Sean Colfer presents his insight (with potential bias) and predictions going into the final weekend for the regular Mixed season.
Mixed Tour will come to a close for another year on Sunday evening, again in the sunny(ish) climes of Bishop’s Cleeve. As we prepare for the final event of the regular Mixed season, here’s a brisk look at what might happen.
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.
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.