UXIR: Yorkshire and East Midlands recap

Tanny Karimi and Sasha Squires look back at mixed indoors in the Yorkshire and East Midlands region, reflecting on the return to frisbee and what the the tournament was like.

After a long and rocky road with Covid-19, the thought of playing university Ffisbee has been something on everyone’s mind, and mixed regionals did not disappoint. 

With Nottingham 1 winning the last regionals and dominating nationals, it was expected that they would replicate the performance at this year’s regionals. However, Nottingham lost a lot of their top players such as Maya Israel & Joel Miller and fell to eventually finish fifth and make Div 2 nationals, meaning the top spot was once again up for grabs. 

From the start of the tournament, Sheffield 1 took control, performing exceptionally in every single game. A lot of strong players were part of their squad, including some highly experienced ladies such as SMOG players Helen Thompson and Samantha Choo. Sheffield also managed to field three teams for this tournament who all performed very well, especially their third team who had a massive improvement across the weekend, highlighted by the massive improvement in scores in their repeat game against Leicester 1.

Along with Sheffield 1, Loughborough 1 and Leeds 1 also dominated the tournament with both teams retaining their reputations of high performance and consistency. This consistency was well showcased by Loughborough who once again managed to get two teams to nationals, the first team finishing second narrowly behind Sheffield and going to Div 1 and the second team falling more comprehensively to Leeds in the game to go, so heading to Div 2.

Another notable performance was by spirit winners Nottingham Trent. Excellently led by Tauhid Ibrahim, they managed to up their seed by two to gain themselves a spot at Div 2 nationals, beating Sheffield 2 in the game to go, a particularly impressive feat given the new players on their team. 

Overall it was a brilliant weekend and a great way to welcome university tournaments back!

UWIR 2021: Scotland preview

Nick Byrne previews the Scotland region of women’s indoor regionals!

Edinburgh

Edinburgh have managed to get a medal in both regionals so far. The pattern would suggest that Edinburgh 3s are going to get a bronze medal this weekend.

As unlikely as that is, their first team may well be able to do the job. There are a lot of very good players on this Edinburgh women’s first team and it would not be a massive surprise to see them in the top three. 

It is also impressive to see that, in a year where some universities have struggled to even put together one team for this tournament, Edinburgh have managed to enter three teams and that is a real testament to their recruitment.

Glasgow

Glasgow will be bringing a very strong squad to UWIR this weekend and will be playing hard for a gold medal to match their kit. They have had very successful mixed and men’s campaigns so far, reaching nationals for both, and I would strongly predict a Division 1 nationals spot coming their way this weekend as well.

There are a number of standout players on the team, particularly captain Eva Jones who brings both skilful throwing and an impressive threat in the air.

Dundee

While Dundee are going to be bringing a somewhat inexperienced team, they are still going to post a very real threat to the top teams at this tournament and they are desperate to prove themselves and claim a top four spot.

Their captain, Sophie Baird, is going to be a main player to watch throughout the weekend. Her hight, experience and throws allow Dundee to play an attacking style of ultimate which a lot of teams may find difficult to deal with.

A Division 1 spot if definitely going to be up for grabs for Dundee, and no matter what these girls will gain a lot of experience from the weekend and will show themselves to be a real force to be reckoned with in the next few years.

Strathclyde

Strathclyde have had a dominant women’s team over the past few years and are coming in this year with another super strong team. While there are a few other very strong women’s teams this year, the Dark Horses will still be confident of medalling.

Caroline Charnley and Erina Brown are the two players to really watch, both having played for SCRAM together in the past and played on this university team together for a number of years. Caroline’s speed paired with Eri’s grabs and the chemistry that they have together are certainly a winning combo.

St Andrews

The Saints ladies look to be putting together one of the strongest women’s teams that have played at university level for a while. These girls already have a gold medal from mixed a few weeks ago and it would be difficult to bet against them getting a second this weekend.

Katie Trimm, who was recently selected to play for the GB women’s indoor team, is going to be a dominant player at the tournament. In addition to that I could probably give a shoutout to every player on that team as they all bring a lot to the tournament.

The Saints are definitely going to be the team to beat at the weekend.

