A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of sponsoring a beginners' event in Nottingham. New Kids on the Block was a great success! Jassy Drakulic, the TD for Flytght Club, was nice enough to write us a recap about all the fun they had spreading the sport to some new players. Cheers to New Kids on the Block, not to be confused with the American 80s boy band.
A fortnight ago it was my pleasure to run the inaugural New Kids on the Block, an indoor developers tournament hosted by Nottingham’s Flyght Club. Players attended the one-day event from across the Midlands region at the
fantastic venue of Nottingham’s Wildcats Arena. Developers were categorised as those with under a year’s training, or a more casual background, with one experienced player per team allowed on the pitch at a time. Teams played loose-mixed, with a minimum of one woman per point, in a round robin format. Players were encouraged to exercise good spirit throughout the day and spirit slips were awarded to individuals deemed particularly spirited by their opposition.
Going into the second half of the day, Cranfield were dominating the results table. However an athletic and pitch-aware Bradford side made the competition for a spot in the final a close run affair, alongside pressure from University of Nottingham and Loughborough University teams that had been improving throughout the day. When all the round robin matches were concluded, Bradford, Loughborough and Cranfield all ended the day on 5 wins apiece, but with one draw each to their name Cranfield and Loughborough were into the final. These teams met in their very first game, and Cranfield came out with a comfortable win, 10-6. When they met again in the final Cranfield quickly went up by a break, continuing to play the high risk, high reward tactics that had been successful for them thus far. However, Loughborough had a winning mentality, and kept a calm composure on offence and a determination on defense that eventually started to put points on the board. With a breadth of skill across the team, and outstanding performances from their developers, Loughborough broke back and continued to rack up the points, pushing them into a leading position that Cranfield simply didn’t have the time, or the legs, to come back from. Loughborough ended the tournament as champions, winning the team spirit prize as well.The talent from across the region was quite stunning. Spectacular catching ability was on display from the Cranfield University side, a testament to the indoor “endzone-monkey” style of coach Ryan Harris. Contrastingly both University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University teams fielded experienced players who were themselves only just out of the developer’s threshold, and who played a much more flowing and well-drilled full team style of play. Leicester’s experience from Kay White appeared to have inspired their developer women as shown in the team’s strong female cohort being the greatest in number.
Thanks to the generosity of VC Lookfly we were able to award a host of swag-tastic prizes for standout individuals in the following categories:
Most spirited male & female: Alister Weber (Nottingham Trent University) & Lauren Mounteney (University of Nottingham)
Most valuable experienced player: Ian Thursfield (University of Bradford)
Most valuable developer in the final, male & female: George Hill & Anastasia Ilina (Loughborough University)
I look forward to another edition of New Kids on the Block in 2016 that provides the same excellent competitive opportunities and incentives for a fresh batch of up and coming players.
Flyght Club TD 2015-16