Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates So Far

Outline Phased Return to Play

We have produced a simple outline of the main steps we expect to see between now and returning to play Ultimate; more details will be released ahead of each step.  Click here to download as pdf.  



 

As of 26th June. we are still in PHASE A across all of the UK.  We recommend that clubs should not be training and individuals from different households should not be sharing discs.

 

 


 

1st July

UKU Outdoor Events - Cancellations Update

Having waited as long as possible to see how the situation developed we have taken the decision to cancel 2020 UKU Regionals for all three divisions:

  • 1-2 August, Leicester 
  • 1-2 August, Edenbridge.

This is obviously really disappointing, and also raises some questions about 2020 UKU Nationals:

For the time being, we are holding our booking for Nationals at the University of Nottingham on the weekend of 29-30 August, but we are not able to confirm the format of the competition.  We are not able to confirm the number of teams that would be involved in whatever competition goes ahead.

 Qualification

  • Assuming that the number of places at Nationals will be limited, and now that Regionals has been cancelled, teams will be invited according to their finishing positions at 2019 Nationals, followed by:
  • Women’s: 
    • Rankings at 2019 Regionals-South
    • UKU Rankings at end 2019
  • Open:
    • Rankings at 2019 Regionals assigned using EUCS waitlist as follows: S,N,N,S,N,S,S,N
    • UKU Rankings at end 2019
  • Mixed:
    • Rankings at 2019 Regionals assigned using EUCS waitlist as follows: N,S,N,S,N,S
    • UKU Rankings at end 2019
  • Irish teams will not be eligible to compete in the competition in 2020.
  • Bid allocation for 2021 will not necessarily follow the normal process as results in 2020 will likely be affected unfairly by the situation.  

 

As noted in the previous competition update, we will be considering the limited training time that has been available when deciding on any format or schedule.

 

Disclaimer.  We really do NOT want to give the impression that we expect that Nationals will go ahead at the end of August.  We are simply keeping our options open.  

 

Refunds

We continue to work through refunding all entry fees for cancelled events.  At this point:

  • All credit card payments have been refunded.
  • All teams that paid by BACS or gocardless have been contacted in order that we can confirm details for sending the refund.

 

If you think we’ve missed you out, please email events@ukultimate.com.

 


 

17th June

XEUCF 2020 Bid Allocation

In April the European Ultimate Federation (EUF) announced a temporary change to the annual European Ultimate Club Series (EUCS) to better cope with the implications of the COVID-19 crisis.

 

In response to the original announcement, the UKU Competition Committee discussed options for allocating bids and determined that we would use the results from the 2019 UKU Nationals / EUCR-W.  This week, the EUF has announced the finalised bid distribution by national federation.

 

The UK has been awarded 2, 2, and 4 bids in Women’s, Mixed and Open respectively.  The Irish teams are being awarded their own bids directly, so the UK bids, based on finishing positions at UK Nationals 2019, are as follows:

 

Confirmed Bids

Women: Iceni, Bristol

Mixed: SMOG 1, Deep Space

Open: Clapham, Chevron, Alba, Devon

 

EUF Waitlist

Women: SCRAM (#4 on waitlist)

Mixed: SMOG 2 (#3 on waitlist)

Open: EMO (#2 on waitlist)

 

UKU Waitlist (in waitlist order)

Women: SYC, Throwback

Mixed: Reading, Birmingham

Open: Brighton, Ka-Pow!

 

Emails are being sent today to each of the teams that have been awarded a bid, and those teams on the EUF waitlist, with a form to complete if they provisionally plan to attend.  Any of those teams that already know that they do not want to attend XEUCF should let us asap please so that we can contact the next team on the UKU waitlist.  We may contact other teams, and that will be done according to their finishing position at 2019 UKU Nationals.

