Just what the sam-hell is this Ultimate Frisbee all about, you ask? Admittedly, it may seem out of place here in the stick sport capital of Canada, but don’t kid yourself – this game is catching fire here in Peterborough. And it’s only getting bigger, because yes, we’ve started to indoctrinate your children, too. Know what? They love it.
And what’s not to love about a co-ed team-based game that is athletic, non-contact, thoroughly social and doesn’t involve any referees? Oh, and is incredibly affordable to play. Pair of cleats, a disc (we’re not supposed to be using the name ‘Frisbee’ ’cause Wham-O has traditionally made crappy discs), some friends, some friends-to-be and some open green space. Intrigued? Great, then read on. We’ve tried to provide an overview of what’s going on here with the Peterborough Ultimate League (PUL), but if you have any questions we encourage you to bug us. Welcome to PUL.
The Peterborough Ultimate League (PUL) was established in 2004 when six teams were cobbled together under the guidance of Suzanne Ogilvie-King. Those early days found the league playing on a number of fields of questionable quality, but thanks to the strong spirit of play, the inherent sense of community and the presence of some really solid players, there would be no denying that the league would move forward.
While the scourge of naming a team after the colour of their shirts has been hard to shake (proper pardons go out to Grey Matter and the legendary Red Army, naturally), the league has steadily grown its membership year after year and, thankfully, better fields are more the standard rather than the exception these days (though many people do pine for that rock-pile known as TAS Island, still hallowed ground for many veterans).
Growing in very much a grassroots, word of mouth fashion, PUL has developed in what may be considered a thoroughly organic manner. We’ve been able to accommodate the interests of new players by expanding to three nights of the week. Play now occurs throughout the year as indoor Ultimate has found an excellent facility in the Spiplex for those chilly months, while casual autumn Sunday afternoons (and winter Sundays, for that matter) offer pick-up possibilities. Brief flurries of competitive Ultimate have become more common in recent years and the Peterborough squad is a great showcase for the talent we have in the region. We anticipate greater things to come given the passion people have for the game in these parts.
Our Harvest tournament in September teeters on legendary status already as squads from across Ontario and into Quebec and beyond descend on Peterborough for a stellar time. Our midseason summer EcoDisc tournament – first launched in Lang — reflects those principles of community, sustainability and friendly madness that somehow define this place we call home. More recently, Glory and Frost Bowl have nudged there way onto our calendar and appear poised to stay around for a long time to come.
Meanwhile, one of Peterborough’s enduring contributions to this great game is a simple idea we refer to as the Carbon Flip, a measure taken to reduce our ecological footprint, encourage car pooling and show that sport can easily embrace social and environmental measures if we take a moment to be a bit more mindful of our actions.
For many, Ultimate is community in Peterborough – as is the case anywhere this game is played. For the uninitiated, it’s a fun, friendly, competitive and social league that is a great way to connect with people and stay healthy. While most players return to their ‘home’ team come the summer session, our league emphasizes mixing up teams during winter and spring seasons so as to meet and play with an entirely new set of people. Yes, the league is still in its early stages, but the core of PUL is strong and continues to improve as every year goes by.