What Went Down At: UWIR 2017/18

Chair/Editor: hazard* (tSG Uni editor guy)
Contributors: Becky Greenwood (Loughborough), k-j (Durham), Alice Hanton** (Leeds), gyanhan (Oxford), AnnieB (ex-Edinburgh), ali* (Cambridge, tSG Women's Uni editor), Ed Hanton** (Bristol)
Additional Contributions***: Georgia Godden (Hertfordshire), Bea Perks (Bath), Dom Knight (Bangor), Katie Allen (Southampton)
*Contributor was not present at tournament
**Contributor is part of the tSG photography team, rather than a dedicated writer
***These people kindly gave us quotes, but were not present for the chat, so couldn't respond to people. Their words have been put in italics for clarity.

Qualifying Teams
(in the order we discuss them)

North
1. Huddersfield
2. Loughborough
3. Leeds
4. Manchester
5. Newcastle
6. Sheffield
---
7. Durham

Spirit: Durham 1

East
1. Hertfordshire
2. Imperial
3. Kings
4. Oxford
5. UCL
---
6. St. Mary's

Spirit: Oxford 1

Scotland
1. Edinburgh
2. Strathclyde
3. Aberdeen
4. Glasgow
5. St. Andrews
---
6. Heriot-Watt

Spirit: Aberdeen 2

West
1. Bath
2. Birmingham
3. Bangor
4. Warwick
---
5. Plymouth

Spirit: Warwick 2


hazard
Saving the best until last, University Women’s Indoor Regionals (UWIR) happened across four separate regions last weekend - Scotland, North, East, and West. The latter three are actually quite sizeable, being made up of two combined Mixed/Men’s Indoor regions.

In fact, the growth of Women’s Ultimate has really been something to note recently. So a general question we’ll be addressing at the end - is it time we split up the Women’s regions? Or just provided a Division 2 to help more Women’s teams gain that high level competitive experience? For now though, let's get on with the chat.


North


hazard

Let’s start in what is - by number of bids - the strongest region. The North! Six teams qualify, and it has traditionally been a powerhouse of UK Women’s Uni Ultimate. Were we seeing any of that this weekend?

Becky Greenwood
This weekend was a complete mixture of fully experienced teams and teams which were majority Freshers - whether anyone noticed or not. Filled with some incredibly fought-for and close games.
Some teams hid their beginners well. Others were less subtle.
Photo by Alice Hanton for the ShowGame
k-j
The Northern region seemed to be quite split, as Becky said - there were a core group of teams all fighting for qualification, and then a group of impressively well-drilled 2nd teams who were all wanting to prove themselves, and then other teams that were using regionals as a bonding experience and teaching new skills. It was amazing to see some seriously good-quality Ultimate, with intense and exciting matches, and the number of teams is indicative of the potential that our region has πŸ˜€. Personally, I think that 7 qualifying spots would have been nice (coming from Durham πŸ˜›) but I'm sure that the 6 teams heading to Glasgow will represent us well.

Becky Greenwood
I would like to give a shout-out to all the guys that came to sideline! All the girls really valued their encouragement and support.

hazard
Alright. Let’s talk about the now-favourites for winning this region. Huddersfield. They had two close games (sudden death against Newcastle first game, and Loughborough in the final). They really seemed to run away with it, aside from that. Care to give us a run down of that final?

Becky Greenwood
The final was an extremely intense and close game. Especially after their not-close game at Mixed. Every single point was grafted for - with some amazing grabs, breaks and decision making. Huddersfield quickly showed how much they had improved from their initial 6th seed - their height definitely game them an advantage. Both teams traded points until it went to sudden death and went to Huddersfield favour. A fantastic final where lots was learnt and some amazing plays were made! The final score was 8-7 to Huddersfield. Huddersfield MVP deservedly went to Elly White.

hazard
It seems to me Loughborough and Huddersfield have fairly different play styles, although they both do what they’re trying to do fairly well. What do you think currently separates them?

k-j
Huddersfield were admirably well-drilled; Durham went into our game against them having never played them before, and were taken aback at quite how slick their iso play was! They were tall and athletic, unafraid to use overheads, unafraid to go for the grabs, and totally deserved their wins - they smashed seed and seemed to be aiming for the win from the offset.

