Ultimate frisbee in Dubai

Think you're a frisbee champion? Put your disc where your mouth is


You’re brilliant at throwing a frisbee, aren’t you? Remember that time you and some friends passed one of those elusive, colourful discs a few times at the beach and you were the best? A natural? The Brett Favre of frisbee? Well, that’s how you remember it, anyway. So stop all this chatter, get out there and prove it. Duplays is launching its latest ultimate frisbee league next week and is looking for players of all (and no) abilities.

Often referred to as ‘ultimate’ (due to ‘frisbee’ being trademarked in some areas), the sport is growing in popularity around the world. It was dubbed ‘the ultimate pick-up game’ by the San Francisco Chronicle, and for good reason: it’s the perfect pastime for those looking for a fun activity that doesn’t take an age to pick up. You just have to be able to throw and catch – and it doesn’t really matter if you are rubbish at that.

Ultimate has built an impressive following here in Dubai, where a thriving social scene is developing, says Duplays sales and business development manager Katie Overy. She gave ultimate a try for the first time shortly after landing in Dubai three years ago and was immediately taken by the unique atmosphere, which was both fun and competitive, so she soon had a league up and running. A back injury stopped Katie on the field, but off it she is as passionate about the sport as ever.

‘It’s not very common in England and I was new to Dubai, so thought it would be a good way to meet people,’ says Katie, who has been a full-time member of the Duplays team since June last year. ‘It gives you the chance to learn an unusual sport that is now played all over the world. Ultimate players love meeting others. The social scene is huge! Most of our players stay after games for drinks and food and meet up at the weekends too. There have been some great holidays with the ultimate crowd.’

Ultimate is played on a field made of grass, or sometimes sand. Like American football, goals are scored by passing the disc to a teammate in the ‘end zone’. Teams are mixed and made up of six players on the field. The Duplays league, which runs from September 12 to November 28, features two 30-minute games a night.

‘The object of the game is to get the disc from one end of the field to the other by passing from player to player and getting a catch in the end zone,’ says Katie. ‘It’s similar to American football, but without the contact. There is no referee – it is played with the ‘spirit of the game’ being the judge. It’s a great cardio workout, and is good fun too – you don’t feel as though you’re doing a workout. You don’t have to psych yourself up like you’re going to the gym – you just turn up and play, then realise at the end that you’re exhausted!”

New players are always taken under a wing by the more seasoned campaigners, says Katie. ‘The players in our league are so passionate about the game that they love to teach others. Next season we will be introducing a mini-clinic to try to encourage new players so they don’t just have to turn up and start playing.’

Duplays’ league costs Dhs375 per player or Dhs3,000 per team. Matches take place on Mondays 7.30pm-10.30pm at the Metropolitan Hotel, Business Bay, www.duplays.com/sport/frisbee

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