SAFDA Congratulates UCT on their epic Rocktober this year. Rocktober 2013 saw UCT rise to the occasion and battle it out in the finals against the Long Donkeys. The below is written by UCT’s Co-captain Nick Zaloumis. You can find UCT on facebook here.
UCT Ultimate was enthusiastic about the prospect of the Rocktober Season with the possibility of sending two full teams. Unfortunately due to Rocking the Daisies we were only able to send one team to compete in Johannesburg. The UCT Tigers was a strong, athletic and enthusiastic 16 player team. Five more players joined Maties to bolster their numbers. No-one ever thought that our two rival universities would be supporting each other on the side-lines.
UCT Tigers were excited about this tournament; knowing that with some hard work and commitment we could be heavyweight contenders for the finals. Starting with 6 women we suffered two early foot injuries. We reached the tournament with 5 and then Talora went down just ten minutes before our 1st game.
Despite these initial loses we maintained a positive attitude and it was time to play Ultimate.
Our first match up against WITS saw some exciting play from the relatively new club, and some serious improvement from their national’s performance. After a 2 all start, the end result was 13 -2 to UCT, using this game as a warm up for what was to come next.
Playing any Ultitude team is always a challenge and we knew going in that they were an experienced outfit. Trading points in the start eventually saw U-GO take it away at half with a 7 – 5 lead. The shock of this allowed us to re-focus and we were able to get back into the match. With the help of some great D, a great zone and an unstoppable and smooth counter attack we took the game in soft cap 9 – 7.
The close game with U-GO meant we came out with all guns firing against the Bunnies, a side we had not played in a long time. Bunnies played hard with some excellent D’s and with some tremendous play on O. The end result was 13 – 4 to UCT Tigers. Bunnies are an upcoming team; we look forward to the rematch.
The last game of the day saw us take on arch rivals and best friends, Maties (with UCTU flavour). Both teams were battle hardened by the days play (ie. Heat exhausted). Our skill and experience was useful in this case to take a 6 – 0 lead. Maties, using stores of energy that they did not know they had, got back in the game and UCT was unable to re-focus with some sloppy play and several easy and unnecessary throw-aways. This nearly cost us the game. The next thing we knew it was 11 – 9. Luckily, an exhausted UCT pushed on and got the score and the next D to finish the game. 13 – 9.
It was rest time for most of our team. Thuli, Christine and Eleanor played in the women’s showcase, making UCT proud with some great D and epic O play. Shout out to Eleanor’s Layout of the tournament. Our guys, Oli, Niell and Nick all fought hard in the Open showcase.
It was time for party! Well, mostly drinking, Karaoke and the Jumping castle incident. A predominately exhausted team mingled and enjoyed some serious chill time. Those with some spare energy took advantage of the bouncy castle and won the tournament flip cup competition against Bunnies.
The next morning we played the Mozambique team, Da bique. Readying ourselves for the reigning tournament champions of SA, Ghost, we gave them very little. 13 – 2. It was a great, fun and a spirited game.
What we had been training for: The ghost match up.
The team was pumped and ready to rumble, but we had to control those Jitters. Our leading players managed to get our team to the line with a kind of calm and focus to hone the skills that UCT is capable off. Although we went down 3 – 1 to start, we were able to bring it back and more. Some very impressive defence all-round and an unbeatable offence took the half in our favour 7 – 4. We had to keep that calm and focus and bring it into the second half – a tough feat for a younger and less experienced team… and we pulled it off. Ghost, however, never gave up and we didn’t feel like we had won this until we scored that last point. At 12 – 7 there was some serious celebration, some having thought we had just scored the winning point. It was two points later at 13 – 8 that UCT-Tigers made the final score and celebrated a great win, a great game and some seriously great competitive spirit. It will be a match to remember and showed that high level ultimate can be extremely spirited, no-matter where it is played. UCT Tigers had earned their first ever finals match up.
The final game saw our team match up against the Long Donkey’s from Pietermaritzburg. Always a team that plays their hardest from the get go. Their unconventional playing style and their height always an advantage that cannot be ignored. At the start we could not adapt fast enough to the new zone style defence Donkey’s threw at us and before we knew it we were trailing seriously behind.
UCT does not give up that easily. It was time to go big or go home. Waking up (alas a bit late) UCT upped our ante and managed to stay in the game and at 10 – 7 anything was possible. Niell Strydom played the game of his life showing UCT the way to break down their zone and a great layout by Christine Moore encouraged further fire in our ranks. Alas it was not to be – even with a great defence and 100% from the entire team the gap had just been too much for us. With soft cap announced at 12 – 8 it was game to 14 and Donkeys were not giving us anything and with that they earned a great win in an exciting and emotional final, 14 – 8.
UCT played their hearts out and it was with pride and some tears that we walked off the field. Starting this year off from behind to finish 3rd at Nationals and 2nd at Rocktober no-longer places UCT as an underdog team. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to the love of the sport, the development of the sport in SA, and the combination of Spirit of the Game with highly competitive and exciting ultimate.
Thank you Joburg for a fantastic tournament. Very well done!
A shout out to Savanna for being our team mum and for joining us regardless of injury, would have loved you on the field with us, but your support on the side was amazing. The Gerhard and Massyn families for your support, for more lifts, bedding and even more food – always needed.
WITs (JHB) W 13 – 2
Ultitude – Golden Oldies (JHB) W 9 – 7
Prawn Bunnies (Durb) W 13 – 4
Maties (Stell) W 13 – 9
Da Bique (Moz) W 13 – 2
Ghost (CT) W 13 – 8
Long Donkeys (PMB) L 8 – 14
RECORD 6 – 1 W – L
GOALS SCORED 82
GOALS ALLOWED 47
The following is written by Doug who co-captained the Prawn Bunnies at Rocktober 2013. SAFDA Congratulates the Bunnies on their 6th place at Rocktober 2013.
