Every Thursday they would converge on the main sports field at the University of Sydney: men and women with frisbees, laughing at the occasional mishap that would lead to a frisbee contacting with an unprotected head.
When the group was finally called to order and the game commenced, I found it hard to make sense of what they were doing. It was only after I approached one of the team members - an American man wearing a backwards baseball cap - that I learnt that the strange ritual they were part-taking in was known as "Ultimate Frisbee."
According to the Australian Flying Disc Association (yes, that really is their name), Ultimate Frisbee is a "non-contact team sport played with a frisbee [and combining] elements of netball, touch football, and grid-iron into a fast paced, athletic sport." With co-ed teams and no discernible referee, one could be forgiven for assuming that there were no rules; Ultimate Frisbee is not governed by a referee as each player is responsible for playing by the rules under the broad principle of the "Spirit of the Game" (yes, that really is what they call it).
To some extent, you have to see a game to really understand it. This takes no more than a meander through any university campus; the influx of American exchange students is undoubtedly the reason that this sport, originating in 1968 at Columbia High School, has captured the imaginations of so many Australian students.
Once you have taken the time to grasp the grace and exertion associated with the game, it may be time to consult Ultimate Frisbee NSW. For beginners, the first port of call is the Manly Ultimate Frisbee League, running "Learn To Play" workshops at various times throughout the year.
There are certain leagues that encourage beginners to join:
But for other leagues, there is an established draw and competition schedule, divided into geographical areas: North Shore, Inner West, Manly, Darlinghurst, Hills (Sydney's north west), and Newcastle. Through these leagues, it is possible to take part in various tournaments - the vast majority of which offer t-shirts, drinks, and ice-creams as part of the package.
If that's part of the "Spirit of the Game," then it is okay by me.