Frisbees will fly in Rotorua this weekend when the 21st annual Brass Monkey ultimate frisbee tournament comes to town.

The tournament, being held tomorrow and Sunday at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre, has attracted more than 230 players from throughout New Zealand.

Spectators are invited to check out a fast-growing sport which is taking off both in New Zealand and around the world.

Tomorrow, from 9am to 7.30pm, competitors will play an indoor championship in the Events Centre. Twenty-four teams will compete for the title of Brass Monkey indoor champions.


On Sunday the activities will head outdoors to the social tournament at Medical Officer's Reserve and Kuirau Park.

All players' names are put into a hat and teams are drawn out randomly, meaning players from Rotorua will play with players from other areas and against their usual teammates. Games will be played from 9a, to 4pm.

This style of competition has proven to be of great benefit in raising the general skill level of newer players, as well as contributing to a fantastic social atmosphere.

What is ultimate frisbee?

Ultimate is a mixed-gender non-contact team sport played between teams of seven players on a similar-sized field to a rugby field. The game combines elements of netball, soccer and American football.

Play is advanced by passing the disc between teammates, though players cannot run with the disc and must throw the disc within 10 seconds. Points are scored by completing a pass into the end zone. High level play showcases field-length throws, aerial catches and thrilling dives.

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The game is unique in that it is self-refereed, even at the highest level. The rules are quick to pick up and any disputes are settled on the field between the players involved.

Ultimate is experiencing strong growth in New Zealand, with an increase in players all over the country, and is being introduced to more and more regions. The quality of play around the country has also improved greatly in recent years, largely as a result of the increased participation of New Zealand teams at international competitions.

In July, six New Zealand teams will compete at the World Ultimate Club Championships, in Ohio, USA, and World Masters Ultimate Club Champ, in Winnipeg, Canada. Several players from these representative teams will be playing at the Brass Monkey this weekend.