Frisbee players dedicated to fun drop in game

Ultimate frisbee drop-in in Terrace B.C. is characterized by a friendly and relaxed atmosphere which is great for new people.

Clarence Giesbrecht launches a pass around Joel Ringma at a frisbee drop in.

Terrace ultimate frisbee drop-in is characterized by a friendly and relaxed atmosphere which is great for new people who want to build connections in town.

“It’s a great way to make some friends…[and] it’s the easiest game in the world to learn,” said Benjamin Davidson, one of the coordinators of the drop-in.

“You don’t have to be athletic to play a part,” he added.

In ultimate frisbee, two teams try to get the frisbee in opposite end zones, but the disk can only be moved by passing, and if the frisbee is dropped it goes to the other team.

Kimberley Sandve moved to Terrace in 2014 and said the game was the way she got connected in town.

“[On my] first weekend here I played frisbee and met all my friends,” she said, adding that it is nice to have something consistent year round.

The drop-in games have players of all ages, mostly in their 20s and 30s, and have an average of 14 people, ranging from six to 23 players depending on the weather.

The game is played outside on the fields behind Caledonia Secondary, and though weather has a definite affect on the game, the group plays nearly year-round and rarely allows poor conditions to hold them back.

“It’s only when there is a thick layer of crusted snow where you literally can’t run that it becomes a problem,” said Davidson.

“If its powder, even if it’s eight inches deep, that just makes it fun to dive in. We’ll play in that. Very rarely will we cancel a game for the weather – pouring rain or wind, we’ll still do it.”

The drop-in ultimate frisbee started in summer 2007 with eight friends, including Davidson, who just wanted to have some fun.

Davidson said they decided to play ultimate frisbee because everyone knew how to play, and it was a game they could easily throw together on a beautiful summer day. They started doing that off and on throughout that summer and it soon became consistent on Sunday afternoons at the Thornhill Primary School soccer field.

“They had big water cannons to water the grass [at the school], and in the hot days after a game, it was nice to run through. It was refreshing,” Davidson recalls.

In summer 2009 they drew notice from a few middle-aged people who used to regularly play frisbee here.

“They saw us playing and came over one day with a bag of equipment — we’d never met them — and said ‘hey, we used to play, but you guys look like maybe you can carry the torch’ … then we kind of realized it was a thing,” Davidson said.

With the new coloured pennies and cones for boundaries, the group started a Facebook page and moved to the fields between Caledonia Secondary School and the REM Lee Theatre, where they play today.

Then in 2013, they started to consciously promote the game by making posters to invite more people out.

By that time, the group was playing on Sunday afternoons and on Wednesday nights, as long as the light provided opportunity.

Davidson said they typically played Wednesdays only half of the year, after daylight savings time, but in 2014 they tried to extend the season by buying an LED frisbee and glow sticks — and later some glow vests.

Alexander Ippel, one of the original friends who started frisbee, played with the glow sticks and said it was a lot of fun, but a bit worrying at the same time.

“It kind of evens things up because everyone kind of holds back a little in the dark, so it makes for a more fluid game,” he said. “It’s a nice little twist on the regular game.”

Though the glow gear was damaged when in storage last fall, Davidson said they plan to have new vests by November when daylight savings time hits.

Anyone interested to play can drop in at the Caledonia fields Sundays at 3 p.m. or Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. or check out their Facebook page “Ultimate Frisbee Terrace.”