This weekend, Men’s Club Ultimate Frisbee traveled to Oneonta to compete in the USA Ultimate Division III Metro East Regional Tournament. A strong showing in inclement weather at this weekend’s games could allow the team to qualify for the national Division III tournament.
Ultimate is a team sport that was invented by students in the ‘60s. The game is based upon players passing a disc to teammates in an attempt to catch it in the opposing team’s endzone to score points. Players are not allowed to take steps when in possession of the disc, but can pivot similar to a basketball player who has already dribbled.
One of the most well-known aspects of the sport is the general lack of referees. Instead, Ultimate depends upon players who support fairness and sportsmanship, known as the “spirit of the game.” So, players are allowed to call their own fouls. The sport is played by millions worldwide and is being considered as a possible Summer Olympics event for the 2024 games.
The team, nicknamed the Piggies, has seen some success. Three of the past four years, the Piggies have made it to pre-quarters at regionals, and they could add onto that streak this year. In the fall of 2016, the team won a tournament for the first time at the Yale’s Coffee Cup. At 6–8, the team ranked 191st of 333 entering the weekend.
The team’s competitiveness does not mean that prior experience playing the sport is necessary to join.
“I started playing competitively in college, but I had been exposed to the sport through casual games at summer camp and was interested in playing in a more serious [and] focused way,” said junior Sam Hirschhorn, the club’s president. Several other members began playing in college.
According to Hirschhorn, the team practices for two hours at least twice a week, though members also are encouraged to throw outside of practice. Practices consist of drills, scrimmages, conditioning, and more.
Though the team is competitive, the main focus is to make sure that its members have fun. “Careful to never take ourselves too seriously, our on field demeanor embodies our fun first attitude,” the description on the club’s website says.
“My favorite thing about the club is our community,” Hirschhorn said. “Although we take our games seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We frequently spend time with the women’s team, the Rochester EZs, and like to goof around as a larger group.”