You play Ultimate Frisbee?
Yes. I play Ultimate Frisbee, or Ultimate as it is more often called. Let me start off this blog the way I start off every conversation about Ultimate with people who have never heard of it. Yes, Ultimate Frisbee is a real sport. We have leagues, teams, and championships. We have high school teams, college teams, and club teams. We have organizations with women’s leagues, mens leagues, co-ed leagues, and masters leagues. Oh yeah, and no we don’t play with our dogs.
Ok, so no dogs. Tell me more.
Well, the idea behind ultimate frisbee is pretty similar to football: Basically you pass the frisbee up the field, and the object it to catch the disc in the endzone. Unlike football, there is no running allowed; you are only allowed to slow down after you have caught the disc. The game is played 7 on 7 and starts off with a “pull”, or a long throw from the team on defense to the team on offense. Then basically we make cuts to get open, and similar to basketball, you cover a person from the other team. You play to either 13 or 15, with half time coming when on team has scored half of the final score i.e. if you are playing to 13, half is at 7.
Currently, Ultimate is a self-regulated game, so there are no referees. You call your own fouls, travels, and picks. It seems a bit weird, but it is actually pretty cool. In addition, you are supposed to play with the Spirit of the Game. This is actually in the rule book, and it basically helps enforce the no referee situation by compelling all players to play for the fun and spirit the game: don’t commit fouls on purpose, don’t call fouls that aren’t. I think it is pretty refreshing to have a game like this, compared with basketball, in which intentionally fouling and intentionally drawing fouls is part of the game.
The video below is a highlight video from the 2007 US Nationals. There are Open, Women’s and Mixed teams in there:
My ultimate story:
So, I started ultimate my freshman year of college at Northeastern University, playing for the Gentlemen’s Club . Basically, I have my mom to thank for this because she saw that NU had ultimate frisbee as a club sport and (without asking or telling me, surprise surprise) she emailed the captains for more info. I got a facebook message shortly after that, came to college, went to some practices and I was hooked.
Here I am as a little frosh!
So after that I started playing summer league in Boston, with the Boston Ultimate Disc Association, BUDA. Then I played my second year of college ultimate, got to travel to Las Vegas for a tournament, and the summer afterwards, I was invited to join Quiet Coyote, a Mixed club team in Boston/Cambridge. They had been around for one year before, and in this second year they decided they wanted to be more competitive. The team itself is/was made up of stellar players from mainly New England, (all a bit older than me too – I was the baby). So anyways, we ended up having an awesome season, winning 1283 pounds of beer (7 heaviest players combined weight in beer for winning the tournament), and then we took first place in our Region to go to Nationals!
So to make a long story short, we played in Nationals, didn’t do so hot, 14/16. But still, that’s on the national level. Then I got back into my 3rd year of college ultimate, and I got mono and strep at the same time so I only played in 2 tournaments. Then summer came around, I broke my collarbone in a summer league game – thanks Jeff and Jason, so I was out for the season. But my team went to Nationals again, and placed third! Woo hoo yeah Quiet Coyote. So now, thanks to them, we are going to compete in the WORLD championships in Prague in July. And I am playing with them! Needless to say I am pumped, and also so thankful that I can play with them.
So until them, I am playing here in France with a team called Friselis, based in Versailles. It has been pretty awesome so far, besides me being in horrible shape and feeling deathly sore for days after my first practice. In a few weeks are the French National Championships, and I will be playing with them there!
I think I might go into some more detail later with my journey through ultimate, but I think this was a good start. Needless to say I have done a lot so far!
So, I hope for everyone, this clears up what Ultimate is. There is a lot more too it, but I hope you all got the idea!