An ultimate test of sportsmanship

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2012, 12:00am


What do you get when you mix frisbee and rugby? The answer: ultimate frisbee, aka ultimate.

Two junior reporters met the president of the Hong Kong Ultimate Players' Association (HKUPA), Apple Tong-Chapman, to find out more about the sport.

Ultimate is an exciting and fast-paced team sport. The game requires plenty of speed and agility from players.

Two teams, each with seven players, compete against each other on a field 64m long. There are two end zones at the opposite ends of the field. To start the game, players must stand in their own end zone.

A team must pass the frisbee into its opponents' end zone to score.

To win, a team must score 14 points. If both teams fail to score 14 points in 90 minutes, the one with the higher score wins.

Unlike the ball in rugby, the frisbee can move in all directions, including forwards. Each player has 10 seconds to pass the frisbee.

If the frisbee gets over a line, remains in a player's hand for more than 10 seconds, or touches the ground, the opponent takes possession of it.

Unlike in rugby, no physical contact is allowed between players. Also, there are no referees in the game.

Ultimate is, therefore, a real test to players' sense of fairness and sportsmanship.

Jocelyn Chan

Tong-Chapman has been the president of the HKUPA for four years. She has brought new dynamics to the sport in Hong Kong.

Tong-Chapman says the sport was once played only as a social activity, mainly by expatriates. But, in recent years, it has grown into a competitive sport. Hong Kong even has its own ultimate team.

Last year, for the first time ever, the Hong Kong team fielded only Chinese players.

At the 2011 China Nationals Ultimate Frisbee tournament, the Hong Kong team beat defending champions Tianjin Speed and brought home the champion's title.

HKUPA is run by volunteers. The association will wrap up its 18-district promotion campaign by the end of this month. The next campaign will start in July, with two, two-hour introductory sessions in every district. HKUPA's goal is to increase awareness of the sport across the territory.

'Many local people still don't know such a sport exists,' Tong-Chapman says. 'I am sure if they learn more about the sport, they will come to love it.'

Sonia Vashi