The Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association ( CMSA ) is holding its first-ever, one-day, three-hour Capture The Flag Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 18, at Cricket Hill ( Montrose Fields ), starting at 11 a.m.
The event will feature four teams, each comprised of 12 to 20 people. There is a possibility that the event could be expanded to eight teams of 15 participants, organizers said.
"When I first started CMSA Ultimate, a lot of people came up to me and suggested that CMSA should have a capture the flag league," said Felipe Rojas. "At the time, I didn't really know how the idea would work since I hadn't played the sport in a really long time. It seemed like a good idea, but I wasn't sure if people would be interested in playing CTF for weeks on end.
"By having this one-day tournament, CMSA and the coordinators will be able to see firsthand if there is enough interest to pursue this idea in the future. This is also a sport that everyone has played in the past and probably have great memories of running around and trying to capture the enemy's flag. I am so happy that CMSA took the chance to allow me to organize this event."
Rojas, 31, who lives in Rogers Park and is "in a relationship," plays Ultimate, flag football, beach and indoor volleyball, softball, and indoor soccer under the CMSA banner. He is the commissioner of Ultimate and the CMSA Capture the Flag Coordinator.
Rojas said planning the CTF tournament was a near-two month process.
"Capture the flag is a traditional outdoor game composed of two teams," Rojas said. "The object of the game is to capture your opponent's flag. If caught in an opponent's territory, players are brought to jail and can only be saved by a teammate who can free them. There are several different renditions of the game. We will be playing several of these renditions, [such as] where teams will have more than one flag to capture so that the games last for a longer time, where all the teams will be playing against each other at the same time, and where the field will be limited to save people from running too much."
The CTF tournament will be co-ed, and games typically last 25 to 30 minutes.
Teams will be made randomly, just like in CMSA Ultimate and soccer, Rojas said.
"This is one of the sports that CMSA offers where you don't necessarily need to know everyone on your team, but throughout the day you'll get to talk to them a lot more because you'll have to think strategically and build a team," he said.
CMSA flag football is not playing on that Saturday and CMSA soccer doesn't start until 3 p.m.
Rojas said interest level will determine if future CTF tournaments, or even a CMSA league, is formed.
"Personally, I would like to make this into a charity event in the future where the proceeds are donated to an LGBTQ non-for-profit organization," Rojas said. "This past season, CMSA Ultimate had a very successful food drive where we filled over 10 boxes with nonperishable food items and donated everything to Chicago House. Chicago House was overwhelmed with our donation and we received a really touching letter that I posted on the CMSA Ultimate page and that I framed and have in my study. Giving back to the community is something that I would really like to continue to do in the future."
So what's the best part of CTF?
The strategy, Rojas said. "It's not about who runs the fastest or who is the most athletic. If you don't know how to strategically place your players to get the best outcome, the game can go by fast. "
Capture The Flag participants will need running or soccer shoes ( for the friction ). Registrants will receive an email asking them to wear a certain color shirt so that each team will be able to differentiate each other.
The registration fee is $5 until Oct. 6, $10 starting on Oct. 7. Registration is open until Oct. 17 at the CMSA website ( chicagomsa.org )click on the "Events" tab for Capture the Flag. Or, here is the direct website: chicagomsa.leagueapps.com/leagues/other/39927-2014-capture-the-flag .