Friday February 10, 2012
Ultimate - a crowd puller
By DURIE RAINER FONG
KOTA KINABALU: At least 100 eager participants including those from Britain and the United States have confirmed their entry for a fast growing sport here this month.
“Ultimate” – which combines the athleticism of basketball, speed of football and tactical precision of rugby, is once again making its way to Sabah with the third installation of the Borneo Headhunters Hat tournament at the Sukma fields here on Feb 25.
Malaysian players including the home-grown Sabahans will slog it out with the American, British and Bruneian competitors to become the champion of Ultimate, hailed as the world’s fastest growing sporting event.
Using a plastic flying disc, the sport can be played in mixed teams of both male and female players showing their sporting prowess through an extraordinary display of fast cuts, skilful handling of the disc and well-timed blocks against their opponents.
Points are scored when the disc is caught within a designated area known as the “end zone”.
“The most unique aspect of Ultimate is the spirit of the game, which refers to the practice of uncommon sportsmanship and self-regulation on the field,” said tournament director Dinoza Mahruf.
“Any dispute over disc possession is resolved by the immediate two players involved without the need for an umpire or referee.”
A Hat tournament is played by individuals whose skills and abilities are rated and paired with corresponding teams.
“Often, players in a hat tournament will never meet until the day of competition and have to adjust their usual game play to suit their new teammates, adding an extra dimension to the team dynamics of this fast-paced, exciting sport,” said Mahruf.
He added that the upgrade of the playing venue showed the increasing standard and popularity of the sport, which is played regularly at Tanjung Aru and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here.