Harry Mason bring you the Division 3 preview with added BUCS League reviews.
Welcome to the true grit of UK Ultimate. The lower leagues. This is where you really earn your stripes in Ultimate. To truly prove yourself as a top team, you need to be near flawless all season. One loss in the cup? You don’t play nationals. One loss in the leagues? You’re unlikely to get promoted this year. And when one loss is so important, you’d better also remember how many games you’re playing. A typical team can play between around 8 games in a year, reaching up to 12 for some teams. That’s a lot of matchdays, a lot of travelling, a lot of pulling in favours, and a lot of haranguing players to come along to games.
There are four regions, each with two lower leagues. The top in each of the eight leagues gets promotion for the next year.
In addition, each region has a set of cup matches. The top two in each cup (those who get through to the ‘final’) get to go to Division 3 Nationals that year. Sure, it’s highly dependent on the draw. And sure, it seems weird that a team can get promoted and yet not go to nationals. That’s how it is.
NB: the final of a cup is not explicitly played, but those two teams that win their semi-finals get to go to nationals. Yes, it took me a couple of tries to understand it too.
Finally, those finishing 7th and 8th in the one Scottish league also go to Division 3 Nationals.
Right, with all that out of the way, here’s a summary of each league and cup. I’ll keep it brief, because we’ve got a lot to get through.
After an eventful Cardiff tour Sean Colfer looks ahead to this weekend’s second instalment in Durham.
This weekend, the second Mixed Tour of the season will be held in Durham. The venue, which has hosted the Durham Hat for several years now, is much further north than most teams are accustomed to. While this will suit the Scottish teams, who must travel for hours to get to almost any tournament in the UK, and teams like SMOG who are based in the north east, it presents unusual logistical challenges for the majority of teams in the UK. That seems to have been reflected in the turnout; 20 teams have been lost from the MT1 total of 56, with only 36 teams making the trip. However, that cosier total means you all have to suffer through fewer words of my drivel, so every cloud, as they say, has a silver lining.
Sean Colfer introduces us to the Mixed Tour ahead of the opening event this weekend.
Mixed Tour is upon us once more, and it’s a big year. Nationals this year will act as a qualifier for the World Ultimate Club Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio in the summer of 2018. Tour no longer plays a part in determining qualifiers, but the quality of the field reflects the excitement that Worlds qualification always brings the division. However, there are things to look for right the way through the draw, not just at the top. Let’s take a look.
Tadhg Bogan previews the up and coming Siege of Limerick tournament.
The Siege of Limerick is back for its ninth edition and is set to be bigger and better than ever. The reputation of Siege has grown year on year, becoming notorious for showcasing some of the finest, intense Ultimate Ireland and Europe has to offer, all with a chilled out party atmosphere.
Our Women’s team take a look into Indoor Nationals coming up this weekend!
With all other indoor tournaments out of the way, we’re left with the toughest and best to go – Women’s Indoor Nationals (UWIN). And there’s no more fitting venue than the soon to be retired Alan Higgs centre. It’s seen some amazing Ultimate over the years, and this tournament is looking to be a fine one to end its position as one of the best remembered Indoors venues in the country.
Jonny Arthur looks to this weekends Indoor season culmination
With the Christmas break having been and gone, we find ourselves coming up rapidly to the UK’s biggest indoor tournament, Men’s University Indoor Nationals. Division 1 will see the top 20 University teams in the country battle it out to try and claim the title as the best team the UK has to offer. This year there will be a number of teams who will fancy their chances of winning so it looks like an exciting weekend of matchups. Without further introduction let’s get into the preview, where I will be ranking all 20 teams and splitting them into tiers, since this year it’s as tight as ever between some teams. Seedings are in brackets.
Aidan Kelly outlines the strength and impending invasion from Irish Ultimate.
There’s an invasion coming. A red-hot fury is coming from the west of the UK and it’s heading straight for the Ultimate field. Board up your changing rooms, tie down your endzone lines and lock up your significant others because the Irish are running riot.
A few weeks ago, UKU announced the significant news that from 2017 onward, they would be inviting a number of Irish teams to UK Nationals. This is in line with Ireland switching region for the European Ultimate Championship Regionals (EUCR). Up until this year, we Irish had been part of the southern region, comically grouping us with our ‘neighbours’ Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Israel. Historically, this arrangement has been a burden to teams who that qualified for EUCR, as they have found it tough to afford the surprisingly heavy and awkward journey to Italy.