For the uninitiated, the game called ultimate might look like playing Frisbee – a hot sun and lazy days at the park kind of game rather than a sport of teams grappling competitively over the disc.
However, ultimate is an organized sport that thrives on competitive spirit, and intense practice.
Here’s how it works. Ultimate is played between two teams of seven. When a team completes a pass into the opposition’s end zone, one point is awarded, and the first team to reach 15 points – with a lead by two – wins the game.
If the disc is intercepted or dropped, the possession changes teams.
The ultimate teams are coed, and based on an informal drop-in.
“I first played here in 2007,” Yukon ultimate player Carrie McClelland tells me. “I was new to town and I thought it would be a great way to meet new people.”
McClelland likes that a player must freeze in place once in possession of the disc, meaning she must pass the disc before running to another position.
“It’s a true team sport, you have to pass it,” she says. “You can’t try to be a hog or a star, because you always have to pass.”
In addition, there are no referees in ultimate, not even at the national level. Instead, the calls are left to the players. This encourages responsibility and respect.
“It’s the ultimate sport for sportsmanship,” she says.
Anyone interested in giving it a try can attend the weekly drop-in games. All you need is a friendly attitude.
Drop-in times are Sunday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Wednesdays from noon until 1 p.m. at the Canada Games Centre.
Come with both a light shirt and a dark shirt, and introduce yourself so you can be assigned to a team.
All levels of experience are welcome, and players new to the game are always given a brief lesson by the other members.
For the more competition-minded, you can register to join a team. Contact the Yukon Ultimate Frisbee Association to fill out a form and pay a $10 membership fee for the winter or summer season. Registered players will train for tournaments, and the summertime Breeder’s Cup, which includes a barbecue, and an ultimate game between current players and veterans.
For more information check out the drop-in schedule at the Canada Games Centre, the organization’s Facebook page at Yukon Ultimate Frisbee (Whitehorse), or go to YukonDiscSports.wordpress.com.