Montreal's pro frisbee team opens home schedule in Villeray
One of Montreal's newest sports teams took the field for the first time at home this season.
The Royal de Montreal lost to the DC Breeze 20-19 in ultimate frisbee at the Claude Robillard Sports Complex in Villeray on Sunday.
The sport is far more than just tossing a frisbee among friends.
Seven players from each side take on a field that's 70 yards by 40 yards, with endzones that are 25 yards deep.
The goal, like football, is to complete passes and get the frisbee into the opponent's endzone.
Ultimate games generally have two 18-minute halves.
The sports has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade.
About a quarter of Canada's 40,000 players live in Quebec.
"Since I started playing in 2015-15, I've just seen it grow so much," said Nabil Chaouch, a player on the Royal de Montreal.
"The American Ultimate Disc League's presence on social media helps a lot. We see highlights, videos, and games and it's just growing more and more."
No referees, no problem
Ultimate Frisbee doesn't have referees and forces its athletes to police themselves.
"We like to say that we develop good athletes, but also good citizens that can resolve conflict on the field," said Guillaume Proulx-Goulet of the Quebec Ultimate Federation. "If they can resolve conflict on the field, they will be able to resolve conflict on the street."
That element alone is enough to attract players.
"There was always this notion of trying to trick the referee," said Simon Charette of Royal de Montreal. Charette played soccer for 15 years before switching.
"At a certain point, I discovered ultimate frisbee. That wasn't part of the game, so that was the first thing that made me want to play ultimate frisbee instead of soccer."
The Royal de Montreal next take the field on Saturday, May 25 against the Philadelphia Phoenix.