Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Tournament Ideas

Get ideas for running your own tournament from others who do it in a professional manner which results in good times all round!


No Wisconsequences 2009 from Cultimate on Vimeo.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Hosting a Tournament - The Venue.

There are a number of ways we as a community can all contribute to the sustained growth of our sport. With so many tournaments having taken place across the UK in so many different venues, it would be great to have all of these available to view in one online resource. So if in the past few years you have been a Tournament Director or have helped run a tournament, you would be helping the UK Ultimate community if you took 2 minutes to pass on some very useful information regarding the venue. I may make this a series of posts covering other aspects of running a tournament that will help future TDs in their planning.

So either respond in the comments section below or email me directly at greenie141(at)hotmail.com. Other comments regarding +ve and -ve things about venues you've experienced will also be very useful!

Let everyone know:

What was the name and location of the venue?
What was the name of your tournament?
Was it indoors/outdoors or beach/
How many players did the venue host?
How many teams?
How many pitches did you use?
How many days did you tournament last?
Was there food on-site?
Was there on-site camping?
How much did the venue cost per day?
How would you rate the venue facilities out of 10?
How would you rate the playing surface out of 10?
Would you use it again?
Overall subjective score of the venue you used out of 10
Want to add anything else?

Great! If everyone comes together on this and actually contributes a bit of information and time then I'll put together a list of sorts and send it out. I can't help but think that a list of 100 or so venues across the UK will be a great place to start for wannabe TDs.

For everyone to do their own research seperately, when for years the same questions have been asked of the same venues doesn't make any real sense when we all have the same goal of good quality Ultimate Tournaments. Some venues are Ultimate friendly while others aren't, so let the rest of the community know!

A very useful resource to get you started on planning your tournament can already be found on the UKUA website with the UKUA guide for TDs as well as others specific to running tour events.

Related posts:

Tournaments Over The Festive Season

Pre Tournament Hype

Monkey Foo - What a Venue

Indoors, State Side

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Referees?

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, for almost as long as Ultimate has existed, so has the debate about referees. There are valid arguments for and against, take a look here for some of them. The recent goings on with Henry and his now infamous handball triggered a whole load of discussion with not a great deal of new content but still. I personally think that an active linesman role is required while the players continue self refereeing.

Heres the incident with Henry



And his interesting rection to the situaiton highlighting perhaps the dangers of taking a level responsibility away fromt the players.



Heres an extreme case of what can happen within a sport here players see the opponent as the enemy and disregard all else.



This video came up when I was looking for 'Dirty womens football'...disgusting.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

ED, work, bike and technology

I had planned to write a post on the recent discussions taking place on the EuroDisc mail list. There are plenty of interesting, if not original, suggestions and comments going around regarding the age old referees/observer quandry we find ourselves in. Unfortunately, I ran out of things to do at work today and so went for a swim instead. This meant I wasn't at the computer from which I post here. On the way home from work I got my 2nd puncture while cycling this week (different wheel each time) and so had to get the bus. With little to do with my time I looked to see if I could have a read online via my phone, whaddya know, I could! As you may now have guessed, I am now having a go at writing a post from my phone. I'm not technophobic, I'm sometimes just a bit slow at seeing how a particular new technology may benefit me. Once I see it however, its all good! Anyway, this I mostly just a test really. I imagine something funky will happen with the formatting. Either way, here's to technology making it all the more difficult to get away, hurrah!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Highlight Videos

Check out this video from Emerald City Classic 09. As many of you know, Clapham went to ECC and one of the teams they played was Rhino. They are based in Portland, Oregon, and have a couple of guys with decent camera equipment. The Rhino highlights (= Clapham lowlights) begin at 3:08. Rhino won 15-11.

Rhino 2009 ECC Highlights from Dave Collins on Vimeo.



Good ultimate in good quality is still relatively scarce on the internet. I personally don't want to watch DVDs of coverage from a whole game, I find them a bit, well, boring. I've never really heard of people buying DVDs of their favourite/own football teams season games. Once you have watched a game live and know the result, that's it. Afterwards, all you have is the highlights and top 10s, these I don't find boring. I actually love the NBA top 10s...






There are also some really simple rules that, when followed, produce high entertainment to time spent watching value:

Use HD recording equipment.
A tripod.
Fancy yet generic countdown animations.
Unobtrusive yet entertaining commentary.
Regular speed replay followed by:
Multiple alternate angle slow motion replay (as many as you have [that are of good quality]...)

Even rubbish highlights look good when in HD, if you are going to do it, do it properly! Grainy videos are less entertaining than no video at all. (Don't watch the video below...)



Understandably, Ultimate lacks any sort of dedicated professionals with equipment and experience and a market for coverage of games on DVD. Fine. Thankfully we do have are a number of people in the Ultimate community who still put a lot of effort into producing DVDs and they do a good job (PushPass andUltiVillage spring to mind)

As I have said before however, I think the best grabs, Ds and hucks of Ultimate rival the best dunks, bombs, tackles and shots of other mainstream sports. We just have more difficulty showing everyone.

Club UPA Nationals 2007 - Rhino from luke johnson on Vimeo.



