World Games 2022 Recap

The World Games are now over. Great Britain played very well across five games, with many incredibly close score lines (all but one was within two points), yet sadly each time ended on the unfortunate side of the result. As a result, GB finish 8th/8. 

They do, however, appear to have won spirit! No "4"s or "0"s received, but very good overall results. 
(Rules: 2.0, Fouls: 2.0, Fair: 2.4, Positive: 2.4, Comms: 2.6, Total: 11.4) 

To the athletes and coaches: we're all very proud of you. Well done for being selected and representing us at the highest stage. Winning spirit at this level is no mean feat - maintaining composure and fairness even in the tensest situation is certainly something to applaud. You also gave your all on field, despite the heat and occasional reduced roster. We're hoping you saw some sense that we were all watching and cheering you on from afar. Best of luck to you all in your upcoming WUCC adventures (and beyond)! 

Games Archive 
(A sideline stream of the final GB seeding games can also be found here, as none of the 5-8 seeding games were streamed officially -

GB stat list 

GB Pool Games 
7-13 vs USA 
11-13 vs Canada 
8-10 vs Germany (lightning stopped play) 

GB Seeding Games 
11-13 vs Japan (5 vs 8) 
12-13 vs Canada (7 vs 8) 

Final Standings 
1. USA 
2. Australia 
3. Colombia 
4. Germany 
5. Japan 
6. France 
7. Canada 
8. Great Britain

World Games 2022 Preview Information

Writer/Editor: Hazard

When: Tuesday 12th July to Saturday 16 July, 2022
NB: the event runs from 7th-17th July, Ultimate is just shown from 12th-16th.

Where: Birmingham, Alabama, USA

What: The most elite Ultimate in the World, and the showcase of the sport in front of the Olympic committee. The World Games is where sports recognised by the IOC, but not yet part of the Olympics, get to ply their trade.

Known as "Flying Disc" for the duration of the competition, there will be eight countries competing - United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Colombia, Great Britain, France, and Germany.

The only division at the event is Mixed

Streaming: All games look like they will be streamed. GB games will probably be posted here by someone (please) before they occur so we can get a bit of hype going.

Type "Flying Disc" into the search bar to find the relevant games.


Rosters: Full list -

Great Britain Roster
#5 Molly Wedge F
#7 Ben Burak M
#9 Karen Kwok F
#12 Bex Palmer F
#14 Ollie Gordon M
#16 Alex Lakes M
#17 Carla Link F
#20 Ashley Yeo M
#28 Justin Foord M
#32 Tom Abrams M
#35 Rachel Naden F
#37 Ellie Taylor F
#46 Nick Williams M
#54 Fiona Kwan F
Coach Lucy Clare Barnes F
Coach Samuel Vile M
* M/F here refers to whether they are a female- or male-matching player.

WMUCC GB Club Recap

Editor/Writer: Hazard (he/him)

I've tried to include spirit scores and top playmaker stats for each team (assists+goals). For mixed playmaker stats, I tried to include both the male-matching playmaker and the female-matching playmaker. Where there was a tie, I've used the play who did it in the fewest games. Apologies if I've messed up anywhere - let me know and I'll correct things! For spirit, I've included any "4"s received. No "0"s were received by any British team. The Masters Open/Women/Mixed finals may alter finishing spirit positions slightly.

This was originally posted on the UK Sofa Sideline group, but I felt like I'd put enough effort into the post to preserve it here too.




Masters Women (18 teams)
LMU finish 8th, losing 12-15 to Masterclass of Ireland in their final game. They finish as second-highest European team. Catherine Gainey finished as highest playmaker, with 20 assists + 13 goals. They finish 4th in spirit overall with a score of 11.0, and recieved one "4" for fairmindness in their final game.

Masters Open (28 teams)
Magic Toast finish 7th, beating Royal Stag of USA 15-7 in their final game. They finish as second-highest European team. Michael Noblett finished as top playmaker (3rd overall in the division), with 12 assists + 34 goals. They finish 24th in spirit overall with an average score of 10.6.

