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BUO 2015: Discovering a new spirit and a Sport (Ultimate Frisbee)

August 16, 2015

June 2015: I flew from Mumbai to Bangalore to spectate a sporting tournament. I had just discovered that Ultimate is seemingly fastest growing sport in the country. Till then I only thought of this game as Frisbee / Disc Flying, that we play when holidaying outdoors.

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(Photos Courtesy: Deepthi)

Event: Bangalore Ultimate Open (BUO) 2015 had 31 teams participate from across the country, with a large number of teams from Bangalore and Chennai.

Venue: Jain International Residential School. I am amazed to see the school that could offer 7 large fields for parallel matches, and that its curriculum is tailored to get young students participate actively in sports through its dedicated Sports Academy.

Uniqueness: The vigour in playing the sport feels comparable to football. And its format combines nuances of rugby, basketball and hockey. What is unique is that Ultimate is a mixed-gender sport, and must have atleast 3 women players, among 7-players a side, on the field at anytime. The sport is self-refereed among the players, and there is a post-match ‘Spirit Circle’ grouping among the playing teams to discuss the game, as one unit. Teams identify, nominate and reward two players (male and female) from the team they just competed with, who they think as ‘Most Spirited Player’ of the opponent team.

Ultimate in India: I happened to sit through the General Body Meeting of UPAI (Ultimate Players Association of India), held openly during a tournament-break. Having been into organizing events and building voluntary organizations, I saw this energetic group very passionate, open and clear about its mission, execution and structure. Particularly, I met Manu Karan who heads College (and School) Sport Development in the country. He offered possibilities to arrange residential coaches, for institute sporting clubs interested to bring in this sport to their campus. IITB junta, lets introduce this sport in our campus.

Note: Thankyou Deepthi (BUO official photographer) for impromptu travel and stay arrangements, and persuading me to write this post.

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