Nouse tries… Ultimate

The time had finally come for my Nouse tries after somehow managing to dodge it the previous two terms. However, after scrolling though the YUSU list of sports I managed to find a gem in Ultimate (frisbee).

Originally created in America at Columbia High School in the 1960s the sport is referred to as ultimate due to a toy company Wham-O having the trade mark for the term frisbee. With indoor and outdoor variations, I tried out the indoor version at their give it a go session on Sunday, which takes place every week in the main sports hall on Hes West at 12pm. The biggest variation between indoor and outdoor is the number of players. With 5 per team when playing inside and 7 per team when playing outside.

The best way to describe the sport is as a mix between netball and American football with a frisbee instead of a ball. Similar to netball in the way that you cannot move once you have caught the frisbee and similar to American football in the way that you have to catch the frisbee in the end zone in order to score a point.

After not throwing a frisbee in years (hard to believe I know), my session started off, somewhat ironically given the nature of the rules, with me hitting the netball posts, situated a good 20 metres from the person I was meant to be throwing to. Despite this awful start my throwing did get better as the session went on, although I’m not sure I could have got much worse to be honest.

After the warm up, we got into a small exercise of pass and move as I tried to improve my throwing technique from before hoping to steer clear of any netball posts. This exercise was a tame build up for what was to come however. After the passing exercise we headed into small 3 vs 3 games. It took me a while to figure out what was going on as I was running around trying to get hold of the frisbee as my team were unable to score in the first match. However, as the session went on I started to get the hang of things, managing to score our first point in a 4-1 loss. We were on the up. What I wasn’t prepared for was the non-stop running that was entailed given that I bruised my foot on Thursday and was unable to walk for most of Friday, I battled on however, and managed to eventually score.

The team has seen a massive increase in members this year as the women’s team has tripled and the men’s team has doubled in numbers in a remarkable period of growth which saw 120 show up for their fresher’s event. Speaking to a few members it was clear that everyone had come from different sporting backgrounds from rugby, football, netball amongst others. The team had a magnificent season despite the high turnover of players. Going the season not only unbeaten but also winning every single game in the league as they romped the Northern 2B league to win the league by six points.

After the 3 vs 3 game we finished the session with full 5 vs 5 games, going through the tactics including the different formations called stacks. However, my first game got off to an awful start as I gave the frisbee away which led to an attack and goal from the opposing team. However, I quickly redeemed myself through an interception which led to a goal for my team. Overall, ultimate was a fast paced and exciting game full of a wide range of people which creates a friendly and welcoming club. The sport is gaining increased popularity not only at York but also internationally as it has now been recognised as an official sport by the International Olympic Committee and there is a chance that it will be included at the 2024 or 2028 Olympics given the prestige of ultimate in the respective host cities of Paris and Los Angeles.

Ultimate frisbee’s performance on the Sunday of Roses ensured that the tournament was a successful one for the team; despite a bad and unlucky start to the tournament on Friday, which saw them lose three games all by one point each.  Sunday, however saw the two biggest games in terms of points and York walked away with two excellent results.  York’s two results in the men’s outdoor and outdoor open gained York 8 points as opposed to the 5 points gained by Lancaster from the three Friday games


If you would like to know more, or if you’re interested in Ultimate, contact [email protected]


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