Devon finish 21st/22nd overall with a win/loss against Gentle-OLD of Belgium (I'll update once the score is on the website). Richard Coward finished as top playmaker, with 17 assists + 13 goals. They finish 5th in spirit overall with a score of 12.38. I'm including their spirit comment from Masterclass because it made me chuckle in a good way - "very sexy very a very rare turn of events the spirit in the first half was excellent and then improved even more in the second"

Masters Mixed (33 teams)
Reading Ultimate finished 13th with a 15-9 win over Heidees of Germany. They were the 3rd highest European team. Their top male/female playmakers were Sam Gunbie with 30 assists and 2 goals/Helen Roberts with 6 assists and 13 goals. They finished 12th in spirit with a score of 11.56.

Thundering Herd finished 13th with a 15-9 win over Heidees of Germany. Their top male/female playmakers were Sion Regan with 17 assists and 6 goals/Xueya (Julie) Zhao with 6 assists and 13 goals. They finished 9th in spirit with a score of 11.75.

MCP finished 29th by topping the 29-33 pool. Their top male/female playmakers were Carl Bullingham with 5 assists and 13 goals/Eleanor Nicholson with 4 assists and 7 goals. They finished 7th in spirit with a score of 11.90. They received two "4"s - in attitude against RJP, and in fairmindedness gainst Old Main Line Frankfurt. Accoridng to RJP, "best game we've had spirit wise with another team".

Grand Masters Open (15 teams)
Zimmer finished 5th after beating Shadows of USA 15-14. They finish as highest European team, and highest British team in any division. Their top playmaker was David Sealy (who finished 4th overall) with 16 assists and 18 goals. They finished 4th in spirit with a score of 12.30

Grand Masters Mixed (11 teams)
Big Fish, Little Fish finish 9th overall, beating Cur$!ve of Canada 15-8. They finish as the highest European team in the division. Their top male/female playmakers were Matt Anderson with 29 assists and 3 goals/Claerwen Snell with 1 assist and 14 goals. While it's hard to know precisely (WFDF don't show gender tables so I'm guessing the best I can), I believe Claewen was 6th amongst female-matching players in the division. They also WON SPIRIT in their divison, with a score of 13.67. They received two "4"s, both in communication (from HiJinx and Woodies).

Great Grand Masters Open (10 teams)
FLASH finished 8th overall, losing 8-15 to JETS of France in their final game. Their top playmaker was Rouven Schreck with 32 assists and 3 goals (which saw him 2nd overall in the division). Simon Church also made the overall top 10 leaderboards, finishing 6th with 1 assist and 27 goals. Rouven apparently assisted 14 of Simon's goals. They finish 3rd overall in spirit, with a score of 12.90. This includes two "4"s from Relics in Rules and Attitude, but also a perfect 20 score from Recycled (with no comment). Recycled gave twenty nine(!) "4"s across 12 games, with one comment of "Very nice team" for the other 20 they awarded. This isn't related to FLASH, I just felt it worth noting.

The Future's Bright, The Future's Local Leagues! (Part 2)

Writer: Robert Dover
Extra Feedback: Si East
Editor: Harry Mason (he/him)

With the pandemic disrupting how we've normally organised Frisbee, there's a chance to try out some new approaches. For example, we've seen the UKU try out some different formats with their League and Cup structure. But it's worth remembering that organising Ultimate is not the exclusive domain of the UKU - there's plenty of opportunities to get Ultimate going in the local community too! I recently ran a Hat league in North London for the first time (LUSH - London Ultimate Summer Hat), and learned a lot about how to organise local frisbee in the process. In this article, I'm going to run through some of the things I learned to think about running a league. You can find Part 1 of this series here.

What sort of things should I be thinking about when planning my league?

If you've never run a league before, it can potentially be quite daunting! There's a lot of things to think about. I thought it might be helpful to come up with a list of the things we found we needed to consider when running LUSH (not all of which we realised when we started!). It may feel like quite a long list, but don't take it too seriously! The main thing is to get the pitches and the pricing sorted - all the extra stuff is useful and might help your league run more smoothly if you think about it up front, but you can probably cobble something together on the fly if you need to. Throughout I'll be illustrating the various points with what we ended up doing in LUSH in case to give you some ideas.


Obviously in order to play you need an appropriate space. If you're doing this in the summertime, hopefully there's a park or outdoor space you can use! In the Winter time you'll either need to find somewhere with floodlights or indoors. Finding a good venue can be tough! You're competing with all sorts of other sports for space, some of which will be much more established. Ideally you find somewhere you can book, so you don't have to worry about turning up one night and finding it full of people. It's not necessary to have proper lines down, but if you can get them it tends to make people feel like what you're doing is more official somehow. In some areas, your local council might be willing to paint some lines for you if you're playing on public land - it's worth reaching out to them to see if they have a scheme you can make use of.

