Hosting the first Beach Ultimate World Championships, in 2004, when the sport had not yet celebrated ten years being played in Portugal, can’t have been easy. But the Portuguese Ultimate community grew all across the country, both in numbers and skills — enough to allow the National Team that played the 2011 Beach Worlds to achieve a remarkable 4th place, one which the Portuguese would repeat at the 2013 Europeans and the 2015 Worlds.
An evolution that speaks well of the inclination — and the talent — of the players in Portugal towards beach Ultimate, a variant that registers a record number of participating clubs in the Portuguese league, this year: no less than ten! The wonderful and abundant beaches of the Portuguese shoreline that prove apt for the sport, the growing number of players of all ages, with the more experienced helping the newly arrived, and the efforts made by APUDD to increase its reach all pave the way for a shiny future in Portuguese beach ultimate.
A sport that, quite soon, will live a historical occasion, when the Portimão beaches host this year’s edition of the European Championships — the National Team fighting in four divisions! From 6 to 11 May, the red-and-greens will play in the Men’s, Mixed, Mixed Masters and Grand Masters Men’s divisions, which means that anyone visiting this European Sports City will have a lot of Ultimate to see… and also to play! Because EBUC2019 will feature a development field that will be opened throughout the entire competition, so that anyone interested may try. Find out about the gifts you may receive if you visit it, and a lot more info, here!
If you want to know all about Ultimate in Portugal, please check the sport’s Portuguese Association’s website, here. You can also follow APUDD on Facebook or LinkedIn. And can know the rules in brief here.
The Portuguese club scene
These days, finding an Ultimate team to play for is easy! And since it’s a sport of welcoming people, all these clubs are delighted to receive new players to help them give the first steps, hone their first throws and get their first passes!
From north to south, you can find teams in:
Portugal’s northernmost club is called Gambozinos and they have a very informative website! You can follow them on Facebook as well. They host an excellent international beach Ultimate tournament, with dozens of players coming in from everywhere, but all year long you can join the flying green jerseys for practices in several of the region’s beaches, grass fields and even sports pavilions.
This beautiful city is home to not one, but two Ultimate teams!
The first to be created is called LFO, from Leiria Flying Objects — they have been helping the Portuguese Ultimate community grow a lot! So much so that they now have three rosters playing the national beach, grass and indoor competitions. If you want to know how this was done, check their official website or Facebook page — or, better yet, show up for one of the practices!
The other Leiria team is more recent and was created in Instituto Politécnico de Leiria (IPL), one of the region’s university-level schools. They are playing in the Portuguese leagues for the first time. You can reach their students body here.
This region too is graced with two Ultimate clubs, inclined to both beach and grass Ultimate.
LUC, as in Lisboa Ultimate Club, was the first to appear. They usually practice every week at Carcavelos beach. The purple jerseys were the first triple crown winners in national Ultimate, having won all three Leagues — beach, grass and indoor — in the same season! They’re also famous for the casual pickups they host at their beach on Sunday afternoons, so that anyone interested can try and play. They also visited by players from all over to play their international tournament, MOW. You can reach them on their website or Facebook group page.
The capital’s other team is called Disc’Over Lisboa (DOL) and their weekly practices are at Alameda da Universidade — but you’ll also find the white-and-blues at Parque das Conchas, in Lumiar, on a lot of Saturday afternoons. All these occasions are open to anyone that wants to join, so use this Facebook group to get all the details.
A little further south of Lisbon you can find another team with a strong inclination for beach Ultimate… and loads of talent for the other types of field, and that is why the burgundy jerseys are usually in the title race every season. They’re called Vira o’Disco (VoD) and they usually practice at Praia da Figueirinha, right by the beautiful Arrábida ridge. You can know more about them on their Facebook page.
The São Bartolomeu de Messines parish, in the Algarve county of Silves, has recently given the Portuguese Ultimate community some big news: a new team would join the competitions! They’re called DAMN, as in Disco À MessiNense, and their white and green jerseys were seen flying for the first time on this year’s beach Ultimate league. To join this team, check out their Facebook page or, better still, visit União Desportiva Messinense’s stadium.
In contrast, a stone’s throw away from Silves, Portimão is home to one of Portugal’s most experienced and title-clad clubs. The bright yellow jerseys team is called UFA, from Ultimate Frisbee Algarve, and it’s their yard that will be welcoming Europe’s best beach Ultimate National Teams to fight for glory in EBUC2019. To be welcomed to their practices, reach them here.