Photographer: | ultimate in certitude Photographer: | chennai frisbee invitation Photographer: | Auroville and Delhi teams
13 Oct / 2009Program by:

Spirit of the Game

In a world where athletics often spill over with conflict and aggression, a competitive sport whose foundation is joy and goodwill is a rare phenomena. Coren, captain of Auroville’s Ultimate Frisbee team, explains the game, how it reached Auroville and why it is here to stay. The team recently came back from the Chennai Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in which they won the ‘Spirit of the Game’ award. The award is given to the group who keeps the game fun, joyous and full of goodwill. A game which develops these qualities makes this game ‘at home’ in Auroville.

‘The Auroville Ultimate Frisbee Team was honored with a “Spirit of the Game” award in the Chennai Tournament. Many in Auroville have thrown a frisbee around on the beach or at a park, but few have played Ultimate Frisbee or know that such a game exists. Last March this game was re-introduced to Auroville by Mark, an American guest.
Ultimate is a 30 year-old sport played in over 42 countries that combines athletic competition with a joyful spirit. In Ultimate Frisbee, teams of 7 players compete against each other on football-sized fields. At the center of Ultimate Frisbee is the Spirit of the Game, an ethic of play fostered by the absence of referees. All fouls and disagreements are worked out between players. As quoted from the Ultimate Frisbee Official Rules: Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play.

Recently, the Auroville Ultimate team, a mixture of Aurovilians,’ guests and volunteers, was invited to a tournament at Elliot’s beach in Chennai to play teams from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi.
In our matches we often faced teams that had played together for a couple years and practiced 3-4 times a week. Though our young team often ended the game with a smaller score, our spirit remained positive. After four games of playing increasingly well, but not quite winning, we pulled all the pieces together during on October 3rd and won our final match.
After each game during the tournament teams were asked to evaluate the spirit of the other teams’ play. With all ten teams gathered around on Saturday night, the Auroville Ultimate team was named winner of the "Spirit of the Game" award, an honor given to the team that best demonstrates the true spirit of Ultimate Frisbee.

In a world where athletics often spill over with conflict and aggression, it was a joy for all of us to participate in a sport whose foundation is joy and goodwill. The feeling of an aspiration towards human unity is very tangible in Ultimate. Though one team won the tournament, it was abundantly clear on Saturday night that all teams were sharing in a spirit of mutual celebration. Throughout the weekend teams cheered as much for other teams as their own.
I would like to appreciate all those players who joined in this three day adventure, as well as those who came out to practice these past months. We always welcome new players. No prior experience required. Our practices are every Monday afternoon at Certitude.
Over the course of this weekend, the AV Ultimate team played with a beautiful spirit. Remaining positive, unified and supportive of each other even when the score wasn’t in our favor. We traveled north as a group who played frisbee once or twice a week. We returned home to Auroville as a team.
An article about the tournament can be found online


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