Glasgow's Hugo Degerth makes a contested catch against Portsmouth at Nationals last season. Photo by Andrew Moss.

University Ultimate 2016: Scotland Men’s

Scotland, Scottish Ultimate, University

This year The ShowGame will be covering university Ultimate in more depth, assisted by a new team of student writers. We’ll be featuring previews on all the divisions in the coming weeks, and first up is Haydon Christou with a preview of the Men’s division all the way up in Scotland.

The inaugural BUCS season was one of great entertainment in Scotland. The likely winner changed hands on multiple occasions; Glasgow looked certain to win before the Christmas break, then the tide changed in Dundee’s favour before they choked away a 12-5 lead in a game to 13 against eventual winners St. Andrews. As the new season draws near, there are plenty of talking points. Some notable long serving players have finally graduated, the new blood replacing them are still unpredictable and teams will have learned from last year’s mistakes. It all adds to what will surely be another unpredictable season.

Scottish Uni Women’s Indoor Regionals

Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Scotland, Scottish Ultimate, St Andrews, Stirling, Strathclyde, UK Ultimate, University, womens
With Open regionals over we move to Women’s. The UU committee have surveyed the Women’s captains and Rory Curran, Glasgow (FarFlung) captain has written the preview for Scotland from this resource.

Scottish women’s teams have a very strong history of success at women’s indoor university nationals. Since the 2007-8 season a Scottish team has placed on the podium every single year, more impressive still in the same time period they have provided seven of the ten finalists, and even more impressive than that is the fact that those honours have been shared amongst no less than four teams. Most impressive however is the fact they cleaned up last year taking three of the top four with only the Irish (excluded this year) from the podium clean sweep. Clearly this weekend’s tournament will be a closely contested and high quality affair.

Dundee women much like there male counterparts will start the tournament as strong favourites.
As reigning UK Indoors champions, and having placed as the highest women’s team at Scottish open regionals the last two years they are evidently the team to beat. Pam Knudsen and Ailsa Doak are the key players for Dundee, but a team full of experience, height and talent added to the fact that they have been playing together for years makes them formidable. Expect these girls to win not just in Scotland, but when they go to nationals at the end of November too. Such a strong and large club, Dundee seconds may find themselves placed above a couple of first teams when the final standings are known at the end of the tournament.
Edinburgh (Ro Sham Bo) always fields a strong women’s team and this year would appear to be no different. Led by Simone, Gail Hunter and GBU23/Black Eagles star Carissa Tong. A team who haven’t lost many players with the added bonus of some players returning to the team Ro Sham Bo will be expecting to qualify for nationals and fancying their chances in the final.
Aberdeen came second behind Dundee women at Nationals last year, much of that team led by the experienced handler Emily Magrath remain students, along with the very happy addition of Swift player and previous St. Andrews (Flatball) player Harriet Hopper. Aberdeen will be looking to at least match their open regionals placing (2nd highest women’s team) and making the most of their home advantage meaning a decent nights sleep the night before. These girls will be going to nationals, and would provide a most entertaining semi final against Edinburgh if the schedule allows.
Glasgow (FarFlung) girls narrowly missed out nationals last year and have spent the year training hard using that as their primary motivation and last years captain Amy Clark even found a masters to do so she could put things right. The return of Lulu Geddy Boyd from a year training in America will strengthen an already strong team, as will GB junior Amina Malik and her bestie Jessy Mac who played for Ireland. FarFlung has already shown their collective growth this year winning multiple beginners tournaments whilst fielding more woman than all their opposition. These girls have local rivals Strathclyde “intimidated by the sheer number of them” following a couple of “friendlies”. Entering two teams for the first time in a while, Glasgow girls look to follow in the footsteps of their guys and qualify for nationals.
St. Andrews captain Carmen is now in her fifth year of ultimate and probably lands herself the role of Flatball’s star player as a result of having captained a team to Edinburgh beginner’s victory. St. Andrews girls started the season well in advance of everyone else with their annual pre-season which combined with weekly 7:15am sessions means these girls will undoubtedly have a decent structure on offence. They are always playing hard at the end of the tournament and may well find themselves in the game to go at the end of the day.
Strathclyde will be fielding a fairly new team having only been around for a couple of years. Their most experienced handlers Nyssa Richardson and Amber Lockhart will lead the team along with Nicky Shaw who will be returning from a year of ultimate in Canada. However following the graduation of five key players last year these girls may see this year as a building, rather than purely competitive year.
Stirling boasts the asset of Rhona Gordon, the only girl to play in the semi-finals of Scottish Indoor Open Regionals this year. Ashleigh Spalding will be able to use her speed on Aberdeen’s large pitches. Altogether Stirling are an inexperienced team hoping to cause an upset akin to their open team making the semi finals last weekend.
The division’s least experienced team sees newcomers Heriot-Watt. Captain Sabelle Groves and Shona Whiteley featured at outdoors nationals last year in a fusion with Flatball and continued to improve by playing with Sneeekys over the summer. An athletic team looking forward to their first outing, clearly it’s unlikely that they will go straight to nationals from such a strong region but – in indoors you shouldn’t write anyone off before the tournament starts.
An average of captains’ predictions unanimously go with Dundee winning, followed by Edinburgh. After that Glasgow and Aberdeen are touted to share third and fourth, whilst fifth place sees more disagreement.
If I was to put my neck on the line I’d say:
1. Dundee 
2. Edinburgh 
3. Aberdeen 
4. Glasgow 
5. St.Andrews 
6. Stirling 
7. Strathclyde 
8. Dundee 2 
9. Heriot-Watt.

