Team Airbone edged passed Team Chakraa, 9-8 to win the National Beach Ultimate tournament here in Chennai on Sunday.The three day tournament saw 23 teams participating from places like Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kerala and Bangalore along with 10 teams from Chennai. Team Airborne is from Chennai.
This is the Sixth edition of the tournament which was organized by the Ultimate Players Association of India, the players body for Ultimate Frisbee in India. The sport has grown leaps and bounds, even more considering that it is only eight years old in India, there are more than 1,000 active participatory players in the country.
Karthik Narayanan, Chief Organizer and Director of the Chennai heat said “The beauty of the game lies in the fact that it both men and women can play. In the Olympics, there is only dressage as that sport.”
Team Airborne has a social angle to itself as a team, it recruits more than half of it’s players from an NGO called ‘Pudiyador’. This NGO tries to strive for the betterment of slum children by indulging them in activities.
The sport is majorly played in Chennai, Kodaikanal, Pondicherry, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore. The popularity is showing an increase as you see more and more children at Besant Nagar beach taking up the game. Most of them feel it to be a combination of Football and Basketball.
There is no professional league in India. If we look at the countries like USA, they have leagues like the “Major League Ultimate”. Chennai Ultimate Frisbee tries to emulate a similar model and professionalise the sport in the country.
Karthik said “India would probably fall in the tier two of Asia, considering Asia has three tiers”. With no professional league that is a good enough encouragement.”
He added that he sees Ultimate Frisbee in the Olympics with an Indian contingent in the next ten years