On Sunday the 2nd of July, we held the 2017 Open European Championship KanJam in Klarenbeek, the Netherlands. After almost 500 games played Team Battum (Maurice Laarhoven & Erwin Jonkman) emerged as winner by defeating the “One Hit Wonders” (Sven Driessen & Tiuri van der Drift) in a double overtime final, claiming the title.
Close to 50 teams, from 6 countries signed up for this year’s edition which demonstrates the growth and spreading of KanJam across the European continent. What’s more, this year the tournament saw more all-female teams, and more youngster teams which in the near future might result in even more diversity.
“The number of teams is increasing but we were also surprised about the skills of some of the players this year”, according to Team Falcon QB’s, a seasoned 4-time participant of the tournament.
All teams were divided into four groups for the regular season. The best four teams of each poule would advance to the 1/8 finals.
“Infernal Rubber Duckies”, with 2016 KanJam World Champion Connor Matteson making his debut in the European Championship, impressed by winning all regular season games (9-0). Other teams including “One Hit Wonders, Domstad Dominators and Falcon QB'S” were on a roll as well all scoring 8-1. The later Champion “Team Battum” qualified for the quarter finals with a solid 7-2 score.
All teams that didn’t make it to the first four of their group, automatically advanced to the Losers Bracket enabling them to play even more games and enjoying KanJam. In the losers bracket the “Fryske Frisbee Smiters” played exceptionally well (14-2). These first-timers subsequently defeated the Postbodes (2-0), Endless Dog Fun (3-0), Doar Cara (3-0), Sorryveld 2 (3-2), and Yes we kan! (3-0), to be crowned winner of the losers round and the 17th place overall.
Playoffs 1/8th finals
The atmosphere was fantastic with the beats of DJ Frits van Dyk and the warm summer sun breaking through the clouds. The bracket had a few very interesting games planned!
The youngest aged team “De Meiden” (averaging 13 years!!!) gave one of the championship favorites “Domstad Dominators” an extremely hard time, forcing them to throw an Instant Win or be defeated. Unfortunately for the girls the Dominators hit their final shot and securing their place in the ¼ finals. Applause however for the Meiden who proved to be a wonderful addition to the tournament.
FV Jam-in-de-Kan faced poule winners “Falcon QB'S”, and although they defended themselves very well, they couldn’t prevent Falcon QB’s making it into the ¼ finals for the fourth time in a row.
The “Rembrandt Masters” (the 2016 European Champion) surprisingly lost their 1/8 final game against Brabo. This should have alerted the “Infernal Rubber Duckies” of World Champion Connor Matteson, since they were up next against them after beating the young guns from Haestrecht College (De Haesjes).
Playoffs 1/4th finals
The Duckies didn’t get into their quarter finals game (partly also because of the wind that leveled the playing field) and lost against Brabo. It was a great match between two very skilled teams.
The most exciting game of the ¼ finals was “One Hit Wonders” against “Domstad Dominators”. Both teams playing in red, were focused on advancing to the semifinals, and gave it their absolute best. “One Hit Wonders” sealed the win 3-2 playing just a little bit more precise.
Vincent & Timo showed their capabilities by beating Belgian favorites and newbies to the tournament “Jetset”, to advance too to the semis.
Team Battum demonstrated their form against “The Falcon QB’s” and ensured they got the semifinals for the 3rd time in a row. An impressive result.
Unfortunately for “Brabo” they couldn’t maintain the level they had been playing especially in the 1/8 and ¼ finals. “One Hit Wonders” simply outplayed them and won 4-0 securing their place in the final. They were more accurate and were hitting three pointers as intended.
In the other semifinal KanJam proved time again to be a mind game. Vincent & Timo tried absolutely everything to stop Team Battum from reaching the finals, however it was not enough. After losing last year’s final Maurice Laarhoven and Erwin Jonkman were on a mission. However they also realized that they would be facing the most constant players of the tournament with the MVP of the Tournament (Sven Driessen)
After “Vincent & Timo” won their match for 3rd place from Brabo, the final two teams were up for their chance of winning tickets for the KanJam World Championship 2017. Both “One Hit Wonders” and “Team Battum” could win the championship and matched each other in skill and focus.
In this best-of-seven series “One Hit Wonders” quickly took a 2-0 lead by winning the first two games. It seemed that final stress was causing “Team Battum” problems. The solidity of play during the whole day seemed gone, and many thought that it was over. Right before game three Team Battum requested a time-out and they briefly talked about the new strategy. Just as the “One Hit Wonders” wanted to tie the match up, “Team Battum” won 4 games in a row to claim the European Championship title KanJam 2017.
We want to thank everyone who participated in the tournament for their support and would like to wish “Team Battum” a lot of success in the World Championship!