“….errm no, but I might try out for Mixed.”

Discussion, GB, UK Ultimate

Sion ‘Brummie’ Scone gives some wise words to those considering the next GB senior cycle…

The application forms to run the GB squads are coming in, so I felt the need to write about some of my experiences. I was involved in running the GB Open trials in 2010, and GB World Games trials in 2012-13. Allow me, then, to share some of the things I’ve learned.

IMG_3459.JPG

GB Open in the US in the previous rotation.

UKU Open and Women’s Tour 3 Preview

#ukut3, Cardiff, Chevron, Clapham, EMO, Fire of London, Iceni, Nice Bristols, PUNT, Ranelagh, ROBOT, SYC, UK Ultimate, Zimmer
David Pryce and Christopher Bell take us through this weekends UKU Tour 3.


Welcome home to Clapham Ultimate and Iceni Ultimate, well played out there! This weekends schedule is here: http://bit.ly/TWR1As


A Tour
The final instalment of this years domestic UK club season is tomorrow! With two events already completed it is still mathematically possible for anyone near the top to take the Tour title. Clapham will be combining both lines into the Clapham D team seeding and EMO will be hoping for the London team to lose their almost inevitable semi final. With only a handful of points between them a big enough gap between these two teams on Sunday evening could be the chance for EMO to take the top spot from Clapham D. However, I don’t think Clapham will be lying down too easily. After learning some tough lessons at the US Open they will only be hungry to return to the UK and stamp their authority on their home turf. 

Hayden Slaughter makes a huge grab over Clapham D at Tour 2. Photo courtesy of Andrew Moss.


In the pool stages Brighton get a chance to take that champion scalp early once again, with an opening pool play fixture against Clapham. Can they reverse the result after losing in universe point at Tour 2? EMO and Fire of London face off for the first time in this year’s regular season, can the London team take down the Worlds bound Midlands boys? Londoners Flump however have a tough introduction to this years A tour taking on the young and athletic Devon, flamboyant KaPow! and cohesive Rebel. In the D pool I would expect Manchester to come out on top, but new comers NEO took B tour with relative ease and DED have been strong throughout this season so far so it’s far from a foregone conclusion. Chevron will meet old friends and foes alike in the pool as they face Zimmer, Brighton and Clapham in their pool and will be looking to better a final game loss to EMO at Tour 2.

Can anyone take down a combined Clapham close to their season’s peak? Tour 3 sees both the tournament and overall tour title up for grabs so expect fierce competition as the best teams in Britain prepare for Lecco. 


Women’s
Iceni have chosen to pass on this weekends event to train together and get some rest after the US Open, leaving the Women’s tour title open for a number of teams to possibly take. Punt are only 60 points behind Iceni, SYC trail the current champions by 73 and even if Nice Bristols win this even they will not have enough to take first (or possibly second). This year presents a rare chance for a new team to claim the tour title after recent Iceni dominance, but it won’t come easily…

Punt made their first final last tour and showed that whilst they couldn’t take down Iceni they definitely deserved that second place. Now it leaves them to prove that they can take on Nice Bristols who return from the Boston Invite to continue their Worlds preparation. 

Iceni Captain Sonia Komenda makes a bid on Punt player Hannah Body. Photo courtesy of Graham Bailey.


SYC and ROBOT will not let any of this happen lightly. Both teams have had a very strong season and have also had some great battles against each other. Do not be surprised to see some great performances from these women as they push to for their first domestic finals of the year. 

Further down the pack, newcomers Phoenix London and second year team Relentless will be hoping they can firm up their positions in the top 8 with the likes of Leeds, Blink and Swift.

Saturday games to watch: 
Nice Bristols vs SYC (Pitch 3 at 10:40)
Punt vs ROBOT (Pitch 1 at 17:20) 

B Tour

Having finished 2nd last time out, LeedsLeedsLeeds will be hoping to finish in the top 16 this Sunday. In their group are Reading 1 (who they beat comfortably in St Albans), Brighton Echo and Vision. They have yet to face Brighton Echo this season, but they will be expecting to win every game in this group – including regional rivals Vision, who they beat at Northern Winter League on a surprisingly sunny Sunday in Manchester back in February. The Yorkshire lads may very well fancy their chances to get back into A Tour, if looking at the group they would cross with, which isn’t the strongest.

