Mixed Tour 2015: from Cardiff to Salford

#ukumt2, Black Eagles, Bristol, GB, Glasgow, mixed tour, news, Previews, Reading Ultimate, Shiny Happy Meeples, Thundering Herd, u23

Martyn Brown brings us the second piece in his coverage of the 2015 Mixed Tour

 It’s safe to say that Cardiff will be a tournament most people won’t forget. Whilst Saturday was challenging, it was no more difficult than the conditions we experienced in Nottingham or Cheltenham for Mixed Tours 2 & 3 respectively last year. However, Sunday delivered some of the most difficult weather that we have had to play in for a number of years with wind, rain and mud in plentiful supply.

Despite the conditions the games got under way in earnest. Pool-play threw up few surprises with both GB teams topping their respective groups. The GB U23 teams also impressed, improving on seeding and giving themselves a chance to move up the order next tour. Ireland Mixed comfortably topped Pool C after a convincing victory over Thundering Herd 1. Pool D provided the most interesting results with Shiny Happy Meeple comfortably topping the group ahead of both Black Eagles and Brighton Breezy, with returning players helping to show that they are one of the strongest contenders at Tour this season.

The Grapevine – 15/08

Chesapeake Invite, Clapham, Iamultimate, The Grapevine, Truck Stop, u23, UKU Nationals, Understanding Ultimate., world games

This week’s Grapevine has an international flavour, looking at some US perspectives on Ultimate in the UK and the world…

Clapham take on some of the best club teams in the US this weekend at the Chesapeake Invite. They are also playing in a fund raiser show game against Truck Stop. See Charlie Eisenhood’s preview of the Open division.

Iamultimate presents an interesting view from above the recent World Under 23 Championships in Toronto.

Lou Burruss gives his two cents on the various nations’ styles post World Under 23 and World Games – an interesting (if brief!) counterpoint to Dave Pichler’s recent piece discussing international competition.

Benji provides us with two pieces this week looking at the sport from a wider perspective. The first is a piece on the unique element that Spirit of the Game brings to Ultimate, and the second approaches the increasingly relevant question of the need for observers.

UKU Nationals is approaching – keep an eye out for previews from tSG in the coming week!


Do you read an Ultimate blog that you think should be on here? Let us know! JCK @ tSG

The Grapevine – 26/07

ECBU, EYUC, The Grapevine, u23, Ultimate Interviews, Understanding Ultimate., uTalkRaw, world games, xEUCF

The Grapevine this week covers every age group Juniors, U23, World Games and Masters!

We have had ECBU and still have players out in Toronto and Cali for U23 and World Games (helpful page coming soon) the Juniors have the European Youth Ultimate Championships coming up, schedule and pools is out!

As mentioned U23’s is ongoing and our page is being updated daily with scores and facts, Open are in the 1v8 quarter today so keep up the support as we enter the last few days of this tournament…

…and the first days of World Games in Cali. The Opening ceremony was last night and Ultimate games start on Sunday. The TD’s have arranged this amazing score reporter called WING, which will show game time, time outs, goals, assists, Ds, drops, pulls and touches during the game or during the tournament; also a fresh new tool which draws the disc trajectory. For more details check out the Grapevine WG special tomorrow.

Our coverage of ECBU is now done and Chrissy Birtwistle from the Womens team has written another piece for Forbes on failure leading to success.

After a small hiatus Ultimate Interviews returns with a chat to the Ultimate field marker Martin Rasp.

UTalkRaw is on holiday for a bit so contact Barry if you have any ideas for new shows but Understanding Ultimate is not and discusses hard work, talent and Ben Wiggins

xEUCF is not that far away and all the regional allocations have been decided and two Masters teams have already been accepted! Who will go from Open, Women’s and Mixed teams? Regionals next weekend then Nationals over Bank Holiday to decide!



Busy times! Keep supporting the U23’s with #u23wfdf and following their twitter accounts.

The Grapevine U23 Special

GB, Ireland, The Grapevine, u23

This Saturday special edition of The Grapevine gives you the one stop shop for all the links and pages for the GB and Ireland U23 teams in Toronto.

For general tournament news and results on the official facebook, twitter and website.

NGN are streaming 15 games from the championship, the streaming schedule has not been released but all games on PITCH 3 (Show pitch) are highlighted below on the full schedule (times are BST).

Some more streaming will be shown on iamultimate.com … here. Keep an eye on that since they can only do what they are allowed to.

Ultiapps have made another schedule which is a bit easier to read see full version here. Also includes a great score reporter.

Great Britain  



Open 

Division info:
Two pools of 7 and 8 played until Thursday then crossovers for 4th and 5th in pools then QF/SF/F next Friday to Sunday. 
Squad twitter.

