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How to organise events in Cambridge

A document showing pitch markings for Ultimate by Rob H.

Places we have used for pickup games and informal practices

  1. Jesus Green (different parts)
  2. Parker's Piece
  3. Cambridge Tennis and Hockey Club, Wilberforce Road. We got permission to use the hockey field weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Mark Brookes (hockey veterans captain). We paid a membership fee for this privilege. Mark Brooks (363 172) has a house overlooking the field (7 The Lawns, Cambridge). Natalie and David ran a couple of Summer Ultimate Schools for kids here in Summer 1997.
  4. Churchill College (as guests of Churchill members)
  5. Trinity College on the Backs (as guests of Trinity members)
  6. St John's College on the Backs (as guests of St Johns members)
  7. Girton Village recreation ground
  8. Lammas Land
  9. Queens Green (good for small pickup games)
  10. Recreation ground near Rustat Road (enter from Davy Road)
  11. Wychfield (Trinity Hall) - between Huntingdon Road and Storey's Way

Places we have hired for major tournaments, college cuppers events, Varsity matches

  1. Netherhall School
  2. Cambridge Rugby Club, Grantchester Road (space for 6+ ultimate fields
  3. Trinity College New Fields, Grantchester Road (space for 4 ultimate fields). John Carter, groundsman, 467790. (Not usually available weekends)
  4. St Catharine's College rugby ground (adjacent to Trinity New Field)
  5. Coldhams Common. Anthony French, from the council, 456545. 35 pounds per pitch, Abbey pool for showers.
  6. Caius College fields, Barton Road (we held a top European tournament there)
  7. Queens, Robinson, Selwyn, Kings (way out on Barton Road)
  8. Fitzwilliam College and New Hall fields, Oxford Road
  9. Homerton College field, Hills Road

Places we have hired for practices

  1. Long Road 6th form college sports hall
  2. Hills Road 6th form college sports hall
  3. The Leys sports hall, and astroturf
  4. Kelsey Kerridge sports hall
  5. Cambridge Regional College sports hall, Kings Hedges Road

Places where we have been invited to hold Ultimate events for the community

  1. The Perse school new astroturf facility (2006)
  2. Girton Village recreation ground
  3. Netherhall School (2006)
  4. Parker's Piece (2006)
  5. Cottenham school (2006)
  6. Chesterton Community College (2006)

Venues that College members should be able to reserve for inter-college games

  1. Christs and Sidney Sussex (Huntingdon Road)
  2. Girton College fields
  3. St John's College fields. 357362
  4. Clare and Peterhouse (off Bentley Road, off Trumpington Road)
  5. Trinity Old Field, Grange Road. Trinity New Fields, Grantchester Road.
  6. Emmanuel College sports ground, Wilberforce Road
  7. Corpus Christi sports ground, between Gough Way and Leckhampton, Grange Road.
  8. Queens, Robinson, Selwyn, Kings (all way out on Barton Road) [Kings - Ron Pearce, groundsman, 741201 or home 741198.]
  9. Wychfield (Trinity Hall) - between Huntingdon Road and Storey's Way

Places we have asked to use and not succeeded

  1. University Rugby ground, Grange Road

From: Graham C Fletcher: Hosting a tournament in Cambridge

I thought I'd try to put a few things down on email to make it easier for
the next tournament organiser who wants to host a tournament in Cambridge.
Ill start with the most important points and probably keep going till
things get fairly trivial. Thanks very much for helping! It is a fair
amount of work but it is rewarding, it does generate cash (Dora and I are
halving around 700 pounds profit with the club) and it does provide a very
cheap home tournament for the team. I think its worth doing and I think
the advice below should make it easier. I think Cambridge should host at
least one tournament per year and we have venues well capable of hosting
16 team tournaments (i.e. the coed tour/Nationals/ a non-BUF tournament).
It might be possible to find a venue with more pitches, it should be easy
to find another venue that can provide 4 or so pitches which would mean we
could hold a split-site Open Tour event.
We need to host some profit-generating events since were losing our annual
135 pound grant from the university.

Coldhams Common is not in use over the summer but from the beginning of
September, football starts. Coldhams Common has no pavilion on site so its
worth arranging shelter especially if youre hosting late summer/early
autumn. John Schoch booked and brought the army tents, which are about 50
pounds each. Alexa borrowed one good-sized tent and the club bought the
open sided tent that was covering the BBQ for the coed. Red and DSM can
also bring tents for their own shelter.
Abbey pool provided changing rooms, showers, parking, water, overnight
storage and a plug socket. They were open till 7.30pm both days and needed
the changing rooms empty by then at the latest. They can unlock the gate
to allow car access to the field (I wish we'd known that earlier!). They
charged 210 pounds for the co-ed and 240 pounds for the Nationals (more
teams and they probably knew they could get away with the increase).
Coldhams Common can hold 6 pitches, if you encroach on one football pitch
and probably 8 if you encroach on 2-3 football pitches. Unfortunately no
camping is available.

Colleges weren't that useful at short notice: 
St John's. 357362. Most of the ground was being used by the school, which
have just gone back. Might be a good venue when the school is on holiday. 
King's. Ron Pearce, groundsman, 741201 or home 741198. Couldn't use that
weekend as groundsmen not available over the weekend. 
Trinity New Fields, John Carter, groundsman, 467790. Archery hire both
days every weekend. Have provided 4 lovely pitches very cheaply in the

Web site:
Having a website, which was provided by David, was invaluable. We had
directions, the seedings and schedule, accommodation information and party
information on the site.

