Pingu Jam disqualification rumours

At the end of Sunday of Nationals, rumours were awash about Pingu Jam (runners-up in the Mixed division & EUCF qualifiers) potentially being disqualified due to a roster violation.

Here’s what we know:

  • If a player plays for a team at Open Regionals and that team advances to Nationals, they are only eligible to play for that specific team at Nationals, regardless of division
  • Vision did not finish Regionals in a qualifying position
  • Sheffield dropped out of Nationals despite qualifying, as some of their players wished to play for a Women’s team at Nats
  • Vision filled Sheffield’s spot and were playing at Nationals
  • Pingu Jam were fielding a player all weekend who had played for Vision at Open Regionals
  • The UKU / Tournament organisers were not aware of this situation until part way through the day on Sunday

Thus, it appears the rostering rules at Nationals have been broken by a team/player who won a silver medal (as well as improving on their spirit from Tour) and are set to qualify for Europeans. Now the UKU has the tough decision of what, if anything, is to be done in reaction to such a breach.

What are the options they have on the table? How strict should they be with Pingu Jam, Vision, and/or the player in question? Does Vision’s late, space-filling entry into Nationals constitute extenuating circumstances? What if Pingu Jam / Vision were unaware this player was playing for the other team at the other event? What kind of response would be fair and appropriate for all teams and players concerned in this situation? Push Pass want to hear your opinion.

Push Pass filmed 17 games from UKU Nationals 2014, including Pingu Jam vs Thundering Herd, Brighton Breezy (semi / game-to-go) and vs Birmingham in the exciting Mixed Final. Watch the games here.

76 replies
  1. Johnny
    Johnny says:

    I think pingu jam should disqualified from Euros for 3 reasons.

    1. Their name is fucking shit
    2. Their kit is fucking shit
    3. The sport won’t grow with players dressed as fucking penguins and cows.

    • Mark
      Mark says:

      Oh so you’re annoyed at two of the top 8 mixed teams in the country because of their kit…ok seems sensible

    • Pugh
      Pugh says:

      Yeah…Sky were lined up to televise Nationals but then they saw Herd and Pingu’s kit. Have you seen Deportivo Leonesa’s kit? A group of professional footballers are wearing kit that looks like a tuxedo and getting great coverage and replica kit sales. You might have said the same when you saw the people playing in tie-dye in the 60s and 70s and look at us now…no growth at all!

      Johnny: Growth is exciting. What you seem to prefer is closer to cloning.

    • Liam Kelly
      Liam Kelly says:

      The reference was regarding Pingu Jams Spirit. Vision are a team who had a poor spirit record about 3 years ago and now have demonstrated over and over again to have a fine record. This is evidenced with the peer review system with scored of average and above. Their score at nationals for example was >11.00

      It seems your witty response is an unhelpful reminder that you probably don’t understand SOTG yourself.

      Also, good work having the confidence put your name down… I bet you probably play for a team with a terrible spirit record yourself.

  2. Anon
    Anon says:

    It’s not extenuating circumstances, at least based on prior decisions by the UKU. This happened to a team last year. The only difference is that the team checked the rule with the UKU and were told that the rules were clear and the player had to play on their open team despite the open team getting a late entry.

  3. anon
    anon says:

    no need to ban the player who played for vision at regionals, just ban the one who doesn’t have tourettes BUT ACTS LIKE HE DOES

  4. Si Hill
    Si Hill says:

    I think we need to begin by addressing the principal issue at hand. The UKU is a small operation and is run by very few people. As such this issue never received the fast response it deserved. This is especially true because everyone at the UKU is also incredibly busy trying to spend the mountains of money we receive in profit after each tournament. We are currently in the process of buying Twitch from some amazons in order to have a bigger platform to broadcast poor quality streams.

  5. Am
    Am says:

    Ashame Tourettes boys girlfriend wasn’t there, who seems to be the only person who can calm him down, because he’s actually a good player.

  6. anon
    anon says:

    What a shame that we can’t have a sensible discussion on the matter and resort to child like comments that do not expand on Felix’s points.
    I don’t think pingu jam should be disqualified on the basis of their rostering issues.
    However, pingu jam’s spirit was horrendous over the weekend. Mainly due to one or two players. Interestingly the illegal play was one of the few badly spirited players.
    I would feel embarrassed to have them players represent us at Euros. However, for the whole team to be punished seems a little over zealous.

  7. Harry Mason
    Harry Mason says:

    Can we please consider a couple of things here:

    1. Don’t take what team it was, their kit, their quality, or their spirit into account. Making rules based on how we feel towards one team is rarely the best way to make policy and precedent.

    2. I think the player registered for Pingu right after regionals, and had registered for them before Vision got the spot. This is not to say that he should have derostered after vision did qualify, just to show the intention. I don’t think it was unreasonable to think that Vision wouldn’t qualify, but at the same time it’s obvious now that he still shouldn’t have played. It’s also the case that, by refusing, he might have held an entire team hostage who wanted to go to nationals.

