ULTIMATE FRISBEE?!? Yes, it’s a sport (and we just call it “Ultimate”). And it’s really fun!
What is Ultimate?
Ultimate is a team field sport where one team tries to score in the other team’s end zone by completing passes to teammates. It includes the jumping and pivoting of basketball and the quick cuts of soccer but what sets it apart is that there are no referees. From youth in middle-school leagues to adults in international competition, ultimate players are responsible for calling their own fouls and resolving calls calmly and respectfully. Now, you might be skeptical as to how this could possibly work – especially when you see some kids in other sports allowed (or even encouraged) to win at all costs? Well, embedded in the rules and culture of ultimate is the “Spirit of the Game” where competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors or the joy of play.
Why play ultimate? Here are the benefits:
- cardiovascular fitness: some people think ultimate players just stand and throwing back and forth but there is actually a lot of running involved
- cooperation & teamwork: you can’t run with the disc so you have to pass it to advance the disc to the end zone. Players will learn various tactics and strategies for scoring!
- developing empathy, integrity, and self-regulation: since it is self-refereed and there is a system for resolving disputes, players become more aware of the views of others and learn how to manage their own emotions so they can make fair and honest decisions during disputes with members of the opposite team.
- gender equity: ultimate is mostly played co-ed. And unlike some sports where boys may not pass to the girls very much, success in ultimate requires passing to all team mates on the field.
- injury prevention: health professionals and trainers have seen a massive rise in injuries due to youth playing the same sport year-round. Playing multiple sports reduces the risk of injuries and exercises a different set of joints and muscles. Ultimate is also a non-contact sport, so the risk of serious injury is reduced. So take a break from hockey or soccer and try ultimate!
- low cost: all you need is footwear (cleats ideally) and a disc (which we will provide). No other equipment or fees for refs.
- it’s inclusive and fun!! It’s not uncommon to see people from the other team cheering when you make a great play or giving you some encouragement and advice after a game. As well, there is often a spirit game afterwards to help release any tension that may have built up during the game.