The other group in the top half of B Tour sees JR1, Sneeekys, Fire 2 and Cardiff Storm fight it out for a chance to get back into A Tour – a tough group that’s even tougher to call. JR have been there or there about for a long time now, as far as the A/B Tour line goes. Sneeekys have had an extremely impressive season, having played an entire Tour lower last year, and I’m sure would love to cap a successful season with a spot in the top 16. Fire 2 spent last year in A Tour, though there are some out there that don’t feel Fire 2 have the desire or the pedigree to get back to that level just right now. Finally, there’s Storm, who finished 13th at Tour 2 will have the home advantage of sleeping in their own beds at Tour 3 – which along with only having to do a fraction of the travelling, cannot be underestimated.

The lower half of B Tour is an eclectic mix of teams, some of which have been hovering around those seeds all season, but the majority have played in C Tour at some point this year. Each team will either want to prove that they are definitely a B Tour team (The Brown) or be looking to stake a claim in the middle tier of Open Tour by proving themselves this year (Camden). Expect plenty of close, scrappy games in these pools as each team tries to clamber up the ranks, whilst avoiding the drop back into C Tour.  Rest assured that any team that does find itself facing a crossover at the bottom of the Tour will fight extremely hard to ensure that they stay within the top 32.

Tom Pierce with a layout score for Guildford at Tour 2. Photo courtesy of Andrew Moss.


C Tour

A more open schedule means that the next instalment of C Tour should see some more movement in the rankings, as teams battle it out in this last chance to improve their seedings this season. 

Further incentive to top the pool is provided by the chance of a crossover into B Tour on Sunday morning. Will any teams be able to make the final push to finish in the top 32? The story that unfolds over the weekend will be fascinating – that much is for sure.

Number 1 seeds, Guildford, may feel this is their time, after sudden-death losses to current B Tour teams in the knock-out stages of the previous two tours stalling their attempts at promotion. They will expect to dominate in their group and continue that form into the Sunday. Rhubarb (3rd seed) will similarly be aiming high after an impressive showing throughout the season so far. Perhaps Pingu Jam can find some extra motivation to convert their obvious talent on the pitch to a rise in the seedings akin to that which they enjoyed at Mixed Tour.

Below the teams topping the pools, there is much room for upset with another six or seven teams definitely capable of going toe-to-toe with the big guns. CUlt 2 will be hoping to go one better after a great performance in Nottingham. Likewise, teams such as Lemmings and Black Sheep have bolstered their ranks as they push to challenge those currently at the top.

It will be very much a case of which teams show up this weekend as to who will be able to provide those shock results – but don’t expect everything to go to seed! There is an incredible amount of potential for some huge changes in the C Tour landscape this weekend, with pride and a place in B Tour as the prize.

London Calling – Open Preview

#ukut1, Bad Skid, Brighton, Chevron, Clapham, club, DED, Devon, EMO, Fire of London, Flying Angels Bern, Glasgow Ultimate, Kapow, Leeds, London Calling, Manchester, Previews, Ranelagh, UK Ultimate, Zimmer
The club season is upon us! James Burbidge takes a look at the competition heading to the open division this weekend.

Returning to St Albans, Tour 1, this year’s London Calling sees over 70 teams entered into the open division with 10 coming from overseas.

At the top of the pack, four teams will hope to prove themselves the best of the best in Europe: Clapham, Chevron Action Flash, Bad Skid and Flying Angels Bern. London Calling will doubtless provide top competition for these teams as they prepare for the big one: the World Club Championships in August.

Reigning National and European champions Clapham have split their team into two like last year (an O-line and a D-line), and are using the competition as the final part of a long and heated selection process. Captain Marc ‘Britney’ Guilbert returns to lead a club firmly focused on a peak in Lecco and will be hoping that his teams can meet in the final this year, rather than the semi. With no major player movement out, and more top recruits coming in – notably Ollie Gordon from Chevron, Matt Parslow and James Baron from Fire – they may find that the toughest competition is also the most familiar.