I know this can all be seen as moot with the simple arguement, why be mainstream with all the crap that comes with it? Well, hopefully I'll be able to expand upon that in a future post.

You might also like to have a read of these past posts:

My Favourite Highlight Videos

xEUCF Update, ECC and Chesapeake

Film and Photography Competition

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Muddy, Awkward, Curious and NSFW...

The Adweb Dragon Cup 2009 in Poland. What I remember winter league as...(not sure what to say about the bare-footed guy)



This isn't awkward at all...To be fair, it's part of an application to 5ultimate to get free kit, I hope it works...



Huh...?



NSFW...

Monday, 16 November 2009

Tournaments Over The Festive Season

Since the lights on Oxford Street have been switched on and the weather is consistently bad, it must mean we're coming close to that time of year known for giving, families, happiness and commercialism* gone berserk. Whether you'll be celebtraing Bodhi Day, Ashura, Christmas, Yule, Hannukah or Al-Hijira, you know that at the same time you could be playing Ultimate with other like-minded individuals.

The Christmas Cone 2009
Strathclyde University Sports Centre, Glasgow
12 December 2009


Skunks Xmas Tournament 2009
University of Southampton

12/13th Decemeber





Copa de Crimbo
(full but get ont he waiting list)
Nottingham
19/20 December


Surrey Slingfest 2009
19th/20th December.


Belfast Christmas Cracker 2009

19 December 2009

Enjoy!


*'the domination of things by business/corporate interests, or the exploitation of intangible things for private gain')

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

London Winter League and the UKU

The LWL and as far as I can tell, the LSL, are both now part of the UKU. In the past they were more like rec leagues organised and run seperately with a lot of effort going into the organisation and planning of each event with what was perhaps an unmatched output of fun, efficiency and worth. As a developing organisation, the UKU now has a number of branches that cover grass roots up to elite development as well as encompassing events that cater for both the social and competitive aspects of ultimate. This is great for a number of reasons, some of which are suggested in this informative article by Dan Berry.

In the wider world, I'm personally wary of organisations when they have a monopoly. Competition between companies, organisations and friends breeds advancement. When two bodies with simliar aims and targets are going head to head they have no choice but to continually strive for self improvement. Specifically when it comes to two organisations offering a service, each will be looking to provide the best to the customers in order to be more attractive enabling expansion.

When a larger and smaller group go head to head, the larger can simply take in the smaller with the promise of higher efficiency earlier on. The smaller then operates from within the larger without posing any threat to 'stealing customers'. The larger can relax without the pressures that comes with offering the best service possible. Thankfully, those at the heart of the UKU have the best interests of UK ultimate players at heart and so they will always be looking for ways to evolve through growth and improvement. The UKU is also very transparent when compared to many other organisations with opportunities for all to get involved within the actual organisation of UK ultimate as well as there being a direct line from members to organisers.

I have no doubt that it is a good thing that the LWL and LSL now operate from within the UKU and look forward to being back to full fitness so I can play in them!

Winter League 06!

For my own records, it's been 13 weeks and 3 days since I heard that damned snap, crackle and pop come from my knee. It's now also been 4 weeks and 3 physio sessions so far. Feeling pretty good about it now as I'm able to do at least two of swimming, cycling, gyming and as of last week running again every day now. It feels good to be getting back in shape!

If you found this interesting you may also like to read:

The Growth and Development of the UKU

London Summer League 2009. How Far Have We Come?

Injuries in Ultimate Frisbee, Prevention and Rehabiliation

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Student Regional Qualifiers

Over the past few weeks there have been loads of Student Indoor Rregionals events being held. The UK comprises 5 university regions. Scotland, Northern, Midlands, South East and Western. These have all taken place now with the top 3 from each making it to University Indoor Nationals div 1 and 4th-6th into Div 2.

So that gives us

MUIOR: (in Nottingham)

1. Warwick Bears
2. Haze
3. Cambridge

4. UBU
5. Fling
6. Aye-Aye

NUIOR: (in Manchester)

1 Halcyon
2 Too Many Pies
3 Leeds Jedi

4 Phat 'Eads
5 Boogie Knights
6 Reservoir Discs

SEUIOR: (in Hatfield)

1 Sublime
2 Mohawks
3 Scorpions

4 Disc Doctors
5 Kent Touch This
6 Brunel

WUIOR: (in Plymouth)

1. No Frills
2. BLT
3. Skunks

4. Mythago
5. Uriel
6. No Frills 2

SUOIR: (in Dundee)

1. Dundee Stars
2. Ro Sham Bo
3. Flatball

4. Farflung
5. Blaze
6. Mojo

as well as the womens,

SUWIR: (in Southampton)

(dont know results yet...)

N&MUWIR: (in Sheffield)

1. Pies
2. WOW
3. Bears

4. Leeds
5. Cambridge
6. Halcyenne

Ultimate and acronyms....

With around 20 teams at each event that is a serious amount of indoors ultimate that has been happening over the past couple weeks. So there are now a load of teams all getting excited for both UWIN in loughborough (5/6th dec) and UOIN held in manchester (28/29th nov) on the fancy 3G rubbercrumb surfaces they have there. Well done to everyone who qualified in both divisions and good luck in your efforts to become the best university indoors team in the UK!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Recent absence and WUCC 2010!