Sadly we weren't able to convince our local council to put down lines in the town park where we were playing, so we went for a fallback option and bought a kit with tapes to put our own lines down! We bought a kit from Quick Pitch and set it up in the park each night we were playing. It was a bit of a faff to put down, but the players really appreciated having some proper lines to play with and feedback was generally very positive about it.


How much do you charge people to play in your league? It's a thorny question! If you're hiring a venue, you will need to recoup your costs from the participants. And even if you aren't, making it more expensive than free will help with convincing people to keep coming back each week. That being said, you never want the cost to put people off playing, especially if you're looking to try and spread the game to newer players. It's a difficult balance, particularly if you don't know how many players you're going to get signing up.

The first thing you want to do is figure out how many people/teams you can theoretically accommodate to play in your league. If you've got an indoor venue, for example, you might only have space for a certain number of people per night, and that's going to impact the maximum size of your league. For outdoor leagues this is less of an issue as you can generally have more players per team, but you'll probably still have caps on the number of teams you can fit in. In our case, we reckoned we could play two games per night over two nights of the week, so we were probably limited to 8 teams. We estimated having squads of 15-18 people per team would hopefully lead to 10-12 people showing up each evening. That led to a maximum capacity of 144 people.

Once you've got that number of players, you can calibrate your prices according to how many you expect to turn up. My advice would be to set your prices conservatively the first time you run the league - maybe aim to break even at somewhere around 30-50% of your max capacity. Then once you have a better idea of what to expect you can tweak this in subsequent years. Hopefully you'll beat 30% easily and then you'll have some money left over to figure out what to do with (more on that later!).


If you want people to sign up for your league, they have to know about it first! The UK Ultimate community is fragmented across a lot of different communications platforms, so this isn't always as easy as it could be. My advice is to put up stuff about it everywhere you can think of - hopefully your city has somewhere to talk about Ultimate that it would make sense to advertise. In particular, make sure to contact all the local teams and pickup groups you're aware of explicitly so they know it's happening. Also make sure there's as long a signup window as possible. If you don't give people enough notice they won't sign up in time!

A few general places to advertise that might be useful:

- UK Ultimate Pickup Facebook group

- Ultimate in the UK Discord server

- UK Ultimate Reddit


Depending on the focus of your league, you may want to put some time and energy into making sure you get beginners involved. A few ideas about how to do this:

- Advertise outside of the traditional Ultimate channels mentioned above. Beginners aren't going to be looking there! The specifics will depend on your city, but options include putting up posters (physical advertising will reach demographics you don't necessarily expect!), posting in non-Ultimate sports community groups, or (if you're feeling adventurous) diving into the unpredictable world of paid Facebook advertising.

- Run some kind of taster session(s) before the signup deadline so that new players can have some idea of what to expect.

- Set expectations for the participants in the league that they should be understanding of newer players and be ready to help them learn the ropes.

- Make sure to communicate to team captains who the beginners on their team are (if they don't know already).

- Let people know there will be a Most Improved Player prize for each team to get people thinking about using the league to get better.


One thing we did that really paid off was to try and make the signup and payment as seamless as we could. Especially if you're running a hat league, you'll need to be taking payments from a large number of people. In my opinion it's worth investing a bit of time to make signup and payment happen as part of the same form. This will make your life as an organiser easier in the long run (no chasing people for money!) and will look swish to people who have only ever seen "fill in this google form and then pay this bank account" type stuff before. It's not *completely* trivial, but we were able to accomplish this via:

(a) setting up a Stripe account and connecting it with your bank account - they give you the ability to do online payments processing.

(b) using some kind of service that lets you integrate payments processing with online forms. For this we used a website called Supersaas. It's fairly straightforward to get something working and you can build forms that integrate with Stripe to let you take card payments as people sign up.