 

 


 

 

10th June

UKU Outdoor Events - Refunds and Cancellations Update

Refunds

Thanks so much for your patience and understanding.  We are now working through all of the team fee refunds for the events that were cancelled.  If you paid through the UKU website using a card or gocardless payment, you should receive an email when the refund is set up, after which it will take a few days for the money to reach your account.  If you paid by bank transfer, we will need your club bank details in order to send the refund.  Please look out for an email about this.

 

Our goal is to send the funds, or have requested bank details from you, for all of the outstanding refunds by the end of June.  If you would like us to prioritise a particular payment please email events@ukultimate.com.  The YDG card payment refunds have been set up today.  

 

July Cancellations

Although we never opened entries to the following events, we are now confirming that the UKU Ranking Events planned for July have been cancelled:

Moor Lane, 11-12 July

Edenbridge, 18-19 July

 

 

The remaining events in our calendar are Regionals and Nationals.  We are well aware that in both cases, staging those events without teams having an opportunity to train together or perhaps attend a preparatory warm-up event raises all sorts of questions and issues.  However, for the moment we have decided to wait for further developments and guidance before determining the next steps with those competitions.

 

 


 

 

4th June

Update to government guidance re outdoor activity

Government guidance about outdoor activity has changed in all four home nations since our last update on 13th May.  To be absolutely clear, the changes do not permit team sports like Ultimate due to the close contact between participants.  Announcements on 30th May that referred to “competitive sport” were applicable only to a very specific definition of “elite athlete” and do not affect Ultimate.

 

You will be aware that the changes generally have in common some increased flexibility regarding the number of individuals from different households that can meet outdoors, provided they continue to follow social-distancing guidelines.  The rules vary in different parts of the UK, and it seems likely that the trend towards local or regional variation will continue.  For this reason, this announcement will not attempt to list out all of those variations.  You must take personal responsibility for understanding the general guidance to the public as it applies to your location and your personal circumstances.

 

In England, there has been some relaxation on the question of sharing equipment for passing a ball (or disc).  However, UK Ultimate’s position on this specific question remains the same, and is consistent for the whole UK.  If you want to meet for disc-based exercise, our advice remains that each person brings their own disc and has contact with only that disc for the duration of the exercise, focussing on just throwing, and avoiding contact with other people’s discs through catching, or picking them up.

 

If you decide to play some disc golf, please be aware of the comments we made previously:

1. Your UKU membership does provide liability insurance for playing flying disc games other than ultimate - essentially as a form of practice for Ultimate - although this does not extend to formal, organised competition in those other sports.  

 

2. We asked for some advice from the British Disc Golf Association (BDGA) as well and they kindly pointed us at this post.  Please take particular note of their comments relating to safety and parks being busier than usual.

 


 

15th May

Covid Advice Group

We would like to form a small advisory group to help us interpret government guidance and check the information we provide to members about returning to disc-based activities, and at some point, to Ultimate.  

Clearly, people working in medical roles are extremely busy right now, so the idea is to create something that would not take up much of your time - rather just an opportunity to review and guide UKU plans or announcements before they are finalised.  If you would like, and have time, to share your first-hand knowledge and experience of what is happening on-the-ground to inform how we, as a community, deal with the next steps, please complete this short online form.

We’re hoping to have a team with a variety of medical roles and from around the UK.

 

 


 

 

13th May

Government update to exercise guidelines

This week, the UK Government is making changes to guidance relating to exercise and outdoor activity.  Of course these changes do not permit team sports like Ultimate, and there is no indication about how or when that might be possible.  

 

You will be aware that there are differences between the four home nations.  Our understanding is that in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the recent changes relate only to being allowed to spend more time doing exercise.  In England there are some additional changes, and there is a useful summary on the Sport England website here: https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/coronavirus.

 

We were one of several sports that raised the question of two individuals from different households sharing equipment and the response is at the end of this Q&A page.  Realistically, it is difficult for two players throwing a disc back and forth to adhere to that advice.  If you do meet an individual from another household to do some disc-based exercise, firstly please ensure that you follow social distancing guidelines maintaining at least a 2m distance from each other and other people.  Our advice is for each person to bring their own disc and have contact with only that disc for the duration of the exercise, focussing on just throwing (and avoiding contact with the other person's disc through catching, or picking it up): practice your pulls, or maybe play some disc golf.  Either way, please take responsibility for sticking to the relevant guidance, and of course, be respectful of other members of the public. 