Photo courtesy of Graham Bailey.

Bad Skid beat Clapham’s D-line last year at London Calling but lost to the O-line in the final. They met a full Clapham team in the semi-final of Euros and lost again. Since then the team has added a few younger players to the squad, as well as NexGen player Philip Haas, who won’t make it to London. Captain Holger Beuttenmüller admits that the team needs to be at their best on both sides of the disc to be in with a chance of beating Clapham, but places faith in the trust between his teammates who have largely been playing and competing together since they were as young as 14.

In the battle for bronze at Europeans 2013, Bad Skid beat out Flying Angels Bern; the Swiss powerhouse is also making the trip to London. Whilst FAB finished fourth in 2013 and 2012, in 2011 and 2010 they took home the gold. Captain Silvano admits that the team coming is far from a finished product, and with only 13 of a 25-man squad able to make it over they may struggle to compete on Sunday afternoon. That said, with their eyes on a finish high up the table at Worlds, the team will be competing hard in every game and with their reliable combination of huge throws and rapid athletes are more than capable of causing an upset.

Also coming over from Europe in preparation for Lecco are the Swedish Viksjöfors and Ragnarok from Denmark. Both teams have a long-standing history of high level ultimate and will be looking forward to challenging games early in the season. Looking further ahead, Austria and France are sending national teams to London in preparation for the 2015 European Championships. Whilst neither country has a club at the elite level, it will be interesting to see how high their national sides can push in this competition.

Chevron has had to reshuffle their club hierarchy this season after the loss of coach/captain Josh Coxon Kelly. They have also lost some experience to the Master’s division in Dave Sealy and Stu Mitchell, and the aforementioned blow of Ollie Gordon suiting up for their London rivals. As usual they have restocked with youth from the junior division, as well as tapping up Steve Dixon from Devon, a returning stalwart in Si Dathan and Jose-Luis Mendoza (call him ‘Pepe’) from the Mexican national squad. Chevron won their home tournament at the Fog Lane Cup, but not without stiff competition  in a sudden death semifinal against Fire. With top teams from Europe in London, they’ll find it far tougher than usual to make the final, but will push hard regardless and should stake a firm place in the top 8.

Emo will be hoping to force themselves into elite contention this year, and would love nothing more than to giant-kill their way to semis and even beyond. Drawing players from across the country with their well-earned Worlds qualification, competition for a place on the first team has been fierce. Returning players include Dan ‘Colonel’ Furnell, Rich Gale, Sion ‘Brummie’ Scone (all 3 of whom have at some point represented for GB at Open World Championships and World Games tournaments), Andy Tate, and offensive wildcard Ed ‘Freddie’ Walters. Chris ‘Aussie’ White (formerly Leeds, Chevron and Fire) has also been added to the roster. The team continues to put trust in youth, with Joe Wynder returning as playing coach and Rob Coddington as captain. Emo finished 2nd at Fog Lane after beating Jen in a friendly earlier this season, and are looking better than they ever have before. Whether this potential can be converted into the breakthrough year that they want so much will be one of the stories of the season.

Fire of London will be hoping to push back towards the top of UK Ultimate after some disappointing results during Tour last year. New captain James Dunn’s squad is bolstered by members of the folded Tooting Tiger and Burro Electrico teams, as well as a contingent of Bear Cavalry (mixed) players – including World Games star Dave Tyler. Ka-Pow also have a new captain and a refreshed squad – Richard ‘Pringle’ Taylor has invested in the future by inviting plenty of trialists to be part of a massive training squad comprising over 30 players. When they met in the final game at the Fog Lane Cup, Fire handily defeated Ka-Pow to take 3rd spot. Both teams will be aiming to make semis at some point this season but will have a fight on their hands for a top 10 spot at Tour 1.

Photo courtesy of Graham Bailey
Building on their recent trip to Europeans, Devon have promoted some strong second team players and reportedly picked up a “wonder-Columbian” to replace the players they are losing to GB Juniors for the Tour season. They’ll be as athletic and determined as ever – they came 6th at Fog Lane with just 9 players – but indicate that the Tour will be simply preparation for Nationals and (hopefully) another trip to Europe.