For a Hat League, you'll also need to get people to give you an idea of their level of play and likelihood of being there on any given night to be able to try and create some evenly balanced teams. Be aware that no matter how hard you try to do this, it is not possible to get it exactly right. We found that basically nobody could accurately predict how many matches they were likely to be able to attend, for example. And everyone grades their skill level on a different scale! Try to ask questions that give you a multi-dimensional understanding of player skills if you can - this will help a bit with balance and make it more likely that you can accurately assess levels. So in our case we asked people to rate their throwing ability, level of fitness, level of tactical understanding, amount of frisbee experience and highest level of play.

Team Names

One way to help teams bond is to give them team names that let them build their own identity. Having a theme can add to the fun! We chose to name teams after things associated with taking a bath (it only seemed appropriate given the tournament shared its name with a company that sells soaps!)

Gender Balance

If you're running a league that you want everyone to feel welcome to play in, then it'll be a Mixed League. There is an inherent tension when organising Mixed Ultimate - in the majority of player populations there are likely to be significantly more male-identifying players than female-identifying ones. So do you choose to enforce the standard gender ratios of Mixed Ultimate (in which case you will probably have to turn some men away), or do you relax the gender ratio rules, which will allow everyone to play but might lead to an overly male-dominated game? Bear in mind that for some women a 5-2 or 6-1 gender ratio is a less fun experience than proper Mixed as they feel less able to influence the game. But on the other hand there is an extra administrative burden to keeping track of the gender ratios of the signups, and turning players away can be difficult. You should have a good think about which of these is appropriate for your league!

In LUSH's case we felt we did not want to turn players away, so we made a conscious decision to relax the gender rules. If you do this, I recommend a few policies to try and mitigate issues around gender balance during games:

- You may still want to institute a minimum gender ratio for each game even if you're not playing full mixed.

- If you don't do that, give captains instructions to agree what the gender balance is going to be before each game based on the players available.

- Get captains to agree a gender endzone before the game so that teams can play different numbers of female-identifying players if they prefer.

- Ask that teams try to match gender numbers on the line each point where possible.

Dealing with Pickups

It's inevitable that no matter how well you advertise your league beforehand, there will be people who forget to sign up but then decide they want to play. Depending on the format you have chosen to go with this can be easier or harder to deal with! You don't really want to turn people away if you can help it, so my advice would be to try to accommodate late sign ups wherever possible. If you're running a hat league it's often easier to process new signups in batches (eg. allocate them all to teams once per week). You might also want to think about allocating team sizes assuming that there will be a few new entrants as the league goes on. If you want to incentivise people to sign up on time, then consider having a slightly higher 'Late Signup Fee' and make sure that you let people know they'll have to pay more if they wait!

LUSH had a LOT of late sign ups - there were 90 players signed up before the league started, and then we got another 20 late signups on top of that. In hindsight, we could have anticipated this - we started planning a bit late because of COVID and ended up with a very short signup window. Naturally that meant that a lot of players were a bit late to the party. Have a think about how well you've advertised your event beforehand so you have an idea how many stragglers you might expect (if you've been doing a big advertising blitz with a long signup window maybe you won't have such an issue!).

Spirit of the Game

Spirit is a core part of Ultimate, and in my view it's important to have some kind of spirit scoring system in place at any competition you run. Particularly for players who are new to organised Ultimate it's a great opportunity to teach them about the values of Spirit of the Game. We got a copy of the UKU's standard template for this and it worked pretty well!


These days many venues will require you to have some form of Civil Liability Insurance in order to use their facilities. Civil Liability Insurance covers you in cases where a bystander is injured or property is damaged as a result of what you're doing. It's up to you to decide whether you feel you need it, but if you do, the easiest way to get cover is to require that all participants become members of UK Ultimate. UKU membership comes with Civil Liability Insurance, and that should cover your event without you having to go through the process of sourcing your own Civil Liability policy from somewhere.

Bad Weather Policy

This is (probably!) not going to be a problem for indoors, but it's a fact of life in the UK that if you're organising something outdoors you can't guarantee getting pleasant conditions all the time. Depending on your playing population, turnout to games may be affected by extreme bad weather. (In my experience Ultimate players are a hardy bunch and seem to be willing to put up with pretty miserable conditions, but that may not be universal!) It is worth having a quick think about what should happen if you do have to cancel matches or stop play because the weather takes a turn for the worse.

In our league we had to stop matches one evening due to nearby lightning strikes! The UKU does have a Lightning Contingency Plan that's worth reading. My suggestion would be to come up with some appropriate areas to take shelter were there to be some lightning (DON'T STAND UNDER TREES!), and decide how long is sensible to wait before starting to play again (the UKU advises 20-30 minutes).


