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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Frisbee finals

    Frisbee finals

    Believe it or not, there’s more to Ultimate Frisbee than tossing a disk around on the UA Mall.

    UA Men’s Ultimate Frisbee club-team certainly proved this last year by finishing fifth at nationals. This weekend, Sunburn, the Men’s Ultimate A Team, seeks to go undefeated at sectionals.

    “”It’s very structured and you know, we compete at the highest level possible against these ridiculously good teams who also train their butts off every single day,”” said Kellen Geselbracht, Sunburn co-captain and management information systems senior.

    Even so, the team expects to do well this weekend.

    “”In the four years I’ve been on the team, we’ve never lost a game at sectionals,”” said Brandon Palmer, Sunburn co-captain and finance senior.

    “”We should definitely beat all the teams pretty easily,”” said Marco Alatorre, Sunburn player and systems engineering junior.

    However, things look to get more difficult for the team once they reach the regional competition.

    “”This year, the region is very competitive. However, we do have three bids to nationals this year, not two,”” Palmer said. “”We are one of four teams competing for those spots,”” he said.

    Sunburn’s three toughest opponents at regionals will be top seeded Colorado University at Boulder, University of California at Santa Barbara, and UC San Diego – “”the perennial contenders,”” Palmer said

    “”Last year, we sort of broke through and beat those teams at regionals (UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego), earned the second bid to nationals,”” Palmer said.

    “”Taking fifth at nationals is not a small task,”” Geselbracht said.

    “”I think our team this year is pretty comparable to last year’s team,”” Alatorre said. “”But I think all the rest of the teams have kind of stepped it up a bit this year,”” he said.

    A typical game is played to either 13 or 15, Alatorre said, though games can be time-capped if they run too long.

    “”The field is set up similar to a football field,”” Palmer said. “”Once you catch the disk, you’re not allowed to run with it,”” he said.

    Players can only pivot on one foot in order to throw the disk to a teammate. If the disk falls or is caught by the opposing team it’s a turnover. A team scores by throwing the disk into the end zone and having a receiver catch it, Palmer said.

    While Ultimate Frisbee might look like a combination of a few sports, some things are unique.

    For example, “”just one that you gotta understand about Ultimate Frisbee is that there’s not really referees,”” Alatorre said. “”Generally, you call your own fouls,”” he said, though there are observers in the highest level games.

    So, much of Ultimate depends on “”the spirit of the game,”” Alatorre said. “”The basis is just don’t abuse the power to call. There’s also just a whole community – kind of like just a really fun environment and atmosphere.””

    “”Like during time-outs, you always play a game with the other team,”” Alatorre said. “”We like to do handstand competitions.””

    Geselbracht said he plays “”because it’s the most fun thing I’ve ever done and I get to play at a really competitive level against other college teams and I get to travel all across the United States doing something I love.””

    As fun as they say it is, players still insist Ultimate is a sport.

    “”We’re on the same level … we train just as hard as any other team,”” Geselbracht said. “”We have to take care of our bodies and that sort of thing.””

    Palmer said the team conditions regularly because running is a huge part of the game.

    “”So yeah, I understand the stereotype, you know, we’re all supposed to be these pot-smoking hippies who don’t do anything with their lives but the reality is, it’s the complete opposite,”” Geselbracht said.

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