Another great collaborative effort from the UU team previewing the top two Men’s divisions in one!
Given how hard the teams have fought this year in the BUCS league, we figured it would be sad to just brush over the leagues entirely and go straight to a preview. Consequently, we’ve asked all our writers to give one final summary of how the season has gone so far, and use that to predict where they think their teams will finish. If you want to read a more traditionally formatted piece, feel free to head over to this piece on Reddit, after you’ve finished with ours, of course.
As a reminder, the teams were split into five regional leagues. The top three then got spots at Division 1 nationals (+ Strathclyde, who got the wildcard spot by being fourth in Scotland). The next three are all going to Division 2 (except Heriot-Watt and Winchester, who dropped out). The bottom two of each league are also demoted for next season.
Ali Thomas gives us the Women’s Outdoor Nationals story.
University Outdoor Nationals is fast approaching. Students from all over the country are having to balance intense preparation for the biggest university Ultimate event of the year with dissertations and revision for exams. On the final weekend of April, 16 Women’s teams will battle it out at Grove Farm in Nottingham (affectionately known as the Wind Farm). Unlike the Men’s teams, who have had two terms of BUCS League matches; the women qualified through regional tournament under the North, West, East and Scotland structures that have been in place for the last three years.
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.
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.
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.