    These aren’t to condone or condemn what had happened (as a side note, I think it would have been fine if he’d informed and discussed it beforehand, but some disciplinary action – whether individual or team – is needed on some level, particularly if it is evident they were aware of the violation). It’s just nice to keep the discussion at a certain level of civility and information

    • Luke Hill
      Luke Hill says:

      I think this is a good point and want to expand on this.

      I aint got a clue what happened, but it seems that a player has possibly prepared, either by obtaining hotels or training or time / money / resources spent – planned to play with One team.

      Did he play for Vision at Nationals (I assume not). I personally don’t see any issue with this, because his team didn’t qualify through the proper measures – they got their by fluke; albeit one that perhaps could have been foresaw…

      To be honest, this is exactly why all rulesets regardless of sport allow for ‘interpretation’. Here the logical decision is to say that he didn’t know Vision were going to play, prepared to play for Pingu Jam, and therefore should be fine.

      However I do believe a decision whether he can play at Euros is valid…?? Food for thought?

    • Ashley
      Ashley says:


      You can’t say that playing at Nationals is fine but playing at Euros should be considered. If you say they are eligible for Nationals then they are eligible for euros.

    • Nelia
      Nelia says:

      Oh boy, you enjoy that burning it at both ends while it lasts. If I tried that now, it would just about kill me. There was a time thg&2hu#8o30;. . I can’t wait to hear about the new blender once you’ve used it a bit. I’ve had that very model on my wish list for awhile, but something else always seems to be a higher priority.

  8. Matthew Carson
    Matthew Carson says:

    If Vision only qualified by default then if the player had already dedicated to Pingu Jam (before Sheffield dropped out) I don’t see the problem.

    Matters of personal spirit of the game, team quality and (least of all) kit quality are not relevant. Comments on the quality of the division as a whole are completely unnecessary and massively insulting to everyone who played.

    Also, I don’t think anyone can take the high ground on spirit and refer to someone as ‘Tourette’s boy’.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      Matthew – you may not see a problem, but the UKU’s application of the rule last year means that the player was not eligible even though his open team got a late spot. In each case the player had rostered with the mixed team after regionals only for his open team to subsequently “qualify” by default. Until the UKU took that approach last year, I may have agreed with you. But the rules have to be applied consistently. There cannot be different approaches just because one team checked before the tournament and one team did not.

    • epicalex
      epicalex says:

      Matters of personal spirit of the game are very relevant. The UKU has made it clear that consistent bad sprit won’t be tolerated, and have processes in place to deal with teams that score under 9 at 3 events within a year. I believe Pingu Jam scored just under 10 at Nationals, but having played against them several times this year, it’s clear that they have a lot to learn as a team when it comes to the role spirit plays in our game. Should the team be allowed to attend Euros if the rostering issue is resolved, I feel strongly that the UKU should hold discussions with Pingu Jam on how they handle themselves in games.

      I of course would prefer for someone to make a proper argument about it, instead of a sarcastic comment, but I disagree that comments on the quality of the division are out of place here, and to suggest that they insult everyone who played is a little naive. We have a Tour system that acts as an objective measure of a team’s quality in comparison to their opponents. The two finalists at Nationals came 13th and 23rd at Tour overall this year. It’s hard to make an argument that these teams represent the best of the UK Mixed scene.

      Had Mixed Nationals had the same attendees as at Tour, it’s far less likely that Pingu Jam would have qualified, and the matter of disqualifying them would have been less contentious.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      After also playing against Pingu Jam this season I think it’s completely unfair to even suggest that the team as a whole need to look at their attitude towards spirit. Many of the players, including all of the girls and lots of the boys, have never caused any problems, sometimes even apologising for poor behaviour of others. Don’t generalise what is a specific problem to one for a whole team.

    • epicalex
      epicalex says:

      Scores given are based on a team’s spirit.
      Individuals make up a team.
      Scores given are based on the spirit of the individuals that make up a team.

      Team’s have a responsibility to address bad spirit, apologising isn’t enough.

      And saying ‘never’ is also a generalisation. #feedthetrolls

  9. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    As long as the Vision/ Pingu player was rostered properly for Nationals, I don’t think any action should be taken. I think it’s important to give players a choice between the divisions they are eligible for – especially when any decision they make can be technically ‘overruled’ by their team. For example, if Sheffield Steal had decided to play at Nationals, they may have prevented some of their players entering their preferred division.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      The whole point of the rostering rules is that players don’t have that choice. It is a deliberate policy. You are suggesting a complete change of the rules, which is an interesting topic for discussion, but does not impact how the current rules should be enforced in relation to last weekend’s tournament.

    • epicalex
      epicalex says:

      Those players shouldn’t have put themselves in that position in the first place. It’s very clear in the rostering rules that you need to make a decision at the start of the EUCS which team you play for. Only by that team not progressing to the next stage are you free to re-roster with another team.

      Fire 2 were in the same situation. A lot of players wanted to play Mixed at Nationals with Herd, and so they didn’t play with Fire 2 at Regionals to avoid breaking rostering rules.

    • Rachel
      Rachel says:

      I think that this ability to ‘re-roster’ is where the problem lies.
      Either we have to allow players a choice before each event or we have to enforce the decision a player makes at the start of the EUCS.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      Well because we’ve previously made the rule that we have to enforce the decision a player makes at the start of the EUCS, we have to enforce the decision a player makes at the start of the EUCS.