Schedule (Ultiapps): Sunday 21st

Canada 10pm (Show pitch) [14-17 L]

Monday 22nd 
Mexico 2pm [17-2 W]

Tuesday 23rd
France 4pm [17-7 W]
New Zealand 8pm [17-13 W]

Wednesday 24th
Dominican Republic 2pm [13-8 W]
Japan 8pm [12-17 L]

Thursday 25th
Austria 2pm [13-15 L]
Switzerland 8pm (show pitch) [13-10 W]

Friday 26th – Quarter Final
USA 4pm [7-17 L]

5v8 Austria 8pm [17-16 W]

Saturday 27th – 5v6 Placement game
Japan 6pm [17-16 W] – coming back from 13-16 down, finish 5th.

Mixed

Division info: Two pools of 5 and 6 (Pools A and B) played out until Wednesday, then 2 power pools (Pools C and D) consisting of top 3 from each prelim in one and remaining 5 teams in other played on Friday. Leading to QF/SF/F in top 8, bottom 3 round robin (Pool G) played next weekend. 
Squad facebook and twitter.

Schedule (Ultiapps): Monday 22nd

Colombia 5pm [14-11 W]
Australia midnight (Show pitch) [13-17 L]

Tuesday 23rd
Chinese Tapei 6pm [10-9 W]
USA 10pm [3-17 L]

Wednesday 24th
Venezuela 4pm [4-17 L]

Thursday 25th – Lower power pool
Austria 2pm [14-15 L]

Friday 26th
Germany 6pm [13-12 W]

Saturday 27th
5v8 Ireland 2pm [8-15 L] 
7v8 Australia 8pm [12-9 W] – taking 7th and a 4W:5L record is nothing to scoff at!

Women

Division info: One pool of 10 played out until Friday, then straight to SF/placement games on Saturday and final on Sunday.  
Squad twitter.

Schedule (Ultiapps)Monday 22nd
Japan 4pm [6-17 L]
Germany 8pm [13-14 L]

Tuesday 23rd
New Zealand (who they beat in a warm up yesterday) 2pm [17-2 W]
Colombia 8pm [8-16 L]

Wednesday 24th
Mexico 4pm [12-5 W]
Canada 8pm [9-17 L]

Thursday 25th
Australia 6pm [17-10 W]
Austria 10pm [17-11 W]

Friday 26th
USA 2pm (Show pitch) [2-17 L]

Saturday 27th
5v6 Germany 8pm [6-12 L] – finish in 6th and a 4W:6L record. Great work ladies! 

Ireland


Open

Squad facebook

Schedule: Monday 22nd
Switzerland 2pm [14-17 L]
Colombia 8pm [10-15 L]

Tuesday 23rd
Germany 4pm [11-16 L]
Australia 8pm [12-17 L]

Wednesday 24th
USA 6pm [4-17 L]
Italy 10pm [9-16 L]

Friday 26th – 9 to 13 bracket
New Zealand 2pm [8-14 L]
TBD 8pm [16-6 W]

Saturday – 13th placement game
Dominican Republic 10pm [12-14 L] – putting these lads in 14th, a fine performance in a division of amazing strength! 


Mixed

Squad facebook.

Schedule: Monday 22nd
Germany 4pm [17-5 W]

Tuesday 23rd
Canada 2pm (Show pitch) [10-15 L]

Wednesday 24th
Austria 6pm [17-4 W]
Japan 10pm [12-17 L]

Thursday 25th – Top power pool
Venezuela 6pm [11-16 L]

Friday 26th
USA 6pm [4-17 L]
Australia 10pm [16-8 W]

Saturday 27th
5v8 GB 2pm [15-8 W]
5v6 Austria 8pm [16-11 W] taking 5th and highest European Mixed team! 

Get behind your team on twitter and facebook! Let’s go GB! DP @ tSG.

The Grapevine – 19/07

Open Tour, SkyD, The Grapevine, u23, Understanding Ultimate., USA Ultimate, uTalkRaw, Women's Tour, world games

This weeks the Grapevine covers World Games, U23 and Ultimate Frisbee wars!!

The power of the ultimate frisbee community was proven this week with the ulti.tv campaign to make sure the World Games will be broadcasted online, for FREE. We all succeeded and listen out to hear how we can watch those games soon.

With last weeks scorcher at T3 in Cardiff, the regular season is over and full rundown and results will be released soon enough. For now enjoy some footage of Fire 2 vs DED

Benji discusses the combination of Spirit and economics together in Understanding Ultimate.

This weekend sees the start of the WFDF World U23 Ultimate Championships in Toronto follow results here and on twitter you can also follow each squad: Open, Mixed and Women’s. Open will be playing a warm up late tonight and the opening game on Sunday, get involved! Let’s GO GB!!

