The ultimate throwing game

Mount Maunganui Ultimate Frisbee members show how it’s done on Mount Main Beach. Image: Kinetik Imaging Ltd.

If throwing a frisbee on the beach or in the back yard appeals to your sense of fun, you might like to try ultimate frisbee.

The sport was developed in the USA in the 1960s but has taken off in the past 10 years with a professional league formed in the USA in 2012.

It’s a non-contact team sport that combines elements of netball, American football, soccer and, of course, throwing a frisbee. Indoor games are played four-a-side on the equivalent of a basketball court, beach games are five-a-side, and grass games are seven-a-side on a similar sized field to a soccer pitch.

Points are scored by catching the frisbee in the ‘end zone’. Once you receive the frisbee you can’t run with it, hence the similarity to netball. It is one of the few sports where two people are required to score – both the thrower and the catcher – and there is no referee.

Mount Maunganui Ultimate Frisbee was formed two years ago and has a membership of about 70 players, says secretary Michael Kramer.

 “It’s a sport that relies on what we call ‘spirit of the game’ which is basically fair play, respecting the opposition and respecting the rules of the game.”

Last year the group started an indoor winter league and over the summer ran a beach league. This year’s indoor league gets underway in May and will be held on Wednesday nights from 7-9pm at the Tauranga Boys’ College gym.

 “It’s a very athletic sport, but in saying that, it’s also open to all sorts of people. We have 10-year-olds playing against adults – it’s a very inclusive and safe environment to compete in,” says Michael.

Mount Maunganui Ultimate Frisbee ran Sport Bay of Plenty’s first secondary school event at Wharepai Domain in Tauranga last month. Pyes Pa School came away with third place in the junior division and Te Puke High School won the senior division with Katikati College taking second and third place with their senior and junior boys’ teams.

Mount Maunganui Ultimate Frisbee is having a beach tournament on Mount Main Beach on Saturday, April 21 from 8.30am-5pm and people interested in trying ultimate frisbee can attend a free open night at Tauranga Boys’ College gym on Wednesday, April 25 from 6.30-8.30pm. The 10-week autumn indoor league starts on May 2.

For more information email mountultimate@gmail.com or visit the Mount Maunganui Ultimate Frisbee Facebook page.


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