It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, mostly due to not being too busy with PhD related stuff. Yes, it seems that the more stuff I have on my plate, the more I find I am able to blog. There were a few days last week when I just didn't need to come in to work which in turn meant I wasn't blogging. It's pretty standard practice though that when there is a lot of important stuff to do I'll happily start at the bottom of the list of priorities and work up. Well, now I have more to do and so you can look forward to more posts from me. It's not like there is a lack of goings on in UK Ultimate. As I've said before there is in fact so much going on it's hard to keep up. London Winter League, Student Indoor Regionals, Training days, teams tryouts, fun festive tournaments and news about WUCC 2010! Hopefully with so much work on now, I'll be able to make time for blogging :).

In this post I'll give an update on WUCC 2010.

WFDF released the official bid distribution for each of the countries entering the 2010 World Ultimate Club Championships in Prague. As expected, the UK received 3 Open, 2 Women, 3 Mixed and 1 Masters place. The teams to fill these spots are based on the 2009 Tour and Nationals results. They are:

Open
1. Clapham
2. Chevron
3. Fire
Women
1. Iceni
2. Leeds

Mixed
1. Jeremy Codhand
2. Brighton
3. BAF

Masters
1. Age Against the Machine

WUCC was originally held every 2 years but is currently held every
4 years. In 1989, the first World Ultimate & Guts Championship
was held in Cologne, Germany. The other cities that hosted this
event are:

1991 Toronto (Canada)
1993 Madison (USA)
1995 Millfield (UK)
1997 Vancouver (Canada)
1999 St. Andrews (Scotland)
2002 Honolulu (USA)
and 2006 Perth (Australia)

With 3 out of the 4 European Champions coming from the UK
heading to Prague next year, the UK can look forward to the
prospect of challenging the Canadian, American and Japanese
teams for medals. More to come on this in the future!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Monkey Foo Video

Check out the Monkey Foo highlight video. I was still on crutches when I was there but it was lots of fun never-the-less. Jeremy Codhand won the tournement with Thundering Herd winning Spirit. Good times.

Ultimate frisbee tournament of Bourg d'Oisans, France 2009 from Alexandre Gelin on Vimeo.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

UK Ultimate and Charitable Involvement

There are a lot of stereotypes and generalisations that one can make about Ultimate players and very often they are rooted in some truth. One of them is that we are a hospitable, generous and charitable kind of people. Indeed, there have been many instances over time that have gone a long way to proving this to be true.

A number of TDs are linked with charities both large and small and will take every opportunity they can to use the sport they love to build support for their charity.

Charity Tournaments that have taken place recently include:

The Spring League Charity Hat Tournament 2009

The Andy 24 Memorial Charity Ultimate Tournament 2009

Swingers Invitational Charity Ultiamte Tournament

PAFLova Charity Hat Tournament

Coming up in the near future is another charity tournament called LUCRE 2010, taking place in Warwick, UK on the 23rd January 2010. Follow the link to find out more information and to see how you can be involved. Show your support!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Pre Tournament Hype

One of the most significant things I think UK Ultimate is lacking is pre-tourney hype. Main stream sports have followers and people who have 'emotional investment' in their team of choice and so they feel it matters when their team succeeds or fails. Ultimate doesn't have people who care about results outside of the players themselves. This may be due to its short history or it may be due to it being boring to watch. At xEUCF however I watched games that were definately not boring and so I'm inclined to think that it's the short history. I'm a massive cynic when it comes to the spectator appeal of Ultimate at the moment, so was relieved when watching Clapham v Skogs to be genuinely entertained.

Ultimate as it is has very different values to main stream sports however (thankfully). Who cares if there are spectators or indeed people who care about results? Well, I think that Ultimate has the potential to retain SOTG as its core principal and still become a widespread sport able to spread positive attributes throughout communities. This would require effort in publicity and marketing while all the time being careful not to bring money into the equation. The down-fall of all main stream sports...(?)

On the flip side however, imagine an invite only tourney with prize money, say £5000 for the winning team. I'm pretty sure you would need active observers or the game wouldn't function, but then the Ultimate would be on another level.

Oh wait...
I would love to hear what the spirit was like at these tourneys.

Anyway, back to pre-tournament hype. On October 29th the UPA Club Championships 2009 will be taking place in Sarasota (North America) and ahead of this UltiVillage.com are putting together team previews of those that have qualified, at the moment there is one for Chain Lightning and one for Revolver. These are the sort of things that with additional growth, we should hope to see withing UK Ultimate. It's all just a matter of time.

Talent in editing and film production help too,


Monday, 12 October 2009

Open Indoor Qualifiers

With the beginning of the indoor season, teams everywhere have started up their indoor
trainings ahead of the qualifiers for Open Indoor Nationals. These will be
taking place in
Plymouth, Birmingham and Norwich. You and your team can go along to
whichever is closest
and have a go at making it to Nationals! All these events will
be held on the weekend of 21/22
November 2009. Contacts can be found on the BritDisc
list.