“I have a wedding to go to”. And that was it, we did not have enough girls to go to the tournament. 10 guys were left standing at the altar. But then a message of hope came from afar: Two lovely ladies were looking for team to join, and the Prawn Bunnies snapped them up. Rocktober was a GO!
Our first game was against a fit and fast Maties. We had heard that they had upped their training regime and it certainly showed on the field. We traded points and ended up on 7 each at soft cap. Despite the lack of wind, the brains trust decided to throw a cup and it came off very well, leaving the Maties handlers with few options. We took the next 2 points without a sweat and won the game 9-7.
Our second game was a much tougher assignment as we faced former winners Ghost. With some slick offence and a couple great skies, we found ourselves 3-1 up. Despite the early lead, Ghost’s heavy hitters remained on the side-line. They eventually brought it back to 4 a piece with patient disc. Ghost’s zone defence cramped up our handlers and they established a lead we could not surpass. While the final score-line was 10-6, we felt we had done ourselves proud.
The heat of the Highveld was at its worst for our third game of the day against UCT. With the temperature in the low 30’s, both teams toiled hard for points. Our leaky man defence was eventually put to the sword and the youngsters raced away to a 13-4 victory. Mentally, we were just not in that game.
Our final game saw us take on the newly formed Wits team. The bye and the much cooler afternoon air left us feeling refreshed, and it showed on the field. The inexperienced Wits handlers could not deal with our cup defence and we forced turnover after turnover, racing to an 11-0 lead. Eventually, some miscommunication and fast offence from Wits lead to their only point much to the joy of the Wits side line. Final score: 13-1.
A much appreciated bye made sure we were well rested before we faced a spirited and fast Mozambique outfit. We exchanged points early on, but our cup defence started to expose Mozambique’s lack of handlers and the turnovers began to rack up. We finished strong with some great hucks leading to a 10-5 final score.
Next up were the Golden Oldies. This team had more experience than Jake Whites World Cup winning side and quality all over the field. We were nervous. Thankfully, the wind was starting to pick up which played into the hands of our cup. Initially, they worked our cup around effortlessly using 4 handlers and the odd popper. They made it look so easy. But yet again, our stoic cup began to force sketchy throws which saw us score a couple upwind points. We lead into soft cap where there was a much disputed time out call by a Bunny which left the side line outraged, but it was within the rules. We scored that point and never looked back. We beat the grizzly oldies 11-6.
In our final game of the tournament, we faced a much improved Polokwane outfit in the 5th/6th place playoff. Three years ago they had one player who kind of knew the rules and a lot of cutters chasing errand throws. But this year, they meant business. It seemed we were always chasing the game, with tons of accurate hammers turning our cup around and leading to easy scores. Our tired legs lead to an over reliance on our long game which was nevertheless keeping us in touch on the scoreboard. Hardcap was reached and we played universal point where we pulled to them and set up our cup one last time. Patient disc saw Polokwane eke out a memorable 11-10 win with, you guessed it, a hammer into the endzone.
Considering The Prawn Bunnies were already down on personnel even before they suffered early injuries to important players, we did ourselves proud. I am sure there would have been many questioning our stunning 6th place finish at Nationals in April. This performance has backed it up and we will continue our upward trend.
There are a few players who deserve a special mention. Cathy Pineo unfortunately tore a ligament in the very first game, but she made herself part of the team and was a constant source of support. The rest of our girls, Amy Bray, Joy Waddle and Ella Alcock ran their hearts out and were still smiling at the end of the day. Hats off to you ladies, you were superb. Finally, congratulations to Jarrod Banks and Amy Bray on winning MVP Male & Female of the Tournament respectively.
October 5, 2013 Maties (Stell) W 9-7
October 5, 2013 Ghost Ultimate Club L 6-10
October 5, 2013 UCTU Tigers L 4-13
October 5, 2013 Wits (JHB) W 13-1
October 6, 2013 Da Bique (Moz) W 10-5
October 6, 2013 UGO W 11-6
October 6, 2013 Ultimates (LP) L 10-11
Rocktober 2013 is taking place in Johannesburg on the weekend of the 5th & 6th October. This year sees 16 teams participating and the weekend promises to be an eventful one. For more information please go to their website here.
The 2012 South African Ultimate Championship was held recently in Cape Town on the 27, 28 & 29th April. Professional photographer Peter Heeger was there for Gallo Images to capture the action: Images are available for purchase at their online store, have a browse through their albums and place your orders. Gallo have been kind enough to let us put up a selection of their photos in our gallery.
The South African Ultimate Club Championships is the highlight of the season and the SAFDA event calendar. In the aftermath of the 2012 event, we can safely say that it was one of the most hotly contested Ultimate tournaments ever held in this country. The level of the sport is clearly taking huge leaps forward and we will undoubtedly expect teams from around the country to push even harder for the top honours next year.
The tourney ran over three days of a holiday weekend with Day One featuring Pool Games, Day Two the Playoff Rounds, and Day Three the Final placement games. With 16 teams representing various regions around the country, and over 250 participants taking part in 52 games; the hosts were in for some heavy foot traffic. The fantastic Villagers Football Club in Claremont, home to Ghost Ultimate Club, was the venue for the tournament and provided soft, green pitches and excellent facilities for the players and spectators alike. The club caterers did an amazing job of keeping us all well fed with top quality food, and they also arranged the coffee stand and craft beer tasting by Boston Brewery.
