I used to play Ultimate Frisbee at university for a team called the Victims, an apt name given that we won about 7% of our fixtures. Since then the sport for me has been a way to keep fit, have a laugh and a run around.
Ultimate does exist in Colombo. It’s by no means as popular as places like the Philippines, but there is a small following and even the odd tournament now and then. So yesterday evening, with disc in hand, I went to Colombo University playing fields to check out a local group.
There were about 20 people, a mix of expats and locals, with varying levels of skill. I’m no mug with the disc, but I was unprepared for the climate. It was straight into a friendly match and that’s how the evening progressed until the sky had gone golden and the fruit bats flown overhead.
Ultimate is like a cross between American football and netball. Teams are seven a side and games take place on a full size football pitch. There are two end zones and you have to catch the disc in your opponents’ zone to score. It is non-contact (supposedly), you can’t run with disc in hand, and if it’s intercepted or dropped it’s a turnover. Every time a point is scored, the end zones switch.
So, in reality, you spend most of your time haring from one end of the pitch to the other. By the end I looked like I’d been playing the game in the sea, and I continued to sweat long into the night. It was a lot of fun, but humidity is a bitch for running in…