First Aid:
I tried St Johns ambulance a week and a half before the event but they
were busy. I understand they ask for a donation of 100-200 pounds. In
fact, they are not supposed to be very good for sporting injuries, better
for cleaning and bandaging wounds and presumably helpful for scenarios
like broken bones and loss of consciousness etc. However, for the serious
injuries you can phone an ambulance, so I dont think St Johns are
necessary. At the weekend Guy Bowles broke his wrist, Dora phoned the
ambulance which arrived in 10 minutes and we were given advice over the
You should have a qualified first aider to run to, to help with some
medical scenarios (i.e. CPR). We were going to use Olivier.
You must have ice and a stocked first aid kit (Dora has a first aid kit) -
painkillers, plasters, bandages, disinfectant
If you can find a physiotherapist/masseur willing to spend the weekend at
a tournament thats worthwhile.

I tried, in about this order, Queens, Johns, Christs, Jesus, Emmanuel,
Sidney Sussex, Anglia, Wolfson, New Hall, Homerton, Churchill and
Robinson. All were full, possibly because of an alumni weekend. Forward
planning presumably would help but I think to guarantee college
accommodation forward planning by about 9 months might be in order to book
before the conferences. (When I phoned one college to ask about
accommodation on Sept 23rd I was asked "which year?") . 
There is a Conference Cambridge line that knows which Colleges have free
accommodation 740 578. I dont know the price range of college
accommodation or if members can get a discount for block bookings.
It appears most people found B and Bs/guesthouses fairly easily from the
websites we gave them.
I stressed we had limited accommodation and in the end only around 20
people wanted me to organise floorspace (plus Druids with Toby and UTI
with Dora and me). Actually, after a bit of pleading, I had star
volunteers willing to put up a maximum of 71 people (plus space for 5-6
tents in gardens). However, it was clear that some people, understandably,
would rather not put up people if given the choice. Thanks Paul, John and
Clotilde for helping people out.

Most pubs cannot be booked on Saturday night. The Fort St George is an
exception and you can book the back bar (good for about 80 people) for 50
pounds. It has outside seating and I think was a pretty good venue. 

Team information pack:
Rules game length and timeouts
2 copies of the Schedule
Score and spirit sheets
Pitch layout map
Rules about using Abbey Pool
3 Maps of Cambridge for the evening (ask Dora for one with suggested
restaurants on) or 20p for an A3 map from Tourist Information.

Captains meeting: 
We didnt have a meeting on Saturday morning since we had all the
information in the pack and wanted to save time. This was a mistake  we
should have had a captains and players meeting so we could have told
everyone what was going on. I dont know how much of the team information
pack was read or passed on to SB players and players on other teams. I do
know that UTI lost their pack in a record 3 minutes!

This did generate money for the club (170 pounds, thanks to those that
helped) and Im sure was very much appreciated by SB and other teams.
However, it was by far and away the biggest time consumer for Dora, me and
non-SB players, both before and during the tournament. It would have been
easier without having to worry about a visit from Health and Safety who,
in brief, wanted, perhaps not unreasonably:
Hot water available (preferably a supply of running water)
BBQ cordoned off
Food stored below 8 C and served over 63 C
No cross-contamination of cooked and raw meat (separate labelled utensils)
Regular hand washing
A wipeable surface for food preparation.

I'd recommend next time avoiding discussing the BBQ with the council (if
you're using Coldhams Common) but getting the relevant information and
things like aprons, thermometers, ice blocks and ice boxes, wipeable
tablecloth from Dora and I and using their guidelines and common sense. If
you do go through health and safety talk to Mrs Whitelaw 457897 who was a
bit more flexible than Anne Parker.

Other stuff youll probably need:
A car or two (thanks Alexa, Miles, Steve, John and Paddy)
Trophies (ask Dora for advice)
Discs (available at cost from David)
Hooter* (11 pounds from Halfords)
Dustbin bags 
Scoreboards, water canisters and cones (supplied for Nationals by BUF)
Permanent pen for marking discs.

Cleaning products
Cool boxes and block and thermometer*
BBQ (we used Richs and a half-barrel bbq from Miles work.
Possibly a gas ring adapter (borrowed from Tom Corder) and gas from
Cambridge Gas Supplies on Barnwell Rd. This was in a failed attempt to
have hot water at the BBQ, but it was too windy.
Food and drinks - we sold about 180 burgers, 180 cans of drink, 50
bananas, 30 apples, and 80 chocolate bars. 
Charcoal (we used 2 and half large bags.

*borrowable from Dora and I.

Cambridge tournaments have got a good reputation, I think. Its because we
have good pitches, were in a good location, weve been lucky with the
weather, weve provided accommodation to those who need it, weve had some
good parties and some punting, weve generally organised on pitch food or
free tea and coffee and weve done what we can to make it easier for teams
who are attending.  

I look forward to attending the next one. Id like to take this opportunity
to thank the organiser in advance...

David J.C. MacKay, Strange Blue
Site last modified Mon Jul 20 08:46:49 BST 2009