North Texas Daily

North Texas’ Ultimate team prepares for spring season

North Texas’ Ultimate team prepares for spring season

North Texas’ Ultimate team prepares for spring season
September 28
10:00 2018

Ultimate Frisbee, or “Ultimate,” is considered to be one of the fastest-growing sports in collegiate sports. The North Texas Ultimate Frisbee club is one of the sports offered on campus.

Men’s team captain Andy Evans is coming into his senior year and fourth season on the ultimate team at UNT.

“It’s a lot more competitive and serious than people would probably think,” Andy said. “We’ve got some great athletes, and this sport is professional. It’s evolved into something more than just a backyard activity.”

The playing field is just slightly smaller than a football field: Its dimensions are 70-yards-by-40 yards with 20-yard end zones. Ultimate Frisbee combines the nonstop play of soccer and the aerial passing of football. It is played by two teams with a flying disk that is heavier and larger than those used in disc golf, a similar sport. The object of Ultimate is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone.

The player with the Frisbee is not allowed to take any steps, similar to basketball. Whoever is holding the Frisbee is allotted 10 seconds to pass it to a teammate before receiving a penalty. The penalty for holding the disk for more than 10 seconds results in a turnover to the other team. 

Ultimate Frisbee is a non-contact sport, so the common penalties called are picks and fouls. A pick is any action that includes one player intentionally getting in the way of an opponent to cause disruption or injury. A foul would be any contact that inhibits your ability to catch or throw the disc. All matches excluding regional national championship games, are self-officiated, meaning there are no third-party referees to make calls.

The Mean Green look to use this fall semester as a time of teaching and practicing for both new and experienced players so when spring rolls around, they can get competitive with actual matches and tournaments. 

Leaping to a catch, Brandon Martin outruns and out leaps his opponents. Matthew Flores

“Right now our practices are pretty lowkey,” said Ben Meaders, the newly-elected president of the men’s team. “As a part of our team, no one is cut. Our goal right now is to get as many people on the team and getting as many people learning the sport of Ultimate as soon as possible.”

Ultimate is not just as simple as picking up a disc and throwing it — running up and down the field requires both speed and endurance. A player must utilize both speed and precision when throwing the disc. There are as many as five different ways to throw a frisbee, and they all require time to practice and develop the muscle memory to do it habitually and successfully. Ultimate is similar to baseball in the way that there are many ways of distributing the ball in which it takes a good amount of time and practice to master to be able to perform well.

“If I’m throwing the disk straightforward, there’s an entirely different dimension to where — if an opponent is in front of my teammate — I can throw it around his opponent and into a space that only he can catch it,” Meaders said. “I can do that in Ultimate whereas in football I cannot.”

The universal message that comes from both the men’s and women’s teams is that there’s more to Ultimate Frisbee than meets the eye.

“It’s so much more than just a game,” said women’s team president Nina Moriarty. “It’s a community and everyone is such good friends, and I just want people to know how inviting we are. We practice getting better at what we love and we try to embody that in everything we do.”

Featured Image: Clashing in the sky, opposing members of Mean Green Ultimate jump skyward for the frisbee. Matthew Flores

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Matt Suarez

Matt Suarez

Sports Editor

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