The History Behind the Ramsey Cup

Before there is ever a crystal football, Stanley Cup or even a trophy that looks more like a work of art than an award, there is always the tradition that giving that award is founded upon. The Ramsey Cup for Club Speedball is no different, being named after a coach that the founders all studied under in high school.

Richard Ramsey III, or just “Ramsey” as everyone called him, was the most intense coach that I for one have ever had in sports. Meeting him for the first time the summer before I started high school, all I could draw upon were the stories I had heard about this bald headed, brick house of a man who yelled at athletes until purple in the face to get the best he could out of them. It was this man during that summer before high school, however, that would personally introduce me, as well as the other founders of the ISL, to the game of Speedball.

To the veteran Track & Field Coach, Speedball was the most fun anyone could have had in developing their athleticism. Using it as an activity for “fun days” at track practice (which only ever ended up being during spring break), Ramsey would make all of the runners take off their shoes and socks and instruct them to play Speedball in order to build up stamina and ankle strength. While teaching in his PE classes as well, he would always save at least one day a week to let his classes play Speedball.

It was this consistent exposure and positive influence from Ramsey that drove myself to author the standard, official rule book in college so everyone could play the game. Once they played, they never wanted to stop and it was this perpetual model that came in to being that produced a generation of high school students who loved this hybrid sport.

Years have past since the rule book was written and even more since Ramsey introduced us to Speedball. As a fitting display of respect and acknowledgment to the coach that gave all of us this wonderful game to play, we dedicate the tournament’s trophy in his name in the hopes that we too can generate the same interest and commitment to the sport, much in the same way he did for us in PE so long ago.

If you’re reading this, thanks for everything Rams.

Kennesaw State Takes Home the Ramsey Cup

This season has been a major success for all three teams as the games have been competitive and exciting for the athletes and fans. It only seemed right to end this semester with a tournament that provided the same theatrics and competition that had made the regular season so enjoyable. While there were some issues with Georgia State’s team that forced them to opt out on Friday, the other three teams showed up ready to compete and had a visible intensity from the beginning.

One of the biggest issues heading into Saturday’s tournament was the weather forecast and the conditions of the field. There was a 50% chance of rain for the day and much of that was supposed to fall during the tournament. While Kennesaw’s fields are entirely turf and have excellent drainage, playing in the pouring rain was a major concern and everyone was hoping for the best.

The first game of the tournament pitted Kennesaw State against Georgia College, and the weather was cloudy at the start of the game. Mother Nature would ended up giving us a break for the first game, which allowed for a great match. Both teams started off fast, with Georgia College scoring first. Kennesaw immediately responded, however, and proceeded to drop a couple more scores on the Bobcats defense. This was the storyline of the entire game. Every time Georgia College put together a nice drive and finally looked like they would be able to start a run, the Owls would turn around and close the door on them. The Bobcats held strong in the first half, but the floodgates opened in the second half.

Kennesaw State completed opened up the game by taking a 30 point lead and both teams saw the writing on the wall. The enormous lead definitely hurt the Bobcats’ spirits, as they had come in two weeks earlier and tied the Owls on the same field. This was a big blow to them, but the experience they gained against Kennesaw was still important for their growth as a team. The game ended with a final score of 51-12, and Kennesaw looked very composed and focused after the win.

Under the new format, the losing team of the first game had to turn around and play the Yellow Jackets, the one seed in the tournament. After a 30 minute break in between games, both teams were out on the field and ready to start the game. There was a light mist over the field, but nothing too inhibiting for the teams. The game started off similar to the previous one, with Georgia College working together to create a couple early scores. They clearly had some energy left and were able to take advantage of the Yellow Jackets’ rustiness, which took a little while to wear off.

About halfway through the first half, the momentum started to shift in the game. Georgia Tech started to hit their stride and the Bobcats had finally hit a wall, losing almost all of their energy. The Yellow Jackets were able to put together a small run and end the half with a score of 25-6 in favor of Tech. The second half was very similar to the first game, as Georgia Tech looked to extend their lead to a margin they felt comfortable with. As the lead increased and the game dragged on, it slowly turned into a sloppy mess as both teams were waiting for the game to end. The passing from both sides was pretty poor for the majority of the game, but Georgia Tech’s fresh legs made a huge difference. By the time the game ended, the final score was 53-16.

