The Grapevine – 19/07

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

World Games Preview: Australia

James Burbidge takes a look down under at Team Australia in the third installment of his World Games series.

Before you read this piece please help get the broadcast of these World Games Ultimate games online to view for everyone as they should be, by supporting the ulti.tv indiegogo funding page! This is just one step in making the sport and our community grow, go here now! They need double the amount they already have in less than a day, DO IT! Now you may read on…

Team Australia

The Lineup


Danielle Alexander
Stephanie Malcher
Lisi Moore
Cat Phillips
Michelle Phillips
Sarah Wentworth

Seb Barr
Peter Blakeley
Jonno Holmes
Tim Lavis
Gavin Moore
Joel Pillar
Tom Rogacki
Team Australia.


About the Team

Known as the Crocs, Australia look to be a good balance of experience (two players attended the 2005 World Games), and C4090-451
youth (5 players were at the u23 championships in Florence in 2010). They’ve also got great team spirit, and a winning social media campaign, as evidenced by their website, twitter, facebook and youtube accounts. Plus, they’re getting in the news.

Without a doubt, the biggest name on the list is Tom ‘The Gak’ Rogacki. The most dominant player in Australia for the last 15 years, his name is known around the (Ultimate) world. He brings experience from the 2005 World Games to the team and first represented Australia in 1998. He played in the Masters division at the last WUCC where he lead the division in total stats (goals + assists). A possibly controversial selection, he will undoubtedly make an impact on the field.

Whilst most of the team have a similar wealth of experience representing their country, one player will be putting green and gold on her shoulders for the first time – Danielle Alexander. Making the jump from club to World Games team is a significant step and should indicate a hot new talent.

At the other end of the spectrum is Peter Blakeley who, having come up through the Autralian junior programme, has played for every Australian team possible (without being a woman or a master).  He caught twice as many goals as any other Austalian player in the Open division in Japan, and is a receiver to be reckoned with.

Peter will be reunited with four teammates from that campaign: Joel Pillar, Seb Barr (who threw the highest number of goals on the Australian Open team in Japan), Jonno Holmes (who has played both previous World Games) and Tim Lavis, the Captain of the Crocs. It is unknown how much sleep Jonno and Tim have had since that hammer.

Coming from the extremely successful (silver medal) and well-coached Mixed team in Japan are husband and wife pairing Gavin and Lisi Moore who should bring chemistry to the field as well as a deeper understanding of the mixed game.

Another pairing of note on the team is that of the Phillips sisters. Both won gold with the u23 Women’s team in Florence and both were dominant players in same division at WUGC. Michelle, the older sister, 1Y0-A17 scored the 3rd most goals for the Australian team, and Cat was 4th in total stats in the whole division. She is also still eligible for the u23 tournament taking place in Toronto this year but opted for World Games instead.

Tom Rogacki throws past a Finnish force. Photo courtesy of Paul Hurt.

Coaches and expected playing style

The team is coached by Anna Rogacki, wife of Tom. She coached Cat, Michelle and Steph to a gold medal in the u23 Womens team in 2010 and coached the Club team Honey to a National Championships in 2012. This year she coached the Men’s team Chilly to 3rd place at the Australian National Championships.

Assistant coach Mike Neild was originally a reserve for the team and so presumably brings a close relationship with the players. He has a wealth of playing experience where he dominated the air as a downfield receiver. Having played at World Games in 2009 he knows what’s involved and will be able to share his experience and knowledge with the team.

The Australians have been known for a strong deep game, usually from a vertical stack, and backed up by tenacious man defense. I wouldn’t expect them to move away from what has made them successful in the past, but since they feel like they’ve been knocking on the door for a while, perhaps they’ll look for something new to muscle their way into the final?

Expected finishing place

Australia has been on the 2nd tier of world Ultimate for a long time, and I don’t see this competition being any different. Their strong Mixed results will stand them in good stead over some of the competition, but I don’t see them breaking into the final.

4th.

Remember to donate towards the ulti.tv WG coverage page! Like, share and comment in any way you can. DP @ tSG. 

