\Ow! My Knee tournament celebrates silver anniversary

It takes a certain amount of irreverence to name a tournament Ow! My Knee.

It takes a good reputation to make such a tournament last for 25 years.

This year's "Ow! My Knee" tournament, which took place last weekend at Glenville's Ma'alwyck Park, featured 24 co-ed and 10 men's Ultimate Frisbee teams from around the Northeast playing and having a good time.

"It's a fun tournament," said James Winny, a member of Dartmouth's enough monkeys team, which won the co-ed division. "There are some teams that say, 'We want to go to nationals,' but we're not like that. We just want to play and have fun."

"It's a lot of seeing old friends or people that you've played against before," said Todd Springer, who played for Team BLU from Connecticut.

Albany Ultimate's Ercan Hocalar has run the event for the past 10 years, and he said people make a point to keep the third weekend in July open to play in it.

"There's a lot of alumni who come back to play," said Hocalar. "It's the one tournament they all like to come together for."

Part of the reason players want to participate in "Ow! My Knee" is the level of competition. Some of the top club players from the Northeast get together to form the teams that play in the tournament.

"Ultimate is a more fluid sport than other sports," said Albany Ultimate club member Jeremy McNamara. "The teams are fluid, so you can wind up playing against teammates in one game and play with them in another game."

Although the atmosphere surrounding the tournament is generally light " there's even a Saturday night party where all the players mingle " the competitive nature of the games shows through. Players put their bodies on the line to break up a pass or make a diving catch for a point.

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