Rejected Interview Question and Answer - Captains of the GB U24 teams

The ShowGame recently published some interviews with the GB U24 teams. Click here for the Men's piece, here for the Mixed piece, and this rather long bit here for the Women's piece. These interviews were compiled as the result of a long sit down between the captains of each team, and Harry Mason. tSG then took a careful look at all the questions, and selected the ones they thought would form a compelling narrative, while representing the high level of professionalism the teams should hold themselves to.
Read on for all the questions considered that were considered too dull, cut for length, and/or not professional enough for the ShowGame's standards. Because of that, please consider these as the captains' words, rather than those of the team. They will be published here without much editing or thought for order, because we're too busy representing our country at the highest level/playing a silly indoor tournament (delete as appropriate for each editor) to take time for such things. Except for some censorship in the Men's interview, of course.

Settle down and enjoy some lovely interview questions. Photo from the GB U24 Mixed page 
Claire, Georgia, Bailey, Alice and Amelia (GB U24 Women captains)

What was going through your head when you wrote that application for GB? Were you nervous? Confident?
Georgia & Bailey: That was such a long time ago.
Claire: I feel sorry for anybody who read my application before I handed it in, definitely stressed a fair bit about the written part as I wasn't living in the UK at the time.
Alice: it was SUCH a long time ago.

A kangaroo approaches your team. Who is first to run away, who is most likely to try to fight it?
Georgia: Ellie Taylor, she’s speedy gonzales.
Bailey: Cat Pope
General consensus agrees Cat!Bailey: Gabi would fight it, she is feisty as f***.

Most injury prone?
Claire: For a single injury probably me, given the amount of shoulder tape I get through... although Lauren Mounteney has been on crutches an unrivalled 7 times!
Bailey: But she can do a back flip!

Best cook?
All: Amy van Zyl’s Mum Elizabeth after the amazing feast she cooked us for our November training camp!
Bailey: Hero and legend of the U24 Women’s team!


All: Gabi

Who can lift the most? 
All: Amelia or Lauren

Coach’s pet?

Favourite Coach?
All: It’s gotta be Kit!

Charlie and Alexis (GB U24 Mixed)

So, with all that prep, how do you think you will do at Worlds? Are there any teams you're particularly looking forward to matching up against?
Alexis: I believe we can win Worlds. It will be hard, but all achievements take hard work and start with a bit of belief. I'm excited to face the USA, they are probably the favourites to win and I want to show them what we have got. Nothing is impossible if we take as it comes. At the right moment, we could be the best team there.
Just don't win half against the USA and chump it like one GB U23 Mixed team i could mention...
Alexis: If we win half, we will win the game. You heard it here.

Are you guilty of wearing the GB vest too much in non-GB circumstances (e.g. at uni trainings, around the house, in bed, etc.)
Alexis: I don't think I am guilty of this! But I do wear my Spain kit a lot... I'm kidding of course
Charlie: Not at all for me! I think they're pretty gross. Since it's reversible the material is double-thickness - it really sticks to you at the gym (gross). The GB bro-tank that I recently got might be a different story though.

Any chance we'll see the dance moves from your video again as goal celebrations? 
Charlie: That'll depend on if you're dedicated enough for the 3am streams...

Any argument to the general public about why they should get up early/stay up late to follow you?
Alexis: I think U24s gets better every cycle and the quality this year is going to be amazing. If you want to keep up to date with GB and watch our highlights it is worth the lack of sleep!

Any words of support to those who want to support you but can't face the lack of sleep?
Charlie: Sleep is important and I totally empathise with those people! Words of encouragement will always be appreciated, whatever time of day they arrive for us in Australia - so if you want to do that at a sensible UK time we'd still love to hear the support! It'd be great for us to wake up to messages of encouragement from back home every morning in Perth (hint hint!).

Who on your team has been most fun to get to know?
Charlie: Isn't that a bit like asking your parent to pick their favourite kid?
Alexis: One-can Khoo
Why is he called one-can?
Alexis: That's when Khoo becomes a party animal
Charlie: Khoo's always a party animal.

What are some cool hidden talents you've found out your team members have?
Charlie: Well, Sunny is a master of online video game seduction.

Who is the coach's pet?
Charlie: Mazzon
Alexis: 100% Mazzon

Next question then - who is Mazzon's pet?
Charlie: Can I say Callum? Or maybe Fraser. They had a serious bonding moment about Zezima (the noted Runescape player) in Denmark.

Which spirit category do you think you'll do best in at Worlds?
Charlie: Positive attitude and self-control.

Final question: Who do you like better, Callum or Mazzon?

Charlie: Callum. We already got asked this by Jo and Bea! You'll have answers from the whole team soon enough. 😉
Alexis: Callum too!

Gabe, Axel and Olly (GB U24 Men)

What was going through your head when you wrote that application for GB? Were you nervous? Confident?
Olly: “Does an application to play frisbee really have to be this long?”
Gabe: I really thought they were going to not invite certain people based on the application, so I'm pretty sure I ended up putting in more effort than I have for my dissertation.
Olly: On a level though, pure excitement, having played internationally before it’s always an amazing experience!
Axel: I figured with a £50 trial that they'd take everyone in so I just turned up at the event having put my name on the form… jkjk.
(Editor's note: For a list of all the stuff that sort of money actually went on, click here)

Which has been the best training location? Were you all excited they actually had trainings in Scotland this time around? 
(Editor’s note: Harry got this wrong. The Women’s and Mixed team trained up in Scotland. The captains correctly called him out for this.)
Axel: Wait we were in Scotland? Durham is not Scotland, though the English will tell you it is...
Gabe: We didn't get any trainings in Scotland unfortunately so they were all a pretty big pain, pretty sure Ryan (who lives in the Shetlands) is still on his way back home from last weekend's training in London. Listening to the English moan about having to go all the way to Durham was jokes though.
Olly: Pure gym in Chester. I don't think you can really beat the National Football Centre at St George’s Park though?
Axel: I think Durham was as far for us as the southern folk and that was the furthest north. But seriously St George's Park was amazing as was the indoor bubble we played at last training in London.

