This is one sport in which the city is producing more champs

People at an Ultimate game. Photo credit: Deepthi Indukuri

The city may have made its mark as a cricketing powerhouse, but in recent times, it is producing champs of a different kind — who made their name in a sport called Ultimate.

Better known as Frisbee, Ultimate was once a warm-up exercise. But with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognising it as a competitive sport, the game is spreading its wings far and wide in India.

Worldwide, India is at a touching distance of champion nations like the US and Canada, with cities like Bengaluru producing some of the best Ultimate teams. After Chennai, Bengaluru has the highest number of Ultimate teams — 20 in all — and is contributing hugely in popularising the sport.

The Bangalore Ultimate Frisbee Community hosts several Ultimate events, where school-goers to corporate pros display their skills and passion for the game.

"A teacher from Kodaikanal introduced the game in India. Most people who played Ultimate as a sport in India were those exposed to it in the US," said Prasanna Poojary, a software professional and a national-level Ultimate player.

Poojary's team represented India at the World Ultimate and Guts Championships in London. Learning to Fly, which he is part of, is among the oldest Ultimate teams. 

"I've been playing Ultimate for the past eight years. Back then, Bengaluru had only two teams. Today, it has over 12 teams; most of them are playing at the national level," Poojary added.

The Karnataka Ultimate Players Association (KUPA), which played a defining role in orchestrating the game, is in the process of forming a Karnataka Ultimate 22 team, with the best of the under-22 lot, that would represent the national-level championships.

"KUPA will host the Sakkath Ultimate Open at the Central College cricket grounds from June 1 to 3. Over 50 teams from across the country will take part in this event for men and women," said Madhulika Umapathy, an entrepreneur and Ultimate player.

Playing method

A non-contact, self-refereed team sport, Ultimate is played with a flying disc. Two teams of seven players compete on a field, which compares with a football field in length, but is narrower. Each team defends one end zone. They score a goal if one of their players catches the disc in the opposite end zone.

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This is one sport in which the city is producing more champs

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