The weather kept us all on our toes with wet mornings, yet somehow it stayed dry through the days. The chilly North wind plagued all teams with strong and gusty conditions which rewarded those with safe hands and patient offence. Zone defence was the order of the weekend which utilised the unpredictable conditions as much as possible. With the brand new implementation of web based scoring, each team updated their games scores live and could check up on the progress of the other games.
Day 1: The 16 teams were seeded into four pools that focused on keeping a balance of different regions across the board. Each team competed in 3 pool games to position themselves going into the playoff rounds. The Pool Rounds finished with only a couple of upsets when Salusa managed to replace PrawnBunnies as second in Pool A, and ChilliB edged ahead of UltitudeAir in Pool B. Once the scoring filtered through, the playoff games for Day 2 started to take shape and heated discussions began as to who would crack it into the top division. The crowd gathered with beers and food in hand to watch the Women’s Ultimate showcase game which pitted the Cape Town based ladies against the Jo’burg ladies. Ant and Rich added to the vibe with some entertaining commentary as the girls battled for bragging rights under the flood lights.
Day 2: The Crossover Rounds took the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in each pool and matched them up against each other to determine who would be placed into the top and bottom playoff brackets. These were some of the closest games of the tournament with all teams hungry for the chance to finish in Division 1. The Hammerheads from East London and Prawn Bunny from Durban both narrowly missed out on wins against Cape Town teams in this round. The Quarter Finals contained a huge upset when the tournament rookies and 16th seeds, Tygers from Cape Town’s northern suburbs, managed to unseat UCTCarCrashChameleon from their 9th seed and jumped up 7 places. The Semi Final round saw Maties from Stellenbosch move ahead of the East London Rebels, although the major upset was a clash of two familiar Cape Town Summer League teams when 4th seed Ghost managed to beat top seed and defending champions, Khayoba. The game was incredibly hard fought and an intensely physical battle in very gusty winds that stayed close right down to the last minutes. The showcase game for Day Two was put on by The Mambas, the SA Open team that is heading to compete at the World Champs in July. With a few non-Mambas invited to fill out the lines, the boys put on a show of faster and more chancy, free flowing Ultimate than was expected in the previous matches. The party that followed was a vibrant affair with some interesting dress and a lot of dancing that kept the legs loose. The UCT crowd and Prawn Bunny got the party going early and Ghost showed up in coordinated white coveralls… however huge respect is owed to the Salusa team who needed to be pushed out the door at the end of the evening and still showed up to play the next day.
Day 3: Finals day dawned with another wet and gloomy morning and each team had their reputations to fight for in the placement games of the tournament. The intensity was evident from the start where three of the first four games were won by only one point, the rest of the games also showing a marginal points difference. The Hammerheads fought through a really tough game against Ultitude Air to gain the top place in Division 2 and win the Plate Trophy in its inaugural year, we look forward to seeing what this team brings next year when they host Nationals 2013. Ultitude Sic represented the Gauteng teams holding off the UCT Flying Tigers to finish in 5th. Ex-championship winners Chilli while suffering from a list of injuries pulled through to claim 3rd from the hungry grasp of Khayoba.
Multiple finalists and one of the oldest clubs in SA, the Long Donkeys from Pietermaritzburg have earned the formidable reputation of being “the team to beat” at any South African tournament they enter. Tall and athletic, with a dynamic offence and crushing zone defence, their stats of wins to losses would easily trump any other team in the country, a world apart from the newly formed Ghost Ultimate Club that met them in the final. Ghost was born from the merging of players from Zebru and Khayoba that competed under the name 1Up before deciding to establish a formal club in Cape Town. As the host club of the tournament, Ghost had everything to prove going into the tournament, and they worked as a disciplined unit to gain a place in the final versus the Long Donkeys.
The game got off to a firey start with a quick points exchange as the two teams tested out their opponents strategy for the game. The gusty wind strengthened the Donkeys zone defence however it also seemed to thwart the devastating Donkeys deep game when long floating hucks would frequently veer off course for a turnover. With Ghost also setting a zone defence against the Donkeys were forced to play a shorter game with more passes; a style preferred by the home team. The teams exchanged short runs of points up to half time with Ghost a few points in the lead, however in the second half the momentum shifted to favour Ghost. The local team seemed to settle down into a solid game of focused passing that weaved the disc patiently through the opposition defence, and shut down their key players on offence. The Donkeys held the game in play until the time cap was implemented, however Ghost had gained enough of a lead to take the final and win the 2012 championship trophy.
A voting panel of judges from three different regions and teams decided on a male and female player of the match, awarded to Anne Maftei and Alan Hoyt of Ghost. Other awards presented went to the top assists and scores for men and women, as well as the team prize for Spirit of the Game. (points averaged since some teams played less games) Assists: Ryan Purcell (Ghost) – average 5.8/game Scores: Keanan Basson (Chilli B) – average 4.3/game WomenAssists: Teena Sebastian (Ultitude Air) – average 1.9/game Women Scores: Rebecca Kershow (Khayoba) – average 1.7/game SpiritAward: UCT CarCrashChameleon – average 17.29 (out of 20) /game
A huge round of thanks must go out to all that helped make this tournament one of the best that SA Ultimate has ever held: Villagers FC (Dave, Anton, Hendre and Martin) for providing a top notch venue and catering, Rob Lloyd who sat patiently at the central desk answering questions and making sure things ran smoothly, Dylan Kime for building the live scoring website, Sport Unlimited for sponsoring awesome prizes, 100Plus for sponsoring excellent hydration, UltiVillage for sponsoring prizes, Nexus-Net for providing free internet all weekend, and finally the Tournament Organising Committee: James Moolenschot, Anne Maftei, Finn de Haan and Paul Vicars, who all poured many hours into the tourney preparation and planning.