      It’s pretty simple

  10. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    An university team was disqualified and quite vocally criticised by the UKU a few years ago for unintentionally fielding an inelligible player… If as an organisation they wish to gain any kind of legitimacy or respect then i dont see how Pingu Jam can have anything less than the same penalty

    • Will
      Will says:

      They fielded a player that wasn’t even at the university, nor an alumni of the university. Not the same situation at all.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      Will, at the time the player was a student at a university without a team & the official rostering ruling at that point was that they could therefore play with the university team they were “most associated with” as long as no players at that uni were dropped because of it.. The rules were then changed between regionals and nationals to students at universities without teams being allowed to play for “the closest geographical team”, rather than that they had most association with, which is where the problem then arose…

      However my point was more that without consistency it is hard to take a ruling body seriously

  11. Luke T
    Luke T says:

    UK Ultimate has a policy on this and I’m sure will follow it or explain their reasoning for granting an exception in due course. Relevant sections, with my interpretation, taken from the UKU Competitions Rules 2014


    2.3.3 Any player that competes for a team at UKU-Regionals (EUCQ) is deemed to be on that team’s roster. Players that do not compete at UKU-Regionals are considered to be “unrostered” and are free to join any team prior to UKU-Nationals.

    – Said player was rostered for and played with Vision @ Regionals, so currently not free to join Pingu Jam. If a team advances to UKU Nationals, then all their rostered players are locked into that roster and
    may not play for another team at UKU Nationals IN ANY DIVISION.

    – Vision did not qualify, but did advance to UKU Nationals … you could argue the semantics … but the fact remains that Vision advanced to Nationals, utilising the skills of said player. So currently not free to join Pingu Jam.

    2.3.4 A team that does not advance to UKU Nationals – either by failure to qualify or by declining their spot – loses its roster. Players from such a team may be added to rosters of other teams in any division (subject, for the open division, to the limits in the EUCS Rules).

    – Vision did not qualify, but did advance to UKU Nationals … ou could argue the semantics … but the fact remains that Vision advanced to Nationals, utilising the skills of said player. So currently not free to join Pingu Jam.

    [ Teams at UKU Regionals who do not intend to advance (even if they attain a qualifying position) must inform the DoC as early as possible, in order that the schedule can be adjusted to ensure fair qualification for other teams.

    – as an aside were Steal Mixed ever planning on attending Nationals in the Open division? If not, it seems as though they could have averted this situation by informing the DoC who could have amended the Regionals schedule / informed Vision straight away that they had qualified. If yes then perhaps there needs to be a clearer cut off point … or is this just the registration deadline for Nationals?]


    To me it’s clear that said player from Pingu Jam should not have been playing for them and should instead have been playing for Vision. Even so there is scope for confusion in the current reading of the rules and the order / situation that said player found themselves in. However, they should have sought clarity on the issue before the tournament. This is made clear throughout the competition rules and highlighted in the Penalties section quoted below.


    These rules are not exclusive, and it is expected that players, teams and clubs will approach these rules with
    the same spirit that is expected in all aspects of Ultimate. However where it is felt that teams or players have
    deliberately infringed the rules then penalties may be incurred. Please ensure that players, teams and clubs
    are fully aware of the rules, as ignorance is not an adequate defence. If in doubt please consult the DoC
    [ukudoc(at)ukultimate(dot)com] prior to making a decision.

    – The key points to take from the above is that said player knew he had played for Vision at Regionals and knew that they had advanced to Nationals and therefore knew that he should be playing with them. He did not (to our knowledge) contact UK Ultimate prior to the competition to explain his situation, ask for clarity or even an exemption. This to me indicates that said player (even if no one else was aware) deliberately infringed the rules. And even if not since its very difficult to know one way or the other then ignorance is not a defence …

    8.1.1 All penalties are applied at the discretion of the DoC, UKUCC and UKU.

    8.1.2 Where specific penalties are identified in the rules then these will be applied.

    8.1.3 Where specific penalties are not identified then the DoC, UKUCC, and UKU can set these. The sanction will be determined using the following guide lines: The nature of the infringement; The number of players involved; Repeated infringement of the rules; Any previous relevant warnings or sanctions.

    8.1.4 The penalties available to the DoC, UKUCC and UKU are: No action. Public Warning. Deduction of points at end of Tour. Deduction of points after an event. Alteration of seeding for subsequent events. Disqualification. Disqualification from future Tour events and other UKU events. Disqualification from representing the UK at international events. Any legal recourse will be conducted via the English legal system.

    8.1.5 Penalties and sanctions may be applied retrospectively.

    – There are no penalties indicated for a breach of the rostering rules, so it is up to UK Ultimate to determine what is appropriate. What they decide is determined by all the facts (which are unknown to us) but hopefully available to UK Ultimate. It is also worth bearing in mind that whatever decision they reach may set a precedent for what to expect in the future for roster violations …


    The EUCS also has eligibility & rostering rules of which 2 may apply:

    3.2 No player may be rostered for two Teams simultaneously, independently from the division.

    – Said player was technically rostered for both teams at Nationals (EUCR)

    4.1 National rostering systems and eligibility rules are used for EUCQ.

    – Handing off responsibility for dealing with the issue to the UKU

    The EUCS also doesn’t define any penalties for what happens if you don’t adhere to the rules … so it’s all on UK Ultimate anyway. Also from what I can tell the EUCS is not a WFDF sanctioned event so their rules do not apply.