Stirling

The Blazettes have had a decent recruitment year and so will be bringing a number of players who are looking to develop their game for the future. This gives all of their players a chance to establish themselves and show off what they can do without any pressure this weekend. Due to the setup of this year’s regionals, there is a very high chance of being able to qualify for nationals which further takes the pressure off this inexperienced team and allows them to work and learn and develop themselves. Hopefully someone will be able to come out and establish themselves so that we will be talking about them as the big name leading into nationals next semester.

Overall

While there are not as many women’s teams as we have had in the past at these regionals, and that is a real shame to see, the quality of the teams entered means that this is still going to be a very exciting tournament.

There is a fairly realistic chance that we may see a St Andrews v Strathclyde final for the third regionals in a row, a matchup which currently stands at 1-1, so this would be a very exciting matchup to watch.

Also, this week Stevo is no longer the TD and so we may actually get to find out who wins spirit without any funny business.

Prediction

  1. St Andrews
  2. Strathclyde
  3. Glasgow
  4. Dundee
  5. Edinburgh
  6. St Andrews 2
  7. Stirling
  8. Edinburgh 2
  9. Glasgow 2
  10. Edinburgh 3

UWIR 2021: East preview

Magnus Oakes and Arjun Bhushan take a look at women’s regionals in the East and London region.

After a highly successful and very well spirited UMIR we look forward to the last regional indoors tournament of the year: UWIR. With 18 teams attending and a wider regional pool to draw on it will be very exciting to see how this tournament turns out. With five Div 1 and four Div 2 nationals spots on the line this looks likely to be a hotly contested tournament with quite a few exciting rivalries to watch.

Brunel women are coming off exceptional play at UXIR and will have high hopes for this tournament. Their match against Imperial this tournament is one to keep your eyes on as it may play an important role in deciding the narrative of this budding rivalry between the two schools. Their women were especially great and isolating players at mixed so it will be exciting to see how they perform without their male counterparts.

Cambridge is looking to continue their streak of nationals qualification at the last regional indoors tournament of the season. With a few players who weren’t at UXIR they may have a surprise or two for the teams who might think they know the Cambridge team well. It’s a regional tournament with Oxford in it so Cambridge are looking to continue from their strong performances at fake Varsity last year and beat Oxford.

UEA are again a team to watch at this tournament. Their dangerous zone and players who are basically walking highlight reels mean that they are undeniably a threat to whoever they go up against. Hopefully they bring the enthusiasm and amazing spirit they normally contribute to this tournament too.

Imperial unfortunately weren’t able to secure nats spot at mixed or men’s, so at this tournament they’ll really be gunning for a nationals spot. Despite their women’s team being littered with some international level players, they’ll be adopting a spartan mentality going into this tournament and looking to end their indoor season strong.

KCL are looking to make it three-for-three in winning regional tournaments but will certainly face stiff opposition here. With a selection of powerful cutters and handlers they must been seen as a favourite team to place highly in the tournament but may find it difficult to replicate the success they had in men’s or mixed. With a recent loss to UCL women outdoors it seems that they may face a tougher road to the final here than in their other competitions.

LSE are something of a dark horse. Not competing in any of the other indoors tournaments, it will be interesting to see what sort of a team they bring.

Oxford’s men performed very well at their regionals and their women must be looking to replicate their success. It will be interesting to see if they can get revenge against Sussex who dominated both mixed and men’s regionals against Oxford. Some of the players on these teams will have played in a game that generated extremely low spirit scores at mixed, so that may be something to watch going into this tournament. Additionally, it’ll be exciting to see Cambridge and Oxford’s 150-year-old sporting continue to play out.

Both Chichester and Oxford Brookes had success in only their mixed regionals so we can expect both teams to be looking to replicate that success in this final regional tournament.

Portsmouth narrowly missed out on a nationals spot at mixed indoors and won spirit with a very impressive 12.57 average. To perform well in a tournament and win spirit always says good things about a team’s chemistry so we believe they are a team to watch.

Watch out for Surrey’s women at this tournament. With a strong existing squad including Claudia Carnell and Eve Magawon from Guildford Ultimate and massive pick-ups in Iceni veteran Hannah Brew and GB Junior Eleanor Stratton, this team is experienced and is confident in their ability to take home some silverware.