We have two further comments relating to disc golf:

1. Your UKU membership does provide liability insurance for playing flying disc games other than ultimate - essentially as a form of practice for Ultimate - although this does not extend to formal, organised competition in those other sports.  

 

2. We asked for some advice from the BDGA as well and they kindly pointed us at this post.  Please take particular note of their comments relating to safety and parks being busier than usual.



 

 

29th April

Resources for schools - can you help please?

We have a small group of teachers and coaches looking at the need for new resources to help teachers deliver PE and sports competitions when schools reopen for everyone.  The idea is to share simple information about how frisbees can be used in activities, games and competitions that meet constraints that are likely to affect school sports in the coming year.  

We are hoping to find one or more volunteers who have the skills and experience to help with the graphic design and editing aspects of this project.  If you think you could help, please get in touch.

For the competition part, which will probably include teams competing and scoring remotely from each other, we would ideally build some smart-looking, slick scoring-spreadsheets.  If you feel you could volunteer to help with that part, please let us know.

Finally, if you have brilliant ideas for frisbee games you believe would fit the brief, then of course we’d love to hear about them too.  Please feel free to send them over.

 

If you are available to help, please get in touch: admin@ukultimate.com.

 

2020 EUCS Announcement from European Ultimate Federation

On 27th April, the European Ultimate Federation announced that European Ultimate Championship Regionals (EUCRs) would not happen in 2020, but that they are making plans for a larger Finals event (xEUCF) if it is possible.

In the UK, we combine the West region EUCR with UKU Nationals.  For now, UKU Regionals and UKU Nationals are still in the calendar as per our original plan.  If it is possible to run those events, we will go ahead, but Nationals 2020 will not be a qualification event to EUCF.

The UKU Competitions Committee is reviewing this change to EUCS and will confirm how the UK bids to xEUCF will be allocated teams in due course.  

 


 

 

30th March

Upcoming Events - Cancellation Update

Following our previous announcement regarding the April/May 2020 Club Outdoor Events, we can now confirm that London Moooxed - due to take place in May - is now cancelled. In addition, the following summer events are also cancelled:

  • Nottingham Windfarm (6-7 June)
  • University Mixed Outdoor Nationals (13-14 June)
  • Junior Outdoor Nationals & School Championships (4 July) 

As outlined in the statement made on 23rd March, we will fully refund team entry fees that have been paid for the above events. However, we kindly ask that you please bear with us in this period as we will not be able to refund all entry fees straight away. More information on this can be found in the announcement here.

 

Please keep an eye out on the UKU website and UKU Events Announcement Newsletter for further updates.

Update Statement re Coronavirus (COVID-19) 30th March 2020

In these exceptional times, UK Ultimate has no ongoing income.  We have been reviewing how the organisation will manage financially over the short, medium and longer term under various scenarios of “life returning to normal”.  Our conclusion is that we should take action now, taking into account the possibility that disruption to Ultimate could well continue for much of the rest of 2020, and perhaps into 2021.

 

We have decided that it is in the best interest of the organisation, our staff and Ultimate in the UK, that we apply for support from the Government Job Retention Scheme.  Effective April 1st - May 31st, the following members of staff will all be “furloughed”.  This means that UKU will receive support for 80% of the normal wage costs associated with those members of staff:    

  • Chesca Tyler Weddell (Coach Education Coordinator)
  • Chris Bamford (UKU Administrator)
  • Meg Price (Events Coordinator)
  • Ruth Flight (GB Junior Programme Manager, part-time)

Simon Hill (CEO) and Laura Atkins (bookkeeper, part-time) will continue to work, however their hours will also be reduced.  