    Finally, for comparison I did a little research on how USA Ultimate & WFDF treat roster violations:

    – USA Ultimate treat roster violations very seriously and discount any results from a team that field an ineligible player. They also reserve the right to suspend or disqualify the team from competing at sanctioned events in order to discourage others from roster violations regardless of whether it was intentional or not. Ergo Pingu Jam would be stripped of their silver medal and all results from Nationals recorded as 0-15 losses possibly also suspended / disqualified from future competitions.
    – I couldn’t find the official WFDF roster / eligibility / sanctions document but I recall an incident @ the WCBU in 2011 where a Russian player from the Mixed division was found to have been playing for the Ukrainian open team … the Ukrainian team was disqualified from the competition as they knowingly played him, the Russian player was disqualified from the competition and couldn’t play for either team, the Russian Mixed team were allowed to continue as they were not aware of what their player was doing. At least to the best of my recollection. So to draw similar parallels to Pingu Jam … they and the said player would be disqualified from the competition, Vision would be allowed to continue.


    Well that was a fun bit of digging … but this comment is way to long and I should definitely do some more work today!

    • Simon Barlow
      Simon Barlow says:

      Have to agree with Liam’s interpretations of the rules, it’s clear and simple the player violated the rules, Pingu should be disqualified as should all players playing for teams at tour events without rostered correctly it’s players and caught.
      The rules are well known and distributed widely. It doesn’t matter that pingu’s other players knew or not, it’s not an excuse, and they have to take it on the chin.
      I for one think they should not be allowed to represent the UKU at Euro’s.

    • Harry Mason
      Harry Mason says:

      As an addition for information, Steal were certainly rostered initially for nationals. I don’t know how quickly they declined, but at least initially, it appears they expected to take it.

  12. Dave R
    Dave R says:

    I think there are 2 issues here: If a player’s team doesn’t qualify for nationals, and they roster for a mixed team, If their team is then pushed up into a qualifying spot by someone else dropping out, I don’t see how that’s under the control of that player. If we’re going to be governed by Spirit of the Game, then as Harry pointed out, it doesn’t appear that the intention was to act wrongly, and if the rules hadn’t been applied as they have been previously, I would have been in favour of allowing him to play.

    On the other hand I agree with Epicalex above. The UKU should have been made aware of the potential issue ahead of the tournament (and that should be the responsibility of the player concerned.) That they haven’t done so has put the UKU in a difficult position, and by doing so, potentially put the rest of their team’s place at Euros at risk. As our sport continues to grow, and s part of that require to be seen as “legitimate” by sporting governing bodies, players need to behave in a more “professional” manner.

    As a sidenote, I’ve not played against Pingu Jam this season, so can’t comment on their spirit; but I played against Vision at the weekend and have nothing negative I can say about their conduct on or off the pitch.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      Dave R said: “If a player’s team doesn’t qualify for nationals, and they roster for a mixed team, If their team is then pushed up into a qualifying spot by someone else dropping out, I don’t see how that’s under the control of that player”

      The UKU have previously interpreted their rules in (what looks like) the same situation as meaning that the player cannot play with the mixed team. Whether its under the control of the player is irrelevant and whether the player wants to play with the mixed team is, apparently, irrelevant.

    • Lizabeth
      Lizabeth says:

      Já se také plánuju dál vyvjtÃe­. Chci začít dÄ›lat obsahové weby a tam prodávat reklamu přímo nebo udÄ›lat nÄ›jaký startup jak je dneska moderní . Ty pasivní peníze mi dávají svobodu v tom že můžu dÄ›lat to co mÄ› baví.

  13. George H
    George H says:

    I think the second there is another team that could have benefited from an ineligible player but did not because they strictly followed the rules: you need to say that Pingu Jam had an unfair advantage. I bet Brighton would have loved one more player given the injuries they suffered all weekend. Probably would have settled for PJ having one less.

    On a different note, the UK ultimate community is going to need a lot of warning if we are going to DQ based on team name. Birmingham might be the only team safe that entered mixed last weekend.

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    If the player’s intention was to play in the mixed division, then they automatically jeopardise their spot by entering regionals. If you look at the stats (or saw any of their games) the ineligible player played a big role in the Pingu Jam team. I find it hard to believe that said player wouldn’t have had a similar role in the Vision team that essentially put it in the position of first reserve for nationals. Its possible that another open team would have had the chance to go to nationals had he not rostered inconsistently.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      It was a surprise that Vision didn’t qualify for Nationals on the day. However, with the only teams finishing below them being two equal-ability mixed Black Sheep teams and a second Sheffield Steal team, Vision could probably have sent a squad of 10 and achieved the same result they did that weekend.

