When you think about the sports and competitive activities that one can participate in during their stay in Buenos Aires, you generally accept that the only way you can satisfy your need to compete is by participating in a pickup fútbol match with local Argentines.
While this is always a great option (you can make friends with the locals, practice your Spanish and play with people that are very good at football), you may find it difficult to encounter a good pickup game and even harder to find one that fits your schedule. If this is the case or if football’s not your thing, another option you have is playing Ultimate Frisbee: a sport that is gaining momentum and popularity in Buenos Aires.
A Brief Summary of Ultimate Frisbee in Buenos Aires
Ultimate Frisbee (or commonly referred to solely as “Ultimate”) is a unique sport as it is a mix of football (open-field passing and cutting), basketball (jockeying for position and pivoting) and American football (the game’s objective is to catch the disc in your opponent’s end zone).
To provide a very brief overview, each team fields 7 players who play on a pitch with dimensions of 110m by 37m (with each end zone being 23m by 37m at each end). While the goal is to catch the disc in the end zone, the main strategy is to complete short and precise passes while slowly moving up the field and avoiding defenders who attempt to knock the disc down, which causes play to change possession.
While the sport was born in the United States in the late 1960s, it has gained popularity in the United Kingdom and Columbia, where it eventually arrived in Argentina in 1997 when the Argentine Ultimate league ADDVRA was born.
Currently, ADDVRA is composed of 6 teams who play two seasons per year that take place during the fall and spring seasons, in addition to special tournaments that are held in such locations as Tigre (the delta two north of Buenos Aires), Uruguay and Colón (located in Entre Rios, Argentina) as well as weekly pick-up games that take place at Ciudad Universitaria (near River Plate stadium) every Saturday afternoon.
What Makes the Sport Special
Although I enjoy getting the “competitive juices” flowing by playing Ultimate, the most appealing aspect of the sport is being able to meet people from all over the world as the league is composed of both study abroad students and people living and working in Buenos Aires who are from such countries as the United States, England, Australia, Columbia, Peru, Chile, Canada and Argentina among many others. It’s an international community that not only enjoys a sport together but also plans events, parties, fundraisers and other activities that you can participate in.
Anyone can play, whether you’ve never picked up a disc before or you’re a seasoned veteran so if you would like more information about Ultimate in Argentina, you can contact Andres “Chappy” Atuesta ([email protected]) or Ian Mackern ([email protected]) or you can check out ADDVRA’s Ultimate Frisbee site.