 

Under this scheme furloughed staff are not permitted to work for their employer, so please be aware that during this time there will be just one member of staff dealing with all ongoing work, and any incoming contact or queries.

 

The government scheme is in place until 31st May.  If it is extended we will review the situation and may extend these temporary staffing arrangements.

 

Whilst similar changes are being experienced by companies and individuals around the country, it is still unsettling for anyone affected.  The board of UK Ultimate would like to thank the staff for their hard work and flexibility throughout this time.  

 

Our board and staff also want to thank all UKU members for their support whilst we have been working, and continue to work through the impact on our events and programmes.  Like you, we are greatly looking forward to a time when we can all get back together to play Ultimate.

 

In the meantime, please follow the advice and stay at home.

 


 

24th March

WFDF Cancels or Postpones all World Championships over Next Six Months

 This morning, WFDF announced a decision to cancel or postpone all three of the WFDF World Ultimate Championships to be held over the next six months. This will at least affect the following:

  • World Ultimate & Guts Championships, Netherlands, 11-18 July
  • World Junior Ultimate Championships, Sweden, 18-25 July
  • World Masters Ultimate Championships, Australia, 5-12 September

http://www.wfdf.org/news-media/news/press/2-official-communication/969-wfdf-cancels-or-postpones-all-world-championships-over-next-six-months

 

This is of course a huge blow for all the athletes, organisers and volunteers for whom these events would have been the culmination of months and years of hard work and dedication. 

 

As per the announcement, WFDF and the three Tournament Organising Committees are currently working through the details in order to return as much of the fees as possible to the players/teams.  

 

Also, WFDF is currently in consultation with the TOCs to discuss alternatives for the affected events (further details in their announcement). They will continue to evaluate what will be possible and will provide further information as soon as possible.  

 

As soon as we have more information we will be sharing that directly with the affected individuals.  You can also keep an eye on WFDF’s website for further news.

 


 

23rd March

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice - Stay at Home

We hope that you are safe and well.

 

Many members of the ultimate community are out doing critical work today.  On behalf of all UKU members and Ultimate players; a huge thank you.  We hope that you have what you need.  If you think we can help in any way, please let us know.

 

For the rest of us.  Please follow the advice and stay at home

 

We understand that some of you may want to go out throwing to try to keep active in this difficult time, but we would like to highlight that this involves the unavoidable aspect of sharing a disc and continues a level of non-essential social interaction. 

 

We love playing Ultimate as much as you do and throwing skills are an essential part of our sport, but bearing in mind government advice and the positive impact that staying at home could have, why not take this opportunity to build on other aspects of your fitness that are also key! There are lots of different resources out there at the moment, but here is a small selection of links that we’ve put together so that you can continue to keep fit within the comfort of your own home:

Also, please share your Ultimate specific home workouts with us! We’d love to see how you’re keeping fit at home with Ultimate in mind - simply tag @UKUltimate and use #UltimateAtHome so that everyone in the community can see and get involved. 

 

Why not tell VC Ultimate too! They want to know if you’re at home and doing your part to keep your community safe.  Post a picture of you exercising, working, cooking, playing board games – whatever you’re doing to keep yourself occupied – in your VC gear and they’ll send a surprise gift pack out to a winner every day until the end of March. Be sure to tag @VCUltimate and use #VCstayconnected to enter.

 

Following the recent cancellation of a number of upcoming UKU events (full details in our previous announcements published on the UKU website), we have been working on plans to refund team entry fees that have been paid to UK Ultimate so far.

 

We can now confirm that we will be processing full refunds for ALL team entry fees that have been paid for the following UKU outdoor events:

  • Y Ddraig Goch
  • Grey Towers of Durham

Should the following also be cancelled, we will fully refund entry fees for these UKU events as well:

  • Nottingham Windfarm
  • University Mixed Outdoor Nationals
  • Junior Outdoor Nationals

 

We kindly ask that you please bear with us in this period, as we will not be able to refund all entry fees straight away. However, if you are an individual who has paid the team fee(s) out of your own pocket and are in urgent need of the cash, please contact us by emailing events@ukultimate.com and we will prioritise your refund. 