Can the dominant Dundee get the clean sweep in Scotland again? Only this weekend will tell… DP & JCK@tSG.

Scottish Uni Open Indoor Regionals

Glasgow Ultimate, Indoors, Scottish Ultimate, UKU Regionals, University
Rory Curran sizes up the competition at this weekend’s tournament which doubles as University Scottish National Indoor Championships and University Regional Qualifiers

Following Scotland’s impressive showing across all four University Nationals last year, they have now been awarded a fourth Division 1 spot, maintaining three for Division 2. Last year’s British national champions Dundee University look to start the tournament as favourites. Despite losing Graeme McDowell and Jocelyn Trottet, Dundee have been a club growing for many years now under Graeme’s watchful eye and he has left them in a very strong state. The team placed seventh at Outdoors, losing their quarter final match to eventual finalists Edinburgh.  
The Scottish region, if you weren’t sure. Image courtesy of UKU.
Glasgow Ultimate had a very successful club season, and this high level ultimate appears to have filtered into the two Glasgow based teams – Strathclyde and Glasgow University. My predictions see these two teams taking the next two spots and pushing Dundee the hardest, and possibly causing an upset.


Strathclyde see the return of GB U23 mixed player Jonny Ferry joining captain Matt Scott who, between them, will run the show. By no means is that where the team ends with numerous other players having improved massively playing Tour with their clubs over the summer, notably Asif Arshad – a recent Glasgow Ultimate MIP candidate starting his Strathclyde Career. A well-knit team, and comfortable on the disc; if these guys keep their heads they will be right up there on Sunday afternoon. Strathclyde could be the dark horses of the tournament.

Glasgow remains a very similar outfit to last year. Ex-Flatballer Rory Curran has been using his Div 1 experience to strengthen the team, with the assistance of the vastly experienced Webb brothers, for the past two seasons. A very versatile team, Farflung possess both an aerial threat and multiple players able to play in multiple positions. Rory is considered the playmaker, with Joe Crisp expected to bring down anything thrown near him. Iso has been Glasgow’s go-to play and with those two we don’t expect to see anything new. Expect this tall team to put up a lot of discs, and if they bring most of them down they too could be real contenders. Any weaknesses? They do love to party!

Edinburgh has been a keystone in Scotland’s top three ever since 2007, and it is unthinkable that they wouldn’t remain so. Ro Sham Bo can always rely on a healthy import of “Muricans” to bolster their team and as such are expected by most to place highly. However, with the loss of James Glover and Michael Noblett, do they have a leader to teach them how to play indoors in time for this years early regionals? Rumors circulated at Tune-up suggested they had picked up a top American O line handler so, if true Ro Sham Bo could well maintain their long Division 1 history. A team keeping their cards close to their chest, not many will know exactly what to expect.

Heriot Watt have been building year on year since their birth as a team about 4 years back. This year sees them really fancy their chances as the majority of the team has now been playing together for that time. John Stainsbury is their key player and provides the most experience; but a strong team now also backs him up. Ex-fusion captain and GB player John Leach has been coaching them for two years, and this was evident in their performance at the Glasgow one day warm up tournament.  Not many teams rate Heriot Watt higher than sixth but personally I think you underestimate them at your peril. Their relative lack of experience may see them fall just short of Division 1 but I expect these guys to cause a few upsets and at least qualify for Division 2.

St. Andrews. Benji Heywood is the key man at flatball; he provides structured training and very structured teams. St. Andrews always produces a very reliable offence. They have lost their two key players to graduation, but following a week long preseason and dedicated first team training this team is already looking competitive. They are on a two year plan but victory last weekend at Edinburgh beginners has spirits high, with Captain Miles as their new key player. If Flatball nurse their injuries through the tournament and avoid their newly characteristic Sunday dip in form they will make Division 2.

Stirling were looking weak following the disintegration of their team that did so well at Division 1 last year. However, with a cheeky masters degree for Matt Tomlinson all of a sudden these guys (and one gal) are throwing their hat into the ring. Division 1 is probably out of their reach but they think differently. Division 2 would be a good result for them considering how they looked in June. I think they will sneak seventh place in a close match against Aberdeen.

Aberdeen has a lot of height and home advantage this weekend. Daryll will be leading the show, although the loss of GB U23 player Doug Olley will likely be evident. Aberdeen had enough numbers to take them to outdoor nationals last year and some of these remain, it might just be enough to sneak them into one of the last two division 2 spots. Hosting the party could be their downfall nursing hangovers on Sunday, but if they get their mojo up who knows what upsets they could cause.

Predictions see everyone placing Dundee as favourites. Beyond that there is a lot of debate. The general consensus is that Glasgow and Edinburgh will complete the top three  (excluding teams backing themselves). The fourth and final Div 1 spot will be very hotly contested and who its goes to depends on who you ask and what knowledge they have. No one puts themselves outside the top 7 and most put St. Andrews at the front of the chasing pack.

My bold predications are as follows (in order): –

Qualifying for Div 1 
Dundee, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Heriot Watt

Qualifying for Div 2
St. Andrews, Edinburgh, Stirling

Leaving Aberdeen missing out but probably winning the party.

Keep an eye out for more University Indoor Regional Previews coming soon… JCK @tSG