Ranelagh return to the club circuit once again, and, buoyed by their success last year (5th over the Tour season), are bringing a second team. We’ll see if familiarity with the UK teams (and vice-versa) after the committed attendance of tour over the last few season will affect their results. Brighton City are coming off the back of one of their most successful seasons (4th overall at Tour), and Tour 1 will be a good indicator as to whether they can replicate that level of performance. The loss of deep cutter Dan ‘Dyno’ Friedeberg (reportedly to Devon) will be something of a blow but they will almost certainly have reloaded with talent from the dominant Sussex University program.

Zimmer – who are preparing for Worlds in the Masters division – are also a bit of an unknown. A surprising 83% percent of this commitment-averse squad will be attending London Calling. If they bring their A-game they’ll be a force to be reckoned with; they only narrowly lost to Chevron in a friendly earlier in the season and are brimming with international experience and pedigree.

Further down, but looking to push up the table, Manchester and LeedsLeedsLeeds will be fighting for the title of ‘second best team in the north.’ Manchester took that plaudit last year, and return all but two of their squad. They’ve been training regularly with Chevron players but despite a successful run of winter leagues, had a disappointing weekend at Fog Lane, finishing 8th. Leeds played Fog Lane with only 9 players and finished 11th. Ben Bruin has left for Emo, and Rich Hims will be focusing on his run to Worlds with Cambridge (mixed) leaving behind a young squad with a significant battle on their hands to stay in A-tour.

North of the north, the battle to be Scotland’s best team has taken an interesting turn with the complete dissolution of Fusion. Glasgow Ultimate top the pile at the moment, and will be looking to solidify the A-tour spot they earned last year. Sneekys have added a large number of Fusion’s Edinburgh contingent to their roster, and yet only beat in sudden death new team NEO, who have recruited heavily from Aberdeen and Dundee universities. DED meanwhile, are refocusing on Open this year, and are one of the few club teams in the UK with a dedicated coach – Jonathan Saunders. The squad, captained by Sam Vile, has seen quite a large turnover and brought in plenty of young players, but promise has already been shown in preparation for the season with a trip to Rising POT, a tournament in Poland where DED finished 4th and won spirit.

There’s a lot of top quality competition coming to London – and Si Hill is to be congratulated for once again attracting overseas teams. Tour’s opening weekend is reliably one of the toughest tournaments in the calendar, and this year is no different. With a large but fairly static domestic scene, mainland-European competitors make for exciting matches, unfamiliar styles and the inevitable occasional shock result. With the battle for A-tour distorted by the influx of single-appearance teams, teams in the 12-24 area are going to scrapping for every single win. 

What are your thoughts? Have we missed a sleeper? Will we see an all mainland-Europe final? Let us know in the comments.  And remember to use #ukut1 for social media and smack talk. Finally, best of luck to all teams attending from tSG! 


The Grapevine – 28/02

The Grapevine, UK Ultimate, UKU Regionals, Understanding Ultimate., University, Windmill Windup, Womens, WUCC2014
Couple weeks off for the Grapevine but back in for this almost leap day!


UKU/BUCS University Ultimate Regionals (we love acronyms) start this weekend, see our coverage here.

The UKU needs info for the upcoming tour season! New team? Get involved email Benji at benji.heywood@ukultimate.com

Benji also wrote a piece on his site Understanding Ultimate this week about possible Match Fixing in Ultimate.

Last night saw a big meeting of minds for Women’s ultimate. Wasn’t able to go? Contact us and we can link you up and help develop the Women’s division in the UK!

Windmill Windup have made their decision on who will get to play there this year! Go see some big teams warming up for WUCC2014.

Check out this old school news piece from Ross-On-Wye explaining Ultimate in the UK, 25 years ago!


Make sure to tweet from your region this weekend, e.g. SEUOOR -> #seuoor. Good luck!

Western University Open Outdoor Regionals Preview

Bath, Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, Plymouth, Previews, South West, Southampton, UK Ultimate, UKU Regionals, University

Andrew Moss starts off the University Outdoor season from the Western region perspective.