 

Alternatively, if your team/club would prefer to take your entry fee payment as credit towards a future UKU event, please let us know. This means that we will not refund you at this point, instead we will work with you to take it off one of your team entry fees in the future.  

 

Also, in response to those of you that have kindly been in contact with us asking about how UK Ultimate’s financial position will be affected by the situation - thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. This is still a work-in-progress, but here are some things we can say:

  • This situation means that all usual sources of income for UK Ultimate have effectively stopped until further notice.
  • We have always been quite careful about UKU reserves and so we have every reason to believe that UKU will still be here when this is done.
  • We will have to make some adjustments to the way we work - for example staff members may reduce their hours for a while.  This is something we are discussing openly internally, but isn’t something we can appropriately share in any more detail today.

 

For people who have wondered if there is anything they can do to help:

  • Thank you, and please do continue to be patient whilst we work through all the details.
  • If you have detailed knowledge of the HMRC Job Retention Scheme announced on Friday, we’ve got a few questions that we haven’t been able to resolve so far - please email or call Si Hill.
  • If your team/club is in a position to do so and would like to donate your team entry fee from the event(s) that you’ve entered so far this year, all donations will be gratefully received. Please just let us know by emailing events@ukultimate.com 
  • If you’re able to renew your UKU membership for this year, despite the fact that few events may be happening this season, then that would be highly appreciated - UKU membership fees are one of the key contributors to UK Ultimate’s income and every little bit can help in this uncertain time. 
  • If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to contact us via admin@ukultimate.com but please bear in mind that we may not be able to get back to you right away. You can keep an eye out for further updates regarding Ultimate in the UK and COVID-19 on the UKU website and through the UKU Event Announcement Newsletter

 

 


 

19th March

April/May 2020 Club Outdoor Events - Cancellation Update

Following recent updates from the venue and taking into account the latest government advice, sadly we have to announce that the Grey Towers of Durham event, due to be held on 25th-26th April, is now cancelled. This is in addition to the recent announcement that all Tartan Tour events in Scotland will be cancelled, including the Glasgow Caledonia’s Call event that was previously planned to take place on 31st May.

 

We are currently waiting to hear back from the team organising London Moooxed. We anticipate that this event will also be cancelled, although please look out for confirmation of this in due course in the UKU Events Announcements Newsletter.

 

For now, we are remaining optimistic that Nottingham Windfarm 2020 may be able to go ahead. Of course, we’d love for Ultimate to resume as soon as possible, and fortunately our event partners are helping us to keep our bookings as planned despite it being unclear exactly how this will all look in a couple of months, so we are currently holding off on cancelling this event! However, should this change then we will update everyone as soon as we can. 

 

Also, thank you for your patience and understanding whilst we continue to monitor the situation. We will share as much information with you as we can throughout this uncertain time, so please keep an eye on the UKU Event Announcements Newsletter and the UKU website for all of our updates. 

 


 

18th March

University Men’s & Women’s Nationals 2020 - Cancelled

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, unfortunately University Men’s & Women’s Outdoor Nationals 2020 (4th-5th April) is now cancelled. 

 

BUCS will also announce this cancellation on their website - https://www.bucs.org.uk/

 

We will continue to provide updates about the events due to take place this year on an event-by-event basis for now. We will continue to monitor the situation closely over the coming weeks and we will update you as soon as we can. As a reminder, entries remain suspended until further notice. 

 

Keep an eye on the UKU website for all updates regarding COVID-19 and the UKU Events Announcement Newsletter for event-specific information.  

 


 

17th March

Update Statement re Coronavirus (COVID-19) 17th March 2020

On March 16th, the government announced that everyone should stop all non-essential travel and social contact.  Obviously we all love playing Ultimate very much, but we cannot see any situation where playing Ultimate is essential.