The final game of the tournament, which now matched the Owls against the Yellow Jackets, looked to be a fantastic matchup between the two rivals. During the regular season, both games between the two teams ended with 2 point Yellow Jacket victories, which shows how comparable both teams are. The only difference between the two teams on this day was some personnel switches and the amount of rest each team had. While Tech had been coming off of playing a game, Kennesaw had been sitting around for over an hour and a half, and neither team knew what to expect from the other.

The game started off quickly, with some early scores from the Owls. They flew out of the gates and were able to take a 6-0 lead, but the Yellow Jackets showed they still had a fight left in them, responding with two quick scores of their own. At this point in the game, the rain finally came, and the game came to a screeching halt. Both teams had been moving the ball down the field, but the rain made the ball incredibly difficult to pass and catch. While both teams made attempts to dry the extra balls on the sideline, this did almost nothing to help the performance of the teams on the field.

Late in the first half, Kennesaw had a 12-9 lead and Georgia Tech had built up a little momentum on their side, but one play quickly changed that. Coming off a poor pass by the Yellow Jackets on their own side of the field, Kennesaw created a great scoring opportunity by kicking the ball into the end zone. One of the Georgia Tech defenders ran to the ball in the end zone and attempted to catch it and run to create a fast break, but the ball slipped through his hands, bouncing off his chest and into the hands of an Owls receiver. Three points for Kennesaw. At the end of the half, the Owls had taken a 15-9 lead and the Yellow Jackets knew they had just missed an opportunity.

The rain continued to persist into the second half, creating more issues with both teams’ ability to move the ball down the field. Midway through the second half, the weather finally gave the teams a break and the rain came to an end. This afforded Tech a chance to come back from an 8 point deficit. They were able to generate a quick scoring drive, but then the Owls quickly responded with one of their own. As the game wore on, Tech started to over think every play they made, resulting in poor passes and decision making. Kennesaw, however, had hit their stride and were playing effortlessly on the field. Any time the Jackets tried to create a scoring opportunity, they were able to crush those hopes with a great defensive effort. The game ended with a final score of 25-18, and Kennesaw State was your first inaugural ISL Tournament winner.

After the teams followed their routine post game schedules, the Owls were rewarded the Ramsey Cup, given to the winner of the ISL Tournament at the end of each season. While Kennesaw hadn’t started off their season how they had hoped, they were able to finish in impressive fashion, proving they were the best team on the field that day.

KSU Team Picture

Now all three teams turn their attention to the summer, where hours of work are needed to progress the sport to a new level. There will be expansions to other schools who will join the ISL in the Fall and there will need to be modifications to some rules after experimenting with them in the regular season. While there is a lot of work still to come, everyone involved with the tournament could not be happier with the outcome and how smoothly it went. We’re excited for what’s to come and hope everyone sees the developments we’ve made. The Fall looks to be the best season yet, and we’d like all of our fans to be there to support us!

ISL Tournament Specifics

The ISL Tournament is in four days and the final seedings and schedule have been determined. With a 4-0 record this season, Georgia Tech has the number one seed in the tournament. Kennesaw State received the second seed with a 1-2-1 record, which is not indicative of their team’s ability. Both losses came by two points to Tech, and they are capable of putting on a show at the tournament. The third seed goes to GCSU, who finished the season with an 0-3-1 record, but has shown a lot of promise in the last couple of weeks. They’re certainly no slouch. Georgia State rounds out the tournament with the 4 seed since they have yet to play a game this semester and this will be their first collegiate speedball match.

The schedule for Saturday looks like this:

12:30 PM: Georgia Tech vs. Georgia State
12:30 PM: Kennesaw State vs. Georgia College
2:00 PM: Third Place Game
3:30 PM: Championship Game

The tournament will be held at Kennesaw State’s Owl’s Nest facility, and it’s address is 3220 Busbee Drive, Kennesaw, GA 30144. The tournament should be a great time and there should be more fans than we’ve ever had before. Come out to support your team as they all compete for the first official ISL Championship and the Ramsey Cup. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there!

