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Self-Refereed Team Sport: USA Ultimate Frisbee Flying Disc Games and Tournaments

eebee's picture

Much like the term "Rollerblading" is not encouraged or accepted among skaters, or Rollerblade itself for that matter, what used to be called Ultimate Frisbee is now simply known as Ultimate. 

My son has found his equivalent to skating, in Ultimate. That is, it's a sport where he can run himself ragged and not notice all the exercise he's getting because he's so into it. He is as hooked on Ultimate as I am on skating.

It looks like a whole lot of fun, and a much safer alternative to cross-training exercise than, say, soccer or rugby. It's a fun spectator sport too, as it's self-refereed, so there isn't much mucking about arguing with the ref. There are disputes, but I'd say all that running around floods the players' brains with the endorphins of peace, love and understanding, and coupled with the persistent desire to win, most disputes are settled within seconds. Before the tournament, I asked my son how long a game was, and he said "I dunno". This elicited some puffing and other skeptical noises from me, but in fact, at his team's level they played somewhere between 40 and 75 mins, depending on how close the game was. In this particular tournament, they played up to 11 points. I often heard the boys on the sidelines asking "Are we going to eleven?".

Since the Frisbee Flying Disc comes in for a landing helicopter-fashion, there's less chance of a high-speed concussion than when playing soccer, for example, and injuries are more reminiscent of landing on someone else's foot in basketball, rather than colliding mid-sprint. There is plenty of sprinting involved, however. 

Here's a Wikipedia page about it, for further explanation.

What I loved about this tournament, is that because it requires them to basically sprint up and down the field (7-a-side), players are begging to come out for a few minutes' rest. This makes a nice change from the other 'organized' team sports for kids that cost a fortune and involve the kids begging to be put in the game, and parents sulking. Some of the other Ultimate teams at the tournament had as many as 24 players - enough for more than three teams. My son's team only had 10 players, and they played 6 games total. That makes for a lot of exercise! I can't think of a more perfect game for teenage boys, and this particular tournament even had girls and guys playing on the same teams (sorry - I have issues with the term 'coed'). I might keep an eye out for an (embittered) old ladies' league. 

Location

Georgia Soccer Complex East Point
United States
33° 40' 46.3908" N, 84° 26' 21.7392" W
Ultimate Flying Disc Catching a Pass
Ultimate Flying Disc Up for Grabs

Comments

roadskater's picture

The Sweet Oblivion of Chasing and Avoiding Objects

Yes! This is great. I am glad he found something great to take his mind away and build his body as well. The focus required to chase (ultimate, hockey, more) or avoid (as in not tripping or sliding when skating because of) objects delivers us from worries about past and future and limits us beautifully to the moment.

To me, Inline skating is more like fly fishing, whereas I found running or walking more like pond fishing with a bobber. The former required me to stay in that moment, whereas I could think and worry plenty when running or walking...and my ankles and knees grew weary of the pounding too, especially whenever I had extra pounds on. 

I hesitate to do inline hockey in a rink at least, as the only time I did, I forgot there were walls, steps and rails. I could only see the puck. It almost ended badly, and I have slid and burned and crashed enough indoors! I like the goals of sportsmanship Ultimate is promoting. I hope they can keep the vibe. 

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