Back L-R: James Moolenschot, Finn de Haan, Darren Welman, Trevor Pols, Brad Rawlings, Corne von Bratt, Thaine Sasman, Noah Schermbrucker, Alan Hoyt, Paul Vicars, Seth Tilanus, Jason Buch – Front L-R: Ryan Purcell, Christine Moore, Alicia LeClair, Anne Maftei, Alice Bauman, Nicola Fryer, Katie Huston, Brianna Mersey
1. Ghost Ultimate Club– Cape Town
2. Long Donkeys – Pietermaritzburg
3. Chilli – Cape Town
4. Khayoba – Cape Town
5. Ultitude Sic – Johannesburg
6. UCT Flying Tigers – Cape Town
7. Salusa – Cape Town
8. Chilli B – Cape Town
9. Hammerheads – East London
10. Ultitude Air – Johannesburg
11. Prawn Bunny – Durban
12. Tygers – Cape Town
13. Maties – Stellenbosch
14. UCT CarCrashChameleon – Cape Town
15. Rebels – East London
16. Jack Sparrow – Johannesburg
Spirit of the Game (average/20):
UCT CCC 17.29
Ultitude Air 16.57
L. Donkeys 16
Chilli A 15.83
Chilli B 15.5
UCT Tigers 15.29
P. Bunny 15
Ultitude Sic 13.67
J. Sparrow 13.25
Nationals is just 11 days away and things are heating up in Cape Town in anticipation of the biggest tournament of the year. There are a few notifications for the community in case you haven’t been notified by your team captain or representative.
We still have accommodation available for players struggling to find affordable digs, you just have to send in your roster with the relevant sections filled in. First come, first accommodated.
Check out the Tournament schedule, which has been set to avoid same-region match ups as much as possible while maintaining an accurate seeding. Click HERE: Schedule Nationals 2012 Final
The party is for over 18′s only, so any under age players on your team need to make arrangements for after 8pm on Saturday. The theme is Black and White! and has been chosen to be flexible and easy to manage for travelling teams. We encourage all teams to get creative and come dressed up. There will be a prize for the team that wins the party…
We expect all teams to make sure that they are familiar with these rules to ensure a more enjoyable experience for all.
In order to help the event run smoothly, players are encouraged to meet at the venue on Thursday evening to sign themselves into the tournament and collect their player packs. It will be possible to sign in on Friday morning, however, any player that has not signed the indemnity form will not be allowed to play in the tournament until they do.
The Nationals tournament committee is excited to announce that we are now accepting registrations for the SAFDA South African National Champs 2012.
A few notes:
A month ago we sent out a request for Expressions of Interest so that we could get an idea of the numbers of teams planning to attend the event. Based on the number of responses the 2012 tournament will cater for up to 16 teams. The set number of teams is necessary in order for us to successfully plan an event of this scale and provide the contestants with the best experience possible.
You do NOT need to have sent an Expression of Interest in order to register for the event
In the unlikely event that more than 16 teams make the registration payment before the deadline, we will notify all the registered teams of the subsequent procedures.
In order to successfully register you need to fill in the linked form AND pay the registration fee before the deadline date.
After we have all teams registered, we will then request player registrations and player fees directly with the registered team captains.
The Swinburne Weekend hat tourney was a huge success with 53 people making their way to Harrismith from Joburg, Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Bloemfontein for a fun weekend of Ultimate and Disc Golf on a splendid farm. Teams included Curry Ninja, Custard Slices, Kung-Fu Curries and Budget Cuts. Hectic hail came down during Social time on Saturday evening, but no fatalities were reported.
The hat tourney was ended off by a tight Coastal vs Inland match, which the KZN folk won 10-9.
Prizes went to:
Best Female: Amy from Durban
Best Male: Wesley from Bloem
Best Lay-out: Leander from Ultitude
A BIG Thank You to uber-organisers Michael Weston and Luisa Nardini from Ultitude for organising an excellent weekend.
The SAFDA committee has been working hard to improve on the smooth running of Ultimate in South Africa and one key aspect of this is to get our tournaments organised well in advance each year.
If your club, team, or regional association would like to host the Mixed Nationals tournament in April/May 2013 then you are welcome to submit a bid document to the SAFDA committee that preferably contains the following information:
Club, Team or Association
Contact person and/or Tournament Director *with contact details
Brief outline of how the organisers plan to approach hosting the tournament: eg. available field space and facilities
How you would plan around the lack of a 3 day weekend at the end of April 2013.
The successful bid will be announced at Nationals 2012 prize giving. SAFDA will then offer assistance to the successful club in the form of providing documentation and guidelines accumulated from previous tournaments. Since this is the biggest Ultimate tournament in Southern Africa, we understand it is a big responsibility and therefore the committee is currently working on implementing a system that benefits the tournament host club directly. For more information please feel free to contact us.
The deadline for bids is: 6 April 2012
Bids and queries can be submitted to James [wildcard.enterprises [at] gmail.com] and/or Lionel [lionel [at] designature.co.za]
The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) hosts the World Ultimate Championships every four years where countries get to enter their best Ultimate teams in one of up to 5 different divisions: Open, Women’s, Mixed, Masters, and now possibly Women’s Masters. In July 2012 organisers expect up to 60 national teams to enter the next event hosted in the city of Sakai, Japan.