Which skill did you guys take longest to get as a Fresher (or experienced player)?
Olly: Getting rid of the air bounce.
Gabe: Being tall, they say you can't teach it but I'm still trying.
Axel: I was air bouncing all my flicks, so upwind forehands were a challenge as a fresher. I could throw a chicken wing better than a forehand upwind, so much so that my captain at Tour in my first year told me to throw them instead.

How are you guys going to handle the Australian heat?
Gabe: Our secret is, simply put, mans not hot, mans never hot.
Axel: I think that we have to apply some oil to make the most of that burning sensation. But that's only if you take off your jacket.
Olly: Carrot oil and factor 10.

Who on your team is going to cope worst in the heat?
Olly: Josh Awcock, ginger. Man will get hot.
Axel: Josh.
Gabe: Josh for sure, most of the fees people paid for the Dev Squad actually went to buying enough sunscreen for him.

Are you guilty of wearing the GB vest too much in non-GB circumstances? (e.g. at uni trainings, around the house, in bed, etc.)
Axel: I actually framed it and now it adorns my living room, which of course is pay to enter.
Gabe: I actually had to get it surgically removed from my skin earlier this year as I had grown around it.
Olly: I’ve never actually taken it off... I hide it underneath everything I wear, call me Frisbee’s answer to Clark Kent.

Now for the big question. Who looks best in the GB vest?
Olly: Has to be Dec Cartwright doesn’t it? Best looking man in Frisbee.
Axel: It's gotta be between Piers and Conrad, one is a perfect model for the active male, the other your catwalk goddess.

Do you have any good chants or hype up songs?
Axel: We really enjoy clapping as a team. Just all the time, it's fun and polite!
Gabe: A good polite clap, the proper British way. Not that I would know.
Olly: Have you not heard Big Shaq.
Axel: But Loch Lomond gets me going like nothing else.

What is the best (or most surprising) bromance that has formed in the team?
Axel: I just don't understand how me and Gabe can continue with our height difference. It provides lots of logistical issues! We also used to hate each other, fun fact.
Gabe: It’s true I thought Axel was a banker* and then it turned out he was, but he was my kind of banker*. I’d say Arek and our physio Kenny. It's quite an intense love-hate relationship but expect to see him frequently on the massage table in Perth. Most surprising though is that Axel has survived without both Duncan and Katie, really impressed he hasn't fallen apart.
Olly: Brummie and Mike Guise, they got on like a house on fire. Or Brummie and his feedback forms.
*Editor's note - censored to make it family friendly. I also enjoy unnecessary censorship.

So, does that mean Mike is the coach's pet? If not, who is it?

Olly: Hahaha Mike wishes, definitely.
Gabe: Nick is just such a cerebral player it’s hard to not see him going into a coaching role someday.
Axel: Coach's pet has gotta be Nick Dodd. He just understands the nuances of coaching so well, and lets us know exactly what Brummie meant.
Olly: Although he's quitting fris after Perth.
Axel: I heard he is quitting rugby to coach fris.
Gabe: Rumor mill much.
Axel: #teampolicynottocommentonspeculation

Who has the best chat on the team?
Olly: Its gotta be Seb Allen, he could go on a date with a lamp post if he wanted to.
Axel: Controversially Habgood has the best shanter.
Gabe: Lochlan Fisher so long as you count random noises as chat.
Axel: But Seb will enthuse you with his love of mangos.

Biggest ego? I'm aware this could be a tough one, and also that I'm talking to the captains.

Olly: Ryan Moar, he never shuts up
Gabe: Can confirm from years of captaining at the club and Uni level, he will not stop bigging himself up.
Olly: Conrad's right hand.
Gabe: He's never seen a flick huck he didn't wanna throw.
Axel: You'd be surprised because you don't even know what club he plays for, but Conrad.

A kangaroo approaches your team. Who is first to run away, who is most likely to try to fight it?

Olly: Nick Dodd will fight it. I don't think anyone would run away, but Nick Dodd would definitely punch it in the face. Did you know he had three MMA lessons?
Gabe: Sam Wilson is the first to run, he just likes any excuse to show off his speed.
Axel: Nick Dodd will fight it, but challenge James Mead to fight it better than him (Meado will oblige). Arek will run away as he has assessed the physiological damage this particular individual can do with his special animal equations and decide it's a bad fight to take on.
Olly: Classic Zoologist.

Any words you want to give to the fans who will be getting up early/late to follow you guys and track your progress?

Olly: Fans? You mean family?
Gabe: If you like what you see from him on the D-line, Fergus Claridge is taking applications for a new relationship.
Olly: Unfortunately Ryan Moar is fully booked up.
Axel: Thank you for all your support! Whether we have played against you or you took part in a fundraiser or whatever, it'll be awesome to share our journey down under with you. Also blow Ferg's phone up.

