Frisbee has come a long way.
From an easy-boy game played at picnics to one of the country’s leading alternate sports, ‘Ultimate’ as it is popularly known the world over, is just starting to gather audiences in India.
So what exactly is it about running bare feet in the mud and leaping in the air to land a flying disc that is just so mind blowing?
We found out from Nash Paul, captain of the ‘Storm Chasers,’ Mumbai’s Ultimate team who has just returned from the Annual Ultimate Championships in Bangalore.
The Ultimate Rules
- Team members pass the disc to eventually catch it in the opposing end zone
- You cannot run with the disc in your hand
- If the disc hits the ground, it results in a turnover with the opposing team taking over the disc and moving in the opposite direction
What does it take to become an Ultimate pro?
Basic hand-eye co-ordination, two toughened up legs, the heart to play as a team, and a strong liver to get through the tournament party.
Tell us about your first encounter with Ultimate.
I remember I never intended to actually play; just went to watch this new sport, but pretty quickly these guys (the team) were throwing the disc at me expecting me to dive and catch. It was terribly tiring after years of doing nothing but sitting plum behind an office desk, but crazy, mad fun
Ultimate is self-officiating built on respecting your opponents as much as a competitive hard fought contest. But at the same time, it’s also a sport that welcomes everyone from truant college kids to hyperactive housewives
When did you first think about it having the potential to be a professional sport in India?
The first time you go to an Ultimate tournament is when you actually understand the amazing community spirit that’s behind the sport. And that’s what I feel really makes this game stand out in comparison to others.
In India we have 5-6 tournaments hosted in different cities, annually and I noticed that the number of teams at each tournament increases every year.
In Mumbai (like most cities in India), the main problem in growing the sport is a lack of space to play. We are always dodging cricket balls or asking joggers to jog beyond our sidelines.
What has been the response to Ultimate so far?
Ultimate in India is growing at an unbelievable rate. We now have teams in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Auroville, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Pune, Coimbatore, Varkala. Every tournament we find an addition of 2 or 3 cities. Even though it’s always a challenge competing with other well established sports, sponsors are now waking up to this surge in popularity, this fresh spirit in sport.
What makes Ultimate the ultimate sport in India?
Ultimate is special because it tends to attract the people who love to sweat and compete without the unnecessary angst and mindless fury. It’s hard fought till the last point, then both teams form a circle and sing or dance or play a sportsman spirit game. It’s a whole lot of fun that puts friendship and respect into healthy competition.
I like how the sport calls on both sexes, all age groups and all body types. We have a great community, so a new city (pretty much anywhere in the world) is only new till the weekend practices get underway, and your new team become city guides and your first new friends. I love it!
The ‘Storm Chasers’ practice at Juhu beach or Khar Gymkhana in Mumbai on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 7am.
Find them on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/mumbaiultimate/
Drop them a line: email@example.com
Pictures courtesy Mumbai Paused