Yellow Jackets Survive In Kennesaw After Controversial Ending

If the last two seasons have shown us anything, it’s that Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State don’t like each other. The first two ISL members have seen each other too often over the last two semesters and a rivalry has grown from the competition. Like usual, the game started off more physical than necessary, with some early pushing and shoving on the field. Kennesaw State started the show with a quick score to the right side of the end zone.

The Yellow Jackets looked lethargic in the first few minutes, but were able to finally right the ship. After trading scores in the early minutes of the game, Tech took advantage of some lucky opportunities and grew a marginal lead. Coming into this game, Tech knew they had to practice on beating Kennesaw’s press, and it paid off for them in the first half. The quick passing and spacing they had practiced worked well and allowed the Yellow Jackets to consistently move the ball.

The first half was quite a surprise compared to recent history between these two teams in Kennesaw. Last semester, the Owls routinely started each game off with a big run and Tech was forced to fight their way back in the second half. The script was flipped on Saturday, however, as the half ended with Tech on top 22-15.

At the start of the second half, the Yellow Jackets continued to move the ball down the field, finishing off some easy two point scores. Midway through the second half, Tech had built up a double digit second half lead, forcing a Kennesaw State timeout.

While Kennesaw hadn’t looked like their usual selves, everyone in attendance knew they had a scoring run in them, and the increased Tech lead woke them up. Coming out of the timeout, the Owls immediately looked like an improved team and were able to effortlessly move the ball down the field. They were able to convert a couple 3 point opportunities and then proceeded to force Georgia Tech turnovers by pressing.

Kennesaw’s aggressiveness threw the Yellow Jackets off their game, and they were noticeably flustered by the press. Over a 5 minute span, Kennesaw had cut the lead down to 2 points and had victory within their reach.

After forcing another Georgia Tech turnover, the Owls were able to work the ball down the field and took the lead with a 3 point kick to the right side of the end zone. With under a minute left, Tech quickly worked their way down the field, but were unable to find a score. After a quick restraining line play, the Yellow Jackets found the end zone to take a 31-30 lead, and this is where the controversy comes into play.

Georgia Tech had managed to score their final two points when the ref’s stopwatch said 7 seconds had passed since the end of the game, but this issue had not been addressed in the rule book. In previous discussions between the team captains, there were arguments about whether the ending of a game should be equivalent to soccer rules or basketball rules, essentially stating whether or not there should be added time to the end of each half.

Both team captains came together to discuss the outcome of the game, and the final decision was that the Tech score would count, but there would be 3 minutes of stoppage time added to the end of the half. While neither team was particularly happy with the outcome, they both walked back onto the field to finish the game.

Kennesaw State started the stoppage time with the possession, but was unable to score first. After an Owls turnover, the Yellow Jackets were able to convert on a 2 point score, taking a 3 point lead. Tech was again able to find the end zone with a minute left in the half, and had padded their lead to 5. Kennesaw State quickly responded with a 3 point score, but was then unable to respond with enough time left on the clock. The final score was a 36-34 Georgia Tech victory.

While neither team wanted the game to end the way it did, the outcome of the game had no effect on the season standings and tournament seeding. There will be some editing done to the rule book this week prior to the start of the tournament, and each team will be notified of the changes made.

This game was just the most recent of multiple classic games between the two schools. As they continue to grow and ISL expansion takes place, these two teams will continue to form a rivalry that creates some memorable moments and gives the ISL a backbone to focus on. The outcome wasn’t ideal for either team, but both should have something to prove heading into the tournament, which benefits everyone involved with the sport.

Here are some highlights of the game.

Georgia State: The Newest ISL Member

With the spring ISL season coming to a close, that means the Intercollegiate Speedball League Tournament is just around the corner. Next Saturday(April 19th), we’ll be hosting the first inaugural ISL Tournament. KSU, Georgia Tech, and Georgia College have each been training all season for the tournament, but Saturday will mark the first ever appearance by the newest ISL member, Georgia State.

