Bounty Hunters with a wicked arm

By Jack Waters

IT’S not a sport you would associate with this part of the world, but for students at Beerwah State High School ultimate disc is quickly becoming one of their favourites.

The Beerwah Bounty Hunters have spent the past few months honing their skills in preparation for the Queensland Ultimate Disc Association’s (QUDA) Senior School State Championships, which saw them compete against seven other teams in Brisbane last Friday, September 10.

Ultimate disc is extremely popular in the United States but the hype has only recently started to pick up on Australian shores.

Simply, ultimate disc is played with a frisbee on a long grass field with the rules resembling a mix of American football and netball. Points are scored when a player catches the frisbee in the end zone, like American football, but when players catch the frisbee in the field of play they must stop before passing to a team mate, like netball.

Although there is no tackling involved, ultimate disc is an extremely athletic sport that requires jogging, short sprints, jumping, good hand-eye coordination and, of course, a good arm.

Beerwah State High School chaplain and one of the team’s coaches Mike Turner said the students had been playing the sport in their lunch breaks for about five years but had only recently started taking it more seriously after realising there were local competitions they could participate in.

Mike said aside from the competitive factor, it had been a great way to get them active during their lunch breaks.

“Some of these guys have been playing for a few years but some are newcomers and they all treat it like a little community,” Mike said.

“We play three games a week for seniors, juniors and a mix of both. We also play some student teacher games, which of course everyone loves.”

One of the most interesting things about the game is that even at competition level there are no referees.

Mike said this was something that made ultimate disc stand out from other sports.

“The big part of ultimate disc that I love is the spirit of the game,” he said.

“If there’s a controversial moment on the field, it’s all about the players negotiating with each other.

“It’s all about supporting each other and the other team, so much so that we have to elect both a team captain and a spirit captain.”

Students in the Bounty Hunters team said they’re hoping to pave the way for the sport to become more well-known in the region.

The Beerwah Bounty Hunters in training for the Senior State School Championships