Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Junior Ultimate

Durham Hat was a lot of fun, this was despite the terrible weather on saturday, a broken generator and speakers and a venue that insisted everything except the mens toilets was locked up by 8pm. The organisers held it all together however with nice pitches, great level of competition, a rediculous party a decent schedule and friendly faces. I really liked the fact that there were so many players who were pre-uni. Many had been playing for 1 or 2 years at their secondary schools and will be the captains of their future uni teams. It is fitting then for me to mention that this weekend is Junior Nationals being held in Manchester (although I've been beaten to it by this post in a new blog).

The field this weekend will look something like:

Airbadgers 1
Airbadgers 2
Airbadgers 3
Discy Business
Jesus Loves Spartans
NC Hammer
Army of the Goatboy
Strangers with Candy
Catch Those
Psychedelic Rhinos

As Ultimate gradually infiltrates PE curriculums in schools, we can hope to see more and more people finding Ultimate at a younger age. This will have a massive impact on UK Ultimate as the freshers fare will no longer be a players first introduction to Ultimate. One of the best ways to get involved early is to go to hat tourneys! You can be sure you will get to play with at least one pretty experienced player who will be more than happy to teach and give suggestions as to where you can go to play more. There are plenty of people who would even help in setting up teams in schools. These are the sort of reasons why meeting and playing with lots of different people at hats can be such a great tool for developing UK ultimate in general.

In the US, there is already a strong High School Ultimate scene. Proof of this is that at US High School Nationals the standard of Ultimate is very similar to the UK University Nationals standard suggesting they have a 4 year advantage on us. Take a look at and compare the level of play in these two videos:

05.16/17 - 2009 UPA Westerns - Churchill Open HL from luke johnson on Vimeo.

This one is on the push pass website.
Let's try and close the gap!

Friday, 19 June 2009

UK Hat Tournements

Hat tournements encourage meeting and playing with new people which in turn creates new connections within the Ultimate community. They are a tool for enhancing the socialising, partying and community spirit within UK Ultimate. I've played in Hats outside of the UK and always had a great experience. I've got good friends all over the world just from initially playing a couple of games of frisbee together.

I'm heading up to Durham later today for what I've heard is a great weekend tournement, Durham Hat. This same weekend is a charity hat called TropHat, (get involved if your around London this weekend)

There are a number of Hat Tourneys being held across the country throughout the year including

-Strathclyde Hat Tournement
-Duffa Hat
-Lemmings Hat

A number of these are 1 dayers in aid of charity. Lets see more of these as they are great fun whilst supporting great causes as well as more of the big weekend hat tournements! You get far more close games, meet lots of new people, have a big party and get the opportunity to travel. Pretty much the physical representation of the spirit of ultimate and why I play.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

UK Open Nationals 2003-2008.

I thought I would have a go at collating the results of all the UK Open Nationals that I could find. The UKU website has results from 2005-2009 but the BritDisc archive goes back to 2003. As a side note, there are some interesting posts from about 5 years ago which, depending on what aspect of the sport you want to read about, shows our varying levels of progress. It made for some entertaining reading anyway! So below is what I came up with by just entering the results and not doing anything fancy with it. (click for a larger image)

Nationals 2003-2008

Nationals 2003-2008

There aren't really any surprising results, the middle of the table sees the most changes year on year, the top 8 stays largely the same, Clapham have won every year since 2003 (and actually back to 2001 although I couldn't find results that far back). A total of 74 different teams have made it to Nationals since 2003 (although often teams reinvent themselves with either a new name or when 2 clubs combine) and a number of teams consistently get 2 teams to Nationals.

For any sport to develop and flourish I can think of a few basic requirements. A solid grass roots development programme, an effective, efficient and well organised governing body, healthy competition, people who care and a history. Ultimate has all of these but in the early stages. I would love to know what other sports like Football, Baseball and Basketball were like 50 years after they were first played to compare them to where we are in terms of competitiveness, player numbers and organisation. Although the last thing I would want would be for Ultimate to go down a route resembling theirs.

Documenting everything that happens is one way we can develop a history and ensure a future.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Winding Up to Durham!

I returned from Holland earlier this evening having played with Thundering Herd in the mixed division at Windmill Windup. In short, what a fantastic tournement! The organisation was the best I've seen at a tourney in a long time, largely thanks to the team of 30+ volunteers that were there. Great pitches, facilities, food, teams and parties. We played hard and partied harder while representing UK mixed ultimate with a respectable 4th place finish. I'll write up more once I've had some sleep...we stayed in Amsterdam for 5 days in total, with 3 being at the tourney itself, good times.

