Island Frisbee players hope to snag some wins at national championships
P.E.I. Ultimate League says sport is growing on the Island
A group of ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts will be representing the province this weekend at the Canadian Ultimate Championships in Quebec.
Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact sport where points are earned by catching a Frisbee in the opposing team's end zone. It's a sport that's caught on in P.E.I. over the years, says player Vaughn Murphy.
"Early on there was probably barely enough [players] to play a game or two," said Murphy.
"We would have been looking at 20-25 people, and in 10 years we've grown quite a bit."
Murphy said more than 100 people regularly attend games now, and the league has grown from a summer-only offering to include fall, winter, and for the first time this year, a spring league.
Murphy credits that growth to the fact that it's an accessible, affordable, and easy to learn sport.
"There's very few limitations in terms of how you can catch the Frisbee," said Murphy.
"In some sports you have limitations in terms of what you can use and what you can do, in soccer, for example, you can't use your hands, in ultimate Frisbee, if you can catch it, it's good to go."
9-member team to represent P.E.I.
It'll be the fourth year P.E.I. will take part in the Canadian Ultimate Championships, and this year, the P.E.I. Ultimate Frisbee League is sending a nine-member team to represent the Island.
Murphy said the small group has been working hard, practising a couple of times a week to master fundamentals, running drills and working on conditioning.
We are really encouraging people to — even if they've only thrown the Frisbee at the beach with friends — come and try it out.— Vaughn Murphy
"Our first year we came in last place," said Murphy.
"Since then we've improved a couple spots, and we're looking to be in the mid-pack this year. Somewhere between 15 and 20, they're expecting 22 teams, if we can get in the teens we'd be happy with that."
'Come and try it out'
Murphy said once the games are over, the focus will be back on growing the league in P.E.I.
"We are really encouraging people to — even if they've only thrown the Frisbee at the beach with friends — come and try it out," said Murphy.
He said the league plans to develop new initiatives to introduce people to the sport and find ways to engage youth so that in years to come there will be even more players to fill the league.