There are masses of tourneys that are popping up on BD both confirmed and prospective with
TDs testing the water for interest. It's hard ot keep up with everything that's
happening! If
you'd like to get your event some free publicity then feel free to
write a short piece about it and
I'll post it on here. There is also the possibilty
of it finding its way onto the UKU website front
page. If you would also just like
to have a go at writing something Ultimate related, get writing
and get in touch!


I'm starting physio tomorrow at the Royal Free Hospital, London. Looking forward to it after
doing nothing sport related since UK Nationals, about 9 weeks ago...

Thursday, 8 October 2009

PEP

Get your team to follow this warm up routine.

My MRI scan showed a partial ACL tear, meniscus damage and MCL tear. No surgery but 3 months of physio and then follow up, much better than the worst case scenario but give yourself the best chance of avoiding injury by building a strong core and warming up and down properly. I was tempted to do a sports injury photo/video montage but you know how youtube works.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Cleats for Ultimate Frisbee

Once you've been playing Ultimate for a while you will soon realise that you don't need much equipment. The essentials are a disc, cones, breathable clothing and boots/cleats. I would say that you have the most options of 'what to buy', when it comes to your boots and there are a number of things to consider:
  • Comfort
  • Support
  • Stud Pattern
  • Durability
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Aesthetics
How much time you spend playing and at what level you play will determine how you prioritise.

I'd just like to offer some of the boots that I've been recommendedAdidas Copa Mundials

Nomis Sparks

Puma V1.08

Nike Speed TD

Warrior Speed Burn

Nike Vapor Jet 4.2

Nike Super Speed D

Nike Mercurial Veloci

Nike Tiempo Mystic

What rediculous names...

Anyway, the key in my mind is knowing that it's important to invest in decent boots because cheap ones will
  • wear out quickly
  • cause blisters
  • result in rolled ankles
  • provide a lack of traction
  • look crap
amongst other things.

When choosing your boots look out for the toe stud as well, it comes highly recommended for Ultimate! I've found American Football boots to be generally suited to the style of running in Ultimate and with the American market being what it is, there is a massive range to choose from, you can even customise many boots from Nike with your team logo and colours (not my thing but hey)

Feel free to give your own recommendations in the comments!

If you found this interesting you might also like to check out:

Ultimate gear, where do you buy yours?

Also have a look at the discussion thread at ultitalk.com

Monday, 5 October 2009

Tryouts and Beginners Tourneys.

As the off season continues, there is still no shortage of UK Ultimate goings on. Almost too much to keep track of. The student season is about to kick off in a big way with no less than 7 beginners and introductory tourneys in the next few weeks up and down the country:

  • Edinburgh Beginners
  • Sheffield Beginners
  • Liverpool beginners
  • Loughborough Beginners
  • Sublime warm-up
  • Plymouth Beginners
  • Nottingham Break In

as well as various indoor regional qualifiers coming up.

It's also great to see another city league starting up, this time in Bristol. This will no doubt help the overall development of Ultimate in the area as more people get more competitive playing time which they can then take forward into the new season.

It's also coming up to that time when teams start to open their doors to all who wish to play. Whatever your playing level, you will be able to find a team to go and play and learn with and then if you've proved your worth, get picked to play competitively for. Open sessions (with advanced notice of attendance) that I've heard about so far are from Flyght Club, Thundering Herd and Tooting Tigers and there will no doubt be more as we approach the new year.

So I would now like to put in a nice highlight video of some UK Ultimate in HD from recent times. Unfortunately, I can't find any. If you have made movies of your own teams or anything UK Ultimate, send it this way and I'll show it to everyone! In the mean time, here's a video of some girls in the US who can play.

2009 UPA College Championship- Fugue from luke johnson on Vimeo.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Blockstack TV

Check out Blockstack for their coverage of xEUCF. Tom and Steve, the guys behind the online Ultimate channel, put massive amounts of effort and time into producing their podcasts. It's a great resource and I would suggest you go and watch and then contact them letting them know what you do and don't like about it.

There are a whole host of tourneys coming up over the next few weeks, I'll be talking a little about these UK Ultimate goings in the next post.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

xEUCF finals and moving on!

After so much effort xEUCF is finally over. We have a whole host of new European Champions and some unbelievable performances showcased to boot. For complete details visit the website once more.

As a very brief highlight, congratulations to

Chevy, the new Open European Champions
Iceni who are the Womens European Champions
Brighton, the Mixed European Champions
Helsinki, the Masters European Champions

Way to go UK taking 3/4 golds!

Today was the first day I haven't worn my leg brace in 7 weeks. I get my scan results next wednesday so I hope with the start of a new season I can look forward to getting out and playing. It was one of the most difficult emotions I've experience in a long time when I was so jubilated seeing my team playing at xEUCF while being so utterly gutted to not be able to play alongside my amazing teamates. Well done to Thundering Herd for their hard fought and well deserved 7th place finish and I can't wait to play Ultimate with you all again! Congrats also on being the top spirit scoring UK team :)

I've now also moved into my new flat and things are slowly returning to normal after a mental few months. So what next?

The students freshers are all attending their first training sessions this week and the indoors season is just about to kick off. Bring on the off season training and here's to world championships in Prague 2010!