Always challenging, the run up to the University outdoor season seems to have been particularly tough this year with the addition of flooded fields and 80mph winds meaning it has been nearly impossible for teams to get outside. Those who have persisted will be rewarded, however, with the opportunity to represent their University at the BUCS National Championships.

Ben Powlay in blue for Plymouth University. Photo courtesy of Andrew Moss.

The South Bristol Sports Centre will host those Western University teams hoping to make the elusive top six in our regional competition, and thus a spot at Nationals in Manchester. An expanse of quality, well-drained fields means the tournament has a huge capacity, and clubs have taken advantage of this with most fielding second and third teams. Some fairly exposed pitches means that wind will likely be key factor in this tournament.


WUOOR Results 2013:

Bath
Southampton
Cardiff
Exeter
Bristol
Plymouth


Southampton consistently make the final in this division, but last year a determined Bath side meant they had to settle for second. A strong Nationals saw them placed as the highest Western team and sixth in the country. Bring his experience from European competition, William Caldwell (Ka-Pow!) hopes to captain Skunks back to first place, and looks forward to his team playing a quick offence with isolated cuts. Big plays are likely to be featuring GB u23’s Mike Speer and up-and-coming rookie Joe ‘Beans’ Benians.

Predicted to join them in the final are defending champions Bath.  They have a star-studded team of GB and Jen players hoping to retain that top spot. Alex Brooks (Jen captain), will have been enforcing his club team’s ethos of elite athleticism on this university squad, which combined with already experienced players Piers Nicholas (GB u20), Michael Guise (GB u20) and Andy Watt (Jen), this is going to be a powerful team looking to retain their spot in Division 1. Watch out for Danny ‘Jumps like a Salmon’ Ryle (Reading Ultimate) leaping over people in the end zone.

Bristol placed in fifth last year, but beat Bath at indoors so are going into the tournament confidently and with eyes on that Division 1 spot. Josh Kyme (GB u23 Open, Chevron) leads a team relying on their athleticism from a standard stack play. This team includes solid handler Joe Brown, who missed the indoor season with a string of injuries and returns to the firsts in a blaze of outdoors glory. With James Bogie (Mythago’s ‘Most Charming Man’), Jamie Lowe (Mythago’s swimsuit calendar ‘December’ 2013) and Ollie Towers upfield, opposition will have a hard time containing the flow these quick guys can maintain. However, translating indoor success to outdoor victories isn’t an exact science, and if the weather turns nasty, it remains to be seen if Bristol have the depth of handling experience needed to deal with the difficult conditions.

Perhaps a controversial prediction is for Exeter to miss out on that Division 1 spot. Despite edging a final victory in Open Indoors at the end of 2013, the absences of Tom Cartwright (Chevron, GB u23) and Rhys Evans (Chevron) means this regional tournament could be a struggle. Squad depth will be tested as inexperienced players have to step up to the first team, some in their first ever tournaments for the University. Don’t underestimate this team however, as under the captaincy of Rob Vile (Devon) and backup from Greg Mann (Devon), this team still has a wealth of ability and will be fighting for those top spots.

Picnic have had a strong season so far, and look likely to comfortably take one of the Division 2 places. Captain Ben Powley (GB u23, Chevron) has unleashed his tactical creativeness in the form of some special offensive plays, including what might appear to the layperson as ‘running around a lot and seeing what happens’. A large addition of freshers to the firsts is likely to make this a volatile team where anything could happen. We’ve been warned to expect a team of ‘mystery and wonder’ who will be trying something different.


Last year saw Cardiff take third, although current form puts them as only an outside chance for taking that Division 1 spot again. However, after an indoor season focusing on player development, this team promises an unpredictable tournament as they move into their preferred outdoor domain. Kei Matsumoto will be leading the plays as usual, with a solid base coming from experienced players Mike Walter and Alden Ching who offer solid handling when required. It is the influx of freshers who may have the largest impact on Cardiff’s standings – Dan Rowland and Ollie Crowther have showed promise on D, and if Cardiff’s outdoor focus this year has paid off, we can expect big things from these rookies.

