After a long, brutal winter, it is now very common to see people outside relaxing in the grass or tossing a Frisbee around. More often than not, those people playing with a Frisbee are in fact members of the Ultimate Frisbee Club (UFC), Lawrence’s competitive Ultimate Frisbee team. These team members are much more than just bros tossing a disc around in the quad, listening to Dave Matthews Band and pounding Natty Ice.
“What sets the Ultimate team apart is our commitment to the sport,” says sophomore men’s team member Kyle Stuckey. “We practice 4 to 5 times a week and play in tournaments. We also work on different types of throws; there’s so much more to throwing a Frisbee than your typical backhand.”
Along with practicing throws, the Frisbee team works on different plays as well as fitness and conditioning. Practices are tough, but the team makes sure to not lose their spirit and love of the game. “We keep a fun, positive environment,” says women’s team captain Raina Stinson. “Frisbee is something we love to do, not something we have to do.”
Ultimate Frisbee is certainly a unique sport. Similar to football, points are scored when the Frisbee is caught at the end of the field, or in the “end zone.” This is done by passing the Frisbee to other team members. The Frisbee can only be moved through passes; players cannot run while holding it.
The job of the team on defense is to stop those passes by knocking them down or intercepting them. If the Frisbee touches the ground or is caught by the other team, the two teams switch.
This makes for a very fast-paced, active game as both sides are constantly running and switching between offense and defense. The rules of the game are not enforced by referees. Instead, it is up to the players to run the game, call fouls and make sure the game is played correctly.
Ultimate Frisbee is also unique in the fact that it is not a NCAA sport and is in fact a nationally recognized club sport. That being said, there are still Division I, II and III teams; Lawrence falls among the Division III category. Like all other Division III teams, Lawrence’s team is entirely student run.
Captains are elected to run practices, design plays and lead the team overall. The club is also separated between men’s and women’s teams. However, the two have developed a close relationship. Often times the two teams will practice, attend tournaments and scrimmage together.
Although the official Ultimate season is now over, members of the UFC are always playing outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. They are also always looking for new members. “Frisbee is a great sport,” says Stinson. “Everyone should play.”