Alice Hanton
Huddersfield were really strong; so, so chilly and they played very good indoors. I feel this is something they've been building up to for a couple of years, and they'll be happy to finally get some recognition! I look forward to seeing how they do at Nationals. The final was extremely close and as hazard said, Loughborough and Hudds play quite differently but are both good at what they do!

Becky Greenwood
I think Loughborough played incredibly well with having one less player than Huddersfield, and also being quite a majority shorter. Their decision making, athleticism and chilly-ness on the disc was inspiring to watch. Not to mention all them tasty and quite frankly beautiful scoobers and i-o breaks! It was obvious to see how much both teams wanted to win and their passion, hard-work and determination was very evident on pitch.

k-j
Lougborough (as ever) were extremely athletic and used a weave-cycle play that took a lot of teams by surprise - or to be honest, even if they knew what Loughborough were doing, they just couldn't stop it! Huddersfield played a fairly static iso, but their throws and breaks were accurate, and they appeared to be able to get the disc anywhere they wanted at any point - which is a fairly helpful asset in a tense indoors match πŸ˜›

Becky Greenwood
It’s certain to say that watching them play again at nations is 100% definitely not a game to miss. Let’s see which team puts in more grafting in the next 3 months.

hazard
So, very good performances from Leeds and Manchester saw them battle out a sudden death game in the 3 vs 4. Leeds just came out on top. Two strong teams with little to separate them.

Alice Hanton
Leeds had a great weekend overall. Both our 1v8 against Sheffield and our 3v4 against Manchester were very close, hard fought games. The 1v8 was our first game of Sunday whereas Sheffield had already won a game that morning, so coming out 100% switched on in such an important game was a challenge! In both that game and the 3v4 we went down at the start, but we ground it out and managed two comebacks. We've lost Rachel Naden, Katie Lovell and Alexis Soo from last year's winning team, so our squad looks quite different this year and I wasn't sure how we would do, but the team stepped up and I'm very happy with third.

hazard
I have to say I’m more interested in the next bracket down - and why Newcastle only managed 5th. They were a team I tipped to do quite well. And, well, 5th is still quite good. But any idea if something wasn’t clicking this weekend? Especially considering their second team managed 8th (it was Newcastle 2 vs Newcastle 1 in the 5-8 bracket, which must have been a fun game to watch).

Becky Greenwood
I’d like to give another shout out to Newcastle for getting 3 teams to Regionals! Very impressive and hats off to them for getting so many girls.

k-j
When I saw Newcastle 1s play at first, they looked unstoppable, and I had them pegged as the ones to watch. With three new players (Kate Gibson, Jo Murnane and Dawn Chueh) they had a rapid iso and didn't seem to be making any mistakes! But then Loughborough seemed to dominate in the crossover match for the top 4, forcing them to turn and take risky options; from then on, they comfortably took 5th.

Alice Hanton
Newcastle 2 were looking good, we were expecting another beginner-filled second team but they certainly didn't look like one and took us (Leeds) by surprise in our final game on Saturday!

Becky Greenwood
Does anyone know how York managed to drop so many seeds?

k-j
York lost Martine Ballinger, Gwyn Ng and Hannah Willett to graduation, and struggled last year at outdoors even with them, so I think they were an inexperienced team who were somehow seeded 7th which kinda messed up some seedings for other teams.

hazard
Alright. Let’s go onto the final crunch game in a region that was full of them. Sheffield vs Durham. Winner goes to Nationals. Loser will end up taking spirit trophy (coincidentally). k-j?

k-j
πŸ˜₯
So Durham had played Sheffield in the 5-6 cross, gone 4-0 down then brought it back to 7-7...and then lost on universe. We then went on to beat Pies 2 and set up a 6-7 re-match against Sheffield (coincidentally one of the loveliest teams we played), we thought we could do it, we went 2-0 up... and then their mental game proved stronger and they took the Nationals spot with a 7-4 victory. Their iso was slick and Zarah Dixon looked unstoppable.