Some people really enjoy planning out a robust tournament structure, and others hate it! The exact structure and schedule will be very dependent on the number of teams, venue, format and so on. But here are a few tips that may be handy:

- In general, people prefer to know in advance when their matches are going to be. If you can plan out the whole schedule in advance and circulate it, that's best. That may not be possible, but remember that the more notice you can give, the better players can organise their lives and actually turn up!

- A round robin is a pretty tried and trusted structure.

- It's probably worth leaving some gaps in the schedule in case Bad Weather (see previous section) or some unforeseen circumstance means a match can't be played in its scheduled slot.

- If you anticipate having teams of wildly differing strengths, it may be worth trying to split teams into divisions.

- Having a final is normally appreciated!

Injuries and First Aid

Hopefully it won't happen, but sometimes people do get injured playing Ultimate. You probably should have a First Aid Kit on hand (we put one in the bags that had our pitch kits in), although worth noting that by far the most common thing you'll need from a first aid kit are ice packs. It's not always possible to have someone first-aid trained at every match, but it's worth having a think if that's possible to cover your bases. For example if you’re running a league where players register as individuals, you could have a question on the signup form about whether they have first aid training. If you’re lucky you may find you have enough players with the necessary qualifications to cover the whole tournament!

As an organiser, make sure you get teams to report any significant injuries that happen to you. If you're using the UKU's Civil Liability Insurance you're supposed to fill in an incident report for particularly serious injuries such as head collisions or broken bones.

For LUSH we had some issue with uneven ground, so we put out guidance about where to lay out the pitches to avoid the worst of the potholes. This helped reduce the injury risk somewhat.

Lost Property

As anyone who has been to an Ultimate tournament knows, our players are a forgetful bunch and someone WILL leave something behind! Having a system in place to advertise lost and found is a good idea, otherwise you'll be left with random stuff you picked up from the sidelines (if anyone needs a pair of used cargo shorts someone left behind at LUSH, drop me a message!).

Stats & Fantasy

Whether or not to do statkeeping is an interesting topic! Some players really enjoy the validation of having their actions recorded for posterity and relish the competition of racking up the most goals, assists and Ds. On the other hand, some players really dislike stats - the fact that stats are being kept can add unwanted pressure and it may encourage stathunting behaviour that can sometimes be problematic.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that collecting stats is not an easy task in a league where matches are played over many evenings! You’re going to have to find volunteers to keep track of things, and give them a system that makes it easy to record what happens in the game.

For LUSH we decided against doing statkeeping as we felt it might be daunting to newer players and would have added significantly to the administrative overhead. But in some formats (particularly if you go for a Draft League or a Parity League) it may be worth having a go!

What to do if you make a profit

Hopefully your league will be successful and you'll end up with enough players to make a profit. What should you do with the money? I'd recommend putting some of it towards prizes (see below). But don't feel guilty about running a surplus - you probably put in a bunch of work to make this league happen, and it's only fair that you (or your club) should be compensated for the work you've put in. Use the money to keep your club running, or maybe splurge it all on a big party if that's how you roll!

Prizes and Party

Having some prizes is a good way to make people feel like there's something to play for, especially if you've made a profit on the tournament and want to give some of that back to the participants. But if you're going to give out prizes, you need to find a way to bring everyone together at the end of the league to hand them out! One good way to do this is to organise an end-of-tournament event that you encourage everyone to attend. That way you can get everyone together and have a bit of a prize giving ceremony (and maybe even a post tournament party) to finish the league on a high note.

What we did for LUSH was hold the final of the league on a separate evening, and booked an area at a local pub to go to afterwards. Advertising that you'll put a bit of money behind the bar can do wonders for turnout! We were able to get plenty of people along to watch the final and be there for the prize-giving ceremony!

A happy photo showing a lot of Frisbee players all smiling together

(Photo Credit: Nel Payne)


No matter how attentively you run your league, there'll be things that don't quite work out perfectly. Finding out what those are is important so you can do it even better next time! I highly recommend sending out a feedback form to your players after the league has finished to get their opinions on how things went. My approach was to give people a bunch of cues for things they might want to give feedback about, and then give them a general text box to write what they want rather than asking a lot of different questions - it's a bit less of a faff to fill in and that means you're more likely to get people taking the time to respond. Here's the form I sent out if you're curious about how it looked.

