Sean Colfer previews the World Championships of Beach Ultimate from the British and Irish perspective. Stay tuned on live.wcbu2017.org for our tSG coverage and fanseat.com for the live stream!
The first pull of the World Championships of Beach Ultimate in Royan, France, is now 2 days away. The latest bit of information to be released came in the form of the pools and first game of the tournament were revealed by the tournament organising committee in France.
While the first game will see Germany, reigning champions in the Mixed division, take on the host nation France, the key concern for most readers in the UK and Ireland is how our own pools shape up. So let’s take a look!
Returning to preview the B Tour again is Jordan Brown – here’s his view on the start of a very different season at this level.
So this season we’re seeing UKU shake things up a little in order to cope with the surge in teams for the Open division and the fact that there’s nowhere to stick them all. The fix for 2017 is that B Tour has been split into North and South sub-divisions for Tours 2 and 3, meaning that WindFarm is the only chance everyone will be in the same place. With the forecast not being too windy, Grove Farm should be playing host to some nicely competitive games, unmarred by whinging of matches being lost on the toss. Still, even without the tournament’s titular gusts being somewhat of a leveller, B Tour was always going to be a ridiculously scrappy dogfight anyway.
While it’d take some pretty jaw-dropping upsets to knock the two GB U24 squads out of contention for the final, it’s tough to predict where the other 14 squads end up.
Firstly a quick announcement from Black Sheep:
This weekend the Manchester based club Black Sheep will sell stickers to show that the Ultimate Frisbee scene in the UK and Europe stands in solidarity with Manchester, the victims and families affected by last week’s tragic bombing attack.
A sticker can be purchased for a small donation (suggested donation 50p to £1) at any of the three Black Sheep teams and also at the TD desk. All profits raised will be donated to the “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund”, raising money to help those bereaved or injured.
Please help Black Sheep raise some cash for this very worthy cause. Now onto the frisbee, with our preview from David “DP” Pryce.
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.
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.
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.