For that reason, unless and until there is a change or relevant clarification in official guidance, UK Ultimate’s position is that all Ultimate in the UK should now stop until further notice.    

So, further to our announcement yesterday 

  • All Ultimate clubs should stop club training sessions
  • All GB training is cancelled
  • The UKU Level 1 Coaching Course on 21st March is cancelled

We will continue to provide updates about the events due to take place this year as soon as we can, and still on an event-by-event basis for now.  We do not know when the guidance will change; we do not have any more information that you do. Keep an eye out on the UKU Events Announcements Newsletter regarding each event’s individual status.

Please note that we have - exceptionally - sent this message on our Weekly Digest newsletter because that newsletter has the largest number of subscribers.  

 


 

16th March

Update Statement re Coronavirus (COVID-19) 16th March 2020

Given the developing situation it is clear that we will be making substantial changes to the 2020 outdoor season.  We are in contact with our tournament venues and other partners about our events and how to handle the impact. Please click here to read the full statement.


Events Update:

  • Y Ddraig Goch (Cardiff) 2020 will not take place on 28-29 March.
  • We are working with BUCS to clarify the plan re University Outdoor Nationals (Nottingham) on 4-5 April and will provide a further update later this week.
  • We are not making any statements about other UKU Ranking Events today, except to say that we have temporarily suspended team entries to all UKU events.
  • We will send further details about all of the above as soon as we can. Our small team has limited capacity to deal with large numbers of individual queries. Thanks for your patience and support.

 

GB teams:

  • GB U20 team training sessions on 21-22 March and 28-29 March have been cancelled.

 

Coaching courses:

  • The UKU Level 1 Coaching course on 21st March in Sheffield will still go ahead following relevant guidance. Participants will receive further information directly by email.

 

Club training sessions:

A number of clubs were in contact with us last week about whether they should continue to run club practices. 

  • For the time being this is a decision each club will need to make for itself, taking into account all of the relevant guidance, and in particular emphasising to individuals within the club that they must take personal responsibility for making the right decision about whether to attend or not.
  • Sport England issued this statement on 12th March which we think is relevant for club committees to read and think about: https://www.sportengland.org/news/coronavirus-information-sector

 

Announcement to confirm cancellation of Y Ddraig Goch 2020

Given the developing situation it is clear that we will be making substantial changes to the 2020 outdoor season.  We are in contact with our tournament venues and other partners about our events and how to handle the impact.

Today we are announcing that YDG 2020 (28-29 March) has been cancelled.

Please see our latest statement.  We will provide more information about YDG and other events as soon as we can over the coming days.  Thanks for your patience.

 


 

5th March

Update Statement re Coronavirus (COVID-19) 5th March 2020

UK Ultimate’s response to the ongoing situation with the coronavirus will be led by government advice to the general public and to sports organisations where it applies to our circumstances.  The situation is changing rapidly, and we may be required to make last minute changes to our plans.

We will issue further updates as and when it is appropriate.  Please read on for the rest of the statement.

 

General Comments

Current advice is that “there is presently no rationale to close or cancel sporting events”, but we make the following comments:

 

UK Ultimate-specific comments

We note the following points that are more specific to UKU events:

  • Participants must respect that some people will prefer to avoid shaking-hands, high-5s, standing in a close huddle for a spirit circle or timeout.
  • That said, players who decide to compete must accept that they will, at times, be in relatively close contact with opponents, especially their marker. This is not avoidable.
  • Participants and attendees deciding to attend UKU events are expected to take responsibility for themselves - just like they do on the field. Be self-sufficient: as individuals or perhaps as a team.
  • We are reviewing whether to put in place any steps to enable players to clean discs periodically.
  • You should expect that competition schedules will be finalised even later than usual so that we are better able to adapt to teams dropping out.
  • The detailed arrangements for our events vary. So for now at least, we will deal with the implications of any cancellations on a case-by-case basis.