Ultimate Frisbee club is expanding team, competition

The Norwich Ultimate Frisbee club is taking strides towards becoming more than just a club as they work to join the USA Ultimate (USAU) league this year to compete against other schools, according to the club president.

“This is the third year that the Ultimate Frisbee club has been at Norwich. Blaise Maio created the club three years ago and this is the first year that it is considered a club sport, so we will get funding from the school,” said Taylor Waring, 20, a junior civil engineering major from East Burke, Vt.
The Ultimate Frisbee team had its first competition this year as team hosted a tournament against Berkley College, Lesley University, and Bennington College, placing third out of four.
“We encourage everyone to come out for the team because we are always willing to teach people the game and make the people who already know how to play better” said Jesse Gillette, a junior architecture major from Ludlow, Vt.
There are 30 members in the club with a core 15 members that consistently show up and participate. There are seven people on the field playing at a time, providing two “strings,” according to Gillette.
The team welcomes walk-ons and holds practices every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday in fall. Practices on Tuesdays and Wednesdays go from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and on Sundays practices start at 2 p.m. with no definite end time, on the practice soccer field.
Ultimate is a game with a lot of strategy and lot of running and fast action. “It is kind of a mixture between soccer and football, the goal is to get the Frisbee in the end zone. You can’t run with the Frisbee, the only way to move it along is by passing and each person who has the disk is not allowed to hold it for more than 10 seconds” said Waring.
The sport has seen exponential growht in recent years, as noted in a USA Today article from 2013.
“For some college students Ultimate Frisbee is not only a serious and competitive pastime, but also a fast-growing sport that offers a unique sense of sportsmanship and community to those involved.
“Commonly referred to simply as ‘Ultimate,’ the sport was created in 1968 by a group of high school students in Maplewood, N.J.,” the paper noted.
The sport is now played in more than 42 countries, according to USA Ultimate, the sport’s national governing body. The organization’s most recent statistics show that college Ultimate memberships increased from 9,951 in 2004 to 16,058 in 2011.
The ultimate Frisbee field is 70 yards by 40 yards with end zones on both ends that are 25 yards deep. One of its unusual characteristics is that it is a self-officiated sport, which means there are no referees during the game and sportsmanship is expected.
“The official ultimate Frisbee season starts in the spring, so we start up in January and go until the end of school” said Waring.
The team is looking into the USAU and has been researching the rules and regulations and trying to join by the beginning of this season, according to Gillette.
“We are always looking for new members and people can either join by emailing Gillete or myself, or searching NU Ultimate Frisbee page on Facebook, where most of our information is posted,” said Waring.
The Ultimate Frisbee team is always looking for new members and is anticipating an upcoming season with new experiences and new opportunities.

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