Players taking a fling at ultimate

Sky-high snag is made by Tobias Gray, new to Duncan from Whitehorse, over top of defender Ian Lahay of Victoria. - Don Bodger
Sky-high snag is made by Tobias Gray, new to Duncan from Whitehorse, over top of defender Ian Lahay of Victoria.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Ultimate is quite literally the ultimate game for people of all sports backgrounds.

Experienced players and newcomers trying to get the hang of it were on the field at the Cowichan Sportsplex Sunday for the fifth-annual Duncan Huck-Up tournament.

Basketball and soccer players catch onto the game quickly. There are some elements of football with the pull at the beginning — like a kickoff — and the end zones where teams try to reach to score.

Those with different specialty sports pick up the skills pretty well just through pure athleticism that goes a long way, too.

Best of all, the social aspects of the sport are appealing to many looking for an alternate recreational choice.

The complete package was brought together at the tournament with players from all over the island attending. It’s called a hat tournament where players were made up into four teams purely at random.

“Everyone signs up, they give a skill level and we sort the teams to make them even,’’ said Mike Cloutier, spokesman for the organizing team.

“It gives people a chance to play with people they’ve never played with before.’’

Three females had to be among the seven team members on the field on each side.

“It is a good co-ed sport,’’ said Cloutier, who’s a newcomer to the area from Ontario. “You can still be competitive and fun at the same time.’’

Other ultimate hat tournaments are held on Cortes Island and in Parksville and Nanaimo. For those so inclined, team tournaments are also an option.

“I prefer the hat tournaments,’’ said Cloutier. “It’s usually more even.

“I just like it. It’s really physical and really fun. It requires more energy and stamina than the average game.’’

Cowichan Ultimate meets Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex. During September, the team will be on the field hockey turf. Drop-ins are always welcome.

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