Gagan Chatha with the Vancouver Riptide Ultimate Frisbee team lays out during a meeting of the home Vancouver Riptide and the San Diego Growlers.

Ultimate frisbee takes flight

After Jeffrey Pozin, the president of the Victoria Ultimate Players Society, played his first game of ultimate frisbee, he was hooked.

After Jeffrey Pozin, the president of the Victoria Ultimate Players Society, played his first game of ultimate frisbee, he was hooked.

Not that Pozin was a stranger to competitive sport as he had competed in football, basketball, rugby, martial arts and mogul skiing. But it was ultimate frisbee that captured his passion in a way other sports couldn’t.

“There’s something that dominates the game…the spirit of the game…often talked about in other sports and rarely achieved,” said Pozin, adding ultimate is all about a high level of athleticism within a framework of fair play and mutual respect. “That leads to a very strong social aspect and sense of camaraderie amongst players you just don’t see as much in some other sports.”

The game is very much an amalgamation of other sports, incorporating some of the same strategies employed in basketball, football and soccer. Teams are generally made up of seven players aside (often co-ed) and play takes place on a turf field measuring about 40 metres wide, 70 metres long with additional 25 metre end zones.

Teams advance a frisbee up the field with the intent of passing it to one of their team-mates in the end zones on either end of the field. You can’t run with the frisbee. Once it is caught the player with possession establishes a pivot foot (much like basketball) and has to pass the disc to one of his teammates.

The defending team tries to mark those players and does their best to intercept the disc or knock it to the ground, causing a turnover.

Play is continuous unless the frisbee is dropped or a foul is committed (body contact, for example) when the frisbee’s possession is turned over to the other team.

It’s a fluid game and at the more competitive levels there are positions assigned. But Pozin explained these positions are flexible and can change during the course of the contest.

Ultimate frisbee is played by hundreds of athletes (and sometimes the not-so-athletic) in leagues across the city and around the world.

“There are two teams at the University of Victoria, a men’s and women’s team, and they compete against other universities,” said Pozin. “In fact, just about every university across North America has a team and competition can be very spirited.”

There is also a professional league, although Pozin explained that it has only been in existence for about five years and the players, while superb athletes, are not the highly paid individuals one might expect in other professional sports.

“It’s not a ticket to riches, and no one is getting a Ferrari as a signing bonus in ultimate, but in many ways it’s like what other sports were like when they started out and people played for the love of the game and not just for the money they could make. These guys are still amazing athletes, and some of the things they can do with that frisbee are just unbelievable,” said Pozin.

Victorians will have a chance to witness that athleticism first hand when, on May 14 when two teams from the American Ultimate Disc League, the Vancouver Riptide and the San Francisco Flame Throwers, will meet at Royal Athletic Park for an exhibition game designed to promote participation.

“I’m hoping that people will come to the game and be inspired to try out the sport for themselves,” said Pozin. He stressed that ultimate is an ideal sport for young people, with no early morning practices and no high cost equipment, but added one of the beauties of the sport is that it’s possible to play it well into senior years.

“We have a ‘hat league’ where every week we just divide up players and enjoy the game. It’s a perfect sport for people who want to take part in a competitive sport without all the baggage that sometimes goes along with it,” Pozin said.

Ticket information for the professional game, and general information on how to get involved with the sport is available at vup.bc.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria housing provider launches crisis prevention program to combat homelessness

Pacifica Housing aims to address challenges before tenants risk evictions

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Strike could start Monday for handyDart

BC Transit warns users to find alternate transportation

GALLERY: Giants host Royals in WHL action

Photos from the Vancouver Giants clash with the Victoria Royals at the Langley Events Centre

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Saanich signals support for in-fill developments in Gorge-Tillicum

The Gorge-Tillicum neighbourhood continues to experience infill. Council’s committee-of-the-whole signaled Saanich’s support… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

Most Read