Any words you want to give to the fans who won't be getting up early/late, but will be making at least sort of an attempt to follow along if they remember?

Olly: Fergus would really appreciate it if you followed him on instagram at least.
Axel: When the ting went quack quack quack, you man were ducking. If you can't follow us, follow Big Shaq and Wolly productions. I'm sure our team will be getting deals with them both.

Which category do you think you guys will do best at with Spirit?

Gabe: I don't want to brag but I do give a mean postgame Spirit speech.
Olly: Rules and knowledge, we've all got advanced accreditation so we've got that.
Axel: As the Spirit captain I have full authority over this, sit down boiz. I'm constantly impressed by our reactions to calls, so our self control category should be top. #gabe4prez
Gabe: Of everything didn't think Spirit captain would be the part that got to Axel's head…
Axel: What are you saying about me 😜?

Finally, when you guys win, describe your ideal Facebook profile picture showing off your medal.

Olly: Have you not seen the dog filter on snapchat.
Axel: A medal around my neck, 20 nugs in one hand, 20 nugs in the other.
Gabe: Myself riding Lochlan Fisher majestically into the Aussie sunset like a horse.

Any final words/hashtags?

Olly: #findfergabird
Axel: ******* (Editor's note: censored. Suffice to say it pertains to Axel's personal dislike of a certain Mediterranean Frisbee team, who seem lovely to us and so we've removed it for reasons of taste).
Gabe: #oneGB
Olly: #nickdoddlovesfrisbee
Axel: #findNickakangaroo. I wanna see this fight now.

Final editor's note. The Men's interview makes a lot more sense if you watch this music video.

Rejected Interview Question and Answer - Captains of Ireland U24 Men

Click here for a rather excellent and well-structured interview by Tadhg Bogan for the ShowGame about the ambitions and aims of the Irish U24 Men's team. Honestly, do. It's well done, and this piece doesn't aim to introduce the captains or anything. So you have to if you want to understand whats going on.
Read on for all the questions considered that were considered too dull, cut for length, and/or not professional enough for the ShowGame's standards. They will be published here without much editing or thought for order, because we're too busy representing our country at the highest level/playing a silly indoor tournament (delete as appropriate for each editor) to take time for such things.

Photo from Ireland U24 Men's facebook

So what's been your own highlight of the campaign so far? (On and/or off the pitch)
Ferdia Rogers: Beating GB twice at one tournament waheeeyyyy.
Dylan Ryan: Same.
Ferdia: Beating Chevron at Tour 2 as well. To describe that game as heated, would be an understatement. Off the pitch, we've had a few great moments. When Matthew Feely (our coach) goes to demonstrate anything, he screws it up. Love that. Stick with the coaching Feely, not the playing.
Dylan: Solid performances at Tours with continuous development. Where’s the spice in these questions? Thought I was meant to bus some people!

Who's going to fare worst in the heat?

Dylan: Eoghan Cronin has been smacked by heatstroke before. Cornelius “Puddles” Sheehan also burns a lot. Ian McAuliffe is good for a ginger to be fair.
Ferdia: Yeah, my money is Brian Connelly. He got heat stroke in 2015 and I've never seen a man more out of it than he was then, he may as well have been on another planet.

Haha, who's the team hype man? 
Dylan: David Stokes. Could have got an open side score because the defender fell over, Stokes will celebrate like it is some massive layout.
Ferdia: Yeah Stokes could scream at puppies for a living. Mark Doody is the other hype man, he bases his life around memes so it's no surprise he can keep spirits high on the team.

Who's most likely to miss the start of a game?
Dylan: Everyone's actually pretty decent surprisingly.
Ferdia: Cron Hudson. He'll hate that hahah!
Tadhg: I'd have gone with Gary Gilmartin, he’d be too busy off watching a Women's game.
Dylan: Well Cron has to chaperone me and you Ferdia, so we may miss it too.
Ferdia: Poor guy.

Who's the romantic on the team?
Ferdia: Cronin.
Dylan: Ferdia. Underneath the grumpy exterior he loves the flowers and cuddles. And Cronin too.
Ferdia: Hahahaha hard shell, soft centre.
Tadhg: Or just soft in general?
Ferdia: I’ll gut you boy!

Hahaha, who's most likely to go missing during the Saturday night party?
Dylan: Puddles. Potentially impaled on a fence trying to find his way home.
Ferdia: Phil Johnston. If anyone is going to forget where he is, it's him.
"Er.. This isn't Harcourt Street??"

Who's not going to make it to the party in the first place?
Ferdia: I'd say Stokes. The man loves to go over the top in all aspects of life, partying is no exception.
Dylan : Haha, I was thinking Ian as he's gone awful soft.

And who's first to get the all-important shift that night?
Ferdia: Jack Lynch can be quite the fiend, my money's on him.
Dylan: My money is on Shane McNamara. He's a cute lad.

Haha right away from the party, who's missing their flight/not getting through security?
Ferdia: Stephen “Steej” Jones. Probably thought he didn't need to book a flight home.
Dylan: Haha I’m going to say Feely. He'll go so hard at the Saturday party and miss the Sunday morning flight.
Tadhg: I'm going to give Andrew Cleary a shout out as well, based on his track record.
Ferdia: Hahaha very true.

