The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

80° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Frisbee the ‘ultimate’ game

    Caitlin Wright, a sophomore majoring in interdisciplinary studies and international relations, and Julie Roo Husid, a senior majoring in geography and communications, front, fight over the Frisbee during practice Jan. 22 at Rincon Vista Fields. The two are members of the Arizona womens Ultimate Frisbee club team.
    Caitlin Wright, a sophomore majoring in interdisciplinary studies and international relations, and Julie ‘Roo’ Husid, a senior majoring in geography and communications, front, fight over the Frisbee during practice Jan. 22 at Rincon Vista Fields. The two are members of the Arizona women’s Ultimate Frisbee club team.

    It was a chilly afternoon at Rincon Vista Fields at the intersection of East 15th Street and South Tucson Boulevard. As practice concluded for the Arizona women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, the temperature was a mere 43 degrees and falling as the sun went down – frigid by Tucson’s sunny standards.

    But true to their nickname, the Scorch would not be put on ice.

    It was just another opportunity for an already close-knit squad to get closer together – literally.

    Teammates Andy Vanderlinde, a senior, and junior Shannon Triplett huddled together on the sidelines, wrapped up in the same sleeping bag.

    “”Yeah, we’re really close.”” Vanderlinde said.

    “”It’s freezing!”” Triplett added.

    With practice over, most of the women rushed to get into their cold weather gear, stashed on the bleachers during scrimmage. Shoving gloves and mittens into the middle of the huddle, the team cheer seemed more than appropriate.

    “”Turn up your blow torch! Let’s go Scorch!””

    The Scorch are brought together, rain or shine, hot or cold, for the sport of ultimate, also known as Ultimate Frisbee. The term “”Frisbee”” is a trademarked name for a specific brand of flying disc; most players shorten the name to just “”ultimate.””

    If you didn’t know there were specific rules for your favorite park activity, you’re not alone.

    “”I played every once in a while for fun with my cross country team in high school, but we didn’t realize there were any rules or anything,”” Triplett said.

    She discovered the team her last year at the club sports fair at the Student Recreation Center.

    “”I was kind of an out-of-it freshman, so I didn’t really realize there was a team here,”” she said.

    The aim of the game is to advance the disc down the length of the 70- by 40-yard field by passing it from player to player. The teams line up on their respective end zones, and the offense receives a “”pull”” from the defense – like a kickoff in football.

    The goal of the offense is to score by passing the disc to a player in the opponent’s end zone. When a player receives a pass, she may not move from the spot she received the disc and has 10 seconds to attempt another pass, or the result is a turnover.

    Because every player must be able to receive and pass the disc, teamwork is essential, said team co-captain Emily Goldberg, a junior.

    “”You can’t have one superstar that can run the field for you,”” she said.

    Dropped passes or interceptions also count as turnovers. When a turnover occurs, the opposing team immediately picks up the disc where it was dropped and begins to play offense.

    The pace of ultimate is constant – much like soccer.

    “”I think it’s way more running than soccer,”” Goldberg said. “”It’s constant movement.””

    But players seem to agree that what sets ultimate apart from other sports is what they refer to as “”the spirit of the game.””

    “”That’s pretty much what it’s all based in,”” Vanderlinde said. “”It’s the idea that it’s about the game and not necessarily about winning. It’s about the community and the sport and playing to your best competitive level.””

    The spirit of cooperation on the field leads to friendships off of it. The Scorch often stay at opponents’ houses instead of hotels when traveling for tournaments.

    Triplett and Vanderlinde have even found ultimate abroad, participating in leagues in London and Argentina, respectively, while studying abroad.

    “”No matter where you go in the world, you’ll know someone who plays Frisbee,”” Vanderlinde said.

    Arizona’s ultimate community is growing. This year the team added a “”B”” squad, which allows the club to develop players before throwing them into the fire of competition. The team is already seeing improvement. During fall semester’s SoCal Warm-Up Tournament in San Diego, the team placed fifth out of 12 teams, while the year before the team placed last in its fall tournament.

    “”I feel like we surprised a lot of teams. We were definitely underestimated,”” Goldberg said.

    Team president Kristin Korby said she is excited about the progress that her team is making.

    “”This year we’re really stepping it up,”” she said. “”It’s the first year we’re really actually setting the goal as (qualifying for) nationals.””

    More to Discover
    Activate Search