      That to me says two things:
      1) Vision didn’t need Paddy to get to where they did at Regionals.
      2) Paddy was planning on playing Nationals with Vision.

  15. Luke Hill
    Luke Hill says:

    Whilst this potentially is completely irrelevant (And I will surmise this as quick as possible).

    ICC (Cricket) Governance relaying to the Champions League (A Mixed event with teams from various countries).

    Problem: Freelance players play in more than one country, such as Chris Gayle – a hugely marketable star.
    He has one DEFINED home team (The team in the West Indies / his home country).

    Solution in Cricket: He must choose whether (Through talking with his HOME team), who to play for, before the tournament starts (Small window of 2-3 weeks), he then sticks with them.

    Parallel to Ultimate: Players have many teams, in Open / Mixed / Women (possibly for some females).
    They have one HOME team (They can either self – define or it can be a law defining it as the nearest training point to their house).

    Solution in Ultimate: Players must within 2-3 weeks of tournament start, classify their HOME team and stick with it.

    I appreciate none of this is actually ruling, but I thought other professional sporting institutions and how they deal with it might provide some intellectual debate? #thoughts?

  16. Ashley
    Ashley says:

    I think we need to leave the discussion about spirit and the quality of the division for another time. The fact is that the higher ranked teams in the country decided not to come to Nationals so the ones that are there should not be scrutinised for the quality of the division. They did their job and could only beat the teams there. Spirit is an issue that should be sorted between UKU and individual teams. It should solely be the UKU discussing spirit with a team and not us here.

    My view is that if a precedent has already been set (as some have commented teams have been disqualified in the past for this sort of situation) then the punishment needs to be consistent otherwise the UKU is going to end up with a lot more work for itself in dealing with disgruntled teams who believe they have been punished more harshly than others.

    Can someone tell me at what point Vision found out they had a spot for nationals as if it was a week before then I could see a little more of an argument for Pingu Jam.

    My other point is, surely Vision went to Regionals with the intention of qualifying for Nationals so the player in question really shouldn’t have played if he knew that was a possibility. Maybe if he doesn’t play for Vision at Regionals then they might not have even been in the game to go thus knocking another team out of contention for nationals.

    I think the final thing that should be considered is how open about this the player was. I don’t know exactly what happened but if they have just kept quiet about it until they were found out, then to an outsider it could easily look like they’re trying to pull a fast one and hope nobody finds out.

    It’s a tough situation because I don’t want to see teams disqualified but the rules are there to ensure it’s fair for everyone and by taking part in these events we all agree to them.

  17. Patrick Ward
    Patrick Ward says:

    I was on the Bangor Ultimate team that, as previously mentioned, got disqualified for fielding an ineligible player a few years back. While this was due to misinterpretation of the rules at that time the punishment was correct however it was the way that the UKU dealt with it that we felt upset by. The first we heard that there was a problem was when there was a britdisc email sent out saying we had been disqualified, which lead to claims of deliberate cheating and not giving us a chance to explain our situation at the time.

    Whilst the incidences are similar I feel that the UKU need to learn from this in order to deal with it better. Before any punishments are dealt out the UKU must set up an impartial committee to look into the case. This means talking to both the player and teams to find out at what point decisions were made as to which team the player would be rostered to and why.

    In my personal opinion if the player decided to play for Pingu Jam straight after Vision had failed to qualify not knowing that there was a chance of Vision would still make nationals then it is pretty hard to punish either the team or the individual. However if it was a knowing breach of the UKU rostering rules then yes they should be punished but until the uku sorts out a way to deal with issues such as this fairly and comprehensively we should refrain from jumping to conclusions.

    • Issy Burke
      Issy Burke says:

      Lets face it though – ‘said’ player had all the time in the world to make sure he played for the right team, right up until he stepped on that line and chased the first pull for Pingu-Jam – it was at this point he broke the rule. I actually don’t think I have any sympathy, if you ban the team from euros, perhaps his teammates/friends will take club admin more seriously in future (which would help any team they play with in future).

  18. Paddy
    Paddy says:

    So I was not going to post at all on this page. But as it has no affect on the outcome of the decision me and the team are waiting for, I thought I would just settle a couple of things while I had the time.
    I am not going to be posting on here again. So if you have any problems or questions about my post or decisions I have made. You can find me on Facebook and message me directly. ( paddy hart)

    So the first thing I would like to clear up is that at some point before the weekend. Someone on the UKU knew I was rostered and playing for a different team. I know this as I was given a CHOICE earlier in the week to stick with Pingu or change back to Vision.

    So in my eyes I was none the wiser I was breaking any rules or putting my team (pingu) at risk.

    If that phone call would have been different and stated it was not a choice and that I had to play for Vision then I would have done so. But that was not the case.

    Once Vision did not qualify.I rostered and paid my fees to pingu. All by the Sunday/Monday after regionals.

    Now. I am more than happy to take all blame for this situation and accept somewhere it was my fault.

    I can hold my hands up and say I don’t know all the rules in frisbee. I just love the sport and play it to my best ability and give everything I can on pitch every time. No matter what the outcome is I will not change that.

