Monday, 31 August 2009

Injuries in Ultimate Frisbee, Prevention and Rehabilitaion

Just a quick google search brings up a whole load of useful information for injury prevention along with rehab and physical therapy if you've already gone and done yourself a mischief. As I've mentioned in a couple of earlier posts, I've damaged my knee ligaments. I've got a scan on the 21st Sept to find out if I need surgery and until then im on crutches and having to wear a pretty severe looking leg brace.

With the growth of Ultimate in both player numbers and level of competition there are now a number of online resources specifically for Ultimate players and their injuries. I thought I'd provide the links as it's only once you have sustained an injury that you fully appreciate what the old guys on your team were saying when they would keep banging on about proper warm ups/downs, core exercises, plyos etc etc. The problem with the retrospective approach to injury is that without the proper knowledge, some parts of the body will simply never be the same again. Repeated often amongst the literature is that injury prevention is the key to a long Ultimate career and the key to injury prevention can be found in the following sites:

Ultimate Frisbee Injury Prevention

A clear and concise article highlighting the four main knee injuries that are found commonly in Ultimate players.
  • Patello-femoral syndrome
  • Ligament sprain
  • Cartilage Tear
  • Iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome

Along with explanation and preventative measures for them.

Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance (a PEP programme)

Here you can find a detailed warm up regime, applicable to most field sports. It incorporates plenty of stretches focusing on the lower extremities which suffer injury most commonly in Ultimate, with full explanations of the what, why and how.

Ultimate Frisbee. The players, their injuries and the role of the Chiropractor.

An interesting article written by a Canadian Chiropracter who plays Ultimate.

Injuries From Ultimate Frisbee

An informative paper from the Wisconsin Medical Journal.

This video is from the most in depth, Ultimate specific, injury prevention and rehab website that I've come across so far. It's called InjuryTimeout. There is bucket loads of useful information. The key is to take it on board and put it into practice!

Well I think I'll leave it there for now. I guess if from reading some of this information one person somewhere avoids one injury from playing Ultimate, then this post is more than wortwhile!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

EUCR-W 2009 in Loughborough

As previously promised in the post 'The UKU competition structure', I'm going to talk a bit about the European Ultimate Championship Series structure. This weekend is the European Ultimate Championship Regionals. The West division this year includes teams from:
  • UK
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Luxemburg
and is going to be held in glamorous loughborough. The other three regions are the South West being held in Varesse, Italy.
The Central East held in Nurnberg, Germany.
And the North East in Tallinn, Estonia.

All four competitions are being held this same weekend. They are effectively just seeding tournements for xEUCF. The massive tournement which this year is being held in Heathrow, London. The top four teams from each of the regional competitions will then make it into division 1 (of 3) at xEUCF and be in with the chance to be crowned European Champions! Nice. It seems to me to be similar to the champions league in football, although instead of a league it is held over 4 days. My question to this structure is why have seperate regional tournements? Surely the top 4 teams in the country are those that finish in the top 4 at each countries Nationals? In the past the competitions have been combined, so I would be keen to find out what the thought process behind the current structure is.

So onto the most import region to us, the EUCR-W containing the UK.

Here are the seedings for the tournement:

1. Clapham
2. Fire
3. Chevron
4. Emo
5. Fusion
6. Cambo Cakes
7. Leeds
8. UFO
9. Fully Charged
10. Mooncatchers

I look forward to finding out which of the UK teams will make it into div 1 of xEUCF. It would be hard to say that Clapham, Fire and Chevy won't all be there but who will take the fourth spot?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Ultimate Gear, where do you buy yours?

There are actually quite a few companies now selling Ultimate gear. Each has it's plus points but I thought I'd use this post to provide links to the ones I've found as I've recently started looking for where to get my teams kit from. What is your favourite jersey, shorts and boots? I find that unless I spend the money on boots they just don't last whereas what shirt and shorts I wear depends more on what's clean.

