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!


  1. Durham Hat surely was an awesome tournament. Which team were you playing for?
    It was my first one (with me being one of the pre-uni guys you mention :P) and hopefully won't be my last.

    I do wish I could've got into Ultimate even earlier though. It would be brilliant if the high school scene was as strong here as it was in America.

    Brilliant blog by the way. I'll be sure to check this out more often!

  2. Thanks for reading Sam. I was on the Navy Seals team, we finished 3rd in the end. Be sure to get involved with more tournements in the near future!

  3. No way! Haha, I'm Sam from the Navy Seals!
    I didn't see your picture until now. How's ultimate back in London going for you?

  4. Good to hear from you man! Ultimate in London is going well, playing for thundering herd mostly and looking forward to xeucf in september! Hope you're well.

  5. Ah awesome man, hope it goes well for you guys! Best of luck.

    I'm good thanks. Haven't been able to play as much since I finished sixth form, but I'm trying to go to as many Brown training sessions as I can. Would've been brilliant to look into the major Junior competitons, but there aren't any teams around here, and we just wouldn't be abl to get the numbers with the sixth form team.

    Looking forward to uni ultimate in October though. ;)