So earlier this week QUDA put out the call for hosts to bid for the Queensland Ultimate Open/Women's Championships (aka Northern Regionals) and the Queensland Ultimate Mixed Championships (aka Halibut).
This seems as good a time as any to start some speculation commenting everyone (and of course, with BUML over JdR needs something else to blog about on Fridays).
Here's some triggers for your wild or not so wild thoughts.
Who's going to host, and where?
After the trip to Townsville in 2011, QUDA is getting Regionals back to SEQ, but that's a big space. The Griffith Club submitted their bid to host Regionals at Nathan to QUDA this morning (oo-yeah - inside gossip - we have our fingers everywhere here at the stately mansion!). There were rumours about the event going to the Gold Coast too. Sound good? Is anyone else bidding? What's important to a good bid? QUDA aims to confirm the hosts in early December.
Who's going to play?
Open division first. At the 'top end of town', Firestorm have started their season. Hopefully we'll see FS A and B again, or is that depending on whether or not the key Heroes players feel ready to stand on their own?
Slamtown and Townsville will no doubt turn fully up, to make things interesting in terms of who else qualifies for Nationals. Will 2012 see some B teams for these venerable groups?
At the newbie end of the scale - can Cairns make it under their own name (presumably grabbing a few stray Townsvill-ites?) Griffith's bid says that if they host they'll probably be able to enter a team for the first time, assuming their best players aren't lured elsewhere. Will the event being at the end of Week 2 of lectures enable enough time for some ambitious non-Firestorm UQ players to get a mob together? MattB is crossing his fingers for embers at Gympie and Toowoomba to burn ... can they ignite with the prospect of being able to tell their mums that they're going to the State Championships?
Meanwhile, the form of the Women's division each year has really depended on the level of ambition of key players. Black Betty will no doubt be there to do what they have to to qualify for Nationals, and before then be looking to hoover up the best players they can and the numbers to make their training sessions as good as they can be. Griffith's bid mentions running a Women's Hat on Saturday and then whatever qualification games are required on Sunday - is this the way to go?
Northern Regionals vs Queensland Ultimate Championships?
What's in a name? Northern Regionals has long been the name of the event within the Ultimate community, highlighting its role as the stepping stone towards Nationals. But then any member of the Australian public - including field hirers, sponsors, and your mum - understands the concept of a sport's State Championships.
Ok, let the informed and uninformed speculation begin!