Nothing quite says college like a game of ultimate frisbee. Don’t lie, you’ve seen the hordes massing together at Clark Field or the IM Fields in Austin, or pretty much anywhere there is grass to be destroyed near a college campus.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve watched from a distance, dissapointed to see a frisbe instead of a soccer ball flying through the air. As much as frisbee is part of the college culture, it isn’t part of mine.
But after some pleading from an ultimately dedicated (get it?) roommate, I decided to give Ultimate a shot.
First off, some background:
The sport was started in the 1960s by bored students (sound familiar?) To play, you throw a frisbee to teammates, but you can’t run with the ball. Imagine it like football, but with no line of scrimmage and no running after the catch. You get points by reaching the opposing end zone.
Despite the rules emphasis on not running, you’ll quickly find it’s a bit more intense than you first expected.
“It’s pretty much the ultimate workout,” my roommate, Gary, says without irony.
The game consists of pretty much constant running and catching, combining the cardio aspect of soccer (my sport of choice) with the explosiveness of football. Basically, it kicked my ass.
You’ll quickly find some people, like the above mentioned Gary, take it way, way too seriously. There are multiple club teams at UT and around the area that compete in tournaments. Once you get good enough, you might find yourself going all over the country to throw the ole’ frisbee around. Gary has made trips as far as Washington to play in Ultimate tournaments.
As you might expect from something taken this seriously, there’s even a players’ association.
“It takes a lot of commitment,” Gary said. “It’s just like any other sport.”
So, Ultimate (you leave out Frisbee)? Who knew? After a little session, I can confirm it is in fact a real sport. But that won’t stop me from making fun of it.