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Ultimate Frisbee Embodies The Spirit of Sports

Malaysia was among the first nations to officially recognized Ultimate Frisbee as a competitive sport by the International Olympic Committee, making it eligible to compete in the Olympic Games. Since then, the sport has become an easy favourite for young and old in Southeast Asia.

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Malaysia was among the first nations to officially recognized Ultimate Frisbee as a competitive sport by the International Olympic Committee, making it eligible to compete in the Olympic Games. Since then, the sport has become an easy favourite for young and old in Southeast Asia.

There are conflicting reports as to the origin of the name of the sport, Ultimate Frisbee. While the sport is commonly referred to as such, it is officially known as “Ultimate”, which was dubbed by Jared Kass, one of the inventors of Ultimate, as the ‘Ultimate Sports Experience’.

Some claim that the word frisbee came into existence through its trademark by the Wham-O toy company in the USA, who are credited with making the first mass-production frisbees in the world.

Nonetheless, whatever its origins, Ultimate Frisbee is unique in the sense that there are few rules, and plenty of scope for arbitrary sportsmanship which makes for an interesting spectator sport for those who just don’t have the ‘arm’ to play it.

Ultimate is governed by SOTG – the Spirit of the Game – which embodies sportsmanship, fair play, and mutual respect.

Physical contact is forbidden, and the referees are the players themselves. When contact or a rule violation does occur, the affected player calls it out. The game stops, and the players involved discuss the situation to reach a resolution. If the call is uncontested, play resumes accordingly. If contested, the disc is returned to the last thrower, and the game continues.

The non-contact rule fosters a respectful playing environment where players rely on skill and strategy rather than physicality. SOTG demands integrity, because players are responsible for calling out their own fouls and violations.

For example, if a player commits a ‘travel’ (moves their pivot foot illegally), they are expected to call it on themselves, even if the other player didn’t notice.

In Asia, it’s primarily a mixed sport, with 4 male and 3 female players in each team. Two teams, each with 7 players, play on a grass field that’s roughly the size of a football field. Each team defends one end zone on opposite sides.

The player holding the frisbee, called the thrower, cannot run while holding it. To score, a team needs to catch the frisbee in the other team’s end zone.

The players use a regulation-sized Ultimate disc, which is slightly larger and heavier than a traditional recreational frisbee.

The egalitarian nature of the game means that anyone can pick up a disc and play, as long as one possesses the Spirit of the Game!

If you’re just curious about the sport, head over to Putrajaya Equestrian Park on 1 & 2 June to witness the largest Ultimate tournament in Malaysia, the Malaysia Ultimate Open (MUO).

In 2023, Malaysia hosted over 800 athletes in 32 teams from 11 countries. This year’s event promises top-tier Ultimate action, with teams from across the region competing for glory.

Expect high-level play, a vibrant community atmosphere, and maybe even a chance to test out your own spirit of the game for yourself! For more information click here.

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