I've got a draw full of ultimate kit, some good, some not. From my experience, the more expensive it is the nicer it feels and I only notice when the 'special technology' in my shirts isn't working, so I'm not even sure what the best companies genuinely are for that sort of stuff either. I mostly have Gaia, Lookfly and cheap Decathlon stuff (Kalenji) but want to check out FiveUltimate and Patagonia as a lot of people have said that their stuff is pretty good!

Have you got any particularly positive or negative things to say about any ultimate companies? Let me know while I'm still deciding which company to get my teams next kit order from! Click on the links below to go to some very fancy websites (and some not so) to see what they're about.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

And the Winner is....

Congratulations to Ceirios Beard for his photo titled 'Superman Pose' receiving 32% of your votes and winning him a Winter baselayer courtesy of the nice guys at Lookfly. You can find more great products on their website.

'Superman Pose'

The photo is of Lee Noble (Sharks) attempting a layout D on a Fusion player in what was a great game to watch during Open Nationals 2009.

Thankyou to everyone who entered and to everyone who voted. Special mention to Sapphira van Assema, whose photo '3 against 1' had the most votes right up to the last few hours of the competition when a flurry of votes pushed it into second.

'3 against 1'

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!

In other news, Copa is coming up soon! I can't make it this year but no doubt it will continue to be one of the premier 'good times' tournements in the UK! The next tourney I'll be at is Monkey Foo in a couple weeks, although I'll just be enjoying the French Alps more than the Ultimate as I'll still be on crutches. I'll be sure to take some photos of what has been called the most scenic tournement in the world!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Why Play Ultimate Frisbee?

Having been playing or training 3/4 times a week for the past 8 months or so, to suddenly be unable to play ultimate at all, my reaction has been something probably similar to a withdrawal. It wasn't through choice that I'm not playing, it has been forced on me. I no longer have an outlet for my energies and so all I can do at the moment is think about Ultimate and go along to games as a photographer. While I've been thinking about it, I just wanted to put a few for and against thoughts down about Ultimate that I hope to come back to and elaborate on at some point, or maybe just to look back on when I'm playing again to see if I feel the same.

Reasons to play ultimate:
  • Travelling
  • Friends
  • Parties
  • Fitness
  • Competition
  • Looking good
  • Community
  • Aim to be the best at something
  • It feels so good playing on a team that does well
  • Winning
  • Big grabs
  • Big Ds
  • Big Hucks

Reasons to not play Ultimate:
  • Risk of injury
  • Time (wasted)
  • Money (wasted)
  • Effort required
  • Risk of Failure
  • Lack of outside recognition.

There's clearly much more to say, what would you add to these lists?

Keep voting for your favourite photos! Winner to be announced this sunday!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Voting Opened for the Second Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition!

Thanks a lot to everyone who has entered, there are close to twice as many people entered, with twice as many photos into the second Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition. With so much more competition this time around, there is a really nice prize to go with the bigger and better competition! It will be coming from kind sponsors Lookfly and will be officially announced once the winner has been decided.

There were loads of photos taken at last weekends UK Nationals 2009 in Cardiff and now it's time to vote for your favourite! Voting closes next Sunday, 23 August 2009 at 10pm. You can vote for more than one and you can see a larger version of each photo by clicking on it below. Good luck in the voting and may the best photo win the prize! Special mention goes to the two photos called '3 against 1' and 'Surrounded', they look like they were taken a fraction of a second apart and from exactly the same angle!


'Cat Pounces'

'Superman Pose'

'Running Man'

'Out of Reach'

'Nice Boots'


'Kick a man when he's down'

'Photo 1'

'Photo 2'


'A running Mark'

'I've heard of taking it easy on defense, but taking a seat?'

'Another Inch Required...'

'Is this the Ultimate dance?

'High Grab'


'Eley Falls'

'Who Wants It?'

