After a long, brutal winter, it is pretty common now 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 Lawrence’s Univesity Ultimate Frisbee team. These team members are much more than students tossing a disc around in the quad listening to Dave Matthews Band and pounding Natural Ice. “Frisbee is up and coming in its popularity around the United States,” says junior Daniel Wear. “In terms of Lawrence, we’ve been increasing in size.”
While the team practices four times a week to sharpen their skills, the players do their best to keep practices and games fun and non-stressful so as not to lose their love for the sport and keep their sanity. “That’s why I think we can get a good amount of people,” says Wear. “Everybody can balance their academics and do other things and still be a good, contributing member on the team.”
Ultimate frisbee is certainly a unique sport. Similar to football, points are scored when the frisbee is brought to the end of the field, or the end zone. This is done by passing the frisbee to other team members. The frisbee can only be moved by passing it; players cannot run with 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 while it is not a NCAA sport, it is a nationally-recognized club sport. There are three divisions of teams with, Lawrence falling 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.
The club is also separated between men and women’s teams; however, the two have developed a close relationship. Often times the two teams will practice together, attend tournaments, as well as scrimmage.
The Lawrence Ultimate Frisbee team has recently returned from their spring break torunament in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where they returned with a 3-4 record, an improvement over the last couple of years. “We played teams from all across the country in different style of ultimate, which was really enjoyable,” says Wear. The team’s season ended last weekend with its Sectional tournament where the team took third place out of six teams, just narrowly missing Regional tournament.
Although the official Ultimate season is now over, members of the Ultimate Frisbee teams are always playing outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. These players are very welcoming, and will take any opportunity to enjoy their sport.