Last fall, a contingent of Georgia State students attended a few Georgia Tech practices and learned the rules of the game. It took a while for State’s leader, Patrick Faerber, to find enough interested athletes to practice, but there is now a group willing to become the fourth ISL member.

There is currently a scrimmage between Georgia Tech and Georgia State scheduled for Tuesday, April 15th on Georgia Tech’s campus, and barring weather complications, this will be a great way for Georgia State to gain some experience heading into the tournament. Expectations many not be high for Georgia state in next Saturday’s tournament, but the valuable experience they’ll gain will be huge going into the fall season.

As the ISL continues to grow in size, there will be an increase in the number of proactive people involved. The team at Georgia State began to form prior to any plans or discussions made about the team’s direction. This was huge for their team since they didn’t need to rely on the other schools to get them started.

Looking ahead to the fall, the goal is to have six teams in the ISL, adding UGA and GGC into the mix. This will allow us to hold 5-6 game seasons with a major speedball tournament at the end of the season. There are big ideas for the sport moving forward, and we believe everyone will continue to enjoy the sport as much as the players have.

Latest Draw a Hard Pill to Swallow for KSU

Kennesaw State’s previous game against the Bobcats of GCSU was one of utter execution. Leaving their field with a 67-29 scoreline was enough to keep every visiting player happy headed in to KSU’s spring break. Little did the team know that once they came back home to play GCSU again, they would be in for a completely different match.

The team’s preparation was drastically different with GCSU having practice every day of the week leading up to the game while the Owls were off on vacation. Both teams were hungry for a positive result and it immediately showed in the first five minutes. KSU was first on the board, but the Bobcats were hot on their tail for much of the first half. Obnoxious bickering between the teams and the ref, however, threatened to turn the already intense rematch in to an all out brawl. Furious players on GCSU’s squad continually fought the official’s calls in the game and tensions were coming to a head between many of the players on the field. Luckily the halftime reprieve was in favor of the Owls with a 29-24 lead.

After the halftime interval, when both team captains got a chance to speak to their respective teams and the official, the second half started with a lot less chaos. Game play happened more smoothly from then on and there was much less to argue about. The game itself was turning into a shoot-out however as both teams refused to lose. Coming down to the last seconds of the game, it was KSU’s ball with :46 left on the clock, and only holding a 2 point advantage. A heavy punt by Ryan List of Kennesaw State fell right in to the hands of Josh Harrison of GCSU at mid-field and the game had become sudden death. Working the ball around Kennesaw’s woeful defense for the last fifteen seconds afforded GCSU the opportunity to tie up the game, which they executed with precision. The final whistle blew; 40-40 the final score.

While it will be noted that this game gave precedent for a rule change in the conference that there will be no more draws, GCSU was content to leave with a draw while the Owls were growing irritated and angry for allowing it to come to an end without a definitive result. Out played in the last few minutes and tactically outwitted, the Bobcats can look forward to another meeting against KSU at the Inaugural Intercollegiate Speedball Cup in two weeks time. Before then, however, The Owls will have one more game to revamp their strategy while hosting their rivals, the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech…

Georgia Tech Cruises Past Georgia College At Home

Three weeks ago, Georgia College competed in their first ever collegiate speedball game. Down by double digits in the second half against Georgia Tech, the Bobcats fought back to make the game close. In the final seconds, they were unable to convert a scoring opportunity and lost by 2 points. This game gave the team hope and something to build off of.

Fast forward a week to Georgia College’s next home game against Kennesaw State, and expectations were still high for the Bobcats. Kennesaw had been coming off of a heartbreaking loss to the Yellow Jackets and no one knew what to expect from them. Unfortunately for Georgia College, the Owls unleashed an offensive attack that led to a final score of 67-29. This game was a turning point for both teams involved, as KSU had found its confidence it had last semester. Georgia College, however, had suddenly realized winning would be tough to come by and they were going to have to improve.

Last Sunday marked the third collegiate speedball game of the season, when the Bobcats traveled up to Atlanta to take on the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech, coming off of two close wins, was looking to send a statement to both Georgia College and KSU, while the Bobcats were hoping for an underdog victory on the road.

