Hundreds competed in ultimate frisbee tournament in Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Hundreds competed in ultimate frisbee tournament in Kelowna

A mid-air catch from today's championship match.

Hundreds of athletes from around the country flocked to Kelowna this weekend for the 18th annual Sunflicker Ultimate Tournament.

Sunflicker is a mixed team tournament organized by Kelowna Ultimate Players Society, a non-profit dedicated to expanding ultimate frisbee around the Central Okanagan.

“We have just under 600 players on both Saturday and Sunday, full of 32 teams coming from as far as Saskatchewan and Seattle coming to play,” the tournament’s director Nate Adams said.

The ultimate frisbee action went down at Mission Recreation Park all weekend long. 

Adams said Sunflicker is about having fun and building community.

“This is just a fun tournament, it’s not sanctioned through Ultimate Canada. That means our teams know they can come and just have fun. We hosted a party last night at the Kelowna Curling Club which was awesome,” he said.

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Ultimate frisbee doesn’t have referees so the “spirit of the game” is about, “placing the onus of sportsmanship and honourable play on the players themselves,” according to Ultimate Canada, the non-profit who promotes the sport around the country.

There were three divisions at Sunflicker, high competition, low competition, and recreational.

“Ultimate, within the rules, there is a spirit of the game,” Adams said. “It’s really important that players have fun and there isn’t a win at all costs mentality. Even within these competitive sections here players are here to have fun and be supportive of each other and just make a great environment.”

Adams said the community surrounding ultimate frisbee is a bit different than the community around other sports.

“It’s a unique sport. It’s not something that is played as ubiquitously as soccer or volleyball. So those who play ultimate frisbee kind of know everyone who plays ultimate,” he said. “Every game ends with a big spirit circle, it’s not just high fives and a quick chat but they sit around and play spirit games and there’s wacky things happening. It’s an unusual sport in the best ways.”

Two teams hanging out in a spirit circle after a match at the Sunflicker tournament.
Two teams hanging out in a spirit circle after a match at the Sunflicker tournament.

Ultimate frisbee is a non-contact sport played on a rectangular field with end zones and players try to score points by passing the frisbee into the end zone, but players can’t move while holding the frisbee, according to Ultimate Canada. The frisbee changes possession if a pass is incomplete.

Adams said Kelowna Ultimate is always looking for more players to join.

“An aspect of ultimate is it’s not something everyone grows up playing. I picked it up in college and there are some people on these teams who are 33 and have kids now and are playing for the first time in their lives. I encourage anybody who thinks this sounds and looks fun to find us online,” he said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jesse Tomas or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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