    I did not want any of this to happen and also did not expect any of this to happen. It was a innocent mistake and I think it has been taken out of hand. But that’s to late now and I can’t change that.

    Now for all the people who are hating on Pingu. Get use to seeing us around, get use to playing us and get use to our kit. We are a growing team with a ton of passion and a bigger drive than most to win.
    Yes our spirit can be a bit off but give me a team that has the perfect game every single time. Never going to happen.
    I am making it a personal goal of mine to improve the teams spirit next year and you will all see a different side to pingu.

    Now like I said at the begining I won’t be posting any more comments. And if you feel you have a horrible thing to say or any innocent questions at all. Please message me directly. I am more than happy to discuss this further away from this page.

    Thanks for all your time.

    • Ashley
      Ashley says:

      If it’s the case that the UKU was aware of this and has given you the choice to play for either team then I think this probably brings an end to the discussion.

    • Harry Mason
      Harry Mason says:

      Yup. I maintain – fine if discussed beforehand. It appears it was done so, and thus penalisation (especially if following a UKU type mandate) would be harsh in this case. I’d like to hear a UKU position on this one though. Especially why the decision (from this individual) was made to give him a shot at either.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      I don’t really understand what context this player has been told he has a choice when anyone else who asked the same question was told they were not..?

    • anon
      anon says:

      He doesn’t specifically say who the phone call was from. My guess is the banker from Deal or No Deal. Can someone from Channel 4 confirm if this is the case?

  19. Chris T
    Chris T says:

    I am one of those players who specifically were ‘forced’ into playing for a team at nationals because I played with them at regionals. Given a free choice to do otherwise (which this pingu player essentially had) I would have played with a different team at nationals, in a different division.

    Pingu should be penalised heavily, otherwise it’s a huge bitch slap to the many players and teams out there who actually followed the rules, even if they would have liked to have done otherwise.

    As an aside, whilst playing a well known Brighton based ‘fun’ tournament a few weekends ago I played against pingu jam in the worst spirited game of my life. In my 8 years of ultimate I had never before been told to “f@ck off” to my face when discussing a call. 3-4 other members of the team were also appallingly spirited. It would be a travesty to allow such a badly spirited team to represent the UK at euros.

    This nationals situation and an overwhelming consensus of appalling spirit brings the phrase “…gift horse…” To mind…

    • anon
      anon says:

      Fair enough – that one *was* quite difficult. Try this one: “Man who walk through sliding door sideways most likely going to Bang _ _ _”

  20. anon
    anon says:

    I know the conversation is supposed to be about the un/rostered player, but the reaction from the community is certainly demonstrative of a more significant problem. After watching PJ’s pre-game talk last weekend I was struck by how certain players talk about competition. I have not experienced the swearing and aggression, and focus on individuals not letting the team down. It was very negative.

    In thegame there were definitely avoidable fouls and body contact, and very questionable late challenges which could have resulted in serious injury. After perfectly reasonable requests to moderate his language after screaming c***, a player allegedly (from several witnesses) turned and muttered ‘fuck off’.

    In the past when playing them I have witnessed all manner of poor behaviour and apparent disregard for spirit. It’s a shame because there are some gifted players amongst them, and they really are bringing the sport into disrepute.

  21. Rob
    Rob says:

    Given the lack of resources at the UKU (and having only read the text Felix put, not the comments) my assumption would be that the best thing to do is to stick to the letter of the law – creating any kind of grey area will only create more work for an under resourced national body.

  22. Charlie
    Charlie says:

    Having played in the division this weekend and finished 3rd (so potentially moving up to a medal position if they are disqualified even though it made no difference to us at the tournament as we were beaten by Birmingham in the semis) I have to say that a decision at this stage to retrospectively change results or bar from Euros would not be fair. Would the whole squad have to send back their medals? I don’t think they would mean much to our players at this stage having finished where we did at the weekend. Are both Pingu and Brighton expected to wait around for a decision as flights to Frankfurt climb in price, jeopardising the chances of either squad being able to field a full team? We all pay subs to the UKU and Nationals was whoppingly expensive this year. If we’re all expected to take rostering seriously then checks should be done on all the teams BEFORE the tournament starts and we end up in this position. Even if I have little sympathy with the team having followed rostering rules very stringently myself both at Uni and to play mixed in the past, I would have to feel for a team told after a gruelling tournament that everything they have achieved means nothing, especially for those unaware or powerless to change the situation. I’m sure everyone at the UKU works very hard and does their best but this situation needs to be avoided in future, especially as all the information was there. Surely a cross check of players across the tournament wouldn’t be too hard for a database to deal with. If someone was aware and the situation was not made clear to the player and both teams then someone really dropped the ball as the rules are clear and have been for at least 2 years. I think Pingu should have a sanction as this needs to be stamped out and the players that have sacrificed in order to follow the rules need to feel that they were justified, but I think it’s too late now that the tournament is over to disqualify and rejig the results. Nationals ban next year? Difficult to enforce (who cares what a team is called if it is largely the same group of mates) but might be effective.

    I agree that discussion of Spirit/Name (especially coming from another animal kit based team) is irrelevant in this instance.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      Great point about UKU having all the information well in advance to eliminate these problems before a tournament rather than after, Charlie.

