Club Sport of the Week: Ultimate Frisbee

Combining the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, the game of Ultimate Frisbee is played by two seven-player squads. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the Frisbee, but may pivot and pass to any of the other players on the team. Ultimate Frisbee is played in more than 42 countries by hundreds of thousands of people.

Ultimate is played between two teams of seven players on a large rectangular pitch. There are two endzones where a goal can be scored when a team completes a pass to a player. Players cannot run with the disc. When a player catches a disc, they must come to a stop and throw it to another player. Stalling occurs when the player holds onto the Frisbee for more than 10 seconds after catching it. When this happens, the defense takes over possession.

By passing from player to player, the offense attempts to work the Frisbee up the pitch towards the endzone. It the Frisbee hits the floor or is intercepted or knocked down by the other team, then the opposition takes possession. Possession also changes if a receiver is outside the playing area when the player is outside the playing are when they catch it.

After a team has scored a point, they keep hold of the Frisbee and wait while the opposition walks back to the other end of the pitch. The team that scored then throws off to start the next point. This way, the teams change ends after every point.

Ultimate is essentially non-contact; any contact between players can be declared a foul. Ultimate is unique in that it is refereed by the players themselves, even at the World Championship level, according to a code of conduct known as “The Spirit of the Game”. This places the responsibility for fair play on the players themselves, and their system of self-referring works beautifully.

The Men’s Ultimate team here at Mines has about 20 members that compete in two-day weekend tournaments which consist of roughly 5-7 games. The team competes in and around Colorado, along with a tournament in Las Vegas once a year. The team is done with tournaments for the semester, but will still be practicing Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 P.M. on the North IM Fields. Anyone looking to join the team can either show up to practice or email club-ultimatem@mines.edu. The team is currently only a men’s team, however the team tries to do at least one co-ed tournament a year.

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