Sean was joined by DP and Hani to talk about the news that WUGC 2021 has been cancelled by WFDF, and that Great Britain have qualified for the World Games through the backup qualification process. It morphs into a discussion about where we might go from here and what ultimate might look like when we all come back, and ends on a pretty positive note!
The 2021 international calendar has been cleared. Is this the right call? Is this the right time? (0:28)
With whom should this decision lie, is it one for the players or should the federations be making these decisions? (4:21)
The 2022 calendar looks packed now – how tough will it be to fit all of these tournaments in? (09:51)
How much pressure does this all put on players? What’s the impact on them? (11:41)
The good news (if there is any): Great Britain is in the World Games field. Do we deserve it, and how excited should we be? Features wild speculation! (14:45)
How might qualification for WUCC 2020 work, what will ultimate look like if nationals can’t happen as normal this year? Come for the considered views, stay for *someone* moaning about Irish teams (20:00)
What benefits might we see from the new normal following the pandemic? (26:14)
Final thoughts on trying to ensure the local set-up isn’t London-centric, and trying to harness the social trend of people leaving London, a ‘sinkhole’ according to one guest (31:33)
Si Hill, CEO of UK Ultimate, described the news as “sad and disappointing”, but said that he thought “on balance, I agree with the decision and I agree with making the decision now”.
Hill added: “I think certainty is good for everyone. Making the call on this tournament, as well as on the beach and under-24 tournaments, is the right thing and I think it shows that the decisions have been made based on safety. It’s sad to have to cancel another world championships but I’d encourage the players and everybody else to take some time to think, and to give people the benefit of the doubt on the motives driving their decisions. These decisions are really difficult for everybody and a great deal has changed even in the last six weeks, not only in the UK but globally as well. It’s a tough situation but I think this is the right decision.”
He added that the WUCC qualification element was something that UKU have not looked into in any great detail, but that he remains optimistic that some ultimate can resume by summer.
“We remain somewhat optimistic that we can play somewhat competitive ultimate in summer,” he said. “It might not look like tournaments but we intend to run a national championships in some form. It might be based on fixtures involving two or three teams playing fixtures locally rather than weekend-long events, but we think that we’ll be able to run something. We have a provisional booking for Nationals at the usual time but it’s impossible to know right now whether we will be able to run that event in the usual way.”
Concluding the previews, Nathan Sanders brings us the low-down on what looks to be the hottest UXIN Division 2 tournament ever this year.
University Mixed Indoor Nationals is split across two venues again this year with Division 2 on at The Alan Higgs Centre in Coventry. Let’s take a quick look at what is different this year, and who you should watch out for.
Our University Mixed Indoor previews kick off with Alex Hately taking a look at what might happen at Division 1. Stay tuned for a Div 2 preview to follow!
This weekend the University Mixed Indoor season comes to a close, with the nation’s best teams converging on Nottingham to face off for this year’s title. 13 of the top 20 from last year make a return, showing once again that success breeds more success. Can Strathclyde retain their title? Or will the title cross the border in the hands of UCL or Nottingham?
Another season is in the books and, for most sides, the off-season is now underway. Sean Colfer takes a look at what happened in Birmingham this weekend, and what it might mean for the European Championships and moving forward for UK Ultimate.
Thomas Cliff looks back at Mixed Tour and ahead to UKU Mixed Nationals this weekend.
Having just experienced the most unstable Open and Women’s Tour seasons that I can remember, it could be easy to forget about the mixed season that preceded it.
However, Mixed Tour wasn’t without its share of uncertainty. 2014’s top squad and the combination of former European champions Bear Cavalry having disbanded, and Cambridge mixed, sixth place finisher at WUCC 2014 having had a severe drop off in top talent, really set the stage for the pack of wolves nipping at their heels to have a shot at the top. Further to this, GB Mixed seniors, GB U23, and Ireland Mixed took many fantastic players away from the rankings, leaving things absolutely wide open.
Mixed Nationals this year is likely going to be a tale of teams who stepped into the void left at the top from 2014, as there is a strong correlation between the Tour rankings and the Nationals line up: seven of the eight teams entered at Nationals finished in the top 12 over the course of the season, with the eighth competitors being 2014’s second-place finisher Pingu Jam. Notable absences are Glasgow, who have a real shot at making Euros in the Open division, and Bristol, who are likewise placed in the Women’s draw.