Swansea have had a fantastic season so far, making Indoor Nationals in both the Open and Mixed divisions. They are hoping to see similar success outdoors, after missing out closely last year. Ben Yarnold (BAF) continues to lead the team, implementing a new playbook for 2014 which is likely to utilise Jacques Laloë’s (Brighton) pinpoint hucks and Matt Bolton’s consistency and experience. A team which has primarily been associated with the social side of the sport, they’ve demonstrated this year that they can put their heads down and cause some big upsets. Expect a good game-to-go on Sunday afternoon.

Seaside team Bournemouth has come a long way since their starring role in the ‘World’s Most Mediocre Callahan’ video this time last year. Captain Mark Shepherd has had an influx of fresh talent to choose from, in addition to some legacy returning players he hopes won’t be too much of a liability. Historically around the seventh place mark in this competition, making Nationals only once since the team was founded, Bournemouth will want to make a dent in some of the top teams and squeeze into that last Division 2 spot. Rapid fresher Henry Pym will be showing his youthful enthusiasm for the disc, whilst Will Burton’s stamina will only be matched by his side-line heckling.

Finally, Winchester have entered Uni ultimate with a very large club considering their infancy. Two teams at Mixed Indoors and showing solid standings from their first team, they will be in contention for those Nationals spots in future years. Phil Rowlandson captains the team to their first ever outdoor regional event, accompanied by familiar face Robin Younge. A strong contingent of freshers complete the team, who are already starting to make impressions at club indoor nationals and the GB junior trials. Expect a lively game from these guys, who won’t just roll over and give you an easy win.

2014 predictions:
Southampton
Bath
Bristol
Exeter
Plymouth
Cardiff


More from other regions soon! 


Your Guide to UK Hat Tournaments

DUF, DUFFA, Hat, Manchester, Sheffield, UK Ultimate

There’s something quite beautiful about hat tournaments. At a hat tournament, you sign up as a single player, rank yourself on some delightfully arbitrary scale, and then get sorted into a team of people who you’ve probably never met before. You then play together, party together, play some more together and then go back home; probably never to play with those team-mates again. You take nothing back with you except an odd coloured shirt, possibly a prize or two and a vague recollection of enjoying yourself over the weekend, though doing what you can’t quite remember.

So why are they so great? Hat tournaments help remind you how Ultimate is bigger than just your club or uni team. Open to GB players and beginners alike, they have a very wide audience, from the high level athlete looking to escape from the pressures of tour, to the complete amateur (probably dragged along by a friend) discovering Ultimate for the very first time. They tend to be very well run, are always entertaining, always have a great party, and tend to have a wide variety of prizes too.


There are four major hat tournaments to watch out for in the UK this Summer, each with their own characters and personalities. Your loyal reporter has spent some time sitting down with the TDs of each to find out the facts, figures and the fun of hat tournaments.


Phoenix Knights Present: The Durham HAT

Tournament Date: 14th/15th June 2014
Sign-Up: Active, and almost full! Contact asap to get a last spot/early on the waiting list.

Cost: £30
Capacity: 288 players
Tournament Directors:  
Craig Hawes, Sam Thompson, Elizabeth Hopker, Tash Myhill, Lauren Forsyth


So, what makes you unique then?
2014 sees the re-birth of the Durham HAT. As one of the oldest and biggest HAT tournaments in the UK the Durham HAT has a strong Frisbee pedigree.  After last year’s hiatus the Durham HAT 2014 will see all the best bits of previous tournaments all wrapped up in Phoenix Knights Style. More fun, more colour, more entertainments but all the same high quality Frisbee. Open to beginners and experienced players, we cater for all. 

We bring you 24 teams, games, a party that will be a Knight to remember, prizes galore and oh yeah, a bit of Ultimate on the side. Included in the price is your very own Lookfly performance HAT shirt, camping near the pitches with full facilities, Saturday dinner, pitch-side music, a Friday arrival party and naturally the massive Saturday themed fancy dress party as well (and much, much more – but we’re not going to tell you everything at this stage!)
This years theme is Myth, Mystery & Magic. Expect the unexpected – we’ll be featuring a full Quidditch pitch, a mystery challenge running through the weekend with equally mysterious prizes, a private themed costume party and much more besides: join our Facebook group to stay on top of all the surprises.

