ShowGame Podcast: Episodes 8-12, the 2010s in review

The 2020 season has been scrapped due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It feels like none of us have left our houses for more than a quick walk around the block for months on end, and the last time there was a sanctioned ultimate tournament in the UK was August 2019. In the midst of this fallow period for the sport, we decided to take a look back at the last decade to reflect on what we saw, what we learned and how far we all came.

Sean spoke to a variety of people in the sport – from commentators to players and writers to those who run companies relating to the sport – to get to grips with the main topics that came up in the 2010s. You can listen to all of those reviews here, or find them wherever you listen to podcasts.

Episode 8: Tom Styles on the performances of the decade

To kick off the decade review series, Sean is joined by the voice of ultimate Tom Styles to talk about the best performances of the decade, as well as reminisce about some of the less glamorous experiences they’ve had working together.


2:00: What Tom has been doing during the pandemic.

4:12: What are you looking for in a great performance?

7:34: GB’s performance in hosting tournaments last decade.

10:45: The performance by a number of parties in improving media and fan access to the sport.

15:38: The role of Game Advisors, and their performance.

21:52: GB won a number of tournaments that they came into as favourites – how do you assess those?

28:43: GB’s performances on the beach, particularly in 2015 and 2017.

34:20: Bristol and Leeds winning UK Nationals.

36:20: Geo-focused mixed teams, particularly Reading, performing well throughout the decade.

39:45: The inevitable Clapham discussion and how you rate a team that doesn’t lose.

44:31: A brief discussion of the best university performances (stay tuned for more).

49:08: GB reaching great heights but not necessarily performing as they’d like once there.

53:38: The red letter year for Irish women’s ultimate in 2019.

58:32: Tom struggles to pick a performance of the decade.

60:36: BEST LINE – Tom picks a best mixed line that asks an awful lot of the female players.

Episode 9: Jon Pugh on fashion in ultimate

In this episode, Sean speaks to Lookfly manager Jon Pugh about the fashion changes of the 2010s and what factors have changed what we all play in, including technological advances, more divergence in how people want to look while playing and the effects of more gym work! There’s also some chat about changes Lookfly are making to how they describe their merch, and Pugh picks a best line.


How has the pandemic been for Pugh? (1:15)

How have things been since joining Lookfly? (2:10)

What changed for frisbee players in the 2010s? (3:35)

Have the designs and colours that are used for kit become more reserved? (8:33)

A change in socks – where have the long football and hockey-style socks gone? (11:20)

Let’s talk about shorts (and a shoutout to the skort wearer). (14:10)

Talking about the change to cut descriptions following a survey in the summer, changing to non-gendered descriptions. (19:16)

Why have there been so many changes with the different cuts? Features some advice for Valeria Cardenas. (23:23)

What’s behind the rise in tanks? (27:00)

What’s the coolest kit addition that Pugh has ever seen? (30:50)

What about the kit that has moved things on and been the most impactful? (32:30)

A moan about numbers! #keepthingsboring (33:59)

BEST LINE: Pugh picks his best line that goes against many of our rules and blames Sean for doing so. (35:19)

Episode 10: Fiona Mernagh and Dominick Smyth on Irish ultimate

The decade review series continues, with Sean speaking to Fiona Mernagh, a player in the silver and gold medal winning Ireland teams in the 2010s, and Dominick Smyth, a longtime player and coach in Dublin, about what the last 10 years looked like in Ireland, how things changed over the course of the decade and what changes are being put in place to capitalise on the huge steps taken in that time.


How have things been since March? (1:42)

Where was Irish ultimate at the beginning of the decade? (4:12)

Was there a point where things started to change, or has it been a longer development road? (7:18)

How much has the college scene impacted the development of the clubs in Ireland? (10:08)

How important has it been that there’s more than one base for ultimate – Dublin, Cork and Limerick all developing teams and communities to push each other? (12:31)

Has there been a particular emphasis on physical conditioning, and being able to maintain fitness throughout a tournament and a season? (15:57)

The impact of the GAA and the foundation provided by Gaelic sports (22:21)

Is it fair to say that the depth across divisions isn’t there at the moment? How can that be changed if so? (25:25)

