Ashwood Waldorf Blog
The “Ultimate” Sport
It was not until I entered college that I heard of Ultimate Frisbee. I immediately fell in love with the game. It’s easy for beginners to learn and play. Yet, despite it’s accessibility, there’s no end to how skilled you can become at this extremely athletic game.
When I became a Waldorf teacher I began to fully appreciate another aspect of Ultimate. There are no referees, even in competitive tournament play. All officiating is done by the players on the field who make their decisions in light of the Spirit of the Game™ “a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees.”
The benefits of self-officiating are clear to me as someone who has taught games and sports to children for many years. Children need opportunities to work through disagreements and conflict in healthy ways. They need chances to learn and practice good sportsmanship.
Traditionally, team sports were an avenue for those opportunities. However, as we’ve moved away from sandlot baseball to televised Little League World Championships, in too many cases winning has become more important than interacting with the other team, and adults have taken over the officiating.
Ultimate provides players with the opportunity to develop the healthy sportsmanship that is so needed in our sports-crazed society.
This is the fourth year I have taught the afterschool Ultimate Club at Ashwood Waldorf School for grades four through seven. Even after a long day of teaching I’m excited to get out on the field and play Ultimate with these enthusiastic students.
I’ve been impressed with the conduct and skill level of this year’s club team. It’s truly a joy to coach them. Adults are always welcome to join in the fun!
We have more Ultimate planned for the summer. I will be leading Ashwood’s Ultimate Frisbee Summer Campa August 3-7, a weeklong experience for students in grades four through seven. This year, the camp will be a full day (9:00 a.m. – 3::00 p.m.), and we’ll be adding archery to the mix.