By Xavier Vargas
Interesting fact alert: ultimate frisbee is consistently ranked as one of the most popular sports in the nation on college campuses according to The New York Times, and remains one of the world’s fastest growing sports.
In its essence, ultimate frisbee is usually a 7 on 7, non-contact sport that is a hybrid between football, soccer, and basketball. It is played on a field similar to a football field, though slightly smaller, as the end zones are twice as big as a football end zone.
Here at Denison the Ultimate Frisbee club is going into its 23rd year as a well established, self-governed team. In the past, Denison had sported both women and men’s teams, however currently open tournament is played, where men’s and women’s teams have meshed to form one co-ed team.
Throughout the season, Denison plays at a number of venues, including Ohio State University and the College of Wooster. Tournaments typically have four games on the first day and three games on the second, starting around 9 a.m. and not finishing until 3 p.m.
Each game is usually between 90 and 120 minutes, so ultimate frisbee demands an enormous amount of conditioning and endurance. An offensive player can run nearly 5 miles each game.
To prepare for tournament play, the team practices for two hours on four days of the week. During the spring and fall, the team utilizes Ohio’s temperate weather and practices outdoors. However, during the winter, the practices and tournaments are held indoors.
The team typically travels with 15-20 players due to the intensity and physical strain a game can place on an athlete. Substitutes are permitted after every point, unless there is an injury when exceptions are made.
In recent years, Denison’s ultimate team has been making quite a name for themselves in the local area, finishing agonizingly close to nationals last season.
Ultimate Frisbee is a great medium for students who have previously played sports such as football, basketball, and soccer for endurance. Both defensive and offensive strategy are absolutely required. The team is always open for more students to join the club and is more than willing to teach those who simply are interested in learning more about the sport.
On Nov. 16 and 17, Denison Ultimate will host a tournament at Bryn Du Mansion with 15-20 teams from the region participating. If you have the time and interest in the sport, either check out the team at the tournament or speak with a member of the team and head to the intramural fields for practice.