After a successful first year, West Shore Pick-up Ultimate is back for another summer of hucked discs and epic catches.
Colwood resident Leigh Garrod started the Friday night pick-up game, which goes from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Colwood elementary school field, as a way for players on the West Shore to get in on a game a little closer to home.
The game is also intended to be less competitive than its downtown counterparts and open to beginners interested in learning how to play. It’s free, with no commitments attached.
“It’s probably the most recreational game you’ll find, there aren’t too many pros who show up,” Garrod said. “It’s a lot of people who are just entering the game and those of us who have been playing for a while and just like to have fun.”
Often, when there are new players, Garrod will hold a briefing before the game to teach basic rules and strategy.
Ultimate, sometimes referred to as ultimate Frisbee, is a co-ed sport played with a flying disc on a soccer field. It’s kind of like football with a disc, only it’s non-contact and you can’t run after a catch. The disc must be passed up the field until a player catches it in the end zone for a point. It involves a lot of running, cutting and good times.
Last year, 15 to 20 people showed up regularly for the game, which is typically played with seven a side, but can be played with fewer if the numbers are lower. Garrod joked that with the Canucks out of the playoffs they might see more people out earlier in the summer this year.
The games are a family affair and there is a playground at the location and always someone to look after the children while the parents play. Garrod is hoping to see more youth out, either from the local high schools or Royal Roads University, to learn the game and have some fun.
Some will tell you that ultimate is more about socializing than anything else, and they’re not wrong. Garrod can attest to this personally, as he met his wife, Sylvie Gilbert, while playing ultimate in Ottawa.
This atmosphere is all a part of the spirit of the sport and the West Shore game.
“You can always go find an ultimate group and you’ve met a good group of people,” Garrod said. “It attracts a good crowd to hang around with and have fun with.”