Right, the team is approached by a kangaroo. Who is first to run away, and who tries to fight it?
Ferdia: Ian is first to run away, without a doubt. Something so foreign would freak him out. Hummus overwhelms him sure, a kangaroo would be too much. I'd say you're the one who fights it then Tadhg. Trying to prove to Ian it's just a kangaroo, soft aul thing.
Dylan: A tiger vs a kangaroo, love it. Ian only knows cattle and sheep so ya, he might get scared.

I'll take it! Who's most likely to appear on Bondi Beach Rescue after the tournament?
Ferdia: For being a lifeguard or for near drowning?
Tadhg: Both, sure.
Dylan: Stokes would be the lifeguard. Doctor and ripped. Got a give it to him. Ian loves swimming so I reckon he may get to cocky and get swept away and need to be rescued by Stokes.
Ferdia: Yeah Stokes is a good shout. I can definitely see Leo Micklem enjoying a pair of speedos a little too much as well.

And who’s faking drowning to get some attention from a lifeguard?
Dylan: If it’s a female lifeguard I’d say Gary will chance it. Or male. You never know with Gaz.
Ferdia: Colin White, all attention is good attention.

Cool, cheers lads, thanks a million.
Ferdia: Nice one, cheers Tadhg

What Went Down At: UXIN Division 1 2017/18

Chair/Editor: Alun P (Leeds)
Deputy Chair/Editor: hazard (Oxford)
Contributors: gyanhan (Oxford), Slender (Sheffield), Becky Greenwood (Loughborough), Rush (Edinburgh), ATHunter (Aberdeen), Tonks, Clackers, Ed Hanton

Scotland dominate the weekend (with 1st, 2nd and 4th) as Glasgow retain their crown in a repeat of their Scottish final against Edinburgh.
Manchester beat their initial seeding by 10 places to claim Bronze
Birmingham show continued strength, Loughborough show some grit, Bath do slightly better than their initial bottom seeding, Leeds suffer heartbreak.
Best-of-the-rest: Oxford, Hertfordshire and Aberdeen put up dominant results in lower brackets.
Birmingham 2 finish 12th, proving the doubters wrong
Plymouth win spirit!
Two regional winners - Huddersfield and Newcastle - finish as bottom two.

Full Results
1. Glasgow
2. Edinburgh
3. Manchester
4. Strathclyde
5. Birmingham 1
6. Loughborough
7. Bath
8. Leeds
9. Oxford
10. Imperial
11. Hertfordshire
12. Birmingham 2
13. Aberdeen
14. Nottingham
15. Sheffield
16. Plymouth
17. Reading
18. Warwick
19. Newcastle
20. Huddersfield

Division 2* 1. St. Andrews 2. Liverpool 3. Sussex --- 4. Durham 5. Bangor 6. Sheffield Hallam 7. Cambridge 8. Exeter 9. Bristol 10. Southampton 11. Brunel 12. Newcastle 2 13. Portsmouth --- 14. York 15. Swansea 16. Nottingham Trent

*We're very sorry, but due to the Div 1 chat taking up a lot of time and some other unavoidable incidents, we didn't manage to get a Div 2 chat. Basically, St. Andrews smashed it. Video here. Feel free to add more information as comments.

Bonus Reading
The ShowGame's Division 1 preview


Welcome to the official UXIN (University Mixed Indoor Nationals) chat! Our contributors will start off discussing what went down at Alan Higgs, in Division 1.

Scotland did quite well

Alun P
Let's start at the sharp end of things. Much to the satisfaction of everyone north of the border, the Scottish backed up their bravado with a second consecutive UXIN title for Glasgow, and two more teams in the top four. Any insights into what made them quite so dominant this weekend?

Either the club scene is really helping the uni scene, or vice versa. Glasgow Ultimate and Black Eagles (two of the top four teams in the UK) were very well represented in Coventry this weekend. Although I’ve no idea which is feeding into which. 

The Scottish teams made heavy use of overheads that were precise regardless of whether into space or to the receiver. Their players also had extremely sticky hands that brought down discs coming in at all angles. When you utilise the break side so effectively, it’s pretty hard to stop.

Watching them play on Saturday, I was 99.99% sure we were going to see a Scottish top 3 and I was pretty close :P They are remarkably well drilled, those overhead shots can’t be that accurate without lots of practice and team chemistry.

Alun, how does it feel to have reluctantly predicted the final?

Alun P
Pride and shame in equal measure...

Well don’t worry. I’m sure all our contributors (cough Rush cough) will be similarly humble about such predictions.

Alun P
I can only speak for Glasgow of the Scottish teams, but something that really stood out was that they used the pull as a defensive weapon much more effectively than the other teams we played. The extra edge from making the offence play from the back of the endzone time after time can turn tight games in their favour, just by adding the extra couple of yards to cover.

In the final you could actually see that from both teams. Nearly every time, the offence had to start at the back of their own endzone. Although I would say Lochlan Fisher of Edinburgh was actually doing the most knifey pulls of the people there. 

Alun P
It's a tough skill, especially on the bigger 3G pitches. I brought one out against Glasgow in pools, and it dropped a good two feet short.

Edinburgh found themselves outmatched when 'pitted' against Glasgow in the final.
Photo by Andrew Hunter for the ShowGame

God the Scottish teams are good aren’t they? All the Scottish teams seemed to have such strength in depth and don’t just rely on their star players, as evidenced by Glasgow losing two of their best in Axel Ahmala and Duncan Webster and yet being able to retain their title (Not to sound bitter but it’s almost like having four year degrees as standard really helps the continuity of the teams). 

