Ultimate Frisbee in Dubai

Why Frisbee is more than just a toy

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Ultimate Frisbee started as a game between friends and has grown into a popular sport that’s played worldwide. Benita Adesuyan speaks to Monica Saadé of Duplays to find out what it’s all about.

Frisbee is no longer just a game to keep yourself occupied at the beach or when you’re out with the dog. It’s now a fully fledged sport with teams, leagues and rules, too. Ultimate Frisbee, as it’s known, was created in the ’60s in the US and has since spread globally. There’s now a world games and the sport is proving popular here in Dubai. The Ultimate Junkies Dubai team play and train at Jumeirah Open Beach on Monday and Wednesday evenings, inviting anyone to join and take part, and sports leagues organisation Duplays has seven teams who regularly play in a weekly league. We caught up with regular frisbee player Monica Saadé of Duplays to find out what the game is all about.

What are the rules of Ultimate Frisbee?
This is one of the only sports that is self-regulated – there’s no referee. What that means is that all players must play with the utmost honesty and spirit. It is a non-contact sport where points are scored by passing the disc to a teammate within a designated end zone. Players cannot move with the disc, they can only pivot and if the disc is dropped, it is considered a turnover. There are seven players on each team and we play on a pitch that measures 110 metres by 49 metres, which is about the size of a football pitch.

When did Duplays introduce Ultimate Frisbee to their sports leagues and why?
Actually, Ultimate Frisbee was Duplays’ first league in Dubai, the inaugural league was formed in 2007. It’s popular because it’s fun, it doesn’t require any prior knowledge of the sport, so it’s easy to play. We are always planning to grow and we have the demand, so there are plans to expand in the near future.

Do you need to use a special frisbee in this ultimate version of the sport?
No, there’s no special equipment needed, but the frisbee must weigh 175 grams.

Is Ultimate Frisbee competitive? And do you need to train to play in the league?
The Duplays league is both social and competitive, because it’s also a great sport to pick up recreationally, but we have some teams that really play to win, which is great to see. We also have newcomers who play and they are always welcome. There are people who play table tennis playing in the Ultimate Frisbee teams, which is a benefit to them as it involves a similar wrist motion when throwing.

Are the teams mixed?
Yes, we usually have two girls and five guys on the pitch.

What level of fitness is required?
Mid to high. It is a social sport but there is a lot of cutting and sprinting. That said, it’s a recreational league, so you get out what you put in. It’s a sport in which you run around having so much fun that you don’t realise how tough the work out is until you feel the next morning’s soreness.
Duplays Ultimate Frisbee League, starts January 12. www.duplays.com. Ultimate Junkies Dubai, www.ultimatejunkiesdubai.com


The World Championships of Beach Ultimate

Attracting 1,000 athletes from 70 teams and 25 countries, the WCBU 2015 is six days of top-flight competition with the world’s best Ultimate Frisbee players. The event will take place on JBR beach.
Free. March 8-13. 8am-6pm. www.wcbu2015.org

Learn the frisbee lingo

Huck: A long throw.

Flick: A forehand throw.

Scoober: A short throw used to get the disc over the defence. It’s released at chest height, upside down.

Pull: The first throw from one team to another to start a point.

Bid: When someone sprawls out to catch a disc.

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