The Grapevine – 21/06

This weeks The Grapevine has a bit of Tour 2 with a smattering of news from the continent and a big chunk of ECBU!

Barry O’Kane brings us a great episode of UTalkRaw chatting to Liam Kelly on the Matalan Sporting promise and community clubs.

Benji discusses the age-old one hand vs two hand catch debate on UnderstandingUltimate.

As you all know this weekend is Tour 2, all the information you could need is here. Read our preview or for a different perspective, along with our T1 reviews, and make sure to tweet with the hashtag #ukut2.

At Tour 2 the U23 Mixed team are loaning themselves out (not many left, so get on it) to give massages/get water/carry flags. They have also set up the amazing opportunity to pit yourself against their speed gun to see who is the fastest thrower on the tour! For more details check out their FB page or message them.

World Games is only a couple weeks away! Richard “Gash” Harris has made a small trick shot video, go check it out and follow the WG team on Twitter/FB where player profiles are also being released! Sneak a peak at some of the competition on Ultiworld.

Another big GB tournament begins next Thursday in Calafell, Spain. ECBU2013 will see the maximum 7 GB Beach squads pit themselves against Europe’s finest, catch our exciting preview written for SkyD magazine and follow all the action at live.ecbu2013.org

In preparation for ECBU, four GB teams went to Sunburn last weekend. GB Mixed won the tournament and GB Mixed Masters won spirit! Watch out Europe!

Our partners Get Horizontal are celebrating 3000 likes on their FB by having a beach party at ECBU – if you are there join the fun! Also have a read of their Windmill Windup coverage for some great photos and write ups.



So much going on, and we will cover as much as we can! Still looking for a spectator at T2 for tweeting, apply within! Laters, DP @ tSG. 

World Games Preview: USA

James Burbidge takes a look at Team USA in the second installment of his World Games series.

Team USA

The Lineup


Georgia Bosscher
Cara Crouch
Sarah Griffith
Cree Howard
Octavia Payne
Alex Snyder

Ryan Farrell
Ashlin Joye
Beau Kittredge
Mike Natenberg
George Stubbs
Mac Taylor
Dylan Tunnell
Team USA.
About the team

Selectors seem to have opted for wise heads rather than youthful legs here, particularly on the men’s side of the game where only Stubbs is of the NexGeneration. He is team Captain, following a year’s experience in that role at club team Ironside, as well as 3 years in the role at Harvard, during which time he won the Callahan award as the best player in College. He is extremely athletic, has big throws and cool head. Captaining alongside George is Alex Snyder, who captained Fury back in 2008 and was selected by Ultiworld as MVP of their latest Club Championship final. She has plenty of experience at the highest level of the game and knows what it takes to win – two big assets for the team.

Cara Crouch goes up over GB at World Games 2009. Photo courtesy Scobel Wiggins

Whilst neither George nor Alex played on the 2009 team, USA will be bringing 3 returners to Cali: Cara Crouch, Dylan Tunnell and Beau Kittredge. Cara Crouch is an experienced handler with big throws and a Callahan award (2005) under her belt. She plays for Showdown and so will be facing up against teammate GB’s Bex Forth. Dylan Tunnell is one of the most respected players in the US, a stalwart for club team Chain Lightning (Club Champions 2009) and picked by Club Jr to be part of a US All-Star team flown out to Japan’s Dream Cup. You can read an interview with him after the 2009 World Games here. And finally, not much needs to be said about Beau, surely? He’s one of the most dominantathletesinthe game– and that’s not even his game anymore. These days Beau is so feared for his deep ability that people back him by ridiculous amounts – so has evolved into a reset and distribution player, coming under far more than he goes deep. It’s unlikely that anyone else in the world is going to front him so this seems like a plausible position for him to play again. That said, I’m sure we’ll see a few goals and posterisations by the end of the tournament.


Georgia Bosscher lays out for the D
Rounding out the female half of the team are Georgia Bosscher a redoubtable defender (see picture), her former Fury teammate Cree Howard (a 5’8 deep cutter), Seattle Riot’s speedy Sarah Griffith and DC Scandal’s Octavia Payne.

