Spirit of the Game

Posted by martin.parnell |

Today was Guinness World Record attempt #9 on the Canada Quest for Kids road trip from Squamish, BC to St. John’s, NFL. The game was Ultimate Frisbee, another sport I had never played. I thought it would be a good idea to find out more about it so I went to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia. It told me that “Ultimate is a limited-contact field team sport played with a flying disc (Frisbee). Points are scored by passing the disc to a teammate in the opposing end zone. Other basic rules are that players must not take steps while holding the disc (maintain a pivot), and interceptions and incomplete passes are turnovers."

What really intrigued me about the game was what was said next “From its beginnings in the American counter-culture of the late 60’s, ultimate has resisted empowering any referee with rule enforcement, instead relying on the sportsmanship of players and invoking the "Spirit of the Game" to maintain fair play. Players call their own fouls and dispute a foul only when they genuinely believe it did not occur. Playing without referees is the norm for league play, but has been supplanted in club competition by the use of "observers"/"advisers" to help in disputes, and the nascent professional leagues even employ empowered referees.” This would be interesting.

At 4.30pm I headed down to the soccer field on the Mount Allison Campus and met up with Alex and the rest of the Right To Play volunteers. They needed 83 players to set a new record and at 5.00pm when registration started there were six people already in line waiting to sign up. Very impressive. They had planned to start the event at 6.00pm and at that point had hit 74. Ten minutes later they got the 83 and the game started. Each side had 7 players and they would come off after 10 minutes or when a point was scored, which ever happened first.

I was on the third shift and had a blast running around in the mud trying to catch this flying plate. At the end of a particular play I made a long run up field and caught the saucer in the end zone. My first ever point in Ultimate Frisbee. We all trotted off and by 8.00pm all 121 participants had played and set a new record.

Tomorrow, I’m heading East to North Sydney, Nova Scotia and a ferry across to The Rock, Newfoundland.

comments powered by Disqus