In general though, I’d agree with Slender. When we played against Strathclyde, and watching Glasgow/Edinburgh, you notice a main thing: the depth of teams. Even losing their top couple players, Glasgow were really strong. And I know Edinburgh have another couple strong people in reserve too. It is possible to shut out any one or two of their players. Unless your whole team can do it though, you’re in trouble.

Becky Greenwood
Loughborough’s game against Glasgow in quarters was so so good, Glasgow just have loads of old players that have been in these clutch positions before so dealt with the pressure better- their women were insane as well!

Also, a small note about the difference between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Edinburgh played very outdoors-style offence. It was a bit flatter, and relied on them running patterns and getting free, which Glasgow did a good job to pressure. It should bode very well for them outdoors.

Glasgow’s offence was a bit more reliant on throws, rather than movement. As such, the only thing that could really stop them was Glasgow not clicking. Which, well, didn’t seem to happen.

Just want to throw this one in the mixer, Edinburgh and Glasgow played each other in the final at ScUXIR and had a very similar result to the final of UXIN.... Strathclyde dominated most comers, Aberdeen finished well in Div 1 too... is there any stopping us? We are a dominant force in the country right now!

The only thing stopping you being more dominant is apparently the Heriot Watt exam season…

As a very brief explanation - Heriot pulled out instantly after qualifying, as they knew they couldn’t attend Nats. They were hoping the extra bid would go to Strathclyde 2, the next in line from their region. Instead, UKU decided it should go to Yorkshire and East Midlands.

The Heriot Watt exam season is an unfortunate shame every year. The boys missed out on Outdoor Nats leading to a fine from BUCS due to exams.

So, closing the Scottish section with the words of Glasgow captain Joel Terry:

We went into the weekend wanting to play happy, stay hyped and bring our best game. Being seeded first also meant that there were high expectations for us so we were definitely aiming for Gold. Competition this year was much tougher than last time round and we knew that we had to keep our intensity up and focus if we wanted to win. 

Every game in the brackets were tough and not much separated the top 4. So yeah, it was a hard grind to the top and we are super pleased with our win! Really proud of everyone for the stellar performance!

There was one downside about the weekend, that being our spirit score. We will definitely be looking into why it was so low and adjust it for our next outing.

Manchester claim bronze

Alun P
Moving down the map, and sadly, the leaderboard, let's work through the rest of the top eight. First up, Manchester, who managed to break up the Scottish podium love-in. A strong comeback after losing out on the regional title. Thoughts?

Manchester did really well, but also like the Scots have a really strong team all round with a couple of stand out players like Steve Dixon.

Becky Greenwood
Manchester were solid, their team seems timeless because loads of players are postgrads! Their women ran relentless undercuts and their guys just kept resetting until they got free!

He's right to say the bracket games were tough, all the quarters & semis were 2pt margin at most

On the note of tough games, here’s what captain Robbie Kyme had to say when asked for a quote:

I was captain for the weekend and to be honest I don’t feel the need to say anything.
Clearly the ShowGame made some huge errors in the predictions. I can’t say much about the rest of the article (or others), because I don’t care enough to read them.

Sure you might all find it exciting that we apparently came out of nowhere entering as 13th seed (or whatever it was). But at the end of the day, it’s nationals. I’d expect many of the games to always be tight at most levels. Our all round quality was just able to see a majority of the games out over other teams. 

I’m pretty sure we lost both to Loughborough and Edinburgh by 1 point and that I lost the toss on both of those games. Had I of won those tosses and started on O instead, who’s to say we couldn’t of won the tournament?
That’s how fine the margins are.

The same thing happened to Strathclyde in their semi against Glasgow and I’m sure many other teams will have experienced something similar too. Perhaps even against us.

On that other side of things, it’s worth noting Manchester beat Birmingham by one, and both Plymouth and Leeds by only two. Games which I’m sure some people on the chat can attest to being close.

Alun P
Finding ways to win those tight games time after time separates the great teams from the good, and Manchester certainly ended up looking pretty great.

Seems like Manchester coming 2nd at Regionals was just unfortunate for them.

I think there can be no better summary of the weekend for Manchester than this.

Rest of the top 8

Alun P
The top eight was rounded out by Birmingham 1, Loughborough, Bath and Leeds. Besides some pleasant alliteration, was anyone surprised to see that collection come out of the crossovers to challenge the pool winners?

Becky Greenwood
uBu were consistently good, their system is really efficient because they can score deep with ease!

Loughborough looked to be playing really well and might feel they could have nabbed a top four spot had they not come up against Glasgow in the quarters. However they only have themselves to blame after beating Manchester and then losing to Plymouth to miss out on topping the pool. It looked like a lot of the Leeds players had mentally checked out after their quarter final loss and couldn’t really raise themselves back up for the last two games.

Becky Greenwood
This Mixed Nationals was the best Loughborough have finished for quite a few years. With an average height of around 4ft we should be pretty happy with that.

Loughborough show it's not your height, but your hops that count.
Photo by Sam Mouat for the ShowGame

Oxford not making top 8 was a bit surprising given the experience on their team.

Alun P
uBu certainly looked like a dangerous side to run into trying to cross up to the top bracket. And efficiency is a deadly quality to have.

