Ultimate or Frisbee or Ultimate Frisbee. These are all the different names of a non-contact team sport that uses a flying disc or “frisbee”, as it is commonly known. Originally named as Ultimate Frisbee, players try to score points by throwing the disc to a teammate in the opposing end zone.
The disc may be tossed in any direction but players may not run when holding the disc. Once a player has the disc, he has 10 seconds to throw it. When a pass is not completed, whether it goes out of bounds or dropped or intersected, the defence takes possession of the disc. There should be no physical contact among players; else a foul will be called.
Ultimate is a unique sport as it does not require a referee but instead relies on the sportsmanship of all players to maintain fair play. This is true at least for league plays. In club competition, they use “observers” or “advisers” to help in disputes, while the professional leagues engage empowered referees. The Ultimate is governed internationally by the World Flying Disc Federation.
Ultimate is distinguished by its “Spirit of the Game” which upholds sportsmanship, the principles of fair play, and the joy of play. Players call their own fouls and settle disputes among themselves.
Ultimate Frisbee has become one of the world’s fastest growing sports with more than 5 million players in over 42 countries. History has it that the first known tossing of a “disc” was by Yale University students in the 1940s. The Connecticut’s Frisbee Pie Company which is located near the school sold pies in metal tins. The teenagers threw the tins back and forth while shouting “Frisbee” which was engraved at the back of the tin. Later on in 1948, the plastic flying disc was developed by Walter Morrison. A year after the company closed down in 1958, Wham-O bought the rights to the invention and registered the name “Frisbee”.
In Penang, the team “Islanders” are actively playing and promoting the sport among the community. Others teams from Perlis, Kedah and Perak combined and established the Northern Ultimate Tribes (NUTs). They all represent the players from the Northern region of the country.
Every year since 2010, the Islanders team hosts the Ultimate Penang Hat which involves more than 200 players. The event raises the level of awareness about Ultimate. The Islanders also compete in tournaments throughout the country and have gained significant recognition by playing with the best teams in Malaysia.
At present, there are an estimated 30 to 40 active teams around Malaysia with over a thousand players. Signature events like the Malaysia Open and the Penang Hat attract players throughout the region. The teams encourage other players and wannabees to join any of the sessions to continuously grow the community.
Where to Play Frisbee in Penang?
The Northern Ultimate Tribes Pickup plays at Padang Polo (opposite Penang General Hospital) every Sunday from 5:30pm to 7pm.
The Islanders Indoor Pickup plays at Kompleks Belia dan Sukan (sports hall opposite Uinversiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Penang) every Thursday from 8pm to 10:30pm.
In the mainland, the USM Frisbee Organisation plays at the USM Engineering Campus Sports Complex Field every Wednesdays and Sundays from 5:30pm to 7pm
In Perak, the X-Cross Ultimate plays at UTAR Sports Complex daily except Saturday from 5pm to 7pm.