Early on Saturday morning I arrived at the East Didsbury train station in the pouring rain for what I had been assured would be an amazing, fun-filled weekend of not too serious ultimate. To introduce the tournament briefly there were 288 players spread across 24 teams, ranging from complete beginner to experienced pro. The main aim, as with any hat tournament, was just to have a good laugh through it all!
Calum and myself found the Warwick group of campers, in true Bears style, at the back of the field with the least chance of having to mix with anyone else! We had to pitch our tent in a downpour and could see the remains of all the fun that we’d missed on Friday night. We’d already acquired the title ‘fun-sponges’, or ‘funges’, for choosing a nice comfy bed over a night of camping interrupted by a terrifying thunderstorm; so we had our work cut out to be extra fun and make up for it!
Now moving onto the actual frisbee: I found my fellow ‘Super Novae’ team mates (the theme of the tournament was ‘Out of this World’) and we set out to play our round robin group games. We were lucky and had a strong team (including a couple of giants who’d been playing ultimate for five and eight years respectively), so got off to a good start and won our first two games fairly comfortably. We then lost our final game of the day and our group ended in a classic three-way tie. Because of our earlier easy wins we had the edge with goal difference, so I could put my feet up and watch everyone else’s crossovers.
The only awkward moment of the day was when the complete beginner on our team (a rugby player) blatantly fouled someone as they threw the disc. When the person called the foul, our beginner shouted out at the top of his voice: “I didn’t *#!@ing touch him!!” Everyone was just staring open-mouthed at him. Just to add to it all, the fouled person was none other than the tournament director…it goes without saying that we didn’t win any spirit prizes!
Once we’d got the frisbee out the way the evening’s entertainment could begin. I was introduced to the delights of battenberg and beer frisbee, and of course things culminated in a game of heads up – although this one was without the app, so basically I found out that Bears just love singing, and the game or tune aren’t really that important! After that we went along for the final hour or so of the party, at this point I need to take my hat off to Rory for making a cracking effort with his fancy dress…although I heard some rumours that it was all one big trap?! A shout out to the Dreamworks boy Rob Terray too!
Waking up on Sunday morning I was lucky to be in one of the top eight teams, and so I had a 10am start – an extra hour’s rest! ‘Super Novae’ lost their first game and then won to bring us into the 5th/6th place play-off against none other than Rory Huge and his ‘Starfleet Academy’. I wasn’t on the line for the first point and got to watch our beginner line up against Rory; inevitably Rory went on to destroy him up the line with his terrifying speed. At the end of the point I got a colourful, expletive-filled description of how fast the little ginger guy was! Rory definitely deserved his MVP from what I got to see of him, and sadly his team deserved to win too, which left us in a respectable sixth place. All that was left was the final, a game of human space invaders and an awards ceremony.
To sum it up: for £35 I had an incredibly good value weekend of fun, almost too much for my inner ‘funge’ to cope with. I for one can’t wait to sign up next time around!