On the male side there are a pair of club captains; captain of reigning National Champions Doublewide – Mike Natenberg and captain of Johnny Bravo Ryan Farrell. Filling out the last spots are Revolver teammates Ashlin Joye (defensivehandler mostly) and Mac Taylor(does everything).

Coach and expected playing style

USA is lead by Coach Alex Ghesquire and Assistand Coach Matty Tsang. Those names alone put them into the top 3 teams at World Games. Alex Ghesquire has coached the club team Revolver to 2 National Championships and 2 World Championships. He will bring established relationships with Beau, Ashlin and Mac from that team. Matty Tsang has arguably an even more formidable pedigree – he has coached Women’s team Fury to 7 National Championships (adding to the two they had won before his arrival) and 2 World Championships. He brings relationships with Alex, Cree and Georgia to the team.

With a limited amount of training time, and some of the best players in the world, it would be surprising if this team worked on anything too tactically complex – expect them instead to focus on their fundamentals and run simple, disciplined offense. Defensively, again I’d expect them to use their legs rather than zone, but they’ll be sure to have some junky sets designed to disrupt pull-plays and change the rhythm of the game.

Expected finishing place

Some of the best players in the world, coached by some of the best coaches in the sport. Every single one of these players has experience of the toughest competition and knows what it takes to win. A team of the highest calibre.

1st

[edit: A documentary is being made about Team USA’s journey to Cali. You can now see the trailer for ‘Bidding for Gold‘]

Sounds like team GB have their work cut out! Like what you read? Remember to share and comment. Keep an eye out for OWT2 Preview coming later this week – JCK @ tSG.

London’s Calling Preview (Women’s).

Charlie Blair, the UK’s international poster girl, gives us her preview for the Women’s division at London’s Calling (WT1). 

London’s Calling is by far my favourite event on the calendar. The event where all teams come both determined after month’s of pre season fitness, training and bonding, and charged by the anticipation of the first tour event, to make their mark and set the tone for the season ahead. So much so that it has become a worthy lure of international competition. Last year’s event itself didn’t disappoint for upsets, with the reigning champions Iceni being relegated to sixth position. London rivals SYC, being the sole representative of the English contingent, against the German national team in the final. This year, the stage is set for more teams to challenge the very top spots.

It appears that the broad selection of players up and down the country that were picked to represent GB last year has really benefitted investment in women’s clubs. As a result it is by no means a two horse race to the final any longer. With Nice Bristols, SYC and the newly rebranded Brighton outfit, Seven Sisters, having all come runners up at each of the tour finals, it thus goes without saying that all will be looking to better their 2012 performance.

Will an influx of fresh blood into SYC from those representing the u23 squad make the difference this year? SYC have clearly shown themselves to be formidable opponents but struggled to maintain consistency last year. Their strong start at London Calling ended up never bettered, or even matched at subsequent events. However, was this simply a result of their infancy as a club? They have never lacked quality, with a roster full of international experience. And so with another year under their belt, are things set to change?

Will Brighton’s famously incessant flair continue to baffle teams who prefer a more disciplined and regimented style of play? They are a team that thrive off the harsh conditions that the south coast hurls at them. Underestimate them at your own peril! Headed this year by Kent superstar, Kate Ford, rest assured, this is a team whose spirits will be near impossible for the most formidable of opponents to crush, and for whom the hammer is always ON.

Will Nice Bristols be able to maintain the momentum of last season having been the only other English team to join Iceni at EUCF 2012? Still with a handful of experienced, international players at the helm, they appear to continue building on solid foundations. They boast big turnouts at training have made getting on their first team fiercer than ever. In contrast LeedLeedsLeeds (LLLs), have lost many key personnel, including one of their most invested and influential players, Gemma Taylor. Consequently, the focus at LLLs is very much on their up and coming talent this year. With nothing to lose, will these fresh faces cause some surprises?