Are you seeing the younger generation of players coming through into the sport now? (28:00)

What plans are being put in place to ensure that the last few years haven’t just been a ’golden generation’, and that development continues? Features a discussion about the importance of good coaching (31:25)

BEST LINE: Fiona shares her best mixed line (36:35)

BEST LINE: Dominick shares his line, an open one (38:36)

Episode 11: Harry Mason on university ultimate

Sean is joined by eternal student and longtime ShowGame uni editor Harry Mason to discuss the decade in uni ultimate, and work out who the best teams of the decade were using a highly scientific process. They also discuss the impact of BUCS, whether the quality is better now than it was in 2010 and the proliferation of divisions within the uni game.


Harry has finished his studies, finally (1:20)

What has been the biggest change in the last 10 years in uni ultimate? (02:18)

The impact of the difference between BUCS league and the usual ultimate structure (03:15)

Is uni ultimate better than it was the previous decade? (05:18)

There are a lot of divisions (08:25)

What would Harry change? (09:03)


11th and 10th (11:27)

9th (16:23)

8th (and this team’s legacy) (18:42)

7th, the only team with medals in two divisions and not all three (22:31)

6th and 5th, starting a run of four Scottish teams in a row (25:31)

4th and the biggest surprise to both of us (29:51)

3rd, the most consistent team of the decade (33:12)

2nd, featuring a special guest (36:18)

1st, which is probably quite obvious (51:13)

Who is the best single-year, single-division team of the decade? (58:08)

Episode 12: Hannah Pendlebury on the players of the decade

In this final decade review episode, Sean is joined by Hannah Pendlebury to talk about the players who defined the decade. While the open and women’s division discussions are pretty straightforward, there’s some disagreement about who to pick in mixed and plenty of chat about which played shaped the decade in UK ultimate and who might do so going forward. Also Hani moans about losing to draft champion Sean in 2017.


What do you factor in when thinking about the best players of the decade? (2:48)

How have the changes to the way ultimate works in the UK complicated this discussion? (4:52)

What attributes are you looking for in a player, is it playing style or team success or anything else? (9:32)

How do you factor in the mixed division? Features bitterness from Hani about historical events (12:07)

OPEN: Who is the best player of the 2010s in the open division, and is it really as simple as it seems? (14:03)

WOMEN’S: Is the discussion here slightly more complicated? (18:44)

What’s next for our two picks? (24:30)

MIXED: A much more complicated question given how transient success has been in mixed – is it even possible to pick someone here? (27:51)

Do we need two players for mixed? (38:42)

Who’s in the frame on the male side of the mixed division? (40:50)

What about on the female side? (45:04)

Who might be the players of the coming decade? (50:38)

BEST LINE: Hani picks a mixed line of people she’s played with in the UK (61:11)

ShowGame Podcast: Episode 7 with Liam Grant

Sean is joined by commentator, WFDF athlete commission chair and TD of next year’s planned World U24 Championships in sunny (?) Limerick, Liam Grant. They talked about all those things, what it’s been like organising a tournament under the shadow of Covid, and how much they both loved Japan. Liam also turns in a stellar performance in BEST LINE, throwing shade at everyone else’s line and claiming multiple players for Pelt.

How’ve you been during the pandemic? (1:24)

Under 24s next year in Limerick (3:30)

Why did you decide to put the bid in for this tournament? (4:11)

Is there anything else you might try to get there, any larger strategy? (7:15)

What are the facilities there like? (8:27)

How weird has it been organising this during Covid? (11:25)

Anything unexpectedly difficult? (16:38)

What’s it been like on the athlete’s commission? (19:20)

On commentary, has there been any event that stands out? (25:12)

BEST LINE: Liam picks a mixed team (28:37)

ShowGame Podcast: Episode 6 with Sion ‘Brummie’ Scone

Sean spoke to Brummie, the founder of ultimate coaching resource Flik, longtime player and coach of several GB teams. Brummie talked about his experiences at the World Games, World Championships and what people can do during the lockdown to improve as players.

