The summer season is almost here. If you live in a city with an access to the sea, you may notice some frisbee’s already flying around. In Types of Ultimate Frisbee Tournaments, I’ve mentioned Beach Ultimate but never got into details. This weekend my team is organising Beach Ultimate Championships. It’s a perfect moment to freshen up what we know about Beach Ultimate.
What is Beach Ultimate?
Beach Ultimate is a variant of grass Ultimate, which means there’re not that many differences. It’s still a team sport, which can be played in three divisions: Open, Women and Mixed. The rules are the same as in grass Ultimate. The disc can be thrown in any direction from one player to the other. The players in possession of the disc are not allowed to run, so they must establish a pivot foot and pass the disc to another player. The goal is to catch the frisbee in the endzone of the opposing team. The stall count is 10 seconds.
So, what’s the difference?
The field is smaller (75mx25m; 82x72yd) and the teams play 5-on-5. There’s also a 4-on-4 version. In order to win, one od the teams needs to score 13 points or score the most points in 45 minutes.
Other than that, everything works according to the WFDF Official Rules of Ultimate (the grass type). Also, because of the self-refereeing rules, you need to remember about the Spirit Of The Game. If you’re curious about the details then check out the Official Beach Ultimate Rules. There’s a ton of information!
Why Beach Ultimate?
While Beach Ultimate is closely related to grass Ultimate, it’s different.
With a smaller field, fewer players, different surface and weather conditions, the game changes in so many ways. The soft, sand surface makes cutting a bit more challenging. The strategies need to be adapted to fit the rigorous conditions. You need to pay extra more attention to the wind and the way you throw the disc. It affects the strategy and the overall flow of the game.
Beach Ultimate has a laid back nature. Perhaps that’s why it’s not taken seriously everywhere. In other cases, some people decide to play only Beach Ultimate. The element of being competitive is still present, though no one can deny that the sound of the waves brings a certain peace of mind. It almost enhances the Spirit.
Another reason for players drifting towards this type of Ultimate Frisbee is the lower risk of injuries. Older players find it easier to continue playing on the beach tournaments. I also find it a good place for new players to start. You get to play on the beach in a really cool atmosphere and you catch a lot of experience. If you’ve never attempted a layout…here’s your chance!
Sugar and spice and everything nice…or is it?
Can you imagine anything more pleasant than Beach Ultimate? It could be one of the favourite activities to pass the time. The sun, the soft sand between your toes, the light breeze making the frisbee fly those few extra meters. Who doesn’t like throwing the disc on the beach? What’s difficult in that? Why would anyone complain about throwing, right? Sure, the wind. That’s the issue… or is it?
Now, let’s be honest. It sounds awesome. It pretty much yells at you: it’s vacation time!! Get out there and play. Have fun. Live a little. Beach body time! Don’t be lazy. Run with the wind! Jump higher! It’s a trap.
The hardest part of playing Beach Ultimate is running. Think about those sprints in a sand while your legs get stuck in that soft sand. After a day like that, you start to appreciate the grass surface. Sprints on the beach mean slow motion movement. The disc actually seems to be in a fast forward mode. 😉 It’s time to save up some crazy amounts of stamina, drink water and don’t give up. Oh. And the sand. You won’t get rid of it for the next 6 months. Seriously. Say goodbye to sand-free sport’s bags!
In conditions like that you need to aim for a perfect timing with your throws and the cuts of your teammates. Also, your throws need to be precise and confident. There’s no room for a mistake. Jumping is another hard task. You suddenly realise that the gravitation has different rules on the beach. Who knew, right?
Beach Ultimate is a bit more demanding than any other type of tournaments, but that’s exactly why it’s so great. You need to push your limits and be strategic about your every move on the beach. No strategy will win the game for you unless you use your head and be serious about teamwork.
Oh, and here’s a brief summary of Beach Ultimate. 🙂