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Safety considerations in Ultimate Frisbee

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Image credit: Boon Ping Chua/SportSG

Despite the fact that Ultimate Frisbee is supposed to be a “non-contact” team sport, many serious accidents can still occur. Common injuries in Ultimate Frisbee are ankle and knee sprains and these occur from collisions when a player is on offense trying to avoid other players and makes sharp-angled cuts to get space between them and their defender.

Blame it on gravity, momentum or even clumsiness, but it is always important to remember that prevention is better than cure. A game of Ultimate Frisbee should be about having fun and enjoyment, not injuries so keep the following in mind, especially when you are handling a disc so you won’t hurt yourself or others.

1.    Always stay aware of obstacles and danger objects around the field. Those cones and markers might look harmless, but they are potential hazards that could trip you up when you’re playing at speed.

2.    Don’t throw to someone who isn’t looking at you. If your teammate (or opponent, even) is not aware that a disc is coming towards their way, try signaling to give them a heads up.

3.    Familiarise yourself with how the frisbee flies through the air to prevent collision by players who are running for a disc. Don’t just keep your eyes on the disc but have a good look at the people running on the field as well. It is common to see Ultimate players injured from careless collisions that could be prevented with just being careful.  

4.    Try wearing cleats/boots to create friction and prevent falling on the ground when making cuts. On the field, the studs of the cleats provide friction and grips onto the soil when you’re running, giving you less risk of falling as compared to regular running shoes.

5.    Make sure you have adequate space when practicing your throwing skills. Training is the time where we experiment with different throws to improve our skills, but this can prove to be dangerous if you’re throwing the frisbee when someone is in the way. The disc is a free flying object in mid-air, once thrown it is hard to gain control. So make sure the coast is clear before you practice.

6.    Don’t dive at an opponent or after the frisbee. Diving might seem like a good idea when you’re in a desperate attempt to catch a disc or prevent someone else from catching it. But in the process, nasty abrasions or worse still collisions can happen. It is better to play safely, than recklessly.

7.    Don’t use violence on the opponent. In the heat of the game, emotions can run wild causing us to do things we never meant to do. Keep your cool and remember that the game is about playing, not winning.

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