It’s a combination of basketball, soccer and football that has evolved into a spring season hit with student athletes at Delta Secondary.
It was about four years ago when PE teacher Kayla Jow decided to see what the interest would be in launching an Ultimate team at the Ladner school. Back then, the Pacers were participating in a district league with a handful of other schools. Today, they are taking aim at advancing to their first-ever provincial championships after finishing second in the Surrey/Delta Tier One League with an impressive 8-1 record.
The results included an 8-7 victory over the Seaquam Seahawks last Friday (May 6) in the team’s one and only home game this season. Typically, the two Delta teams travel to Surrey schools together for weekly doubleheader games.
Ultimate's unique rules
Ultimate is played on a field 40-yards in width and 110-yards in length, including 20-yard end zones. The six-aside co-ed line-ups can only advance the Frisbee by throwing and catching it. Players have a time limit before they have to make a throw and it’s a change of possession if the Frisbee hits the ground. A point is awarded if a catch is made in the end zone. Games are under a time limit or the winning team reaches 15 points.
A unique part of the sport is no officials are involved. Instead, Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the player. Highly competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of mutual respect among competitors, adherence to the agreed upon rules, or the basic joy of play.
While Jow continues to generate student interest from within the walls of DSS, it’s Dave Jones who now looks after the coaching duties.
The parent volunteer also guided the senior boys’ basketball team this past season. Jones has about 10 years of Ultimate experience himself playing in adult leagues.
It's a combination of many sports
“Everybody gets to be a quarterback (and make throws) so that makes it better than football,” chuckled Jones. “You’ve got the basketball, you’ve got the soccer and you’ve got everything in there. You got a mixture of man-to-man and zone defenses too. You throw it all together, put it out on the field and see what happens. I do have a background in it, but it’s really the kids who take over from there.
“Luckily, we have had an athletic group of kids who came out that are volleyball, basketball and lacrosse players. That makes a big difference. We have not played a team yet where we're the better throwers. So every now and then we give it to one of our guys who can throw it downfield. Hopefully we'll get it and if not, it’s let's go play defence and get a turnover.”
The Pacers are seeded third for the South Fraser Championships that concludes on Friday at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey and will likely meet No. 6 Steveston-London in the quarter-finals. A win would secure a spot in the provincials that will take place May 26 to 27 at the same venue.