Despite your best intentions, be prepared that (unless everything goes spectacularly!) you won't get 100% positive feedback. That's actually a good thing! It's important to find out what you can change that will improve the experience, so try and accept any feedback you receive rather than getting defensive about it.

The Future's Bright, The Future's Local Leagues! (Part 1)

Writer: Robert Dover
Extra Feedback: Si East
Editor: Harry Mason (he/him)

With the pandemic disrupting how we've normally organised Frisbee, there's a chance to try out some new approaches. For example, we've seen the UKU try out some different formats with their League and Cup structure. But it's worth remembering that organising Ultimate is not the exclusive domain of the UKU - there's plenty of opportunities to get Ultimate going in the local community too! I recently ran a Hat league in North London for the first time (LUSH - London Ultimate Summer Hat), and learned a lot about how to organise local frisbee in the process. In this article, I'm going to try to explain why I think it's a good idea to run your own league and give a rundown of the various formats you can use. You can read Part 2 of this series here.

Why run a local league?

There are many benefits to having an Ultimate league in your own city:

1) You won't have to travel a long way to play.

There are many fun things about the weekend tournament experience. Travel time is not one of them. Personally I find a couple of hours in the car each way painful and I can only imagine what it must be like for the dedicated folks coming down from Scotland! Being able to play structured Ultimate in your own back yard is a huge win.

2) It provides a stepping stone for players who may not have the confidence, spare time or money to commit to playing full weekend tournaments.

For newer players, going away to a tournament can be quite daunting. Do they really want to spend a whole weekend playing this crazy sport? And for some people, a whole weekend away is just not something they can commit to for a variety of reasons. When you play local you can play on a single day (and it can even be midweek during the summer or in the right venue), and go home to sleep in your own bed afterwards. That means less money spent on travel and accommodation. It's lower commitment on people's bodies, calendars and wallets!

3) It's a great way to teach newer players how to play in a low-stakes competitive environment.

Many players learn to play Ultimate at University. This is a great environment to be taught how to play! There will be lots of beginners all starting at once in the same place, and a high probability of some more experienced folks being around to teach them how it all works. But after University, picking up a disc is a bit harder. It's a daunting proposition to go along to a club when you're the only new player there. But it's difficult to find a critical mass of newer players who are all learning together, and even harder to find them alongside some experienced teachers who can show them what to do. A local league can be that place! Sprinkle those beginners in amongst the more experienced ones and watch that learning curve go.

4) You'll meet Ultimate players you wouldn't have had a chance to otherwise.

Is your club the only Ultimate show in town? In a smaller town that might be true, but I'd be willing to bet that any reasonably large city has multiple groups of people who meet to play Frisbee sometimes. Maybe there's a random pickup group in a park, maybe there's a university with a nascent team, maybe there are people who used to play but for whatever reason haven't picked up a disc recently. A league is a great way to bring these disparate groups together. Many people have told me that 'Ultimate is all about who you know' - this is your chance to get to know more people!

5) Visible Ultimate leads to more familiarity with the game.

Most big tournaments are held in big, closed off venues. That means it's not always easy for passers-by to see the sport in action. But a local league can be played in smaller, more accessible venues (maybe a town park or a local sports club), and that means people are more likely to see you playing. If all goes well, a local league is your chance to tick that 4 point Communication Spirit Score box for explaining the game to spectators! And those spectators may not start playing the game right away, but maybe the next time they see it they'll be more open to the idea of giving it a try.

OK, you've convinced me it makes sense to give it a try. What format should I use?

Let's start by assuming you have a space to play and a fixed night (or maybe nights) you can run a league. How do you structure your competition? The format you choose can have big knock-on effects on how much people enjoy it, so it's important to think carefully about how you want to go about it! I'll list all of the league structures I've seen or heard about (I'm sure this is far from exhaustive!).

- Team-based league. Sign up as a team, play matches against other teams.


+ Easy for the organiser to sort out. You take money from a small number of teams and then tell them when and where they're playing, and that's about it!

+ People get to play with their friends.

- High barrier to entry. Getting enough people to form an Ultimate team is hard!

- If you don't have evenly matched teams in your area, it may not be very fun.


