How does ultimate frisbee work as a self-refereed sport? Don’t the kids just cheat?
While many parents initially think that kids would just cheat without a referee, that’s only because they’re used to watching sports with referees. Elevate Ultimate Vancouver goes beyond regular sports skillsets.
Ultimate frisbee teaches agility, hand-eye coordination, pass and catching plus compassion and so much more.
How Ultimate Frisbee Captures the Spirit of the Game
Ultimate frisbee’s underlying principle is the Spirit of the Game; it’s a self-refereed sport where sportsmanship and fair play are essential to its success. Even at the world championships and gold medal game, players have to call their own fouls and resolve conflicts by communicating with each other
When there is only one referee, “if the referee doesn’t see it, it’s not a foul.” However in ultimate, every player is a referee so there is actually less petty fouls
The lack of referees in ultimate allows young athletes to learn important skills they will need in school and their careers, such as conflict resolution, listening, and communicating calmly in tense situations. Kids practice these skills in our camps, and coaches help facilitate the discussion when there is a foul call between two players.
The other benefit to having no referees is there is no scapegoat in a game. Too often, there are videos of parents and athletes screaming at referees (even sadder when it’s an eight-year-old hockey game). In ultimate, all the focus can be on the fun and fair play of the sport without playing a referee for the results.
The larger mission of Elevate Ultimate is to create a more positive sports environment for all athletes regardless of sport. If enough kids play ultimate, Elevate hopes they’ll bring the lessons they learned from Spirit of the Game and pass them on to their soccer, hockey, football teammates, etc.
Be it a physical activity or a mental one, the skills Ultimate imparts can only add value to it.