Abnormal Athletics: Ultimate Frisbee

Written by Adam Crouch.

     The environment of Greenville, especially at the college, is one that forces you to either be bored to tears or make your own fun. Many people fall victim to the American idea that fun is something you buy and receive rather than something that you make and enjoy. This is what makes Greenville the greatest place on earth. To successfully live in Greenville, you have to make your own fun — and when groups of fun makers collide with other groups of fun makers, a good time is sure to be had.

     One of my favorite ways to make fun is to play ultimate. While the sport is better known as “ultimate frisbee,” the true name of the sport does not include the word “frisbee.” Frisbee is the brand name of an ultimate disc. An ultimate disc is the token used to play ultimate. The typical ultimate disc is 27.5 centimeters in diameter and 175 grams.

     Many people are familiar with ultimate. For those of you who aren’t, this is an abridged version of the briefest explanation I could find online, from Wikipedia of course: “Two teams begin at opposite end zones and try to advance the disc to the other end zone. The disc is put into play by one team throwing off to the other team.Once in play, the disc may be advanced only by passing, so the player holding the disc may not move, but may pivot on one foot. If a team successfully advances a disc into the end zone, that team scores a point, the teams swap directions, and the team that scored pulls [throws off] to the other team.

     If a pass is incomplete, intercepted, or caught out of bounds, the opposing team immediately gains possession and tries to move the disc in the other direction.Another way to change possession is that the player holding the disc has a limited time to throw the disc. A defensive player within three meters of the thrower may loudly count to 10, and if the disc is not thrown by the time 10 is reached, the defense immediately gains possession. The game is played until an end condition is reached, typically a time limit or when one team reaches a certain number of points.”

     Ultimate has quite a history at Greenville College. Many alumni tell tales of their days out on Scott Field playing ultimate with their closest friends. Some will even talk about making ventures to St. Louis to find more competition. Those who didn’t play may even talk about grabbing a blanket, preparing a picnic, and watching their friends.

     Not only is ultimate a strong tradition at Greenville College, but it is also a fast growing current campus activity. During any day with nice weather, you’re sure to find some people out on Scott Field playing ultimate.

     It was about spring semester last year when I first got into the sport. I had played in P.E. class in high school, but never really liked it. Cody Davis and Cory Martin got me into it. They would go out to Scott Field everyday at 4:00 to help me work on my throws. Eventually, we had a steady group to get games going and help each other improve. Some people you might know that currently play on a regular basis are Alex Green, Cody Davis, Emily Gundy, Lauren Schwaar, Jesse Spraggon,Adam Chismar, Zach Griffey, Brendan McDonnell, and Alex Staton. This group of people hopes to start a campus club team next semester under the coaching of John Massena, a Greenville College alum and employee.

So go out and play! There are plenty of people on campus who are very involved in the scene. Find some friends and go make some memories!


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