      P.s let me know if you need some pointers on where to use paragraphs in future.

    • Ashley
      Ashley says:

      It may not make much difference to you but that’s probably because you qualified for euros. I think if you ask someone from Brighton, it probably makes a bit more of a difference to them.

      In most sports throughout the world decisions are made retrospectively. It’s far more important for the correct decision to be made than the easier one. Teams and players retrospectively banned or disqualified always have to give medals back it’s just something that happens in sport. It’s not about logistics it’s about the rules. I can understand that you would not be fussed about getting silver medals now after this but again it happens in all sports and is just a fact of what happens after disqualifications.

      £20 tournament fee and £27.50 annual membership is not expensive at all!!! In fact that represents really good value for money. That covers the your liability and ensures there is help for you in case of an accident caused by you or caused to you. It also goes into paying for lots of organisational things behind the scenes which are essential for Ultimate in this country to work. You cannot blame the UKU for this situation (unless they expressly granted Paddy a choice about what team he could play for). They do work very hard with a tiny budget when you compare it to other governing bodies. Ideally checks would be done during the event but the UKU do not have an army of staff and many are volunteers.

      The simple fact is that if you do not take the responsibility yourself to ensure that you have followed all the rules then you only have your self to blame if any punishment is handed down. Yes it is very unfortunate for other members of the team but as a team there is a responsibility to all know the rules or have someone circulate them around the team.

  23. Anon
    Anon says:

    Seems like Paddy did all he could to make sure he was ok to play – you can’t do much more than have a conversation with a UKU official and be told you have a ‘choice’. It also seems clear that PJ weren’t trying to get round the rules.
    Surely the far bigger problem/issue for UKU is having a rule which allows a team to enter Regionals with no intention of going to Nationals, ‘disband’ the team after ‘advancing’, then all turn up at Nationals with different teams.
    I’m not a lawyer, but it seems like it would be difficult to say whether a player was eligible or ineligible within the current rules without a proper definition of the word ‘advanced’.

  24. Sam Hird
    Sam Hird says:

    After playing against pingu jam and witnessing their appalling spirit first hand and seeing they have had the lowest spirit scores at nationals I would rather they didn’t represent GB at Euros.

    Fine, the top 3 teams should go and spirit shouldn’t be taken into account. But I wouldn’t encourage anyone to bend the rules in the slightest on their behalf. I would rather they be made an example of.

    As has been mentioned in countless posts the aggressive bad language is only going to continue and its embarrassing to have the worst of UK ultimate spirit on display at Euros.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      A lot of the players in question are national team players (I think, correct me if I’m wrong). Under this argument do you suggest banning them from playing for GB as well? Seems ridiculous to suggest “bending the rules” just because you don’t like the team.

    • Sam Hird
      Sam Hird says:

      No. Completely the opposite. Im suggesting the rules are not bent to allow them to play. If the rules say they should not me eligible to play due to rostering I don’t think a blind eye should be turned. Im not suggesting anyone should be banned from anything. My ‘argument’ has nothing to do with the GB squad.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      To be quite honest, I find it possibly more disturbing that some of the players have been allowed to play for GB. Or that the GB set-up hasn’t seemingly led to an improvement in their spirit.

  25. Shimmy John
    Shimmy John says:

    For me it’s simple:
    There are some rules. The rules are widely understood and interpretted to mean that if you play regionals and that team is at nationals then you gotta play with them. This rule was broken. I don’t think that individual player intention is even relevant here. As others have said, other players followed the rules and did not jump divisions between regionals and nationals. If nothing is done (i.e. there is no sanction – and I don’t count “public warning” as a sanction) then there is no point in having the rules. Everyone else was able to follow them, so to let this go unpunished would make a nonsense of the rostering rules.

    Kit may be relevant only in the sense that UKU rules state that a team should have matching shirts in a light and a dark strip. Pingu Jam have both light and dark on their shirts making it awkward for teams who have either black or white to choose from. Other teams with “cool” sublimated gradients have the same issue, but PJs is particularly bad, I think. This is a slightly fussy point to make, but Nationals is the pinnacle of our sport in the UK and should be treated with some “professionalism”, and that includes respecting your opponents by following the rules in all respects.

    If Pingu Jam are badly spirited in games (as well as breaking the rostering rules) then it should reflect in their spirit scores and they will be subject to due process for that. If it isn’t reflected in the spirit scores then something is wrong, either with the sample of people on here, or with the spirit scoring system.

    Everyone saying the level wasn’t high in the mixed division because “the best teams didn’t choose to play”, it’s actually that some (maybe most of the) top players chose to play with their respective open and women’s teams. So yes, there is theoretically a stronger mixed team which could be formed from the UK ultimate community than Birmingham. But that’s a trivial point, which is also true of the other divisions. Getting the best players together on one team is what national teams are for. Nationals is about the teams that turn up – the other, ‘better’, mixed teams who didn’t play clearly didn’t motivate their superstars to play in the division. Birmingham (and the other 8 mixed teams) should be praised for motivating their players to make the choice to play mixed, not denigrated as the best of a bad bunch. Finally also consider that some of those who played mixed this year may be players who might not otherwise get a chance to experience a big, top-quality Nationals tournament.

