Ultimate Frisbee gives students a “fun” outlet

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    No ball, no pads and no referee. There is just a field and seven players advancing an airborne disk toward the goal line.

    It's ultimate frisbee. It has been around since the ‘60s, and the university has a team that regularly plays the unusual sport, according to the team captain.

    "Ultimate frisbee is unlike most sports because there is no referee. The closest position to the referee is the observer," said Camille McDonald, team captain and senior Spanish major.

    “The observer position is almost like a referee but not really since our only calls are out of bounds and force out fouls,” said Alexandra Erwin, observer and junior anthropology and French double major.

    The rule book says everything else is up to the players, based on the concept of something called the "Spirit of the Game".

    According to USA Ultimate's website, the game relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players.

    "Spirit of the Game" is written into the rules and practiced at all levels from local leagues to the World Games, according to USA Ultimate. 

    “This basically means it is the responsibility of the players to learn the rules, self-officiate themselves and be honest about it,” said McDonald.

    The season is broken into two parts. The spring is off-season and the fall is in-season, McDonald said.

    According to McDonald, off-season is a time for team building. There are local tournaments on the weekend, but they do not count towards the team’s official record.

    Some players, such as co-captian Michael Matthis, decided to play ultimate frisbee for conditioning and exercise.

    “I have been playing for seven years competitively. I started playing to stay in shape and get my cardio in, but I kept playing since it was so much fun,” said Matthis, a junior criminal justice major.

    Others, like Chris Pleshek, play because they enjoy it.

    “I came out to have fun. I played a little recreational back in high school, and I fell in love with it, so I was excited about playing intramural once I got to college,” said Pleshek, a first year business major.

    The team practices every Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on the TCU intramural field. All practices are open for tryouts.