I feel that on our day, we (Oxford) could have beaten uBu. But this time, we didn’t, so fair play to them, they were the better team this weekend. They played a deep game that relied on core connections and isolating certain match ups. I will also say that I think Grace Owen alone gained them a few seeds. Not because she’s necessarily a better player (she is a good player, but it’s not the point I’m making), but simply because she was so much calmer than anyone on either side when it got competitive. It’s what I think the difference was between uBu and Loughborough for the 5 vs 6, certainly. 

Rupal was great for Loughborough, making great grabs but also throwing some pinpoint hammers. One of the few players to miss GB U24 training and play the whole tournament, missing their women definitely hurt some other teams e.g. Imperial and Claire Baker.

Alun P
Bath looked good in the 7v8, and didn’t lose by much to Loughborough or Strathclyde before that. Captain Ben Giles provided some thoughts:

“We felt we had a fairly good tournament and in all honesty could have finished anywhere from 4-7. We had a strong Saturday apart from our game against Edinburgh where we were simply outplayed - a combination of them being very very good and us having a poor game. The Strathclyde game could have gone either way. I thought they were very strong and we really struggled to deal with their offence and their break side throws - our height disadvantage made scoobers particularly easy but the fact the game went to universe shows how strong our offence also was in that game. I think there may not have been any turns/ certainly no breaks in the last 14 points in the game.

Our game against Loughborough was equally tight. The standard was a little lower and i felt we should have won this game. We were a point up when the buzzer went but a sloppy turn on universe meant that once again we missed out. We were pleased to finish strongly against Leeds and hopefully showed that 7th was the lowest we should have finished and that we could have competed a little higher in the bracket. Missing 2 women to GB U24s also did not help us but the squad was really tight and i think we’ll have a great chance when it comes to outdoors”

Alun, how did you feel from a Leeds perspective? I know they have a lot of players from the team that finished 2nd last year.

Alun P
We had a tough quarter with Manchester, which ended in less than ideal circumstances, and after that we didn't seem the same for the rest of the day, which our last two results really showed. It's a shame, because at Regionals we managed to respond to our only loss very well, but this time out we just lost something.

Any idea what was the difference between Regionals and Nationals? Just more on the line?

Alun P
I think we just started slowly. We hadn't been in a hole like that at all this season, our only regional losses were by one or two, and we didn't have a plan to dig ourselves out and got flustered.

Ok, Alun, let’s take it back a step. Care to explain what you mean by less than ideal circumstances?

Alun P  
In our quarterfinal, with Manchester one ahead after the hooter, they put up a high shot. We got a defender under the disc, not necessarily in a position to make a bid, and a Manchester player came through their upper back at speed, comprehensively flattening them.

You guys had a few instances like that, right?

Alun P
I was personally blindsided once in the endzone, and there was another instance which was much more 50:50, but we did seem to be contact magnets.

Spirit Chat - Level of Contact

Huh. Ok, quick detour from UXIN then, although feel free to use examples from there. How do we feel about the current level of contact in Ultimate? Should it be different for mixed? 

I find that in Indoors, Nationals (either Mixed or Men's) has too high a level of contact than what I'm comfortable with, but Regionals is fine for me.

EUCF 2017 Natasha Lim (ex-GBU24) for Black Eagles... guy lays out through her for the disc. She's out for a significant amount of time, potentially longer than a year. Guy carries on playing, potential for a life-changing injury narrowly escaped. Non-contact sport is in the rules, why is it not in the game?

Alun P
WFDF Rules 2017, Rule 1.1 - Ultimate is a non-contact, self-refereed sport

Rule 12.8 - All players must attempt to avoid contact with other players, and there is no situation where a player may justify initiating contact. “Making a play for the disc” is not a valid excuse for initiating contact with other players.

It’s a good starting point. In fact, it’s exactly where this Ultiworld article on bad bids started. I like their phrasing of the problem*, so I’ll quote it verbatim.

“It’s been a rough month for fans of the non-contact sport of ultimate.

While calling ultimate “non-contact” has long been a misnomer (like it is in basketball), it has become increasingly clear that the level of acceptable contact between players has risen over the last 10-15 years. Players are more athletic, more willing to tacitly agree to physical play downfield, and more eager than ever to get that huge layout block.

But has the elite end of the sport reached a tipping point? 2016’s club and professional competition has been defined by a growing number of dangerous bids caught on video, and the health and safety of players are becoming a real concern.”

*I don’t, however, like how they call out specific plays to illustrate a general point, as I often think the discussion then focuses on the specific incident, and can become unspirited (it’s why this part of our chat is more general). This response from one of the players featured being fouled contains some of my reasoning. It's why this chat does not focus on the incidents in UXIN.

Ed Hanton
I'm not sure about different rules for Mixed. The rules are already there! Alun's example to me would be unacceptable in men's too.

Ruling for dangerous play is important here I believe.

Ed Hanton
I've found that contact is becoming more prevalent. Whether I've been playing at a higher level or that's how the sport is developing, I'm not sure...

And that's not just big contact, the small things like bodying up, pushing off cuts, arms to feel for your man etc.

Ed, do you even feel those small things shouldn’t be allowed? Or just saying that you’re noticing those happen more? Because there isn’t really a chance of injury from those, I can see why some might argue either way on that point.

Having those small things allowed can give more acceptability to the injury causing plays.

