Friday, 24 January 2014


I have been a sports person all my life and I have written about sports before on this blog; but today I am going to write about more than just sports. I am going to write about an Ultimate way of life!

Originally a university level Basketball player, I made the switch to Ultimate Frisbee in my final year of University. The first time I ever heard about Ultimate was two years before that, when I was on a Summer internship in China with the Asian Games 2010. One of my project mates, Julie, a very cool and fun French Brazilian girl studying in Canada tried her best to explain the sport to me. "You throw the disc and run and then catch it, and then pass it again, and then catch it in the end zone and its a goal!! Its big in the USA..." Sounded like a cool game, but I liked playing rough, and Frisbee to me sounded like a kids game or a dog's fetch. Little did I know....

I learnt about the then, newly formed Ultimate Frisbee Hyderabad team early 2011 and after my first day, I don't know why but I went back every single practice. I think it was the way the disc felt when it left your hand or the will to learn all the many different ways in which you can throw a disc in. (which is more than one!)

A mash up of American foot ball and Basketball, Ultimate Frisbee is the world's fastest growing international sport. One can witness an extremely high level of sportsmanship in Ultimate, more than in any other sport because it has no referees. It follows the Spirit Of The Game or SOTG where each player is responsible for calling and accepting fouls on the ground with as little input from others as possible. I believe this just makes ultimate players sports persons with the clearest conscience.

My favorite part is the fact that it is a Mixed-Sport which is rare to find. In my experience people who play ultimate generally demonstrate gender equality, are extremely helpful and are more proactive people than most others I know.

It is a network of really cool people, doing very cool things, you can find them all over the world. On my last day in Bogota, Colombia, I was taken to the Ultimate shrine of Bogota; this vast open ground which looked like heaven for field sports. I was briefed on the sport history in Colombia which is pretty old compared to the 6 year old history of Indian Ultimate and they also showered me with their typical Colombian love. The Similar story in Ecuador also. A day before I got to Quito, Ecuador, I Googled for their team and found on their Facebook page that they were practicing the day I was to arrive. On contacting them I was greeted by a warm welcome and the first thing I did after a 36 hour bus journey was to play Ultimate with the Quito team.

If you are new to a city the Ultimate space will immediately become your friend's circle, your recreation, your hangout group, at times a link to your new found job, your family and your life. For me Ultimate is all that and more. Once an ultimate player, always an Ultimate player!

Hyderabad Ultimate Frisbee Team: Dishqiya

Fun Fact: Bogota has more than 20 local city teams for ultimate! That's almost how many we have in the whole of India. But hey we are getting there!  Ultimate was first introduced in Colombia in 1994 and since then has caught on like wild fire. Colombia is WFDF #1 in Women U-20 ranking and #5 in Open!

My first Tee shirt exchange:

The temple of Ultimate in Bogota. Beautiful Grass beckoning you to Layout! 8 teams can play on it simultaneously. I wish we had such public parks in India. 

Ultimate Bogota player who once again like all Colombians showered me with his kindness. From receiving me, showing me around, filling me in on Colombian ultimate history, giving me his team Jersey and a disc just because I was not travelling with one! 

ICAROS, my team in Cucuta, Colombia. 

My first all Girls tournament. Road to Pampolona. 
Excellent to see so many spirited female players. It just difficult to find enough female players in India.  

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