by Suné (Ranger Danger)
I started playing ultimate last year, two weeks before Rocktober 2016, purely because Joan Greeff convinced me to join as the team needed girls. How, I thought at first, how silly the game of Ultimate sounded, remembering that when I was younger we would throw a frisbee around when the family got together. I come from a small Free State town and did not imagine that this could be the game that I’ve been waiting for all my life? To my surprise it was!
So I showed up one fine Friday evening for practice and a crash course in Ultimate just so that I would at least be able to catch and throw the disc. What an experience it was! I was the only newbie in an experienced group of players, each giving me tips. Moreover I was nowhere near fit enough for a two hour practice.
Next thing I know I’m wearing a Zone Rangers shirt at Rocktober 2016, ready to play although I am strictly speaking still learning, even picking up a few things on the morning before our first game. I was so confused during the first game that I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place half the time. When our team was on offense playing a vert stack, team mates had to call me over. I heard words yelled like “up”, “dump”, “cut” and “huck”, How confusing not knowing what they meant. I was in the new world of Ultimate and it was pretty awesome, to tell you the truth. There were only four girls in the team and we played five games that day.
What an amazing day it was! I ran more in one day than in the previous six months. I tried to stay positive even though I was exhausted, pushing through the games against good opponents. Although we lost four out of five games, our team was still smiling at the end of the day. I learnt so much that day and I know for sure the ultimate bug got me good.
It was then that Joan and I decided that we were going to start our own Sunday pickup in Pretoria and call it Ranger Danger. That very next Sunday we played our first official pickup with a smattering of people we convinced to come check it out. Since then we have had so much fun and success teaching new players the awesome game of Ultimate. Four months down the line there is a number of regular players and some old hands dropping by every now and then.
What I love so much about ultimate is the fact that there is no referee and that ‘Spirit of the game’ cultivates excellent sportsmanship. No matter how competitive things get on the field, everyone respects ‘Spirit of the game’, the other players and their perspective.