Ed Hanton
Agreed Clackers, the small things make it a smaller leap to the bigger fouls. I usually mention it to the player that they're fouling, either in the stack after a turn, or after the point. Then if they still do it, I start calling it 

To give someone credit, I actually did that exact same thing (tell someone they were being too contact-y while trying to mark me) to Warwick captain Willem Garnier in our BUCS game. He was very happy to listen to me and came up to chat after the game to check he was ok. Just some good spirit to highlight. 

Alun P
Similarly, there was a big bloke from Glasgow who gave me an elbow in the ribs at the start of our game. I called it, he apologised, said it was accidental as he started to run, and nothing else happened for the rest of the game.

Ed Hanton
I've also almost always had good results with mentioning before calling technique. Usually people play to the contact of their opponents/level of the game (which is bad). But a small mention before actually calling a 'small foul' keeps it a lot more relaxed 

As a female player I've been knocked over by someone trying to poach while we were swinging the disc against a wall, I was young and naive then and believed him when he said he was just making a play on the disc and he got to the disc first. I guess the rules just have to be highlighted extra clearly, because I know some people out there still believe making a play is like a golden rule above all other rules.

Ed Hanton
gyanhan, I think maybe that feeling comes from football (if you touch the ball first, no foul). The actual rule should therefore be stressed to beginners a lot more?

Also I've seen lots of talk about bad bids in the men's and mixed divisions in the UK but not so much in women's. This is despite seeing a whole bunch of horrible stories in the US women's division so I would say the UK women's ultimate scene hasn't reached that level of aggressiveness yet (hopefully never).

This is certainly not just a UK problem, as this petition regarding bad bids will testify.

Alun P
USAU and AUDL rules also lean towards touched-the-disc-means-it's-ok, so as top level US play becomes more visible, that attitude could become more common

It is worth saying that a lot of those players are fine with an increased level of contact. I know a few players who wish there could be a little more, and get excited when they find an opposition player also ok with increasing the aggressiveness.

This is actually something I found the spirit circles before games at EUCF quite good for. Increasing communication and talking about such things before games allows people to get their voices heard in a neutral setting, rather than in an emotionally charged one (during a game).

When we had our repeat game with Imperial this weekend, I actually chatted to their captain quickly about the spirit in the previous game, since they would have submitted the score already. There wasn’t anything wrong - they were lovely - but it was nice to give that chance for feedback from both sides.

I would (perhaps controversially) say it's largely a Mixed division problem simply because the potential of damage is that much higher. But I think it's a mindset that has to change and some rule learning to be learnt by many, to simply avoid contact when you know there is potential for it.

Ed Hanton
I think beginners need to be taught better what 'no fouls' means. That 'making a play on the disc' isn't acceptable, that you don't need to have contact to call a foul (if you have to move out of the way to avoid contact). When to call dangerous play. If you're running up the line looking back and makes contact with a poach defender when coming in from downfield, who's at fault etc. 

Alun P
Somewhat sadly, in Ed's example, either player could pull up and call dangerous play against the other for failing to acknowledge the risk of contact and do everything possible to avoid it. The fact that no-one does that emphasises how much the community as a whole can still learn about the rules. 

Ok. We’re closing this section with a quick poll, the results of will be anonymised. Do we as a group think:
1. There is way too much contact in Ultimate
2. There is slightly too much contact (5 people chose this)
3. The level of contact is about right (3 people chose this)
4. There could be slightly more contact (1 person chose this)
5. There is room for a lot more contact.
(1 person also managed to find an option for 2.5)

Best of the Rest

Alright, moving on. There were some teams that were very unfortunate to miss out on top 8. In my opinion, these were: Oxford, Hertfordshire and Aberdeen. Watching them, I’d say these teams had a real edge over anyone else in the bottom 12.

I thought Oxford did have a good chance of making the top 8, unfortunate that we met UBU in the cross though they deserved the win on that game. However I think the top 8 teams are all tough teams and with such slim margins in all the bracket games it's hard to say if Oxford would have done much better. When the games are so close it's not just plain ol frisbee skill that wins you games but mental toughness and some tactical smarts. The final placings seem fair, and I guess to be really nitpicky and slightly controversial teams should call themselves the best in the UK for the weekend of 25-26November and not really for the season haha :p With such margins are so tiny, anything could have been a factor. Someone mentioned earlier about winning the toss, so I say next year everyone should practice flipping some discs. 

Alun P
Hertfordshire remain as mysterious to me as they were going in. They held Edinburgh to a draw, but then failed to put away Reading, and were kept at arm's length by all the other top eight teams they played. Ernest Simons had the best calves at the tournament though.

It seemed like every time I got to see Oxford play, they were in trouble, but then you won all of those games. Maybe in future I should just stay away from you?

It's really a case of performance VS competence I feel. You've got great teams coming into the weekend, it's just which teams can actually show what they're made of.

Also whether you happen to be playing on Sunday morning with one of your players really disliking mornings.

Becky Greenwood
Just to mention Aberdeen - they seemed to improve as the weekend went on, unfortunate for them that they came out so low against Loughborough - nerves?

Alun P
Aberdeen came out bottom of a three-way, which is usually the source of overpowered teams in a lower bracket.

Against Birmingham and Loughborough too! Tough pool.

Alun P
Only pool to produce three top eight teams, and Aberdeen even picked up a win against Birmingham. What a mess pool C was.

