By Nathan Sanders, Ultimate Frisbee captain and Masters Physics student
The beginning of March was hugely successful for the University of Bristol Ultimate Frisbee team.
There were record high showings as our women’s 1s qualified second in the West of England region and earned themselves a spot at Division 1 Nationals in a couple of months time.
Elsewhere, the men’s 1s secured a win at the South West Warm Up tournament at the weekend followed by a hard-fought win against Cardiff on Wednesday.
The women’s Ultimate Frisbee squad had an incredible showing recently. Not only did the 1s finish second in the west region and are now guaranteed a place in Division 1 Nationals in April, Bristol were also one of the few in the country to have brought a 2s team to Women’s Outdoor Regionals.
Bristol started the Tournament in seventh place and it was an uphill battle to the final with scheduled games against dominating teams such as Cardiff, Exeter and Birmingham. Storm Freya graced us with heavy rain and winds of up to 30mph, which made the conditions all the more difficult.
Nevertheless, Bristol 1s showed that all those training sessions on the wet and windy downs had paid off. They remained patient, focused and driven. Bristol 1s' real strengths were in their tactical offence, the infamous 'Huck 'n' D', and relentless defence.
After winning 4-2 against Swansea in the semi-final, they lost narrowly to Bath 4-6 in the final. The promise of a place in Division 1 Nationals had nevertheless made it an enjoyable final for the girls.
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We are very very happy to announce that the Bath 1s WON women’s outdoor regionals, remaining undefeated throughout the weekend!! A huge upwind score in the final meant we secured the win against Bristol and retained the title of Best in the West for the second year running 🏆 Also a huge shoutout to the 2s who played their hearts out this weekend in some awful conditions and beat Bristol 2s to become the best second team in the West! 💪💪 Congrats and love to all the amazing women who played this weekend we are so proud💙💛💙 #blueandgold
Bristol's second team are also worthy of mention. Composed mostly of players who had just started playing this year, they grew in strength and finished off the weekend with a well-earned win against Southampton 1st team. Stay tuned on the girls’ road to Nationals this April.
On Wednesday 6 March, the Men's 1s took on Cardiff in the last league game of the season. Bristol started strongly and took an early three-point lead as the wind picked up and keeping possession became a real struggle.
Cardiff put in a strong come back and, after taking three points on the bounce, managed to fight their way back into the game and were able to take the half 8-6.
Bristol’s chances of securing a win looked in doubt as they started the second half facing into a very strong head wind. After a very strongly contested play, Bristol managed to secure the first upwind point they needed. The odds edged ever closer to a Bristol taking home a win.
The game drew level as Bristol converted a short field turnover thanks to an incredible defensive layout by GB Paintball star James Green, an Ultimate Frisbee rookie for the 18/19 season. All that was standing in their way of taking home a victory was one more upwind point.
The boys fought hard and were rewarded when Cardiff turned over their possession close to their defending goal line. A risky throw to the safe hands of Charlie Stockley sealed the deal and Bristol come away with a well-deserved win.
The win sealed the deal on Bristol’s journey to nationals as they have now finished 2nd in the League and will also be heading to Division 1 Nationals in April.
What is Ultimate Frisbee?
Ultimate Frisbee is a fast-paced non-contact passing game which brings together the best aspects of many other sports.
It is played on a field that is similar to an American Football field, with a central zone and an end-zone on each side. The rules are simple: the game is played 7-a-side over seventy minutes; you are forbidden to move when you have the disc and the objective is to score as many points as possible.
To score a point, a member of your team must catch a thrown pass in the end-zone. What sets Ultimate Frisbee apart from all other sports is that it is self-refereed, all players adhere to the rules of the game and all agree to play honestly by the rules as part of ‘spirit of the game’.
It is the responsibility of all players to make sure the game is played by the rules and any breaches in the rules result in a fair and just outcome.
How do you get into the sport?
Ultimate Frisbee has been voted the no.1 BUCS sport you should try at University and 98% of our members had never played before they joined Bristol.
It iss a great sport to get involved with at University as it doesn’t require huge time or financial commitment and you can see yourself improving so quickly week after week while still having a lot of fun.
It is never too late to get involved in the sport. As most people are complete beginners at university, it is the best time to get involved. Everyone at the club is very welcoming and willing to help you out.
When I joined all of the experienced players were really friendly and made me really enjoy being apart of the team, and now I regularly compete with the first team and it has made my time at university all the more enjoyable.
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