'View from the Ground'

'And into the Endzone'

'3 Against 1'

'Photo 3'



'Broken Force'

'Why run when you can fly?'

Friday, 14 August 2009

Photography Competition, Brighton Beyond and Anterior Cruciate Ligaments

Thankyou to everyone who has entered the Photography competition so far, there have been some really great shots from the weekend, especially of the final! You still have until this sunday at 10pm to send me your entries. If you know someone who was taking photos last weekend but who doesn't get BD emails then be sure to let them know that they too can enter the competition and be in with the chance to win some Lookfly sponsored goodies :). How does a Lookfly baselayer ahead of the winter season that is (shockingly) just around the corner sound? We'll see what happens but as they say, you gotta be in it to win it! As a supporter of interactive democracy, all of the successful photos entered will be put up onto the blog and the online voting will be opened to everyone a short time after the 10pm entry deadline on sunday. The voting will close exactly 1 week later.

Send entries to:

This weekend is Brighton Beyond, I'm looking forward to seeing how those teams who are entered into xEUCF will do. Namely, EMU, Thundering Herd and of course Brighton. They are likely to be fielding pretty strong teams in a bid to get some competitive game time and to tune up their squads while finding out what they still need to work on. Just six weeks left to go before the big event here in London!

Unfortunately for me, my xEUCF, Brighton Beyond and Monkey Foo dreams have all been crushed by a short but painful snap, crackle and pop of my MCL and possibly ACL. A scan in a few weeks will determine if I need surgery. I sure as hell hope not as that would be the difference between 2-3 months out and 6-9 months. I'm still trying to regain my enthusiasm, it's harder to write about Ultimate if you can't go out and play. More to come on that in the future.

If you're going to Brighton Beyond this weekend, I'll be the guy on crutches probably watching Thundering Herd, come say hi!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

UKU Nationals 2009 results

What a great weekend of Ultimate! The weather was beautiful and Cardiff didn't dissapoint. Congratulations to both Iceni for winning their 6th National title and to Clapham for winning their 9th ! Keep an eye out for a future post on the goings on from Nationals 09. Also, don't forget that if you or someone you know was taking photos at the weekend, make sure to enter them into the Film and Photography Competition to be in with the chance to win some cool prizes! Contact me for further details.

1.(=) Iceni
2.(=) Leeds
2. (=) Nice Bristols 1
4. (4) Dirty Olive
5.(=) Iso
6. (2) Brighton
7.(1) Swift
8.(1) Crown Jewels
9.(=) Deadly Buzz
10.(1) Ltd Release
11.(1) Brown Women
12. (=) Sheffield Steal
? Dolly Mixtured
15.(2) Nice Bristols 2


1. (=)Clapham
2.(2) Fire D
3. (=) Brighton 1
4.(2) Chevron
5. (=) Fire O
6. (3) Emo 1
7. (1) Fusion East
8. (1) Tooting Tigers
9. (7) Devon 1
10. (2) The Brown 1
11. (3) Team Shark
12. (1) Ltd Release 1
13. (2) Leeds
14. (=) BAF 1
15. (6) BPF
16. (1) Burro Electrico
17. ?
18. ?
19.(3) Emo 2
20. ?
21. (1) Lemmings 1
22. (5) Fusion West
23. (9) London Rev
24. (4) ABH
25. (2) Flyght Club
26. (5) Curve
27. (3) The Brown 2
28. ?
29. (4) Sheffield Steal
30. (5) Brighton 2
31. (3) TBU
32. (3) Abstract
33. (7) Kent Open
34. (4) Ltd Release 2
35. (1) Mustard
36. (1) Devon 2
37. (8) Flump
38. (=) Kent Mustang
39. (=) Lemmings 2

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Nationals 2009 This Weekend!