South Africa has been represented at the World Champs since as early as the 1998 event held in Minneapolis, USA. The last Worlds held in 2008 Vancouver, Canada, there was only an Open team from SA where the previous tournament in Finland had a team in 3 divisions: Open, Mixed and Junior’s (Juniors is now a separate event). In 2012 we are again looking to send an Open and Mixed division team. The Open team is being led by the capable duo of Chris Webster and Finn de Haan, both veterans of previous international campaigns. The squad has already been rounded up for a few training sessions and spirits are high. There is much work to be done over the next 7 months but there is a confidence in the air that this SA team is going to cause a few upsets. One of the weaknesses of the previous teams was the lack of unified preparation and goal – usually magnified by picking up stronger international players who play with a different style. This time around the preparation schedule has been set early and incorporates a largely Cape Town based squad which includes a refreshing amount of young blood. Even the international boys in the squad are going to be around for the majority of training, which promises to result in a strong and unified team to represent South Africa.
With the Open division leading the more competitive men astray, the Mixed team has in the past traditionally incorporated the Ultimate crowd that is both enthusiastic and social. These are the men and ladies that aim for the best experience possible which usually involves a play hard and play hard attitude. The rumour on the interweb is that the Mixed team organisers are hoping to have an even thirds split of players from Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal, and the Cape. The difficulty with the Mixed team is recruiting enough women since the rules state that there must be at least 3 persons of each gender on the field for each team.
Being a largely self-sponsored sport, both of these representative squads will need to dig deep into their pockets to get the funds together to make the trip. There are plans in the pipeline to run a few fund raising initiatives to help ease the financial burden and we can definitely use any help and support on offer. If you are interested in finding out more about these international campaigns and how you can help with fundraising or sponsorship then please send an email through to us: contact[at]safda.org.za or wildcard.enterprises [at ]gmail.com
The infamous Jozi Rocktober Ultimate tournament did a celebrity tour of Durban this year over the weekend of 15-16th October.
Ultimate teams from around the country descended into KwaZulu Natal with boardshorts and sandals packed, expecting the full brunt of a Durban spring. What they got instead was overcast and windy conditions with slight sprinkle of rain. This did nothing to prevent competitors from showcasing some great Ultimate at the Westville Old Boys club.
The Prawn Bunnies made us all very comfortable by organising awesome food, a Red Bull tent for shade and bean bags to have a nap on, and finally added the Red Bull truck and DJ as motivation to get out of the bean bags when the legs were complaining. The atmosphere was lively and the party on Saturday night good fun with a few hucking and macking contests revving up the crowd. Those that stayed to the end would have seen some impromptu kareoke by a certain Cape Town player.
Credit should go to team TnT from Durban and Jack Sparrow from Joburg who competed in their first tournament. The Ultimates showed great spirit and Dabique crossed international borders in the name of disc love. Prawn Bunny used their home field advantage to achieve a great result ahead of the ever challenging Joburg teams. The Cape Town rivalry team was fierce, each one hoping for a good crack at the reigning champs. UCT fought valiently in the semis narrowly missing out, and took out their frustrations on Chilli in the 3rd place playoff. The Long Donkeys showed why they were the defending champs and arrived at the final with annoying ease, using their atheticism to full effect. 1Up had a strong tournament with a good display of old school strategy and cool heads, reaching the final with confidence in spite of some interesting height mismatches and a gusty wind that favoured the Donkeys zone defence.
The final matched up two teams that were as yet unbeaten in the tournament and it could have gone either way. The Donkeys got off to a cracking start with some early break points putting 1Up on the back foot. 1Up finally settled down to give the Pietermaritzburg boys and girls more of a challenge and got stuck into narrowing the points difference. The score evened out and 1Up were gaining momentum when the Donkeys called a few time outs and adjusted their zone. With the time cap approaching 1Up needed to work quickly if they were going to take the win. The teams more or less traded points with the Donkeys leading until the time cap was called and the Long Donkeys took home the trophy for the second year running. Credit to both teams for putting on a good show for the spectators and huge thanks to the tourney organisers for all their efforts, we hope that next years tournament can live up to your standard.
To those who dwell beyond the borders of the Eastern Cape, East London is a small town. Yet within, promise and opportunity lay in abundance. Virtues ready to be harvested and thrived upon by those willing….
From what started as a handful of people playing with a Frisbee on Nahoon Beach in 2010, grew into a social league of sixty players, two national teams and recently, East London’s first Ultimate Frisbee Tournament which had come to pass over the weekend of the 24th June at Selborne College.
Teams from Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth joined forces with the local teams to bring to East London a truly spirited and competitive tournament. And coupled with our Sponsors – Fresh Lifestyle Properties, Rockstar Energy Drink and Distell Distributors – the tournament became one which would be reminisced amongst fellow Frisbee players until Nationals 2012.
The weekend kicked off with social warm-up games which somewhat still had a competitive slice to it. However, the evening built up to the memorable event – the Night Frisbee match. The time came to show off the freshly imported Night Discs. Excitement filled the air while the flood lights turned off. The moon shone with all its pride while the attached lumo glow sticks on the players challenged that pride. At a glance, the game appeared to be a story written in light. Wisps of blue and orange light danced around the nightly field. The lit disc wove these wisps into magical letters and figures. Poetry to the eye of the beholder….
The sun appeared the following morning with high hopes for the opening games. Passion brewed and competitiveness howled through them all. The weather however, was the only card dealt that didn’t pair up with the expectations of our visitors. Gusts of wind up to 50 knots with heavenly rains (which East London has had its fair share of recently) didn’t spell favourable odds to any team. Yet, with a bit of change in game plan and handling, teams were able to use the wind to their advantage. Unfortunately, a few were left with a wind-swept disadvantage.
Yet, to overcome the gloom and doom of East London weather, a Pulling Challenge was arranged. First prize and second prize came from Distell Distributors and the third from Rockstar Energy Drink. All highly contended for by most players I have to admit – even myself. The first being a Richelieu Brandy Gift Set comprising of a branded wooden box with contents that would make any brandy connoisseur jealous. Two engraved glasses, a bottle wall mount with dispenser and of course, a bottle of Ricky Le Roux himself.
