‘Ultimate Frisbee' is the new favourite sport, and ‘DisCreed' is the Ultimate Frisbee club in Coimbatore
It's a cold Sunday morning at CODISSIA grounds. While there are the usual cricket players around, there is another kind of activity afoot. Some boys plant orange cones to mark out the territory for their game, while others warm up. Mostly it is college students who make up ‘DisCreed', the official Ultimate Frisbee group in Coimbatore. Ultimate Frisbee, which combines rugby touchdowns, and football and basketball moves, is played between two teams, made of seven members each. The disc is passed from one player to another of the same team and goals are scored when the disc reaches the player who stands at the defensive ‘end zone' (or goal post). The boys, who have by now finished playing a short game of Ultimate, take a break for a chat. “Ultimate Frisbee was created by a Hollywood producer – Joel Silver,” says Ronil Sinha, an engineer. “The game has been around in the country for about 10 years. It is popular in places such as Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi. In fact, Ultimate Frisbee is IIM-A's official sport!”
Anil George, who studied in Coimbatore, is one of the founders of DisCreed. When he was interning at Chennai, he would visit the beach at Besant Nagar to see a number of people flinging discs on most evenings. “A senior introduced me and a few other college mates to Ultimate Frisbee and it caught on like fire,” says Anil. Ultimate became a part of my life. I used to play the game every evening at Chennai.”
After coming back to Coimbatore, Anil roped in his friends who had free time on their hands. And they started playing Ultimate, and DisCreed was born. Anil says the first week saw only a few people joining in. “Nobody wanted to wake up at 6 a.m. during holidays to play a game of Frisbee. I was the bad guy, making calls every morning and they would curse me! Some of them however did show up to play the game and that's all we needed!” The game caught on and the word spread. DisCreed now has more than 80 members. The members of DisCreed have practice sessions (called ‘drills') on weekdays and hold matches on weekends. “Sometimes friends from Chennai come down to Coimbatore and teach us exercises to improve our throws,” says Nishit Shah, another enthusiast.
For Akash KJ, the drills help him play under pressure. Some of the members of DisCreed are getting ready to play at the ‘Hat Tournament' in Pondicherry. “Hat is an all-India Ultimate Frisbee tournament,” says Ronil. “It is to be held at Auroville. We are looking to learn from this experience, we are still beginners.”
The only girl in the group, Mrinalini, adds, “It's only when you play a tournament do you realise your strengths and weaknesses.”
Anirudh Ranganath, another student player points out that the best part of Ultimate is that it is easy to pick up. “The rules are gender-neutral. There are people in their 40s who play the game,” he says. The players themselves decide if they have committed fouls or if they have scored goals. “It makes you appreciate the spirit of sportsmanship,” says Mrinalini. The members of DisCreed have just one grouse - the lack of spaces in the city to play Ultimate Frisbee.
Keywords: Ultimate Frisbee