Ranking Events 2: Towers and Showdowns

Mixed

Yes, I know this is late. No, it’s not because we forgot. Yes, I know the games have already started. With those questions out of the way let’s do a quick-fire preview of the two Tou.. err ranking events happening this weekend.

 

Durham

The tier one event this weekend is in Durham, where it’s definitely going to rain a lot. The team list is a bit different to Cardiff and the seedings, based as they are on the new rankings, are a little odd considering the results at [welsh name].

  • Pool A is tough with a good Cambridge team in third spot, but I’d expect this to go to seed. Black Eagles are the Night King in this scenario – terrifying tales of their dominant past preceding a march from the lands of always winter to sweep all before them. They’ve added some useful ex-Glasgow pickups as well so they’re going to be tough to stop. Winter is coming.
  • Pool B looks straightforward but with Hucks missing talismanic figures Connor McHale and Will Rowledge, MIST might fancy their chances of an upset. Hucks are still strong but this is one to monitor.
  • Pool C is a very tough one. Glasgow are top seed but struggled in Cardiff to maintain their usual exceptional standards, while both Herd and Brum finished higher than them. The trek might have affected both southern teams a bit, but these games are going to be huge for the final standings given the lack of crossovers.
  • Pool D is brutal. Those are all good teams so good luck picking an order there.

Initial quarters thoughts; Bleagles beat Herd, Reading beat MIST, DS beat Brum, and Hucks beat GB. I’m backing Bleagles all the way for the win here, beating DS in the final. Top eight:

1. Black Eagles

2. Deep Space

3. Mighty Hucks

4. Reading

5. MIST

6. Brum

7. SMOKE

8. Herd

 

In the tier 2 event, if MUC have the same team as they did in Cardiff then they should handle this reasonably comfortably.

St. Albans

This is another slightly strange seeding and I don’t think there’s any chance it ends up looking like it started. Very quick thoughts:

  • Brighton are a wild card because I’m unsure who they actually have. If they’re strong then they have a very good chance of running the table.
  • Purple Cobras have been improving over the last couple of years and will be in contention. Lemmings have lots of very good young players and will be up there too. Manatees will be reliably good, they’re my fourth pick for the semis.
  • If Brighton are strong I think they’ll win. If not, I’d be inclined to back Cobras against Lemmings in the final.
  • I’m interested to hear how the event goes as a whole, being the first tier 2 event away from the main section of the division this season. Lots of teams will have enjoyed saving travel time to go to St Albans and the relative parity across a lot of the top teams should lead to a fun tournament.

Top eight:

1. Brighton

2. Purple Cobras

3. Lemmings

4. Cosmic Manatees

5. Bristol

6. Curve

7. Zoo

8. St Albans

 

Enjoy both events everyone! I’ll be occupied by a non-fris wedding so I’ll be keeping up with the scores with interest!

UKU Nationals preview: Mixed division

Mixed, UKU Nationals

Sean Colfer has done a bumper preview on all three divisions. They’ll all be coming this evening as he gets (most of) his picks on record for everyone to criticise once they’re proved wrong. Here’s his view on the Mixed division.

Nationals is the culmination of the domestic season, the final act on a long slog that started in Cardiff what seems like a hundred years ago. After hosting the first iteration of the new format last season, Birmingham will again welcome the best 32 Open, Women’s and Mixed teams in the country to find out who’s best (even though we probably know) and who’s going to Poland to play Europe’s best.

Let’s get to the division-specific predictions.

UKU Nationals preview: Women’s division

UKU Nationals, Women's

Sean Colfer has done a bumper preview on all three divisions. They’ll all be coming this evening as he gets (most of) his picks on record for everyone to criticise once they’re proved wrong. Here’s his view on the Women’s division.

Nationals is the culmination of the domestic season, the final act on a long slog that started in Cardiff what seems like a hundred years ago. After hosting the first iteration of the new format last season, Birmingham will again welcome the best 32 Open, Women’s and Mixed teams in the country to find out who’s best (even though we probably know) and who’s going to Poland to play Europe’s best.

Let’s get to the division-specific predictions.

UKU Nationals preview: Open division

Open, UKU Nationals

Sean Colfer has done a bumper preview on all three divisions. They’ll all be coming this evening as he gets (most of) his picks on record for everyone to criticise once they’re proved wrong. Here’s his view on the Open division.

Nationals is the culmination of the domestic season, the final act on a long slog that started in Cardiff what seems like a hundred years ago. After hosting the first iteration of the new format last season, Birmingham will again welcome the best 32 open, women’s and mixed teams in the country to find out who’s best (even though we probably know) and who’s going to Poland to play Europe’s best.
Let’s get to the division-specific predictions.

Eagles experience highs and lows on huge day

Black Eagles, Mixed, WUCC2018

Sean Colfer followed the only Mixed team from the UK to make the top 16, Black Eagles. Here’s the story of their day.

Black Eagles were facing the biggest day in their history. They’ve played in Nationals finals, they’ve played big games at European championships and they’ve played a WUCC before, but they had never been in this spot. Defeat the talented Japanese team IKU and the reward was a shot at the favourites for the title; the top seeded Seattle Mixtape team that took home USA Nationals gold last season.

All-African match highlights growth

African Ultimate, Features, Mixed, WUCC2018

The match between Kisumu and UCT Flying Tigers was significant. Sean Colfer explains why.

Two teams facing each other in a pool on day three of a tournament is usually nothing that would be considered too significant, given how much of the week is left. However, the match-up between UCT Flying Tigers and Kisumu Frisbee Club was not an ordinary match. It was the first time that two African teams had ever met each other in any Ultimate World Championships.

Neal family reunion is Marvellous

Features, Mixed, WUCC2018

Sean Colfer spoke to six of the Neals to find out what it’s like being at a tournament with your family.

One of the best parts of covering any international tournament is seeing the joy relating to anything outside of the Ultimate. The new friendships that are forged, the unforgettable moments experienced between games and the pride of representing a club, team or country on such a stage are all indelible parts of any world championships. One aspect that’s always been a personal favourite of mine; watching parents enjoying their children’s games.

There are several kinds of Ultimate parents. There’s the parents that have played themselves; those are pretty rare. There’s the kind that have absolutely no idea what is going on but find the mix of athletic prowess, throwing skills and raucous team spirit intoxicating and enjoy it nonetheless. There’s usually quite a few of them. And then there’s an increasingly common kind – those who have seen so much Ultimate that they take on some knowledge by osmosis and begin to understand exactly what they’re watching. Two parents that fit very snugly into that bracket are Terry and Raymond Neal.