Equally, how will the first appearance of ROBOT fare? A team where much of LLL’s departed experience has ended up. Essentially an all-star masters team, ROBOT boasts the return of former captains of Leeds and Iceni, Sally Fraser and Whitney Kakos, who were last seen together on pitch competing against each other in the xEUCF 2009 final. The disappearance of Bears and ISO at London Calling this year, also begs the question of how these players have redistributed among other teams/clubs. In the case of the southerners at least, the demise of ISO has given rise to two new teams, Discie Chicks and Something Different.

Finally, last year’s tour champions, Iceni will be determined to defend their home turf, in their quest to retain both domestic and European domination. Like last year, they have picked a very big squad to keep the level of competition and play, within the club as high as possible. And with four GB World Games player’s setting the standard, the bar is indeed high. Will this dynamic again led to Iceni Savage (their iron man spin off) upstaging Iceni ‘full fat’ at London Calling as they did last year? Unfortunately, the former will not have the chance to repeat their impressive victory over the German national team, with Parisian based YAKA being the only international team to attend this weekend. Yet, having been freshly crowned champions of France for the sixth time in a row just last weekend, will they continue to ride high on success over the Channel and be the source of the biggest upsets?

Just as last year, I am continually excited by the development and level of increasing investment in women’s clubs. As such, this year, I genuinely believe the competition to be wide open. None of the teams working hard for those top spots deserve to be underestimated. However, as an Iceni warrior myself, named after the tribe that so happened to famously dominate the St Albans area two thousand years ago, I’ll be attending London Calling with every belief in my team coming out on top!

UKU Open/Women’s Tour 1: London’s Calling! 
So who are you backing? Comment, like, share and more! Use the #ukut1 hashtag over the weekend and keep an eye on here for scores. Watch out for our Open preview, soon…

Mixed Tour 3 (2013) – Cheltenham.

With the final installment of Mixed Tour this weekend, what have we got in store for Cheltenham?

The weather looks to be cold with some chance of rain later in the weekend. This never stopped us but please pack warm and stay warm camping! 

Sadly we still have no schedule (mostly down to late dropouts) but we know where to look for excitement. We will see the likes of RGS, World Games, Cambridge, Brighton, DED, Black Eagles and Herd fighting for top spots. Watch out for some of the next 8 fighting their way up, Bristol, Shiny Happy Meeples and U23’s will not give up and will want to finish off the tour strongly.

Last chance saloon for Mixed tour glory. Keep an eye out for our review next week covering Mixed Tour as a whole and looking forward to Nationals and further. 

EDIT: Full standings (so far) can be found here
Schedule is now here.
See y’all there use the hashtag #ukumt3 for more info and results! Want to give us your opinion? Don’t be scared! Like, share and contribute. tSG

The Grapevine – 10/05

The Grapevine covers almost every UK blog and a mention to our European partners Get Horizontal! 

Mark Earley interviews the Shiok Ultimate player Nick See on Ultimate Interviews.

Our European friends Get Horizontal review the Belgian mixed tournament G-SPOT, where Cambridge came out Spirit winners! Also go read a preview of Tom’s Tourney where some UK teams will party and play over in Brugges as of yesterday.

Barry O’Kane talks to Lauren Bryant and David Pryce on his unedited UTalkRaw Episode 18 about GB Beach Mixed, part of the GB squad series.

An amazing slo mo video of a recent MLU game shows us how Ultimate should be filmed.

Glastonbury has opened its registration for the weekend of 7/8th September, go register here. 

A great piece on why children should be their own referees in sports and in particular play Ultimate.

Donate towards the GB World Games cause, it’s not a cheap trip to Columbia!

Benji Heywood talks about cutting and in particularly getting separation on a new post in the Understanding Ultimate blog.

Finally, go see who we are and what we are all about!

The UKU works alongside Matalan and Steve Redgrave to get school children into Ultimate. Photo Courtesy of Carl Fox.

A quick request: anyone want to write more on the Women’s division?! We are in need of such a writer, please contact us! Also remember to share, like and tweet :).