Saturday crept away from the gusting wind, but the evening brought the festivities. Dinner, good music and memories shared from the day’s events were priority among the company. The bar kept a few individuals entertained, especially when all shooters became five rand.
The team from Johannesburg, rightly named Ultitude, with their agility, grace and precision at throwing a disk took first place, winning a cash prize of R2000. Second and third places went to the East London teams – the Hammerheads and Rebels, each receiving R1000 and R500 respectively. Incidentally, the Gambits from P.E had to forfeit due to unforeseen circumstances surrounding a hefty Fines meeting and a party of Decade music at Numbers. The word was that some were left “broken” the next morning. The context is yours to decide, but it’s clear that some people just can’t handle Slum Town.
The 2011 South African Mixed Ultimate National Champs took place bewteen 30 April and 2nd May at the Pirates Sports Club in Johannesburg. An unprecedented 16 teams took part in the tournament with a chance to match their skills against teams from across the country and even beyond the border.
The games over the weekend were scheduled to provide the most closely competitive games for all teams throughout the weekend, with a Division 1 including the top 8 seeded teams and the remaining 8 competing in Division 2. Once the Pool stage was completed, the Group stage provided opportunity for all teams to compete for a final place in Division 1.
The competitive standard of Ultimate over the weekend was excellent with very close games across both divisions. The main standouts in Division 2 were ALA who played some highly athletic ultimate that included many dramatic hucks, the Hammerheads from East London who have improved massively in just one year and competed strongly for a top finish in Division 2. Durban’s Prawn Bunnies narrowly missed out on a top 8 finish in a very competitive game against Zebru from Cape Town and went on to win Division 2 in another hotly contested game against the Hammerheads.
Division 1 showcased the highest level Ultimate that Southern Africa has to offer with some solid experience and amazing athelticism on display. Some of the early pool games were good enough to be finals with some fantastic match ups and closely fought games. A few upsets over the course of the weekend kept the tournament interesting and the title winner was still uncertain up until the absolute last few point in the final. Mozambique kept their heads as a small squad with injuries to claim 5th place over the top Jhb team, Ult-Ctrl-Del. The UCT Tigers faced old Cape Town rivals Chilli in the 3rd place playoff, with Chilli using their experience to keep the tireless youth at bay and claim 3rd.
The Long Donkeys from Pietermaritzburg and Khayoba from Cape Town met each other in the final, both with a clean record of wins in the tournament. The Donkeys brought their unconventional and opportunistic style of Ultimate to the final that had them storming through their early games leaving most opponents totally bewildered. Khayoba had also moved through their weekend with a show of intense and athletic play, most notably taking a closely matched win from Chilli in the pools to grab the first seed into Group 2. The two sides battled it out in the final mostly trading points the entire game: the Donkeys zone defence and lightning quick capitalisation of turn overs versus an incredibly disciplined and clinical Khayoba. The threat of the Long Donkeys is so evident when you find yourself standing enveloped in the shadow of a player you’re supposed to stop from throwing the disc, add to this the consistent high release throws in all directions and passes are close to unstoppable. They have a truly enviable collection of height, fitness and speed which they use in every point. The Khayoba patience and accuracy with the disc had them making an incredible amount of successful passes each point to work the disc into the endzone, and with the Donkeys rock solid deep coverage, it was the only way to go. The disc was worked under, over and around the cup, squeezing through holes and finding gaps that would lead to the jailbreak one-two passes up field.
As the teams played into the time cap, it was an unlucky Donkeys turnover that allowed a quick offensive reaction by Khayoba which got them their final point to win and the title of South African Champions for 2011. A fantastic final game to end off a great weekend of Ultimate. Huge thanks and appreciation must go to the organisers of the tournament for keeping things running smoothly all weekend: the co-ordination of games, food, accommodation, lifts, entertainment and prizes all added to the success. We appreciate your efforts at setting the standard so high for the next tournament organisers!
*If you have great photo’s from the tournament then email us (contact[at]safda.org.za) and we will let you know where to send them to be added to the gallery.
The energy on Ultimate pitches around South Africa is buzzing as Nationals Fever takes a hold of the various communities. The biggest disc sports tournament in Southern Africa is scheduled for the long weekend at the end of April… just 4 weeks away.
Hosted in Johannesburg at the Sandton Sports Club, this promises to be a weekend of great Highveld weather and unique Jozi style fun. With a rumoured 12 teams from around (and just outside) South Africa travelling into the bustling financial capital of SA, it also promises to be a weekend of epic Ultimate.
An unprecedented 5 teams from Cape Town are travelling to Jhb to fight it out for the honour of Mixed Ultimate Champs, looking to upset the Jhb teams on their own turf. Those ever-intimidating contenders from the steamy KZN province will surely be frothing at the chance to grip their big hands around that tiny little trophy. The outsiders are always the dark horse in these tournaments and we hope that the Moz team brings their A-game. Of course the Jozi contingent will be grinning while the rest pant and wheeze in the oxygen-poor air, while also knowing where the pot holes are in the fields and which gritty patches to avoid laying out in.
This year also boasts the first ever Womens Nationals tournament which will be held on the morning of Saturday 30 April, proving that ladies Ultimate in SA is moving from strength to strength.
So to all competitors, start practicing that game face because this year is going to be hotly contested at all levels. And to all others, get down to the Sandton Sports Club to watch the all the grass stained action take place.
The I <3 DBN Ultimate Hat Tournament 2010 took place on December 11 & 12 at the Westville Old Boys Sports Club in Westville, South Africa. Sixty Six players from Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Angola came together for a full weekend of Fs: Frisbee, Fun, Friendship, and a Freaking good time!