Becky Greenwood
My personal touch - hype up the Loughborough 2s in their African Violet - they stormed into women’s Regionals with only 5 players - 3 of which were Frisbee freshers (of which no one could possibly tell - beautiful and impressive grabs, breaks and cuts all over the shop!) and one incredz player who was injured and suffered a head on collision on the Saturday (poor girl) - meaning the team had to play 4 players in their last game on Saturday against Nottingham 2 and ended with a score of 5-3 to Nottingham despite their lack of players. Very impressive Loughborough. On the Sunday however, they definitely showed how well they they could have played - with an 8-4 victory against Nottingham 2 #upthe2s


East


hazard

Alright, moving on to last year’s dominant region - the East. Four teams from this region won Gold and Silver medals across outdoors and indoors. I know everyone is keen to find out more. So, what went down?
You, right now, keen to find out more.
Photo from twitter.com/WOW_Ultimate
gyanhan
Coming into the weekend I thought the pools were slightly imbalanced, and it showed, with no one from Pool D making it to Nationals. Pool A had both Oxford and Imperial, and this meant the second seed in the pool had to play a tough 2v7 bracket (upon winning the 7v10), where a win would guarantee Nationals, while a loss would mean having to fight their way in through the 6v7 and 5v6 game-to-go. Oxford drew with Imperial (a cracking game, lots of people were watching and they were all so hyped!) but lost on point difference to come second in the pool.

hazard
Oh, intersting. What happened then?

gyanhan
Oxford faced UCL in the 2v7, which we really really wanted to win and we did. It was a revenge match of sorts for some of those who played at the UWON finals last year, and we were happy to come out on top. We definitely felt UCL deserved a spot to Nats though (which they did get in the end through the harder way)! Other teams faced a possibly easier way into the the qualifying spots if they had their crosses against teams from Pool D. Not here to complain or whine about the seeding, just wondering how such imbalances can be avoided. Perhaps worth noting that the top two finishers were both seeded lowly, Hertfordshire were seeded 10th coming into the tournament, and Imperial were seeded 7th.

hazard
So, I’m going to jump straight to the winners. Hertfordshire. We’d chalked their victory in mixed up to Ernie Simons. However, with the strength of their team this weekend, it appear we may have missed how strong their other players are.

Captain Georgia Godden had this to say:
I couldn’t be prouder of the Herts ladies. Imperial gave us a really tight final. That final and the 2v3 (vs Oxford) were pretty difficult, but I think we adapted faster when our plays didn’t work and more so than the other teams which is what I believe gave us the wins in the semis and finals. That and our fantastic girls - everyone had an important role to play. Strong handlers really are the strength to our team and our main goal scorer, Charlie Ellis, and her amazing grabs meant we were able to bring down every disc we put up for her.

gyanhan
That is very true, Herts adapted the best to the defence we threw against their weave, which we had used against Imperial and UCL more effectively

hazard
Care to take us through that final against Imperial?

gyanhan
It was super, super close and the teams were trading points throughout. Imperial were trading ahead but the Herts players are so tall and athletic and played such great defense that Imperial made some mistakes, which Herts managed to capitalise on to get the break. Though to be fair, Imperial also switched on their D when they turned, and every score was contested. There was even a point where I believe the Herts handler was about to stall out but she threw a pinpoint blade to her facemarked receiver who was standing still in the endzone and the player brought it down. That speaks a lot about trust and athleticism, which I think are two key words to describe the Herts style of play.

hazard
What about Imperial then?

gyanhan
Imperial are also a delight to watch, you know they are going to be playing structured offense, you know what’s coming yet you just can’t stop their slick throws and speedy cutters. Their weave is just lovely when it flows and there were a few 2-pass points that I just loved. I also overheard someone on the Herts line say to her teammates after a quick Imperial score: “Their offense is good but our offence is just as good” which pretty much sums up the final really.

hazard
Georgia is expecting top 8 for her team at Nationals. Is that fair? Should they be aiming higher? What about Imperial?

