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These 5 Goans are flying to the Far East to catch the Ultimate Frisbee

After a grueling set of tryouts on the beaches of Goa, Chennai, and Mumbai, the all India team list for the Mixed Masters division of the Asia-Oceanic Beach Ultimate Championships (AOBUC) in, Japan has been announced – and Goa has made the cut. Members of Gnash, Goa’s foremost Ultimate Frisbee club have also been chosen as part of the mixed team to compete in the Asia Oceanic Ultimate & Guts Championships (AOUGC) taking place in China.

Representing Goa at AOBUC as part of the Indian mixed team formed by the Ultimate Players Association of India are Charmaine Godinho, and Nathan Chowgule. Given that competitive Frisbee championships are still a fledgling sport in India, this is indeed a matter of great pride for India’s smallest state. The Ultimate Players Association of India (UPAI) has been in existence for almost a decade now, and has established a strong network of players in multiple flying disk sports such as disk golf, guts, and freestyle disk throwing as well. The popularity of competitive Frisbee as a team sport, however, has been on the rise in the last few years, with multiple clubs and teams being formed in states across India.

What is Ultimate Frisbee (Ultimate)?

Ultimate Frisbee (shortened to just Ultimate) is a team sport that is best described as a team sport which is a cross between Basketball and Football, with a flying disk (or Frisbee) as a substitute for the ball. It is defined as “a non-contact team sport played with a flying disc (Frisbee)” which was developed in 1968 by a group of students at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey. The Frisbee aside, what makes this sport truly unique is the fact that even at league and championship levels, the game is ‘self-officiating’ relying on the players to call their own fouls and settle disputes. The game however does have official ‘observers’ that act as a third umpire of sorts when called upon.

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Ultimate Players Association of India (UPAI)

The Ultimate Players Association of India was officially registered in April 2012 by Manu Karan and Karthik Narayanan, uniting a community of over 500 Ultimate Frisbee players. Fast forward to 2019, and UPAI now recognizes close to 70 teams across India totaling over 1800 players. The UPAI is recognized by the World Flying Disk Federation (WFDF), and helps facilitate representation at major sporting events across the world.

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