Sussex are looking very strong going into this tournament. Matching Kings with a two-for-two record at indoor regional tournaments, the match up of those two will certainly be an exciting one. With a few exciting international student additions, their fast-paced offence and flexagon defence will present a definite challenge to all the teams at this tournament.

UCL have qualified for Div 1 in the previous tournaments this year, and their women will look to be no different. This time they’ll be bringing some new faces and pickups to this tournament in hopes finally taking home a trophy. With third at mixed regionals and second in men’s regionals, they’re looking for a first place finish at this tournament.

Overall, due to the combination of regions that is occurring in this tournament, this is a harder one to call. With that in mind we predict the first teams will place:

  1. Surrey
  2. UCL
  3. Kings
  4. Imperial
  5. Cambridge
  6. Sussex
  7. Oxford
  8. UEA
  9. Chichester
  10. Oxford Brookes
  11. Brunel
  12. Portsmouth
  13. LSE

UMIR 2021: Yorkshire and East Midlands preview

With men’s indoor regionals this weekend, we’ve got some previews for you! Here Sasha Squires and Tanny Karimi talk about the huge Yorkshire and East Midlands region.

With the last men’s regionals just over two years ago, ambitions to perform well this weekend will be prominent. Many of this year’s experienced players will have been freshers the last time they played so it will be interesting to see how they have developed during COVID and whether seedings remain accurate. There are five nationals spots available, three to Div 1 and two to Div 2 so there will be a number of first teams who miss out.

Showing consistency across all divisions, Loughborough 1 and Sheffield 1 hold top positions in the table and it is predicted they will continue to perform highly in the men’s division as they did in the mixed division. Impressively, Loughborough have managed to field five teams this year so it will be exciting to see the development of their less experienced teams across the weekend. We’ve even heard rumours that there are bets circulating around whether Loughborough’s fifth team will beat their forth team. 

Leicester 1 are currently seeded third after an excellent performance in 2019, but with many of that team having now graduated, will they be able to hold their seed and perform as well as they did in the last open regionals? 

Nottingham Trent exceeded expectations at mixed regionals so there will be pressure for them to perform highly this weekend. With the addition of some ladies to their team, their tactics may vary to other teams which could provide them with an advantage over other teams.

In the middle, we have York who have a history of narrowly missing out on nationals so we can imagine they will be playing extra hard in order to secure a spot at nationals. York have also entered two teams so it will be interesting to compare the performance of their first team to their second team, and maybe even see a play-off between the two! 

Unfortunately, COVID has meant that quite a few teams are not playing this year including Sheffield Hallam, Bradford, Hull and De Montford. However, we have seen the addition of Leeds Beckett so it will be exciting to see how they perform as a new team across the weekend and whether they up their seed. 

We are really excited to see how all the teams connect and develop and whether there will be any surprises in game play across the weekend! 

Prediction

  1. Sheffield
  2. Loughborough
  3. Leeds
  4. Nottingham
  5. Loughborough 2
  6. York
  7. Leicester
  8. Huddersfield

UMIR 2021: East and London preview

With men’s indoor regionals this weekend, we’ve got some previews for you! Here’s a look at the East and London from Magnus Oakes and Arjun Bhushan.

After the exciting Mixed Regionals the region prepares for what should be a hotly contested Men’s Regionals. With two new teams and the different compositions that Men’s forces it seems unlikely that the results of mixed will be entirely repeated. Two Division 1 and two Division 2 spots at nationals are up for grabs at this tournament. Below each of the teams are listed in their seeding rank with a short preview of their tournaments.

UCL

UCL’s depth was impressive at mixed and will probably bring a squad hungry to get another Div 1 national spot for their programme. They brought a lot of speed, height and dangerous give-go moves that we likely see again this tournament. Again, their committee must be commended recruitment wise as bringing three teams is a feat.

Imperial

Imperial’s failure to qualify for nationals at mixed places some pressure on their men’s team to perform in this tournament. Highly seeded and placed in a group with the team who knocked them out of nationals considerations at mixed, they will certainly be a team to watch this tournament. Hopefully they can build off what they learned at UXIR and produce a strong result.

Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire are something of a dark horse this tournament. Without Ernie Simons (St Albans), a key player on their teams in the past, and with the long break since their last tournament it will be exciting to see what kind of a team they produce this tournament. We would be surprised if they held the seed they have been given.

Kings

Kings continue to have dominant players, but it will be interesting to see if their second team can produce the men needed to have depth that was previously provided by their excellent women. The Jacob Rheins (Colorado Mamabird) to James Lee (Deep Space) connection will continue to be incredibly dangerous but if teams can work out a way to stifle their iso play they may be challenged more than they were at UXIR.

Cambridge

Cambridge were amazing at UXIR and hoping to build on that success in men’s. While often known as an outdoors team pretending to play indoors, they showed considerable aptitude for defending all sorts of indoors offences at mixed and will be an exciting team to watch this tournament. Their second team ranked highest out of all the second teams last tournament so hopefully that depth translates into their first team well.

UEA

UEA were phenomenal at UXIR, but it will be exciting to see how much of that was down to their explosive female players like Alana Clane (Longhill High School). What is certain is that they will be well drilled and comfortable, looking to repeat their success at mixed. Their defence was especially potent at mixed, with their zone and wall causing all sorts of problems for many a team. They have also done very well recruitment-wise and will be bringing three teams.

Brunel

Brunel are no longer a dark horse. With their securing of a nationals spot at mixed for the second season in a row they are a team are probably under-seeded and one to watch. Their group with Imperial 1 will definitely be something of a grudge match and hopefully their men’s team can live up to high standard set by their mixed performance.

Anglia Ruskin
ARU are a bit of an unknown variable having not come to mixed this year. Having talked to their president, they sound excited to come and play their best frisbee. They are certainly a team to keep an eye on and could pull off an upset or two but are probably not nationals contenders.

Prediction

With all that said, we think the first teams will finish:

  1. Kings
  2. UCL
  3. Cambridge
  4. Imperial
  5. Brunel
  6. UEA
  7. Hertfordshire
  8. ARU

UMIR 2021: South West preview

With men’s indoor regionals this weekend, we’ve got some previews for you! Here’s Ollie Pattinson talking about what might happen in the South West.

Although still very much feeling the effects of Mixed Regionals, we are already looking ahead to Men’s Indoor Regionals this weekend. The South West region produced a high level of ultimate for the first tournament back, with tight games between a range of teams, and ultimately deciding the final results. 

Now the men’s teams will be attempting to recreate this level in Bath. Could this be the year that a competitor knocks the home team off of first place? Bournemouth will be making their first competitive appearance of the season, and joining the other six universities fighting for the spot that Bath have held for many years. With six nationals spots available (four for Div 1 and two for Div 2) the rewards are plentiful and all the first teams, plus numerous second teams, will have their eyes on qualification. 

Bath

Bath have started the season showing they have no intention of relinquishing the title of best in the South West. A first-place finish at Mixed Regionals shows that the level of the Bath team has not diminished, and they will again be the top target for the other universities seeking first place this weekend. Bath also had the highest place second team at mixed, showing depth among their teams. Bath 2 are also a team that have to be mentioned within the region given their incredible history of results. Twice in the last six years taking the top spots themselves, teams will have to be sure not to underestimate this second team. Bath will surely be looking at the qualification spots with the goal of once again finishing with two teams heading to nationals. 

Bristol

Bristol took second place and Div 1 qualification from Mixed Regionals. This result, and the fact that this was achieved in spite of more than a whole line of players getting injured during the weekend, shows that Bristol mean business. At Men’s Nationals in 2019-20 Bristol stormed Div 2 and took home first place. The other teams this weekend can expect that Bristol will have higher competition in their sights, and will be one of the toughest opponents this weekend. Bristol are also hoping their second team can take advantage of the extra qualification spots, and make their way to nationals as well. With a comfortable first BUCS win of the season, Bristol will see their opportunity to give Bath a run for their money and want to take first place.

Bournemouth

It is extra difficult to predict the Bournemouth team this year. The team did not get to have a first run together at Mixed and so will debut their season at Men’s Regionals. It will be an important test for the club following the disruption of COVID. The team is split between experienced players, including some GB U17s experience, as well as some freshers who will get their first chance at a competitive tournament. There are sure to be challenges for this Bournemouth team, but they aim to win as much as they can and most importantly enjoy themselves. As we have seen other teams face similar difficulties following COVID, Bournemouth will have lots of opportunity for close matches, and will hope their fresh squad can catch some teams out.

