WINTER 2011 This issue contains the following articles: Volume 2, Issue I 1 July 2010 Volume 2, Issue I 28 October 2011 • Avoiding shattered discs • Women’s Winter League How to make Ultimate Frisbee bearable in the cold weather • Why Indoors Rocks • London in Europe • Golden Hands Common Winter League ever being cancelled because of frozen ground? On the other hand, they would probably By Manny Bennett 2. Free herbal tea all round Even your parents and bosses probably now admit that something strange is happening with our weather. They may still consider it more “an inconvenient temperature” than “An Inconvenient Truth”, but it is progress nevertheless. The cold spells are just starting, so here’s my list of ways to make Ultimate more bearable when it starts to get very, very cold outside. I went to an evening practice last winter where I was horrified to see the ground was freezing around me. That sounds rather dramatic, but the soil was starting to twinkle under the floodlights as the crystals formed and grew. I looked up to see an Age Against the Machine player sipping herbal tea from a thermos. I couldn’t help but gush “this is the future”. At 35, he pointed out that he is Photo courtesy of Diane Esson, ABH all “past” and no “future”, whilst offer- Fancy a spot of tea? Mike Hawkins (ABH) keeps ing me a sip of his warm on the sideline during Winter League 2010 ginger and lime herbal remember the mud baths, and tea. Now, I have been known the nagging from flatmates, to describe herbal tea as a partners, and other halves, for blend of cat piss and warm littering their homes and washRibena, but my, it hit the spot. Ultimate is so much better on ing machines with mud. Even then, playing on half-frozen or a freezing day with some good frozen ground didn’t seem like tea, so my bold prediction is a good idea. that top Ultimate teams of the I’m sure there was a time future will have “herbal tea when underfloor/turf heating boys” wheeling steaming vats was considered a pipe dream, of the stuff about tournaments. but it’s a reality for many premier league football clubs. All 3. Underfloor/turf heating we need to do to never have to play on frozen ground and The disadvantage of playing never have a match frozen-off, on the lovely Richardson Evans is make Ultimate as big, or Memorial playing fields is that bigger, than football. How hard the turf is looked after. I know can it be? that might sound daft, but can any Winter League veterans Continued on page 2 remember a Wandsworth 1. Frost/shatter resistant high-visibility discs I collect discs. Don’t laugh. I have about 40, and I’ve seen footage of people with garages full of discs, so I’m not too far gone. Anyway, in 2009, I bought an orange dog-friendly frost/shatter resistant disc, despite not owning a dog, mostly for the novelty value. The disc’s plastic is designed to have “normal” flexibility so the dog’s teeth can’t be broken chomping on it on freezing days, and the disc is less likely to get damaged. Best of all, being orange, it’s wonderfully easy to spot in the tundra we’ll all be playing on in five years. If we used a similar disc there’s a chance our fingers and joints will be happier, fewer discs will get broken, and I’ll never again have to look up at an overcast sky and struggle to spot the disc floating towards me. Volume 1, Issue 1 Page 2 5 Tips for Making Ultimate Frisbee bearable in the cold months, continued Continued from page 1 4. Stop the wind, but only on Sundays Can we do something about the wind, please? I don’t know what, but once it was so bad at the Richardson Evans pitches that my captain ro-sham-boed for the match—the only time that’s ever happened to me in eight years of Ultimate. I’m not against a strong breeze rustling the few remaining hairs on my head, or the odd gust kicking a disc, but bonechilling gales on freezing days can be such a passion-killer that games are effectively won on the toss. At this stage a friend from ABH would probably tell me, “Excuses are the nails that hold together the house of failure,” and she’s probably right. 5. Get more celebrities playing Sit down, and take a deep breath. I once had the honour of marking Louis Theroux at a Winter League. I think I may have marked his brother Paul too at the preceding Winter League. You may not know who they are, Winter League 2011 Information but they are the two most famous people I have ever seen playing Ultimate, and I have been boring people for years with that little (for it is very short) true story. I think we all agree that freezing cold Ultimate would be marginally more pleasurable if more celebrities played. Which other famous people could be encouraged to play? Dwaine Chambers likes dabbling in other sports, switching from sprinting to rugby league. His athletics club, the Belgrave Harriers, are based in Wimbledon, according to Wikipedia. Could someone at the UKU not give him a buzz and see if he’d like to give Ultimate a bash? You may have noticed I was running a bit low on material towards the end, because essentially Winter League is one of my favourite Ultimate events, and I couldn’t think of five ways to make it better. Perhaps it’s precisely because of the weather, but