Flying, Circular Love,
Phoenix Knights & Durham Ultimate Frisbee

tSG Review:

After a year out for Durham, Phoenix Knights (combined with DUF) are aiming to put on a spectacular show, and looking to live up to their name by reviving the Durham hat back from the embers to retake it’s place as one of the highlights of the Summer in a blaze of glory (end of phoenix analogy). Even if you haven’t heard of the Knights before, be aware that Durham has plenty of alumni and college players, so they’re going to have all the help and advice they need to really make a mark on the Summer. However with a very early sign up (and a lot of keen interest already shown), make sure you sort yourself out fast to secure a place at what looks to be a fantastic tournament.


Sounds great, where can I go to find out more?
The Phoenix Knights, hoping to brighten up a Grey summer by reviving
Durham Hat from the Ashes

DUFFA Hat

Very Likely Tournament Date: 19/20th July 2014
Sign-Up Date: March (International players with flights to sort can email for early sign up)
Cost: TBA (Last Year: £33 + £8 for a disc)
Capacity: TBA (Last year 288, but looking to expand due to phenomenal demand!)
Tournament Directors: Rich Harrison, Alan Heckman

So, what makes you unique then?
I think the first year was so successful as it was mostly run by ultimate players who’d never been to a tournament before! They didn’t really know what was expected, so went all out and they blew the players’ expectations out of the water. As we’ve expanded year on year we’ve been able to build on previous years’ successes to go that extra mile every time. The word is definitely spreading – we thought a two and a half hour sell-out was great in 2012, but nothing could have prepared us for a four minute sell-out in 2013!

We’re lucky to have an army of willing volunteers who pour their heart and soul into providing the best tournament experience we can. Their only reward is seeing the players having a great time. We do it because we love it!

We try very hard to create a welcoming atmosphere for players of all abilities. Some of the players throw a Frisbee for the first time on the morning of the tournament, whilst some have played for years at a high Tour level, or even internationally. And of course, there’s a massive range of skills and experience in between those two extremes! See you in July!

All DUFFA photos courtesy of LOVEultimate from www.weloveultimate.co.uk


tSG Review:
DUFFA set a reputation last year for the biggest, loudest and most popular hat tournament in the UK. With countless extra activities to do between games (3 pint challenge table and disc accuracy competition shown above), a huge party in an outdoor marque and one of the strongest international scenes in any UK tournament, last year DUFFA is staked it’s claim as *the* hat tournament of the Summer. However, with an incredibly fast sell-out time last year and this year looking to be busy too, make sure you keep very up to date with any updates they give. Also, they give a wide variety of very good prizes. Just sayin’…


Sounds fantastic, where can I go to find out more?

Website: www.duffa.org 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/20991885689/
Email: hat@duffa.org


Manchester Hat

Very Likely Tournament Date: 9/10 August 2014
Sign-Up Date: late March/early April 2014
Cost: TBA (Last Year – £25)
Capacity: 120
Tournament Director: Elly White

So, what makes you unique then?:

Manchester hat is only in its second edition after a very successful début last year. It is a small, intimate hat tournament (120 people limit) which means everybody gets to know everyone and it creates a very friendly atmosphere. It also means everyone can fit into the combined bar and dance floor area of the Rugby Club, ensuring a really personal party experience with the entire tournament.

We have evening activities for you to bond with your team, last year this was a pub quiz and a school sports day (think egg and spoon races and three legged races!). This year there will be similar things!


Manchester Hat has great prizes, last year this included Manchester Hat trackies and boot-bags (and naturally prizes of alcohol for anyone who won a school sports day event – got to keep it realistic after all!).


This years theme is Fairytale, so Knights, Princesses and Dragons! Hope to see you all there.

