Chris Bamford Interview (UK Ultimate University Coordinator)

The following is an interview with Chris Bamford, the UKU University Coordinator, done in 2016. He is responsible for the administration of University Ultimate: overseeing the tournament allocation process for Regionals and Nationals, enforcing rostering rules, adjudicating any eligibility questions, and aiding the Regional development of Ultimate. He’ll be handing his position over to Tom Daly, but I still think many will find this interview interesting to learn what goes on with the role.

What’s your name?
Chris Bamford

Any nicknames?

And what’s your number?

How long have you been playing Ultimate?
6 years

Did you start at University?
Yup, at Nottingham.

What did you study?
Masters in Maths and Sports Performance Analysis

What’s your favourite throw?
I/O flick

How often do you make your team train a week?
Less than I’d like

Outdoors or Indoors?
I’m under 6ft, so outdoors

Horizontal or Vertical Stack?
Split Stack

Zone or man D?

What (if any) club team/s do you play for?
LLLeeds (captain)

Have you ever represented your country?

How did you start playing Ultimate? What convinced you to stay?
In my 2nd year of uni. Nathan Trickey dragged me to an internal beginners tournament. Competitive instinct kept me around, had to get better and couldn’t quit. Also was very keen on a girl I met in the club.

What was the proudest moment during your university career? (I know for a fact you do have prouder moments than bagelling Oxford in the game to go to Nationals.)
I’d actually forgotten that.

Winning Div 2 Open Nationals. We had a mad strong squad and made a complete mess of regionals to not qualify for Div 1. Smashing Div 2 and beating the Irish in the final in front of literally hundreds of people was great. The current Nottingham lot have ruined this memory for me a bit by winning Div 1 this year but all the same...

Why did you go for UKU University Coordinator?
Don’t know, ask Edd Carmichael, my predecessor. He was standing down and convinced me it’d be a great idea for me to run for it. 3 and a half years later here we are.

What are some big changes you’ve enacted in the role?
  • Regionals redraw
  • Moving the Indoors dates later in the calendar
  • Bringing in a comms officer
  • Running 2 University Development conferences
  • Taking Indoor Nationals to Scotland so we could have Men’s Div 1/2 and Women’s together
  • Women’s Indoors and Outdoors getting BUCS recognition (meaning the open division became a Men’s division as BUCS won’t allow people to compete in more than one division)
  • BUCS leagues introduction
Take your pick. Note I’m not saying all of the above was solely me!

What are some of the challenges involved in the role?
Getting the time to do it all, it’s basically a part time job. Our biggest struggle though is communication, as with other parts of UKU it’s something that we simply can’t prioritise enough. Making the event run smooth is more important that shouting about how great it is, but we are trying to improve communication, taking more feedback and encouraging people to get in touch with us more.

As we’re working with volunteers most of the time that’s pretty difficult to, obviously we’re all responsible for making sure it runs smoothly but we’ve got to respect people have lives and won’t always be able to drop stuff at a moment's notice to get stuff done for us.

Dealing with flak used to bother me a bit, less so now but I have copped it on facebook a few times from certain individuals!

(editors note: This is actually something we’d like to highlight. Feedback from tournaments is great, but everytime you moan about something publically, please be aware it is another person you are moaning at! Most work in UKU is done by volunteers. It’s nice to apply spirit of the game on Facebook too…)

What is it like working with Si Hill?
A pleasure. Benji less so….

What is some advice you would give to anyone wanting to get involved in Ultimate, beyond just playing?
Come and speak to us! I’m on about 20 different subcommittees and we can always do with more people to help us out. Drop me/Si/Benji/Liam a line and tell us where your area of interest lies and we’ll see where we can get you involved, there are opportunities to do all sorts.

It’s not just UKU who can advise, if you are looking to do local work on Ultimate there are plenty of good examples around, think Bristol, Brighton, Liverpool, Manchester and Reading to start with (sorry to any major cities I’ve missed out there). Speak to the people involved with them and invariably they are willing to pass on advice and tips from their experiences.

Finally, if you could give everyone taking over admin for a university team some advice that would make both their and your lives easier, what would it be?
Can I give a few? The job I’ve just left was working as a club development officer at the University of Hull so doing precisely this! I’ll stick to 2 bits.

1 - Do a budget! - Seriously just do it, it isn’t that hard to forecast your incoming and outgoing as a club, most clubs will even have a maths/business/accounting student in the club.

2 - Assign the club email account to one person. So many times I’ve had issues with people not seeing emails as they have been “read” by someone else on committee. And while we’re on emails pass on the flipping passwords each year. Oh and on passing stuff on you should have a handover document explaining what needs doing in your role. Best way to put it together is by keeping a log of what you do in the role throughout the year, including contact details of people you work with. Sorry I’ll stop now.


  1. Chris 'Slam-Blam' Bamfam has done a stand up job for UKU. Personally, I only play ultimate to experience his wicked hot cuts.

  2. Fantastic Point there Chris! Slam-Blam's wicked hot cuts are a testiment to the growing intensity of today's ultimate.


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