Wednesday, 29 April 2009


This weekend, Nottingham are hosting the University Mixed Outdoor Nationals 2009. As a postgrad student I'm lucky enough to be able to compete in Open and Mixed tournements for both club and student teams. At the student level I've learnt that the most fun is had by partying hard and letting the Ultimate do it's own thing. There will be a smattering of club players and experienced uni players but for the most part it will be guys and girls with 1-2 years of playing experience. This makes for a lot of fun and a lot of turnovers.

From what I saw earlier in the season and based on recent records the teams to watch will be RoShamBo, Mohawks, Strange Blue, Warwick Bears, Sublime to name a few. It's student ultimate though so anything can happen! Whole first teams have been known to graduate at the same time leaving teams that were contenders for national titles one year struggling to get a team together for the same tourney the following year. UMON is right in the middle of undergrad exams too so this may cause problems for some teams.

Bring on the Nautical themed party, the lack of rule knowledge, unconventional play and the occasional spark of massive potential in those freshers. Yes, student life is still the gateway for many into our sport and it's these competitions that forge memories that last forever and players who will one day represent our country at Ultimate. I'll let you know how it goes!

1 Warwick Bears
2 Manchester Halcyon
3 Aberdeen Positive Mojo
4 Leeds Jedi
5 Newcastle Too Many Pies
6 Loughborough Haze
7 LSE Beavers
8 Durham DUF
9 Cambridge Strange Blue
10 Nottingham Random Fling
11 Exeter Uriel
12 Oxford OW!
13 Sheffield Phat Eds
14 UCL

Monday, 27 April 2009

Fully Charged win Tour 0 south!

Tour 0 south proved to be a great tournement. I watched some fantastic games, especially Tooting Tigers v Team Shark, Kent v Fully Charged and the final, Fully Charged v Fire. With the splitting of Tour 0 into north and south and the top 4 getting their free pass into Tour A, Tour 0 had something that for me makes a great tourney, loads of close games and not knowing who is going to win!

Team Shark and Limited Release both brought strong teams to the competition and both made the A-tour nudging out Kent and Bristol Plastic Factory into the B-Tour despite themsleves also having very skilled squads. In the Kent v Fully Charged game, Kent showed a fantastic strength of character to more than hold their own against a very fast and physical team, if they continue to improve expect to see them in the A-Tour soon! Tooting Tigers performed well on the day with great defensive play. They proved they deserve their 3rd place finish when they were up against Team Shark who had some legends of UK ultimate playing for them. TT weren't going to be undone despite not having played together for as long as the other teams that qualified for the A-Tour forcing opposition turnovers through point blocks and tight man defense.

The final game was one of the best I've seen in a long time. The Fire squad was a combination of their 1st and 2nd team offensive players. The story goes that in an O v D Fire of London game, the D line won leaving the O guys with a ticket to Tour 0 to work on...their O. Both Fire and Fully Charged wanted this win, it wasn't that it was for the title of tour 0 south champion but that they both believed they could do it if they committed themselves 100% to their team. It showed in the intensity that every single person on the pitched played with. FC managed to get a ~4 point lead against Fire having taken the half and then some. Fire have been in plenty of top match ups and know how to perform under pressure however and brought the game back to sudden death at 11-11. The final point saw FC start on O and their very calm handlers worked right the way up to the Fire endzone against a well rehearsed zone D. After swinging the disc a few times they soon found a space and scored with a simple pass into the front middle of the endzone.

It's great to see the standard of club ultimate in the UK improving year on year with new teams starting up and the more established clubs happy to work with students and those just starting out. This coming weekend it's off to UMON in Nottingham for me, more to come about that later in the week.

2009 Tour 0 South Results:
1  (5)     Fully Charged
2 (=) Fire of London 2
3 (=) Tooting Tigers
4 (3) Brighton
5 (3) Ltd Release
6 (2) Team Shark
7 (=) Bristol Plastic Factory
8 (6) Kent Open
9 (=) Burro Electrico
10 (5) Devon
11 (2) London Revolution
12 (1) Brighton 2
13 (3) ABH
14 (2) Ltd Release 2
15 (=) Flump
16 (1) Devon 2
17 (4) Ltd Release 3
18 (=) Lucky Huckers
19 (1) TBU (The Bournemouth Ultimatum)
20 (1) Kent Mustang
21 (5) Team Shark 2
2009 Tour 0 North Results:
 1 - (=) EMO 1 
2 - (=) Leeds
3 - (=) Fusion West
4 - (2) Vision
5 - (2) BAF 1
6 - (2) The Brown 1
7 - (3) Mild Mannered Janitors
8 - (3) Sheffield Steal
9 - (=) Strange Blue 1
10 - (9) The Brown 2
11 - (3) Mustard
12 - (5) Strange Blue 2
13 - (=) EMO 2
14 - (4) Leamington Lemmings 1
15 - (5) Belfast Ultimate Giants
16 - (5) Flyght Club
17 - (5) Trigger Happy
18 - (3) BAF 2
19 - (3) Abstract
20 - (5) Mighty Hucks
21 - (1) Staffordshire Oat Cakes
22 - (=) Leamington Lemmings 2

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The schedule is out!

