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On Saturday, September 7, 38 Ultimate Frisbee players from across New England participated in the third annual Mad Hatter Tournament, hosted by Mad River Disc on Brooks Field in Warren.
Teams were determined the morning of the tournament and named after the elements: earth, fire, water and wind. At the end of the day, Team Fire took home the (imaginary) trophy, but all of the teams "were very spirited and play was intense with many close games," Warren resident Bob Meany said.
Meany helped organize the tournament with Andy McIntosh and he said this year's turnout was fantastic. "We had a bigger field of players than ever in spite of the fact that it was a busy Ultimate weekend, with other team-based tournaments going on in New England," Meany said. "I think there is a growing buzz in the Ultimate community about how much fun this tourney is.
Next year, Meany hopes to move the tournament back to the weekend of the Vermont Music Fest, which does not conflict with other end-of-season tournaments and offers the draw of the festival as a post-tournament party.
Meany also hopes to increase the fundraising aspect of the tournament, which raised about $500 this year for the People's Health & Wellness Clinic of central Vermont, an organization that helps provide health insurance for uninsured adults.
Mad River Disc builds community and encourages friendly competition by—in addition to hosting the Mad Hatter Tournament—hosting weekly Ultimate Frisbee pickup games throughout the year. Games take place on Mondays at 6 p.m. at Brooks Field in Warren and on Thursdays at noon at Flemer Field in Waitsfield.