‘Ultimate’ Sport


Ki Carden

West High School’s Jonas Regehr blocks opponent during ultimate game at Riverside Park.

Maisie Stevens, Rambler Online Editor

It’s hard to describe the sport ultimate Frisbee. It is a game full of throwing, running, jumping and diving all wrapped together.
At times, it looks like a hockey game on grass, because of the constant substitutions, but it also looks like football because of the nature of defense and trying to grab the Frisbee out of the air as teams try to get into the endzone.
But even with these similarities there is no sport that can really compare. Ultimate Frisbee (sometimes just called “ultimate”) is one of the more unique sports out there.
Ultimate is a non-contact sport, but contact is still common because of the unintentional bumping between players as they try to stop their opponents from getting the Frisbee. With seven players on each side, it is played on a football-sized field with an end zone at each end. This lends itself to being an exciting, fast-paced game because of the wide-open space.
As soon as the Frisbee is caught, the player must stop running and pass it to a teammate. They must avoid players on the opposing team, who are constantly trying to block their passes. Teams are allowed to substitute players between points, which means players give 100 percent on each play because they can sub out for a quick rest without waiting for a timeout.
Highland does not have an ultimate team, but several Highland players have joined the West team, known as the Krakens.
The teams are constantly looking for more players to join.
“It’s a welcoming sport,” Highland junior Eli Bloch said. “The game focuses on spirit and sportsmanship and people having fun.”
Within the West team, there are different levels. There is a freshman game, a D2 game and a D1 game. Bloch plays in the D1 games, which is the highest level. To be good at this sport, all one really needs is conditioning and throwing/catching skills. Once a player perfects those two things, they are set to play their best in a game.
But this game is harder than people think, as tactics are very important. Between points, players must read what the other team is doing and gauge how hard the wind is blowing to decide on the best attack or defense strategy.
The disk has to be caught by a member of the same team that threw it or else it is incomplete, and it is turned over to the other team. Players from the opposing team will try their hardest to knock the disk way from the hands of the team trying to catch it. And when a throw goes sideways, players dive at the disk to catch it before it hits the ground.
“That’s honestly the hardest part, diving,” junior George Shelby said.
One of the other things players think is the hardest about ultimate, besides the actual game, is that other people don’t see it as a “real” sport. Even though there is a professional league, American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), it is not always met with respect
“It sucks when people hear you play Ultimate and they don’t think it’s cool,” sophomore Linnea De St. Germai said.
De St. Germai plays with Block and Shelby because all of the teams are co-ed. There are five girls that play in the D1 games. Although she loves the sport and the games, she’s sad she had to move up and play in the D1 games, leaving all of her freshman team friends behind.
“I was the only girl on that team so now I have to play for the mixed team, but they get to stay on the same team,” De St. Germain said.
The Krakens are doing pretty well this season with a record of 3-5. They are working well together as a team and hope to continue to do well this season.