We don’t really know what’s occuring with Open Regionals at the moment but normally around now the University Ultimate season comes to a close. As much as this should be treated with an appropriate level of mourning, especially by those of us in our final years, we should also celebrate the arrival of the club season.
Open & Womens Tour 2015
Open & Womens Tour stretches across 3 weekends over the Summer (30th May-31st May, 20th-21st June, 4th-5th July) and three venues (Nottingham, St Albans and Cardiff). In Open Tour, every team gets placed into a division based on ability.
A Tour is for the elite UK Club teams and travelling international club teams. Last year the top 3 teams in A Tour were Clapham Ultimate, Chevron Action Flash and East Midlands Open. It also plays host to many national teams looking for experience before major tournaments. In previous years this has included GB Open, Sweden Open, Germany Open and GB Under 23s. A Tour play there games at the same venue as B and C Tour so there’s always the opportunity to watch the best players in the country.
B Tour is for strong community clubs and development teams such as East Midlands Open 2. Between Tour 1 and 2, 2 and 3 promotion and relegation is possible between B and C Tour and a few years ago our own tour team Sharkbear! have come very close to creeping into the bottom of B Tour.
C Tour is for everyone else who wants to play Ultimate. This is where Sharkbear! will start the tour season owing to our lack of experience and developmental approach. Games in C Tour are of a good standard and are always well spirited and friendly.
Mixed Tour 2015
Mixed Tour is the same as Open Tour but mixed so we would need a minimum of 6 girls to sign up to send a team, this is played and finished before Open Tour and is the same format, over three weekends being (28-29th March, 18th- 19th April, 9th-10th May) and three venues (Cardiff, Salford and Cheltenham).
Sharkbear! is a team made up of everyone and anyone at the University who wants to play Tour. The focus is very relaxed, focusing on enjoying ourselves and improving as players rather than looking at results. Many other Universities don’t have their own tour teams meaning their beginners don’t have the opportunity to gain experience and improve (over three weekends the potential to improve is really really large).
The great thing about Sharkbear! is it gives those of us without club teams tournaments to build towards. Trainings in term 3 will have a loose focus on preparing the squads for each event. I cannot underestimate the progression players can enjoy simply by attending trainings, continuing to throw and doing fitness during term 3. Trainings, throwing and fitness will continue throughout the term, even at the peak of exams and you may find Ultimate provides a refreshing break from revision. May I recommend preparing for each Tour with the same drive and determination that we saw in the lead up to Regionals this year. Unless we enter two teams you will not have a team to make, but you can strive to earn a handler role or the opportunity to mark the oppositions best player.
2015 World U23 Ultimate Championships- You won’t be able to play in this but this will be the best quality frisbee you could possibly watch this summer and it is on our doorstep in London (the same place Open & Women’s Tour 2 is being held). Our very own Kat is playing for GB Women’s and Andrew Hillman (Vice Captain 2013-2014) is playing for GB Open (Men’s). But need I say more, we get to watch the American’s and the Canadians! The American teams dominated at Club Worlds last year and expect them to dominate again, playing the best frisbee and making enormous plays! Some of the players are already stand out players in the American Professional leagues (MLU & AUDL) such as Darren Wu who you can see here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWy2q2_h-Jo ) and at the World Junior Championships last summer here ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_LHYnRcAL0 ).
The idea here is to hopefully crash at various Bears’ houses (if they are so kind) and watch for the whole week. It runs from 12th-18th July, we don’t know about admission but I imagine it is free or a very small charge for the day of entertainment!
Duffa Hat and Sheffield Hat- You enter hat tournaments individually and then get assigned into a team at semi-random (all teams should have a balance of experience and ability). These tournaments are amazing. Really relaxed party atmosphere, the chance to play non-Bears Ultimate and assume different roles. Normally everyone camps next to the pitches. These tournaments are especially fun when a large group of you go, creating a circle for the Saturday night and setting up some grudge matches for the Sunday finals . I cannot advocate these tournaments enough.
Club Outdoor Regionals- This is the qualifying tournament for Nationals so expect some top teams such as EMO to attend. The chance at days Ultimate against opponents of various abilities is really great. This is what Andy had to say about it two years ago, ‘We thought we had a very very slight chance of making Nationals, went ahead in every single game and lost every single game. Also everyone got injured. Then it started hammering with rain. So since we cleared all the bad luck out of the way last year nothing can go wrong’. We didn’t manage to get a team together, so THIS will be the year we can play and hope to make nationals.
Rawhyde Revolver – Paired together because they’re similar tournaments held usually held on the same weekend. We’ll hopefully enter as Sharkbear! Again you camp near the pitches, each year there’s a party on the Saturday night (of debateable quality). These tournaments are normally placed in September so you might be a little rusty and they’re a great chance to get back into it before Burla.
So that’s all the frisbee ahead. Sign up to as much as you can, you won’t regret it.