Friday, 1 May 2009

Warwick Bears win University Mixed Outdoor Nationals!

This year WB have now won both open and mixed student titles proving that they really are the student team to beat! WB bears were up against Strange Blue in the final, a consistently strong team for a number of years. Both teams played fantastically all weekend but WB were able to get an early upwind break point putting SB on the back foot. The wind didn't let up and another break point for WB close to half time in those conditions effectively sealed the deal. The Ultimate on the second day in Nottingham was dominated by playing 'upwind/downwind games' which meant that a lot of games went to sudden death and teams often won by securing an all important upwind break point followed by playing Huck and D for the rest of the game.

The first day however testimony for the impressive continuing development of student ultimate across the UK with teams breaking seeding all over the place. Halcyon staked their claim as contenders winning all of their pool games but despite a great effort finished 4th with Random Fling beating them to 3rd. Final placings for positions 5-9 and 10-14 were decided by incredibly close games again showing how open these tournements are with regards final standings. The team that finishes with a smile on their face regardless of their final seeding is definately the winner here.

The party was great fun with pretty much every team putting loads of effort into their costumes and everyone paryting hard into the early hours. There were plenty of pirates being suitably rowdy along with the sailors, crude oil and bumble bees. The standard and intensity of play on the second day was all the more impressive considering the lack of sleep of many teams.

It is quite telling that in the lead up to UMON 09 there had been little or no talk and hype about it across the numerous email lists, online groups and blogs. I have no doubt that within teams there was much excitement and anticipation about the coming weekend (as there was in mine!) but it just shows that now the weekend has passed, the memories of those we beat and those who beat us will fade, who the contenders for the title were will be forgotten and all that will remain will be the 'remember whens' the next time our team gets back together or when we get our next intake of university freshers. The point is, the top players from these student teams are the future of club and UK ultimate. Perhaps all that is needed to get people more excited about these competitions is just talking about them. Unfortunately seedings weren't released until late as a number of teams pulled out close to the tourney but if everyone in the UK ultimate community knew how well these student teams played then I think it would only benefit developing players, the future of UK Ultimate internationally and Ultimate as a sport.

Result Team

1. (=) Bears
2. (7) Strange Blue
3. (7) Random Fling
4. (2) Halcyon
5. (2) LSE
6. (7) Phat Eds
7. (7) UCL
8. (=) DUF
9. (5) Jedi
10. (7) Positive Mojo
11. (5) Haze
12. (=) OW!
13. (8) Too Many Pies
14. (3) Uriel

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