This coming weekend, Durham Hat! I've heard lots of good things about this tournement so really looking forward to this. OK, must sleep.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

And the Winner is....

Congratulations to Graham Bailey for his photo titled 'Layout Bid' receiving 37% of your votes and winning him the book 'ultimate:the greatest sport ever invented by man'. You can find more of Grahams ultimate photos here.

'Layout Bid'

The photo is of Felix Shardlow (Brighton) attempting a layout D on David 'DJ' Moore (Jeremy Codhand) in the final of Mixed Nationals 2009. Jeremy Codhand went on to win the game and become the number 1 ranked mixed team in the UK.

Thankyou to everyone who entered and to everyone who voted. Keep an eye out for future competitions and don't forget that the film competition is on-going. If you make a short film of recent UK Ultimate, let me know about it and you could be in with a chance to win some other ulti related prizes!

WOOP WOOP! Windmill Windup tomorrow! Can't wait! With a total of 65 teams attending including 5 Irish, 2 English and 1 Scottish, I'm looking forward to playing against some quality European teams. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Iceni Win 2009 UK Tour 1!

UK Tour 1 2009 is now all wrapped up with only a BritDisc discussion about the schedule, venue and the importance of Tour 0 left in its wake.

The results:


1. (=) Iceni
2. (=) leeds
3. (1) Nice Bristol
4. (2) Brighton
5. (3) Crown Jewels 1
6. (1) Dirty Olive
7. (2) Iso
8. (5) Swift
9. (=) Limited Release
10. (=) Leamu
11. (2) Brown
12. (1) Steal
13. (1) MUF
14. (1) Dolly Mixture
15. (1) Nice Bristol 2
16. (=) GBJW
17. (=) Crown Jewels 2


1. (=) Chevron
2. (1) Clapham
3. (1) Fire D
4. (7) Brighton
5. (3) Fire O
6. (=) Emo 1
7. (=) Leeds
8. (5) Team Shark
9. (7) Brown
10. (=) Tooting Tigers
11. (7) Fusion East
12. (7) Fully Charged
13. (2) BAF 1
14. (2) Limited Release 1
15. (7) Strange Blue 1
16. (2) Vision
17. (8) Fusion West
18. (6) Burro Electrico
19. (1) Mild Mannered Janitors
20. (1) Kent Open
21. (4) Bristol Plastic Factory 1
22. (3) Steal
23. (6) Brighton 2
24. (7) Emo 2
25. (5) Seamus Murphy
26. (4) ABH
27. (2) Devon 1
28. (5) Brown 2
29. (3) Leamington Leamings 1
30. (3) London Revolution
31. (9) Trigger Happy
32. (7) Flyght Club
33. (7) Mustard
34. (6) Strange Blue 2
35. (4) Lucky Huckers 1
36. (1) Limted Release 3
37. (4) Limited Release 2
38. (5) Abstract
39. (5) Flump
40. (5) Mighty Hucks
41. (6) BUG
42. (6) Devon 2
43. (6) Curve
44. (3) TBU
45. (1) Team Shark 2
46. (1) Leamington Leamings 2
47. (5) BAF 2
48. (4) Kent Mustang
49. (1) Lucky Huckers 2
50. (2) Staffordshire Oatcakes

Iceni had a run of dominance all the way through to the final with very little in the way of a strong challenge en route. This is a team with its eyes set fully on the international stage and who are in it to win. Womens ultimate in the UK has seen steady growth over the past 5 years, the GB junior women entering a team into the domestic season is a great sign of the health of womens ultimate in the UK.

There was a lot of movement both up and down the mens table with a number of teams jumping a full 7 places in both directions. Trigger Happy rose the most places with an impressive 9 while Brighton are showing their strength in both Mixed and Open divisions by breaking into the coveted top 4 in the Open division. Both Fusion East and West will be heading back north with some lessons learnt after both dropping off the pace considerably in this Tour while Strange Blue, Team Shark and The Brown will be looking to work ahead of Tour 2 to further challenge the top 8 teams.