Manchester Hat helped unlock the inner children in Ultimate last year. 
Top pictures from disposable cameras supplied free at tournament. 
Bottom picture of egg and spoon race courtesy of blockstack.tv 


tSG Review:

Manchester Hat was an oddity in the tournament scene last year, and we absolutely don’t mean that in a bad way. Due to the combined hat format, relatively small size and excellent organisation and extra activities, it really was the tournament that you bonded most with your team for. It felt the most like an entire tournament enjoying Ultimate together, and it did feel like a community for a weekend. It’s not what everyone looks for in a weekend of Ultimate, but for its first year it sure found its feet quickly. Expect big (well, small but well organised) things on its second outing.

Sounds fantastic, where can I go to find out more?:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/497009620408097/
Email: eleanor.white@hotmail.com


Sheffield Hat

Tournament Date: 6/7th September 2014
Sign-Up Date: Likely the end of June
Cost: £30-35 + £10 per tent camping charge. 
However, some of this does go to charity!
Capacity: 140 players
Tournament Director:
Si East (Mix & Mingle, ex-Indoors DOC, Competitions Committee member & more!)


So, what makes you unique then?
2014 will be the 5th Sheffield Hat, and the 3rd year at the current venue in Hillsborough. It is different to all the others because the venue is small so we use BULA (beach) sized pitches and play 5v5. That’s right: 5 a side on grass!

We also raise money for charity; previously Right To Play and Access Sport but this year we will be supporting someone local to the event. A small % of the player fee goes to charity and any other amounts we can raise over the weekend. We always have a show-game on Saturday evening and spectators have the chance to raise money and have fun through playing Fantasy
Ultimate (with a cash prize on offer too!).

We always incorporate other disc games too, in 2013 we had a DDC pitch and held an accuracy competition. We hope to have at least the same this year, hopefully some disc golf too.
Lookfly have been fantastic supporters of this event since the beginning and in 2013 they provided Spirit and show-game prizes.  Catch The Spirit were also very supportive in 2013.
The other way we’re different is that there isn’t a big party (shock!).  This is a pretty chilled out weekend to finish your season so we just relax in the bar with some pub games until they close, then potter to bed.  We are planning an alternative option this year as well, likely discounted entry into one of Sheffield’s top nightspots so don’t be put off if you only go for the parties!

Anything else?
I think Hat tournaments are great (the Melbourne Hat was one of my first tournaments) and it is good that there are some successful ones in the UK.  DUFFA goes from strength to strength and it’s certainly good to see Durham back this year.  They all offer something different, but are equally all a great way of meeting new people and practising those Frisbee skills!

Sheffield Hat 2013 managed to raise £347 for Access Sport last year

tSG review:
Sheffield Hat’s strength lies in the fact it’s at the end of a season. It’s the perfect way to wind down from an intense summer of Ultimate, play some great games and in fact just relax with all the people you’ve probably been playing against all season. Whilst it is normally at the same weekend as Glastonbury, it’s relatively accessible location and extra touches (naturally I’m a fan of the show game, and the related Fantasy Ultimate was a personal highlight) mean it’s certainly proving more and more popular each year, and deservedly so.

Sounds fantastic, where can I go to find out more?



In all, it’s been great to see that Hat culture grow in the UK over the part few years. I’ve personally been to everyone one of these, and loved every moment. Each tournament really does have it’s own culture and flavour, something which in no doubt thanks to the phenomenal effort placed into organising these things by the TDs, and of course the teams behind all of them. So there’s no way I’d rather end than by wishing them the best of luck in the future, and thanking them all for their effort they put in to making these things happen every Summer. Really, hats off to you all. Now see you on the pitch.



Did you go to any hat tournaments last year? Are there any we’ve missed out? Do you have any memories from previous tournaments you’d like to share? Please comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

The Grapevine – 01/02

Juniors., Team USA, The Grapevine, UK Ultimate, WFDF, world games, WUCC2014
The Grapevine – let’s be honest is anyone reading these headers anymore? 

Many of you will have voted for the Team USA World Games team and they have successfully won Team of Year 2013!! Amazing!

The UKU has employed two new people, Benji as the new Events Co-ordinator and a full time book keeper. Read here.

With trials in full swing for many WFDF/WUCC have released a rather confusing table to decide who will get extra spots for WUCC 2014. We think it means Showdown and Johnny Bravo (USA) both has spots for sure and will see what it might mean in the Mixed and Open division for the UK.