(Aug. 15, 2014) More than 150 players participated in the inaugural Ocean City Beach Classic held last weekend on the Somerset Street beach.
Organized by professional ultimate Frisbee player Alex “AJ” Jacoski of the Washington, D.C. Breeze, the ultimate Frisbee tournament drew hundreds of spectators and crowned the Boracay Dragons from the Philippines as its first champions.
Jacoski described the event as an unmitigated success.
“I heard from every team that they had a lot of fun,” he said. “They all said they want to come back next year and bring more teams.”
The two-day tournament featured 11 coed teams playing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 9 and 10. Each team played four-to-five games on Saturday and three games each on Sunday. Saturday evening featured a showcase game between the Dragons and Jacoski’s team Humiliswag, who won, 15-13.
“It was a showcase game at 6 p.m., so all the other games were done,” he said. “We wanted to show an international game at a pretty high level, and between the players and the fans on the Boardwalk we probably had between 300 and 400 people watching the game. It was really awesome.
“At first the crowd was really curious,” Jacoski continued. “They weren’t really sure what they were seeing, but after watching it for a few minutes they were really impressed and pretty entertained. I think ultimate is something you have to see to really get to know what it is. I always describe it as the field game of soccer and the passing game of football, but it’s just one of those things until you see it you’re not really sure, and people got to watch some high-level games.”
Jacoski said attendance was steady throughout the weekend.
“People were watching from the Boardwalk, curious about what was going on,” he said. “I heard from a lot of people that they were really impressed that it was such a big event and to see the plays that people were making as they watched it for the first time. At any time there were five games going on at once, so people could pick and choose what they wanted to watch. I think we not only put on a good event for the players, but it was also just a good event for Ocean City.”
Although Humiliswag took the showcase, the Dragons had their revenge on Sunday, beating Humiliswag 15-12 in the finals.
Jacoski hopes the success of the inaugural Ocean City Beach Classic serves as a launching point for bigger and better things next year.
“I think it’s going to be hugely successful next year,” he said. “In the first year we had 11 teams. Based on the reaction of the players that were there and a lot of players who couldn’t be here this weekend, I think we could have between 20 and 30 teams next year, and even get bigger in years to come.”
Similar tournaments in New Jersey and California draw several hundred teams each year.
“This has a long way to go, and we have space to go,” Jacoski said. “There’s huge growth potential based on the amount of space we have and the number of teams that are in the area coming from the whole Mid-Atlantic region.
“A huge thanks to all the volunteers and the players, and the Town of Ocean City was really great, really helpful and they supported us 100 percent,” Jacoski continued. “We’re really excited for next year and for years to come.”
For more information visit www.ocbeachultimate.com/oc-beach-classic.