The Wits Ultimate Frisbee team, the Voodoo Kudus, will be hosting a hat tournament at Wits this weekend.
The tournament will host a number of players from a variety of local varsity teams.
“A hat tournament puts together [players] based on names pulled out of a hat. It makes things equal and lots of fun, because players get put onto random teams. The experienced and beginners get a chance to play together,” said Wits team member Kristen Bishop.
The aim of the tournament is to encourage more Witsies to get involved with this unique sport.
Bishop said that what makes this game so unique is the way it’s played, “The game is self-refereed and the team also decides on the rules amongst themselves”.
Chair of the Ultimate Frisbee club, Sally Crompton, said one of the best aspects of the sport is called “the spirit of the game”, which is about refereeing yourself.
“Each team selects a spirit captain who referees the game honestly, which facilitates trust and makes things fair within the game.”
Crompton also said a draw factor to the game is that it draws “fun people, the team is co-ed, multi-racial and had wide range of age groups”.
Ultimate Frisbee has become increasingly popular in South African universities in the last few years. With teams at the University of Cape Town, Pretoria University and Fort Hare University, Wits too has now created its own team.
The sport, which is “a cross between netball and American football”, was introduced to Wits in 2009. A Geography MA student Mike Weston, otherwise known to today’s team as “Grand Master Mike”, formed a team with fellow Geography and Biology students.
Mike started playing the sport “for fun” with his friends after discovering it earlier in his university career.
“I got the chance to play in some tournaments overseas and saw how big and ‘vibey’ it was at those universities. It made me decide to start a team at Wits.”
The team became a fully-fledged club in 2010 and began to play competitively just amongst Witsies initially. Since 2011, the team has played competitively in a number of competitions across the country.
They have now played in nationals for three years in a row and hope to improve their performance as the team becomes more experienced.
Bishop said that one of the biggest challenges is recruitment and team development. They hope to grow the sport at Wits and would love to have two Wits teams.
“We also want to encourage women to join so we can create an all-women’s team to play in the all-women tournament that takes place every year.”
The first part of the tournament will kick off on Saturday morning from 8am on Boz B fields behind the cricket oval. The training session is open to all Witsies who want to learn how to play Ultimate Frisbee.
“It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and also to become familiar with the game,” Crompton said.
The official hat tournaments will take place on Saturday afternoon on the Boz B fields from 1pm to 5pm and on Sunday morning from 8am to 1pm.
There will also be an open party happening from 6pm on Saturday night at the Frisbee club room.