As I have recently embarked on the back nine of my life, I have come to certain unassailable conclusions about myself.
I am bad at things.
Quite a few of them.
Okay, a lot.
I can’t tie a decent rope knot. My conversational German is, at best, rudimentary. I have the vocal range of a tugboat horn. I’d rather kick a Navy Seal in the minerals than do household carpentry.
Oh, and relationships. Yeah…no.
However all of these things pale in comparison with my absolute, unequivocal inability to throw a flying disc. You may know it better as a Frisbee, but that is actually a brand name, and since Wham-O isn’t sending this guy any residuals cheques…flying disc it is.
It’s beyond comical. Take it back across the body, flick the wrist, and release…
…and watch it wobble, stagger, and plummet to earth like it took small arms fire.
If dogs had opposable thumbs they’d be pointed decidedly downward at the thought of playing catch with this tire fire.
I’d have more success throwing you a handful of goose feathers from a moving speedboat.
However this is, as the Lifestyle Set say, strictly a “me” problem.
The other 99.9 percent of you can use your grasp of this sporting life-skill to play a game that is capturing the imagination of the casual sportsball enthusiast across the continent: Ultimate.
Yes Grammaristi, I realize that is an adjective, but the name itself was shortened from that brand name up there, and is thus known in most of the world as merely Ultimate.
And it’s a sport that you really ought to know more about, so here goes…
Ultimate is one the fastest growing sports on the continent. It’s fast-paced, mixed-gender, non-contact game. If you watch or play football (either one) or basketball, then the concept and structure of Ultimate will be familiar to you.
It features two teams, a field, and instead of a ball, the aforementioned flying disc. Both teams start at opposite ends, and play begins with a “pull”, similar to the kickoff in football, where one team throws the disc downfield towards its opponent. The opposite team then retrieves the disc and passes it up the field, in lieu of running with it, towards the opposing team’s end zone. It is the defender’s job to intercept the disc in flight, or otherwise force a turnover (again, like football). When you have the disc, you have 10 stall counts, counted by your opponent, to throw the disc, otherwise it is a turnover. If you catch the disc in the opposing team’s end zone, you score (just like, well you know…). Regulation games are played 7-on-7, with substitutions allowed between points and for injuries.
Since Ultimate is a self-officiated game, fair play is essential and thus its players follow the “Spirit of the Game”. Sportsmanship and respect for both fellow player and the game itself are essential to the success and growth of the game, and having witnessed the game first hand (from the safety of the sidelines, rest assured), I can attest to the sporting nature of all those involved. It is highly competitive and intense, but never sacrifices the tenets of mutual respect, the rules of Ultimate, and the basic concept and appeal of any sport at its core:
To have fun.
Plus you get to learn cool Ultimate lingo like layout, stack, blade, flick, hammer, huck, and my personal favourite, scoober.
Ultimate is played year round, indoors (at the Northern Community Centre) and out (Rosedale field), at both recreational and competitive levels. The games are 60-75 minutes in length. The Sault Ultimate Players Association has leagues for nearly every age group and playing ability, including free youth leagues and skills clinics throughout the upcoming summer.
It is still upcoming, right?
But I digress. Registration is underway right now for the season that kicks off May 25.
So if Ultimate sounds like the sport for you, grab some fresh kicks and sporty clothes, stretch out those hammies, grab that infernal upturned plastic pie plate (again, “me” problem), and give it a go.
The good folks of SUPA are waiting for you at www.saultultimate.ca
In the meantime, I’ll be getting lessons on how not to throw the disc like I just recently had my right arm surgically reattached.
Likely from my eight-year-old son.
Then maybe one of you fine Ultimate types can teach me how to scoober.