THIS year’s Ultimate Frisbee tournament brought out the best in all of its competitors and defined the spirit of sportsmanship and competition. Trinh Le brings you the highlights from ASEAN Games’ Ultimate Frisbee tournament.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning at Albert Park: the sky was bright, the air was fresh, and there was not too much wind – a rarity for Melbourne’s current post-Winter blues.
“It’s just perfect for Frisbee!” exclaimed Sears Max, the Ultimate Frisbee Director of ASEAN Games Australia 2015.
This year, seven student teams around Melbourne gathered to compete in the ASEAN Games’ Ultimate Frisbee tournament, with a couple of players from Sydney and Tasmania. Most of the tournament’s competitors came representing countries from the Southeast Asian region, with a notable number of competing students hailing from The University of Melbourne and Monash University.
“This is already a lot compared to last year, which was four,” said Max.
Ultimate Frisbee, for the uninitiated, is a non-contact, non-violent game, built on trust between players. The sport relies so much on trust, in fact, that no referee is required to officiate the game.
Every team consists of 12 – 14 players, but only seven players would be allowed to work the field by attempting to throw the flying disc in the opposition’s end zone, without holding onto the disc for more than 10 seconds.
The sport has been officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee and is likely to be played at future Olympic Games, which is something Max is passionate about.
“I picked up a Frisbee disc four years ago and now, to see it being recognised as a future Olympic sport contender among other sports, that is truly a joy to me”, said Max.
Each game ran for 60 minutes, and every team tried their luck on the field in an enthusiastic but friendly vibe. Time really flew and finally, the MUFFIN and Fifty Shades of Fats had made it to the final match.
Exhausted but determined to claim the championship, the two teams sent out their best players for the game.
It was about 5.00 PM. The sky was getting dark. To make it this far, each team had to play three to four matches. But they ran as if it was their very first match of the day.
“Come on, my friends!” shouted one girl from the crowd.
One minute the players were at one side of the field and the next minute, they were already at the other, chasing the “flying disc”, still in high spirits.
About 40 minutes into the game, a girl from Fifty Shades of Fats fell down and couldn’t get herself up. The game stopped; her teammates gathered around her at once.
The injury must have been serious, as she cried for the next 15 minutes and kept screaming while the first aid workers took care of her. They checked her ankles, shoulders, neck and so forth, while the two teams gathered to decide what to do with the game.
The MUFFIN were leading by two points. But Fifty Shades of Fats still had 20 minutes to turn the tables.
“Whatever you guys decide, we’re happy with it”, said a MUFFIN player.
After a while, Fifty Shades of Fats made their decision: the game must go on. It was 10 minutes past 6.00 PM, and it was already dark. Everyone was tired and distracted by their “fallen soldier”. Against all odds, the match resumed.
At the end of the day, the MUFFIN got the higher score and became the Ultimate Frisbee Champion.
Denyse H’ng, Project Director of ASEAN Games Australia 2015 commented:
“For 2015, our dream and our mission is to bring before you [sic] an AGA unlike any other, a Game that will not only exceed the scale of all previous Games but will also be the one that will always be remembered for the quality of the tournaments, the fun-filled days and the invaluable friendships forged. We want you to walk away richer from the experience.”
Indeed, the winning team, MUFFIN did “walk away richer” with $400 as the tournament reward.