Ultimate frisbee is a relatively new and unknown sport but has become increasingly popular among youngsters, especially students. This year, UP has a competitive club dedicated to the sport. Perdeby spoke to Pearce Jackson and Daniel Ferreira, two members of the Tuks Ultimate team (also known as the Labradors) to find out more about the sport.
Ultimate frisbee can be described as a mixture between netball and American football. The field of play is set up similar to that of a football field, with end zones on either side of the pitch that act as scoring zones. The rules are similar to netball rules. For instance, when a player catches the frisbee (or disc), they have to stop within a couple of steps and pass the disc on from a stationary position. It is important to note that ultimate frisbee is, for the most part, a mixed gender sport with teams consisting of three ladies and four men.
Pretoria has had an ultimate frisbee team, the Pretoria Labradors, for about four years, but this year the team merged with UP to form Tuks Ultimate. The new team recently competed at nationals and were placed eighth, the highest of all the teams in Gauteng. “That was our objective. Heading into the competition we wanted to be placed in the top ten, and were happy to break through to top eight,” they said when asked about how they feel about their accomplishment. The team is now hoping to boost their numbers, as they will need to field a bigger squad in order to compete at higher levels. A few tournaments lie ahead in the year and Tuks Ultimate wants to carry on growing and achieving greater accolades. The team trains three times a week, with a social training on Friday nights where anyone is welcome to join and learn more about the sport.
Ultimate frisbee is a fast-growing sport in South Africa with over 20 active competing teams, and it is slowly developing into more than an enjoyable pastime. There are many active leagues around the world, most notably in the US and Japan, where the sport has become professional and players are making careers through the sport.
Perdeby asked the team members how they would convince people to take up the sport, and they confidently responded, “Ultimate frisbee is a spirited game. Because it is mixed gender, it offers something for everyone. The game is dictated by the players (there are no referees). It is very competitive on the field, but off the field all competitors are friends and post-game socialising is definitely not frowned upon.”
Image: Labradors’ Facebook page