gyanhan
Top 8 is fair, they are a really good team though it is worth noting that they play a lot of their top 5 players on the line, and the subs don’t really come on as often. But even after playing so many points consecutively their players seemed fresh over the whole weekend so I would be bold and say they can possibly make the top 4 as well.

gyanhan
Top 8 at Nats for Imperial sounds about right, I would say the same about Oxford too, that’s a good goal for both teams.

hazard
Were Oxford feeling the absence of Joyce Kwok this weekend? Seems they did ok still. Also, good job winning spirit (after our slight spirit hiccup at Men’s…).

gyanhan
We’ll be glad to have Joyce back for Nationals, when we’ll be missing Allegra Molkenthin who will have returned to the US. πŸ˜₯

hazard
(At least) three top eight finishes from the East? Is the region really looking that strong?

gyanhan
I think if they are playing their best they are definitely contenders for the top 8. I thought the quality of play was pretty high in the East, but I’ve not seen the Scottish or Northern teams play so I can’t guarantee there will be three top 8 finishers. Though I would definitely hope for such a result because the region deserves the 5 qualifying spots, up from 4 last year.

hazard
Anything stylistically which might make the East stand out in their style of play?

gyanhan
One interesting point - I noticed that on offense it seems now the current trend is the weave, almost everyone was playing it. Barely anyone we played against brought out some good ol' vert stack (except Brookes), and safe to say people are now favouring the weave as the indoors tactic-of-choice.

On defense, while I only played against two teams who brought out a zone (Portsmouth and UCL), our second team noted that almost everyone they played threw a zone against them. While that could mean people in the East seem to favour zone defense, it could also be a case of practising an alternative defensive look against a second team, who would possibly struggle due to less experience. Though by the end of the weekend our second team had become zone O experts for sure πŸ˜›.

Also I noticed several teams seemed to have actual coaches: St Mary’s definitely had one, and UCL also might have one. Not sure how that translates to how well a team does but St Mary’s finished 6th and UCL 5th, so draw your own conclusions from that.

hazard
Any significance that four of the five Nationals qualifiers were from the same mixed region (UCL, Kings, Imperial and Herts)? Seems like the South East may be lacking a bit here. Or does the London Women’s Club Ultimate scene give the others too much of an advantage?

gyanhan
That is possible, they’re really lucky to be clustered so closely together. From what I know they had a day of friendlies between the various unis last weekend which the East region will never have the luxury of holding simply due to the geographical limitations.

I was really surprised Reading didn’t finish higher because they looked so good at UXIR, but not surprised not more of them qualified. Portsmouth finished 3rd at UXIR but their team at the weekend was perhaps half freshers so they wouldn’t really challenge the spots there. I think the South East women’s ultimate scene might be undergoing some developing this season πŸ˜•. Chichester and Sussex are a shadow of their former selves after losing key players to graduation.

hazard
We've talked a lot about the top teams. Who were the surprises this weekend?

gyanhan
I thought the standard of play amongst the top teams was high; teams played with chemistry and there were many amazing plays on both offense and defense. Some surprises would be St Mary’s - an athletic team unafraid to get down for the disc coupled with some aggressive zone - and Oxford Brookes whose fresher girls actually came down with some great grabs though strangely I didn’t see them play much at mixed. Other highlights would be (again) Reading not doing as well as I predicted, perhaps they were missing Charlotte Marriott. I didn’t see much of their play, but I definitely thought they would make the top.

hazard
Could you give a top 8 player run down?

gyanhan
Lauren Bryant (KCL), Catherine Gale (Herts), Ola Kulikowska (Herts), Charlie Ellis (Herts), Christine Moore (Oxford), Sarah-Jane Rodgers (Oxford), Claire Baker (Imperial), Alicia Tan (UCL)

Also Lauren has apparently returned to haunt the region even though I announced her graduation in the preview… She appeared on Sunday to marshal KCL into snagging a Nats spot.


Scotland


hazard

Moving onto the other team with 5 bids: Scotland! I saw it was tight between Edinburgh and Strathclyde. The results looked kind of clear cut between those two and everyone else. Was that the feeling on the ground too?