Elly White introduces the competition for University Women’s Outdoor Nationals This weekend sees the biggest ever University Women’s Outdoor Nationals with over 30 teams heading to Manchester. One of the front runners this year, and a team that was mentioned by nearly every team in the questionnaire is Birmingham. The ladies have had a very successful season, getting silver at UWIN and gold at UMON, and are coming into UWON with a very talented squad that could secure themselves another gold. From what I’ve heard, the entire team are star players in their own right, but there are a few that have been specifically mentioned. GB U23 players Grace and Kim Owens’ connection will be difficult to stop, as will rising star and GB U20 player Jess Cowley. There is also a boost from Tilly Salter who has spent a year playing with Saucy Nancy, the college team from Iowa who came 3rd at USA College Championships last year. All of this adds up to a pretty formidable team that I predict to make the semis at least. Sussex Mohawks will be looking to win UWON for the 4th year in a row, an incredible feat and something definitely within their grasp. They will be very used to playing together after sending a team to the Irish outdoor tournament The Siege of Limerick. Players to look out for are Megan Hurst throwing to Starzy Riordan-Eva and also vice-captain Rachel Clark. For the second year in a row they are fielding a second team, which shows the depth that their women’s club has. Like Birmingham, I will be very surprised if Mohawks don’t make the top four. Leeds are another team that will expect to do really well. They have train often as a team, and 6 of them are part of the LLLeeds squad this season. Captain Claire Taylor’s strong and versatile throws will be brought down by Ruth Lowe, Alice Beeching and Rachel Finch, all up and coming LLL superstars. Leeds have entered a second team this year, something Claire says was helped by prioritising women’s trainings and games over mixed when recruiting women.
University of Leeds Women regroup in the huddle.
Durham is another University that has benefitted from LLL selections this year, and this will be evident in Sarah Clear’s and Mark Clark’s throws as well as Fi Rae’s receiving. They also benefit from the retention of Rebecca Devine, who went to Euros with DED last summer; a formidable lefty handler with pin-point hucks. Durham are another team to enter a second team this year, again suggesting good squad depth as well as a head start on development for next year’s team. Bangor are the third Northern team to feature club players from Leeds, and after impressive indoor results will be looking to build on their 10th place finish from last year. Ava Grossman, Harriet Brown and Louise Ryan all have throws to watch out for. The North was a strong region at UWIN, coming in 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th and I expect this strength to continue outdoors. Manchester have many of their girls training regularly with the new Manchester Women’s Ultimate club team and Sheffield have the top handling combination of Kat Cheng (LLL) and Charis Lestrange. Scotland are a consistently strong region across divisions, and Dundee and Edinburgh were both mentioned in a lot of preview questionnaires as the ones to look out for. Dundee have had a very successful season so far, winning UWIN and coming second at UMON, and look like they could continue this streak at UWON. On the Edinburgh team, Abbie Dutton’s cutting as well as the handling of Carissa Tong and Gale Hunter will be formidable for any opponents looking to take down Ro Sham Bo. Nottingham had a huge team last year and retained a lot of these players, leading to an experienced team this year, including Kirsten Wells of Manchester Women’s Ultimate. A combination of the successful season they have already had and the return of their captain Trina Lam will no doubt see Nottingham challenge hard and achieve a high finishing position. Also boasting a large roster are the London combination team of UCL, Imperial and Kings. The unfortunate timings of their exams have meant none of the individual Universities could field enough for a team. This is obviously a shame for all three, especially UCL, who had such a strong presence at SEUWIR. People are unsure what to expect from this combination team, which reportedly will feature Iceni and SYC club players as well as some new players from the different Universities. It will be interesting to see how this all comes together in one team, nobody really knows what to expect as none of UCL, Imperial or Kings are regular faces at UWON, but their top players definitely have the experience to make this a successful team. As well as fighting it out for the top spots, this weekend will be a great chance for second teams and beginners to experience playing competitive outdoors. Three second teams are entered this year (Sussex, Leeds and Durham) which is such a positive things for women’s University Ultimate and will provide all these girls with great exposure to the sport and experience of a more competitive environment. Combine this with the high standards we will see from all the tops teams and it looks like it’s shaping to be a fantastic weekend. Here are my predictions for the top 5: 1. Sussex 2. Birmingham 3. Leeds 4. Edinburgh 5. Durham Once again, Good luck from The ShowGame to all players competing at University Nationals this weekend!