Winter in Curitiba is looking more like summer: hot days and mild nights. And I have taken good advantage of this wonderful yet rare gift from nature, at least in this city. So, after several months focused on work and studies only, and considering that I am on vacations, I decided to meet up with some Brazilian friends last Sunday.
I took Geronimo for a ride, stopped at the bakery store to buy some stuffs and went around my neighborhood (Santa Felicidade) and a little further. After a couple of hours I headed to Barigui Park to meet some friends for a match. Not a soccer match or a rugby match, but an ultimate match. I didn’t hear about the game before that day at the park. We were 10 people, 3 foreigners (Manuel from Germany, Thierry from France and me from Venezuela) and the rest Brazilians, and divided the group in 2 teams: Panda Team and Tucanos Team.
Ultimate is a non-contact sport played with a Frisbee. The game was born in the USA in 1968 and, although it’s not represented in the Olympic Games, it’s included in World Games. Ultimate was created to have a sport where women and men could play together regardless of strength. The rules are pretty simple: the aim of the game is to score points by passing the disk to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in American football or rugby. Players may not run with the disc, and may only move one foot while holding the disc (pivoting). Manuel, the German guy, explained us that ultimate is a mixture between basketball and rugby, but without the violence and contact with the other players.
I was a proud Panda team player. We had so much fun that we won 10 over 7. I scored 3 points for the team, and never thought I was so competitive on the field. Normally I tend to stay away from ball sports because I’ve had not so good experiences playing soccer or basket… But as it was a Frisbee, so it seemed like such a fun, non-violent and friendly sport, and I felt careless about anything landing on my nose. We played for about 2 and a half hours on a nice, hot and sunny day, running from one side to the other, falling on the smooth super green grass and scoring points.
I guess that ultimate is my new favorite sport, it is fast, exciting and non-violent. And, most importantly, it is a sport where both women and men can equally play in the same team and score equally amounts of points. Also, players do not need to have experience in the game, just the will to play and have fun.