AnnieB

Edinburgh won for the second year in a row, and, as you say, Strath were the only team that came close. They did actually beat Edinburgh early in the tournament, in sudden death. Both Strath and Edinburgh were really bringing the intensity to all their games. This perhaps isn’t surprising given the number of literally world class players on the field.

hazard
So, who came close to them then?

AnnieB
Aberdeen played their own game against everyone they went up against. It takes an experienced team to stop their super fast plays and I expect this to be a huge benefit to them come nationals. In their semi against Edinburgh, they were trading points for a time and it was only Edinburgh's knowledge of their playing style that could put a stop to that, after seeing them totally shred the lower seeded teams in pool play. 

I thought the top 4 went pretty much as expected.

hazard
Remaining qualifiers/the team that narrowly missed out, was there any story there.

AnnieB
Heriot Watt will be disappointed they didn’t qualify for Nationals. It’s always tough to be the nearly-there squad. However, with only 7 players on the team, and with such a long day on the Saturday, they would have been hard pushed to go up against the other teams which may explain their placing. 

hazard
Huh. Any good stories further down the schedule?

AnnieB
In the lower seeded teams, the battles raged fierce. I was impressed at the standard, and at the range of different offensive and defensive plays being put to use.

St Andrews 2 had a fierce zone that worked well against teams who hadn’t encountered a wall defence before.  All in all it looks like Scotland has plenty of upcoming talent!

Oh, and I have to mention: am I smug that Stirling placed 7th as I predicted them? The answer is yes. Quite a few people protested this to me, but the Blazettes certainly played well and should be pleased!


St. Andrews 2s showed some skill this weekend.
Photo by Louise Webster for the ShowGame.

hazard
I saw Scotland lost a bid for Women’s this year (to the East). Do you think Scotland are going to win that bid right back?

AnnieB
Scotland is very strong region overall. It is small, of course, compared to some other regions, but the standard is so high I think it deserves the bids it has. In recent years, however, this strength hasn’t translated through to Nationals.

hazard
Let's turn to that then. How do you think the Scottish teams will do at nationals this year?

AnnieB
1. Edinburgh- they’ll be looking to win this year. This is a very strong team, and I’d put money ( is that allowed? Probably not) on them coming top 4.

2. Strathclyde - Again, I expect great things from this team come Nationals. Two of their players will be fresh out of Worlds and wanting to show of those Aussie skills.

Everyone else attending Nationals- Aberdeen, Glasgow, and St Andrews- will want to impress, especially as they are fighting on relatively home turf. Aberdeen will only have to travel 4 hours, which already gives them an edge.

I would like to see Scottish teams fight into the top spots, and I think there is enough skill there to do so. I’m excited to see what Nationals brings!

hazard
Nice! Alright, anything before we wrap up and move onto the next region?

AnnieB
A side note on Scotland in general: the spirit wasn’t looking so hot this weekend. I wasn’t playing, so I can’t say how it felt on field etc, but I think a general brushing up on rules and other aspects of SOTG wouldn’t go amiss for all teams! This sounds super patronising, but I think it’s actually quite interesting- the influence of high standard club Ultimate is starting to filter down into Uni Ultimate more and more, and people are still adjusting to the level of play, and the level of rules knowledge that is required/expected.  Reflecting the recent discussions about SOTG outside the pitch, more of an effort from everyone to be active in maintaining good spirit seems to be needed.


West


hazard

Moving on to the West. Traditionally a Birmingham powerhouse. Ali has some of the lowdown for us.

ali
West is now home to Bath the giant slayers - continuing their inexorable rise that began two years ago, they brought down Birmingham 6-4 in the final, meaning uBu women haven’t won the region for the first time in living memory (Hazard's). Bangor also did very strongly, as did Warwick, winning the game to go to the game to go on universe against Swansea and then smashing Plymouth 7-3. Swansea are the real heroes of this tournament though, they went 9-7 against uBu and were really unlucky not to qualify.

hazard
So. What do we know about Bath 1? Other than the fact their Women’s captain is clearly better at picking squads than their Men’s captain…

ali
Bath relied on their strong communication to crush opposition with their zone. Their fast starts after turns were pretty brutal and they all had complete trust in each other. That plus three GB U24 players means lots of wins.

