The ultimate pastime is becoming the ultimate game

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By William Hogan

You need the awareness of Stephen Curry, the speed of Usain Bolt, the agility of Israel Folau and the positioning of Irene Van Dyk. You need temperament, decision-making, teamwork and spirit. Is it some sort of super sport? It may well be.

It is a recreation made up of the fundamental skills of a number of internationally recognised sports such as soccer, American football and rugby yet there is one pivotal difference that sets it aside from the rest, a Frisbee.

That’s right. Every kid’s favourite pastime growing up is vastly becoming a socially competitive sensation specifically among University students in the form “Ultimate Frisbee.”

At an age where physical activity tends to be an area of one’s life that drops due to career and social aspirations, ultimate Frisbee is quickly becoming an outlet that fills this void. I recently went to an indoor social game of the sport held at Monash University and was astounded at the art involved in perfecting the game.

Captain of the Mannix College Frisbee side participating in the game, Rainbow Apostol believes Frisbee is becoming popular due to the uniqueness of the sport.

“Fris (Frisbee) is different because it is a self-reffed sport played with an encouraging culture,” she says.

“It’s also a sport that works well in a mixed-gender environment because of the good spirit it’s played in.”

The skill of throwing the Frisbee to your teammate may seem trivial however the difficulties involved in ensuring a correct pass makes the vastly growing sport more fascinating.

Once the basic method of catch and throw is achieved, the world of ultimate Frisbee becomes a platform for creativity and imagination as participants bend the laws of gravity usually involved in regular ball sports to create a highlight reel good enough for elite athletes.

A report into sport participation in 2012 highlighted that Frisbee participation was on the rise by 41% and it seems the rise is continuing. University Games has been catalyst in the ongoing growth. Athlete in the sport, Tom Deller said the numer of people trying out for the Monash University team is quite promising. “We had about 60 people try out last year and places for spots were quite competitive.” The University Games sport is played in a more competitive nature than usual weekday Frisbee according to Deller, “There are not many competitions for the sport so Uni games was played at a high level.”

Deller who excels in cycling and triathlons finds Frisbee enjoyable due to the contest and athleticism it provides.

“I think the free-flowing style of play and being able to run and jump makes the sport fun.”

The main issue according to Deller in the world of Ultimate Frisbee is getting more recognition and continuing to develop the social and competitive sides of the sport. “I think the greater participation will give Fris more of a chance of becoming mainstream.”

From a social to an elite level, Frisbee is highly intensive and fast paced. The skill and difficulty involved in throwing is exciting in itself and the added pressure of continuous play with few stoppages makes it a recipe for excitement. It is a game for all ages but at University level, throwing a Frisbee is becoming as common as kicking the footy.

For athletes such as Apostol and Deller, they want as many people playing the sport as possible to grow this social trend even further. The sport is played in high spirits with a hint of competiveness. Frisbee is no longer just a hobby but a real sport with boundless limits, a bit like throwing one.

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