Freshman business major Uller Doetsch tosses a Frisbee to freshman mathematics major Sebastian Ramirez at the Kittredge Fields April 27, 2007. (CP Photo/Andrew Slack)
It seems like every day at the University of Colorado, students are seen throwing a Frisbee around on campus.
Watching this spurred thoughts about what makes an individual want to be a Frisbee player. According to the Ultimate Players Association Web site, www.upa.org, it isn’t a hard sport to play.
The rules of Ultimate are pretty straight forward. The teams are comprised of seven players on the field. Players must stop when they have possession of the 175 gram disc and pass to teammates. Scoring occurs when a player catches a pass in the opposing team’s end zone. The first team to 15 points wins.
As with other sports, Ultimate has turnovers. This occurs when a player is in possession longer than the allotted 10 seconds or the disk is intercepted, dropped, or passed out of bounds.
However, a major separating trait of Ultimate is something called “Spirit of the Game.” This ideal puts the responsibility of fair play upon the players as opposed to referees.
Fifth-year senior Courtney Verhaalen, a member of CU women’s Kali team, believes this trait helps teams become friends due to the sense of camaraderie and trust.
“We can be able to trust opponents that they will make good calls and not cheat,” Verhaalen said.
Verhaalen, a former soccer player, said she had never heard about Ultimate until she received a flyer her freshman year. Afterwards, she became hooked and has played ever since.
“I decided to do something new, why not Ultimate? I fell in love after the first practice,” Verhaalen said.
Verhaalen said this very addicting game is the best she’s every played because it can be played just about anywhere due to the lack of equipment needed.
Senior Shannon Waugh said she loves the sense of competitiveness and closeness that encompasses the sport.
Waugh said she has been playing this “underground sport” since her junior year of high school. Both of her parents played at the club level of Ultimate after college, which is currently the highest level of the game. During Waugh’s childhood, her family would play with the flying disc and with the encouragement of her parents, she and her sister created an Ultimate team at their high school.
Like Verhaalen, she said she agrees that there is strong intimacy within the teams in this sport.
“With the women’s team, all the camaraderie is there,” Waugh said. “We understand where each other is coming from. We’re all playing our hardest out there, but we can be close after the games.”
But just because these girls get along doesn’t make it any less competitive. Waugh wants people to know Ultimate is a legitimate sport, and it takes just as much athleticism and even more discipline as other sports.
There is a sense of respect for other teams on the men’s side as well, as noted by senior Evan Padget, a member of CU men’s Mamabird squad.
“There’s more respect [than in other sports],” said Padget. “It’s not as much about showing each other up.”
However, the friendship that the women gain isn’t exactly demonstrated on the men’s side.
Senior Martin Freeman showed his competitive spirit by saying, “I don’t like other teams.”
Both of these men have played the sport for about nine years. They started out playing other sports, Freeman as a football player and Padget as a soccer and baseball player. They both gained interest in high school and have been devoted ever since. Padget said he actually chose CU specifically for its Ultimate team.
Meanwhile, Freeman enjoys how the game flows.
“Unlike other sports, we play both offense and defense,” Freeman said.
The men’s team will hit the road this weekend for a competition against Kansas State. Freeman said the team’s main goal for the match-up is to look at the 52 players who tried out and make some cuts to create the strongest “A” team possible.
As far as the season goes, Padget said he hopes to make it back to nationals, as they did last year. This time, he would like to win.
“Win nationals. That’s our first and foremost goal,” Freeman said.
Padget also wants to break the misconception that his teammates just like throwing around a Frisbee.
“We take it super seriously,” Padget said. “We lift weights five times a week. It’s an athletic commitment.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Marlee Horn at Marlee.Horn@colorado.edu.
- Buffs fly with Mamabird
- Wardenburg proves competitive with other college health centers
- B.side a bore
- Coffee with a side of Fringe
- The kinder side of celebrities