The East Africa Ultimate Frisbee Contest, organized by the Arusha Ultimate Frisbee Association (AUFA), will match up four teams at the Arusha Technical College: Moshi Kill Killers, Mwanza Tossers, Arusha Ultimate Frisbee, and Nairobi Ultimate.
I must admit that when this tournament came to my attention it conjured images of Tanzanians engaging in 'foreign' activities to which they would seem to me rather ill-matched and totally out of character. Imagine a Tanzanian sumo wrestler, complete with the sheet wrapped over the groin.
So it was with some scepticism that I sought out some additional information from an official of AUFA. The more I learnt, the more interested I became, and the more scepticism I shed. Some of the rules, in brief:
- two teams of seven each play against each other
- at least two of the players should be female
- the teams play on a field of 110 X 37metres
- team members throw the Frisbee to fellow members and will score against the opposing team when a team member catches the Frisbee at the end zone of the opposing team
- the Frisbee is lost to the opposing team when it is either intercepted, blocked, or is thrown out of the field
- the opposing team will also loose a Frisbee if an opposing player takes too long to pass the Frisbee to a team member
- a team who has caught a Frisbee must remain on the spot until he throws the Frisbee to a teammate (a rule that is similar to one applied in netball)
Contrary to what I imagined there are far more Tanzanians than foreigners in the Arusha team. I probably should be the last person in Tanzania to question the adoption of unusual pastimes by Tanzanians. Jaffar Amin, with whom I have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro twice told me that the first time his close family members heard he was going to climb Africa's highest peak commented about his preference for doing 'strange things that white people like to do.' Jaffar has climbed Kilimanjaro twice; I am scheduled to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for the eighth time next January.
As I just said, I should the last person to question: Frisbee contest? In Tanzania?
For more information on the tournament and venue: call 0684082908, or 0752216040.