With a month to go before Tour 2, there may still be time for teams to bring together everything they have learned in time to reach whatever goals they have set for themselves this season. Well done to everyone who took part and to the organisers of an event that saw close to 1000 ultimate players on around 18 pitches all in one place, not a small undertaking!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Chevron Action Flash Win 2009 UK Tour 1!

A great final between Chevron and Clapham saw the eventual winners take control in the early stages and never look like they were going to relent. Clapham fought to the end and with their depth of skill no one was going to count them out until Chevron had scored the final point. Chevron had a less than certain route to the final with a number of challengers coming close, including Tooting Tigers, but with some of the best players in the country they are clearly the 2009 team to beat. More updates will follow once the final results are out but an injury meant I was just watching from the sideline on the Sunday. Special mention to The Brown for their massive effort taking them all the way to 9th place beating a number of top teams on the way. Fusion, with a number of key players missing, were knocked convincingly out of the top 4 raising questions about the validity of the Tour 0 seeding format.

I'm going to Windmill Windup this thursday which I can't wait for followed by the Durham Hat the weekend after. More to come on that in the near future!

Congratualtions also to Graham Bailey for winning the first ever Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition with 37% of the votes going to his photo titled 'Layout Bid'! More on this in the near future also!

Friday, 5 June 2009

A Colourful Start, 2009 Open and Womens Tour 1 Seedings and Schedule.

The schedule and seedings have been released and what a schedule it is! With 50 mens and 17 womens teams playing this weekend in Chiswick, I'm in awe of the complexity of the whole thing. So well done to those involved in getting it done at all.

I'm more likely to figure out what game I have next using this though:

For me, one of the best parts of the Tour 1 schedule this year is the 1-32 cross overs that will be kicking off the 2009 Tour. With that many games, surely there will be at least one big upset in there?! That's what I hope anyway.

Tour 1 Seedings:

1Chevron Action Flash
2Fire of London
3Clapham Ultimate
4Fusion East
5Fully Charged
8Fire of London 2
9Fusion West
10Tooting Tigers
11Brighton Ultimate
12Limited 1
13Team Shark
15BAF 1
16The Brown
17Bristol Plastic Factory
18Mild Mannered Janitors
19Sheffield Steal
20Seamus Murphy
21Kent Open
22Strange Blue
23The Brown 2
24Burro Electrico
27London Revolution
28Strange Blue 2
29Brighton 2
31EMO 2
32Leamington Lemmings 1
33Limited 2
35Belfast Ultimate Giants
36Devon 2
37Limited 3
38Flyght Club
39Lucky Huckers
40Trigger Happy
41The Bournemouth Ultimatum
42BAF 2
44Kent Mustang
45Mighty Hucks
46Team Shark 2
47Leamington Lemmings 2
48Staffordshire Oat Cakes
50Lucky Huckers 2

4Nice Bristols 1
6Brighton Ultimate
7Dirty Olive
8Crown Jewels 1
9Limited Release
11Steal Ladies
13Brown Women
14Nice Bristols 2
15Dolly Mixtures
17Crown Jewels 2

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Wham-O Frisbee, Fun For All The Family!

Just what you've always wanted...all the commercials selling the Wham-O frisbee in one retro-filled post! I presonally love the sound tracks...enjoy!

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Tour 1 this weekend!

After a long, cold winter the sun looks like it is finally here to stay just as Summer League and the Open and Womens Tour get ready to properly kick off. Mens and womens team up and down the country have been working hard for months leading up to what will be the first big test of many a coaches teaching and hundreds of players winter track training. Tour 1 is being held in London this coming weekend. The seedings and schedule are expected out in the next couple of days but as in previous years there will be an A, B and C Tour for the men with a massive 51 teams entered at the last count and 17 teams entered for the Women.

I can't really say too much about any predictions as so much of the Tour will be opened up as the weekend progresses. You can expect there to be plenty of hard fought and closely contested games on the Sunday morning as always though. Like the Tours that have gone before, the standard across the board has risen dramatically over the year and there will be teams competing in B Tour who in previous years would have been sitting comfortably in the A Tour. With this, I look forward to seeing how the UK teams perform on the international stage when it comes to the various Euro and World competitions. With the healthy state of our junior ranks and the constant drive from within the UKU community I hope to see some great results

The top teams held a day of friendlies not too long ago with Clapham coming out on top so with that, I would predict them to take the first Tour. When the seeding and schedule are out I'll be talking more about where I think the best games will be happening. Here's to the start of Tour and nice weather!