it’s also because of the hard work of the UKU, the Winter League committee, and all the captains who somehow encourage enough players to turn up each month. Women’s Winter League — Don’t miss out! Last year, Women’s Winter League was run as a series of hat tournaments, with the goal of helping players to form new connections throughout the Ultimate community. This year, we have three hat events followed by a club event. This is going to be a great opportunity for women to learn the game, get some great coaching, meet new people, learn new drills, and gain more experience. But you don’t have to take our word for it... Photo courtesy of Simon Crisp, ABH Mixed Winter League 1, 2010—Galahs vs Herd. Can Jazz Cuddihy get a foot-block on the legendary Si Hill? As the days grow shorter and the sunshine of the summer fades as a distant memory, it’s time for the return of London Winter League. We will once again be running events for Open, Mixed and Women’s, with four match days for each division. The Mixed and Open events will all take place at the usual Richard Evans memorial playing fields. The Women’s events will take place at a mixture of venues in central London, which will be confirmed shortly. Mixed: 6 Nov, 4 Dec, 22 Jan, 12 Feb Open/Women’s: 20 Nov, 11 Dec, 8 Jan, 5 Feb See you on the frozen pitches! Nathan Fowler, London Development Officer The Winter League hat format was a great setup for someone new to the women's ultimate community in London. I got to play with loads of new women and I received coaching from players I normal wouldn't have done. It has been a great way of making new friends, and gaining information about women's London teams. -Cat Morgan, Team Blue I’d only been playing for a few months and I didn’t know many people before I came, but everyone was really welcoming! Playing at Winter League amongst players of all abilities really helped to improve my game. It was a great way to learn more and gain confidence as a beginner, as well as being lots of fun! -Suzy Whatmough, Team Terminator I have been playing for over 8 years and when I started, there was no women’s tour in the UK, so it was great to see so many women out and playing at Winter League of all ages and abilities. -Cat Vaughan, Team Merlot Volume 2, Issue I Page 3 Why I Love Indoor Ultimate Frisbee By Sarah Gibbons If, on a reasonably still winter day, you find yourself throwing arching blades to beat a zone defense, it's probably a sign you like indoors a bit too much. If during the height of the outdoor season, you're still finding it impossible to resist those cheeky upwind scoobers and all your team mates are refusing to talk to you, you probably need serious help. Unfortunately, you won't find it in this article. So if you're trying to wean yourself off knives, kneepads and shin splints, I suggest you read no further. Because I am an unashamed indoors addict, so don't expect much in the way of therapy or balance. Like many people who start playing as students, indoors was the first form of the game I encountered (which probably says a lot about why it took me about three years to learn how to throw properly). It was its pace and accessibility that grabbed me, and I suspect it's still the main way that many students first enter the game. Now as a seasoned (or more accurately, ageing) player, I appreciate it for other reasons. For me, the difference between indoors and outdoors is a bit like the difference between 20/20 cricket and a five day test match. Great indoor games are a massive adrenalin rush – an incredible concentration of ridiculous throws and aweinspiring grabs. Just like in 20/20 cricket, you'll be punished for playing it safe and frequently rewarded for doing some things that are quite frankly laughable (in a poetic, nolook thumber type way). And if your team hasn't got a good arsenal of hammers, blades, knives and scoobers (and people to bring them down), you're not going to get very far in any respectable tournament. The good thing for London -based players is that whether they live north or south, they're spoilt for opportunities to trash their favourite disc and break a few fingernails. Curve holds two busy indoor sessions over the winter – one in Stoke Newington and another in Wood Green. Playthings have been holding sessions in Finsbury Park for a very long time indeed, as have Brixton Angels in (you guessed it) Brixton. I'm not saying that if I could only play one form of Where to play Indoor Ultimate in London Photo courtesy of Edd Carmichael, Warwick Bears Paul Salkeld (Cutty Sharks) at Club Mixed Indoor Regionals 2011 Cutty Sharks – Practise by request Contact: Nathan Fowler, [email protected] Practices are every Friday 18:00-20:00 in Bermondsey Angels – Practise by request Contact: Si Barry, [email protected] Practices are every Tuesday 21.00-22.30 in Brixton Curve – Practise by request Contact: Kenny Jones, [email protected] Practises are every Wednesday and Thursday in north London Playthings – Practise by request Register via http://www.playthings.org.uk Contact: Glyn Lewis, [email protected] Practices are every Thursday 21:00-22:00 in Finsbury park the game, indoors would be my first choice (no, definitely beach!), but