Sunday, January 08, 2006

Take My Advice...

...playing Ultimate for an hour with people 10-15 years your junior, and then playing again with a different group for another 90 minutes is a bad idea. A really, really bad idea. My knee wishes I'd known that before I actually went out and did it.

I often mention Ultimate on this blog, so I'll take a moment to explain the game. Ultimate is like football in that you have to advance a game piece into your opponents' end zone. Unlike football, Ultimate is played with a flying disc (Frisbee), and you can't run with the disc. When you have the disc, you stop and wait for a chance to pass it to one of your teammates, who then freezes and tries to pass it again, etc. The player who catches the disc in the end zone scores a goal. The opposite team attempts to intercept the disc or knock it down, and if they do possession changes and the defense becomes the offense. Each team contains 7 players; if the game is co-ed, each must have 2-3 women. Normally, the game is played until one team scores 13 points, although some games go t0 15.

Ultimate is my obsession, I admit. It's easy to learn, and doesn't require a bunch of pads and helmets and all that felgercarb. Cleats are recommended, and when you start to get older you often want to use knee or shin supports. (Of course, I wouldn't know anything about that.) One of the best things about Ultimate is that it's self-refereed; each player is expected to police him/herself, and the other players accept this. Although I've seen a few heated arguments over rules calls, it's been nothing near what I've witnessed in other sports. Oh, and as West-Coast, crunchy granola as it may seem, Ultimate was invented in New Jersey.

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