Ultimate Frisbee elevates its game

The sport of frisbee has come a long way from the days of people tossing a disc around the park or beach.

In Sarnia, the Ultimate Frisbee organization has begun its 14th season with nine, 15-player teams that play each Thursday at 6:30 pm from early May to late August.

Regular season games are played at Blackwell, Lansdowne and Canatara Parks, with the occasional game at SCITS.

The year-end tournament is set for Saturday, August 23.

“It’s one of the fastest growing sports anywhere,” said league co-president Tyler Shaw, noting ultimate frisbee thrives on many Ontario university campuses.

In fact, a Google search shows the sport is now played at Western, Waterloo, McMaster, Guelph, Windsor, Brock and Queen’s, to name a few.

“It’s fast-paced and fun,” said Shaw.  “It combines the moves of many sports and is a great cardio workout.”

There is more running in ultimate frisbee than soccer, he said.

The self-officiated game is played seven on seven, with four men and three women on the field at any given time.

The team with the frisbee advances it by passing to teammates in an attempt to score.  The defense can gain possession of the frisbee by intercepting passes or by knocking them down or out of bounds.

Each score is worth one point and the first team to reach 15 points wins.

Typically, games last 90 minutes to two hours.

Combined with the health benefits, the sport is also economical, said the other league president, Marc Lucas.

“If you want to give it a try, all you need is a frisbee and a pair of cleats,” he said.

Lucas said the focus moving forward is to attract more children to the sport, including offering a six-week program for kids aged 10 to15 at Canatara Park, from mid-June to the end of July.

The program runs Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at a cost of $20.

The organization also runs pick-up nights on Monday at 6 p.m., which generally get 20 to 30 players in a more casual atmosphere.

“It’s a beginner-friendly sport,” said Shaw.  “We’re one big, happy family here.”

 – Barry Wright