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Sports This Week: Want a new sport? Try DiscHoops

A tournament – held in Edmonton – saw DiscHoops played four-on-four and fully co-ed.
DiscHoops combines elements of various sports into something new.

YORKTON - Most readers will know what basketball is as a sport.

Fewer are likely aware of ultimate, but likely know about the oft-seen flying disc people toss around in the park or on the beach.

So what happens if you throw out the actual basketball and instead throw a disc around the court with the ultimate goal of throwing it into a net basically placed where the basketball hoop is hung?

Well folks then you have the sport of DiscHoops.

You probably haven’t heard of this one – not surprising as it was only created in 2009 – but it is something which draws on multiple sports to create a new sport experience.

Recently the 2023 edition of JDC West was held. The event, which has been held for nearly 20-years now brings together students from top business schools across Western Canada. As part of the event, new, strange, weird, unusual, or under-played sports are played with schools competing against one another.

In the past the list of sports have included sports such as Tsegball,  Tchoukball,  Quidditch, Korball, and now DiscHoops.

As a fan of ultimate -- the pro game is great and there are two teams in Canada; Toronto and Montreal – and disc golf, I was curious about the new disc sport.

So I caught up with University of Regina Athletics Captain Pano Kourles who participated in the recent event.

Kourles said it’s easy to see that DiscHoops was created more or less by combining elements of other sports.

“It’s a little bit of basketball in there and ultimate too,” he said, later adding that actually throwing the disc at the net to score is quite reminiscent of making a putt-like shot in disc golf.

For most of the UofR team there were skills involved they were not exactly familiar with. While Kourles said he played basketball as a youth, and a little ultimate, he was the only one having played the field disc game before.

“It was something we were really new to,” he said, adding that actually seemed to help the team who seemed to come up with some play sets that were a bit different, but worked. It was a strategy that took them to the event final where they lost to a team from Simon Fraser University.

That said Kourles added in many ways the game plays strategically much like basketball.

“I think the biggest thing is a lot of basketball thinking, not just on offence but on defence too,” he said, adding things like working on getting the right gaping for easy shots is a big part of DiscHoops.

Morgan Stang who was a key organizer in Edmonton said DiscHoops is unique in what it presents to players.

“I think it’s just different,” she said.

For example Stang has played ultimate, and while it’s easy to see that element in DiscHoops in ultimate “there’s a lot more space.”

And then of course you need that final shot to score too, she reminded.

“You need accuracy of the shot to score points and that’s a different strategy,” said Stang.

The tournament – held in Edmonton – saw DiscHoops played four-on-four and fully co-ed.

Kourles said therein lies what might be the greatest attribute of DiscHoops, a sport he said he sees participating on more for fun than expecting it to evolve to the next pro sport.

“It can include a pretty diverse group of people. If you’re quick you can work that in. If you’re tall you can make that work too,” he said, adding generally a diverse range of skills can be worked in to DiscHoops.

“. . . There’s room for everyone here with the nuances of the game.”