As an Aberdeen player I think our team were very happy with our Sunday performance in the games we had which were all convincing wins including a 15-5 win in the last game (13v14). As was stated because of the 3 way tie 13th was the highest we could come which we were frustrated and disappointed. In part this was down to our pool having several very strong teams who all deserved to have the chance to play in the top bracket. I think our belief is that had we had a cross over/not been screwed over by being 4th in the pool then we could have finished top 8 or at least top 10.

Top 10 Players


Ok. I’m going to close the section on who we thought did well with the bit some people are going to scroll straight down too: who I thought were the top 10 performing players at the weekend. One caveat - I didn’t see Manchester, and they would probably have someone in here.

Men: Alan Jeuken (Glasgow), Joel Terry (Glasgow), Chris Habgood (Edinburgh), Ernest Simons (Hertfordshire), Cameron Mackie (Strathclyde)

Women: Grace Owen (Birmingham), Rupal Ghelani (Loughborough), Hayley Dalmon (Strathclyde), Bella Taite (Edinburgh), Kate Stafford (Edinburgh)

I felt Glasgow’s men were definitely their strong point. Alan Jeuken has developed so much, it is with utter joy I can include him here. I saw no one on any team working harder all weekend. Chris and Joel were respectively the bailout players for their teams, both with ridiculous grabs and throws. Cam was incredibly solid for Strathclyde, I didn’t see him put a foot wrong. As for Ernie, despite playing for a lower finishing team, he ranks as one of the toughest - across all teams - that I played. It took three quarters of the game for us to work out how to shut him down. If we hadn’t, Hertfordshire would have destroyed us.

For the women, Edinburgh’s women were phenomenal and the best of any in the tournament, I felt. Competent at all levels of the pitch, at all levels of play. Same with Hayley. I’ve already mentioned my respect for Grace, and Rupal has been mentioned too. Although her grab to win the game against Bath should be highlighted too. 

Alun P
Shoutout to Elly White (Huddersfield) for possible grab of the weekend on Saturday. Knife was overthrown, way behind her, and then suddenly she launched backwards, grabbed it, popped up and threw the assist.

Rounding up the remaining teams

Huddersfield eh? What happened to them this weekend? Newcastle too. Odd to see two regional winners finish so low.

Becky Greenwood
It was surprising the amount of first teams that ended up in the bottom 5!

Huddersfield definitely suffered from the 3G and bigger pitches at Alan Higgs. At times  they didn’t really play their game and I think teams have started to work them out. They were unsettled by some poachy D looks off their men who might not quite be ready for the highest levels of nationals (came 14th at YEMUIR). This also probably means our region will lose at least 1 bid next year so we might actually have to put effort in to get to nationals ;) .

All I know about Newcastle is they definitely suffered from having two teams going to Nats. They started the Saturday with 6 players as they didn’t want to pull people up from their 2nd team at Div 2 and leave them high and dry. They also played a very high energy game which I wouldn’t really want to be playing if I only had one sub. 

A lot of respect to Newcastle for not pulling players out of their seconds then. From memory, Oxford had no qualms about doing so when we were in that position a couple years ago…

Newcastle were also missing Kate Gibson to GB U24 training, and having played with her before I can attest she is a significant part of any team, she's an excellent cutter.

I wondered after Regionals if the teams at Nationals would be more equipped to dealing with Newcastle's offence. Was this the case?

Alun P
In our game with Newcastle, at least, they just suffered from little things piling up. An early drop or two, several bricked pulls, and then legs started to tell.

Becky Greenwood
On Huddersfield, I thought that the the bigger pitches made a Massive massive difference! They suit more conservative frisbee- and more aggressive defence. In small pitches angles are tighter so you have to jam a lot more- so highlight players perform a lot better- whereas in bigger pitches, the players running relentless undercuts get the glory because the highlight players can’t be arsed to follow them everywhere.

Alun P
As I complained about in regional articles, the change from regionals to nationals makes the regional results a dreadful predictor for seeding, and means that the teams that qualify aren't necessarily the ones who will do best at Nationals. It's no coincidence that the three lowest placed regional winners were all from hard court regions. The game plan that got you there simply isn't relevant any more.

Huddersfield looked uncomfortable in their game against Hertfordshire, they threw two passes right into the hands of Ola Kulikowska who was marking their iso. They rely so largely on their women, and against Hertfordshire - a team who have such strong athletic female players - they were stifled.

We forgot about Nottingham, so here's a picture of them doing something cool here.
Photo by Alice Hanton for the ShowGame
Very small post on other teams - Reading (17th) also seemed to suffer with pitch size, as well as missing Ryan Coons and Emily Peach. I don’t think they were used to 3G, hoping they can get some training sessions on the stuff before Men’s Nationals for their sake. 

Sheffield came 15th, and suffered from quite a few injuries, prior engagements and one big name drop out with a poor excuse two days before the weekend so we knew it might be tough. We were all really pleased with how promoted players stepped up. I think 15th was a reasonably fair assessment of how we played however all bar one of our games was close and if we hadn’t have switched off halfway through our game with you hazard (vs Oxford) I think we might have had a very different weekend. Personally I was really chuffed with how our systems worked at times against the highest level teams and think we’ve learned a lot to help us prepare for Men’s and Women’s Nationals after Christmas.

To finish (unless anyone else has anything to add), Warwick’s full public comments on the weekend, after finishing 18th.

Alun P
I guess you could say they found their performance...


Mic drop

Rejected Interview Question and Answer - Captains of the GB U24 teams

The ShowGame recently published some interviews with the GB U24 teams. Click here for the Men's piece, here for the Mixed piece, and ...