Friday, 25 September 2009

xEUCF day 1 and 2!

The days at xEUCF are looooong. Waking up at 6.30 with games kicking off at 9am and going all the way through to 9pm, that is a LOT of ultimate. The guys in the media centre on site are doing a good job of updating the xEUCF twitter account regularly. You can follow them here. Its turning out to be the easiest way to get lots of info to people quickly. Feel free to contact them if you are wondering about anything that is going on. The daily newsletter is the other way for a broader slice of xEUCF goings on. Here are the links to the day 1 and day 2 newsletters.

I wrote a couple of short pieces for the Day 1 newsletter (London Teams at xEUCF and Mixed Division Proceedings) while Tim and Will have been working hard throughout both days to make sure there are 700 copies ready to read in the morning. Keep it up guys!

Check out the xEUCF webpage for upto date results, schedules and other bits and pieces.

My highlights so far have been catching the end of the Clapham (16) vs Skogs (15) showgame last night and watching the Herd (15) vs Outsiterz (11) showmatch earlier this evening. Everything still to play for in so many games tomorrow! Hopefully I will get down there again in between moving house :)

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

In the news.

With xEUCF starting tomorrow it would be rude not to mention it...You know what it's all about now so I will just say if you are around London then it will be worth your while heading over there between thursday and sunday to check out some quality Ultimate on a large scale. There will be plenty going on for spectators and you can follow games and results through various twitter accounts, blogs, blockstack.tv and the xEUCF home page amongst other sources.

Every time a new resource becomes available to the wider Ultimate community I get the feeling that Ultimate is going to improve in all aspects, on and off the pitch, for a long time into the future...

Not only is it one of the fastest growing sports but big tourneys regularly find there way into national papers, most recently xEUCF and the World Games. This can only be a good thing in terms of exposure and raising public awareness of the sport!

I'll be mostly posting links to coverage of xEUCF on here over the next few days.

See you tomorrow at xEUCF then!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Pushing forwards

Across the world, ever increasing numbers of people are stepping up to play their part in moulding the sport of Ultimate into what they want it to be. Check out this video for a tournement whose aim is to spread the culture of Ultimate beyond just the players. Looking at the effort put in so far, it might just work!

Check out the website:



Look at the stadium it will be played in...

Look at some of the confirmed teams:


It's not going to be any ordinary Ultimate tourney...

Thursday, 17 September 2009

xEUCF Schedule released

So ahead of the start of Euros next thursday, the schedule has been released. Check out the xEUCF website for all of the details.

I'm frantically looking for a new house in central london and it's becoming the nightmare story I have heard so often. Between the estate agents and the compromising there is barely room to think let alone work, or blog.

Anyway, as gutted as I am to not be playing next week at Euros I'm excited now about being part of the newsletter and online team as one of the volunteers. Should be a good way to ease the pain of missing out due to injury. I might do a self-therapy injury update blog post just so I remember that it is moving forwards...6 weeks and counting now...

Here's some interesting moments in ultimate captured on camera for your viewing pleasure, they were all found at ultitraining.wordpress.com


Monday, 14 September 2009

Student Ultimate

The student season is coming back around! By the end of this month, 1000s of 18 and 19 years olds across UK universities will have signed up to something that could change their lives...About 10% of those that have signed up will make it through the first few training sessions and will learn how to throw and catch. 1% of those that originally sign up will have found something that for the next 3 years at least, will become a major part of their social and sporting lives.

Pretty exciting! I'm going into my 6th year at University College London now and I still look forward to teaching the basics and seeing guys and girls who have never played, quickly make new friends and have plenty of fun times. This year, I may be taking more of an advisory type role however and just let them get on with it. I'll be sure to be there if they get to Nationals though :)

Do you have connections to a UK university ultimate team? In the past 5 years, the online resources for ultimate have increased massively. Hopefully this will level the playing field where before, the team with a couple of star players were the only ones with all of the information on how to develop a great team. There will soon be posts on here about student ultimate goings on, after xEUCF!


If you found this post interesting, you might also like to read:
Awesome US college highlight video: why not?

Mamabird Highlights 2008- Nationals from RabbitProductions on Vimeo.

Friday, 11 September 2009

Monkey Foo, Bourg d'Oisans

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go to Monkey Foo (although not lucky enough to actually be playing). Needless to say it was an awesome experience and I hope to go back next year when I'm not on crutches. My team, Heffalump, won the Spirit award which we were absolutely chuffed about and it was a perfect way to tie up a very fun trip. Enjoy the photos and be there next year!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Twitter, Ultispace and Online Content

I enjoy updating this blog and I want to be able to do so as often as possible. One of the basic aims is to provide new content for you to come and have a read of, watch or listen to as well there being content that you will hopefully be able to think about, discuss and (dis)agree with.

To this end I'm going to mix in some shorter posts containing interesting and relevant things I come across. For example, today a brand new site went live with the aim of being an all encompassing ultimate frisbee website. It's called Ultispace and I would compare it to ffindr which the worldwide Ultimate community has really taken to, allowing it to become a handy resource for ultimate around the world. Ultispace brings into the mix a forum, video and photo gallery to the one-stop-shop ultimate website format and only time will tell if we take to it and allow it to fulfill its potential. Go and register here.

