Mustangs Host First-Ever Games on Campus
Western Mustangs Ultimate FrisbeeGreg Bowman
Saturday afternoon saw the Western Mustangs Ultimate Frisbee team play their first-ever games on Western University’s campus. It was the inaugural Exhibition Showcase, where both the men’s and women’s Mustangs squads faced off against some fellow Ontario University opponents.
The event was significant because it is the first and only time for members of the team to compete on Western’s campus in front of family and friends. During the season, the teams have to travel to competitions held by Ultimate Canada as the sport is not as widely available at other schools. And at the schools that it is available, it is often lost in the fray of the other sports and can sometimes not get the recognition it deserves. It was also the first competitive match that any players have played in since the season ended in October.
The rules of ultimate frisbee are simple: two teams compete on a full-length field, where the goal is to catch the frisbee in your opponents’ endzone for a point. You cannot move while you have the frisbee in hand, and all rules are enforced on an honour code—there are no officials. It is a fast-paced, high-intensity sport that demands extreme cardio and athleticism along with some intricate strategies incorporated as well. It sees strategies drawn from rugby, soccer and football, but with the difficult task of accurately throwing a disk while someone is directly in front of you.
The women’s team played against an all-star team consisting of players from McMaster, the University of Toronto and York. During the season, Western’s women’s team won both games at the Canadian University Ultimate Championship against the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Regina Cougars. On Saturday's exhibition game, the all-stars were able to prevail with an 8-6 victory. The game was a friendly one though, and the teams engaged in a post-game celebration and photo afterwards, with plans to have lunch together as well.
The men’s team competed against the McMaster Marauders for their exhibition game. A fast-paced, back-and-forth game ended in the Marauders coming away with a 10-7 victory. During the regular season, the men’s team competed in tournaments in Guelph, Waterloo and Toronto, while also making trips out to Regina and Sherbrooke.
Ultimate frisbee is a sporting community like no other. While the athletes are as intense as any other sport, there is something different about the way that it's played. When someone is knocked down, their opponent is quick to help them up. When a play is borderline on the boundaries, the player always tells the truth. There is a certain code involved in ultimate frisbee that is seen in no other sport. Probably most exceptional about it is that immediately after the game is done, the teams do three cheers for one another and are quick to shake hands and commend one another on their play. Perhaps it is because they all just love the sport so much, and that love for the sport translates into an overall contagious sporting atmosphere.
If you haven’t seen a game of ultimate frisbee played in person, you really don’t know what you’re missing.