of the heavy lifting, the results are often very satisfying! So, if it wasn’t for them, we’d barely had the chance to share the sport with the world!

Watch the JJUC 2022 games once again!

Forget binge-watching during the long, cold autumn and winter times! It’s the perfect time to meet up with your team and discover the best games from the main field on JJUC 2022! During the event, Ulti.tv was present at the event and very busy recording the games. So, you can either re-live the tournament or discover it anew. Your team could also gain some insight into different play styles. It’s a win-win situation.

Joint Junior Ultimate Championships photo galleries

Let’s not forget the team of mighty superheroes! Here’s a shoutout to all the amazing photographers (Quentin, Nadja, Oliwier, Oliver, and Agnieszka), who delivered you the best tournament postcards daily. Can you imagine the tournaments without photos? Don’t we all hope for that one perfect tournament photo to look back at? Tournament photographers bring you closer to the moments the live streams can’t always catch. That’s why they were the Avengers of this tournament. The team-up brought us a few photo albums, photos of the day, and snapshots to enhance each article with visuals. After all, we live in a world where we consume lots of visual content and don’t have enough time for reading. So, give them some love, and check out the Joint Junior Ultimate Championships’ best photos!

But if you’re in for some reading…

… there are daily summaries from each JJUC 2022 day. But I’m not gonna lie – it was tough to write them all and it’s taken quite a toll. The daily summaries can give you some insight into the games happening every day for 8 days straight. It was a mighty writing marathon, and certainly not a one-person army kind of job to take. But I guess you can’t back out of a challenge like this, right? So, I hope you had the chance to at least get a glimpse of the work I did at the event. However, if that’s not the case, I hope you’ll get around to reading it as a nice summary of a tournament from your past.

The scoring system at JJUC 2022 was a lifesaver!

I believe that most of everyone’s work would be hard to achieve if it wasn’t for the scoring system. The volunteers were updating the scoring live, so whenever something interesting was going on, it was easy to spot it due to the updates. It was also a huge help while trying to figure out which game had some interesting turn of events! The Scores were my favorite feature at these championships.

The scoring system is well-known among Polish players. It’s pretty much the go-to of polish ultimate whenever you want to learn something about the teams or players. That’s because the answers are almost always in the numbers. With the scores, you can check who had the most points or assist during JJUC 2022. You can check the Spirit scores and still view the game progression. 

World Junior Ultimate Frisbee Highlights by NKolakovic

Last but not least, we could count on awesome highlights during the event. If you ever researched ultimate frisbee, you probably stumbled right away at videos by NKolakovic. During the JJUC event, there were many spectacular plays, which luckily were captured in the form of daily highlights. You can check out this perspective on U20 with WJUC highlights! If you’re still craving more, you can count on a huge dose of reels!

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day6

The Final, Final Thoughts on JJUC 2022

There’s still a lot I’d like to say regarding organizing such big sports events. However, that’s a tale for another post and for another time. If there’s one takeaway from this topic, then you should remember that it takes a hell lot of work from daybreak to nightfall. We’ll get one day to the point where it’s not so tough. If you can’t wait for more Youth Ultimate, be ready for another round. EYUC U20 2023 is taking place in Padova (Italy), from the 5th to the 12th of August with the support of the Italian Federation (FIGeST).

Youth ultimate frisbee is the fuel to the future of our sport. At JJUC 2022 many countries proved that they’re on the right track. They have a lot of talent, which will be the main powerhouse behind the senior teams. With ultimate frisbee shyly making its way into the youth sport around the world, we should focus on creating more opportunities to make the sport visible. Finding the best ways to promote the events may take us a bit more time. However, what we need the most is your attention, and spreading the word like wildfire! 

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