Soaring to popularity

Club culture

Soaring to popularity

We have all seen or heard of the frisbee but chances are bleak that the term ‘ultimate frisbee’ is part of our regular sport vocabulary. Seeking to change this is a group of dedicated athletes that goes by the name of ‘Dabaki’.

“We were first introduced to this sport in our college, B M S College of Engineering, by our seniors,” says Arvind S, the senior most member of the team. “They had a team called ‘Thatte Idli Kaal Soup’ that was started in 2013. Once we picked up the basics and had enough players, we branched out to form a team of our own. All the members are either passouts or existing students of BMS.”

And thus ‘Dabaki’ was born a year ago, to take forward the legacy of a relatively unknown sport.

Ranjan Khyadad explains the nuances. “It is somewhat similar to rugby but it combines the best of three sports — rugby, football and basketball. It is played on a field with two end zones and to score you have to catch the frisbee in these zones. There are usually five to seven people in a team and since it’s a mixed-gender sport, teams comprise of both men and women.”

There are some interesting aspects to this sport. “Unlike any other game, this is self-refereed,” says Prajwal M. “This, combined with the fact that teams are mixed, makes ultimate frisbee very unique. The spirit of the sport is what drew me to it.”

But a self-refereed sport brings with it its own challenges. “Because it is self-refereed, any foul or fight will have to be resolved between the players themselves,” says Sheetal R. “That is why it is important to play fair to avoid any negativity.”

“Also, the sport is very new to India and a lot of people don’t know about it. In fact, we ourselves were not aware of it till our seniors taught us. So creating awareness among youngsters is another challenge,” she adds.

But problems fade in the face of the many advantages that playing this no-contact, new age game. “We have all learned to play with more spirit than competitive fervour,” says Varun Rangarajan. “There is a sense of camaraderie and it is not about winning or losing. Physically, the sport is a very demanding one because it involves a lot of running and training.  One also has to be accurate with their throws.”

The word ‘Dabaki’ is an abbreviation of ‘The burning cleats’, points out Arvind. “The ‘ki’ in it comes from the fact that we fondly call it kileats instead of cleats,” he adds with a smile.

The aforementioned burning is an intense process, shares Meghana Balasubramanian. “We usually practice almost throughout the week in case of a tournament. Otherwise we practice on weekends or about three days a week at either the National College grounds in Jayanagar or in BMS. After practice, we head out for breakfast together or hang out for a while.”

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