The world’s best Beach Ultimate players and teams descend on Dubai for the 2015 World Championships of Beach Ultimate this coming week.
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The six-day tournament, sanctioned by the World Flying Disc Federation and BULA Beach Ultimate, will take place from tomorrow until Friday, at JBR Beach.
There will be 71 teams consisting of 1,100 players from 25 different countries, playing a total of 380 games.
What exactly is Beach Ultimate? It’s a combination of football, American football and basketball, with teams of five attempting to catch the flying disc (Frisbee) in their opponent’s end zone to tally a point.
When on offence, the disc can only be advanced by passing to players, who are not allowed to run with the disc in their possession.
The player with possession can establish a pivot foot, similar to basketball, and then pass to his or her team-mate within 10 seconds of catching the disc in hand.
On defence, players attempt to block or intercept the disc.
If the disc hits the ground, goes out of the rectangular playing area (out of bounds), or is intercepted, the teams switch possession.
Physical contact results in a foul, while unlimited substitutions can be made after a score.
Games are played until a team reaches an agreed number of points (usually 13) or until time runs out (usually 30-40 minutes).
The opening ceremony and opening game – celebrating International Women’s Day – will be held on Sunday, March 8 from 14:00 to 17:30, with ensuing games played from Monday through Friday from 08:00 to 18:00.
The Women Masters and Mixed Masters Finals will be on Thursday from 15:00 to 18:00, while the Grand Masters, Open Masters, Mixed Women, Open finals and closing ceremonies will be on Friday, March 13 from 10:00 to 18:00.
On the social and entertainment side, there will be a welcome party at Barasti Beach Bar on Sunday, a Beach Party and Trade Night at Barasti on Monday, a Rubik’s cube theme party at Society Byblos Hotel on Thursday and the closing part at Society on Friday.
Spectators can attend for free and watch the action from the 1,000-seat stadia for viewing of key matches on the Arena pitch.
For more information, including a detailed schedule of play, as well as live scoring and streaming, visit www.wcbu2015.org.
Check out a week of premier Beach Ultimate action and enjoy the festive atmosphere at the 2015 World Championships of Beach Ultimate.
What: 2015 World Championships of Beach Ultimate
Where: JBR Beach, Dubai
When: Tomorrow, March 8 to Friday, March 13, with games played from 08:00 to 18:00
Contact: Visit www.wcbu2015.org for more information
James Kennedy believes the Gaelic Athletic Association World Games will only go from strength to strength after the staging of the inaugural event in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
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The chairman of the Middle East GAA board hailed the tournament as “absolutely fantastic” as 28 teams from five continents descended on the UAE yesterday.
“It’s the first ever GAA World Games so we’re making history,” said Kennedy.
“We’ve got South Africans bringing a lot of colour to the event, as well as the Galicians and Argentina. It’s absolutely fantastic,” he added.
The Middle East are on course for silverware in both the men’s and women’s GAA World Games finals today after a fantastic opening day.
Middle East 2 take on Australasia in the first semi-final of the ladies’ GAA World Games competition while Middle East 1 face Asia 1 in the other.
In the last four of the main men’s competition, Middle East have again been kept apart with the 2nds facing Asia and the 1sts taking on New York.
Canada, meanwhile, could have two teams in the men’s GAA World Games Plate final as their 1sts and 2nds have been kept apart as well.
Canada 1sts face North America in a very tasty semi-final encounter while the 2nds face Europe.
In the ladies’ Plate semi-finals, New York face Asia 2 and North America take on Europe.
In the men’s International World Cup, made up of largely native players, Argentina will play Middle East in the GAA World Shield semi-final while Galicia play South Africa.
Canada will take on South Africa in the women’s GAA World Shield semi-finals and Middle East will take on Galicia.
In the Middle Eastern GAA Championship for Gulf teams that ran alongside the main tournament, there was double joy for Sharjah and Dubai yesterday.
Dubai Celts won the Men’s Middle East League Cup by defeating Abu Dhabi Na Fianna 14-5 in the final while the women’s side won the Ladies’ camogie title.
Sharjah Gaels won the Men’s Social Plate and Sharjah were winners of the Ladies’ Social Cup.
Abu Dhabi Na Fianna claimed the Men’s Cup while the Ladies’ Social Cup was won by Asia.
Dubai travel to this weekend’s Inter-Gulf Netball Championships brimming with confidence after both teams reached the final of last year’s showpiece event in Bahrain.
Over 300 players participated in the 2014 tournament, with Dubai A claiming victory against Dubai B by the narrowest of margins.
One of the stars that day was Dubai B captain Louisa Stormont, and according to the skipper, the Dubai teams’ will return to Bahrain bidding for more success on Saturday morning.
“The aim will be to make the final. The tournament has opened itself up to so many players and teams and it’s great to see plenty of new faces on the court,” said Stormont.
“A competition like this brings different skills and different aspects of the game.
“I don’t’ know if the Dubai teams’ have ever been this prepared before going into the tournament.
With the Inter-Gulf Championships it brings the sport to the next level and the experience of having Maggie (Jackson) and Mary (Beardwood) as coaches is invaluable to our ambitions,” she added.
Maggie Jackson is a hugely influential figure in the Dubai camp having lined-up for England over many years, including appearances at the World Championships and the 1986 World Cup in Glasgow.
Her side-kick Mary Beardwood, also a talented players in the 80’s, guided the England team to a bronze medal in the first year of netball at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
With her wealth of experience assisting teams down through the years, Jackson says the players have responded well and are looking forward to the two-day competition.
“We’ve been focusing on the specifics and putting plans together. It’s fantastic to see the sport improve so well and this only helps a team like this with the experience in the local league (Dubai Netball League).”
Like most top coaches in the game, Jackson never looks beyond the current task at hand. “I treat every opposition as strong until I play them,” she said.
“I’m anticipating the (Dubai) A’s and B’s have strong players and it’s all about how they gel together and cope in pressure situations.
— Dubai Netball League (@DubaiNetball) February 8, 2015
“A lot of the teams here will be strong, including Abu Dhabi.”
Abu Dhabi go into this weekend’s competition relishing the prospect of re-claiming the title they won in 2013. At the business end of the weekend, Dubai A and Dubai B should also be in the hunt for a final place depending on how opening round matches go.
Jackson hails the tournament as it allows the girls to play against experienced opposition with the end product always resulting in player improvement. “It’s great for women sport. It’s hard when you want stronger competition and it’s expensive to find it. It allows the girls to play against different,” she said.
“Netball is a sport you have to enjoy. You have to relish every minute of it. You have to clear your mind and focus on what you’ve learnt. It should become automatic after all the practice.”