To also increase the amount of new content I've taken my first steps into Twitter. Eurgh...my reaction to it since 2006 when it first launched. Why would anyone care what you are doing at all hours? Well thankfully that's not all it can be used for. I finally realised this during the UPA college Nationals. There would be no way for me to get live updates of whats going on at this tournement. I wouldn't even be able to find out who won until someone wrote a blog post about it or the results went up on the UPA website etc. The way I see it now (and many have been doing for a long while now) is that those at a tournement can send out what are basically txt message updates of what is going on and I am able to receive just the ones relevant to my interest. I can't believe I'm actually promoting the use of Twitter but it does seem to make sense now.

As I'm no longer going to be playing at xEUCF due to my injury 4 weeks ago, I finally decided that I would be a volunteer at the tourney. I was going to be there anyway supporting my team and this way I can hopefully be usefull too! Anyway, as it stands, I plan to use twitter while I'm there to update anyone who cares to follow the xEUCF goings on. I've even dedicated a part of the sidebar on this blog to live UK Ultimate updates and specifically at the moment xEUCF updates from a number of sources! Seems pretty clever. So if you would like to be kept up to date either via the internet or (apparently) straight to your phone, (I havent done that yet but when I'm updating from xEUCF I guess I will be using my phone) go and register on twitter and search for 'ultimateuk', thats where I will be updating from...

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

European Championship Finals!

There is little over 2 weeks to go before the start of the European Ultimate Championship Finals. Teams from across Europe have been gearing up for months ready for their arrival at the Harlington Sports Ground located just outside of London. The regional qualifiers for the open division have all taken place while the womens, mixed and masters division teams have all been working hard so that on the 27th September 2009, they will have the chance of being crowned the 2009 European Champions.

To get a bit of background, have a read of these two posts, nice and informative!

European Ultimate Championship Series


The History of European Ultimate Club Championships

This year there will be 38 open teams coming from 14 different countries! On top of that there are 16 womens teams, 20 mixed teams and 6 masters teams. That's well over 1000 players all at xEUCF!

So who are the recent past winners of such a massive tournememt?

2008 EUCF in Paris, France winners:
Open: Skogshyddan
Womens: Woodchicas

2007 EUCF in Basel, Switzerland winners:
Open: Clapham
Womens: Woodchicas

2006 EUCF in Florence, Italy winners:
Open: Skogshyddan
Womens: Iceni

(have a look at the post linked above to find out where the mixed and masters divisions were!)

So 2009 xEUCF in London, United Kingdom: who do you think will win?!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Staying informed, rational ignorance and the importance of the individual.

No matter at what level of Ultimate you play, it is of benefit and value to all involved for you to stay informed. This applies not only to what is going on within your own team but also your local teams, national teams as well as everything else that goes on within the UKU community.

It isn't even about how involved you wish to be as an individual. There's a concept known as 'rational ignorance'. When the effort of informing or educating ones self on a particular issue outweighs the potential benefit that said knowledge would provide, the person who chooses to stay uneducated is said to be 'rationally ignorant'. The most valuable thing any of us have to offer is our time and so using it in this sitution would surely be irrational and indeed a waste of our time...

There is a problem however, as soon as a large group of people are called upon to make an important decision, the ability of that group to consistently come to the best outcome is severely impaired. Just look at the government, who voted Gordon Brown as Prime Minister?

With this in mind we should do all ourselves a favour and stay informed. Apply this to everything you do but as this is a UK Ultimate blog, I'll apply it to that. Ultimate here is still in its early days, we get to shape what it is going to be in the future! There has been a recent discussion on EuroDisc about where Ultimate is heading, if you are reading this blog you likely enjoy playing Ultimate at the least and probably care about it, after all we do give to it much of our most valued commodity (not money). So do yourself a favour, don't under estimate the individual, speak up and play Ultimate!

On to the useful bit of this post, below are a number of easy ways that you can stay directly informed with everything that is going on, so many times do captains and coaches at all levels try to disseminate information to their players only to be told later by a player that they didn't receive anything. Stop being ignorant. The internet is phenomenal in that it has the power to immediately erase ignorance if you allow it to.

Again, apply this to everything but this is a UK Ultiamte blog so,

First of all sign up to your own teams mailing list. As you have already read this far, you are probably the sort of person who doesn't actually need to be reading this but at least you can point others in its direction. A lot of teams use private forums, yahoo or google groups. Don't be the person who always needs to be passed on information individually, get signed up.

The UKU website has a comprehensive page of links where you can simply follow the ones that apply to you . You can find it here. Of all of them, make sure to sign upto BritDisc

EuroDisc. Don't be intimidated by the fact that your messages will be read Europe-wide. There are often discussions about the current development of Ultimate. Have a look at the archives and sign up here

If you are UK student Ultimate player, sign up at uniultimate to stay informed.

A good forum where you can ask any Ultimate related questions and get answers from around the world pretty quickly is Ultitalk.com. Check it out!

BananaCut is a great website that allows you to follow current Ultimate related goings on very easily.

Ffindr is another very good resource for finding out what is going on both local to you and around the world.