So the Tour 0 schedule and seedings are finally out! From each of the north and south divisions the top 6 will make the A-Tour cut. The great thing about UK ultimate is that once you take away the top 4 finishers of Tour 08 (Clapham, Chevron, Fire and Fusion East) there are a whole host of teams that are good enough to be in those top 6 places. For the south division (the one I'll be playing at), I think that the winner will come from Brighton 1, Fully Charged or Fire 2. The next 3 spots I really think are up for grabs, the favourites based on last year would put Devon in there with Tooting Tigers (clapham 2 + noobs) but I don't know much about Devon this year and TT might choke with the pressure put on their new guys to perform. Word on the grape vine for some time is that Fire 2 isn't the Fire 2 of last year but rather one half of an evenly split Fire squad. If this wasn't the case then I really wouldn't have put them as contenders for the Tour 0 south title but as is reflected by there numer 2 seed, it's common knowledge that this isn't the same team that finished 21st at UK nationals 08. Whatever happens, I can't wait to play!!

2009 Tour 0 North Seeding:

Seed Team

1 EMO 1
2 LLLeeds
3 Fusion West
4 Mild Mannered Janitors
5 Sheffield Steal
6 Vision Ultimate
7 BAF 1
8 The Brown 1
9 Strange Blue
10 Belfast Ultimate Giants (BUG)
11 Flyght Club
12 Trigger Happy
13 EMO 2
14 Mustard
15 Mighty Hucks
16 Abstract
17 Srtange Blue 2
18 Lemmington Lemmings 1
19 The Brown 2
20 Staffordshire Oatcakes
21 BAF 2
22 Lemmington Lemmings 2

2009 Tour 0 South Seeding:

Seed Team

1 Brighton Ultimate 1
2 Fire of London 2
3 Tooting tigers
4 Shark
5 Devon Ultimate
6 Fully Charged
7 Plastic Factory 1
8 Ltd Release
9 Burro Electrico
10 ABH
11 Brigton Ultimate 2
12 Ltd Release 2
13 London Revolution
14 Kent Open
15 Flump
16 Shark 2
17 Devon Ultimate 2
18 Lucky Huckers
19 Kent Mustang
20 TBU (The Bournemouth Ultimatum)
21 Ltd Release 3

Monday, 20 April 2009

Tour 0 warm up

On saturday I played in a 3 way Tour 0 warm up with London Revolution against Tooting Tigers and Burro Electrico. 5 minutes before our first game against TT we didn't have a full squad whereas TT were getting well and truly warmed up. There were a lot of guys I recognised as London University alumni who are now looking to get a piece of A Tour action. They were good fun to play against and they had 3 or 4 guys who had played together long enough to be able to tie the team together and make beating us not a great challenge. Final score ~ 13-4. I'll be interested to see how they do at tour 0 as they still won't have had much chance to play competitively before then, which was the reason Easy (one of there main guys) went about organising these warm up games.

Our second game was against Burro Electrico, pretty much a complete unknown as they are a new team again made up of lots of familiar faces and names. We were in fact their first competitive opposition. We went 9-9 and then they got a couple of breaks to take the game ~ 13-9. Tour 0 is going to be a steep learning curve for these guys. There are plenty of talented guys on the team but thats not what wins games. I hope they do well but I think the standard at open tour this year is going to be so much higher than previous years that there will be a lot of teams finding themselves in the B Tour who weren't expecting it.

I watched the beginning of the TT v BE game. I was suprised to see BE score the first two. I heard the final score was ~ 13-9 to TT. Closer than I thought it would be, I would have liked to have stayed and watched to see if it was TT playing poorly or BE playing well that meant this was a close game. Either way, I'm looking forward to palying in Tour 0 this weekend.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Looking ahead to UK Tour 0 2009

In just over a week the UKU Tour 0 will be taking place. The first Open tournement of the new season and a whole host of teams will be heading to Bournemouth for the southern tour and Cheltenham for the northern. It's the first big Open outdoor tourney of the new season and there are a lot of teams ready to test themselves against both old and new opponents. I personally can't wait to see how newly formed teams perform against those that are more established. I intend on reporting what I can from the event (southern) as well as giving my opinions on the various goings on. We'll see how it goes...