- Hat series. Each week there's a mini hat tournament going on. Take whoever shows up and put them in teams and then they play!


+ Easy to adapt based on the number of people available each evening.

+ Low barrier to entry - all you have to do is show up!

- Hard to form on-pitch chemistry if you're playing with someone different every week.

- Not much sense of it being part of a wider competition.


- Plus/minus league. It's like the Hat Series, but you keep track of who plays on each team every week. Each player has their own Win-Loss record and you use this to (a) pick teams, and (b) crown an individual winner who has contributed to winning the most over the set of matches.


+ Low barrier to entry - just turn up.

+ There's something in the structure that adds a competitive edge for people who are motivated by that sort of thing.

- Keeping track of who is on which team each week can be tricky.

- Hard to form on-pitch chemistry if you're playing with someone different every week.


- Hat League. Everyone signs up at the start and then teams are assigned by the organiser. You play with that team throughout the competition, and at the end a team is crowned the winner.


+ Low barrier to entry - sign up by yourself and then get told when to be there.

+ Gives players a chance to get familiar with their teammates as the league goes on.

+ Initially a bit of work to make the teams, but after that a bit less work for the organiser who can delegate to team captains.

- Hard to balance the teams fairly, which can lead to players on weaker teams not having such a good time.

- Risk that some teams might run low on numbers if they only have a fixed pool of players to draw from.


- Draft League. Like a Hat League, but rather than teams being assigned by the organisers each team has a captain and they meet at the start of the league to make the teams via a draft.


+ Gives players a chance to get familiar with their teammates as the league goes on.

+ You can sign up as an individual, don't need to your own find a team.

+ Less work for the organiser as the captains sort out the teams for you.

- Team selection will be heavily weighted towards players the captains know, meaning that it can be less accessible if you aren't part of the organising club.

- Risk that some teams might run low on numbers if they only have a fixed pool of players to draw from.

- Have to provide a 'resume', which can be daunting for less experienced players.

- Can feel bad to be picked last.


- Parity League. Like a draft league, but more complicated! Each player is assigned a fictional 'salary' and each team a 'salary cap'. You keep track of stats from each game and adjust each player's 'salary' based on their performance. Captains have to swap players between teams in order to stay below the salary cap number, which should mean that teams become more even over time as players have to be moved between teams. (Apparently this is what they do in Brisbane).


+ The balancing mechanics should mean that in the long run you end up with very even teams.

+ Low barrier to entry - sign up by yourself and then get told when to be there.

- It's a lot of effort to keep track of stats from every game.

- Needs very committed captains to make it work.

- Having someone keeping track of every turnover can add a lot of pressure that not everyone enjoys.

Wow, that's a lot of options! How do I choose?

Some of it is personal preference. If you're running the league you're going to do a better job if it's a format you are enthused about! Don't discount your own feelings and opinions in this. But having said that, I think it's important to consider the demographics of the Ultimate-playing population in your city. To illustrate this, let me go through the decision process we made for LUSH.

Here's the UKU's map of the teams in London that are registered for the Challenge League this year:


A map showing the distribution of teams for LUSH, especially noting a large cluster of teams around the Clapham area,

There are an abundance of Ultimate teams in London! But as you can see from the map they are very geographically concentrated in the South, and in particular they all seem to train in the same park - Clapham Common. But my club (Curve) is based in the North of London, where there are comparatively few organised teams. So it didn't feel like a Team based league was really an option in North London. Having said that, there are several nearby pickup groups that play locally but don't really send teams to tournaments or participate in Challenge League. We also had a surge in new players looking to try a new sport in the aftermath of lockdown, so it felt appropriate to try to aim the league at development rather than at creating a high level competitive atmosphere. We felt that we could use LUSH to give these players a chance to try playing at a level slightly higher than pickup, while giving more experienced players a chance to play some fun, low stakes Ultimate.

For these reasons, we ended up choosing the Hat League structure. The theory was that new players would get to play with and learn from the same faces each week, and that in general teams would develop chemistry and possibly even make some new friends along the way! In hindsight, I think it was the right choice for us. What you decide will depend on who plays Ultimate in your city and what they want!

Right, so how do I actually go about running the league?

There’s plenty of things to think about to make a local league a success. Too much, in fact, for this already long article! Read Part 2 of this series here, with a list of things to consider when planning and administrating your league.



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