hazard
Captain Bea Perks added this:
I’d like to say our weekend was insane, never have I played a tournament where the team has such strong chemistry and entire trust in each other! And I think that is what stood us apart from every other team. We have been working on mental toughness along with a big focus on maintaining possession of the disc at all costs, this feeds in to our calm but quick offensive and aggressive and attentive defence (7 points conceded all weekend - has that ever been done before?!?!). We quite obviously have a pretty experienced team but that means nothing without cohesion and belief in one another. Overall an amazing weekend, can we do it again? 😊


A happy Bath 1 team pose with their trophy and their second team.
Photo from the University of Bath Ultimate Facebook page
hazard
Any idea why Birmingham plummeted to the low low position of second? Or how Bangor pulled themselves up to third?

ali
Losing all but two of your experienced women will probably do it (and experienced in uBu terms = GB experience). Also, their second years aren't bad at all, but they lack the somewhat freakish height uBu had last year.

Re Bangor: they've got two good players. One who can throw and one who was super quick and made some huge grabs. They turned over quite a lot though and struggled to play against some people's zones though.

hazard
Bangor player Dom Knight sent us this too, from their perspective. Seems they had a different view about 
Natalie Lynn and Tabi CarΓΆe were Bangor’s best players, often running the show themselves. With Natalie often scoring and Tabi doing work with the disc. They narrowly lost to uBu in the 1v4 final result was a 10-8 loss, but it was 7-2 to uBu at one point. They handled every other team with comfort to be honest, and were also the only team to really play zone also! They were fairly underseeded - starting 9th and finishing 3rd.

In a time of broken traditions (Birmingham not coming first), it’s nice to see Bangor are still playing zone. Also, a return to one of the other old constants of uni Ultimate. Bears qualifying on the Sunday.

gyanhan
#bearsdoitontheSunday

ali
I don't know if you've heard, but bears do do it on the Sunday.

hazard
Alright. For those of us who haven’t spent three years in one of the clique-iest clubs in the scene, care to give us some context?

ali
Bears have a long history of chumping their pool games on the Saturday and then smashing the Sunday.

gyanhan
Hannah Yorwerth has been a fabulous addition. It’s like striking a goldmine when you gain a fresher this good. The third year trio of Ellen Daly, Chloe Newsom, and Catherine McGrath was so solid all weekend. That plus Yorwerth (who took down some obscene discs) meant bears were able to grit out the last two games on the Sunday

hazard
I was quite surprised to see Plymouth up near the top, and very close to qualifying. Another Mixed team that we ended up focusing on a big talismanic guy, without apparently noticing the hard work all the Women were putting in too.

ali
Yeah Plymouth had kind of a crappy Sunday, I think they were a bit mentally broken by the time they played the 4v5. Losing 11-1 to another first team is never fun (even if that team then go on to win the tournament). Maybe there was an injury or something?

Sad to see Bristol drop so sharply though, I'd be curious to know what happened there, they were pretty strong last year.

hazard
I’m going to finish off with a complaint about the schedule, courtesy of Southampton player Katie Allen.

Disclaimer: I have no issue with the TDs, and my concerns probably should have been raised earlier seeing the draft schedule. This is to say an issue I saw, and something I'd like to address for next time.


Essentially: with a region with more than eight 1st teams, and with the constant struggle of seeding each year due to the nature of university teams (and I totally accept that’s really hard!) having crosses straight into a top-8 cutoff relies heavily on seeding being accurate, which unfortunately this year I felt they weren’t. That’s why I would suggest having a power pool stage, or perhaps a Swiss draw Saturday to make sure people are in roughly the right place, and then go into bracket play. Of course it is easy for me to sound bitter as the team that lost out, but even if the results had been reversed it would have been a shame for the first teams facing first teams in the 5-12 crosses.