– How lockdown has been (1:00)

– Starting Flik, and how the journey so far has been (4:09)

– What’s been the biggest challenge so far? (6:39)

– What can people do during lockdown and periods of other restrictions? (9:20)

– Importance of video analysis (12:16)

– The change in the availability and wealth of video footage, and researching opponents via ex-pats (16:58)

– What’s next for Flik, and what else can you do? (18:57)

– What thing has changed the most during Brummie’s brief, almost two-decade career? (24:21)

– And what hasn’t developed as much, and how to improve at it? (26:34)

– LA28 reaction and multi-sport event experience at the World Games (29:41)

– What one thing is Brummie most proud of? Contains existential discussion on the nature of failure in sports (39:03)

– BEST LINE: Brummie picks his best line and blames Sean for any omissions he might have made (48:40)

ShowGame Podcast: Episode 5 with Emily Powell and Charley Ferris

Sean spoke to two University club presidents this week to get a sense of how they’re dealing with the restrictions and how uni players in general are feeling about the lack of a season so far. Emily, from Strathclyde Uni, and Charley, from Nottingham, talked about how their clubs have adapted, trying to look after everyone’s mental health and what might come next.

– Intro about new regulations (0:11)

– How has it been running a club in these uncertain times? (1:57)

– Has it been more difficult to recruit beginners? (3:34)

– What about teaching them to play? Has that been harder outdoors given that the indoor season is gone? (7:52)

– How have trainings been with all this uncertainty going on? (11:14)

– How is the club off the field, how have you been keeping track of everyone’s mental health? (13:10)

– What comes next in terms of tournaments, have you had any indications? (15:53)

– This isn’t what you expected when you ran for these positions at your AGMs, right? (18:11)

– How do you avoid this year being a lost year for uni ultimate? (19:15)

– The unexpectedly high workload in keeping a club going this year, and the importance of the people at the unions (22:05)

– BEST LINE: Charley picks his mixed line up (25:53)

– BEST LINE: Emily does likewise (27:56)

ShowGame Podcast: Episode 4 with Rachel Turton and Ben Davies

This week Sean speaks to Rachel Turton and Ben Davies. Both are longtime Ultimate players (Ben has played for New Zealand and in the AUDL, and Rachel is a reigning national and European champion with SMOG and GB Mixed) who have pivoted more to disc golf during the last 12 months and are now the male and female #1s in the UK. 

– How they got into disc golf and started playing tournaments (0:58)

–  Was there any particular piece of advice that made a difference, or thing you worked out that was crucial? (2:25)

– How long did it take to get to grips with the variety of discs? (4:25)

– How hard has it been learning to play with such precision? (9:03)

– What’s it been like playing a more individual sport like disc golf, and integrating into a different community? (10:50)

– Are you still Ultimate players that play disc golf, or are you more a golfer now? (16:01)

– Which countries are strong in disc golf? (18:02)

– What do disc golf sponsorships entail, and how do they work? (19:00)

– BEST LINE: Rachel picks her best mixed team and discusses playing Worlds with Great Britain at 20 (22:55)

– BEST LINE: Ben picks his best mixed line, including a one-time only exception for a player he trained with (25:05)

– Ben discusses his experience playing for Rainbow Brigade at Windmill (28:40)

ShowGame Podcast: Episode 3 with David Pryce

No special guest this week, just a regular editor. DP and Sean talk about the various different items of news surrounding UK Ultimate, discuss whether the international calendar needs to be overhauled, encourage caution from people pushing themselves too hard on a return to training and pick their best lines. Here’s the Spotify link, but you can find it pretty much anywhere by searching The ShowGame Podcast!

ShowGame Podcast: Episode 2 with Fowzia Mahmood

In the second episode of the ShowGame podcast, Sean interviewed Fowzia Mahmood, the force behind women’s team Discie Chicks and a UKU board member, about the importance of diversity and inclusion, her experiences playing in the UK and how vital it is to make mistakes. You can hear about:

  • How did you get into the sport? (2:12)
  • Joining the UKU board (4:14)
  • Diversity and racial equality in UK Ultimate (8:35)
  • Starting Discie Chicks and providing women more opportunities (18:50)
  • Would you change anything with DC? (30:08)
  • What can other teams learn from DC? (34:40)
  • Preparing for WindFarm (40:08)
  • BEST LINE: Fowzia picks her DC all-star line (41:05)

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