Common Winter League ever being cancelled because of

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
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
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
-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
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
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
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
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
Mara Alperin
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
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!
( 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.