UTalkRaw talk to Steve Gigure in episode 28 about Lookfly and BlockstackTV including an interesting discussion on the sustainability of ultimate media. Can we last? 

Finally two pieces from the US about the warring factions of pro leagues and the USAU, a great read and analysis from the recent WFDF census with fascinating results on SkyD magazine.

WFDF World u23 Ultimate Championships, Toronto 2013.



Got a cool idea? Want to tell your story? Contribute, email in, comment! DP @ tSG

The Grapevine – 12/07

AFDA, Open Tour, The Grapevine, u23, Understanding Ultimate., uTalkRaw, WFDF, Women's Tour, xEUCF

This weeks super sized The Grapevine has everything from Juniors to U23 to xEUCF 2013.

Last weekend the UKU held the Junior Championships and an inaugural UKU Schools Championships in Birmingham. Airbadgers (Exeter) defended their junior title and Flux (Twycross House School, Leicester) took the schools number one spot, congratulations to them and keep up the great work! Full results here.

Benji gets a little riled (as do many others: see the comments section) discussing incidental contact on his blog Understanding Ultimate.

Tour 3 will be in Cardiff this weekend see how everyone fared in Nottingham with our coverage of Tour 2. All details for this final part of the regular season can be found here. Will anyone challenge Clapham or Iceni? Who will finish in that top 16 and in what order? Who is the fastest man in UK Ultimate? Keep your eyes on twitter with the hashtag #ukut3 for results and more!

Barry O’Kane talks to Tim Morrill on speed and agility training for ultimate, a must listen on UTalkRaw! 

The Australian Flying Disc Association have released the WFDF preliminary U23 World Championship seedings. A huge good luck to all our U23 athletes, let’s go GB! 

The Secret Frizzer gives us more insight into the Tour 2 success of EMO through coach Joe Wynder and for Devon through their coach Sam Luxa. [UPDATED: interview with Alex Cragg by tSF here.]

The TD’s of xEUCF need you! Volunteers make large tournaments run smoothly, think you got what it takes? Fancy visiting Bordeaux in September and getting the highest level ultimate in Europe too? Apply here.

Finally, the Australian U23 Mixed squad have some quirky little videos on their YouTube channel. Check them out, what do you think about them?

Logo courtesy of A.F.D.A.

Remember: like, share and contribute. JCK or I will tweet small tit bits from Cardiff with #ukut3. DP @ tSG.

Tour 2 Review – A Tour (ft. Alex Cragg)

A Tour, Chevron, Clapham, Devon, EMO, Fire of London, Kapow, Manchester, nottingham, Open Tour, Ranelagh, Tournament Reports, u23, UKUT2
Josh Coxon Kelly tells us the tale of A tour at Nottingham including the inside story from one of the Fire 1 captains Alex Cragg.

Players and teams came to Nottingham expecting stormy weather and were not disappointed. A stiff wind all weekend and rushes of rain ensured that Tour 2 was a test of throwing skill and team strategy where patience and discipline would pay dividends. Such conditions are also ripe for upset – particularly on pitches with clear up/down wind orientation – and in this category the A tour didn’t disappoint.


Pool A saw Clapham and GB u23 looking to hold onto the top two seeds in a straight to semis schedule. The meeting of these two teams was closer than at Tour 1, but despite an early lead due to an excellent start by GB, clapham showed their consistency and improved steadily throughout the game to come out victorious once again. Neither Ranelagh or KaPow managed to break into the top 2 of the pool, and a 10-9 loss in their match-up to Ranelagh saw the bottom two in the pool switch seeds.

Michael Speer (GB U23) bids on Matt Dathan (KaPow) in the pool stages. Photo courtesy of Graham Bailey.

In Pool B a reduced Chevron squad make light work of opposition including an opening grudge match against Fire (in recent seasons a frequent matchup, this was the first time the squads had met since Fire’s victory in the 2012 Nationals semi-final). Chevron came out strong and didn’t let up, winning 15-6 in a game that was to be ominous of Fire’s weekend to come. EMO held seed in a dramatic win against a stuttering Fire squad, confirming their place in the top 4 for a second tour running, a win that could turn out to have serious implications in terms of tour rankings for WUCC 2014…

Chevron stayed clinical despite the wind and repeated their tour 1 quarter final victory over the u23s on Sunday, this time for a place in the final to play Clapham. However Chevron’s high retention performances would not continue into the last game of the weekend. Clapham brought a smart game that capitalised early and played through the Chevron zone in both directions. Down early, Chevron were unable to recover and didn’t manage to adapt their more conservative playing style to the worsening conditions as well as their London rivals, who emerged comfortable winners.