  26. David S.
    David S. says:

    Interesting fact: Pingu Jam had an average spirit score of 9.8 at Nationals only because Brighton gave them a very low score (4, in the semi final which Brighton lost). The other four teams that played against Pingu Jam were very content with their spirit, scoring them an average of 11.25, in my view a decent score.

    Seems to me that Paddy did everything according to the book when he contacted UKU, and a disqualification would be unfair. I’m curious to what UKU have to say.

    • Spoon
      Spoon says:

      Thanks for implying that we gave a low spirit score due to sour grapes, not due to the nature of the game. Which was, for the record, very objectively worth a four.

    • Carl
      Carl says:

      There are many different arguments that could be made about pingu’s spirit. Where you argue their score was brought down by the score given in their semi final, I could also argue that if was brought up(above the UKU threshold for spirit needing to be addressed) by the scores given by the two teams that beat them.

      This could imply several things, for example:
      -pingu behave badly when they are winning
      -pingu win by playing with poor spirit(with fouls and body contact and a negative attitude to their opponents a particular issue)

      While I am not saying either of these things are necessarily true, a small data set can be interpreted many ways.

      Looking at the opinions expressed by people on this site, and acknowledging the past scores given to the team, I think it is widely accepted that pingu do have problems with spirit. Indeed, prior to this weekend, and the rostering issue, I had a conversation with someone who was speculating whether pingu should be allowed to represent UK ultimate in international competition should they qualify.

      That, however, is clearly a separate issue to the rostering and should not in my opinion influence the outcome. If pingu’s spirit is deemed too poor to compete internationally then the UKU must address this openly rather than via a back door.

      Paddy’s comments in his defense are both eloquent and intriguing and really make this far from the simple matter it previously appeared and I think his statement is to be applauded for its bravery, honesty and intention.

      I’m sure many of us will be interested to see the ultimate outcome

  27. Dominic Francis
    Dominic Francis says:

    I would like to see the UKU set the example and create a benchmark. The reason being I hope we do not have to have this debate in 2015, 2016, 2017 and so on. I play for Thundering Herd and we were all really clear as a club what the rostering rules were. At Regionals a lot of the Herd played for a team named “Closed,” where we agreed to enter an open rules competition and play mixed lines (with the occasional 5 – 2 split). We all knew from the outset what the implications would be if Closed qualified for Open Nationals. For me this is the important factor. The Pingu player knew what would be involved if Vision qualified, and if he didn’t then I’m afraid ignorance should not be an excuse. Yes this may be harsh on the player as I do not think for a moment he has actually intended to cause any harm (he just wants to play frisbee), but I feel the UKU need to act. I think the best resolution for the sport and for the rules to be upheld in the future would be to have Pingu Jam disqualified. If Pingu Jam are not disqualified then a precedent cold be set, and we will have the same debate again in 2015.

    • Dominic Francis
      Dominic Francis says:

      Sorry for jumping the gun then, based upon what Paddy said previously. If it sounds like the UKU knew (not stated as clearly in the original article) then Pingu should not be DQ’d. However I would like them to issue some sort of press release. Ideally I’d like to see them be clear and advise that if Vision were playing at nationals then there should be no possibility of players switching divisions.

  28. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    This is a real shame. Putting the personal conduct of players aside, there are some talented athletes on Pingu Jam. I wish Paddy and the rest of his team all the best in improving their conduct to better complement these abilities going forward into their next season.

    What does surprise me is that one of the teams involved had a UKU staff member on the roster. Whilst I respect that this individual is part of an immensely hard working and largely under appreciated group of people who there wouldn’t even BE a national championship without, that person definitely dropped the ball on this one. It also sounds like Paddy may have been misinformed by as to his eligibility and we need to ensure this does not happen in the future (protip: ask the DoC).

    Nationals is the UKU’s flagship event. It has rostering rules that many teams have had to suck it up and deal with both last year and this season. It is right that the tournament and the rules governing it are taken seriously. Perhaps these rules need to be further tightened to force players to commit to the one division and one division only per season. Perhaps someone should step forward to be the once-a-year roster checking monkey for an already busy team of largely volunteers. Clearly the system is not yet foolproof.

    I wish those in charge of making the overall call on this the best of luck. I have no doubt that all the UK teams heading to Euros will do so in a manner befitting that privilege. Going forward, we should take this as a reminder that we ALL need to take responsibility as players for knowing ALL the relevant rules, including rostering. Be a team player, our community will run most smoothly when we all take that kind of ownership.

    • Shimmy John
      Shimmy John says:

      I feel UKU have taken the easy way out. They say that DQ and other sanctions were “inappropriate” but don’t explain why.

    • Rich Hims
      Rich Hims says:

      Surely the easy way out would have been to ‘decide’ that the circumstances were sufficient to impose no sanctions. I’d say the explanation of ‘appropriate’ is in the penultimate bullet point: “Attention was paid to the exact specifics of the rules, which put the onus on the player to ensure they are eligible to roster with a team.”

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