UKU Nationals 2012

NATIONALS 2012 - update from Jim Hancox, on behalf of UKU Competitions Committee

In December 2011, the UKU Competitions Committee asked for your feedback on a proposal regarding Women’s & Mixed Nationals in 2012.  The summary is as follows - but do please read the background and explanation.

  • Nationals will be 2-day event across all divisions
  • Women's Nationals will be run as an 8-team event
  • Mixed Nationals will be held alongside the Open & Women's divisions
  • In a further step to differentiate Nationals from the rest of the season we are also inviting entries to an inaugral Masters Division at Nationals 2012
  • All players will only be eligible to compete in one division at Nationals 2012

Before going into the more detail on the changes that will be implemented for the coming season, I would like to thank everyone that contributed feedback over the past couple of months. The volume of the response has been much greater than I ever predicted and the relevance and constructiveness of the written feedback has been invaluable in helping us structure the UK’s domestic season for the benefit of as many of our members as possible.

Whilst evaluating the feedback it became apparent that, in specific areas of the proposals, opinions are very polarised and we recognise that a group of people will be unhappy with whatever decisions we, as a committee, make.

Following an extensive review of the feedback and a great deal of discussion between relevant parties I can announce that the following changes will be implemented and, where possible, I will explain the rationale behind them:

MIXED NATIONALS
•    Combining Mixed Nationals with one of the current Mixed Tour events was universally unpopular. This will not happen in 2012.
•    Running Mixed Nationals back to back with Women’s Nationals and allowing women to play in both divisions was also unpopular. This will not happen in 2012.
•    There was a degree of support for a stand-alone Mixed Nationals. This will not happen in 2012 as currently, it simply is not a viable option given the already full domestic and international calendar.
•    There is still a position of uncertainty as to how and when there will be an inclusion of a Mixed division in the annual European Ultimate Championship Series (EUCS). However, what is clear:

  • there will be an Extended European Ultimate Championship Finals (xEUCF) in 2013 which will include a Mixed division
  • beyond 2013 there is an intention to include a Mixed division at the European Ultimate Championship Finals (EUCF) however discussions regarding details and timings are ongoing

•    There is support for the inclusion of a Mixed Division at Open/Women’s Nationals. This will happen in 2012 and players of both genders will need to choose the division in which they wish to compete. We fully appreciate that this may have the effect of diluting competition in one or more divisions (probably Mixed in particular) however, given that this is the only way of providing a Mixed Nationals event we believe that the “damage” of any dilution will not be that great. It is also anticipated that as Ultimate continues to grow in the UK this effect will be reduced.
•    The Mixed division at Nationals 2012 will run providing a minimum of four teams enter the event. The duration and format of the event will be determined once the number of entered teams is known. The division will be run with a maximum of eight teams with qualification as outlined in the UKU Competition Rules 2012.  Note - Tour Rankings will be used but not necessarily exclusively.

WOMEN’S NATIONALS
•    The idea of running Women’s Nationals with a fixed/reduced number of teams was generally popular. This will happen in 2012.
•    The Women’s division at Nationals 2012 will take place over two days with eight teams, qualification for which will be in line with the 2012 UKU Competition Rules 2012.  Note - Tour Rankings will be used but not necessarily exclusively.

FURTHER INFORMATION

•    The Open division at Nationals 2012 will remain a two day, sixteen team event, qualification for which will be determined, as in previous seasons, at Open Regionals.

•    We had previously planned to move the Open division to a three-day event but have decided to put that on hold for several reasons.
•    In 2012 the UKU will run the inaugural UKU Masters Nationals. This division will run providing we secure entry of a minimum of four teams. Similarly to the Mixed division, the exact duration and format of the event will be decided once the number of entered teams is known.
•    Qualification for xEUCF 2013 will be done for all divisions from events held in 2013, except Masters where qualification and/or ranking will initially be taken from the results of the Masters division at Nationals 2012.
•    Qualification for WUCC 2014 will be done for all divisions from events held in 2013.