The 66 players were divided into 6 teams of evenly matched skill and experience. Special care was taken to ensure gender and geographical distribution as well. Hat Tournaments are unique in that they allow individuals to play with new people, learn new skills, and make new friends.
The festivities began on Friday, December 10th at the Westville Old Boys Sports Club. Players arrived to register and collect their player packs. Every player attending the tournament was given an I <3 DBN team shirt, an I <3 DBN water bottle, a Durban Ultimate messenger-style bag, some goodies from Red Bull, as well as sweeties and a poncho, in case it rained. The weather reports threatened torrential downpours, but the I <3 DBN committee held thumbs rather tightly in the hopes that the rain would pass them by.
Perhaps the best part (aside from the epic Ultimate) about tournaments is the reunions they provide. Friday night was not only about registration, it was about seeing old friends, reminiscing about the last tournament, and making plans for this one. It was also the moment when the team lists were revealed. Neal and Robin, the I <3 DBN tournament directors, had spent hours and hours working on the teams to ensure that they were entirely even (see the story of that adventure here). Needless to say, it was a huge relief when players looked at the lists and confidently proclaimed, “With a team like this, there is no way we can lose!”
Full of the joys of friendship, we took an early night to prepare for the long day ahead. Games would start on Saturday at 8am and continue until 5:15pm. Each team would play 4 games of 75 minutes each, totaling in 5 full hours of Ultimate. It would be a long day.
The broader schedule of the tournament included a preliminary round robin followed by an elimination round. In other words, each team would play every other (aka: 5 games) and then engage in the elimination, which would provide another 1 or 2 games. The teams would play 4 round-robin games on Saturday, and on Sunday would complete the round-robin and also play their final matches.
On Saturday, each team played two games before lunch and two after. During our lunch break, an exhibition game was held. Boys from Streetwise (Durban Ultimate’s main development site, a home for street children in Pinetown) played a 5-a-side game with members of the Westville community and Durban Ultimate players. Durban Ultimate has always known how talented the street boys are, but it was utterly refreshing for the rest of the Ultimate community to learn this as well. The boys were heralded as star players, which, hopefully, increased their confidence and love for the game. The boys have now gone home for the holidays, but we look forward to visiting with the boys again and hearing their thoughts on their game.
The weather on Saturday was outrageous. Seriously, we had all possible seasons: blazing hot and humid sun, blustering wind, and pouring rain. We try to accommodate everyone’s needs in Durban.
At the end of the day on Saturday, after four rounds of preliminary play, the standings were as follows:
Saturday night provided an epic party at the Durban beachfront at the Durban Lifesaving Club, a beautiful second story building on the promenade with indoor bars and dance floors, and outdoor patios overlooking the ocean.
The party kicked off at 7pm with a pounding DJ complete with party lights. Hot Debonair’s pizza was served at 7:30pm and people chowed until they could not consume anymore.
The highlight of the party was a bunny piñata (an homage to the Prawn Bunnies), which players took turns attempting to smash. When the piñata broke, Ultimate players dove onto the floor to collect as much candy as possible. It was almost like a 5 year old’s birthday party. After the piñata was destroyed, the dance floor opened up, and people got their groove on. The party fizzled out around 11pm, and players returned home to rest up for the next big day of Ultimate.
It was quite funny how the end of the round-robin worked out. The final games in the round robin mirrored what the first round of elimination would be. In that way, the morning’s first games could have been played as mere warm-ups for the second games. Although some teams claimed to be “taking it easy,” all of the games were highly contested matches, where all players put their broken bodies on the line.
In the end, Dingane beat Shaka to secure 1st place, Mpande beat Solomon to take 2nd, and Cetshwayo beat Goodwill to take 5th, leaving the standings as follows:
The semi-finals were then played, with Dingane taking on Shaka again, while Solomon challenged Mpande.
Both Shaka and Solomon dug deep and were able to beat their opponents. Whereas Solomon ran away with their game, winning 15-10, the game between Shaka and Dingane came down to the final point. The scores were tied as time was called, meaning that one remaining point would be played; the winner of this point would be the winner of the game. Dingane started with possession, but a nasty gust of wind sent the disc off-target, causing a turnover. Shaka was able to quickly capitalize on this unlucky error, scoring one last point, winning the game, and thus advancing into the final. The undefeated Dingane had fallen.
The 5th vs. 6th playoff game was just as intense as all the other games. Goodwill and Cetshwayo put more on the line than their bodies; they put their money. Throughout the weekend, I <3 DBN engaged in a Charity Challenge and raised money for CHOC, the Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa. The team who raised the most money for charity would win a prize. Goodwill and Cetshwayo decided that whichever team won their 5th place game would also win the charity money from both teams. Although Goodwill began the game with a wide lead, Cetshwayo came back in the end to win the game, thus securing 5th place and a large sum of money to donate to charity.
Utterly exhausted, Mpande and Dingane opted not to play “regular” Ultimate for their 3rd place game, but instead played a rousing game of Social, wherein they soaked each other in water, followed by a competitive game of team Rock-Paper-Scissors. From these games, Mpande emerged victorious.
Finally, it was time for the final.
Shaka, in yellow, and Solomon, in white, began their game with a full house of spectators watching. The music was pumping from the Red Bull van (that had generously been on site all weekend to keep the vibe going with cool tunes), and if it was raining, the players did not even notice.
Shaka came away with a fast lead, scoring five points in quick succession. But Solomon would not be so easily taken. Solomon scored three unanswered points, bringing them close to the lead. The game continued with the teams exchanging points, which kept the score close and the game tense. Despite being a highly competitive final, the game remained very spirited, just as the rest of the tournament had been. And of course, what is an Ultimate final without a streaker? Many thanks to Dylan for fulfilling this little bit of tradition.
