Hannah Pendlebury returns to offer insight on the new Women’s season, which should see some new faces and names making a mark up and down the Tour.
My theme for this women’s season is change. Whilst this applies to me at a personal level with Relentless sadly absent for the 2017 season, as a keen observer of Women’s roster announcements there have been some exciting stirrings amongst the top teams over the winter. But will these changes lead to meaningful differences on pitch this year, finally ending the reliable predictability of the top four? I’m inclined to say no… But I’m certainly ready to find out. So without further ado – let’s take a closer look at the teams coming to Nottingham!
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.
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.