If you know of any other good resources, share!

I'm off to Monkey Foo in Grenoble now, ta ra!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

xEUCF update, ECC and Chesapeake.

So all of the 2009 regional EUCS events have taken place and the results of those teams that have qualified are filtering through. It makes you realise how far we have to go as a sport when it's so difficult, without knowing individuals at each event, to find out what is going on at the elite end of Ultimate. There is certainly plenty of movement in the right direction however and it's developing positively far more than other sports have done in the past and currently are, so thats +1 for Ultimate!

So here are the div 1 open qualifiers to xEUCF in London 24-27 sept from all regions (click logo for link to xEUCF website)

South West

1. FAB (Bern, Switzerland)
2. Jack'Suns, (Fontenay-le-Comte, France)
3. Freespeed (Basel, Switzerland)
4. CUSB (Bologna, Italy)
North East

1. VIF (Sweden)
2. Karhukopla (Finland)
3. Skogs (Sweden)

4. Orebro (Sweden)

West

1. Fire (London, UK)
2. Clapham (London, UK)
3. Fusion (UK (Scotland))
4. Chevy (Manchester, UK)

Central East

1. Woodies (Germany)
2. Feldrenner (Germany)
3. Silence (Czech Republic)
4. Ragnarok (Denmark)
Amazing! xEUCF is going to be pretty awesome...A few things I wanted to point out about these goings on. Firstly, the UK dominates the West Europe region. Secondly, the two strongest teams in the UK this year in both open and womens divisions recently went to test their skills against some of the top North American teams. Clapham went to the Emerald City Classic tournament in Burlington, Washington and Iceni went to Chesapeake in Poolesville, Maryland.
(click the logos to find out complete results). These two tournaments are known for the rediculous quality of the Ultimate, pretty much the highest level of club ultimate you will find in any tournaments around the world. Even so, what are potentially the two best teams in Europe (let alone the UK) managed just 3 wins out of 16 games between them. (2 out of 10 for Clapham and 1 out of 6 for Iceni).
I don't know the ins and outs of any extenuating circumstances like missing few or many key players or individual game stats but I know that whoever went in these teams will have been giving it their all on the pitch. Thus exemplifying the quality of Ultimate in North America when compared to the rest of the world....?

Monday, 31 August 2009

Injuries in Ultimate Frisbee, Prevention and Rehabilitaion

Just a quick google search brings up a whole load of useful information for injury prevention along with rehab and physical therapy if you've already gone and done yourself a mischief. As I've mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, I've damaged my knee ligaments. I've got a scan on the 21st Sept to find out if I need surgery and until then im on crutches and having to wear a pretty severe looking leg brace.

With the growth of Ultimate in both player numbers and level of competition there are now a number of online resources specifically for Ultimate players and their injuries. I thought I'd provide the links as it's only once you have sustained an injury that you fully appreciate what the old guys on your team were saying when they would keep banging on about proper warm ups/downs, core exercises, plyos etc etc. The problem with the retrospective approach to injury is that without the proper knowledge, some parts of the body will simply never be the same again. Repeated often amongst the literature is that injury prevention is the key to a long Ultimate career and the key to injury prevention can be found in the following sites:

Ultimate Frisbee Injury Prevention

A clear and concise article highlighting the four main knee injuries that are found commonly in Ultimate players.
  • Patello-femoral syndrome
  • Ligament sprain
  • Cartilage Tear
  • Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome

Along with explanation and preventative measures for them.


Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance (a PEP programme)

Here you can find a detailed warm up regime, applicable to most field sports. It incorporates plenty of stretches focusing on the lower extremities which suffer injury most commonly in Ultimate, with full explanations of the what, why and how.

Ultimate Frisbee. The players, their injuries and the role of the Chiropractor.

An interesting article written by a Canadian Chiropracter who plays Ultimate.

Injuries From Ultimate Frisbee

An informative paper from the Wisconsin Medical Journal.

This video is from the most in depth, Ultimate specific, injury prevention and rehab website that I've come across so far. It's called InjuryTimeout. There is bucket loads of useful information. The key is to take it on board and put it into practice!



Well I think I'll leave it there for now. I guess if from reading some of this information one person somewhere avoids one injury from playing Ultimate, then this post is more than wortwhile!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

EUCR-W 2009 in Loughborough

As previously promised in the post 'The UKU competition structure', I'm going to talk a bit about the European Ultimate Championship Series structure. This weekend is the European Ultimate Championship Regionals. The West division this year includes teams from:
  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Luxemburg
and is going to be held in glamorous loughborough. The other three regions are the South West being held in Varesse, Italy.
The Central East held in Nurnberg, Germany.
And the North East in Tallinn, Estonia.

All four competitions are being held this same weekend. They are effectively just seeding tournements for xEUCF. The massive tournement which this year is being held in Heathrow, London. The top four teams from each of the regional competitions will then make it into division 1 (of 3) at xEUCF and be in with the chance to be crowned European Champions! Nice. It seems to me to be similar to the champions league in football, although instead of a league it is held over 4 days. My question to this structure is why have seperate regional tournements? Surely the top 4 teams in the country are those that finish in the top 4 at each countries Nationals? In the past the competitions have been combined, so I would be keen to find out what the thought process behind the current structure is.

