Since the introduction of Regionals in 2005, there has been an occasional moan from folks who remember the days of leading into Nationals with a few warm up tournaments – Seeds of Doom, the Border Classic and so forth.
Regionals was a necessary addition to the season, but it seems its only been in the last year or two that folks have looked up from organising their clubs and aiming at Regionals/Nationals, and started to organise a few events and plan for their club to make it more of a season again.
This is great news, recalling as we have ranted elsewhere that some clubs were getting to the point of having 40+ training sessions to play a handful of games at Regionals and 6-7 games at Nationals!
So here’s how the calendar is playing out:
30-31 January – Golden City Classic – Ballarat, Victoria
While its hard to call
[late edit] 14 February - Share the Love - Sydney, NSW
Late mail - the Sydney-siders figured they'd better do something ... this one-dayer has a maximum 10 mens and 6 womens teams. Registration will open in January 2010. More info to come. Be there to become the "most loved player"!
27-28 February – Brisbane-Canberra Invitational – Brisbane, Queensland
Now in its second year (after 2009 in Canberra), the BCI is probably now the primary warmup event for the elite going in to Nationals. The eight Open teams who’ve accepted the invitation (Firestorm (Brisbane), Fyshwick United (Canberra), Chilly (Melbourne), Heads of State (Melbourne), I-Beam (Newcastle), Karma (Adelaide), the new Sydney club, and Auckland) will in all likelihood fill out the top eight or nine at Nationals. Six Women’s teams have also been confirmed, equally talented: Black Betty (Brisbane), fACTory Girls (Canberra), Honey (Melbourne), KAOS (Perth), Indies (Adelaide) plus a new club from Sydney. This will likely be the biggest tournament in Queensland in 2010, and a great opportunity for Brisbane locals to get down and do some spectating.
13-14 March – Northern / Southern / Eastern /Western Regionals
The largest weekend in the Australian Ultimate calendar, as upwards of 50 Open and Women’s teams descend on four venues around the country, all vying for an increasingly tighter number of slots for Nationals 2010. Simmo has done a full rundown of the slots available and his tips on who's likely to go.
27-28 March – New Zealand Nationals – Christchurch, New Zealand
Becoming a great and fun way for Aussie clubs to prepare for Nationals, and generally delivering quality games against unfamiliar faces. There’s also the NZ South Island Championships on 20-21 February in Christchurch, and the NZ North Island Championships on 6-7 March in Hamilton – these latter two are also great tips for the burgeoning ‘B-Team’ season.
[late edit] 3-4 April - Border Classic - Albury NSW/Vic
Late mail - Victorian Club Chilly have announced the return of this fine tournament. Mostly a date claimer, with interested teams asked to get in touch by 21 February, with more info to come. [end edit]
17-18 April – Bashionals – Brisbane, Queensland
If you missed out a Regionals, there’s still a season to be played and a trophy to be won, as we here at the Brisbane Ultimate Blog bring you Bashionals (which we’ll be blogging separately about).
24-27 April – Nationals – Adelaide, South Australia
That big tamale, with the 32 qualifiers from Regionals in the Open and Women’s division heading south south south for battle and the finale to the season.
Some might say “that’s a lot of Ultimate”, to which we reply “EXCELLENT!”. They may then add “it’s expensive to get to all that!”, to which we reply in three parts:
The great thing too, is that in between all this, there are still u19 and u23 Australian team training camps, groups preparing for World Clubs 2010 in Prague, plus some other great tournaments like the Terrigal Towel http://afda.com/showtournament.php?tournamentid=630, and whatever else we can come up with.
“a) Having a club of upwards of 25 regular players (many clubs how have 40-50
players) means that the Club should aim to go to as many events as it can – its
not about fielding the same players at every event, its about your Club having a
great time and building all your players and waving your Club’s flag. You only
need 11 people to go. Be ambitious! Follow your dreams! You can reach your
b) Instead of relying on player’s back pockets, why not fundraise –
making money as a group strengthens your club too
c) Playing tournaments is a seemingly forgotten but great way to prepare your team for Nationals – far more valuable (and fun) than training!”