Ishmael N. Daro
The sport of ultimate, sometimes referred to as ultimate Frisbee, was invented in 1968 in a New Jersey high school as a way to pass the time at school activities.
It combines features of sports such as soccer and football, but is played with a flying disc instead of a ball. Few people could have predicted that some 40 years later this unlikely game would be played by thousands of people around the world.
Saskatoon has a thriving ultimate community. In the summer league there are dozens of teams in four different tiers of difficulty. The fall and winter leagues also draw large numbers. Games take place Monday to Thursday.
Local teams get a chance to compete against other cities as well. Some of the popular tournaments are the Flowerbowl in Vancouver, Ho-Down in Calgary and Disc Odyssey in Saskatoon.
Disc Odyssey has been around for over a decade. This year’s tournament takes place Aug. 1 to 2 with 18 teams from Western Canada competing for glory.
Brett Campbell has been playing ultimate for years. He is the captain of The Ladybugs for league play and Saskquatch for tournaments. Saskquatch and five other Saskatoon teams will attempt to uphold the city’s honour at Disc Odyssey.
Ultimate tournaments are known for their sense of fun, with some teams dressing in themes. The Lawn Party, a blue-blooded Calgary team, dress in all white, and love to rub in their superiority against the lower classes. Their official cheers gleefully proclaim, “Our daddies own these fields,” and “The sun never sets on The Empire.”
Campbell says he looks forward to a good tournament and encourages people to check out some games if they are new to the sport of ultimate.
Times and locations are available online at saskatoonultimate.org.