James Gransaull, one of the four Byron Ultimate Disc Club members who will travel to Melbourne for the national championships n
James Gransaull, one of the four Byron Ultimate Disc Club members who will travel to Melbourne for the national championships n

The Ultimate test of a sportsman?s honesty

By ADRIAN MILLER

ULTIMATE Disc doesn't use umpires ? and Donovan Moss reckons that's one of the best things about the sport.

As hard as it is to believe in this age of video referees and miked-up officials, there is one sport out there that still relies on the honesty and fairness of competitors to control a game.

Ultimate ? originally called Ultimate Frisbee when it spiralled on to the scene in the United States in the late 1960s ? is that sport.

Ultimate is a non-contact team sport that combines elements of soccer, netball and Touch football to form a fast-flowing, action-packed, referee-free contest.

Teams of seven play on a field slightly smaller than a soccer pitch, with the aim being to score the highest number of points by throwing a Frisbee into end zones, which are similar to rugby in-goals.

Moss has been playing the sport for 'six or seven years' at Byron Bay and next week he will be joined by fellow Byron Ultimate Disc Club members Andrew Badman, Alison Christy and James Gransaull at the Australian championships in Melbourne.

"I can't wait, I've already started packing," he told The Northern Star yesterday.

Christy will play for a Brisbane-based team, while the three lads will combine with a team from Townsville for the tournament.

"I don't think we'll be in the finals because there are some really awesome teams playing, but we'll have some really awesome games," Moss said.

Moss said the sport was the perfect extension to his love of Frisbees.

"I've always loved throwing a Frisbee and to find a sport that combines that with competition makes for a good game," he said.

Moss said the sport could be majestic.

"Watching the Frisbee fly down the sideline and watching two players go for it knowing that whoever wants it the most will get it (is amazing)," he said.

"It's a bit like going for mark in AFL but there's no dirtiness. If you do something stupid or dirty you look like a knob."

The idea that a sport doesn't need referees is foreign to most, but Moss said it was one of the best facets of the game.

"It never causes problems and I'm constantly surprised by it," he said.

"The way the game and rules are structured there's no advantage to cheat. "

Moss played at the nationals in Sydney last year and the world club championships in Perth, an experience he'll never forget.

"Far out, it was amazing," he said.

"There were nearly 100 teams playing and they played some really good Ultimate.

"We played teams from places like Japan and other countries where we didn't even recognise the language." And there wasn't a referee in sight.



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