Indro Year 12 student Anneliese Gordon loves flying through the air in pursuit of a frisbee. She excels at the highest youth level of her sport, Ultimate Disc. Anneliese won Female MVP for the mixed division in the Australian Youth Ultimate Championships, held in July at Beenleigh. She captained and helped coach the Brisbane Queensland team, which won the Spirit Award for the overall competition. The Spirit Award is highly coveted because Ultimate Disc places the responsibility for fair play on every player. Players on the field make their own calls when violations occur — there are no referees. If there is disagreement about an incident, the disc returns to the player who made the last pass and the game resumes. The basic aim is for the team with the disc to pass it up the field to others on their team and complete a pass into the endzone. At the same time the defensive team is trying to intercept it or knock it down to take possession of the disc and try to score in the other endzone.
Ameyah de Waard, Annaliese Gordon and Eleanor Koning at the Australian Youth Ultimate Championships at Beenleigh in July. Ameyah and Eleanor played in one of the Queensland Mixed teams.
Tell us about Ultimate Disc
It’s very focused on spirit and there are many attempts to heighten gender equity and increase numbers of youth players. The level of play depends purely on the team, division and tournament. It varies widely from casual/social to 100% body-on-the-line competitiveness. The only sport I play is frisbee (because it’s obviously the best), but once upon a time I played tennis. I think that’s where I learnt how to sprint from a standing position.
How long have you been playing and how did you get involved in Ultimate Disc?
I’ve been playing since Year 9 – 2016. I began with playing in the Monday night league (BUML) with a team that I only just left last season. They were all super welcoming and helped me get to a level of trialling for worlds, and captaining at youth nationals. I was first introduced to Ultimate Disc at my mum’s work (after school care) when one of the carers brought out a frisbee and played a (very messy, yet still super fun) simplified game of Ultimate on the school oval. I asked Mum to find out if there was some sort of league of the game. She didn’t think there would be, and forgot to search. I brought it up again in Year 9, and then she looked, and found BUML. She posted in the Facebook group and found me a home in Tsunami, where I played until now.
What do you like about it?
Ever since I was little I always loved throwing frisbees. I liked other sport, too, but I had a weird fascination with frisbees and so when playing an entire game around frisbees, the child in me really comes out. I also love the spirit and all of the people who play. It’s such a kind sport and you rarely get the odd person who is slightly less spirited. The spirit on and off the field is just amazing, and definitely a big part of enjoying the game. Lastly, the intensity: You don’t associate ‘frisbee’ with ‘intense’, so it’s really amazing when you see people moving as fast as they do, putting their bodies on the line, sliding along the grass and jumping over other people. The intense games that just fly by are the best.
Anneliese Gordon, Year 12 Indooroopilly State High School student, excels as an Ultimate Disc player.
What training is involved?
It really depends on the tournament. My youth team had training for six weeks before the tournament every Saturday, whereas Extinction (this is the team I play most tournaments with) has training every second week starting months before the tournament, changing to every week a few weeks before, and then having a two-day training camp the week before.
What are your goals in the sport?
I aim to move up to division one, play for Australia and hopefully one day play in the Olympics if and when Ultimate Disc gets there.
What are your favourite hobbies?
I’ve recently fallen in love with reading manga, and, although I don’t get to do it often in Year 12, I really like watching anime. I enjoy drawing and jamming out to my music in spare time. Although frisbee really is a big part of my life, both time and interest-wise, I’d consider it a hobby.