GT Team Huddle

The game started well for the Yellow Jackets as they took the tip off and converted on a scoring opportunity to take the quick lead. Like usual, the Yellow Jackets used the early score to press the Bobcats, who were looking to play the ball in from the end zone. While Tech wasn’t able to force any turnovers near their end zone, the Yellow Jacket midfielders forced the Bobcats into some poor decisions. This allowed Tech some early opportunities on Georgia College’s side of the field.

The Bobcats really struggled to convert the scoring opportunities they were given, which was a huge storyline for this game. There were multiple occasions where a Georgia College receiver was unable to come down with a pass, along with a few passes that got caught by the wind. It was a miserable first half for the away team, as Tech led 25-4 at the half.

The second half started with much of the same from both teams. The Yellow Jackets were able to convert on some quick runs from their midfield, and the back seven were able to compress when the Bobcats pushed to Tech’s side of the field. The Georgia Tech defense had their best game of the season, as they were able to keep the Bobcats from getting within striking range for most of the game.

Towards the end of the second half, Georgia Tech went on another small run, caused by a couple Georgia College turnovers near their own end zone. The late run led to a final score of 49-8, which was the largest margin of victory in ISL history. This victory adds on to Georgia Tech’s surprising undefeated season, as they turn their attention to KSU. They will play the Owls in Kennesaw in two weekends, as the two ISL cofounders look to end the season on a high note.

For Georgia College, their focus turns to game by game improvements for the team as a whole. The last two games have been rough, but there were positives to take from each of them. If their offensive timing can be altered, their production will improve tremendously. The players are there for the Bobcats, and they’ll continue to improve with experience as the end of the season grows near. All three teams, however, should be playing at their best by the time the Intercollegiate Speedball Cup arrives in two and a half weeks.

Record-breaking Win for KSU in Milledgeville

Bouncing back from a heartbreaking loss in Atlanta to the Yellow Jackets, Kennesaw State’s Club Speedball team needed to redeem themselves not only for the sake of the loss, but for the future of the season. 

Earlier today KSU’s team traveled down to Georgia College’s intramural field to play them for the first time in Club Speedball history. Although the game itself had to start half an hour after its original planned time due to traffic conditions for the away team, the beginning of the game was met with tremendous energy. GCSU won the tip off and started off bright with link up play between some of their stars. The Owls however deployed a tight, high press defense that was constricting the home team’s passing lanes. While Kennesaw’s defense was iron clad at the back with Ryan List marshaling the defensive end zone with veteran teammates Josh Bramblett and Josh Bilecky, their offense was being opportunistic and efficient. The positional play of everyone on the team was far and away better than their previous outing at Georgia Tech. With 3 key players out for KSU it was already decided upon early that they would have to make up for it with grit, high intensity, and creativity in scoring.

As the first half ended for the Owls they were up with 25 points on the board and were able to hold Georgia College’s Offense to a season low of 12 (with no trios). The second half started out from Kennesaw’s end zone and they began what would turn into an onslaught of offensive point scoring. Pressing GCSU back into their own half only opened up more scoring opportunities for Mid Runner’s like Nick Oliver, Santiago Sierra, and Andrew Gorges to shoot the ball into the awaiting hands of a KSU player. Although only starting with 2 Receivers: Stepehen Poole and Parker Armagost, Kennesaw’s Club Speedball team recorded as much as 7 different players with points to their name including Trent Paris, Matt Ficklen and Joey Sabbagh. The attacking nature of the Owls and relentless press was more than a match for Georgia College’s apparent but-not-yet-tested potential.

The game ended with a Final of 67-29 and the dominant display shown by Kennesaw State’s team will only carry them into the favorable part of their Spring Schedule heads held high. Then hopefully in top position when the Club Speedball Cup comes around.

Georgia Tech Avoids Last Minute Falter Against Georgia College

It was a beautiful day yesterday in Milledgeville, where Georgia College was pumped for their first ever ISL game. It had been over a semester’s wait for the Bobcats, and they were intent on bringing their best effort to the game. As if that wasn’t enough for Georgia Tech to deal with, the Georgia College home field advantage was in full effect with a couple dozen fans in attendance for the game. Everyone in attendance expected a competitive game, and they were not disappointed. Continue reading