Exeter

Exeter not only come off of a second place finish at Men’s regionals 2019, but also a second team qualification in fifth, giving numerous developing players high-level experience. While the COVID delay may have disrupted this, we can still expect an experienced team and huge challenge presented by Exeter this year. A fourth place finish at Mixed Regionals may be disappointing compared to previous finishes, but having held two of the higher finishing teams to draws, Exeter will expect to improve on this for Men’s Regionals. Also coming into the weekend with a BUCS victory under their belt, the Exeter Men’s team will have confidence and high expectations. 

Plymouth

Plymouth were the unfortunate team to miss out on qualification for Mixed Nationals by one spot last weekend, but were a team that hugely improved as the weekend went on. Having exceeded their own expectations, Plymouth may come into Men’s Regionals with extra confidence and a big desire to improve further. While still rebuilding the team, and some freshers getting an opportunity on the first team, Plymouth will face some difficult opposition at the weekend. But with the extra qualification spots, Plymouth will be fighting hard to qualify and will be aiming to cause upsets. 

Southampton

Southampton have high expectations for Men’s Regionals. With both a BUCS win over Bath and  taking home the trophy at SICKO beginners, this year Southampton have demonstrated they can beat the toughest of opponents. Following their best Mixed Regionals in recent years, and only two losses both by a single point, they will believe they have what it takes to not only qualify but also compete for first place. With the addition of Andrezj Zarod (Wroclaw Flow) and Leo Micklem (UCD and Ranelagh) to that successful mixed team, Southampton have the talent and experience to expect nationals qualification. Southampton also have a strong, experienced second team who will want to be one of the many contenders for the qualification spots over the weekend.

UWE

UWE come off the back of a difficult Mixed Regionals, with a very new team coming back from the COVID break. However, strong experienced players on the team will be looking to rectify that at Men’s Regionals. With incredible performances in recent years, UWE is no stranger to nationals and will want to see their team return. Following some impressive displays of athleticism at the weekend, and now more experience playing together, UWE will want to bring a higher level to Men’s Regionals. 

The weekend is likely to involve numerous revenge battles from Mixed Regionals, and teams wanting to prove themselves. The predictions could again go either way, but with a some accurate guesses last week, I have a bit more confidence this set:

Predictions

  1. Bath
  2. Southampton
  3. Bristol
  4. Exeter
  5. Plymouth
  6. UWE
  7. Bournemouth

With the short turnaround between tournaments, teams will be hoping to bring the same level of competitiveness shown last weekend, with their new knowledge of the competition maybe helping create even tighter battles. I again predict some great excitement around the weekend and anticipate some exhilarating ultimate will be played.

Good luck to all teams heading to Bath this weekend!

UMIR 2021: Scotland preview

With men’s indoor regionals this weekend, we’ve got some previews for you! Here Nick Byrne previews what might go on north of the border in Scotland.

Well, we have all just about recovered from mixed regionals last week; a tournament which included a team with four players winning a game, a second team winning a bronze medal, and a stuffed animal coaching a team to a gold medal. Let’s hope this week is just as action packed and fun. There are four Div 1 spots up for grabs as well as three to Div 2, so plenty of teams will be making the trip to nationals. Who’ll take those top four could be close, though.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen has some very strong players in their squad going this weekend. A key player will be Josh Baillie who is not only a skilful and experienced player, but also has the advantage of height. 

Aberdeen started extremely strong at mixed regionals, taking third seed into the second day. They unfortunately just missed out on a Division 1 nationals spot, so they will be hoping to come out and make up for that by getting to Division 1 this weekend. 

Dundee

Dundee has some extremely skilful players. They suffer somewhat from a lack of tournament experience across the roster which is the only thing holding them back from being one of the top teams, but if they can play sensibly and keep their heads together for a whole weekend then they should be able to get a qualification for one of the divisions at nationals.

Their standout and go-to player is Johannes Umlauf, whose height and catching skills make him a difficult target man to stop and often a very good bailout option to beat strong defences. Young player Louis Fong also played exceptionally well at mixed regionals, getting multiple layout Ds and so will be looking to carry that form onto this weekend.

