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June 2004

Win-Win Situation

You can't go wrong with this month's sports: tennis or Ultimate Frisbee

After watching a few Wimbledon matches at the end of the month (June 21–July 4), you may feel inspired to pick up a racquet, a can of balls and head out to the nearest tennis courts. The lack of an up-and-coming, home-grown talent and the retirement of legends Boris Becker and Steffi Graf have had a cooling effect on many a German backhand, so now is one of the best times to put the Pimm’s on ice, don your sporting whites and grab a vacant court.

Records show that the first tennis competition in Munich was held in 1892, at the old Rosipalpark, just off the Leopoldstrasse. From these humble beginnings of 113 years ago, tennis facilities in Munich have greatly expanded, and today a multitude of clubs and courts are on offer. For a complete list of locations see Iphitos (Aumeisterweg 10; is the oldest and most prestigious tennis club in Munich, and every spring hosts the famous BMW Open, which draws an international crowd of players and spectators. Courts are open to members only, and unfortunately the annual membership fee (approximately € 600 a year plus a one-time joining fee of € 2,100) has increased greatly since 1906, when it was 6 Reichsmark.

If you are not prepared to fork out astronomical membership fees, there are plenty of courts in Munich that are open to the public and are booked on a first-come-first-served basis. Prices depend on where and when you want to play. You may like to try Rothof, Denningerstrasse 120 (Tel. [089] 92 80 80 80;; U4, Richard-Strauss-Str.), which is open daily, has 6 indoor and 14 outdoor courts and whose prices range from € 8 to € 33. The Sport Scheck Allwetter-Anlage Nord, Münchener Str. 15 (Tel. [089] 99 28 74-0; is another good address, with 10 indoor and 20 outdoor courts and prices that begin at € 8. Anyone living close to the Olympic park will probably have seen the Tennisanlage im Olympiapark (Tel. [089] 30 67 26 90;, where you can hire one of the 13 outdoor courts from € 8 upwards.

Finally, the Schaffelhuber Academy (Tel. [089] 99 28 74 7-00) runs five one-week long tennis camps for kids aged 4 to 16: four in August and one in September. Costs are € 329 for a full day (9 am–4 pm), including lunch, or € 165 for half a day including lunch course. Right, anyone for tennis?

The sport Ultimate Frisbee originated in the college campuses of 1960s America and is now played the world over. It takes the best features of soccer, netball, basketball and American football and mixes them into a simple yet demanding game. “Ultimate Frisbee is no walk in the park. It’s a fast, furious and fiercely competitive sport,” says CNN. To compete at top level, players require speed, stamina and agility.

Ultimate is a non-contact sport played between two teams of seven players. The large, rectangular pitch has lines drawn across either end to create “end zones,” as in American football, which are the goal scoring areas. Players may not run with the disk, so must pass it from player to player. Ultimate frisbee is a unique sport in that even at world championship level, it is self-refereed. The responsibility of fair play is placed on the players by a code of conduct known as “the spirit of the game”—and what is even more unbelievable is that it works!

If Ultimate sounds like the sport for you, there are a number of groups in Munich that offer casual and competitive play for men and women. Zamperl is a fairly large club in Unterföhring, and consists of one men’s and one women’s team. For more information and training times, visit The Searching Woodpeckers are based in Sauerlach, 20 km south of Munich (accessible by S2). The club comprises three teams: the Woodies, who play in the first men’s league; the Team of Love, who play in the second men’s league; and the Woodchicas, who play in the first women’s league. They welcome anyone to practice with them. Just check their Website, The third competitive club is Mir San Mir, a men’s team that practices in central Munich. See for further details. Another useful Website is WegwerfGesellschaft (, a group that plays twice a week on a more casual basis. If you are new to the game and would like first to brush up on the “Ulti slang” that players use, check out, a useful dictionary of all the Ultimate phrases you will need. Despite its popularity, Ultimate is still not nearly as competitive in Germany as it is in, say, the United States. The reason? Lack of players. So get your sports gear on, get warmed up and go practice your corkscrew!

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