The No Tsu Oh timeline extends back to the summer of 1999 when the Houston Houndz attended the World Club Championships in St Andrews, Scotland. We played a competitive and spirited game against the Italians (Cota Rica) and were extended an invitation to attend their "very fun" tournament on the beach in Italy in April. The collective grin in that spirit circle was a good indication that we had mentally accepted the invitation already.
A bid to Paganello was submitted in late 1999 amid the buzz of Millenium parties, preparation for year 2000 disasters, and fears of the end of the world. Around that time I read a story of the 1900 Millenium party in Houston, called No Tsu Oh, a carnival patterned after Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The story tells that the Houston city planners wanted a simple but curious name to spark interest and conversation about the event. Houstonians quickly realized the event name was just Houston spelled backwards, thought the name was stupid, and threatened to boycott. The city planners explained that it was just a joke, everyone should enjoy the jovial nature of the event, and have fun making up alternate meanings for the event name. Houstonians agreed and the party was so successful that it continued annually until World War I, bringing people to the city and spurring on the Houston economy. It was in this smooth, crafty and eccentric mental state that No Tsu Oh was born.
No Tsu Oh is now the way-laid-back, fun-at-all-costs, beach ultimate version of the Houston Houndz and friends and has since evolved into a North American all-star squad. As the Houston Houndz (and the 2nd generation team Doublewide), we have received the UPA Spirit of the Game Award, yet No Tsu Oh is founded in a commitment to an even higher level of spirit. We play hard, we play to win, and we play with respect for our teammates, our opponents and the game. I guess all versions of this group have been known to find trouble from time to time but its all in the name of fun.
The World Beach Ultimate Cup of Paganello is our single event of the year, which may be the reason that it can be such a blow-out event. Since No Tsu Oh is a reunion team, we do not practice as a team throughout the year but are active players on some of the top open teams in North America including Furious George, Condors, Jam, Johnny Bravo, and Doublewide. Paganello has been a great experience for us to come back together to enjoy the competition, spirit, and sights that Europe has to offer.
We have enjoyed some success on the Rimini beach, winning 5 of the last 7 years, becoming only the 3rd team to retire a Paganello umbrella (winning 3 times on the same umbrella), and holding the record in any division for consecutive victories at 37. With that success we have become a popular target for jeering and heckling but have softened up some of the beach ultimate lovers with gifts of beer, stickers, t-shirts, kazoos, foam #1 fingers, and koozies.
Our partnership with VC Ultimate has allowed us to also look great on the Rimini beach by creating fully custom jerseys to look our best. Our jersey designs change each year to follow the Chinese New Year and we are happy to continue to showcase VC's superior products on the world's stage in Italy.
Each year since 2004, No Tsu Oh has given back to our gracious hosts in Rimini by running juniors clinics in the days leading up to Paganello. We have shared our knowledge and love of the game with some very enthusiastic young players (some of whom have gone on to win Paganello themselves!). We also shared some of our playbook to a ScaDour, a new mixed division team from Rimini, who went on to have a successful Paganello as well. Alas, the Italians will never be outdone and they treated us to a beautiful team dinner in their clubhouse. Thank you ScaDour!
We hope to continue these traditions into the future at Paganello, where sportsmanship wins over arrogance, fair play and athleticism decides who wins, and where the world can come together on one beach in April.
The Paganello tournament director, Jumpi, was asked "What are some of your favorite Paganello memories?" and he replied, "The Houston kazoo is one of the things I love to remember about Paganello and the concrete image of Paganello's success: one of the best, competitive US teams come to Italy and produced a kazoo, a fun, silly thing, with the Paganello name on it, just to celebrate at the end of the game."
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