Fire veteran Lewis Glover does just enough to beat David Ray (Leeds).
Photo Courtesy of Graham Bailey.

Movement from the second 8 was to create arguably the most dramatic storylines of this tour however, as a Devon squad bolstered by returning players (including Chevron D-line star Ben Hall) completed a dramatic victory over Fire 1 on Sunday morning in the crossover for top 8. Players arriving early at the food and physio tents were treated to a sudden death comeback victory for Devon featuring a completed world’s greatest and the most emphatic of celebrations as Fire’s weekend took a further turn for the worse.


Manchester converted their qualification, avoiding the relegation fate shared by BAF, Cambridge and Glasgow. The highest climber from the second 8 was Fire 2, who after beating KaPow found themselves in the top 8, eventually finishing one place above their first team. 
Fire 1 have long been a firm top 4 team, and have been no stranger to finals at Tour, Nationals and even European championships in the last 5 years. Dropping out of the top 8 is the first significant movement of one the top 3 teams of recent A-tour history – tSG spoke to captain Alex Cragg to gain some insight into the weekend’s events…


Quite a few of the results at tour 2 were obviously disappointing for you and your team. What do you think happened to cause the upsets?
We’d had a slightly lower finish than we’d hoped for at Tour 1, even given the international teams, but we knew we had the ability to play at the top; taking a strong Bad Skid to sudden death proved that.
Unfortunately, that confidence backfired and we presumed our games were foregone conclusions. We failed to take the Chevron game as enough of a sign that wasn’t going to be the case. People wanted to beat us more than we wanted to beat them; our heads weren’t in the right place and we lacked focus causing too many individual errors, which crippled any tactical adjustments.
Another problem was that we tried to play Ultimate… Some people might scoff at that, but we undervalued territory in those conditions. We know how to play through a zone, but it was only half way through the Devon game, 6 points down, that we started to play to our real strengths.
What actions did you take to turn around the team’s mentality after these losses?
We made sure that our pre-game preparation consisted of much more throwing, getting people’s self belief back. We needed to salvage something from the weekend, and putting the prospect of losing all our games into context helped bring back some desire to win.
We’d probably placed too much focus on the bigger picture of World’s qualification, so we brought things back to focus on one game at a time.


Unexpected losses are undeniably difficult to take, but they can give an opportunity to learn about your team – what lessons did you take from tour 2?
The main thing I think we learnt is that we probably haven’t been exploiting our individual strengths enough, instead focussing on a team ethos that has seen some people’s roles mutate.
Every single player was hugely disappointed with the weeked, and I think everyone’s taking a bit more personal responsibility since then. We all know we can do better. We’ll be a very different team at Tour 3 and Nationals.
The second team’s squad has been strong at all showings this year and performed very well to qualify for the top 8 in Nottingham – will this see much change in players between the teams for Tour 3?
Fire 2 have been brilliant this year. A lot of people wrote them off after last year, but they’ve proven that to have been a blip in a very strong history for a second team. They’re definitely on track for their season goal of taking one of the 6 Euro’s spots.
One of our ideas for the year was to allow each team to have its own identity, which has included playing and drilling in those teams at training sessions. This builds up the relationships players need to do well.
However, there has been a small amount of movement, with 2 players coming up from Fire 2. We’ve also moved a couple of Fire 1 players into the seconds to give them more experience playing against top 4 competition (with Fire 1 being locked out).
Outside of players will there be any significant shift in Fire’s approach to Tour 3 and the rest of the season?
Absolutely. After quite a few roster changes from last year, it’s taken some time for everyone to find their role and for us to play in the best way to exploit our strengths. I think our experience at Tour 2 has brought us together more, and our passion and desire to win has only grown. We’ve also restructured how we call lines, which has lead to much better performances in training.
What are your team goals for Nationals and Europeans?
Barring a huge upset at Tour 3, we’ve now missed out on our first shot at World’s qualification. There’s enough time before Nationals to put everything we’ve learnt about ourselves into practice, and, like last year, our target is to make the final of Nationals and win. After that we’ll have to see about Europeans. We’ve learnt to not look too far in the future!

Fire of London.

There is all to play for in the final tour of the season. Fire 1 will be looking to turn their season around in the lead up to Nationals. Clapham will be missing stars with the absence of World Games squad players, and Chevron, U23 and EMO will be looking to capitalise on this to hand them their first loss of the season. Ranelagh found the form they were looking for in Nottingham rising to 5th, but with the recent events at Tour 2 all A tour teams will be fighting hard for that giant killing that will send them up the rankings.

A Tour movers. Courtesy of Wayne Retter.


All ready for a heatwave in Cardiff? Don’t forget your suncream and hats! Like, share, contribute and tweet! DP @ tSG.