St Andrews

Having had a long conversation with new coach Balthazar, it is clear that St Andrews have very lofty expectations for themselves this weekend. He told me that despite losing Katie Trim, the only player in Scotland that can sky Ian Tait, they should still be able to hold their own and aim for two gold medals in two weeks.

Balthazar has further spoken about how he has watched Fraser Park playing for a number of years and he is really coming into his own this year and hitting his peak; his athleticism and throwing capabilities make him an extremely dangerous player on an indoor pitch.

Overall Saints have a very good chance to win this weekend and, with the roster they will be bringing backed by some very strong backroom staff, they will be disappointed with anything less than gold.

Stirling

Stirling are still in the middle of their big development push. They have done extremely well with recruitment both last year and this and so will be looking to go out and help their players gain as much experience as possible from this tournament. This does not however mean that they will be an easy game for anyone, they will be looking to play smartly and consistently and hoping that some of their new and inexperienced players can step up and make a name for themselves this weekend.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh had a very interesting weekend last week, with their second team coming away with a Division 1 nationals spot and a bronze medal. This week they will be looking to solidify this achievement and put together a stronger first team performance. 

Andrew Cleary is a player to really watch out for. Having played for Alba this summer he knows how to go out and win a bronze medal, although I’m sure Edinburgh will be hoping for better than that this weekend. 

Edinburgh have shown that they have skills and ability to beat the best teams this season and if they can put together more consistency this weekend, they should have a very good chance of a Division 1 nationals spot at least. 

Heriot Watt

Heriot-Watt come into this weekend with a mixed nationals spot already in the bag, hoping to claim a men’s nationals spot to go with it. From last weekend we can see that they have a lot of height and they know how to use it. Teams will struggle to stop Heriot’s high discs and tall defence. The only real weakness in Heriot’s game at the moment is its depth through the squad, and so if they have managed a strong recruitment year this season and are able to bring some depth as well as their height and throws to the tournament then they could definitely come out as a surprise package and threaten the top spots.

Strathclyde

Strathclyde are hurting at the moment. They have had a week to sit and think about that one-point loss in the final of mixed regionals to St Andrews and they do not want it to happen again. 

Captain Laurens Kok and GB Ian Tait add a lot of height to the squad which is a big advantage indoors, and means that most teams will struggle to pull off any overheads or deep shots against them.

Jonny Tang has just turned 28 and is finally ready to win a gold regionals medal, claiming he is going to get at least one layout D per game; anyone he is marking should be worried.

Will we get a repeat of last week’s final? I expect so. Will we get a repeat of last week’s results? Only time will tell, both teams are extremely well matched and it may well come down to who wants it more on the day.

Glasgow

Far Flung have managed to get a special delivery from down south in the form of GB U20 player Leon Williams. Not only does Leon have great abs but he has the ability to mark any uni-level player out of the game completely and run them ragged on defence. This addition, coupled with Joel Terry being on the team for the whole weekend, means that it would be a mistake to count Glasgow out of any game.

While they are not the favourites, if they are underestimated this Glasgow team definitely has the players to win every game and take home a surprise gold.

Second teams

I like to write about second teams often because you sometimes see them managing to grab a Division 2 nationals spot, and it’s always fun to see a second team beating a first team.

Edinburgh 2 last week however changed this completely as now apparently second teams are going for medals at these tournaments.

Edinburgh 2s are unlikely to make quite as much of a splash as they did last week since a lot of the guys that were on that team will now be on the first team, but they will still be looking to push every team they play against.

Both Strathclyde and St Andrews second teams will be looking to try and push for a nationals spot, and they both have a very good chance of doing so.

Prediction

  1. St Andrews 1
  2. Strathclyde 1
  3. Glasgow 1
  4. Edinburgh 1
  5. Dundee 1
  6. Heriot Watt 1
  7. Aberdeen 1
  8. Strathclyde 2
  9. St Andrews 2
  10. Edinburgh 2
  11. Stirling 1
  12. Glasgow 2
  13. St Andrews 3
  14. Strathclyde 3
  15. Aberdeen 2
  16. Glasgow 3
  17. Edinburgh 3