Yes, that’s right. Ultimate frisbee is a real sport. There are co-ed recreational (indoor or outdoor) teams that can be created, joined and enjoyed. I, however, only semi-enjoyed it. Playing during the winter months (here in Toronto, Canada) could have been a real factor here, as to why I didn’t love the season. With games ranging from 6pm – 11pm start times, I wasn’t a happy camper that cold winter night at 10:30pm when we had to drive over. Regardless, for all you newbies out there, I’m going to provide you with a basic guide to almost winning. Seriously, we won one game, so this is truly for someone learning the basic rules of bee.
1. Come up with a unique, possibly literary inspired, team name. All the teams will instantly like you. Huckleberry Spin served us well. We even came up with our own tag line, “spin to win.” Chances were, we would lose, but we looked good doing it. I was fortunate enough to have a colleague and friend of mine, Claudio (graphic designer by day), design our sweet t’s. The best part of our Huck Spin t-shirts is that we’re going to re-use them for our Beach Volleyball (spring) and Softball (summer) teams.
2. Ultimate is a mix between basketball and football. Sounds weird, but it is the best way for beginners to understand what the fuck is going on. Similar to basketball, you must cover your man at all times. For me, this meant running around like an idiot covering a girl who constantly tried to get open. I stopped watching the frisbee and just blocked the shit out of my counter-part. It’s like football because if you miss a pass or drop the frisbee, it automatically gets turned over to the other team wherever it lands or where you are standing. You’re welcome. This is golden information.
3. Stalls – you have to call them – and it goes up to eight. So, if you’re playing in a self-regulated/self-refereeing team (like that of Toronto Sport and Social Club), each individual is in charge of calling, “stall one, stall two, stall three…” when the man/woman they’re covering has possession of the bee. Once you reach eight, they have to turn it over to you. At first, you’ll feel dumb. Then you’ll feel like a pro and start calling “up” once they release the frisbee. Don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of it.
4. You need subs – don’t fool yourself – no one wants to do that much cardio. I should have mentioned that ultimate frisbee is also similar to soccer when it comes to the amount of running (without subs). Since there has to be two girls on the field at all times (that makes three men for a total of five players) – its ideal if you have 4 girls on your team. Unfortunately for us, we got off to a rough start. Heather was hit by a car and couldn’t play a single game. That left three of us ladies. Not the best. When one of us couldn’t make it that meant two girls. We played many a game – for the full duration of time. I was le tired and pissed every time the other team’s girls switched off with their subs. Jerks. Great workout though!
5. You can buy your own frisbees (as long as they meet the requirements), and that’s cool. Yet, don’t be fooled by all the pretty colours. I told our team captain, Ryan, to get blue – to match our uniforms, of course – but you’re only allowed to play with a white bee. This makes no sense if you’re playing indoor because the dome is white. We definitely found it hard to gauge where the frisbee was going to float downward as a result.
I don’t regret joining Ryan’s ultimate frisbee team. At times the best part was the great cardio work out, and owning an awesome Huck Spin t-shirt, but overall we had a great first season. I think we intimidated some people. Glad to be moving on to Beach Volleyball (outdoor), though we might freeze come May 3rd. This is Canada after all.