The final score was Shaka 15 to Solomon 12. Shaka had come from 4th place, after losing most of their games in the round robin, to win the tournament. One player commented that it was a great testament to the evenness of the teams that a losing team on Saturday could come back and win everything on Sunday.
The final standings for the tournament were:
The prize-giving ceremony awarded Trevor and Marlise as MVPS, and Teena Sebastian and new Durban player Matt Cavanaugh for their epic layouts. Dylan was awarded a prize for streaking, and not to be outdone, Mike W and Nic took off all their clothes and chased Robin around the field before catching her and rubbing themselves all over her. Needless to say, it was a traumatizing experience. Cetshwayo was awarded the spirit prize for their incredible spirit, and Shaka was recognized for winning the tournament.
The Charity Challenge raised nearly R2200 for CHOC, with Shaka raising a whopping R913 and thus winning the charity prize.
After all was said and done, players said farewell and departed towards home. Those who did not have to leave so soon, stayed behind for an impromptu Bring & Braai at the Westville Old Boys Sports Club.
At the end of the day, the I <3 DBN Ultimate Hat Tournament 2010 was a resounding success. Hopefully, it proved that Durban really can do more than sing and dance, and they can especially organize incredible tournaments. Ideally, the I <3 DBN becomes an annual event.
The I <3 DBN team would like to thank our sponsors, friends, and associates once more for their amazing support:
Red Bull, for the free drinks, the music, the party, and the wiiiiiiiings.
The Westville Old Boys Sports Club, for the venue. Pam, for her delicious food. nologo, for sponsoring the party’s DJ.
The Durban Lifesaving Club, for the awesome party venue. Debonair’s pizza for the chow, and the gift cards.
The Rotary Club of Westville, for lifting our development players to their exhibition game.
Great news! The Durban crew have got themselves together and are organising their first ever national tournament for December 11&12 2010. Check out the official page on their website: durbanultimate.co.za/hat2010
If the Prawn Bunnies are running the show then this tournament will be a ton of fun. Get yourselves out there and support the KZN effort!
The 9th South African Ultimate National Championship was held recently in Bergvliet, Cape Town on the 1st and 2nd of May.
Cape Town’s Chilli were crowned the champions as they held off the Long Donkeys from Pietermaritzburg by 12 points to 11 in a highly competitive final. It was a thrilling climax to an amazing tournament, which saw 12 teams, from seven different cities, playing Ultimate over three days. Chilli went into the tournament as defending champions having previously won the tournament in 2008 and 2009 but they were certainly not outright favourites.
Speaking ahead of the event double nationals winner Keren Middlekoop commented: “At previous Nationals you always had the feeling that there was one team who wanted it more and which had worked harder than all the other sides. But this year there are a whole lot of teams who want it.”
The 12 teams were broken into two pool of six with the top four from each pool going through to the quarters and the bottom four getting to contest the plate.
Pool play saw some interesting upsets with both Stellenbosch and Cape Town Universities managing to score narrow wins over Ultitude, the second seeds in Pool A.
Meanwhile Pool B proved the tougher of the two groups with Saturday nights showcase game between Khayoba and Long Donkeys one of the highlights of the tournament. The Pietermaritzburg outfit ran out winners in a tight contest to top the group and hold their seed, while Khayoba finished second and Mozswati placed third.
Khayoba’s second placed finish in Pool play meant that the two giants of Cape Town Ultimate, Chilli and Khayoba were destined to meet in the semi-finals. It was a rematch of the recent Summer League final between the two sides and it was much anticipated.
Khayoba started well and at 7-4 they were one away from the half and sitting on a comfortable lead. But Chilli are nothing if not experienced and after a well used time-out and a couple of big plays from their first-choice defensive line, Chilli fought back to claim the half on the back of four unanswered points.
The second half was equally tense and it eventually came down to sudden death with Chilli banging the disc into the endzone to complete a famous win, seconds after Khayoba had turned the disc over at the other end looking to complete matters with a hammer pass.
In the other semi Donkey’s comfortably overcame Mozswati and so the 2010 final was to be a repeat of the 2009 final. In fact such has been the dominance of these two teams that the last three major finals in South African tournament play has seen these two sides clash.
Long Donkeys are a big and physical side, packed with former professional basketball players with a penchant for zone defence. Chilli on the other hand are a team of throwers who like to work the spaces and take the options given to them.
Thus the final was a real see-saw affair. The lead changed hands several times and both sides came to the party with some superb play. Chilli’s Jack Marsh did well to curtail the Donkey’s game with his sensational aerial prowess while at the other end Lauren Bluck, Rob Skelton and Robbie Bitting gave Chilli a scoring edge.
Once again it came down to sudden death and once again Chilli looked to be dead and buried as Donkeys threw a pass into the endzone. But handler Jenna Larsen was perfectly positioned to intercept the potential score. She immediately launched an attack and seconds later it was Chilli who were celebrating a third consecutive title.
Speaking after the game Chilli captain Ant Pascoe said, “This was definitely the toughest and the most meaningful of all our titles. We didn’t play our best but we played for each other.”
Player/coach Chris Webster, who has now won the title four times added, “It feels great beating teams that expect to beat you; teams that want it as much as you do.”
“That was definitely our best result as a team yet. I am very happy about it.”
*Many thanks to Ant Pascoe for the article and photo contributions.
The South African Flying Disc Association is the governing body for disc sports in South Africa. SAFDA is affiliated to the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) and strives to promote the growth and development of disc sports in South Africa.