We rolled into the hotel after a fairly uneventful drive at almost exactly 3pm. We got settled in and then headed out to the venue to see if we could lend a hand with the setup around 5. We helped Andrew and Mike and the rest of the crew unpack the truck and get the mats rolled out and taped up, then Andrew did a mini Referee certification for me and a couple of other guys. Everything went pretty smoothly despite the venue being somewhat on the creepy side as previously referenced.
The next morning we arrived at about 9:30. I weighed in real quick at 147 fully dressed and the Jennosaurus started helping with table assignments and all that kind of stuff while I changed. The rules meeting went down at about 10:30, and I hit the mats for my first match at 11:03 (Links to all of the matches will be at the end of the writeup). I lost every match this time around, but I did achieve two of my goals.
First goal was not to pull guard in no-gi. I fought from standing until my first opponent pulled halfguard on me, and then with my second opponent until there was a snapdown and we ended up on the ground. Second goal was to make an assessment of what I need to work on, and I did. My bottom game has suffered recently, or at least not kept pace with my top game, because of my focus on that top game. So now I'm lacking in the tools to move from the bottom to the top against the people in my division. So time to start working my sweeps and continuing my halfguard work.
I worked the table between my first and second matches, then started reffing after the second match. I was slightly nervous at first, but after the first match went pretty smoothly I settled into it pretty well. I didn't have any complaints about any of my calls, I didn't have any early stoppages or any controversial decisions, so it was a good day reffing.
My Gi division started about an hour and a half after my last no-gi match and I lost all of those as well, the first one I didn't get on video but I lost by an advantage point in an absolutely boring stalemate. I learned I REALLY need to work on breaking posture. I felt like I absolutely could not break anyone's posture at all.
My last match finished up at about 3:30 and I started reffing again and closed out some white belt divisions, again with no controversy, so that felt good.Of course for one of my matches Andrew came over to coach his guy while I was reffing it, yeah... Head referee is watching your match, no pressure... But it went fine. Everything ran smoothly all day, we had a couple of bracket redraws as people dropped out of divisions and things like that, but they were all accomplished within minutes so the day chugged right along and the last match finished up at about 6pm and we started packing up.
This was, once again, an incredibly smooth tournament with no delays, good communication, and an excellent atmosphere. I STRONGLY recommend attending any USG event that happens near you. If you've been to NAGA or Lutadore before then the smooth operation will be a welcome change of pace for you.
***************Video Links, As Promised**************
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