at the end of a gruelling season, it's a welcome change of pace, not to mention mentality. It doesn't take itself too seriously, but it still rewards skill and ath- leticism (as anyone who watched Iceni and The Have in this year's women's indoor final or Ablisa and Winergy in open final will testify). But best of all, it's just a little bit silly, and that's how I often like my Ultimate. London teams bring home two medals from European Club Finals By Si Hill London teams were in the thick of it at the European Ultimate Club Finals (EUCF) in Bruges on 30 Sept-2 Oct. Iceni Ultimate finished a clean-sweep season in style by taking the title against previous champions Woodchicas. Iceni re-claimed the title they won in 2009, and led a strong UK challenge at the annual European Ulti- competed at the finals, coming in 6th place. But their Saturdayresults suggested that had the full team been there on Friday, they might well have been in the hunt for a medal. Photo courtesy of Cat Vaughan, Iceni In the Open European Club Women’s Champions—Iceni division, Clapmate Club Series. SYC also ham lost a thrilling final in sudden death to Flying Angels Bern, but took some consolation in being awarded Spirit of the Game. Brighton (regulars at LWL events) put in a strong performance to grab 8th place and bolster the UK's case for three spots in next year's Elite Division. Fire lost a very close pre-quarter to Germans Bad-Skids. Overall, great representation from the London teams! Volume 2, Issue I Page 4 2nd Annual Golden Hands Challenge in Clapham a success By Vili Holicka 2011 Editor: Mara Alperin Contributors: Manny Bennett, Nathan Fowler, Sarah Gibbons, Si Hill, Vili Holicka, Wayne Retter Getting involved: Want to write? Have an idea for an article or photo? Contact [email protected] On Sunday 9th October, Golden Ants organised the 2nd Golden Hands Challenge, an Individual Disc Competition. My dad made me an accuracy catcher back in Slovakia in 1997, after I’d told him all the stories from a tournament in the Czech Republic where I first saw one. Since then, I helped organised Slovak Individual Disc Events (which include Accuracy, Distance and Self-Caught Flight), and these were usually incorporated into the Slovak Ultimate Nationals. This event is not all about records; it is about having a good time and challenging yourself and your friends! Many players enjoyed it and told me how much they looked forwards to it. So when we started Golden Ants last year, I thought, ‘This event would be is about having a good time and fun to do in London, too!’ challenge yourself and your Golden Ants run this event for friends! some of these reasons: •It is fun! The overall winners were Angie Go•It can be very competitive (in a mez (Golden Ants) in the women’s good way!) category, with 54 points, and Juan •It helps improve individual disc Torres (Golden Ants) in men cateskills which come up in games gory, with 54 points. Full results can •It is amusing to watch players be found on www.goldenants.eu. hit a 1.5x1.5m square from 31.5m away (and then miss it from 13.5 m) •It is amazing to see players throwing themself on the ground to catch the disc in TCR (throw, run and catch) event •It brings players Photo courtesy of Vili Holicka, Golden Ants from different teams together Stefan Mathys winds up for the Self-Caught Flight event. •It is a great way Thanks again to Lookfly to finished season! (www.lookfly.co.uk) for sponsoring And, as I said before, this event is not all about records; it the event! News in Brief •London Open Regionals London Open Regionals was held on 24th July at the Memorial Playing fields in West Ham. Twelve teams entered to compete for five places at UKU Nationals 2011. Clapham, Fire 1 and 2, and Tooting quickly took the top four spots, and Burro Electrico and ABH fought out a tight game for the final spot. A special mention goes to Junction Air, who entered their first tournament here. This was the first year London was a separate regional qualifier from the SouthEast. With five of the sixteen total places for Nationals, the strength of the Ultimate scene here is apparent. Photo courtesy of Simon Crisp, ABH London Open Regionals—Having already qualified for Nationals at this point, Tooting Tigers and Fire 2 met for the 3v4 playoff. •UKU Nationals London’s strength was demonstrated again at Nationals (20th21st August, Southampton), where four of the five London teams finished in the top half of the tournament. In a rematch of the 2010 finals, Clapham Ultimate extended its reign to an unprecedented 11th consecutive title. More than a quarter of the Open teams at Nationals hail from London: after a suddendeath loss to Chevron, Fire of London finished 3rd; Tooting Tigers were victorious over Burro Electrico in a suddendeath humdinger for 7th, and Fire 2 finished 11th with a very decisive final victory over Bristol. In the Womens division, Iceni Ultimate reclaimed the title in a convincing fashion, winning its 6th National title. Debutantes SYC (featuring several London players) finished 3rd, with Crown Jewels 6th, Dirty Olive 7th and Iso 9th. Dirty Olive also brought home the SOTG trophy.
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