So onto the most import region to us, the EUCR-W containing the UK.

Here are the seedings for the tournement:

1. Clapham
2. Fire
3. Chevron
4. Emo
5. Fusion
6. Cambo Cakes
7. Leeds
8. UFO
9. Fully Charged
10. Mooncatchers

I look forward to finding out which of the UK teams will make it into div 1 of xEUCF. It would be hard to say that Clapham, Fire and Chevy won't all be there but who will take the fourth spot?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Ultimate Gear, where do you buy yours?

There are actually quite a few companies now selling Ultimate gear. Each has it's plus points but I thought I'd use this post to provide links to the ones I've found as I've recently started looking for where to get my teams kit from. What is your favourite jersey, shorts and boots? I find that unless I spend the money on boots they just don't last whereas what shirt and shorts I wear depends more on what's clean.

I've got a draw full of ultimate kit, some good, some not. From my experience, the more expensive it is the nicer it feels and I only notice when the 'special technology' in my shirts isn't working, so I'm not even sure what the best companies genuinely are for that sort of stuff either. I mostly have Gaia, Lookfly and cheap Decathlon stuff (Kalenji) but want to check out FiveUltimate and Patagonia as a lot of people have said that their stuff is pretty good!

Have you got any particularly positive or negative things to say about any ultimate companies? Let me know while I'm still deciding which company to get my teams next kit order from! Click on the links below to go to some very fancy websites (and some not so) to see what they're about.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

And the Winner is....

Congratulations to Ceirios Beard for his photo titled 'Superman Pose' receiving 32% of your votes and winning him a Winter baselayer courtesy of the nice guys at Lookfly. You can find more great products on their website.

'Superman Pose'

The photo is of Lee Noble (Sharks) attempting a layout D on a Fusion player in what was a great game to watch during Open Nationals 2009.

Thankyou to everyone who entered and to everyone who voted. Special mention to Sapphira van Assema, whose photo '3 against 1' had the most votes right up to the last few hours of the competition when a flurry of votes pushed it into second.

'3 against 1'

Keep an eye out for future competitions and don't forget that the film competition is on-going. If you make a short film of recent UK Ultimate, let me know about it and you could be in with a chance to win some other ulti related prizes!

In other news, Copa is coming up soon! I can't make it this year but no doubt it will continue to be one of the premier 'good times' tournements in the UK! The next tourney I'll be at is Monkey Foo in a couple weeks, although I'll just be enjoying the French Alps more than the Ultimate as I'll still be on crutches. I'll be sure to take some photos of what has been called the most scenic tournement in the world!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Why Play Ultimate Frisbee?

Having been playing or training 3/4 times a week for the past 8 months or so, to suddenly be unable to play ultimate at all, my reaction has been something probably similar to a withdrawal. It wasn't through choice that I'm not playing, it has been forced on me. I no longer have an outlet for my energies and so all I can do at the moment is think about Ultimate and go along to games as a photographer. While I've been thinking about it, I just wanted to put a few for and against thoughts down about Ultimate that I hope to come back to and elaborate on at some point, or maybe just to look back on when I'm playing again to see if I feel the same.

Reasons to play ultimate:
  • Travelling
  • Friends
  • Parties
  • Fitness
  • Competition
  • Looking good
  • Community
  • Aim to be the best at something
  • It feels so good playing on a team that does well
  • Winning
  • Big grabs
  • Big Ds
  • Big Hucks

Reasons to not play Ultimate:
  • Risk of injury
  • Time (wasted)
  • Money (wasted)
  • Effort required
  • Risk of Failure
  • Lack of outside recognition.

There's clearly much more to say, what would you add to these lists?

Keep voting for your favourite photos! Winner to be announced this sunday!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Voting Opened for the Second Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition!

Thanks a lot to everyone who has entered, there are close to twice as many people entered, with twice as many photos into the second Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition. With so much more competition this time around, there is a really nice prize to go with the bigger and better competition! It will be coming from kind sponsors Lookfly and will be officially announced once the winner has been decided.

There were loads of photos taken at last weekends UK Nationals 2009 in Cardiff and now it's time to vote for your favourite! Voting closes next Sunday, 23 August 2009 at 10pm. You can vote for more than one and you can see a larger version of each photo by clicking on it below. Good luck in the voting and may the best photo win the prize! Special mention goes to the two photos called '3 against 1' and 'Surrounded', they look like they were taken a fraction of a second apart and from exactly the same angle!


'Surrounded'

'Cat Pounces'

'Superman Pose'

'Running Man'

'Out of Reach'

'Nice Boots'

'MINE!'

'Kick a man when he's down'

'Photo 1'

'Photo 2'

'Concentration'

'A running Mark'

'I've heard of taking it easy on defense, but taking a seat?'

'Another Inch Required...'

'Is this the Ultimate dance?

'High Grab'

'Grasshopper'

'Eley Falls'

'Who Wants It?'

'View from the Ground'

'And into the Endzone'

'3 Against 1'

'Photo 3'

'Starjump'

'Block'

'Broken Force'

'Why run when you can fly?'