Perspectives from ISB

Disc in – called by player to signal that the disc is in play, the game is on!

Having arrived at ISB in a whirl of ‘I can’t believe I got in’ frenzy, I, like every other student, resolved to make this a year of experiential learning. On my quest for experiences, I came across an invitation to attend a frisbee workshop during O week; this was my introduction to the world of Ultimate Frisbee.

The first ISB frisbee workshop that I attended had alums, who already seemed like the titans to us mortals, whisking a frisbee back and forth across a 100-meter field in the most graceful manner. Someone mentioned that the game was first invented in 1968, and in recent times has really increased in popularity. The alums also mentioned the fact that this was a self-regulated sport that also emphasized gender neutrality, but I was too enchanted by the flying frisbees to fully register what this meant.

It was only weeks later, when I watched a girl walk onto the field like she belonged there, and out played every single guy on the field that I started to further ponder the alums’ words. An Ultimate Frisbee team consists of 7 players, of which 3 at least are always women. Having had some experience in tennis, I observed the disparity in strength and speed between that of a man and woman; differentiating the competition by gender made sense to me there. This is the case with many sports played across the world. However, Ultimate Frisbee is all about the wrist movement, game sense, and quick movements. The girl mentioned above out-maneuvered taller, stronger, longer-legged opponents with superior technique, a perceptive read of the game, and explosive movements; and that is the beauty of this sport.

How many times, in the past, have we shied away like skittish horses when awkward subjects such as sexuality, feminism and gender diversity have come up? But now, we are in a bubble of knowledge and enlightenment. The students that come to ISB are well-read, well-travelled, and (not counting the little ones), worldly. When people talk about sexual fluidity here, they are not scorned; when people advocate for transgender rights, they are not booed; and when I say that there should be no ‘best woman athlete’ award but just a ‘best athlete’ award, I am not scoffed at. A major reason for this is the culture cultivated by the alums; and one of the main advocates of this culture is frisbee

Basically, what I’m trying to say here folks is, ditch football, come play frisbee! (just kidding, just kidding). What I’m trying to say is that, we have been introduced to a new-age sport that provides everyone with an equal opportunity to thrive – be they men, women, hand-eye coordination challenged, vertically challenged or suffering from nerd-syndrome – so, let’s come out and play, ISBians!

– Nayanatara Vadali

PGP Class of ’19