As the biggest league in UK Ultimate reaches its halfway point, we decided it would be useful to stop and reflect on how the season has gone so far. Teams are just starting to find their groove – new players have assimilated, freshers have now learnt forehands, and captains have learnt what tricks are needed to drag star players on five hour coach journeys on Wednesday afternoons.
We’d love to inspire some discussion for who you think will be making Nationals this year. But for now, I’ll leave it in the hands of my very capable writers to give you a region-by-region rundown of how things are shaping up this year.
A small reminder here that there are five regions (Scotland, North, Midlands, West, South-East), each with six teams (except Scotland, who have nine). The top three teams go to Division 1 Nationals, the next three to Division 2. The bottom two teams in North, Midlands, South-East and West will be relegated at the end of the year. There is no relegation in Scotland, and the 7th/8th placed teams go to Division 3.
Tadhg Bogan debuts on tSG with an in depth look into Ireland’s University Indoor championships.
As the fuzzy heads of fresher and final year students alike recover from University/College life to prepare for their inevitable exam-induced panic, there is one blissful source of escape for the University Ultimate players of Ireland. Thankfully, All-Ireland Open Indoor Inter-varsity (IVs) 2016 awaits to welcome the eager and determined players with open arms. At this year’s battleground, the Kingfisher Leisure Sports complex in the heart of Galway city, 24 teams representing nine Universities from across Ireland took to the hard-courts across the weekend of the 19th and 20th of November. With goals of development in mind for all the fresh-faced beginners embarking on their first true competitive IVs, but aspirations of total domination in the hearts of those more seasoned players, the weekend certainly provided action every minute across the three courts of the Kingfisher complex. So, with much to get through, let’s begin!
Georgina Morrison previews Division 2 at this weekends Mixed Indoors Nationals.
Another year, another Nationals. For every avid mixed player this is the pinnacle of the indoor university season, and quite rightly so! Last month’s Regionals came with some glorious victories and devastating upsets across the nation; Division 2 teams will fight back hard for gold. Warwick were crowned champions last year, who have this year qualified for Div 1. In fact six out of the 16 Div 2 teams from last year have qualified higher this year, giving room for some fresher faces in the national competition.
Harry Mason brings his thoughts to the table for Mixed Indoor Nationals in the premier division.
As the university season marches ever onwards, we arrive at the first nationwide test of the season; Mixed Indoor Nationals. Despite it being first, I have always viewed selection for this tournament as the most prestigious of any in the university season. A captain has to select only the very top 4/6 boys and 4/6 girls out of an entire squad. When you’re selecting that few people, there doesn’t tend to be much of a plateau. You don’t get any easy match-ups. The victors of tournaments like this tend to be those able to: play proper mixed, make the fewest mistakes, and use all their players in the most impressive fashion (rather than just individual player strength).
Under a lot of pressure from her fans Alice Thomas brings us her view on the Western region for the Women’s division.
The nights grow colder and the wind blows sharper, and indoors season is in full swing. Mixed and Men’s Regionals have come and gone, and the final University Indoor Regionals will be held this weekend, in which 23 teams of women from 13 universities will battle for four places in the Western Region.
Giulia Newbery debuts on theShowGame with her preview of UWIR for the Northern region
As the North region approaches Women’s Indoor Regionals, every team will be looking to showcase the strengths learned from recent beginner and experienced tournaments across the country and, most importantly, skills taken away from Mixed Indoor Regionals tournaments. Certain teams will inevitably rock the boat this year but who doesn’t love an underdog story? Predictions will be made for the top six spots that qualify for Nationals, so don’t be deterred by these girls – go and exceed expectations instead!
Nicola Shaw runs over the Scottish region in the Women’s division ahead of Indoor Regionals.
Never mind the heated politics that’s been happening in the past few days, on a more local scale we are now interested in the hotly contested Women’s University teams of Scotland soon to be battling it out for spots at University Women’s Indoor Nationals (UWIN). As always, with newbies and graduates flying in and out, change and the unknown is actually what makes this exciting!