Thunder Bay Ultimate: A Lesson in True Sportsmanship

By Michelle Kolobutin

Ultimate Frisbee, or just “Ultimate,” as the players call it, is a no-contact team field sport that shares some similarities to football, basketball, and soccer. However, the thing that sets Ultimate Frisbee apart from other sports is that it is self-refereed. The first rule of Ultimate, anywhere and always (it’s played internationally) is to respect the spirit of the game, meaning that players compete to win but they assume their opponents are respecting the rules of the game and using good sportsmanship to maintain fair play.

Ultimate is a fast-paced, high-energy game of both strategy and physical skill, and is almost always played co-ed. Despite this, it allows flexibility for a wider range of physical skill levels. “It’s more important to know where to be instead of how fast you get there,” says Rita Murphy. The weather is one more player in this game. Wind and rain add to the challenge and excitement of the game. When playing Frisbee, you always have to consider the wind.

Thunder Bay Ultimate is one of many grassroots leagues that have contributed to the growing level of interest in the sport since putting themselves on the map in 2009. The goal of Thunder Bay Ultimate is to create a positive social environment and increase the interest in the sport. “One day we will see Ultimate become part of the Olympics,” Murphy says.

Thunder Bay Ultimate is hosting a Fun Day tournament on May 23 for anyone with an interest in checking out the sport, visit thunderbayultimate.com for details.