With only 2 days to go until the climax of the UKU Open and Womens seasons you can bet that there are plenty of teams who want to take this last opportunity to prove their worth on the UK Ultimate scene in 2009. Tour 2 saw some big gains made up the tables by the likes of Fusion East, Devon, Lemmings, Flyght Club and GB open U17s as well as some teams dropping off from the pace and their seedings including Kent, Mild Mannered Janitors, Steal, Lucky Huckers and Strange Blue 2. Will these teams have had chance to fallback, regroup, iron out the creases and get fired up once more to prove themselves worthy of their Tour 1 placings at Nationals 09?

I can safely say that there will be no easy games this Sunday. From the top of the A tour to the bottom of C there are teams and players who all have their own goals they hope to achieve. Be it to win Nationals and qualify for WUCC 2010 or to beat the team they lost to in sudden death last Tour. Unfortunately without the completed schedule being released yet we don't know exactly how things will be working at the weekend or when the big games will be played but we do know that on the Saturday there will be standard peer pooled group games for Tours A, B and C and then on Sunday the Tour boundaries will be removed and teams will play their Quarters, Semis and Finals down the rankings. I look forward to seeing the schedule to fully understand what that means!

A big difference between the Mens and Womens Tours, besides numbers, is the overall stability of each tour. The mens competition sees teams making massive jumps up and down the table, (mostly in B and C) as well as a constant shifting of a few spots here and there by a large percentage of teams entered. This is in contrast to the womens tour where the top four teams at tour 2 saw absolutley no change in position from the original seeding and the bottom half saw just small amounts of movement in both directions. I wonder why this is. Maybe it is due to the fundamental differences between men and women in sport. In the mens game, you will often see highly speculative play. Big hucks, 50-50s, quick transitions and on average a faster paced game. All of these features of the mens game are high risk which results in the chance for greater reward and failure. Women on the other hand have been seen to be more calculated in their decisions with perhaps higher levels of judgement resulting in lower levels of risky play meaning teams end up where they should, infrequently causing big upsets against better teams. Although there is some evidence to back this up, it's only a theory, what do you think?

So here's to heading to Wales once more to play 2 full days of competitive Ultimate, finding out which is the best mens and womens team in the country and to the end of another hard fought UK Ultimate season.

To finish off, I'm very pleased to announce that Lookfly will be sponsoring the Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition II- Nationals 2009 prize! Tell your friends about it and be sure to take plenty of photos this weekend and enter them, I promise it will be worth it. More to come in the near future.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition II - Nationals 2009‏

Following the success of the 1st Film and Photography Competition from Mixed Nationals I'm pleased to announce the opening of the Ultimate Frisbee and I, Film and Photography Competition II - Nationals 2009.

In the last competition, 15-20 people entered with a whole range of photos from the weekend of Mixed Nationals with the eventual winner being Graham Baileys entry 'Layout Bid' found here And the Winner is..... You can see more of Grahams Photos on his website: He won himself a copy of the book Ultimate: The Greatest Sport Ever Invented by Man.

This time around there will be another prize, tba at a later date :)

As last time, the competition is open to anyone taking photos at the weekend, using any equipment, be you professional or amateur, player or spectator. You can also enter more than one time, but a maximum of two from each person will get put through to the open voting round. Give a caption or title with your photo entry. All that I ask is that it is taken at this weekends Nationals in Cardiff and is a good Ultimate photo! The photography can come in any format that I can receive by email.

Send all entries to:

I'll select the best ones from those I receive and put them up on the blog over the next week after Nationals. Entries will be accepted until 10pm Sunday 16th August 2009. After this, voting will open for one week, closing 10pm Sunday 23rd August 2009 when a winner will be decided.

Thanks a lot for all of the positive feedback I've received about the blog, it's been good fun to write about UK Ultimate and I would encourage others to do the same!

If you are interested in this F&PC and want any more details, have questions or comments please don't hesitate to leave them here or to email me directly.

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing your entry!

Here's another of Luke Johnson's videos taken from his vimeo page.

(not bad for high school ultimate...)