For context, we finished 2nd in pool crossing with a 3rd in pool in the 7v10 game. That pool we crossed with had Bath 1, Exeter 1 and Plymouth 1. Plymouth were that 3rd in pool team and they beat us in sudden death, shutting out of the top 8 by the end of Saturday. They then went on to win the 2v7 cross on sudden death and finished 5th overall. Bristol 1 vs Swansea 1 which was the next closest, at a 3 point victory for Swansea. The other two games saw 1st teams crossing with 2nd teams, and winning 8-1 and 14-0, showing that perhaps not all these crosses were equivalent and thus shouldn’t have been so important as to lock teams out of the top 8.


It highlights such a stark difference between 1st and 2nd teams, certainly in this region and within Women’s, with the top 10 finishing teams being 1st teams as expected. With these 10 strong teams all with a potential to qualify, cutting off at top 8 so early really kind of sucks - if seeding means you come up against a tough team early your chances are gone. As I have said, I understand that it is easy to complain in my position as we were the team that I felt lost out, but it meant we had a pretty naff Sunday, winning 8-2, 12-0 and 11-2.


I suppose my suggestions would be to waste fewer games pitting 1st teams against 2nd teams generally (no one wants to lose 15-0 to Bath as their first game as a fresher! In Men’s 2nd teams are often experienced, but within Women’s I feel that usually 2nd teams are comprised of almost all freshers) and instead find a way to use more game slots to ensure everyone gets a chance to play important close games to ensure the results finish in the correct order.


Power pools, in my opinion, worked well at both Mixed and Men’s (and I don't think I’m too biased, as we qualified in Mixed, but not in Men’s, and I still thought it was a fair result) so it was a shame to see these omitted from Women’s. As I said, I do understand that seeding and scheduling is tough, so I’m not trying to have a go, but instead suggest ways it could be improved in future years to give everyone a fair chance of qualifying.


Either that, or have smaller Women’s regions or have a Div 2 Nats, if the demand is there!


Ed Hanton
Speaking from Bristol, I couldn't make the weekend to watch but we had a similar position to Southampton with the crossover. Our drop in seedings is due to losing almost all our players (only 2 players from this year were in the team last year). I also think there should be a Div 2 Women's indoors, we would definitely be keen for it.

hazard
I'm going to leave schedule chat aside (I think Katie covered her points fairly well), and address her final issue. Do we think Women’s is ready for two sixteen-team Indoor National divisions? And/or do we think the English regions should be broken up? Thoughts welcome either way.

ali
Just as a first reaction I'd say it's a good idea, but I doubt you'd get that much commitment. The number of teams dropping out of outdoor Nats last year gives me pause. That said, it's a lot easier to field an indoor team than an outdoor team so maybe.

gyanhan
Seeding is just more difficult for women’s than the other divisions because the turnover is higher and affects the quality of a first team so much more than in men’s where a second team can easily still be filled with non-freshers. Power pools sound like an interesting idea, I don’t think the East had that though so I can’t comment on its effectiveness but it certainly can be considered for Women's too.

What is the main reason to warrant two divisions at Nationals? We have that for outdoors and I’ve often felt it makes Regionals slightly redundant because almost everyone ends up qualifying for Nationals anyway.

ali
Much much fewer teams at UWOR though.

gyanhan
Yup, so if size is what decrees a need for two divisions, then since outdoors has two divisions I can’t see why indoors can’t have two as well.

hazard
We have roughly 80 indoors Women’s teams. We had one division back when Women’s indoor regionals were smaller, one-day events. I’ve seen firsthand the teams grow in both size and quality. I feel now that the next tier of teams would actually really benefit from that extra competitive tournament in a year.

Becky Greenwood
I think, as rightly so, everyone wants the women’s side of Frisbee to grow! And although it is slowest increasing I’d have to agree with ali in that the amount of teams that have to pull out due to a lack of women is high and that maybe it’s just a few years too soon for this type of expansion. πŸ˜₯

gyanhan
I think the chances of teams dropping out for Div 2 indoor Nats are much lower than outdoor Nats, there are plenty of first teams who didn’t make the cut who would have been hoping to do so and would probably be up for another weekend of competitive ultimate.

Becky Greenwood
Personally I’d love there to be a Div 2, as gyanhan said, there would be loads of teams that just missed out on Div 1, that would love to have another fun and competitive ultimate filled weekend!

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